Saturday, June 28, 2014

BBQ Iguana

Iguana Sketch

You just never know what is going to inspire you to create art.

I wish I was in Tijuana
Eating barbequed iguana
I'd take requests on the telephone
I'm on a wavelength far from home
I feel a hot wind on my shoulder
I dial it in from south of the border
I hear the talking of the DJ
Can't understand just what does he say?

In case you have no idea where those lyrics are from, here is the video for Stan Ridgway's "Mexican Radio".

So after I did the rough sketch, I scan the drawing into the computer and added some grid lines.  I used to just draw the image on blank grid paper, but I'm trying to make use of the technology.  Let's be honest, mosaic work is pretty much manual labor from start to finish.  Please forgive my minor use of automation.
Iguana with Grid

Next I added a little color pencil, just to see what colors might work well together. I'm thinking that I will use a green for the iguana and a blue background.
Iguana with Color
Next I will transfer the drawing to my already prepared frame.

Already Prepared Frame

And this photo just amused me because it is a photo of my website on my website.

Jack Mast Mosaic's Website
Here is the frame with the drawing transferred.

Frame with transferred drawing
Now to start gluing on some tiles.  For the iguana, I am using ficus and meadow green.

Done Gluing Iguana
I also used teak to add some shadow and depth to the iguana.  I am using sand, some pink color and sky blue for the background.

Gluing Complete
And last but not least, it is time to apply the grout.  For this piece I used plain black grout.  It makes the colors pop out don't you think?

BBQ Iguana Final

Tiles I used on this project 
For this project, I used approximately 425 tiles or about 3lbs.  Specific colors I used were:

Iguana - Ficus (B82) (Opus Mosaic)
Iguana - Meadow (A59) (Opus Mosaic)
Shadow - Teak (B32) (Opus Mosaic)
Ground - Sand (A15) (Opus Mosaic)
Ground - Ice Pink (B76) (Opus Mosaic)
Sky - Sky Blue (A02) (Opus Mosaic)

Here are some fun Iguana facts (Source:

  • The green iguana can weigh up to 18 pounds (8 kg) and can reach a length of five to seven feet (1.5 to 2 m). This iguana has a long body covered with soft leathery scales, a long tail and short legs. Its hard, long tail is used as a weapon and for balance when climbing. It has a greenish-gray color and can change color slightly (but not nearly as well as some lizards, such as chameleons). Female and juvenile male iguanas are a much brighter green than an adult male. It has feet with five very long toes with sharp claws on the ends, used especially for climbing. The iguana has a row of spines that extend along its back from the base of its head all the way to the tip of its tail, descending in size from head to tail. It also has a dorsal crest at the base of its head and a dewlap underneath its chin. The iguana also has a row of sharp serrated teeth.

  • The male iguana is larger than the female and has a larger dewlap as well. The male may develop a dorsal crest as high as three inches (8 cm). He has broader jowls and a bulge behind the cloacal vent, which contains the hemipenes. It is often hard to tell the sex of juvenile iguanas until these characteristics develop. Another way to tell sex is through femoral pore secretions. During breeding months, secretory activity peaks, and at that time, the dominant breeding males produce more secretion than subordinates and females. Juvenile males that perform visual displays have significantly larger pores than those who do not display. Because of this, it is believed that there is a relationship between social dominance and secretion levels. Femoral pores are also a good way to identify related species. Related species have secretions that are more similar than distantly related species.

  • The green iguana is a social species; groups can be found basking and foraging together in trees. The male iguana is typically more aggressive and territorial than the female. They exhibit male-male aggression and a male may injure another iguana in attempts for the alpha position, the best basking perch, the biggest territory, or access to females. Young males who are not yet ready to challenge mature males for territories may hang out with dominant males but are always watchful for signs of aggression.
  • The geographic range of the green iguana is from Central to South America and on smaller West Indian islands.

  • Green iguanas are both arboreal and terrestrial. They live in the light-shade mosaic of trees along rivers, lakes and mangrove swamps, as well as in relatively open, arid areas if food resources are sufficient.
  • The green iguana is basically herbivorous. The green iguana spends most of its activity cycle resting, not feeding and foraging like carnivorous lizards. When foraging, the iguana returns to the same foraging site day after day. Its food intake decreases when it changes foraging sites. It gets water from catching rain and condensation on the flowers and leaves of trees, but most comes from the food it eats. It occasionally eats insects along with the vegetation. In the spring the iguana eats leaves of plants in the bean family that are high in protein. A young iguana eats mostly insects. The young are small and potential prey for larger predators including larger iguanas.

  • They are fed salad, which includes, kale, sweet potatoes, carrots and romaine lettuce.
  • After mating females lay their eggs during the second half of the dry season. The female iguana carries her eggs for two months. Female iguanas usually build nests widely separated from one another in areas with sandy soil. Females use moderately straight terrestrial paths to move from their home site to the nest. After seven days spent at the nest site, nearly the identical path is used to travel back to the home site. Females may migrate as far as 1.8 miles (3 km) to find a suitable nesting site.

  • The female iguana lays eggs whether they have been fertilized or not. She lays a group of eggs, called a "clutch", which can be as small as 12 or as large as 30. In the wild only about 35 percent of these eggs survive due to predators, incorrect incubation, or some other kind of hazard. After 90 days, baby iguanas hatch. These one foot (30 cm) long juveniles disperse rapidly after hatching. The juvenile is bright green and vulnerable to predators. The iguana may be sexually mature at 16 months of age and at least nine inches (23 cm) snout-vent length.

  • With proper care a captive iguana can live for 20 years.

  • Green iguanas are hunted for meat in the tropics, however this does not seem to have much effect on numbers. Iguana meat is less commonly eaten because it is considered a low class food in most areas, but some indigenous people may depend heavily on it.

  • Iguana eggs are sold as a novelty food. They are boiled in salt water and sold at more than twice the price of chicken eggs by weight. This species is also used as a favorite bait for catching crocodilians.
  • The two prominent nostrils are used to expel a saline solution to regulate its body's salt level.
  • The green iguana is a wonderful swimmer. It holds its legs close beside it and uses its tail to propel itself through the water. An iguana can stay under water comfortably for up to 30 minutes.

No comments:

Post a Comment