Category Archives: 52 Week Illustration Challenge

Fish Feast Update

This greedy little pelican, a doodle drawn for feast week in the 52 Week Illustration Challenge back in 2014, just returned from being on holidays at a friend’s beautiful retreat in Warburton, Victoria. (You can find the retreat here if you’d like to book a stay.)

As a result partly of the sunlight and partly of the unorthodox materials used to produce the drawing (for more info go here!), I noticed that the fish parts and wave pattern had faded to rather a nice sepia colour.

faded Pelican

I probably should have left it that way. But it seemed to be calling to me like this…

Judy, Judy, colour me in! Pleeeease colour me in, I beg you!

[repeat and intersperse with pitiful whimpering]

Being a soft hearted thing, and fond of pelicans, I did as I was asked with the following result.

pelican feast colour pencil

I’m pretty sure I prefer the original grittiness and I’ve got a bit of a tummy ache from the chips I was eating at the same time.

But boy was it fun!

Some victims of ‘fancy dress’

As I’m on holidays for another couple of weeks, and I was doing some art in the garden with the kids this afternoon, I kept going and made a few tiny images for the start of this year’s 52 Week Illustration Challenge on Facebook.

Week 1 is Fancy Dress.

I went naturally to my cabinet card portrait collection where there are plenty of people in both fancy dresses and in ‘fancy dress’ in the sense of costume.  There I saw lots of kids who had been hauled, strapped, tied or stuffed into their best clothes for portraits; many of them looking dubious about the whole experience. So I thought I’d borrow their misery for a few little ink and wash drawings.

W1 fancy dress unwilling suit boy judywatsonart lores

A little boy in fancy dress, from a cabinet card portrait. It was hard to say if he was in his best clothes or in costume. The clothes are somewhat smart but also very oversized, especially the hat!

W1 fancy dress unwilling girl judywatsonart lores

A little girl who would rather be playing with her dog in the garden

W1 fancy dress - scottish judywatsonart lores

A little Scottish lad in fancy dress looking very miserable

Week 50 Christmas

peace hope dove judywatsonart lores reindeer judywatsonart lores sleeping torch boy judywatsonart lores

Week 49: SUNSHINE

Sunshine Troll judywatsonart loresTroll caught by the rising sun.

I could also have done a vampire being extinguished by the rising sun too… But this will do for my Quota of Gruesomeness for one week.

This is done with a Staedtler Lumocolour pencil on litho paper, because I couldn’t find any black Prismacolours long enough to use. It was oily and black and nice.

 

 

Catching up

Hello! I’ve been a bit absent! Thunder is finished and off to the printers! I’m looking forward to seeing an advance copy in early January. It’s taken a few weeks to just get myself into drawing again. That’s not something I anticipated. And there are a lot of other things that I need to catch up with now that I’ve finished that mammoth project… including Christmas!

I had a great day with Ann James and Justine Alltimes last Monday, designing a poster for Jackie French, our Australian Children’s Laureate. Her project Share a Story will revolve around the ideas on the poster/calendar which will be available for free download by Christmas.

Ann James is a well known and skilled Australian children’s illustrator. Justine Alltimes is one of the hardworking and capable Laureate Project Managers. When the three of us get together, the ideas ping about like pinballs. After Ann had drawn and painted some images, I was able to alter them digitally to make new, and hopefully intriguing combinations, that will work well together on the poster and spark the storytelling imaginations of children, teachers and parents. The challenge was to avoid the literal interpretations of words like Slurp a Story and instead to come up with images that were open-ended or suggestive. We want starting points for stories, not stories in themselves.

More on Share a Story when the poster is released.

Other work in progress includes an illustration of Phar Lap for the front cover of a colouring book for the Melbourne Museum to match the dinosaur one I did a couple of years ago. As always with work done for Museum Victoria, I learn heaps along the way as I research the topic! Glad to find out that Phar Lap was probably not deliberately or even accidentally poisoned. Not that it made much difference to the poor horse, but he most likely died of colic related to a rare disease of the intestinal tract.

