Deer scientific illustrations and a sparrow - January 7th 2013

Story posted: Monday, 7. January 2013 by Lizzie Harper

This is a half week of work, but I’m pretty pleased with what I’ve got done.  I’ve finished the last of the deer for ZSL Whipsnade; a grand total of eleven animals.  If you’d like to see them all in one place, I’ve popped up an album of them on my facebook site: Deer and Antelope for ZSL Whipsnade Zoo


The ones I’ve completed this week are the Sika deer,

Sika deer

the Chinese water deer,

Chinese water deer

the Fallow deer,

Fallow deer

and the muntjak.



Next up is the peacock pair, which I’m a little anxious about.  So many tail feathers, and each one a perfect opportunity to lose concentration and get the colours in the wrong order.  Hopefully it’ll be finished by the end of next week and you’ll be able to judge for yourselves how it went.


A friend of mine who takes stunning electron micrographs has very graciously sent through one of his coccolith SEMs for me to use as reference (click on the link to find out what more about these organisms: coccoliths). These beautiful and minute nannofossils form the greater part of all sorts of British substrates, including the white cliffs of Dover.  I’ll be painting one for Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxon Wildlife Trust over the next couple of weeks.  Have a look at Andrew’s SEM micrographs on his website PSMicrographs, it makes the mind boggle, observing so much complexity on such a minute scale.


It’s rather a relief to be back at work after the Christmas break; there’s a welcome calmness to sitting in my studio, listening to the radio and painting all day.  However, it’s also a treat to be able to enjoy breaks from work, it makes it even better to come back to afterwards.  I’m also very pleased that the house sparrows and our resident coal tit are now bold enough to take food from directly outside my studio window.  Here’s a painting of a tree sparrow I did for Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust some years ago.

Tree sparrow

I’m very lucky to be able to work in such a lovely garden studio, and to have the luxury of setting my hours and holidays in this way, I definitely appreciate it.

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