May 31, 2011

day twenty-nine - water vole

yep, of all the animals i could have chosen - eagle, shark, cougar, gecko (seriously) - i chose a water vole. and not because they're endangered, that's england's problem...

© jem barratt

just kidding of course, but their surprising cuteness still trumps their endangered-ment as far as giving me reasons to draw them. unfortunately my vole is not as fatly cute as he should be. or as cute.


May 30, 2011

day twenty-eight - fiddler crab

fiddler crabs are the best crabs. especially if you refer to them as fiddly-winks...

© jem barratt

that face in the corner belongs to this fruity character. but this guy defies all logic surrounding the cuteness of crabs. he even has what appear to be pretty eyelashes.

all i can tell you about fiddler crabs is that i love them, and that they are the geishas of the crustacean world, what with their coyness, face-hiding, and hand-size discrepancies. (hands are a type of claw... look it up [on this blog, not in an encyclopaedia])


May 29, 2011

day twenty-seven - praying mantis

i am such a hypocrite. yesterday i was ordering everyone to watch the doco on the great rift valley in africa and i didn't even watch it myself. tsk tsk.

what happened this week? someone tell me quick! i can guarantee it didn't include this guy:

© jem barratt

back-stitched, not drawn. praying mantises are the best. i miss my pet mantis. go here to see mantises who look like oriental dancers and orchids. pretty!

once when i was camping, a little orange rectangular mantis hitched a ride on my shoulder while i walked for an hour back to camp. that was the best. but he was clearly using me. sigh.

someone remind me to DRAW these stupid animals before i stitch them. stitching takes hours and it's just plain silly to stitch straight from a photo. you may (slightly) notice this is unfinishe...

May 28, 2011

day twenty-six - pygmy hippopotamus

such a cute genre of hippopotamuses... (hippopotami? i think it's both).

© jem barratt

just like real life, the baby one is much cuter.

i would like to request that all two of my readers please watch 'the great rift: africa's wild heart' on abc tomorrow because then i won't have to link to it all the time. speaking of which, go here to see some horrific hippo-teeth-tearing-up-gums-action.


p.s. i have officially dubbed the pgymy hippo at adelade zoo pygmalion, so please address him accordingly

May 27, 2011

day twenty-five - meh

© jem barratt

sorry. this is all you get because today: my dog ran away, my wallet was stolen, i lost my job, i had to wash my hair, i was in a car crash, i had a funeral to attend and i had to go to hospital. (two of those are true... well three, but i didn't NEED to wash my hair)

© jem barratt

i only drew the right page in the first picture today. the others are lunch-time doodles of the week.

i'll cover my penchant for animals riding other animals at a more opportune time. g'night.

May 26, 2011

day twenty-four - bandito menagerie

yes, technically not AN animal (or even a gaggle) but it is what it is.

and what it is, is this:

© jem barratt

yep not much of an explanation needed. i like bandit animals (if you're unfamiliar with such beasts, just look up any of the above and you will see their all-natural bandit mask). i also like drawing with poscas on black card.

i do not like my skill level. but i do like you.

...who are you?

(i'm tired)

May 25, 2011

day twenty-three - bee-eater

if there's one thing i like, it's birds (you may have noticed). i also like words. but if there's three things i don't like, it's counting.

here's a hilarious anecdote: i used to be extremely disinterested in birds (except finches). and now i like them a lot. what a riot.

but it is true. one such object of my liking is the bee-eater:

© jem barratt

this guy is eurasian, but i was most excited by the carmine bee-eaters in the latest ep of "the great rift: africa's wild heart". they were so 80s. i simply frothed with excitement.

in a good way.

they're so bright, and weird and like little birdy banditos. they BATHE in DUST. they have BEARDS. my only regret is that i didn't draw all 26 species at once.

May 24, 2011

day twenty-two - okapi

oka-pie? oka-pee? i don't know. though i would vote for the former. mr mantis says oh-kah-pee. we'll never know (don't look it up).

today i ran out of time/got too lazy to do a good job.

© jem barratt

if you haven't seen one of these before, this picture is a terrible introduction. they are kind of like brown zebra-tapirs but are actually forest giraffes. this video is proof of their gangly and tongue-ly similarities.

not to be confused with a zedonk, although both are clearly ridiculous animals.

not like humans.

May 23, 2011

day twenty-one - generic fish

oh noes. now i've hit twenty there are two hyphens in the title - an editor's nightmare!

ANYHOO, today's animal is my all-time favourite... generic fishies!

