Wednesday, January 12, 2011

ScienceOnline special: Vector Birds

As I get set for ScienceOnline 2011, I thought that it would be appropriate to share a bit of my own work. Though I intend to do a lot of design work dedicated to science in the future, I've had rare opportunities to do it so far. Of the hundreds of book covers I've designed for my employer, I'd guess that only a handful have been dedicated to science. A much larger percentage are dedicated to the opposite. It only occasionally bothers me; the skills I've honed will be used for science and reason when I move on.

I recently did some work at home that fits within the genre of nature illustration, and I'd like to discuss this as it fits in with my goals as a designer. Since they're birds, and therefore dinosaurs, I hope you can forgive this indulgence. I do have a few straight-up dinosaur projects planned and will share those, as well, when the time is right.

Almost every year for the last six years, Jennie and I have given calendars to our families, which include birthdays and anniversaries and the like. Though I did a "Birds of Indiana" theme a few years ago, I decided to take another crack at it, using some of my newly developed skills with vector art. I have posted a few of the birds to my Flickr account. I consider them works-in-progress on route to setting up an Etsy shop with Jennie. I plan on picking my favorites and refining them a bit more. Though I have a lot of room to grow, I think that they get across the way I've been working recently. Enjoy, and as always share comments and criticisms freely in the comments.

Yellow Warbler

Brown Thrasher

Sandhill Crane

Dark-Eyed Junco

Red-Bellied Woodpecker


  1. Great pieces; I love this style so much! That Junco is so cute!

  2. I like it - distinctive style, simple, but still realistic.

    I can't resist the urge to quote Mr. Burns: "I don't know art, but I know what I hate ... and I don't hate this."

  3. Thanks, Trish and Scott. Some of them like that bottom woodpecker and the blue jay I haven't uploaded yet show a pretty shameless Charley Harper influence. Now that guy could illustrate some birds!

  4. Beautiful! I love the first two especially.

  5. Wonderful! I'll echo the others by saying that I love the simplistic yet distinctive style.

  6. Do I detect a Charlie Harper influence? Bravo.


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