Colossal Squid Drawing, Life-Sized

Discussion in 'Culture' started by Clem, Apr 30, 2008.

  1. Clem

    Clem Architeuthis Supporter Registered

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    Hi, folks.

    In September of 2006, I attempted to do a life-sized drawing of Mesonychoteuthis, the Colossal Squid. My materials were chalk, charcoal and pastels, the canvas a concrete alley behind my New York City apartment building. The goal was to finish it in a few days of good weather, then allow it to gradually wash away under rain and snow. That's not what happened, and the full, bloody story is being told over at my new(ish) blog.

    There could have been neither concept nor execution without TONMO and everything I've learned here, argued over and daydreamed about. It had always been my intention to fold TONMO into the project once it had been completed, to get reactions and solicit criticism of my take on Meso, because it had been my intention to approach the first drawing as a learning experience and apply its lessons, technical and scientific, to the next iteration. Watching a really big, labor-intensive drawing slowly drain out to the Hudson River once would be quite enough. The next time would be for keeps, someplace sheltered and dry with a 15m (50ft) long floor (or wall) to play work. I want another shot at this. If I combine the lessons learned doing the first drawing with the bounty of Mesonychoteuthis specimens, data and images currently extant and forthcoming, I'll be able to produce a superior rendering.

    What I'd like most are ideas and input from you, TONMO members and visitors, on matters morphological and artistic, and I'd like to know if anyone knows anybody who'd be interested in hosting a really big drawing of a really big squid. I'll post some of the working sketches for Meso V.1 here, along with some unusual images of the half-finished drawing while it existed. (Images that will not be on my blog or Flickr page, I mean to say.) Then I'll slowly start to produce new profiles, plan-views and dimensional renderings, to be posted here for critique.

    Here's a photo of the big girl, dated September 11, 2006. I shot it from the fire-escape outside my window. From tail tip to stretched-out tentacular club she was 12.8m (42ft) long, and I'm still surprised by how pretty she was.

    Cheers,
    Clem
     

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  2. Sordes

    Sordes Wonderpus Registered

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    Very nice drawing! It looks again different from the other reconstructions I have seen (and sculpted myself), but it seems really to come very close to the actual life appearance.
     
  3. Clem

    Clem Architeuthis Supporter Registered

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    Hello Sordes,

    Thank you for saying so; your own reconstructions are excellent. I did get pretty close in some areas, off in others, which I'll identify later. Still, five and six months after the drawing was started and then abandoned (sort of), it was gratifying to see the images of the two Mesonychoteuthis caught in the Antarctic (including the record specimen now being examined) and discover that I actually had come pretty close.

    By the way, if you look closely at the full size image you'll notice long gray lines swooping through the mantle. Those were left by a child on her Razor inline scooter. She was a brat.

    Cheers,
    Clem
     
  4. OB

    OB Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    You're not far off, Clem, make the eye slits smaller and you're getting quite a way!
     
  5. tinak3531

    tinak3531 O. bimaculoides Supporter

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    WOW

    :grin:Beautiful Work! This is also a passion of mine (ok, not on this large a scale!) But I love the way you did this, and i cannot believe the size! Please always post photos of things like this or if you do another one, it is just fascinating! I would love to come across this on a building or a sidewalk.:mrgreen:
     
  6. Clem

    Clem Architeuthis Supporter Registered

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    Hi Ob,

    Thanks, you're certainly in a unique position to know. I don't want to get too far ahead of myself, but the last marks I put on Messie were a step in the 8cm eye-slit direction. Photo below taken three months after forced abandonment, the white lines bracket what's left of the aperture. I was amazed that so much dust had weathered a New York City winter.

    Is that more like it?

    Clem
     

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  7. Clem

    Clem Architeuthis Supporter Registered

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    Hello tinak,

    My sincere thanks for your support. The people who lived in the adjacent building were certainly startled when they saw it, but most of them liked it. One of the experiences I hoped to gain from it was an appreciation for the size of these animals. I think it's hard to faithfully draw, paint or sculpt scaled-down large objects, be they organic, geologic or man-made, without having been in the presence of the thing at least once. Funnily enough, drawing huge helped prepare me to draw, and model, small representations of Mesonychoteuthis. Sounds backwards, but it worked for me.

    Cheers,
    Clem
     
  8. WhiteKiboko

    WhiteKiboko Colossal Squid Supporter Registered

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    Being a man of principle, you no doubt fed the abomination to the squid, yes?
     
  9. Clem

    Clem Architeuthis Supporter Registered

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    Yes, but not all at once.

    :twisted:
     
  10. cthulhu77

    cthulhu77 Titanites Supporter

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    I love it ! sidewalks have often been my favourite places to draw, neat to see such painstaking work done.
    Can you draw a TA-154 next? (kidding)
     
  11. Clem

    Clem Architeuthis Supporter Registered

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    Hi Greg,

    Thanks. I suppose it was painstaking work, and would have been really painstaking had I got to the arms and tentacles. Hooks and suckers...wasn't looking forward to that part. I've thought that the profile of a Ta-152 on a long wall would be nifty. (I'd leave the markings off.)

    I'll be doing some scanning this weekend and will scan the sketches I did before I put pastel to concrete.

    Clem
     

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