Tag Archives: altered books

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!

Sketching at the Trampolining Centre

It’s school holidays, we’ve moved house recently, and I’m working on one of my most important projects: connecting my kids with new local friends before school starts at the end of the month. Today… PLAY DATE.

For those who think they have mastered sketching people at the swimming pool (hysterical laughter) the next challenge is obviously to sketch at Gravity Zone, one of Melbourne’s trampoline play centres where children and the occasional energetic adult bounce around in a state of perpetual motion and happy exuberance. So I took my sketch materials to the play date.

One of the children vomited as I was watching, but I didn’t sketch that. Luckily it was not on a trampoline but in the café area…

Below are a few of the more finished sketches of the morning. (I notice that I was using the same book for sketching as the one I had used a year ago at Sorrento in the Christmas holidays. How tidy!)

Gravity Zone sketch 3

two boys getting ready to leap into the pit

Gravity Zone sketch 2

Hugo stopping to pant after much bouncing with a basketball

Gravity Zone sketch 1

a tweenager bouncing in a crop top

Gravity Zone sketch

a tweenager having an argument with a friend on the other side of the floor

Gravity Zone sketch 4

a Mum reading in the café

Gravity Zone sketch 5

Another mum reading in the café

You will, I’m sure, have noticed a striking and curious thing. Only one of the sketches actually depicts a person in mid bounce!

I have a lot of work to do to get up to sufficient speed.

 

 

Little Cats (or patience is a virtue)

I was led off the trail of birds this afternoon. I had an important task to complete that was overdue. Lisa S contacted me many months ago to ask about my Cornish Rex artwork and she has been waiting patiently in New York for a signed copy of Thunderstorm Dancing for a long time. Boy is she tired!

Because she has been waiting so long, she got some little bonuses in her bundle. Some Cornish doodles. Lisa has two Cornish Rex cats. One is black (Nigel). One is white (Finley).

Check out Finley with my Cornish Soliloquy drawing from last year.

Cornish Soliloquy cat

Here’s the title page from The Cornish Soliloquy

Finley

Here’s adorable Finley!

Today, I have finally wrapped up a signed copy of Thunderstorm Dancing for Lisa and it will go into the post tomorrow, bedecked with cats.

Tucked into the book:

White Cornish Rex on Endpapers JudyWatsonArt lores

A little white Cornish sketch painted on the endpapers of ‘The Book of British Villages’. I was going to paint him on a map of Cornwall, but I got engrossed in this one instead.

Black cat white cat

The little white cat with his friend the black cat, drawn on a (terrible) 1980s dress pattern

Thunderstorm Dancing all wrapped up:

wrapped copy of Thunderstorm Dancing

Ready for the post bag

And finally, a doodle on the envelope:

cat parcel awaiting stamps

parcel ready for stamps

When I was at the post office a few days ago, the only stamps they had were husky dogs… That’s not going to go down well! Fingers crossed there are some stamps there tomorrow that are more feline friendly.

Strong words

Proving that I’m back.

Another doodle from the bathtub on Saturday afternoon. Here’s a note from the back of a vintage Pitt Press Shakespeare edition of Julius Caesar.

Amaz’d is not the only word that was a stronger word then than now. Words and Christmas stocking fillers have suffered from inflation over the years.

Amaz'd - A stronger word then than now

Amaz’d – A stronger word then than now

Ophelia

Here’s Ophelia, my wee scrap of a girl who appeared when I was working on my Imago Mundi canvas. She found a home this evening on an even tinier canvas. This one is 7cm x 10cm. 



Week 50 Christmas

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

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.