To This Day

Shane Koyczan‘s “To This Day” arrived from Annick Press! A different illustrator did every page and they are all vivid, stunning and various.

It’s a wonderful art book, as well as a wrenching poem about bullying and tragedy and hope.

Here is the publisher’s page for the book: To This Day.

And here is the page for the original animated To This Day Project.

Where sky and water meet,
Where the waves grow sweet,
Doubt not, Reepicheep,
To find all you seek,
There is the utter East.

- Reepicheep’s lullaby, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, C. S. Lewis

Illustration Friday: Summer

It is not summer here, although it has been the warmest June on record. Wednesday it finally turned cool. So here is a memory from summers having wonderful adventures in Western Queensland pretending we were having wonderful adventures in Narnia.

The elements are cut-paper silhouettes (of course!), with colour and texture added digitally after the event.

As usual, this is a warm-up/cleanser between other projects…

And here are the original paper pieces:

Before photo - Illustration Friday: Summer

I posted previously about the t-shirts which were available for Continuum X. Now I am back from Melbourne and the convention, which was wonderful, I can show you all the art for it.

First, the sketches. The theme for Continuum X (this year’s Natcon) was “dark carnival” (later “Carnival of Lost Souls”), which was a lot of fun to play with. I’d acquired some books of Australian circus history and started playing around, going sideways from the recognisable images in those, and getting in a Banjo Patterson reference as well.

Sketches for Continuum X program cover

The original brief expanded at this point to include designs for the postcards/flyers and so forth, so I worked up the acrobat-with-stars and the ringmaster. Here are some variants.

Continuum X postcard variants

The committee suggested a darker colour scheme, and this is the final design for the tumbler (with stars swapped out for cards):

Postcards for Continuum X

I’ve already shown a version of the program cover on the t-shirt post. The final was all pen-and-ink line drawings (including the lettering), compiled and given flat colour and texture on the computer (Photoshop Elements as usual, if you’re interested). My original sketches had little headings such as “The Amazing Bird-Boy”, “See the Future”, “Genuine Mermaids”, etc, but I dropped them out as they cluttered up the final design too much.

Continuum X program cover

I’m still really happy with this. I’ve also ordered a few test prints on various art papers and it came up gorgeously velvety.

And finally the brief was expanded again to use some of the artwork on the trophies for the Ditmar awards! This was also very exciting, and I think the way the committee printed them on the back of clear acrylic came up really well – here’s my contributor copy:

Ditmar award design - Continuum X

Congratulations to all the award winners, and to the convention committee and volunteers! It was a lovely convention – I found it very relaxed, with lots of hilarious and interesting panels, lunches and evenings in the bar. Too much talking to sketch a great deal, but here are my pages for the cover art pose-off panel, based on the notable efforts of Jim C Hines (guest of honour and judge of the panel).

Posing

Illustration Friday: Temptation

This week’s Illustration Friday picture began as a technique practice/reset between jobs, but I lost track of what I had originally planned on doing and got carried away (not for the first time) with Janet luring Tam out into the daylight in the ballad “Tam Lin“.

I do appreciate that Janet always knows exactly what she’s doing. I do not require this of all my heroines, but Janet is so beautifully consistent. “Oh I forbid you maidens all who wear gold in your hair/To come or go by Carterhaugh, for young Tam Lin is there.” The story opens with a prohibition, which Janet consistently and deliberately flouts, while Tam is simply caught up by events (and Janet).

She should also be wearing green, but this is Janet, so “should” may be safely ignored.

This is pencil with digital colour and assorted textures. One day I will remember to make a cleaner layer of flat colour, because I do enjoy getting the flats to ‘read’ well. I ran these flats through Inkscape to tidy them up a bit for public viewing:

Illustration Friday: Temptation - simplified flat colour

In the interests of trying out (and discarding) a different approach to silhouettes for a current project, here is a bicycle for Illustration Friday!

Illustration Friday: Retro

I like simple bicycles. It isn’t even the aesthetic, it’s just easier. I need a low entry-leve. I like back-pedal brakes. I’m not a sports cyclist. I did buy two bicycles in the last two days, but having also discarded one this represents a net gain of only one. One is a lovely pale yellow vintage (70s) style with only 7 gears (the store owner wouldn’t let me have a back-pedal brake). The other is a second-hand electric bicycle and really heavy. Also self-motivated and with a longing for freedom. No doubt there will be more news on this later.

Don’t forget – Continuum X is on in Melbourne this 6-9 June (it looks to be awesome), and t-shirts are available on the Continuum RedBubble page (they may not be available at the convention, so this is your chance to get one!). They are based on the convention book cover design (by me, but t-shirt money goes to the convention) and there are three options (multiple shirt colours and styles available).

The full poster:

Continuum X

The trapeze artist:

Trapeze artist

 

And the Amazing Bird Boy:

ContinuumBird

Illustration Friday: Revenge

A small act of vengeance for Illustration Friday – and a possible threat of retribution for a bookplate design. (Also, as ever, practice for some upcoming projects).

In other news: I’ve just finished a batch of commissions, wedding stationery and unexpected cover, T-shirt and award (!) designs. My flights are booked for Continuum (Melbourne, June) and my leave has been approved for World Fantasy (Washington DC, November). The T-shirt designs for Continuum are available on their RedBubble page here.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 328 other followers