Norman Weaver

Book list

This a list of some of the books illustrated either wholly or partly by Norman Weaver, together with a selection of paintings, some of which are scanned from the books themselves, and some of which are scans from original artwork that was subsequently used in the books.

The Fresh & Saltwater Fishes of the World: Migdalsky & Fichter

Dad spent nearly three years working on this book, and produced every one of the 186 illustrations.

original artwork from The Fresh & Saltwater Fishes of the World
original artwork from The Fresh & Saltwater Fishes of the World

The Pocket Guide to Aquarium Fishes: Dr. Gwynne Vevers

How to Draw Insects: Norman Weaver

This was the only book that Dad actually wrote himself, and copies still turn up on eBay from time to time .... guess who buys them all!

The Freshwater Fishes of Britain and Europe : Hwynne Wheeler

The International Book of the Forest: Mitchell Beazley

Mon Ami Le Manchot: Anne-Marie Dalmais

The above painting is a scan of a little original watercolour owned by Dr. Steve Huckvale, who kindly photographed it for me. The painting is of a Jackass Penguin, and I had assumed that it was from the above book, but having looked through, I can't find it. It may have been used elsewhere, and I will include details later if I can locate it, or it may have been submitted for this book and not used. Either way, I think it's rather lovely.

A Closer Look at Fishes : Anchor Press

(picture shows inside page)

A Closer Look at Whales and Dolphins : Anchor Press

A Closer Look at Bees & Wasps: Anchor Press

This photo has kindly been supplied by Dr. Steve Huckvale, who owns the original of this painting from the above book. It features a queen wasp, describing how the fertilised queens look for sheltered spots to spend the winter, in a torpid state.
More illustrations from this book

A Closer Look at Butterflies and Moths: Anchor Press

My thanks to Dr. Steve Huckvale for having kindly provided photos of the following original paintings, also taken from the above book:

detail from inside page
detail from inside page
The caption below this painting (the original of the illustration on Page 17) describes how the colours and sizes of butterflies tend to vary according to the season. Some species show a dramatic difference between spring and summer generation. An extreme example is the difference between the wet season (left) and dry season (right) marking of the African Precis butterfly.
The above painting (from Page 17) shows the wide range of colour variations found in the European Chalkhill Blue butterfly.
The above illustration, once again the original artwork for the illustration on Page 17, depicts two forms of the Apollo butterfly.
The above original artwork for the illustration on Page 16, has the following caption: "Sasakia, the Japanese national emblem (left) and the Purple Emperor (above) are two butterflies whose wing structure gives them a special colour. The gleaming 'oil on water' effect, is produced by light refracting from irregularities in the wing.
The original painting above is reproduced on Page 21, and shows how mimicry is used. The Alcides moth of New Guinea (top illustration) is unpalatable to most predators. It is imitated by the Swallowtail (below), a perfectly edible butterfly. Not only do the Swallowtail's markings closely resemble Alcides, it also mimics its flying habits. The imitation of a well-protected insect by a more vulnerable one is called Batesian mimicry. It is a perfect way for a harmless species to escape predators who have learned to avoid identical looking but bad-tasting lookalike. The mimic is always much rarer than the copied species. As a footnote to this, I shall share something that Dad taught me when I was small. See the difference in the shape of the antennae, showing which is the butterfly (clubbed end to antennae), and which is the moth (tapered antennae).
The last in this series is a particular favourite of mine (if you ever want to sell this painting, Steve - tell me first!). It shows a Sphinx moth, taking nectar from the flower of a tobacco plant at night.

Sharks: Anchor Press

Shark!: Bernard Stonehouse (picture from internal pages of book)

Fishing: Scimitar

The Book of Beasts: John May & Michael Marten

Prisama Lexicon Van Tropische Vissen: T. W. Julian

About Animals: Field Enterprises Educational Corporation

I remember watching Dad drawing this lovely seal pup.  He wouldn't tell me what it was, and asked me to guess.  He started with just the eyes, and I thought it might be a dog, but this beautiful creature just began to grow out of the paper as he added more and more detail using just pen and ink.  I wish I knew where the original has gone!

picture is from internal page of book
Also from the same book - a rather more colourful painting of a mandrill. The original used to hang on the wall of Dad's studio, but I have no idea what became of it. It was the source of great fascination to my niece, Zelie, when she was a toddler. She would point at it and say "monkey!" Dad would tell her it was a mandrill, and we only realised that she might have got the wrong end of the stick when she pointed at a neighbour called Andrew, and started to do monkey impressions! (Remember this, Zelie?)
The following pen and ink study of a polar bear peering into an ice hole is from the same book, and reminds me of a similar illustration that Dad produced for an old Foxes Glacier Mint advertisement, which featured a polar bear standing on a giant Foxes Mint, as if it were an iceberg. I wonder what happened to that?

The Green Kingdom : Field Enterprise Educational Corporation

Picture is from internal page of book

Hundar I Narbild: Raben & Sjogren

Illustration on inside of front cover

The Amazing Fact Book of Fish : Rosalind Lenga

The Natural History of Britain and Europe: Kingfisher

National Parks and Reserves of Western Europe: Peter Scott & eric Duffey

Picture from P. 91

The Living World of Animals: Readers' Digest

The Book of the Countryside: Readers' Digest

Food From your Garden: Readers' Digest

The Book of the Road: Readers' Digest / AA

The Book of the Seashore: Readers' Digest / AA

Picture from internal page

The Complete Library of the Garden (3 volumes): Readers' Digest

Picture from internal page

The Dell Encyclopaedia of Tropical Fish

Foliage House Plants: The Time-Life Encyclopaedia of Gardening

Picture from internal page of book
My thanks to Mr. Bryan Spooner for supplying photographs of the above original paintings.

Animals In Danger North America: Gill Gould

Picture from internal page of book featuring Coelacanth