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"Barry K. MacKay" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
SciArt-L Discussion List-for Natural Science Illustration- <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 14 Feb 2011 15:24:20 -0500
text/plain (85 lines)
Oh...don't get me started...

Okay, not really "scientific" art, but still...

My peeve, being a bird (and other wildlife species) artist is the
illustrators who slavishly copy photographs of birds without any
understanding of what is going on.  Thus we see paintings of ducks, geese,
swans and other such species with a full set of primary feathers on one
wing, but not the other...obviously pinioned, thus obviously captive, and
yet supposedly wild birds.  There are often two sharp white highlights in
the eye...sign of a strobe since here on Earth we have but a single sun.
Overweight lions, tigers and bears, oh my...zoo specimens all.  One of my
first professional jobs was illustrating animals for the zoo...naturally I
wanted to do the birds, since that was my specialty, but was assigned
reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates.  Okay...but the person who did birds
was a commercial artist.  She showed a Fairy Bluebird with tail feathers
bent outward...exactly like the photo of what was obviously a captive bird
in a popular book of that time...but their feathers don't really look like
that unless frayed and bent from being pushed against cage bars.  And
yes...I've had not only my own art copied, but some years ago a painting of
a Golden Eagle by the late Arthur Singer, clasping its prey, was copied in
pencil by an artist who simply left out the prey, and published, without any
attribution to Singer, by the local newspaper.   It was remarkably brazen,
but at least accurate since Singer's art was accurate.  I've seen less
accurate work by Audubon "inform" other artists, not realizing that Audubon,
for all his attributes, was not necessarily accurate in his choices of pose
and posture.


-----Original Message-----
From: SciArt-L Discussion List-for Natural Science Illustration-
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Mieke Roth
Sent: Monday, February 14, 2011 2:21 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [SCIART] illustration mistakes

Hi Diana,

I also donīt have a real example, but one of the things I see over here a
lot is illustrators copying illustrations from other illustrators without
looking into it themselves. And thus copying mistakes also. And a few years
back I saw an illustrator advertising himself as medical illustrator with a
portfolio of drawings of medical plastic models.. and where you really could
see that he didnīt understand what he was drawing.


-----Oorspronkelijk bericht-----
Van: SciArt-L Discussion List-for Natural Science Illustration-
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] Namens Diana Marques
Verzonden: maandag 14 februari 2011 0:44
Aan: [log in to unmask]
Onderwerp: [SCIART] illustration mistakes

Dear All,

I'm working on a presentation (to be given this friday) where I want to
highlight the importance of being well science informed to do a science
illustration, so I am trying to gather examples of illustrations with
mistakes; not necessarily mistakes that are obvious to anyone but for
example images that I could say "this bird would never fly because it's
missing feathers", "it's impossible the ankle would bend that way", "this
dinosaur would never have a bump there", "the leaves in that species are
arranged in a spiral and not bilaterally", "that molecule doesn't exist",

I wonder if you know some of such examples (I'm reachable on or off list). I
have a couple of images already but would love to make them as diverse and
numerous as possible. The presentation will be mostly for an art background
audience and I want to make a very convincing point.
Thank you so much,

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