Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Art Forms in Nature

Ernst Haeckel. Who? Indeed, I had not heard this name before the other week when I read a Penguin Blog where Suzanne Dean, the cover illustrator of Sara Taylor's 'The Shore', talks about her inspiration and design thought process.

Great blog read (http://penguinblog.co.uk/2015/03/24/the-shore-a-cover-story/)

Suzanne Dean's cover (below) is largely inspired by the biological illustrations of one Ernst Haeckel, a German biologist, naturalist, philosopher, physician, professor and artist. Haeckel discovered and produced detailed illustrations of many new species and he was a firm promoter of Charles Darwin's theories of evolution.

The beautiful cover design by Suzanne Dean for The Shore

Well, "Darwin", "Evolution", "botanic drawings", "studies of nature".... you've got my attention and excitement! I have a fascination with the natural world, the shapes and forms of all things and how they developed and for what purpose. I am constantly amazed about the power, beauty and skill of nature and yearn to know and understand more.

So, I have been swotting up on the life and works of Ernst Haeckel and have been truly mesmorised by some of his drawings. The details, the colours, the patterns. And I find myself wanting to have a go... now my drawing skills are pretty basic, so I wonder what will happen if I put my illustrator hat on and have a play?

Let's see shall we. My plan is to recreate four of Haeckel's works and then go out and about and create my own. These shall all appear on my doodle blog (i did a doodle today) over the next few days, starting with this one...

Above are my copy-doodles from the stunning study by Ernst Haeckel of Nudibranch:
nudibranch /ˈnjdɨbræŋk/[1] is a member of the Nudibranchia, a group of soft-bodiedmarine gastropod mollusks which shed their shell after their larval stage.[2]They are noted for their often extraordinary colors and striking forms. There are currently about 2,300 valid species of nudibranchs.[3]
The word "nudibranch" comes from the Latin nudus, naked, and the Greek βραγχια,brankhia, gills.
Nudibranchs are often casually called sea slugs, but many sea slugs belong to several taxonomic groups which are not closely related to nudibranchs. A number of these other sea slugs, such as the photosynthetic Sacoglossa and the colorfulAglajidae, are often confused with nudibranchs.
[Ref. Wickipedia]

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