After illustrating the Wildlife of New England last year, planning a color version of my black-and-white forest animals for a long time and recently working more often with and about urban wildlife, at some point it made sense to create an identification chart with wildlife close to settlements, i.e. wild animals that can actually be seen in the city and on walks! The illustration is finally finished and is already available at the Posterlounge (via Amazon und eBay!).
With this identification chart, display board, infographic or learning poster, you can easily identify, identify and memorize wildlife close to settlements or urban wild animals in town or village! Depicted are stone marten, ermine, forest polecat, river otter, badger, red fox, raccoon, red deer with fawn, wild boar with piglet, muskrat, brown rat, mole, hedgehog or urchin, rabbit, field hare, beaver, bat, field mouse, wood mouse, dormouse and squirrel.
How I work
What I’m illustrating here is actually the identification charts I always wanted to have myself! I’m super excited about wildlife, but at the same time, I’m terrible at remembering names and characteristics, so I tend to need cheat sheets. But if I draw them myself – and look at them often enough afterwards –, I sometimes actually notice what’s what… :)
It’s quite time-consuming to not just copy a pretty photo, but instead to first understand and then draw some sort of generalized cross-section, i.e. the blueprint of the species, so to speak, from countless pictures that all depict the personal characteristics of the respective unique animal, but that is exactly what helps so much with identification, and that is why I – in general – very much prefer to identify flora and fauna with simple drawings than with photos.
Through various commissions, my identification charts became a series – first leaf shapes, animal tracks and bird flight in Lily Lux Notizbuch, then tree shapes, tree fruits, tree shoots, forest animals and water animals for “Waldstück” by Niedersächsische Landesforsten and hyper detailed animal tracks for Hidden Tracks…
If you think that I’ve made errors in my details, feel free to kindly let me know, and please link evidence. Thank you!
This poster goes with my – meanwhile quite extensive – series of natural science identification charts with motifs from flora and fauna, which are likewise available from the Posterlounge (also via Amazon und eBay!).
In addition, most of my guides are also available as postcards or small-format art prints at Artflakes [EU] and as printed products such as shirts, mugs, cushions, carpets, towels, blankets, curtains, notebooks, greeting cards, wrapping paper, stickers, magnets, bags and much more at Redbubble [EU + US] and Søciety6 [US]! ➔
Since I first started making those identification charts, I have acquired a fairly extensive nature science library, which I mainly use to coordinate characteristics, but in which objects are often misleadingly depicted or described – and that’s why if in doubt, it always helps to consult more than one book… Those are the books I look at most often here:
★ Felix / Tomann / Hisek: “Der große Naturführer; Unsere Tier- und Pflanzenwelt in Farbe”, Kosmos 1984
★ Denys Ovenden: “Tiere, die wir kennen sollten. Säugetiere, Kriechtiere, Lurche”, Kosmos 1988
★ David W. Macdonald, Priscilla Barrett: “Mammals of Britain & Europe”, Collins Field Guide 1999
★ Harry Garms: “Fauna Europas – Ein Bestimmungslexikon der Tiere Europas”, Westermann 1985
I also find Wikipedia to be very helpful time and again, especially for missing details (e.g. size) in my books.
Great thanks to Matthias Klesse and Angelika Luckhaus for tirelessly watching, learning and guessing along! <3