Illustration Friday: Swarm

Yes, I have better things to do with my time. It was late, I was back from a post-flood street barbeque, I was talking with Aimee, her sisters were coming to stay the night with me, and the evening got away. So here is this week’s Illustration Friday picture:

Illustration Friday: Swarm

I drew it with a dip-pen and ink on a piece of A5 drawing paper, with the help of rough tracings and a light box to make sure things lined up. I hope never to have to draw this many butterflies at once again. Then I scanned it in and coloured it in Photoshop. I have had this idea for a while – originally it was to be more Gorey-esque, but I do like the Edwardian(ish) clothes.

And then, of course, I printed it and cut it out and put it together. It looked just like a real printed paperdoll (under the circumstances, I was disproportionately pleased about this) and all the little bits fit together.

Attacked by butterflies

Since this is an illustration of a very small natural disaster, I will give away prints of it in exchange for a disaster relief donation.

So, if you would like a colour print, please send me an email with your address and a copy of your receipt for a donation for at least A$15 to a recognised fund for disaster relief for the Christchurch Earthquake, the Queensland Floods, the Victorian Floods or the Queensland Cyclone, such as New Zealand Red Cross, Australian Red Cross, Salvation Army in Australia or New Zealand, Queensland Premier’s Disaster Relief Appeal, New Zealand Save the Children. I’ll leave this open until 12 March 2011. (And I swear, if we get another natural disaster in March, I’m going to stop using earth-friendly products).

I will also give away the original sepia ink drawing if someone makes a donation, as above, for at least A$80. For that one, email me and make a bid by the end of the week (5 March 2011) – I’ll let you know if you’re the highest bidder, then you can send me the receipt and address as above.

My email is:

Illustration Friday: Layers, and WIP

Illustration Friday: Layers

A very small pen and ink sketch for Aimee, who is in winter, and whom I owe a letter.

Below are some glimpses of illustrations for a current project. I am particularly pleased with the flowers. I’m also learning a lot about illustration through these ones, and may post more thoughts once I’ve formulated them.

Illustrations in progress

Edited to add: it is still Friday here! These themes must be running on daylight savings time

Illustration Friday: Sweater

Illustration Friday: Sweater

This week I am trying out styles and techniques for some ongoing projects, which include some full-page black and white illustrations – usually I do little vignettes that sit in the middle of the page. It refers pretty heavily to art nouveau portraits and Japanese woodblock prints, which styles (as well as being related) are connected to two of the stories.

The original drawing is in dip-pen and ink, with ink washes. The coloured versions were messed with in Photoshop – I applied a filter and mixed a layer of flat colours in different ways.

In other news: the new job is going well, I have taken two dance classes, I’ve sold a short story about which I am very happy (it’s called “Undine Love” and I am fond of it), I’ve finished the first draft of the story that features in this month’s header image (not much resemblance between the two now, however) and I’m using my flex-time by having coffees and lunches with everyone in sight, so if you too like to have caffeine in company and know how to find me, please do!

Illustration Friday: Reverse

Illustration Friday: Reverse

The first person to get the joke/pun/quotation and post it in the comments may have the original drawing of this illustration in return for evidence of a donation to a recognised fund for Australian flood, fire or cyclone relief. Congratulations to my mother, who worked it out. Next time, no family. Our brains are too alike. The answer is:
Why is a banana like the laws of the Medes and the Persians? Because neither can be repealed.

Pen and ink, with thanks & apologies to Albert Racinet’s costume encyclopaedia.

Worlds Next Door

In 2010 I drew 7 illustrations for Fablecroft Press’ anthology Worlds Next Door, a collection of science fiction and fantasy stories for young readers:

I posted some thumbnail sketches and roughs at the time (back here), and then didn’t say anything more.

The book has since come out and been reviewed all around the place, and so here are the illustrations I did for it – all in technical pen on drawing paper. (You can see a slightly larger version here).

Worlds Next Door

My favourite illustrations are “The Guardians” and “Genevieve and the Dragon”, although I hope I caught something of a Disney-style Prince Charming for “Enid and the Prince”.

Illustration Friday: Surrender

Surrender: Illustration Friday/February header

Pen and ink drawing with ink-and-coffee textures added on the computer. It’s about surrendering to the elements, and surrendering to pirates (can you see that?), and giving up and finally getting back into Illustration Friday after the recent unpleasantness with the weather.

Here is a close-up:

Illustration Friday: close-up

And it’s still Friday by my clock, so I should get in under time for the topic!

After the Rain – limited edition

My story “Mouseskin” is coming out later this year in the anthology After the Rain from Fablecroft.

Editor Tehani Wessely, together with authors in the anthology, has put together a limited ebook version as a fund raiser for the Queensland flood appeal. The limited edition is only available until 15 February 2011. All payments will go to the Flood Appeal, and Tehani is leaving it up to you to decide how much you want to pay for the book. Full details are here:

And here is a quick sketch of the title character of my story: