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From a Decade Ago: Pen and Ink Aquarium Illustrations

April 4, 2014
Pteropogon kauderni illustration © Emily S. Damstra

Banggai Cardinal Fish • Pterapogon kauderni • illustration © Emily S. Damstra

I’m not quite ready to post any of my most recent illustrations, so I thought I’d share some pen and ink drawings I was working on a decade ago. I don’t often I work in black and white anymore and it’s been ages since I’ve done any stippling; seeing these drawings again after 10 years makes me want to dig out the ink and pen.

Boring Giant clam • Tridacna • illustration © Emily S. Damstra

Boring Giant clam • Tridacna • illustration © Emily S. Damstra

To stay within a limited budget, these illustrations were intended to be fairly quick, emphasizing color patterns without being finicky about details such as fin ray counts. I produced these for the Belle Isle Aquarium for aiding the public in identifying animals in the exhibit tanks, though I have no idea if the illustrations are still in use. The historic Detroit aquarium closed in 2005 but reopened in 2012 and is now operated by the Belle Isle Conservancy and run entirely by volunteers. It is open on Saturdays from 10 AM to 3 PM, with free admission and parking.

Hammer coral • Euphyllia ancora • illustraion © Emily S. Damstra

Hammer coral • Euphyllia ancora • illustration © Emily S. Damstra

Royal gramma or Fairy basslet • Gramma loreto • illustration © Emily S. Damstra

Royal gramma or Fairy basslet • Gramma loreto • illustration © Emily S. Damstra

Mushroom coral • Discosoma • illustration © Emily S. Damstra

Mushroom coral • Discosoma • illustration © Emily S. Damstra

"Sunshine Pleco" • Scobinancistrus aureatus • illustration © Emily S. Damstra

“Sunshine Pleco” • Scobinancistrus aureatus • illustration © Emily S. Damstra

Carpet coral • Zoanthus • illustration © Emily S. Damstra

Carpet coral • Zoanthus • illustration © Emily S. Damstra

Cuckoo catfish • Synodontis multipunctata • illustration © Emily S. Damstra

Cuckoo catfish • Synodontis multipunctata • illustration © Emily S. Damstra

 

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 8, 2014 4:15 pm

    If those are supposed to be fast, I’d love to see some of your “finicky” ones! Lovely work…

  2. April 9, 2014 10:22 am

    Well, “fast” is a relative term; I’m sure they took me at least a few hours each! Thanks Karen.

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