October 25, 2006
88: Ghost Story
My submission for Illustration Friday's theme of ghost went from a direct take on the word to one that instead used the word as inspiration – based on a concept that you don't often hear stories about ghosts of anything but people. All living things meet an end, and if ghosts purportedly exist in human form (though I've yet to see one), why not other critters in the wild kingdom?
Considering this: hundreds of billions of birds in the world – estimated; nobody really knows for sure – all with varying shelf lives according (usually) to size. A great horned owl can survive up to a quarter-century. Hummingbirds last roughly three to five years. The common house sparrow we see just about everywhere has a maximum lifespan of a dozen years. Turnover in the bird world is fast and relentless, and makes me sometimes wonder why we don't see more dead birds just lying about. So where do they go?
This drawing illustrates a theory that most of them simply fade away, evanescing into thin air. On a summer day I can look up into the canopies of elm trees that line our street – and hear a lot more birds than I can see.
Drawn on separate sheets of paper with pen, these three sparrows were merged in Photoshop for colouring and effect-work. You can click here for a closer, more detailed look, and also here, to see the original black pen artwork on the middle bird.
Created by Jeope at 22:31