Into the Woods - TOBEYOU exhibition

This is a cut paper piece (c 8×8 inches) that I made for Light Grey Art Lab‘s exhibition TOBEYOU: personal narratives, tales and memory.

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It is called “Into the Woods”, and is about growing up reading fairytales when you live in the Australian bush. The protagonist of the illustration is far more willowy and on-trend than I ever was when I did this.

The original is for sale at Light Grey Art Lab (in Minneapolis, and on their website), along with many, many other beautiful works of art.

I also made a few cyanotype prints (sunprints) of the illustration.

Into the Woods - TOBEYOU exhibition

 

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Here is the cover art for the final episode of Season 2 of Serial Box’s serialised prequel to Ellen Kushner’s Riverside novels, Tremontaine!

Earlier posts:

The final episode of a season is almost as difficult to illustrate as the overall season cover. How to represent what happens in this particular episode, while being true to the overall arc of the season and catching the right elegiac or hopeful note…

As a result, there were a lot of thumbnail sketches.

Tremontaine S2 E13 thumbnails

We went with the image of a Kinwiinik ship taking to the waves. Here are the final pencils.

Tremontaine S2 E13 pencils

And at last, alas, the finished cover (I’m particularly fond of the poppies). The final layout and design is, as ever, by Charles Orr.

Tremontaine S2 E13 final cover

I hadn’t yet read any of Frances Hardinge‘s novels when Gili Bar-Hillel of Utz Books asked me to illustrate the cover for the Hebrew translation of The Lie Tree. And oh, it is so very good!

Here are a few of my first thumbnail concepts for the cover.

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The novel is a beautiful combination of gothic mystery, scientific discovery, faith, lies, ambition, hubris and secrets. Part way through I realised that it felt like Matthew Arnold’s poem “Dover Beach”, and then a particularly apt sentence sent me back to the beginning to check for a nonchalant line that convinced me this was entirely deliberate on Hardinge’s part.

Here are the pencils. We decided to go with more open vinework around the title.

The Lie Tree - pencils

I then cut the final image out of black paper, and sent it through for the designer, Dor Cohen, to do wonderful things with.

The Lie Tree - cover

The Hebrew translation of France’s Hardinge’s novel The Lie Tree, translated by Yael Achmon, is now available for pre-order from Utz Books: The Lie Tree.

Thanks to my supporters on Patreon who help give me time to put together these process posts (and who get to see projects like this early).

Very recently I had the great pleasure of doing my first illustration for Strange Horizons. It was for Philip A. Suggar’s surreal and charming story “London Calling“.

Some of my patrons had the chance to see early progress pictures and some more detailed process description (and so can you: Patreon). But the art is out now!

Here are some of the early thumbnail sketches.

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We chose the top right one, and I touched in some soft colours to test them. I still really like this thumbnail, and would like to do something in this style! But it wouldn’t have worked so well on a large scale.

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I also played around with some cyanotype versions.

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Then it was on to developing the pencils, and adding digital colour.

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You can read the story here: “London Calling”.

(And don’t forget: you can see sneak-peeks, hear early project news and help support my independent projects if you’re a supporter through Patreon.)

Illustration Friday: Heroic

A lady who Gets Things Done.

Digital colours over a pencil sketch, playing with some techniques and influences including (but not limited to) Blexbolex‘s way with overlays and early 20th century Australian circus costumes, particular as recorded in Mark St Leon’s history Circus: The Australian Story.

In other news, so many covers announced this week, making me look very efficient. I will start posting them here soon, or stay tuned on Twitter and Facebook.

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I just… love that dormouse so much.

Hello, and welcome to the March calendar. It has been brought to you by my wonderful patrons – you too can support calendar development and even have the option of getting calendars early, and stationery based on them, as well as behind-the-scenes glimpses and the thrill of patronising me.

I based these folks on Sir John Tenniel’s most famous illustrations for Alice in Wonderland, although I decided I was not really feeling like drawing legs on the teapot. One day.

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By Sir John Tenniel

I didn’t used to love Tenniel’s design for Alice, but I’ve grown to. He captures so very well what many versions fail to: Alice is neither a terrible human being who never says thankyou, nor a precocious innocent.

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She’s simultaneously a child trying to make sense of an adult world, to enforce upon it the rules she’s been taught (falsely) exist, and the only remotely grownup person in the make-believe chaos of Wonderland. In some ways, I think, she’s a rather close cousin to (some interpretations of) Susan Pevensie.

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There will be some products and prints available soon. I’ll update, or you can keep an eye on Redbubble and Spoonflower.

March 2017 calendar

As ever, you can download the images below for personal use for this month’s calendar: pre-coloured or to colour in yourself. And if you’re considering chipping in on Patreon, I’d be delighted to have your support!

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Illustration Friday: Up

A little pencil foolishness, with colour added on the computer. There are some offset perspectives happening here but OH WELL, I like the little Gibson Harpy.