Tag Archives: Thunderstorm Dancing

Thunderstorm Dancing – nearly a book

Thunderstorm Dancing cover lores

 

Here it is! the finished cover and what you will see in the shops from next April. Currently it is away being made into a book, with paper and ink and all that stuff we like.

As with childbirth… all the grunting and groaning is fading away, and soon I won’t remember that it was difficult at all :-)

 

 

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.

 

 

 

Swirling and Swinging

P24 Lachie judywatsonart lores

This afternoon I finished the second last illustration for Thunderstorm Dancing, which I should add is yet to be approved as the editor is not in the office today.

All being well, I’m now working on the last illustration for the book. I can hardly believe it. Wish me luck!

scribble cornish judywatsonart lores

This is not from Thunderstorm Dancing. This is a scribble-of-joy.

Okay… so this Scribble Cornish may exhibit some slight exaggerations of conformation… but the rest is true :-)

 

Cornish Cat working on the weekend :)

profile alice cat judywatsonart loresPhew! That’s half the spread fixed.

I spent a day on Thursday working on this page, and was really unhappy with the results at the end of the day, so it was back to the drawing board and a re-work of this character group. It might not have mattered so much if it were a busy page. But this is a section of the still page. It has to be right…

err… now I’m looking and finding a few things I might tweak… But not today. Time to spend time with my boys.

So the page 25 Cat-Called-Thunder and Alice are working to my satisfaction. I’ve just got to finish off the seven other members of the family! (laughs hysterically)

 

Cornish clock-watching

cornish watching fish judywatsonart loresNo time to talk today. Here’s the Cat Called Thunder watching a flying fish… or is he watching the clock?

Two pictures to complete and then all is done!

 

Swinging in the rain

Tommy storm fragment

Sent off a spread this afternoon. Finishing details on another now.

Closer, closer, inch by inch.

 

Still thundering on

lucyt and floorboardsIt’s a whippet play bow.

Bow-wow.

Getting there.