dead elk

dead elk2

Perhaps this is the most difficult subject to ilustrate: DEATH. Especially that of an elk
with all that good meat going to the coyotes. But, in fact, individual death enables life in general to continue.

Here’s the actual specs I got from the editors of Bugle Magazine:
Illustration 1 – late fall scene – dried grasses, fallen leaves, perhaps a little snow – with the elk lying dead on the forest floor but fully intact, ribs showing through the hide, and a raven, coyote and magpie coming onto the scene. The idea is to show the body before it was being fed upon, with perhaps one of the birds sitting on it or near it, the other in the air, and a coyote on the way. They all know it’s there, in other words.

Illustration 2 – spring scene with wildflowers, green trees and grasses, etc. Show some bones which are bleached white in the sun – perhaps part of the ribcage, some leg bones – with a mouse chewing on one of them. The wildflowers should be blooming around the bones, their color setting off the whiteness of the bleached bone.

A bit complex? And potentially gruesome. And it could have been done with photographs. I had to argue a bit with them for something that was working as an illustration should, not trying to imitate a photograph–just blandly repeating the facts in the text. But they accepted my ideas and this is the result. I know that poppies actually would be closed at night, but this is a science dream image.

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