Wednesday, August 17, 2011
This mural was created for the Long Island National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center (Wertheim Center, Shirley, NY). It is about 63 feet in length, and is 10 feet high. The end portions are customized to roll around a curved wall and will have exhibits associated with them (thus the "weird" shapes on the ends).
The approach on this mural was very different from the last large mural I did with Lyons-Zaremba, Inc., and see below at the Apalachicola NERR mural). We went for a loose, painterly style that would be more reminiscent of a plein-aire painting than of a science museum image. Since I do nearly all my work digitally these days, this was more of a challenge than I had anticipated!
If you go to my website, I will post some of the detail so that you can see just how loose it is.
The area just below some of the dunes will house a large Plover exhibit. Interactive boxes will teach visitors about water quality and salt marsh restoration.
This image is a portion of the whole; it is missing some square footage above and below. Actual size will be about 16 feet in length, for this portion.
This image is the central portion of this section of the mural, which in reality is about 16 feet wide (ten feet high). There is a Greater Yellowlegs depicted near the bottom which is cut off in this view. You can however see the Blue Heron in the mid-distance. To the middle-right is a large Phragmites (Common Reed) stand, which is an invasive species; interactive boxes within the mural itself allow visitors to discover ways in which the Refuge is dealing with this and other issues.
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Seeing the mural in person was exciting, or shall I say: terrifying. I am standing next to it for scale. My good friend Kristen from grad school, an accomplished medical illustrator, traveled with me from Ocala (FL) to Apalachicola on my way north for the summer.
If you have not scrolled down to see this mural (e.g., the actual posting of the mural), please do! Critters and detail are all below.... keep scrolling....!
Thursday, March 31, 2011
This is an exhibit at the Toronto Zoo as well as at the New England Aquarium, though I have altered it for my own portfolio.
In the exhibits, the penguins here are actual size, meaning: the Emporer is 4 feet tall!
It is also being used in another format for a veterinary medicine textbook. Some of the penguins had to be incresed or decreased in size, according to the newest data worldwide.
Monday, February 7, 2011
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
With the Long Island mural on hold, I have been working with New England Aquarium on some exhibit revisions. These Atlantic Salmon images will not be arranged as I have them here, but I thought I'd play with some type and design. The fish need to be side views; otherwise I'd give them more "life" by showing more varied angles.
These will end up in a large format exhibit, superimposed on a large photo with type, explaining the vast reduction in numbers as the salmon reach maturity.
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
This mural is the day version, seen outside the "Night Alcove" (below). It is displayed more for esthetic than educational purposes; the "main event" is really the night version.
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
This mural is 10 feet wide and 7 feet tall, and was created digitally, for the Assabet River National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center (ARNWR, Sudbury, MA). The mural is scheduled to be implemented in July, 2010, with the Center's Grand Opening October 17, 2010.
This mural may look strangely dark, but there is a purpose: as visitors come into the Night Alcove, an audio recording is playing of night sounds in ARNWR. As the audio rolls through different sounds and describes the area and its inhabitants, spotlights will highlight the different animals which are otherwise hidden within the mural. The room is dark and there is a blue light on the mural, helping to simulate a night time scene.
As visitors come in they will hear audio of coyotes howling in the distance. The recording points this out and then the spot will shine on the coyote mom. You see her eyes shine (actually the tapetum, a part of the retina), as well as a glimpse of her pups.
Barred Owls are quite common here and yet like most owls, nearly impossible to see. More likely is to hear their call, "Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you-all?" They will call in the daytime as well as at night, and you might see one hunting before dark.
Saturday, January 16, 2010
Awarded BEST IN SHOW with the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators, 2010
Awarded BEST IN SHOW/Ralph Sweet Award with the Association of Medical Illustrators, 2010
Seventy-five feet long and seven feet high; four habitats and 185 species.
Each of the two images above represents 38 feet of the mural.
This digital mural will be installed at the new Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve Visitor Center (Apalachicola, FL) in summer 2010. The two BOXES are representative of where live exhibit tanks will go, featuring some of the animals that visitors will see right next to the tanks, in the mural.
The piece is pretty huge, so please browse through the detailed sections below.
Keep scrolling for more detailed images, or go to my website.
We found a Sea Turtle shell on the beach. I took a photo of it. I used that shell, even though it was old, discolored, and decaying, as the shell here. Minor Photoshop adjustments, paint the head and limbs, and voila!
