July 2010


Illustration Friday: Double

A little pen illustration for the story of the magic cauldron which doubled everything put into it, and led to marital strife.

And here are four current/recent projects. Top left is for a portrait, top right is for a finished comic, bottom left is for an unfinished comic and bottom right is keeping its fingers crossed for a big announcement.

July projects

You can see the sketches in more detail by clicking on the picture to go to its Flickr page, and then on the “all sizes” icon above it.

One of my nephews regularly asks me what is my favourite thing to draw and I always answer ‘origami’. I also went out in the garden with pen and ink to try drawing mint leaves. Mock orange (top right on the left-hand page) is very popular in this part of Brisbane – it makes glossy dark hedges and seems to flower all year around – incredibly sweet drifts of scent. On the left are the little orange-yellow berries of another popular local (and I cannot discover the name for it – I’m pretty sure they sell it at the hardware down the road, so I should wander down and check it).

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Here is ANZAC Square Arcade during State of Origin – the lady at the patisserie is an ardent NSW supporter – and mangroves in the City Botanic Gardens.

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More people on the way to work, and one of the lovely ornate lanterns at the Regent Theatre, which has now closed. Just before it closed they ran through a week of movies, one a day for each decade it had been open. I went with friends to see ET.

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On the left, below, are the people who contributed to the June header. On the right, is the balloon man in Queen Street Mall (last time I saw him he was standing around looking miffed about a magician who had set up in the vicinity) and giant balls of yarn which mysteriously appeared in one of the squares.

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Illustration Friday: Breakfast

Pen and ink and watercolour pencil.

During the week I’m reading CS Forester, but on the weekends I’m reading Instructions and My Cat Likes To Hide in Boxes and admiring Charles Vess’ and Lynley Dodd’s art. If you have never read My Cat, you should, just for Lynley Dodd’s wonderful, lively lines (she also drew Hairy McClairy, but even he and Slinky Malinky combined don’t stack up against the utter, benevolent magnicifence of the Cat from Norway who got Stuck in a Doorway). I was looking for One was Johnny to give to a friend and was overjoyed to find My Cat instead – I bought two (only because that was all they had).

Lynley Dodd is the reason there is a cat on that pyjama top. Recent experiments with Pop Tarts (imported by a candy store I pass on the way to work) are the reason for the Pop Rats. There was another illustration which showed the box of Pop Rats (delicious toaster rodents) but I’m not inflicting that on you. I’ve also been reading up on early 20thC illustrators, which is the reason for the borders. And I’ve spent most of the weekend in the office, which is why I’m longwinded.

When my sister is away, the house deteriorates – the dining table becomes an art studio, mugs fill with ink and brushes, test prints drift off the writing desk, and the counter is littered with cups of cumquat and rosella tea. She is coming back tomorrow morning so I’ve been doing dishes and making soup and banana bread and putting up new calendar pages:

Kitchen calendar continued

They are all direct sketches in whiteboard marker on A3 paper. July is the cup from my birthday thank-you cards. August is loose bunches of red flowers that trail over our fence in a green glass vase given away by the Taringa Baptist church. September is a surprisingly hardy flower from the back yard. I put 3 months up at a time on the cupboard doors, which makes it quite easy to direct guests in the kitchen: “Where are the plates?” “In May!”

Illustration Friday: Diary

This is a pen and ink illustration for one of my favourite opening lines: “I write this sitting in the kitchen sink”, from Dodie Smith’s I Capture the Castle. I did a quick colour version as well:

Illustration Friday: Diary

This second illustration is a special request from Deb, with whom I spent a very pleasant afternoon yesterday, eating cupcakes and macarons and buying vintage tablecloths and old Tupperware:

Illustration Friday: Diary

Illustration Friday: Giant

One of my favourite E. Nesbit stories is “Melisande: or Long and Short Division” – a wonderful tale of christening curses, hair, islands, postal services, naval battles and the importance of elementary arithmetic.

This is pen and ink with coloured inks – much messier than colouring on the computer!

Illustration Friday: Satellite

It’s a satellite moon, it’s a plagiarised tune, the duck on the lake’s a decoy…”
– Flanders & Swann

Brush and ink and photoshop, trying to loosen up after the last few weeks of solid comic-ing.

There was a partial lunar eclipse last weekend – I remembered just as I went to bed and rushed out to stand on the front steps in my pajamas admiring it.

Here’s the new blog header as well:

July Header