June 29, 2010
Life continues lively – I’ve been locked away for a week working on The Project, which is now finished at 17 pages of black and white comic, pending further editorial input. I did manage to *do* an Illustration Friday illustration last week, but did not have time to upload it. I am starting to resent the time it takes to eat, of late.
Here are some more sketchbook pages! ANZAC Arcade as usual, with a few other weekday haunts. They have free doughnuts in ANZAC Square Arcade and lovely scones at Cafe Yi, if that information is useful.
That’s the doughnut dispensary in the top right, below, with Charmaine behind the counter. Also, some scenes from the City Botanic Gardens – lots of ibises endangering small children.
And here’s a close-up of some backpackers by the lily ponds.
June 18, 2010
If all the world were paper,
and all the seas were ink,
and all the trees were bread and cheese -
what would we have to drink?
2.5×3.5 inch card – brush and ink. This will be available for a donation on the Ripple blog: ripplesketches.blogspot.com/
June 17, 2010
Here is my entry in RebelPapa’s moleskine for the portrait party exchange (http://mxportraits1.blogspot.com/). This is part of the international moleskine exchange (http://www.flickr.com/groups/moly_x).
What I took away from this experience was *not* to do self-portraits in a hurry in ink without sketching in pencil first while my sister tries to make you decide what film to watch.
June 14, 2010
I get a bit skittish, these days, if I can’t have my coffee and sketch the passersby in the morning before work! At the bottom left of the first spread is a glimpse of the metal tree (with coloured glass fruit) that stands in the centre of the atrium of ANZAC Square Arcade. Wires across the space hold more flat panels with leaves, and mosaic leaves are set into the floor. It’s one of my favourite sculptures in Brisbane.
Below on the left is a straw cloche with ribbon embroidery from the 1930s which I saw at Hats: An Anthology by Stephen Jones, a wonderful exhibition of antique and modern hats and headdresses at the Queensland State Library (free and on for another week, I think). It is beautifully curated, like a gothic-baroque candy shop, all black pillars and deep arched alcoves and hanging ribbons and fabrics, with a final room of templates and bright paper and people of all ages making their own remarkable paper hats.
On the lower right, I’ve started drawing small figures instead of just cameos – I have to work even faster with this, but it’s fun when it works (and led to this month’s header).
In other news, I am wrestling with comic projects and for this reason have been refusing invitations to all-night movie marathons (Friend: You got middle-aged quickly! Me: I’m drawing comics!!!). I go through a love-dislike-loathe-love cycle with most projects. Last night I was doing colours on the computer and had to go watch Poirot with tea to get over the misery, but this afternoon after a ramble through hidden parkland and industrial streets (and a bout of banana-bread making) I have been doing pencil roughs which are much more tractable.
NB: If you want to see a close-up of the images, click on the pictures to go to their Flickr pages, then click on “All Sizes” above the image.
June 12, 2010
Despite of my sustained resistance, my family put on a birthday party for me, and it was a lovely afternoon – excellent and diverse company, beautiful food (my older sister flew up from Canberra to help cater), white tablecloths, coloured glass bottles and sprays of bougainvillea down the tables.
I planned to put the bougainvillea on the thank you cards, but the designs were vetoed by my younger sister, so instead I set up one of my gifts (if you’re reading, thank you again, AH!) with some aftermath of cake and sketched that directly with a dip pen and ink. My sister approved, so I coloured it on the computer, printed it on some heavy drawing paper (it has a lovely texture), folded, trimmed, wrote and posted:
June 8, 2010
I imagine the picture above as the end-papers to a picture book. Pen and ink with an old page scanned and added on the computer.
The next is a mash-up of ‘Fields of Gold’ and ‘Leaving on a Jet Plane’ – pen and ink with digital colour.
One of the first ideas I had for this topic was Hansel and Gretel and the trail of bread crumbs, but they turned into another famous brother and sister, and a different trail.
June 6, 2010
More sketches of ANZAC Arcade regulars – my favourite here is the pigeon:
The June blog header is made up of people who appeared in the arcade on 4 June:
I went with friends to see ET on the big screen as part of the Regent Cinema closing down events (they were showing a different movie each day for the decades the cinema has been open, starting with A Night at the Opera and finishing with The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King) and as I was sketching the light fixtures one of my friends said I remind him of the cameras in Pratchett’s Discworld books, which have a little imp inside painting furiously (colour takes longer).