© jem barratt

i just love their chosen habitat and specific behaviours and all their other idiosyncrasies. convincing no?

i'll be honest with you - originally i was cross-stitching a stag beetle. but two hours after i had begun i still had not completed his damned abdomen (damndomen) and i ran out of thread. so i gave up and stamped some fish instead.

thus i cannot impart my (copy-pasted) animalistic knowledge upon you today, as this is no species in particular. but i can show you this! nat geo is the best. [side note: how have i not linked to something to do with sir attenborough yet!? must get onto that tomorrow]


May 22, 2011

day twenty - panda

wow. i did not think this through. 345 days to go?! waaaah.

in any case, people who know me would probably say pandas are my favourite animals. but only those that truly know me, know exactly why i love them.

© jem barratt

before i elaborate, i should just say that i love the branding on the haighs/adelaide zoo chocolates and wanted to try the style for myself.

now for some facts about/reasons to truly love pandas:

May 21, 2011

day nineteen - gibbon

to make up for my lack of effort yesterday, today i will display TWO animals.

first we have one of my favourite animals (a descriptor i tend to give to most animals), the gibbon. they are amazing, from their exaggerated limbs to their ball-and-socket wrists (allowing patented 360 degree SWIVEL ACTION in the trees) to their goofy expressions they're just the best!

© jem barratt

this one is unnaturally sad. maybe because he is being figuratively crushed by "man's economic world". (sketchbook courtesy of art-man about town chris edser, by the way). but usually they are laughing it up, racing around the trees or annoying the crap out of tigers.

OR eating their own crap:

May 20, 2011

day eighteen - koala?

or something.

yeah so here's the thing, i don't like you enough to put you before socialising, so all you get today are my lunch-break sketches. mainly involving animal waiters, a self-portrait, and double-koala-action. but not in a gross way.

i will never draw that.

© jem barratt

yep. i'm tired.

also a drawing of a bunch of animals would seem to contradict "an animal a day", but i made this thing up and there are no rules. except the daily thing. and the drawing. and involving animals. but that's it. and i'll draw as many things as i like! and AND humans are animals.

and me especially so. i'll make the crossover one day... whatever that means.

May 19, 2011

day seventeen - elephant

well i am certainly posting late considering i drew this picture in my lunch break. in any case here he is...

© jem barratt

technically it's two animals: elephants and non-specific-birdies. also i did draw the birdies from these earrings which i do actually own and love (i'm not a filthy avian thief... although... i REALLY want a cockatiel)

May 18, 2011

day sixteen - peafowl

that's right. peafowl.

© jem barratt

peacock only refers to the male of the species. and i am no sexist, at least not to animals. you may beg to differ because i always refer to my drawings as 'this guy', but i would even call the queen 'this guy' if i were to meet her.

alright, catch you on the flip guy.


May 17, 2011

day fifteen - llama

oh the luxury of posting early... i could draw five more animals if i wanted! (i don't want that)

plus technically i didn't draw today, i long-stitched:

© jem barratt

mmm he feels almost as soft as a real llama. and looks almost as dim, but not quite. to truly understand how ridiculous and hilarious llamas are, you'll have to witness this:

May 16, 2011

day fourteen - lyrebird

or superb lyrebird to be precise. but that's a bit arrogant.

© jem barratt

this particular specimen is so arrogant that he partially destroyed a tree just to make himself look good. (i certainly didn't destroy the branch, i just scanned an actual lyrebird and this is how it came out...)

whoever destroyed what, lyrebirds really are superb and have actually earned their nomenclature. not only do they SUPERBLY immitate other bird calls, but even machinery, construction sounds, and human voices. the adelaide zoo recorded this feat (performed in the midst of their pre-panda renovations) for you to gape at.

truly amazing. so how come they're only on the 10c coin and not the 100 dollar note?

May 15, 2011

day thirteen - cockatiel

wow i need to get more organised!! and i also need to get me one of these:

© jem barratt

a cockatiel. this guy will definitely be my first pet (besides my pet fish jaws that i still think my brothers failed to feed). and i shall name him mr cheeks. i can't wait!

May 14, 2011

day twelve - flamingo

oh man, running late again. my own fault this time - i put a delicious dinner ahead of drawing my dear flamingo.

© jem barratt

flamingos are so 80s. that's why they're the best.

day eleven - tree frog

i couldn't tell you which species, but he features heavily in this gallery so he must be important. or rich.

© jem barratt

plus my drawing doesn't look like the photo. it looks BETTER. hey nature, i invented a better frog than you - beat that! (this is most definitely how evolution works)

i'm only provoking nature into a fight to hide my lack of knowledge on this particular species. how embarrassment!

oh and it's thanks to blogger (again) that this is a day late. my timely hands are not to blame.

May 12, 2011

day ten - blue-grey gnatcatcher

double digits!! let's celebrate with angry birds...

