I have a deep respect for my elders. This respect applies to my evolutionary counterparts as well as rad grandpas. Alligators and sharks are the first that come to mind as being the ultimate crotchety old gents. I see the shark as a brackish curmudgeon, keeping to his hermit ways and stoic tendencies. The alligator is more gregarious; he's the old cad hanging around town fraternizing with the pretty little birdies and flashing his toothy smile. This snaggletooth lounging around the watering hole on the bayou has more layers than meets the eye. Aside from his hard-skinned outer appearances, he's also got a softer side, with far more ligament attachments. And then he has a deep, robust foundation that moors all his sinews. Most people would call these his muscle layer and skeletal profile, respectively, but what can I say - I'm a romantic. And I like to see the best in other creatures' anatomy.
"Bare Bones, Alligator mississippiensis Preliminary Tracing." (2011), pencil.
"Check Out Them Chompers, Alligator mississippiensis Preliminary Tracings: Jaw Muscle Attachment & Layering." (2011), colored pencil.
"Defense & Sunscreen, Alligator mississippiensis Preliminary Tracing." (2011), pencil.
"Smiling With Your Eyes, Muscles, & Pearly Whites, Alligator mississippiensis Preliminary Composite." (2011) pencil & CS5 Adobe Illustrator.
This last one is an idea of what the final project will look like once I combine the lovely layers of the alligator's alluring personality. (But finishing the final is where the dillydallying comes into play). With connections like this, it is no wonder the American Alligator has been able to chomp down and hold onto its place in history for so long! May he enjoy spending his retirement cruising around the marshes, in the Happy Ever (After) Glades.