Design No. 3 – Hokusai + Richard Scarry + 1980’s Aquatic Wildlife Poster

April 28, 2014 § 5 Comments

The third design for the Thailand Burma Flora Fauna series is complete! My hope was that it could be a combination of Edo Period printmaker Hokusai, the busy children’s books of Richard Scarry, and a 1980’s Aquatic Wildlife Poster. (You remember the kind– filled to the brim with whales, coral and every kind of tropical fish imaginable…)

The third print in the series features the Green Tailed Sunbird, the Blue Winged Leafbird, and the Sapphire Flycatcher.

Thailand Burma Flora Fauna print design No. 3.

The Cast

Birds – The three main characters of this print design are the birds (from left to right): the Green Tailed Sunbird, the Blue Winged Leafbird, and the Sapphire Flycatcher.

Insects – Other creatures include five varieties of moths and butterflies, including the Hummingbird Hawk Moth (located at the top, middle) and the angular-shaped Geometer Moth (located on the far right). Also shown are the Asiatic Honeybee (Apis Cerena), an Asian Ladybird Beetle (SE Asia’s variety of ladybug), a Rhinoceros Beetle (children here like to catch these and keep as pets), plus a small tropical gecko.

Trees – The Bodhi (pictured on the right with its heart shaped leaves and long narrative history) and on the left a variety of flowering Plumeria which I found and photographed in Bagan, Burma.

This is a sketchbook drawing of a similar Plumeria tree (Frangipani) that I saw in Luang Prabang, Laos.

This is a sketchbook drawing of Plumeria (Frangipani) that I saw in Luang Prabang, Laos.

Plumeria

The variety of flowering tree that I found in Bagan had the same leaf and trunk structure as Plumeria, but the flowers were softer, resembling Hibiscus.

Plumeria is actually native to Central and South America, but it has long since been naturalized to SE Asia. Across Asian folklore Plumeria is often associated with ghosts, vampires, and cemeteries, but in India garlands of its flowers are exchanged during wedding vows, and in Thailand and Burma it is often found at Temples. Also, the Hummingbird Hawk Moth (aka Sphinx Moth) is attracted to the Plumeria’s nighttime fragrance and helps to pollinate it.

Studies for the Design

Once this image started to get visually busy I decided the only way it could work would be to make it as bustling as possible, and by doing so find a balance. Pictured below are some sketchbook drawings working out the composition.

Sketch of the Sapphire Flycatcher, upper left.

Sketch of the Sapphire Flycatcher, upper left.

Sketchbook page showing the original drawing for the design.

Sketchbook page showing the original drawing for the design.

A sketchbook page with thumbnail drawings trying out different compositions for the design.

A sketchbook page with thumbnail drawings trying out different compositions for the design.

Incredible specimens at the Museum of World Insects and Natural Wonders in Chiang Mai.

Incredible specimens at the Museum of World Insects and Natural Wonders in Chiang Mai.

The Museum of World Insects and Natural Wonders

Today I visited the Museum of World Insects and Natural Wonders in Chiang Mai, Thailand. It was incredible, and I was fortunate enough to meet one of the founders of the museum, Mrs. Rampa Rattanarithikul.

She is Thailand’s leading expert on insects. Since the 1950’s she and her husband have dedicated their lives to insects, and specifically, the mosquito, in an effort to understand and eradicate malaria. They have researched insects all around the world, and spent years working for the Smithsonian in Washington DC. We had a very pleasant conversation about her life and work and, of course, insects.

Dr. Rampa asked about my work- so I shared about my print project and showed her some of the designs. She then offered that I could come back to do some drawing from life in the museum, which I will happily be doing that later this week. All of the insect photos shown here are from today’s visit.

Beautiful butterfly specimens at the museum in Chiang Mai.

Beautiful butterfly specimens at the museum in Chiang Mai.

A blue iridescent butterfly at the

A blue iridescent butterfly at the Museum of World Insects.

Geometer moth (bottom left corner) and two moths with skull patterns on the back of the heads.

Geometer moth (bottom left corner) and two moths with skull patterns on their backs.

Thank you again for all of your support with my project!

Advertisements

Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

§ 5 Responses to Design No. 3 – Hokusai + Richard Scarry + 1980’s Aquatic Wildlife Poster

  • jackbaumgartner says:

    Great work, Mikey. I like this composition a lot. It is very strong and doesn’t take on any “horror vacui” in spite of having so much information. I am curious how these will render in your printing process. What size are you planning on making the prints?

    On another note, Amy made some plumeria soap earlier this spring. I was unfamiliar with its origin until your post this morning. Thanks!

    • Mike Schultz Paintings says:

      Thanks, buddy. I appreciate your thoughts. I’m glad it doesn’t take on a horror vacui feeling. I wanted it to be busy and alive but not so much that there was so space or movement. I’m leaning toward making these as letterpress prints / plates as then I can get basically as much detail as possible. I’m drawing them the same size as the actual prints, which will be 6 x 8.5″. (The same size, I think, as the hare print that I sent to you. Also, I figure if I make them as letterpress prints, then if I want to make a single, independent version of any of them on a larger scale, it would be simple enough to have a larger plate made of the same image.

      I’m sure you recognized that I chose vivid creatures for this one so that I can make some hand colored / painted versions too. So excited to join you in some printmaking endeavors, my friend. I love this process.

      That’s cool about the plumeria. Yeah, that stuff is everywhere here. Cool to think your soap cam from flowers on trees pollinated by the sphinx moth…

      • jackbaumgartner says:

        That sounds interesting Mikey. I must admit that I am pretty clueless on the letterpress system. How does the letterpress process work, as far as creating the plates for impression? Will your design be cut into a steel plate for a relief print? I like that you will be able to preserve the scale and balance of the detail. Would you be able to transition into making a bound edition of theses prints? That would be mighty cool.

        This latest design would be dynamite as a hand-colored print. I hereby reserve my copy and declare a trade. :)

  • Fantastic work. Very energetic and full of fascinating detail.

    • Mike Schultz Paintings says:

      Hi Steven, thank you so much. I’m just seeing your comment now and I really appreciate it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

What’s this?

You are currently reading Design No. 3 – Hokusai + Richard Scarry + 1980’s Aquatic Wildlife Poster at Mike Schultz Studio Blog.

meta

%d bloggers like this: