August 31, 2011
This addition to the Dalek Game is for Dick King-Smith‘s classic The Sheep-Pig, which was filmed as Babe. It is not my favourite King-Smith (that would be Saddlebottom), but it is a very good book and I am fond of the movie – although I saw it at the satellite cinema in Roma, and about half an hour into the movie a very small country boy in the front row piped up with “Why don’t they just SHOOT the PIG?”
Yet the charm of King-Smith’s books is that they aren’t terribly sentimental. Characters win through but sometimes the harshness of life is just (as the singing mice would have it) “the way things are” – to be struggled against, but not wished away. And both the book and the movie – with eccentric, inventive Farmer Hoggett, and the country women’s association and the dog trials – are beautifully accurate to country life (and have some gorgeous casting!). For all the quirky picture-book quality, the movie world is very closely observed and possibly the most good-hearted representation of that world that I have seen. (The automatic gate! The ducks!)
In other news: I am going to be scanning a new batch of Daleks soon. In the meantime I have been making paper dolls, reading Tintenherz, experimenting with corn-and-buckwheat bread and sweet-chilli con carne and downloading theodolites and decibel meters onto phones over lunch with engineers.
August 30, 2011
Last night, under the influence of too little sleep, I decided it would be an excellent idea to draw a paper doll for Illustration Friday (my last one was the butterfly catcher). A Regency masquerade was the obvious choice, but my Regency imaginings are frequently coloured by fairytales, thanks to the Susanna Clarke’s and Neil Gaiman’s overlapping variations on the era (“The Duke of Wellington Misplaces his Horse” in Clarke’s Ladies of Grace Adieu takes place in the world of Gaiman’s Stardust, and Charles Vess illustrated both works).
The images behind the figure are a page in Racinet’s Historical Encyclopaedia of Costumes. I drew the design in pen and ink (using the pencil sketch below to keep the parts aligned), then scanned it and added flat colours digitally before printing it and cutting it out with a craft knife, because it was late and my judgement was impaired. You can see from the sketch that at one point she was going to have a floral boa.
There are two design flaws, both of which would be easily fixed. The first is that the floor extends too far upwards. I did that to give support to both her hooves, but as a result the cape does not sit properly unless I cut right through down to the hem. The second is that when the hood is on there is a glimpse of empty space beneath her hair. That is what happens when one simply draws a paper doll without considering all the consequences, but it was my first cloak design so a useful lesson (dresses are much easier – they simply hang down in front).
August 27, 2011
This instalment of the Dalek Game is for Alan Marshall‘s autobiography, the Australian classic I Can Jump Puddles. I absorbed it at some point during my childhood (along with others such as Colin Thiele’s gorgeous Sun on the Stubble and A. B. Facey’s harrowing A Fortunate Life) and need to read it again – particularly now after a little more knowledge of the history of polio and its treatment from (among other things) the lives of family friends, a fascinating chapter in Le Fanu’s Rise and Fall of Modern Medicine and of course (since everything comes back to Australian aviators!) the Flying Nurse, by and about Robin Miller.
This has been your Australian literature update for the week. Please, carry on.
August 26, 2011
A process sketch, since events won’t let me get to my computer.
When I was little, we lived on a cattle property and learned to swim in the dam (this is why I can’t dive). To keep us safe, or because fathers like to mess with their children’s minds, my father told my little sister and I that bunyips lived in the dams – they liked eating children’s toes, but were afraid of adults, so it was safe to swim as long as our parents were keeping an eye on us, but if we wandered into the dam unsupervised WE WOULD BE EATEN. Also, there was a mystery behind the main dam which had filled, emptied and filled again in two days when it was first dug, and no-one had ever touched the bottom.
This was extraordinarily effective and I still won’t go swimming alone, and am alarmed at the thought of going into water through which I can’t see.
August 24, 2011
This is for Jules Verne’s Around the World in 80 Days in which THEY DO NOT TRAVEL BY BALLOON. That aside, I loved the book growing up, and though I know the twist with the timing at the end it still gets me every time.
In other news: The Ekka has come and gone, but I have put up my sketches from it, including a page of ducks. I have caught up on scanning older sketchbook pages so I will post them in the intervals between Daleks. I am reading Tintenherz (Cornelia Funke’s Inkheart, in German) and enjoying it immensely but have to read it one.word.at.a.time and can’t speed through the exciting parts, which makes it very frustrating at points. My mother is reading my English copy to my father, and says it is a beautiful book to read aloud.
August 22, 2011
On Wednesday, People’s Day, I went to the Ekka armed with my sketchbook and the intention of eating all the wonderful/awful things. It was a very satisfactory day.
Note: You can see larger versions of these sketches by clicking on them to go through to their Flickr page.
