Tag Archives: painting

Art Challenge – Day #6-10

30 Day Art Challenge

Day #6-10

Welcome back everyone to the better late than never post! All the art more or less got done, I am simply horrible at documenting my work. So let’s get on with this shall we? Here are another five installments of the art challenge:

Day #6 – Microscopic

Day six was a weird day for me. This part of the challenge just so happened to fall during the worst days of a flu which wrecked everyone in my household.

So, high on cold medicine, I scoured the internet for microscopic organisms. I ended up combining three or four types of organisms into one psychedelic freak of nature that probably should not exist. I think what I am trying to say is don’t do drugs kids.

*Watercolor and gouache 

Day #7 – Anatomy

On day 7 I think I was coming off of the drugs, but I was in a dark place. We all know this point of being sick where the symptoms begin to fade but we are still not well enough to actually be productive. My face felt like it was on fire from blowing my nose, and I couldn’t breathe to save my life.

Sadly, I took out my frustration at being confined to my couch on this poor teddy bear. I wanted to know what made him tick, and what made him so damn happy and cute all the time. I am probably one of the few people on this planet that finds the idea of a teddy skeleton adorable.

*Gouache 

Day #8 – Fungi

Day eight I painted the fungi zombies from the video game The Last of Us so I could tie this challenge in with my fungi study article. The Last of Us article ended up being pushed back anyway, which contributed to both of these posts being unforgivably late.

For those of you not familiar with the game, the zombie hoards in this universe are created by a parasitic fungi. There are different stages of infection ranging from the early stage “runner” (bottom), and the deadly “clicker” (top). I wanted a brighter color palette so they ended up looking a little psychedelic. Don’t do drugs kids.

*Watercolor and gouache

Day #9 – Hate

I struggled with day 9 well past the deadline where I was supposed to have finished this piece. I thought I would maybe tie it into the “love” day’s sculpture, but I felt I just could not translate hate properly. Finally I settled on another painting, this time of a cute little voodoo doll that resembles Lilo’s doll from Lilo and Stitch.

In the end this piece really came together in the end. It is actually one of my favourites so far in the challenge.

*Gouache

Day #10 – Comic

Day 10 was another one that really gave me a tough time, which is not what I expected. When I cobbled the list together I expected that I would do a tiny three panel comic of some sort, but for some reason nothing came to mind.

Then it occurred to me that it has been years since I have done a traditional India Ink comic book style illustration. This is another multi-day project that put me farther behind, but it was worth the effort!

Say hello to one of my favourite comic book protagonists, Cassie Hack from Hack/Slash, dressed as my favourite villain Freddy Krueger. I’m a huge fan of pin-ups and pretty burlesque girls, and Cassie is no stranger to seductive posing.

Next Time

Thanks for joining me again. Come visit next time for days #11-15 … hopefully in a timely manner, but at this point I make no guarantees.

The List - LINK
Days #1-5 - LINK

Cheers,

Starchip13

Fungi Study

Creating a Scene

This week I have been thinking about fungi, and how they might be used to create a scene.

Crafting an environment is an acquired skill like any other. A creature crafted from imagination needs a home in which to dwell. Forests are lush places full of life even in the darkest, dampest, corners. Here thrive the things that crawl and the things that survive on the decay of other living things.

Fungi are nature’s natural composters, and as such they are associated with rot and all things dead. Given the environments where fungi tends to thrive, it is small wonder that mushrooms are lumped in with witches and frightening bogs.

Over the past couple of days I have been staring long and hard at interesting plants that would give a environment personality. Of course, it helps to know a little bit of information on your chosen subject matter. I have decided to gather some interesting facts about the species I have illustrated here. All of my sources are listed at the bottom of this post for those of you who want to continue their fungi journey.

Let us Begin..

four-fungi
Fungi Study (watercolor & gauche)

Amanita Muscaria (Fly Agaric)

If we look to the bottom right of the illustration above you will see a familiar species. The Fly Agaric is probably the most iconic of all the fungi species. This species was made famous by popular media such as Smurfs and Super Mario Bros, and is the type of mushroom most commonly depicted in children’s books.

