Sunday, August 3, 2008

Fishy Stuff

Because of the DEEP activities at, and other events, most of my recent creatures have been aquatic.
These little fishies are the only creatures that I actually painted specifically for DEEP. The aim of the activity was to come up with ideas for creatures that could exist in some future underwater utopia. So these creatures are called jewel fish, and function somewhat like living jewelry. They are purchased as eggs and raised from birth to see their owners as the only source of food, so they will always be following their owners. In the same fashion that people in our world use makeup, jewelry, or fancy clothes to improve their appearance, people in the DEEP world use small, personal schools of attractive fish. Particularly rare and beautiful breeds of jewel fish are highly sought after.

This painting was a birthday present for my dad. I often make shark-themed art for him as gifts. The basic concept for this is that, in the future, a tremendous catastrophe has wiped out almost all life on land, making it free for recolonization. Whereas the land vertebrates that we know today are all descended from lobe-fined bony fish related to the modern lungfish and coelocanth, in this speculative future land life is descended from the other great clade of fish, the Chondrichthyes (sharks, rays, and chimeras). I'm not sure how likely such an evolutionary scenario would be; among other things, these fish would likely have to evolve true bony skeletons, as their cartilagenous skeletons probably wouldn't support their weight on land. But anyway, it's fun to imagine.
Most creatures that I design are vertebrates. So, I decided to practice creating some invertebrate creature designs. The above shrimp-thing is the result.

I also completed that cave troll sculpture that I posted a while back. This sculpture was one of the funnest art projects I've ever done, if simply for the sheer amount of different techniques and processes that I got to try out while making it. I got to sculpt with wax, create plaster molds, pour molten bronze, chip and grind away imperfections in the resulting bronze, sand blast the bronze sculpture, and colorize it by applying patinas (many patinas have to be applied at high temperatures, so I got to use a torch as well). Very fun and rewarding project.


Keith Thompson said...

Is the big green jewel fish doing a double dupe by having an eye spot where his eye might normally be, and his actual eye camouflaged as a big eye spot at the rear? That's some sneaky stuff.

Björn Hurri said...

I really like the fishes, they have some cool ideas in them. Great statue as well, surface is interesting.