Here are people at the train station, and one of my favourite events to sketch: the woodchop. It is a very fast competition, which turns sketching into a race. This year there was a bonus Lord Mayor.
I wandered through the cattle pavilions making myself homesick, but I can rarely find anywhere good to sketch there – they are very popular, and because the exhibitors camp out there as well, it feels like walking into someone’s living room and drawing them. If people kept cows in their living rooms.
I like sitting in the stands watching the working dog trials as well, although the dogs are so tiny and far away. The crowd gets incredibly tense – and on the right, below, are some of the beautiful adoption greyhounds. Every year I almost convince myself I need a dog.
But who could choose just one? The giant Schnauzers and the Belgian shepherds were the prettiest to draw, but that’s a tough call. In the blacksmith’s and farrier’s tent it smelled like burning hair, and was full of enormous hairy cart horses, and lounging men wearing leather aprons.
Then I met up with K and C and rode the CarnEvil ride, and walked back into the valley to sketch with Shayna at Kerbside, and had a very satisfactory view of the fireworks from the footpath.
August 20, 2011
There was some discussion on Twitter a few weeks ago and an… arrangement was entered into between Tansy Rayner Roberts and myself. The discussion touched on the feasibility of a Flapper Dalek as part of the Dalek Game, and I fulfilled my half of the bargain as follows:
This is for Roxie Hart, one of the movies made of the play which is best known as Chicago.
However, the idea was then broached (possibly by me) of a fashion plate version.
And here is a colour version – just because.
I’ve called it ’20s Dalek for Sophie Kinsella’s ’20s Girl because it was the only title I could think of which would let me draw the picture I wanted, which is why I do not recommend playing this game backwards.
August 19, 2011
A sprained ankle sketch for this week’s Illustration Friday topic – pen and ink with colour added on the computer. It’s such a cliched scene in stories, adventures, novels but I do like it – probably because when I used to go over on my ankle frequently I wished someone would help me. As it was, I used to have to hop across campus to the medical centre, pausing from time to time to lean on signs and recover.
This is an interesting pose to sort out the balance in – I’d like to try it again.
In other news: I was sketching at the Ekka this week and will post the pages soon. And tomorrow – the next Dalek!
Edit: Argh – posted just as the topic changed.
August 17, 2011
Posted by tanaudel under Daleks
| Tags: comic
, doctor who
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This instalment of the Dalek Game was inevitable.
There are classic novels which were inflicted upon my consciousness at an early age – with many of these books, I could tell you a great deal about them, discuss unusual characters and memorable scenes and the author’s research. I could not, however, swear to having actually read them. In consequence, I have a strong impression of having read Moby Dick but no actual memory of doing so.
My favourite use of the book’s most famous line, however, is in Sean William’s and Simon Brown’s short story “The Masque of Agamemnon” which is, conveniently, online. I read it in Simon Brown’s anthology, Troy, which is where I discovered that he wrote the first Australian science fiction story I read and remembered: “Imagining Ajax”.
In other news: I am about to go off to the Ekka and return with sketches and/or a sick headache (because I never overdo things). I have got my act together and edited a story – it took half an hour and none of the last two months’ worth of griping about it was justified. I made rice pudding last night for the first time – it looked like Yorkshire pudding. Everything I have promised everyone is in the process of being worked on. My house is also marginally tidier. Procrastination, however, has not yet reached the point of guitar practice.
CSFG’s Winds of Change anthology has been announced - I illustrated Maxine McArthur’s story “The Soul of the Machine”. The table of contents for Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine 52 has also been announced – I illustrated Liz Colter’s “The Unseen Truths” and my own (!) story, “Undine Love”. Did I mention I have a story in it?
August 13, 2011
This instalment of the Dalek Game is for Seth Grahame-Smith’s Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.
As you may have worked out, I love reworkings, reimaginings, reinterpretations and covers. I adore She Will Have Her Way, and was thrilled when I worked out Clueless was a rewrite of Emma (to be fair, I saw it in German first so I was just trying to keep up with the conversations). I love – as I did last recently – watching the Half Hour Hamlet and the Express Macbeth in a park performance and then seeing a community theatre production of Pratchett’s Wyrd Sisters which reworks both plays again. I liked Bridget Jones, who has already featured in the Dalek Game: Bridget Jones’s Dalek.
And yes, I have read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and liked very much the following things:
- That Seth Grahame-Smith had the idea at all.
- That he actually ran with it and put something out there in the world.
- That it got published.
- That he obviously read the whole of the original novel.
And I remain disappointed that it never (for me) quite lifted above a gimmick, because there were these odd moments in the book when it hinted at something more than “Pride and Prejudice… with zombies! (and lots of vomiting)” and started to become a story on its own terms. So I’m disappointed for the story that it wasn’t, which I suppose isn’t fair – it was a wildly successful gimmick.
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