insects

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with insects



Photography Science

Watch an Unusual Ensemble of Insects Take Flight in Extreme Slow Motion

August 21, 2020

Grace Ebert

In what’s believed to be the first footage of its kind, a stunningly slow-motion video by Dr. Adrian Smith captures a rare group of insects just as they lift off the ground. The NC State assistant professor utilized a black light to attract unusual insects, like a plume moth, eastern firefly, and a rosy maple moth that, as Smith notes, resembles “a flying muppet.” He then recorded the creatures’ flight maneuvers at 3,200 fps to capture their unique wing movements, which he explains during each step. The macro lens also shows the minute details of their limbs and furry bodies, offering a rare glimpse at the insects up-close.

Smith has filmed a range of slow-motion footage that he shares on YouTube, including ants injecting venom and various hoppers launching off the ground. (via PetaPixel)

 

 

 



Art Science

Science-Inspired Ink by Michele Volpi Blurs the Line Between Tattoo and Textbook

July 29, 2020

Vanessa Ruiz

All images © Michele Volpi, shared with permission

One might learn something from staring at the tattoos of Italian artist Michele Volpi (previously). The composition, detailed dot work, and precise lines of his tattoos transcend both ink-infused skin and science textbooks. The Bologna-based tattoo artist relishes in scientific books—from Frank Netter’s painterly medical illustrations to the exquisitely rendered biological specimens and marine life of Ernst Haeckel. He often visits bookshops during his travels to discover and acquire these new sources of inspiration.

Volpi’s customers seek him out to tattoo an array of botany, astronomy, physiology, and chemistry-based compositions. Sometimes customers let him choose the branch of science, in which case he renders his favorite subject—anatomy. Even then, Volpi combines subject matter like in his tattoo comparing the shape of a human pelvis to that of a butterfly or another that features a human skull being stretched absurdly through a wormhole.

The artist tells Colossal that his “dream is to make a scientific book with all of my conceptual scientific illustrations that I love.” View Volpi’s body of work and booking information on Instagram. For those not ready for the permanence of a tattoo, there are prints of his pen-and-ink, anatomical illustrations available in his shop.

 

 

 

 



Animation Illustration

Delicate Gifs by Illustrator Maori Sakai Capture the Serene Moments of Daily Life

July 26, 2020

Grace Ebert

All gifs © Maori Sakai, shared with permission

Based in Japan, Maori Sakai imbues a bit of whimsy into otherwise mundane scenes through her delicately illustrated animations. Each gif is rendered largely in pastels and captures simple movements: a record spinning on a turntable, rain falling outside a window, and butterflies hovering around hydrangeas. Many of Sakai’s short animations, in addition to glimpses into her process, can be found on Instagram and Tumblr. (via Lustik)

 

 

 



Illustration

Playful Illustrations by Giulia Pintus Render Quirky, Body-Positive Characters in Relaxed States

June 29, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Giulia Pintus, shared with permission

Many of Giulia Pintus’s pastel drawings center on the beauty of imperfection. The Piacenza-based illustrator renders whimsical characters in repose or calmly completing mundane tasks like applying mascara and threading a needle. “I love drawing human figures,” she notes. “I also like to show the psychology of the character and to do so I am inspired by real people.”

The quirky illustrations consider the role of body positivity, which Pintus says is inspired by an organic source. “For some years, I prefer to buy vegetables from the greengrocer in the country. At the supermarket, they are all the same big, smooth, shiny, (and) look fake,” she shares with Colossal. “Instead from the greengrocer, the vegetables are a bit crooked. Sometimes they still have roots and a bit of soil attached. I think there’s a lot of beauty in that, and I look for that truth not only in food but also in the characters that I draw.”

Pintus’s drawings, which she also shares on Behance and Instagram, have culminated in a lengthy series of books, available from Libri.

 

 

 



Craft Illustration

Dried Botanics Pressed into Delicate Fauna Compositions by Artist Helen Ahpornsiri

May 28, 2020

Anna Marks

All images © Helen Ahpornsiri, shared with permission

England-based artist Helen Ahpornsiri (previously) presses delicate flowers and plants into wondrous artworks that depict the colorful diversity of the natural world. By foraging botanics from her garden, Ahpornsiri pieces the dried natural matter together in a manner that’s similar to constructing a jigsaw puzzle. “I prefer to use fern and common wildflower species as I like the idea of giving something unassuming, or thought of as a weed, a new narrative—and they are relatively easy to grow!” she says. “The marine algae I use is foraged from beaches on the south coast of England. I search for loose pieces of marine algae along strandlines and in rockpools, especially after stormy seas, to avoid being disruptive to the surrounding ecosystem.”

The artist’s collection features mammals and insects from across the animal kingdom—ranging from peacocks and bees to elephants—some of which are aligned with tiny pieces of gold leaf that reflect the sparkling color and vibrancy of the species she creates. Upon close inspection, the flowers’ color appears faded from the drying process, similar to the way watercolors dry and bleed into their canvas. In one of the artist’s most recent pieces, a comet moth is mounted on black board, with its antenna crafted from a minuscule leaf that elegantly depicts the fragility of the insect’s anatomy.

You can see more of Ahpornsiri’s delicate botanic compositions on her website, on Instagram, and via her shop.

 

 

 



Art

Meticulously Crafted Steampunk Creatures by Igor Verny Feature Articulated Wings and Limbs

May 15, 2020

Christopher Jobson

All images © Igor Verny

If Igor Verny’s dragonflies and birds have difficulty taking flight, they may need a few squirts of WD-40 to get their metallic wings flapping. The Russian artist (previously) assembles steampunk-inspired sculptures that are fully articulated and can be shaped into realistic poses of daily activities. Merging the organic and industrial, each polished insect and animal is formed with scrap metal and other discarded objects. To see Verny modeling his organisms’ movements, head to Instagram.

 

 

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