August 2010


I have finished uploading my latest sketchbook – the Flickr folder is here (links to all the sketchbooks are under the “Sketchbook” tab at the top of this page). And here is some on-the-ground, up-to-the minute fashion reporting from the foodcourt at Indooroopilly Shoppingtown. For a sense of scale, the sketch of the girl in red trousers is 3.2cm tall (I think that’s an inch and a quarter?).

P38 close-up

The colours of the cloud at top left are fairly accurate, but out of context it looks bruised. The girl below it (pink background) wears her short hair rather bouffant, with an enormous sequined bow.

Page 38

Another early-morning coffee drinker:

P39 close-up

Sometimes I go back and find people I now know as regulars. The man with the green background on the third row, for examples, nods and smiles every morning, but we have not yet spoken.

Page 39

It is midwinter in Brisbane, as you probably can’t tell from the variety of clothing-lengths below. This is an excerpt from a queue at the Gallery of Modern Art (I think it was for the final show of the Ron Mueck exhibition). I’m happiest with the couple in the middle.

P40 close-up

It seems to be a page for happy couples, as witness the pair left of centre strolling into the fold:

Page 40 - last page!

In other news, my printer/scanner is expiring, so I will pass it on to someone who doesn’t need to print blue, and buy another one. I’m tempted to get a portable scanner, just to have for Worldcon, but wouldn’t have room for it, besides which I spent that money on clothes yesterday (to replace work trousers and a skirt I’ve had for at least four years each, so it’s justifiable, but I still feel that I’ve misplaced my priorities). I spent the afternoon before and the evening after church in the office, and am now properly on holidays. Tomorrow, I matt my pictures. And finish the comic. And pack.

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Edit: This is linked from the next topic on IllustrationFriday.com but was up before midnight on the correct Friday!

Illustration Friday: Atmosphere1

Technical pen with digital shading (above) and alteration (below). My younger sister watched tolerantly while I took photos of myself holding a wooden spoon for reference.

Illustration Friday: Atmosphere1

You can see larger versions by clicking on a picture. That will take you to its Flickr page – then click on “actions – view all sizes” above the picture.

Close-up - Page 34

I have decided not to sketch too often on the train. With a few exceptions (the couple above, children with large stuffed tigers returning from the Ekka) everyone looks bleak and blank.

Page 34

At least in the arcade (above right) they walk with purpose and coffee, while at crosswalks the waiting is a very temporary thing.

Page 35

I have several favourites from the page above. The cafe where I was sketching is near a police station, and the girl in blue had wonderful shoes, but the small person in a striped cardigan running across the road with the hotel trolley still makes me smile.

Close-up - Page 35

In other news, I am getting through this week by concentrating only on what is absolutely necessary (and occasionally the guitar): work, a job-associated project, translation, vector graphics for a comic (worse than the knitting) and walking my sister’s long-suffering dog. On Friday night, I am allowed to look at the Worldcon schedule, and find a place to sleep for the last two nights in Melbourne. I have a good book for the train, however, and Red Vegetable Soup that is thick enough to stand the spoon up in, I have learned the chords for Alan Bell’s “Windmills” (admittedly not complicated) and politics is interesting.

Illustration Friday: Stargazing

Above is the official, sister-selected Illustration Friday picture: pen and ink with a hint of colour added on the computer, because even though these were done in a brief respite from my Life And Death Struggle With Vector Illustration I apparently can’t help myself.

Below is a mock-up of a dust cover I’d like to do for my old copy of Day of the Triffids. A week after I finished reading this, I was lying on the oval below college watching a meteorite shower and thinking this is not a good idea, this is not a good idea.

Illustration Friday: Stargazing

I’ve scanned in the rest of my latest sketchbook and will be putting up the images as I edit them – aiming to get through the Ekka and all caught up in time for Worldcon (preparation for which may be summed up as: arrrrghhhh). NB: If you want to see close-ups, click on the image (which will take you to its Flickr page) and then click on “all sizes” above the picture.

As so often, most of these take place in ANZAC Square Arcade on weekday mornings. I have many pages of little cameos, and am wondering what to do with them – stay tuned.

