Month: August 2017

A tale of three skulls

I am never quite sure what label to use in describing myself these days, but something I would never claim to be is a zoologist. Still, I did take some of those courses, and one of my aims when I first went to draw in the museum was to re-acquaint myself with skulls. Drawing is a great way of observing, and looking around the collection, I quickly fell in love with the bear specimens. Even among one species, however, (in this case Ursus americanus, the black bear) the variety is astounding, so the question became, which one?

In the end, I decided to make that variety part of the project, so I drew three: a cub and two larger animals, all of them males.

Ursus americanus skulls. Not to scale

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2nd Place – Small, Smaller, Smallest

“Coiled”, my bighorn skull drawing, has won second place in the Federation of Canadian ArtistsSmall, Smaller, Smallest show. Needless to say, I am thrilled!

The show features 84 pieces in a variety of styles and media, all 165 square inches or less in size. It can be viewed at the Federation Gallery at 1241 Cartwright Street on Granville Island from August 22 to September 3. If you find yourself in Vancouver, go check it out.

If you can’t make it, you can also view the show here.


I was looking for something interesting that would work in a relatively small format. Then I remembered the bighorn skulls I had come across at the museum. I had not been sure about drawing one, but looking at them again, I decided to give it a try. Visually, those horns are extremely interesting, and biologically, they are an impressive adaptation. Have you ever tried walking around with ten percent or so of your body weight strapped to your head? I can’t say I have, but I am fairly sure my neck would object – and that’s before I tried to head-butt other people

[Children, do not try this at home. This skull is built for head butting. Yours is not.]

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