Fly Agaric got its name from its use an a natural insecticide. The mushroom was crushed up and added to milk, which would attract flies and subsequently poison them. Fly Agaric is also mildly toxic to humans. Ingesting this mushroom can cause sweating, mild hallucinations, and (in very rare cases) death.

Fly Agaric is a common, wide spread, fungi. It thrives in north-temperate regions of most major continents. This species grows closely around trees and forms a relationship with the roots. It’s preferred species of tree are birch and pine.

Hydnellum Peckii (Bleeding Tooth Fungus)

Bottom left. Also known as Strawberries and Cream, Bleeding Hydnellum, Red-Juice Tooth or Devil’s Tooth. This species is found mainly in North America and Europe. This mushroom producing fungi forms a mutually beneficial relationship with coniferous trees.

The cap of the mushroom contains fruit bodies which ooze a bright red liquid when young. This give’s the distinct look of a bleeding mushroom. I’m uncertain whether or not this looks incredibly pretty, or like something out of a horror film…

Armillaria (Honey Fungus)

This species is depicted by the illustration on the top right, and the top left. Honey Fungus is actually a name given to a family of fungus Armillaria, which share common traits, which is why this variety is depicted in two separate illustrations.

These are common mushroom and fungus that are considered pests. They feed mainly on woody perennials such as trees and shrubs. Infected plants will begin to wilt and fail to flower, and the mushroom caps most commonly appear in autumn. There are no fungicides available to honey fungus. The only treatment is to remove infected plants, dig up surrounding area, and take steps to prevent the spread.

orange_fungi
Red Cage Fungus in Watercolor
Clathrus Ruber (Red Cage Fungus)

Red cage fungus got its name from the distinct lattice-like structure of the fungi fruit body. This species starts out its life cycle as a round white egg looking structure. It gradually breaks out and expands upwards into this distinct shape as it matures. This species can grow up to about 20 cm tall.

The lattice structure of Rage Cage ranges from light pink to dark orange-red in colour. The larger spongy structure surrounds the cluster of spores on the inside which are dark green in colour.

Red Cage fungi are also known by another name, Stinkhorn. This is due to the fact that the spores of this fungi release an odor similar to that of rotting meat in order to attract flies. The odor combined with the bright colour of the lattice structure is enough to deter most animals that might eat this fungi.

Red cage thrives in decaying woody plant material. It can be found growing in North Africa, Asia, Australia and South America.

pink-fungi

Clathrus Archeri (Devil’s Finger)

Last but not least, we have Devil’s Finger Fungus. This particular species is making a big splash on the internet due to its striking resemblance to xenomorph eggs (Alien 1979).

Devil’s finger starts out its life cycle resembling a semi-translucent glutenous egg structure. As it matures four to eight long tentacle-like structures push out through the membrane. If you have the stomach for it, I highly suggest looking up pictures of growing Devil’s Finger. It is truly the stuff of nightmares.

Devil’s FInger is actually related to the Red Cage (or Stinkhorn) fungus. The tentacle-like structures are made of a similar spongy material which releases a strong odor which attracts flies in order to spread its spores. It also grows in similar habitats of wood chips and decaying woody plants. They often grow together in clusters. Freaky!

While Devil’s finger is quite an usual, and even a little frightening, it is actually quite harmless. Its spores are even served as a delicacy in some parts of the world.

Coming Up Next…

Next time in Twisted Tales Studio, we are going to take an up close and personal look at a particularly freaky fungi, which can technically be classified as a parasite. This fungus’s life cycle is so unusually frightening that a well-known video game actually used it as a basis for their big bad monsters. After all, the scariest monsters have their roots in reality.

Can anyone guess which game I am talking about??

Once again, all of my information above can be found in the links listed below! I am by no means an expert on species of fungi, so please check out these sites for more information.

Sources:
Fly Agaric - Link
Bleeding Tooth Fungus - Link
Honey Fungus - Link
Red Cage Fungus - Link
Devil's Finger Fungus - Link

Cheers,

Starchip13