Saguaro Tortoise by Chris Leavens

By Chris Leavens

One of the many reasons to save water is because you never know when the rare, but dangerous saguaro tortoise will stop by to slurp up your reservoir or swimming pool. (Illustration Friday, theme: save)

I spent a little more time on this than usual, adding in a lot of texture details. Near the end, the computer became almost unworkable because of all the vectors and feathered paths (not like means anything to most people, but oh well).

Enjoy, or not if that suits you. Purchase a print of this for your favorite uncle by clicking here.


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Super cool! I really like this. Terrific colors.

i always look forward to seeing your submissions for illustration friday because they're always a lot of fun :) i suck at doing vector art and i haven't done much of that so i really find your illustrations, with all their details, amazing.

I like the way you play with scale and your sense of color is amazing. The cactus on the turtles head (I hope that's what they are) made me laugh. Thanks!

tremendous as usual!! i have that problem with my vector images as well..too many points and i can't make any adjustments, it's just too huge a file!! i like the detail of the tortoise leaning on the building...where do you get a straw that huge?

a : )

Take THAT, Tilton Resorts!

Cool image, and I think that going bendy straw over crazy, twisty straw was a good move.

Brilliant use of colour catapults this fine depiction of desert living into what must surely be the Top Ten of your Unlooseny Picture-Works. The green of the sky most especially floats my pool toy, a pool toy not unlike that which the giant tortoise is hoping to be a boba.

Socialite Maris Tilton will at least have the cold comfort of telling her father that it was indeed folly to build a resort out in what the Indians and the local resource management officials have, for generations, called "Really Big Pool-Drinking Tortoise Country."

The next day's newspaper headlines read: "Desert Monster Drinks Resort Pool -- Champion Swimmer Almost Becomes Tortoise Poop," when it really should have read "One More Pointless Resort For Feckless Nouveau Riche To Squander Ill-Gotten Gains Destroyed By Giant Tortoise -- Only About 9999 More Solipsistic Sinkholes For Our National Character Left."

Maybe a few readers would have complained, but then they would have turned to the funnies, found "Garfield" waxing on about another damn pan of lasagna, and they'd have felt safe and secure again, even as Entropy continued to make them its unwitting playthings.

Great pic! Really like the character design and color use...I'm about to embark on another vector pic shortly and I know your pain. My favorite was lenses and finding out that if you use too many you get the spinning wheel of death...and the teacher saying, "Oh I forgot to tell you not to use too many lenses it screws up the printing process."

Thanks for the comments, guys and gals! Color and vector-based texture are two areas I've been working to improve, so it's nice to know I'm moving in the right direction. And yes, Teresa, those are most definitely cacti, spikes and all.

Not to get too technical, but I'm wondering where the computing bottleneck occurs with regards to vector imaging. It's definitely not the RAM. I've narrowed it down to either CPU power or the graphics card. My guess is that it's the latter, but I don't have the cash for an upgrade right now, so I'll have to deal with sluggish performance on detailed images for the time being. I don't see the wheel o' death so much. What happens on my machine is that I have to press buttons about five times before they react, mostly when using select same or pathfinder (which I use a lot). Also, an abundance of detail seems to add an odd delay to both pencil and paintbrush. Curse you, digital imaging!

BONUS: For those of you who love odd CAPTCHAs, mine on this one was "Cubana Lombardy."

Love your colors and vibrant shapes! I'll bet you like Tim Biskup a lot?!
Feels like there's a hot, dry wind there...very well done!

You got me Kirsten, I am in fact a fan of the man called Biskup. Hopefully I don't stray too much into the realm of his style -- I try to keep things my own as much as possible. My wife and I met him at an art show a couple years ago. He's a really nice guy.

Great! I love the textures and details, specially the turtle's cacti hair.

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This page contains a single entry by Chris Leavens published on April 5, 2008 6:58 PM.

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