© jem barratt

oh you thought i meant the game? i can't at all see how you would have reached that conclusion. in any case this is a real life angry bird, and incidentally exactly how i think i would look as an animal.

he is a blue-grey gnatcatcher, which is a great sounding name but not so much a great sounding game. although why they didn't portmanteau that into gnatcher i'll never know.

makin' up for the real facts i included yesterday by drawing an animal i know nothing about! woo! here's a photo so you can revel in his furious glory.


May 11, 2011

day nine - rhino

the diceros bicornis to be exact (or black rhino). i haven't been nearly factual enough in this blog, so here we go:

© jem barratt
  • the species names have nothing to do with colour (as both are grey). white rhinos are square-lipped and black ones hook-lipped. white rhinos graze grass - black rhinos browse vegetation
  • although bulky, rhinos are agile and can turn quickly in tight spaces. just ask this guy (or watch him rather)
  • baby rhinos are gangly-ly cute - an undeniable fact

woah too much.

just go to monarto and learn about rhinos for yourself (assuming you live in the exact town i do, which is safe to do on the interwebs). although we don't have black rhinos, our southern white rhino just had a baby! i'll meet you there.


May 10, 2011

day eight - colobus

a.k.a. the saddest animal on earth. seriously. don't even try to find a picture of a happy colobus... i've spent countless hours google imaging 'happy colobus' and 'smile colobus'. they. don't. exist.

© jem barratt

now imagine that guy at least 12,000 times sadder. like this:

© jem barratt

nope still not even close. this one perhaps? i honestly couldn't tell you a single other fact about them i'm afraid. they chase owls? they eat peanuts? who knows, i think they're probably too depressed to do much else.


day seven - star-nosed mole

aww star-nosed mole, doesn't that sound cute!?

© jem barratt

that's what you were imagining right? don't believe people who say all animals are cute and lovable. they're not:

© jem barratt


but that doesn't mean all animals shouldn't be loved. some are just harder to love than others. maybe star-nosed moles aren't that bad... just imagine his frantic, dirty face tendrils caressing your neck as he implores you: "love me... thbbpt... LOVE ME!"

oh and you can thank my fickle internet and broken blogger for this not being up yesterday. my hands drew it well on time!

May 8, 2011

day six - veiled chameleon

no time to talk!

© jem barratt

this took forever. stupid soaky poscas. this guy speaks for himself i think. we all know chameleons are cool. they have fork feet and spotty skin and they sway gingerly as they walk.

my next chameleon will be even better (and not so rushed)! eep... nine minutes to go!


May 7, 2011

day five - zebra finch

today i drew one of my favourite animals. finches are without a doubt the cutest and most furious of all birds, with gouldians being the most flashy, and zebras (see below) as the most enchanting.

© jem barratt

animals with rosy cheeks are only second to watermelon babies. perhaps one day i'll draw that battle... cockatiels and zebra finches vs tapirs and emus.

unfortunately my scanner is not designed for drawings and so this guy's cheeks are a little lacklustre.

hopefully this most excellent of art installations will make up for it (you really can't get much better than trapping zebra finches in guitars...)


May 6, 2011

day four - ring-tailed lemur

though neither the coolest nor the weirdest, ring-tailed lemurs do have their place among the 101 lemur species endemic to madagascar. because they play a mean game of leap-turtle...

© jem barratt

this actually happened (with perhaps just a little creative license in depicting the turtle). i love that it's specifically a 'slow-moving turtle'. TAUTOLOGY!! (TURTOLOGY?)

ok time for sleeps.

May 5, 2011

day three - moth

oh man my eyes hurt. so.. much... concentration. but my eyes don't hurt as much as this guy, what with his lust for light.

© jem barratt

a little-known fact about moths: everyone thinks butterflies are sooooo great, but did you know moths are infinitely cooler. this is why...

© jem barratt

that is a moth face. nutjobs.

May 4, 2011

day two - polar bear

today's guest is monsieur polar:

© jem barratt

now what can i tell you about polar bears? we all know they have black skin but did you know they have purple blood? i sure didn't. because i don't know things that aren't true.

but for reals, don't you admire how polar bears can be simultaneously terrifying and goofy? they're the best! for today anyway.

May 3, 2011

day one - tapir

good eve. i have just scraped in for day one.

to start things off we have a watermelon baby - possibly the finest of them all. watermelon babies are so named for their delicious fruity taste (the striped coat is merely coincidence...)

© jem barratt

this guy is a baby tapir but baby emus, ostriches and wild boars are also part of the gang. malayan, mountain and brazilian tapirs all have these stripy little suckers despite looking wildly different when they grow up.

ahhh cute.