30 January 2011

Totem-Self-Portrait Sketches

At PCA&D, for seniors (and juniors), there is a new element to the Illustration curriculum which features a Concept Art course in the second semester. While I have been largely in disagreement with various directional aspects of the course organization, I did have some quick fun with the concept of merging an animal, or a particularly important totem, with some portrait - either of oneself or a celebrity. I chose myself.

I have always been drawn to the birds, and very much so the birds of prey, and narrower still the red- tailed and red-shouldered hawks. The other animals that I feel particular appreciation for and great awe of are the cats - big, small, wild, tame, it doesn't matter to me. (I have two at home). I took a while to choose one of the two directions to go in, and chose the bird's side this round.

Here I have a merging with the red-tailed hawk and another with the barn owl. I will be taking the hawk to completion first, and - as with the snow queen and cailleach sketches bellow - I want to revisit the owl concept later.

Hawk Self-Portrait, Mairin-Taj Caya 2011.

Owl Self-Portrait, Mairin-Taj Caya 2011.



  1. Concept art isn't new. It used to be a compulsory seniors only class in the fall, and then advertising in the spring.

  2. The owl sketch was what automatically drew my eye...it's already a natural blend of the two being's faces; which is something I'd meant to comment about sooner concerning the Leyendecker portrait about the use of color. Am interested to see how the hawk sketch will progress to display an almost "organic" blend similar to owl one; which had 'become' a third being by a somehow different use of lines rather than a 'working-it-into'. the self portrait.

  3. Thanks for the comments!

    To Helaine: I know that the concept art course is not new generally, but the course has been restructured to include juniors and to handle the project work differently as well, knowing Novak.

    To K.C.-Moss: I agree that the barn owl portrait has more of a cohesion with the perspectives of both bird and human. I had wanted to work with the hawk first because it has more of an importance to me, but - as you will see once I scan the colored version - it did not turn out to my satisfaction. Oh well, mistakes lead to improvement. I hope to improve them both in the future.