June 5, 2010
To War with Whitaker – Hermione Ranfurly: Funny, acerbic, remarkable diaries of Hermione Ranfurly (I read her childhood memoirs in February) who followed her husband to the Second World War and worked for a series of generals in Egypt and Italy. Her experiences, the contrasts between war and liesure, bureacracy and youthful high spirits, the privileges her rank and youth brought her and the economies needed because of relative poverty make it a delightful read. But by the time the diaries return, self-consciously, to the peaceful country setting in which they started, it is clear that the world, politics, culture and society have changed.
- Borrowed from my mother
- Cover is a watercolour painting, which is better than a photo cover (although it was based on several of the photos in the book) and looks consistent with the cover of The Ugly One. Still a bit too khaki.
Step Ball Change – Jeanne Ray: Light and sweet and fast.
- Borrowed from my mother
- Staged photo cover, I think of someone kicking up a heel in a red shoe? Accurate to the genre, but racier than the cover to Eat Cake (see below), and this certainly wasn’t a racy novel!
Eat Cake – Jeanne Ray: See above.
- Borrowed from my mother
- Staged photo cover, tones of pink: a neatly dressed woman holding a pile of cake boxes – accurate to the story.
All the President’s Men – Bob Woodward & Carl Bernstein: The account of the breaking of Watergate by the reporters involved. Gripping and entertaining, but also fascinating for the changes (and lack thereof) in reporting and technology!
- Bought at the Lifeline Booksale
- Movie tie-in cover, but that means Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman looking earnest and flared, so that’s good.
Der Tod auf Dem Nil – Agatha Christie: This book is incorrectly titled. It shouldn’t be “Death on the Nile” – it should be “People annoy each other indefinitely on the Nile.” Or possibly “People don’t die on the Nile”. I was sure the death happened earlier in the book last time I read it, but my sense of time may have been dilated by reading it in German.
- Bought at the Lifeline Booksale. I think.
- Dreadful sunset photo-cover on a cheap library-style hardback.
Death in the Stocks - Georgette Heyer: So much better than the last Heyer crime novel I read – this was frothy and fast paced and entertaining and modern. I’m often surprised by how current books written in the ’20s and ’30s feel and how old-fashioned the ’50s seem. I know *why*, but if you just read books written then it sometimes feels as if the decades came in the wrong order.
- Lent at me
- Too pink, but otherwise a painting of fabulous young people in evening dress is accurate to the feel of the novels (although most of the characters were rather bohemian), and far better than the current sweet, pink, beribboned covers to her regencies.
Strong Poison – Dorothy Sayers: I’m sneaking up to reading Gaudy Night (and the review of it on Tor.com), on principles of delayed gratification (and also because, as Tor.com said in relation to that novel, you can reread a book any number of times but you can only read it once for the first time). I enjoyed that this book opened with the summing up in court, but mostly I enjoyed the vigorous opinion of the characters on the correct way to make an omelette, and have been making omelettes (successfully!) a great deal since. In fact, I might have one for dinner tonight.
- Bought from a big chain bookstore
- Black and white photo of a woman’s legs and court shoes, walking along a pavement. A bit noirish, but not off-putting and sets the era squarely. It does give the impression of a cover to a well-known book, rather than a cover to draw in unsuspecting readers.
Five Red Herrings – Dorothy Sayers: Too many accents! This circular crime novel with its welter of accents and geographical features and eccentric artists at times felt too convoluted and self-indulgent, but it was Lord Peter Wimsey and many eccentric artists, so it wasn’t bad. Possibly I wanted more cooking tips. I did like that she had a character discover a vital clue at the beginning and then told the reader that they’d have to work out what it was for themselves and if they’d been paying attention they’d be able to. And I did! Well, I had a strong suspicion, but I’m not an oil painter so I wasn’t sure.
- Bought from a local crime/SF store on the same evening as the above, in penance for shopping at big chain bookstores
- I cannot recall what the cover picture was of, but my impressions were as for Strong Poison above.
Also: I also read several Strand short crime stories out loud to my father, include Kipling’s “Faery-Kist” and Sayers’ “The Hanted Policeman”, which was my first Lord Peter Wimsey story, and so far my favourite.