April 2023 calendar — talismans and amulets

Pattern of animals in bright colours on black background, with white flowers

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.

I was thinking about objects that fit perfectly in the hand — just the right weight — and pocket-pieces and lucky charms and cheap old plastic brooches and pendants from cereal boxes… 

Some of these are based on ones I’ve seen pictures of (art deco cicadas), or have (the cat in plastic, a bat in silver, a hedgehog-gnome from a Kinder Surprise), or love (the faïence hippopotamus). Others (the bear, the hound, the cormorant) just felt like they belonged in a story.

Pattern of animals in jade-green on black background, with white flowers

As usual it started as tiny sketches in my notebook:

Many tiny ballpoint sketches of ornamental animals on gridded paper

Most importantly, a faience hippo (apparently there are over 50 known examples of blue faience hippos, a joyful thing to exist in the world).

Tiny ballpoint drawing labelled "faience hippo"

For those who like to see the very rough construction lines — here is a short timelapse video of the sketch I used as a basis for the inks (done in Procreate on the iPad). For a while the cormorant was going to be a duck, and I went through a few frogs.

I used that sketch as an underlay on my lightbox, and inked the art with a brush (#10 round, I think) and Dr Ph. Martin’s Black Star Ink:

Black ink background picking out bear, cicada, flowers and jewels

Then I scanned the inks and coloured them in Photoshop. Supporters on Patreon also received an extra colourways.

I am planning a repeating version of the design, and will let you know when it is available as prints, etc.

And below (for personal use) are the printable versions — pre-coloured and to colour in yourself.

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 the artist (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. Also, I have a very infrequent mailing list for occasional updates/major announcements: Mailing List Sign-Up

April 2023 calendar — Pattern of animals in jade green on black background, with white flowers
April 2023 calendar — Pattern of animals in bright colours on black background, with white flowers
April 2023 calendar — Pattern of animals line art with white flowers

2 thoughts on “April 2023 calendar — talismans and amulets

  1. Pingback: March 2023 — round-up of posts | Kathleen Jennings

  2. Pingback: Observation journal activity: ideas — more mixing and matching | Kathleen Jennings

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