Tag Archives: #illo52weeks

Calculus Doodles in Bed

These were all done using a historical fashion book for reference and a differential calculus book as a canvas.

I first looked for interesting mathematical lines and diagrams, then found fashions that seemed to meld with them. The rest was a bit of swift improvisation. The women in the fashion book are (deliberately) bland and faceless. I added some life to the people, and altered poses, and fashion to suit the squiggles of my pen.

I do seem to find this kind of squiggling very relaxing. And it can be quite suggestive of all sorts of things… Astrakhan, embroidery, hedges…

calculus fashion judywatsonart lorescalculus fashion2 judywatsonart lores calculus fashion3 judywatsonart lores calculus fashion4 judywatsonart lores

calculus fashion5 judywatsonart lores

Holiday doodles

Here are some little watercolour blobs done while on holiday in Portland. Our holiday was short but very sweet…unlike Blob Bird No 3 who is short and short-tempered. These blobs are all just a few centimetres across. I forgot to take a fine brush with me, so I couldn’t get any fine feathering to work. I did birds first, as the 52 Week Illustration theme of the week is ‘feather’ and then I played around with dogs, monsters etc.

After we got home, late yesterday I did some more drawing in bed. I remembered that the shaggy hair on the lower legs of some breeds of horse (like the Clydesdale) are called ‘feather’ so I drew some Clydesdales, and then found myself drawing a Rebellious Teen Pony With Attitude, who also has feathered legs. I rather liked her.

feather blob 1 judywatsonart lores

Blob Bird 1

feather blob 2 judywatsonart lores

Blob Bird 2 – what a cheery fellow

feather blob 4 judywatsonart lores

Blob Bird 3 – a foul mood. He was drawn at the bottom of the page, and no room for a decent pair of pins.

feather blob 5 judywatsonart lores

Blob Bird 4 – Also in a foul mood despite his fancy trousers.

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Blob Bird 5 – a bit mad I suspect.

We met a pair of swans in a park with a pond and little hire boats with outboard motors that the kids were able to steer. The swans were crazily gorgeous in a bizarre way, and very grumpy. I was watching them for a while and then drew them from memory later. We also saw Mortimer the Raven at the park, with his friend Edgar. I fed Mortimer from my hand and I saw up close that he really does have a hairy beak! Joan Aiken did not lie.

swan judywatsonart lores

This is one of the cross swans, drawn from a blob. (Also cramped at the bottom of the page with his toes falling off the edge. I’ve added a bit of digital depth of tone to this one. He was pale grey)

swan blob

One of the swans, from a blob. But he looks quite cheerful here, but I think he may have some goose blood in him.

page of dog blobs judywatonart lores

A page of dog blobs. These worked better than the birds I thought as I had warmed up. (Maybe it was the champagne, or maybe it was the log fire…. hmmm)

felt tip swan feathers judywatsonart lores

Here are the Cross Swans again. These were drawn in bed last night after we came home. I’ve scanned them and coloured them digitally.

clydesdale judywatsonart lores

This is one of the bed sketches of a Clydesdale. Below is the Teen Pony.

Teen Pony feathers judywatsonart lores

Cloudy Days in Melbourne

Winter has finally arrived in Melbourne. And the 52 Week Illustration Challenge theme is clouds.

grumpy dog cloud lores judywatsonart

I didn’t have to do anything extra for the Challenge this week really. I am working with clouds all the time for Thunderstorm Dancing, and although I can’t post an entire image until the book is published, I did post a fragment of the spread I was working on, which features approaching storm clouds (below). Froth, spatter, roar and hum.


This spread was finished until my Beloved told me that the veranda perspective needed alteration… the same veranda that the Cat Called Thunder is trotting across. So I will finish it (again) today.

I’m not saying I relate to that cranky terrier up the top. Not at all. Nope. And I do appreciate the help with perspective.

I did find myself wandering off to do cloud blob doodles to cheer myself up though.

big and little cloud monsters lores

Monster cloud blobs…

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Wolf cloud blobs, crossing raging rapids…

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Bird cloud blobs… one of whom just might possibly be a vulture cloud blob… (Should that be who or whom?)

bizarre cloud animalsAnd lastly this rather bizarre Cloud Blob Doodle which in fact I had done a week or two ago as a variation on the blob improvisation idea. Wherever that photo was taken, it wasn’t Melbourne this week.



Wednesday night. My night of indulgence. Kids in drama lesson. Me drawing for an hour. I remembered to take some water containers this week.

No I didn’t. I got them out. Then left them behind. But I did get a plastic cup from the cafeteria which I could have done last week if I hadn’t had a secret desire to eat ink.

