1840 Animals

A few years ago, I decided to draw every single bird on the British list. At the time, that list was 616 birds long,* so (drawing one bird each day) it took me slightly under two years to do.** Long story short, I did it and I enjoyed doing it and other people seemed to like it too.

This is my next project.

I have expanded the scope of the biology to ‘animals’ and the geography to Britain, Ireland and France. The reasons for this are pretty arbitrary. I wanted a list that was 1840 things long. Why 1840? Because in 1840 days time*** I will be fifty years old. That’s really really old. Or at least, it feels like it.

Is this a mid-life crisis? All I can tell you is ‘maybe’, but it’s one that isn’t going to hurt anybody so what does it matter either way? We all deal with the ticking of the clock in different ways. This seemed a cheaper and more environmentally friendly way of approaching things than buying a sports car.

Obviously, I couldn’t (and more importantly didn’t want to) draw every animal. There are a lot of very similar, very small, surprisingly nondescript insects. I’ll leave the close study of them to the entomologists. I will be drawing some insects though because insects (and entomologists btw) are cool. I will also be drawing all the bird**** species seen in Britain, France and Ireland. All the mammals too, and the reptiles and amphibians. I will be drawing some fish, and at least one representative of all the other types of animals; your molluscs and your sponges and jellyfish and what have you. Some of the animals I will be drawing will be wild, some domesticated. Some will be imaginary and/or legendary. Some will be extinct. Most will be at least vaguely interesting.

It will be a mixed bag. A hodgepodge of animals. A jumble. If I were a Victorian gentleman, I might describe it as a veritable cornucopia, but I’m not, so I won’t. There will be, and I can’t emphasise this enough, loads of different stuff. It should be fun.

And, unlike the bird pictures, I am going to sell these drawings AND AT LOW LOW PRICES! I’m not egotistical enough to think I will sell that many of them. I am not exactly Leonora Carrington. My drawings are, artistically speaking, fair to middling. Occasionally I do a decent one though, and in theory I’ll get better as we go along. And the brilliant thing is that I only have to sell one drawing to be a professional artist. Eat that Georges Braque!


* The list is now 628 birds long. The extreme weather associated with climate change brings new birds to Britain every year.

** It actually took me slightly longer than two years because I took a break halfway through, but you know what I mean.

*** This isn’t true any more because the whole covid situation messed up my schedule, but hopefully we will still finish on my birthday.

**** Unless any new ones turn up. I have compiled a list and it is exactly 1840 things long. All newcomers can fuck right off. Soz and that.


Anyway, you might like it. Have a browse why don’t you. Here’s a massive cow to get you in the mood.