These calendar pages are made possible by patrons, who get them a little bit early, along with alternative colourways, and other sneak-peeks and behind-the-scenes art: patreon.com/tanaudel. It is also supported by those very kind people who throw a few dollars towards it via the tip jar: ko-fi.com/tanaudel.
Here is the December calendar! A carousel of various improbable animals, of course, because I was finishing it at the last minute (due to travel, deadlines, etc), and thought “what will be simplest?” and chose incorrectly.
And also because I like carousels. Not just the design, but the experience of soaring and swooping aloofly around a whirl of mirrors and metal and music, almost like flying without the imminent terror of my second-favourite ride, the chair-swings.
You can see the illustration process below:
- First, loose sketches in conference notes. At that point I’m following lines into an idea, then feeling out whether there’s enough to sustain a full design, and then using the page to collect enough animals and variations to play with/select from later.
- Then I start working out the layout — I’d been playing with an ogee shape for some other ideas, and thought it might work for a more formal arrangement of images. Here and on some following pages I worked out the rough dimensions I liked, and some ways to repeat/alternate within that framework. You can see several of the creatures are already in place here. I was still thinking of putting hints of mirrors and floor behind them, but in the end that made everything look too crowded, so I discarded that idea. Because I was going to put frames around the creatures, I discarded the ones which sat flat on the deck (e.g. the swan), because they’d break the pattern.
- Next, I used the mirror-assist tool in Procreate to simplify sketching the repeating frame. sorting out an ogee shape to contain the creatures, then sketching them (using the mirror-assist in Procreate to simplify drawing that shape), then inking it in layers, then deciding it looked rather nice without the curvy borders and leaving them out.
- Finally, I inked the calendar. I kept the border on a separate layer because I wasn’t confident the swooping lines would go down smoothly (and as it was, I kept sticking my thumb into the wet ink). It’s quite thick paper — 250gsm — but it’s on a lightbox here.
After scanning and tidying the inks, I went through quite a few colour schemes on the way to the cream design! Patrons got all of them, because I like to outsource my decision-making where possible.
I am adding this to the list of images I want to make into repeating designs, and will post when I’ve done that!
But for now, below (for personal use) are the printable versions — pre-coloured and to colour in yourself.
If you like these and/or like supporting artists, you can contribute to the calendar (and get it and other behind-the-scenes things early) at patreon.com/tanaudel (starts at US$1/month) or tip me a few dollars through Ko-Fi: ko-fi.com/tanaudel. Either is greatly appreciated! And of course many previous designs are available as prints etc on Redbubble and Spoonflower.
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