This is a sneak-peek of some details of my illustration for Tiny Owl Workshop‘s Christmas Krampus Crackers project, now open to flash fiction (max 500 word) submissions from Australian and UK authors. Submissions close on 5 September 2014.

Illustration Friday: King

Playing around with techniques for a new illustration project, and playing-card motifs for an old story idea.

I also mocked up a Queen, based on old oval playing cards, and kept track of the process this time.

Queen Card

Both were straight digital sketches (pencil tool in Photoshop Elements), deconstructed in a vector program (I use Inkscape) and put back together in Photoshop Elements with some interesting textures.

Queen Card in progress

I just realised I never posted the final instalment of this!

The post on the cover art process for Catherynne M Valente’s The Bread We Eat in Dreams is here: Cover art and illustrations….

When I started the sketchbook, I listed the table of contents in the front, highlighting the stories which were to have their own images (one is missing, as “The Shootout at Burnt Corn Ranch.” and its illustration were added to the collection later in the publication process).

As I read, I sketched the ideas which most took my fancy, aiming for a handful of images for each story. Here’s an example:


I narrowed down my favourite images for the internal illustrations, then drew up a template within which they all had to fit, and – where necessary – took reference photos. This is my housemate:


Then I went straight to finals: light pencils, then ink, usually two or three for each story. Then I scanned in all the pages, added a layer of shading, and separated them out into individual image files. Here is an example of the layers:


And here are the final illustrations:

I worked this way because – given the requested sketchy style – it would have been harder to do sketches for approval, and then attempt to replicate the looseness of the sketch.


They are all pen and ink drawings, with shading added later on the computer (Photoshop Elements, if you were wondering).


Then I sent them off, with the end result that it was quite exciting for me to go through the book and find out which images were used in the end.


And if you want to know which were the finals, and particularly what the stories are about, you will have to get hold of the book for yourself!


Look look look!

Tartarus Press has announced Angela Slatter‘s new collection, with a cover and internal illustrations by me, is available for pre-order.

And it has decorated boards! I’m so excited!

“The Bitterwood Bible and Other Recountings returns to the world of Sourdough and Other Stories (Tartarus, 2010), introducing readers to the tales that came before. Stories where coffin-makers work hard to keep the dead beneath; where a plague maiden steals away the children of an ungrateful village; where poison girls are schooled in the art of assassination; where pirates disappear from the seas; where families and the ties that bind them can both ruin and resurrect and where books carry forth fairy tales, forbidden knowledge and dangerous secrets.

The Bitterwood Bible and Other Recountings is enhanced by eighty-six pen-and-ink illustrations by artist Kathleen Jennings.

Contains: ‘Author’s Note’, ‘Introduction’ by Stephen Jones, ‘The Coffin-Maker’s Daughter’, ‘The Maiden in the Ice’, ‘The Badger Bride’, ‘The Burnt Moon’, ‘By My Voice I Shall Be Known’, ‘The Undone and the Divine’, ‘The Night Stair’, ‘Now, All Pirates are Gone’, ‘St Dymphna’s School for Poison Girls’, ‘The Bitterwood Bible’, ‘Terrible as an Army with Banners’, ‘By the Weeping Gate’, ‘Spells for Coming Forth by Daylight’, ‘Afterword’ by Lisa L. Hannett, ‘Acknowledgements’.

The Bitterwood Bible and Other Recountings is a sewn hardback of 220 pages, printed lithographically, with decorated boards, silk ribbon marker, head and tailbands, and d/w.”



Illustration Friday: Repeat


Sometimes you picture me, I’m walking too far ahead…“, “It’s wonderful Tina, the fruit, everything!“, local history and writerly conversations led, of course, to time travel and pineapples for this Illustration Friday topic.

And then, since I was thinking of repeating and returning, and someone on the DWJ fan list had a bright idea, I also drew Throgmorton and a loud declaration of provenance (for all the property of Chrestomanci Castle announces where it belongs, on being removed). I’ve put it up on Redbubble as a sticker book plate, and without the dotted line as a cushion or tote.

Chrestomanci book plate

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


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