Thursday, 4 April 2013

The Illustrated Menagerie's old Posterous site

As the Illustrated Menagerie blog moves from its old home on Posterous to these new premises, (Posterous closing in a few weeks) we are tidying up some broken links and reorganising some of the content.

Now you can view content by animal family (Mammal, Bird, Fish, Reptile, Invertebrate), the media used to illustrate the animal, or by the workshop the images were produced in. See the 'links' list to the right.

Sunday, 31 March 2013

The Dragonfly

The theme that I have researched and illustrated was that of the dragonfly. It is such a complicated thing it amazes me on how it works. I have made many drawings to show the many different things that make up the creature and have found some things I did not even know about its habits and anatomy.

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Short animation - ants

Whiteboard and marker animation by Dale Sylvester, commenting on the social interaction of ants and the importance of pheromones.

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

The Asian Elephant

I chose to illustrate the Asian Elephant because it is an animal I found particularly interesting. I think the way they are worshipped and treasured by the Asian community is really fascinating and the elephant is seen as a good luck symbol in many cultures.
The area I focused on is the habitat loss of the Asian elephant leading to the animal becoming critically endangered. Therefore my lino prints show the Asian elephant fading and the landscape changing.
Kate Cronin


Experimental animation by Holly Stanton

Tuesday, 26 March 2013


The Blue Duck, the one that features on the reverse side of a New Zealand's $10 note.
This species is an resident breeder in New Zealand, nesting in hollow logs, small caves and other sheltered spots. It is a rare duck, looking after their territories consistently on fast flowing mountain rivers.
The Blue Duck is a very limited species now threatened by being hunted by mammals especially stoats, competition for its food with trouts, and human activity causing the ceased mountain rivers flow for building work.

In 2011 the New Zealand Department of Conservation and Genesis Power started the Whio Forever Project, a five-year management programme for Whio (New Zealand locals, Maori, call the Blue Duck 'Whio'). It will enable the start of a national recovery plan that will double the number of fully operational secure Blue Duck breeding sites throughout New Zealand.

They are amazing animals and key factors that influenced my visual developments are: they all inhabit New Zealand rivers, they occur nowhere else is in the world, Blue Ducks have unique features such as streamlined head and large webbed feet to enable them to feed in fast moving water, and they are in danger of extinction due to human activity. I have made many drawings, some 3D objects and animated my animal to expose some of its habitual behaviours and routines.

Monday, 25 March 2013


The animal I chose was a bat because most people think they are evil and ugly but I think they are very misunderstood and if people took the time to look they would see they are amazing creatures that do more good than they do bad. I also chose to research the bat because of its dark and creepy look that often puts people on edge. I was also fascinated by their nocturnal behaviours and how they are the only mammals that are truly capable of flight.

Galapagos Tortoise

There was an abundance of information regarding tortoises including their prehistoric origins, conservation programmes and Charles Darwin’s research. The images highlight the exploration of narrative within children's books, aboriginal art and the search for definitions and how they may be interpreted visually. I attempted to keep the images visually similar in order to achieve a sense of consistency. I worked primarily in fine liner and ink, as seen within the included images.

Ollie Tubb


The creature that I have researched is the Gorilla. They are a very misunderstood animal, as with many previous depictions of them, they are often portrayed as an aggressive monster. They are, in actual fact, very sensitive and inquisitive creatures that need to be protected. Their main threat is us as humans but they are also affected by the deadly Ebola virus. My project explores the Gorilla's sensitivity as a species. 
Rozelle Hawes

Hyena: Crushing Bones with over 1000 pounds of pressure in a single Bite.

The creature that I have researched and illustrated was the spotted Hyena. They are amazing animals and key factors that influenced my visual developments are: They have the most powerful jaws in the animal kingdom, They are Bone cracking hyena; Crushing bones effortlessly like a hot knife through butter exerting over 1000 pounds of pressure in a single bite. I have made many drawings using cut and paste technique, Photoshop and 3D objects to communicate my information through graphic Design.
Chris Essel


The mechanical animal penguin; I liked the idea of how you can use technology to overcome something that is naturally impossible. In this case, penguins cannot fly naturally, so like us, they've built machines to help them.

James Nicholls

Bear (Ursidae)

Bears (Ursidae)

I was inspired by their intensely strong muscle mass and solitary nature. My visual developments were influenced by the bear's spiritual links with tribesmen and the duality of their nature “The bear was the majestic and luminous god of storms and sunshine”. During my visual developments I explored different ways of working such as, 3D work, Oil, watercolour, graphic novel form and animation.

Jonathan Scott


These images are from my Research Methodology project,  where I explored the pigeon as my chosen animal. By using pencil, ink and water colour, I have attempted to communicate aspects of the pigeon which interest me such as colour, form and movement. I tried to put a positive and humorous spin on my work to change people preconception of the pigeon, which is often negative.
Alice Carter

"The pride of the peacock is the glory of God."

The pride of the peacock is the glory of God” is a quote by poet and painter William Blake. It talks about the peacock from the view of Christianity, and in my project I have explored the mythological and symbolic meaning of the peacock using cut & paste. 
Emily Freeman 

Origins of Frogs

I was inspired by peoples views and beliefs about frogs, and the origins of these beliefs, this is why my project mainly focused around maps and plotting the origins of the frog on them.

Frances Bell


The creature that I chose to research and illustrate was a butterfly. The aspect about butterflies that I explored was their beauty, which came from the vibrant, bold patterns on their wings and the effect they created when they flew. The idea of butterfly collecting also fascinated me. This influenced me to do a range of different media experiments in the form of prints, drawings and 3D. 


The creature that I researched into was the Chameleon. I found this animal fascinating with all of its qualities including its tongue, the use of changing colour for camouflage and how it avoids its predators. I have made many drawings of the Chameleon using mixed media such as paints, pastels and photography.  

Dan Burchett