Page 32

I may get little business cards with my little walking people on them. I do like them – all neatly pressed into the sketchbook.

Page 33

Below is one of my favourites – I think it’s the rosy cheeks (I have an ambivalent relationship with the pink marker).

Coffee lady (close-up of page 33)

I have started a new sketchbook, so am aiming to get the remaining pages of this one scanned and posted so that I can be all caught up before Worldcon. As ever, you can see larger versions of each image by clicking on them, which will take you through to the Flickr page for each.

Pen-and-ink are unlikely to take over from the markers any time soon – there is considerably more mess involved. It does, however, give a beautiful quality of line (especially when I drag my hand through it). At the bottom left are some people who were filming in the city botanic gardens on my lunch break – what appears to be a backdrop is just the ponds I didn’t get around to colouring (please note ibises waiting on the right – always watching).

Page 27

Sitting in the arcade in the mornings, I’m trying to catch people quickly as they go past. The little walking people and the ‘cameos’ are predominating the sketchbook, but of all the ones I have since drawn, the little beige man on the left, and the little green man beside him are still my favourites. I also like the woman in the orange coat (right page, top left). The tiny cupcakes are exorbitantly priced but this is because, according to the proprietor, they have to be made on silver baking trays by Irish nuns during the new moon, and chilled under the aurora borealis (I paraphrase).

Page 28

On the right are the original sketches which make up this month’s blog header. I recommend spending lunch hours in the City Botanic Gardens – there are auteurs and boomerang-practicers and contortionists and defence-lessons and eels… I may aim to collect the whole alphabet.

Page 29

The black and white picture here is a rendition of the famous and beloved Under the Jacaranda Tree, by R. Godfrey Rivers, recently rehung at the State Library. The original jacaranda of the painting was in the City Botanic Gardens.

Page 30

I like my little walking people. These ones, top left, were outside the Gallery of Modern Art. Not all work out as well as I’d like, but I am fond of check-shirt-guy (top middle) and girl-with-milk-carton (left page, bottom right). This is midwinter, so you may expect to see both quilted jackets and bare arms.

Page 31

Illustration Friday: Caged

I did go to the Ekka on People’s Day and sketch chickens in cages (and bought cupcakes which today we could hammer on the plate without noticeably denting the icing), but am aiming to do planned pictures for Illustration Friday this year – even if they are very small ones. These two (above) are pen and ink with colour and texture added digitally. The font is KellyAnnGothic.

Below, you can see our dining table (it has feet! with claws! but you can’t see those in this picture). What you can see are some of the contenders for a trip to Aussiecon4 in Melbourne. I am showing some art at WorldCon – my first time and I am cheerfully asking people silly questions. I have two folders of original art labelled “possibles” and “probably nots” and – since most of my colour work is digital – the effect is generally rather monochromatic. On the weekend, I went looking for quotes to get matt boards cut for 15 pictures – over $850 at one place (they were very nice and helpful, and their printing is fairly cheap, so I might go back for that), over $400 at another, and I think it will cost me $200 to do it myself, a good part of which is equipment and not consumables.

The pictures may be for sale. I haven’t decided yet. The ones I like enough to enter I like too much to part with.

WIP: Aussiecon4

Illustration Friday: Artificial

Brush and ink wash with a bit of pen work.

Selection of things happening in my life for those (like my mother) who require such things: I received my copy of Worlds Next Door today! It looks lovely, and has some beautiful illustrations in it (also stories!). I will post some of my pictures from it soon (I posted thumbnail sketches a while ago). I received good news regarding possible future projects yesterday morning, and rode the Citycat with a friend late yesterday evening trying to (a) spot constellations we knew and (b) work through Brisbane suburbs alphabetically (we stalled on Q and X – I checked and apparently there are none). Last night I also finished rereading Tea with the Black Dragon. Today I found out that I am losing my river view at work (from the cliffs and botanic gardens around to half of the Storey Bridge), but bought jonquils. I also found out I may be able to go to the Ekka after all, if I get all my comics done. Oh, and I found out I am nominated for 2 Ditmars (!) and Angela Slatter posted a drive-by interview with me.

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