I wanted to share some drawings I did back in July with y’all from a great book called 4000 Animal, Bird and Fish Motifs: A Sourcebook, by Graham Leslie McCallum. I borrowed it from my friend Rob Stephens when we were at Frogman’s workshop in the screen printing class together. I had a blast looking through all of the images and sketched a bunch for future reference!
I would say that normally I’m anti books that have something, something motifs in the title because they tend to be trite. The fact that these images were drawn from such a variety of cultural influences, however, kept them interesting–even if the line quality seemed a bit simplified. I’d love to see the original drawings/paintings/sculptures/wall carvings/etc from which the studies in the book were made!
I enjoy all the personality that’s packed into these animals’ faces. I thought it was interesting, also, to see so many of them have vacant eyes. When I work with animal/human hybrid imagery in my own artwork, I often use the eyes as a natural way to form a “human” connection with the viewer to the “monster hybrid” image I depict on the page. It was intriguing to see the expressive qualities of these animal figures sans eyeballs.
In any case, check this book out from the library sometime if you get the chance. Rob said that there is a plant one, also. 4,000 Animal, Bird & Fish Motifs is very pricey online new, especially since it is all in black and white, but I’ve heard you can find some reasonable used copies from time to time.