In my previous projects I had as my themes my visits to museum and I was drawing various things from tanks to the interior architecture of the buildings themselves. I enjoyed doing this and exploring the museums for new things to draw and so I chose to continue to build on this but focus on natural history and taxidermy specimens.
I also decided to continue drawing in the same way I had in the previous projects (continuous line) and try to apply it to a digital medium. The main aim for me on this project was trying to teach myself painting on Photoshop to a high standard.
I experimented with various techniques during this project. I started with simple continuous line drawings that were scanned into the computer and then coloured and inked digitally. I then tried just filling different sections of the drawing with different colours. This technique I went back to for the final images but simplified it to two colours; one for the background and one for the drawing.
I mainly looked at the work of Cornelia Hesse-Honegger, Mark Fairnington, and Jennie Webber, the two former natural history illustrators and the later including a lot of the themes I am interested in in her work, for instance animals and mortality.
Some of the images were painted digitally and I think this will be one of the main things I want to experiment with and improve in my second year and I will be incorporating digital art as a major part of my work from now on. I believe the project went well, especially in terms of skills developed, as I now have a very good grasp of digital painting and working with a graphics tablet. I also made contact with a taxidermist in this project and he said I was welcome to come back for more research in the future which will be helpful should I decide to pursue natural history illustrations for any further projects.
I chose not to do prints as I found it easier to promote my work digitally, through Tumblr and Facebook, and the paintings in particular tend to look better on screen, but I probably would print some next time.