Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Platypus Life Cycle Illustration


Platypus Life Cycle - Young Platypus swimming freely
Drawn with Corel Painter and Photoshop
This illustration is part of a series of four I will be doing for Macmillan Publishers for a book educating young children on Australian Animals. The life cycles of all the other Australian Animals have been depicted using photos, but the platypus lays it's eggs in deep burrows and are extremely sensitive, so getting photos in this instance is much more difficult. Platypus are also extremely hard to find in the wild. I have seen a couple at Taronga Zoo, but because they are nocturnal mammals, the tank was in darkness with only a touch of light and no flash photography was allowed. The only other time I have seen them is in a sanctuary in Tasmania, where they were swimming freely in a creek. We visited Jenolan Caves on Sunday, and there is a beautiful walk along a creek bed where platypus have been spotted, but they were all very shy and didn't appear whilst we were there (having four noisy boys in tow probably didn't help!).
They are the most fascinating animals and researching them for this particular job has been an intriguing exercise.

6 comments:

Dors said...

Wonderful illustration Karen.
We have been to Jenolan Caves. Lots of great wildlife around there.
We stayed for a few days in a cottage.

Congratulations Karen on the childrens illustrations. Your work is so beautiful,I hope you get many more commissions.

Miniature Art by Karen Hull said...

Thank you for your lovely words Dors - I love the illustration commissions for something different. Don't you just love Jenolan Caves!!! We go every 5 years or so and we hadn't taken the youngest there yet, so I have been nagging hubby. He says he'll take me back there for our anniversary to stay in one of the cottages - they look so tranquil and lovely!!!

Artoholic said...

Who needs photos when you've got Karen on the job!

Such a lively rendering Karen, the publishers will be so pleased.

Is there such a creature as a "quiet" boy?

Barbara A. Freeman said...

Beautiful work, Karen. Great job on the murkey - ness of the water, too.

Miniature Art by Karen Hull said...

Ah-ha - you always make me laugh Cindy - there might be quiet boys out there, but I sure don't know any!!! Thank you for your lovely comments - I'm really enjoying this job :))

Miniature Art by Karen Hull said...

Thank you so much Barbara - I guess that is one of the advantages of working digitally - I could be very adventurous and put layers of hazy water over the platypus withough worrying, because you can always go back and delete it if you overdo it - not so easy with regular mediums!!!