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.
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.
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?…
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.)
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.
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.
By contrast, this little blob fox is not deadly. This was my protest on behalf of my chickens.
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.
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.
In a cruciform posture…
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.
I’m working flat out to finish Thunderstorm Dancing before the end of the month, so I haven’t much time to post here. Nor is there much to post, because the illos for the book are under wraps until publication… apart from small snippets.
Yesterday I finished the endpapers for the back of the book. Today I’ll hopefully finish the front endpapers. I suppose it could be okay to post a bit of an endpaper on Endpapers.
Here’s part of the back endpapers.
And here’s my very hurried 52 Week Illustration Challenge contribution for this week (Under the Sea) which I made with some leftover fish bones drawn for Thunder endpapers. I’m sure leftover fish bones are an under-utilised art material…
This didn’t really work, because I was hurrying so much. Having said that, the imperfect, rough edges on everything are deliberate. I like the rough prickliness of the pasted fish and seaweed drawings, which gives them a fossilised or desiccated look.
Both of these works are made using drawings done with Prismacolour Artstick, scanned and coloured in PhotoShop, on top of watercolour and ink background washes.
Oh, and lastly, just this little fragment from one of my illustrations for the book. (The lightning page.) I love the close-up sections of some pages, with none of the action or figures present, making them abstract. This one reminds me of the skin of a whale swimming deep underwater. I feel I should paint a whale eye and put it in one corner. Perhaps later, when all is done.
Dog performs psychological punishment.
Cat demonstrates turning the other cheek.
The 52 Week Illustration Challenge theme this week is TOY.
I don’t know if the cat is directly responsible for this little dog’s trippy bad dream, but she is certainly doing her best to mozz him.
These are some line drawings done in the car during a rainy soccer training session in half darkness. I am quite pleased with them because they were done from the imagination and without any visual reference. I let the words of the french lesson lead the direction of the doodle. I tried to do them almost completely using a continuous line, except where my pen fell off the page. And above, I did some rather crude scribble in the speech balloon as well.
And below is one of my Calculus Fashion ladies with a bit of colour added. I am quite liking the effect on the parchment and print.
Sometimes I draw quite complex continuous line drawings in my mind, while lying in bed at night. It’s very relaxing, and the resulting drawings take up very little storage space.
Occasionally I forget where I put them, because I fall asleep :-)