This was the first assignment in my Advanced Illustration class. We were given a headline for a magazine article: "They sting. They kill. They destroy. They mate in midair. Nothing can stop...The Ants From Hell" (with a subheading: "The Horror, the Horror" :-) ).
We were also given three paragraphs worth of copy describing three unfortunate encounters with fire ants; we had to pick one encounter to use for the illustration for the story. I picked a story about biologist who put up a bluebird box at his house; the birds made a nest and laid eggs, but the biologist had to go out of town for a week. Just before he left, the eggs hatched, but by the time he got back, he found a column of fire ants climbing up the pole and pouring into the bluebird box; all the babies had been killed and were being devoured by the ants.
Rather than illustrate the gruesome scene of the baby birds actually being devoured by the fire ants, I chose a different direction--the moment just before death, as a larger-than-life fire ant steps through the door of the bird house, casting a menacing shadow over his trembling victim.
This was my first real experience with acrylics, and I have to say I enjoyed it.
Date: January 2008
Tools: Acrylics on illustration board
Dimensions: 15" x 20"