Thursday Salute to Originals: Blooming Creatures

Digital illustrator brings new life to botanicals in a series of animal portraits.

Melbourne illustrator Josh Dykgraff is creating fantastical wildlife portraits with a unique spin —feathers, fur, and scales are replaced with leaves, petals, and even sticks.

In a series of animal portraits titled “Terraforms,” that artist perfectly matches botanical textures with the distinct features of living creatures. The level of detail is astonishing, with a single piece taking upwards of 55 hours to complete, each incorporating thousands of digital layers.

The portraits are constructed from Dykgraff’s own photography and fieldwork, but he describes his process as passive and even cathartic.

“My process for how I pair natural textures with animals is usually a bit like cloud gazing—like as a kid, did you ever stare up out the clouds and make out different forms and shapes among them?” said Dykgraaf in an interview with This is Colossal.

This Thursday, we’re saluting Josh Dykgraff and his collection of botanical animal illustrations. You can view more creature portraits and digital constructions on his website.

Sources: Josh Dykgraff, This is Colossal