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:

Sketches

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:

Reference

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:

BreadProcess

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.

BreadInternals2of4

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

BreadInternals3of4

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.

BreadInternals4of4

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!

bbparts

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.”

 

bitterwood

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

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

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