illustration friday


Illustration Friday: Sea

 

A small gouache painting for this week’s Illustration Friday topic. It is for practice with actual paint, because I need it. I do love the effects that can be got with gouache, and am gradually working out how to do the getting. I’ve also put it up as a print on Redbubble, to test the paper stock.

I chose the image off a tangent from Frost’s poem “Neither out far nor in deep” (which I love, although I imagine it in much softer grey tones, and the poem is by daylight, and this may be a deliberate misinterpretation – but then, it’s poetry, and there’s scope for that).

Neither Out Far Nor In Deep - Robert Frost

The people along the sand
All turn and look one way.
They turn their back on the land.
They look at the sea all day.

As long as it takes to pass
A ship keeps raising its hull;
The wetter ground like glass
Reflects a standing gull.

The land may vary more;
But wherever the truth may be-
The water comes ashore,
And the people look at the sea.

They cannot look out far.
They cannot look in deep.
But when was that ever a bar
To any watch they keep?

 

And on a slightly different note, here are some bonus mermaids, to use up the paint (mermaids don’t shave).

Mermaid 1
Mermaid 2

Rococo

Poorly lit photos (because I’m just back from the QWC end of year party/program launch and it is late) of some Rococo fashion sketches, warming up to pen and ink again after my break, and learning the shape of Louis XV fashion for another project.

Rococo tests

Note: If you’d like to see more detail, just click on an image. You should go through to its Flickr page where you can look at a larger version of it.

So, as you may have noticed from my updates on this blog, I have been away for a few weeks. If you were following me on Twitter or Facebook, you may have gathered that I was in the USA, having a grand time and drawing all over the place. This was an illustration-focused trip (thanks to an Arts Qld grant), and as usual I kept a sketchbook instead of taking photos. In between I looked at a great deal of art and talked a lot (but not nearly enough) to many wonderful and dazzling people and ate everything except vegetables. But here, in accordance with tradition, is an account of some of the slow-moving things I saw. (1) People in hi-vis gear in international airports. (2) Spectacular views between LAX and NY (tip: if you can get a window seat in daylight on that stretch, do). (3) New York, being New York. Page 1 The week I arrived was (would have been) the week of Dylan Thomas‘ 100th birthday. After church (where I met three lovely ladies from Holland, with whom I met up for dinner the following night) I showed up at the sold-out production of his Under Milk Wood at the 92Y, and was able to get a ticket! It was a live BBC Wales broadcast, from the stage where it was first performed, with a Welsh cast directed by and starring Michael Sheen. I may have cried a little. (Tip: if you are visiting New York City, check out what’s on at 92Y). Then on to the Bowery Poetry Club (tip: if you’re visiting, check them out for events) for Dylan Thomas readings, featuring , Dr Elaine CanningBob HolmanKevin Powell and Gwyneth Lewis (which reminds me, she had an essay in the latest Poetry magazine and I should subscribe). Page 2 Afterwards, it was open-mic night, but there were so many poets left over that they pretty much alternated poets with singers, and I even stood up and gave a reading! (I read ‘Bears My Mother Brought With Her‘ and ‘Print is Dead‘). More New York the next day, including many gallery visits (I met a very nice lady from Mitchell-Innes & Nash gallery at the 92Y and discovered many neighbouring galleries as a consequence). Page 3 A gorgeous exhibition of mourning dresses at the Met, but I was particularly taken by the humour in medieval art elsewhere in the museum. I find it easy to get a fossilised, received view of historical periods, and there is a delightful jolt of rediscovered humanity in seeing the actual artefacts. Saint Emerentia jovial and mysterious, crooked iron crows, misanthropic owls… Page 4 A visit to the Society of Illustrators for lunch with Irene Gallo and Greg Manchess (who are wonderful), followed by sketching Mario Reuben Cooper‘s choices in hands in the stairwell, and assorted details of the picture book exhibition. Page 5 Then I sketched hands on the subway and missed my stop on the way to the Village and McNally Jackson Books, where we (Kelly Link, Sarah Reese Brennan, Joshua Lewis, Alice Sola Kim, Greg Purcell and I) gave readings from Monstrous Affections before going out for far too much pizza. The account of exactly how I gave a reading from a comic is a subject for another post. Page 6 Next in the series will be Part Two: Boston

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This project is supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland, part of the Department of Science, Information Technology, Innovation and the Arts. thumbnail

Illustration Friday: Octopus

Yet another playing card! I am still working out some techniques with these, and also warming up for some projects which I need to get done ASAP BECAUSE OH MY GOODNESS I FLY TO NEW YORK IN 12 DAYS WHY AM I DOING ILLUSTRATION FRIDAY???

Anyway, here are the pencils for it:

Pencils for Octopus

Illustration Friday: Novelty

Continuing with the playing card motifs, while sketching armour late at night. This piece is all digital (textures from an old book, as usual). I have no idea where the idea came from. I was thinking about bad puns and knight-jokes this afternoon (what weapon does a knight fear the most*), but can’t trace the connection. One day I will discover a purpose for these images, beyond trialling ideas and techniques.

 

*A can opener.

Illustration Friday: Money

I am trying to use paints (in this case, watercolour pencils over lead pencil) more often, as I could use the practice.

For this topic, I was continuing with the playing card theme (round cards this time), influenced by too many Georgette Heyer novels in which fortunes are gambled away.

Still with the playing card theme for this week’s Illustration Friday topic, “skull.” I am drawing birds for other reasons, and thinking of the fool Eulenspiegel (and fools in general) because of Rima Staines’ Unknown Fool puppet. And fools and skulls of course suggest poor Yorick, and thus, the latest card: the Prince of Birds:

Illustration Friday: Skull

 

In other news, everyone else seems to have received their copies of Angela Slatter’s Bitterwood Bible – everyone save the artist! Sigh. It is reported to be very shining:

Foil2

 

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