Can't do that very often.
This is the sandy slope from the Gulf of Mexico and inward to the island. Full of Sea Oats and other grasses, the dunes are a very pleasing sight.
For this section the mural felt very constrained, since we had only the space we had, and the actual slope is very long and gradual. I had to force it in order to make it fit.
Here is an American Oystercatcher searching for food (a Mole Crab), as well as Ghost Crabs, Royal Terns, lots of Railroad Vine, Sea Purslane, Sea Rocket and Beach Morning Glory.
Which reminds me... when I was here it was just the most beautiful day and all the flowers were out. The Morning Glories seemed so aptly named.
Countless species live on the barrier islands, in a fairly unique and complicated habitat.
Some of the many plant species I illustrated for this section include Slash Pine, Saw Palmetto, Gallberry, Yaupon Holly, Green Briar Vines, Dwarf Huckleberry, Prickly Pear Cactus, Wax Myrtle, Sweet Bay, Sand Live Oak, Myrtle Oak, Florida Rosemary, Woody Goldenrod, Blazing Star, Conradina Mint, and Saw Palmetto (not all are in this image).
Animals illustrated here include a Ground Dove, Six-Lined Racerunner, Monarch Butterfly, sea turtle eggs, and a Sigmod Cotton Rat.
This image is typical Oak/Rosemary scrub habitat.
Animals illustrated here include: Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake, Gulf Coast Box Turtle, Gray Catbird, Chuck Will’s Widow, Rufous-sided Towhee, Gulf Fritillary butterfly, American Toad, and Gopher Tortoise.
The circle is an Interactive part of this exhibit; what you see is the "reveal"... a close-up view of a Fiddler Crab and Periwinkle Snail. On top of this will be the "normal" view . Visitors can lift the outside panel to see the close-up view underneath.
The shallows of the Apalachicola Bay are teeming with little critters which you may not notice at first glance. We were stuck on the island by the low tide during one of my trips and the most fun during those hot sunny hours was sitting on the jetty and watching all the fish and invertebrates doing their thing. The Feathered Blenny is easily missed on the actual mural, thus I posted this very-up-close view. Let's face it- Blennies are very funny, very perky guys to see!
This is what the River section background looked like before reworking it.
In fact it what you see here actually HAS been altered: I erased the sky I had painted and added a digital sky, as you can probably tell.
You can see some of the watercolor form in the background of the river section, but it is quite obscured by what was added over it later. This sort of watercolor was done loosely on board at about 30 inches wide. It then gets enlarged to cover an area of about 17 feet in the mural.
You can see even in the post below that I changed a lot of the tree trunks. I found that they vary quite a bit in real life and many species are difficult to tell apart. For the mural however I tried to be consistent in order for species to be recognizable.
Included here are a White-Tailed Deer, Black-Crowned Night Heron, Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly, Spider Lillies, Red-Belly Watersnake, Barbour's Map Tyrtle, Ogeechee Tupelo, Bald Cypress. Palmetto, etc.
Much of this was created in watercolor, scanned and reworked digitally.
The alligator was a composite of two of my photographs with digital adjustments - one photo was sharp and clear, and the other was not. I combined them at the neck, and thus the strategic placement of grasses about the armpit region! They blend o-kayyy in the end, but the grass sure helps disguise the seam.
Red-Bellied Turtle, Prothonotary Warbler, Raccoon, Poison Ivy, Blue Flag Iris, Tupelo, Cypress Knees, Gray Squirrel, etc.
The strange circle you see is part of another interactive. What you see is the "reveal"... the inside-view of a Crayfish chimney, with the Crayfish inside. On top of this will be the outside-view of the chimney. Visitors can lift the outside panel to see what is underneath.
This is about a six-foot section of mural.
Ecosystem and food web of the kelp forest.
From microscopic plankton to huge Humpback Whales, this food web also incorporates Cod, Haddock, Snapper, Anchovies, Sea Lions, Killer Whales, Sea Urchins, anemones, Sea Otters and of course, Giant Kelp.
One piece of many from a large geology exhibit. The original is watercolor and gouache on board and was created at about 30" width, to be reproduced larger.
For more geology or earth science images, please see my website under "Earth Science", www.barbaraharmon.com, or, contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org