#14 Mindoro Stripe-faced Fruit Bat

Endangered

These bats were only declared a species in 2007. It was thought they were the same kind of bat as the Sulawesi Stripe-faced Fruit Bat, but their teeth are different. They are from the Philippines and though there is no knowledge on population numbers, it is assumed they are declining. They are hunted, and the area is also dealing with deforestation. They are supposedly nicknamed flying foxes even though they aren't. You can kind of see why though, they have fairly fox-like faces. The white markings on their faces are quite striking and are pretty much the same with both species.



When doing this, I mostly worked on it bottom-side-up because that is how I'm used to looking at faces. Once I felt fairly comfortable with it I switched it this way round so that I could double check I had the lighting the way I wanted. Most photographs I looked at bothered me because the of the lighting. All but maybe one picture of these guys were taken with the bat either staring straight into a flash on a camera, or they were being held head up. That meant that the lighting is coming from the wrong direction in all the reference photos I looked at. I wanted to make the bat seem happy and more importantly portray it as if it is comfortable and not having to deal with being manhandled or surprised by a flash. I decided that while the oil paintings will have the gradient background, I am not going to worry about putting a background in for the pastels and charcoals. It isn't due to laziness, I promise you, I love doing it in photography as well. I am always drawn to more minimalist pictures. This photograph of incense smoke I took for instance. I like the separation of subject and a clean empty space for the background. I think it helps you focus on the subject more. I have always loved photos with lots of negative space, so why not do what I love?

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