turtle illustration

The thing about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles that I never see referenced is that Splinter was essentially a single dad raising four rambunctious boys and that could NOT have been easy. So this piece titled “Daddy!!!” is my tribute to the first super heroes I ever became a fan of, to single dads everywhere, and to anyone who’s ever burned a pizza in the oven.

3

First of a series I’m doing. “Fleshed out” snapping turtle based on a skeleton I articulated. Painting was done with gouache paint and some watercolor, and is around 8x10″. The skeleton was completely apart to begin with, and everything is drilled and wired or pinned. As you can see it can stand up, supporting the shell, on it’s own. Really like how that one came out. Both are for a local university. 
(Note if you’re using the skeleton as a reference, the smallest toe is missing on every foot)

“TMNT (ZEN) for MONDO”

I’ve been waiting to show you guys this for ages! Now that it’s on a bunch of websites announcing Mondo’s “A-Nick-Nick-Nick-Nick-N-Nick-Nick-Nick Nickelodeon Show“ at their Austin Texas Gallery from Friday December 9th through Saturday December 16th, I can finally tell you guys about it.

Since TMNT is so heavily Japanese influenced I thought it would great to play with some actual Japanese traditions. It occured to me that the four them together looked like the cairn stacking stones in zen gardens.

Spoiler alert, I did more than one piece. Stay tuned!

The turtle-jawed moa-nalo (Chelychelynechen quassus) was a large flightless goose-like duck from the Hawaiian island of Kaua‘i. About 90cm tall (3′) and weighing around 7kg (15lbs), these birds and their relatives were descended from dabbling ducks and existed on most of the larger Hawaiian islands for the last 3 million years or so – before going extinct around 1000 years ago following the arrival of Polynesian settlers.

Chelychelynechen had an unusually-shaped bill, tall and broad with vertically-oriented nostrils, convergently similar to the beak of a turtle. It would have occupied the same sort of ecological niche as giant tortoises on other islands, filling the role of large herbivore in the absence of mammals.