What Do You Call A 12 Foot Tall Flightless New Zealand Bird Grazing In Your Yard?

I like puns, palindromes, similes and all sorts of other wordplay. I’m also interested in extinct animals, like the dodo, passenger pigeon or the aepyornis. So, this image covers both ideas.

I usually attend World Con, the World Science Fiction Convention, for those that don’t know what that is. This year it was scheduled to be in Wellington, New Zealand this summer, but because of the pandemic going on, it became a visual convention, only available online. I often show my artwork there and at other conventions. Here is a link to more info about it: ConZealand. I happened to have some images featuring this New Zealand bird. I’ll post those at a later date.

What I did here is, printed the pencilled drawing onto a sheet of matte photo paper, which I sometimes use to draw on. I then colored the image with black and color inks, to get an idea of what to use, mostly just to play around with colors. I’d seen paintings of moa where the feathers were green or some other color. But from what I’ve read, based on DNA of feather samples, the moa had brown feathers. Below, you’ll find more images showing the process leading up to this.

Like many of my artworks, this started out as a simple sketch, after I’d gotten the phrase into my head. I didn’t spend a lot of time brainstorming for a layout or anything, I just saw something like this image in my mind, so I sketched it out in a sketch pad page.

I then proceeded to transfer that to another sheet of drawing paper to refine the linework a little bit. I took some time looking at this layout. I inked this with a regular writing pen, to get some crisp lines. I took a photograph with my phone and uploaded it to my computer for layout ideas in Photoshop. I didn’t need a really crisp image, since I was going to play around with it digitally. I decided I liked it better flipped horizontally, with the bird on the left, as in the second image.

The moa in the picture was just standing in the yard like a lawn ornament. I got the idea of having it eating the grass, emphasizing the mowing aspect. I came up with this image on a separate paper. It was the first image that I drew and was happy with the way it turned out. I traced it and the background of the previous incarnation, and drew it in pencil. I photographed it and uploaded it to the computer. Then, I added it to the background from before and drew this in pencil. This is what I used for the color version above.

Below is another version that I created in Photoshop with its native brushes. I changed the pitch of the garage part of the house. It seemed a little to steep. I looked at my old house in Mesa, Arizona, on Google maps to better portray the look of this style of house. I’m not sure what else I’m going to do with this. I may do a finish digitally, or print out another sheet and color it with color pencil, watercolor, and/or ink. And there you have: The Lawn Moa.