Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Up close and personal

Many moons ago I used to work as a pseudo entomologist....I used to spend hours collecting, sorting, identifying and photographying the little critters....and as you can imagine I spent most of my work hours staring down a microscope. One of my favourite tasks was to pick and identify bugs from out of pitfall traps. No I don't think I'm mad! Let me explain. Sometimes leaves and seeds and flower buds would also have fallen into the jam jar sized traps and when I looked down the scope my whole vision was taken up with this beautiful miniature world suddenly larger than life. It was most amazing, and often incredibly beautiful, to see in absolute detail things that I would never normally notice.

I have since moved onto other work but I still have a bit of a fascination with bugs. I have also always appreciated the incredible skill of biological my second sketch is a bit of a homage to both. The bug in the picture, and I mean a hemiptera (sucking insect) not just generic creepy crawly, is a Stink Bug. I was tempted to put on a scale bar, but since I've taken too much artistic licence in the drawing, I resisted. In real life it would be about 8mm long....very small eh.

I based the drawing on a photo I took with a microscope and digital camera. The drawing I finished using a felt-tipped pen.


  1. Amazing! I hope you're going to do more of them!

  2. Just created a blog for the boy if you are interested in 'following'. :)

  3. I can totally understand your fascination with insects. When we lived in Alabama and my boys were under 10 we used to collect and watch bugs...dirt dobbers build their nest, magots in a bucket of compost still waiting to be put in the compost...(it was outside in the wheel barrel and I told my son to look at the butterflies flying around the compost bucket, while I cook dinner. He came back in and told me that the bucket was making a lot of noise and there were worms wiggling inside. It was kinda creepy but it was also neat to see his amazement.) We collected a moth and put her in the refrig and she laid eggs...and we watched them hatch. We had a great time collecting and I still have my insect box. But we moved away from Ala. and there doesn't seem to be as many insects where we live now in northern CA.
    Maybe you have a hint for "finding" bugs.

    We do have a lot of snails that make up for it...and earwigs...which I have stitched up on my Snail Cloth blog.
    But I really stopped by because Papier et encre told me that you and I have the same theme at the Sketchbook Project.

  4. Once again I am in awe of the depth and variety of your talent. As ever a fan.