Thursday, October 4, 2012

Natalya Zahn: Bells and Bats

As a specialist in animal and natural/scientific illustration, it was important to me to incorporate a critter of some sort into this floral project. Pollinators were an obvious place to start, and the more I researched, the more I became fascinated with BATS! The flowers that lend themselves to bat pollination (aka chiropterophily) are generally large, showy, often bell-shaped, and bloom pale or white blossoms - at night! The bats readily duck into them to sip nectar, dusting themselves with pollen in the process. How cool is that?! The flowers featured here are aptly named Cathedral Bells, and the use of a restricted/muted palette I think does a swell job at conveying a sense of dusk or nighttime… I'm hoping the concept of bats and big beautiful flowers inspires and encourages people to learn a bit more about these amazing, gentle, and extremely beneficial little flying mammals.

More of my natural and animal illustration can be found here: (portfolio); (naturalist's blog); (the blog of my very own beast, Oscar).


  1. So nice! I love your brush technique!

  2. Thanks Alyssa! Ink brush work is really an experimental work in progress for me right now - but I LOVE working with it! Check out my dog's blog ( to see the origins of the style. If you go back to the first posts, you can literally see the process developing! I heart the utility of artist's blogs... :)