MMDinoColBk_FRONT.jpg

The 52 Week Illustration Challenge forges on towards the finish, but will return next year. I wasn’t feeling like drawing for this either, for a couple of weeks. So I’ve missed Week 47 New York, but I may go back to that. Although drawing New York itself holds little attraction for me, the New Yorker and its famous cartoons hold enormous appeal for me. So I think I need to do a New Yorker style cartoon. But of what?…

Tim and Tig New Yorker

A page from ‘Tim and Tig’

Above is an illustration I did for Aussie Nibble – Tim & Tig many years ago. I illustrated Tim and Tig just after receiving a copy of the Complete Cartoons of the New Yorker; a fantastic book that had a powerful influence on my drawing! Many of the illos in Tim and Tig, I’d wish to do again and much better, but this one I still like.

Now that I think of it, I did do some quick doodles for Week 46 Circus. (Oh dear. What a rambling post.)

The Twisted Princess tidies her tresses

The Twisted Princess tidies her tresses

This doodle was on the bottom of a Thunder illustration. You may see a wee peek of the washy water top right, and it ran completely off the page. It started as a doodle and then I got mesmerised by the leotard pattern. Actually, this led my mind off in the direction of a series of paintings I’d like to do…

This brings me to last week’s theme. Week 48 Fox. In a shocking twist of fate, I found that the topic had long ago been changed from Chicken to Fox! Horrors!

I did some fox doodles while I was waiting for the kids to get out of drama class and below you can see them.

Deadly Maggie

Deadly Maggie

This was a fennec sketch in an old book. I added some digital colour experimentally (even though fennecs are creamy in colour). It’s not entirely successful but there are elements of it that I like, including the scratching into top layers of colour; a Thunder habit that may continue for some time. Perhaps lead into interesting new areas.

fox cub judywatsonart lores

A very innocent young blob fox.

By contrast, this little blob fox is not deadly. This was my protest on behalf of my chickens.

Contortionist fox

Contortionist fox

I liked the tail hatching on this one, and also the two tone retro feel, but it was certainly rushed. Not what you’d call finished work.

The Fox with the No.6 Tattoo

The Fox with the No.6 Tattoo

Lastly, this fellow. The fox with the No. 6 Tattoo. I liked his eyes and expression. He seems to have a canny and sophisticated air about him. I added some very flat colour panels in Photoshop trying to keep it sympathetic to his stylised and simple form and I like the result.

 

 

 

Dancing Eucalyptus Sprite

In a cruciform posture…

eucalyptus leaf sprite judywatsonart lores

Well I finished Thunderstorm Dancing today. Hooray!

But the marketing department want a completely different cover. Not hooray!

I didn’t feel like celebrating this evening. But I was determined to get a last minute picture into the 52 Week Illustration Challenge, which finishes each theme on a Tuesday with a new one starting the next day. I’d had the idea of leaf rubbings making a dress earlier in the week. But I wasn’t going to render it like this. This just came out of somewhere… But I’m really pleased with it.

It’s the colour palette from Thunderstorm Dancing. And it’s dancing. But the everything else is very different. It’s a nice change for me. I noticed the cruciform shape when I found I wanted to highlight the hands and feet.

 

Pecking Order

I’m feeling rather exhausted this evening. So I drew our chickens to give myself a lift. I started the beginnings of a pecking order diagram. I’m quite fascinated by how this might be done, because the order is not linear in any clear sense. Below is the Official Order. But there are weird aberrations in the middle where certain chickens are scared of other chickens. And there’s one vicious triangle… Hmmm.

Those two devilish looking youngsters at the bottom will grow larger than all the rest. I have therefore introduced them to the flock as babies so that their elders can keep them in their place before they grow unwieldy in size. (According to what I have read, pecking orders rarely change once established… unless the circumstances are unusual and special and particularly particular…)

But according to what I have read, pecking orders follow a simple linear hierarchy.

In my experience this is not the case.

chicken pecking order colour flat

On a secondary note, I’m sure you will be pleased to know that I have now had all my chickens expertly colour analysed by an image consultant. So they will never, NEVER be seen looking anything but their best when they go out to parties. I can vouch for this without a doubt.

Vita, surprisingly, is a summer. But we did not establish which kind of summer. This is because, as Annabel pointed out, the rules of colour may be different for chickens! Well that’s awkward! Now we’ll have to write a book about it!

Hilda is a deep winter, Poppy is a warm autumn, Stella is a deep autumn, Storm is a soft summer and so is Nora. The Terrible Pteranodon Twins are cool winters. Their legs are green and so will be their eggs one day.