The 52 Week Illustration Challenge theme… OCTOPUS. I was feeling reasonably comfortable with this, since I’d done an octopus/ squid that I liked back in SIMPLICITY week. (below)

inky octo

Nice and simple. Oh well. I couldn’t put him in because he wasn’t done freshly for the Challenge theme. So I drew a few more.

First this.

red octopus lores

I liked working with all the reds and wishy washing them over each other. That was nice. But I shouldn’t have tried to do the eye ‘realistically’. It’s most unattractive. (Unless you’re an octopus. Then, I’m sure it’s wildly sexy.) I bumped up the colour on this one before posting on Facebook. So he looks like this now.

red octopus levels lores


I preferred my second go. It was very quickly drawn in the old Calculus book, with a bit of wash added after the Prismacolour artstick.

altered book octopus loresHe’s got a little more life to him. And I like his eye which looks quite focused and intelligent.

The next one (groan) was painted after I got home and I thought I’d do a semi-blob treatment starting with grey ink. But he was awfully drab and then I added soft pastels to liven him up. It partly worked. But I was too lazy to hunt out the full collection of pastels and the colour around the eye is yucky! (Very typical of me to stay put on the high chair and use only the colours that are within reach at the drawing table. A shocking vice which may have had something to do with my ink eating last week…) Also the eye is awful again.

octo cleaned up lores

Finally I did another using the semi-blob treatment using coloured instead of grey ink. And I changed the eye treatment. I came up with a cute little red octopus on his first date. He is sitting on all his tentacles so as not to accidentally embarrass himself. I like him, but I really don’t like the girlfriend I whizzed up for him. Maybe it was a kind of jealousy. I wanted him for myself…

But I should be kind. Good luck little red octopus. I hope she’s the one for you.

octopus first date lores


The Feast


The Fast


The Curse of the Black Tongue

This evening was the Drama Class night, when I take my two plus one more to a drama lesson at a big leisure centre. We always enjoy the evening despite the slightly rushy nature of eating early straight after school and then getting to the class on time, when nobody can find their shoes, or their book for the car or remember to go to the toilet until we are about to drive away… the usual stuff. They are a happy bunch of three and I enjoy their nutty company. I also enjoy the slightly-less-than-one-hour of free time at the centre when I can draw just for fun.

This week’s 52 Week Illustration Challenge theme is ‘feast’. It’s not a theme that lends itself to time poor folk because it conjures up mental images of banqueting tables, rife with imaginative and mouth watering detail. Forget that.

Having grabbed the nearest half-stocked ‘art backpack’ as I went out the door with the mad ones, I found that I had limited supplies with me. (You were wondering what that subtitle The Fast was all about, weren’t you?) I had a vintage book to draw in and a box with pencils, fine point felt tips losing their inkiness, a brush tip black pen (also fading), one deep terracotta red crayon and a small paintbrush but no water receptacle.

Thinking I’d hopefully find a pithy quote to illustrate in the vintage book – something that brimmed with feastiness, or failing that, feistiness –  I found it was all about a family during the Gold Rush and that Hugo had used the first half to practice scribbling with thick black texta.


Not to be deterred, I found a page with a description of an extravagant breakfast. I set to work illustrating it using a pencil and the first subject that came to mind: a chicken serving breakfast. Unfortunately the chicken was so long and elegant of neck that she obscured the text she was illustrating, so I swiftly moved on.

I found the page above and quickly drew Mrs Pym in her kitchen with the fading brush tip. She’s okay. But remembering that the brush tip is water soluble I found I hankered to deepen the tone with a bit of water. No water. Aha! Yes! You guessed it. The Curse of the Black Tongue!

I confess I glanced around me to see that nobody was deeply offended, as I proceeded to use the nearest clear liquid to hand… or mouth.

I had half a drama class still to use… what could I find? After a few minutes of fruitless searching, I gave up on wasting time looking for food references in the vintage book. I thought I’d draw a pelican with a border of fish leaping around him on the page. And so I did. But the fine point markers kept running out on me as I drew, so I kept changing, keeping to a .5 or below.

FEAST pelican lores


Although a real pelican  would be more likely to feature blue legs I think, the red crayon came in handy here. And once complete, I was just left thinking how much I’d like one more colour to highlight the fish with. If only!

Oh happy pelican! As I resorted to the Black Tongue again in a not-very-hopeful kind of way, thinking that this time, the ink was waterproof, I found to my delight that all but the bird’s body and one wing were drawn in fine point markers that were water soluble and which when wet became green!

I am quite pleased with my pelican page. But I can still taste that ink on my tongue.