July Calendar: Strolling

 

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A selection of fair pedestrians for July’s calendar.

I have been in England for three weeks, and many of the details are from events that have happened here: flowers from fields and the Blenheim Flower Show, keys from cathedral libraries, damselflies and English magpies, Regency soirees and Tolkien exhibits, tea and Old Weird Britain.

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The colours and offset colouring style are drawn from old advertisements and the ironwork in the Oxford Natural History Museum.

As ever, these are brought to you with the help of patrons on patreon.com/tanaudel, who also get the calendar early and other extras, should you wish to help support it!

You can print the calendar, pre-coloured or to colour, by clicking on the images below.July calendar - colourJuly calendar - lines

Book cover: Mountains of the Mind

I’ve known Gillian Polack ever since, having read Diana Wynne Jones’s Deep Secret, I decided to go to a science fiction convention in Canberra. So I was honoured when Shooting Star, a brand new press, asked me to illustrate the cover for her collection of short stories, Mountains of the Mind, launched at Continuum earlier this month.

Here is the first round of thumbnails sketches (with colour inverted for ease of visualising possible treatments). I enjoy the challenge, with collections, of trying to get in thematic references to most if not all the stories.

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We went with the first design at top left. Some details, however, required refinement — attempting to combine readability with some degree of historical accuracy, a nuanced line when illustrating stories by a historian. Here are some of those further notes.

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After a full pencil sketch was approved, I transferred the design to a larger than usual sheet of black paper: A3 instead of A4 — there’s a lot going on here and I couldn’t quite fit it inside the usual dimensions. I also forgot to flip the design before tracing it, so the original now runs the opposite way to the final design.

Cut, cut, cut.

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Then I have to lift the design out without breaking any delicate bits.

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There’s a pure satisfaction in working the design out of the scrap paper and leaving the offcuts entire.

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Here is the image cut out and scanned in, waiting for a few minor tweaks where corners folded or joined, and general tidying. The grey overlay is to show the crop lines for the cover.

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And here is the final cover, designed by Wolfgang Bylsma of Gestalt Comics, art by me, book by Gillian Polack!

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(And if you like regular behind-the-scenes process glimpses, I show them (along with calendar designs, etc) to patrons on patreon.com/tanaudel).

June Calendar: Firebirds (feed the stars)

Firebirds for June! A few white ones in there, as a nod to The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. 

‘m working on a series of bird illustrations for my MPhil novella “Flyaway”, so it was practice for that, as well. You’ll see one or two Australians in there.

The asymmetrical shape is to allow the design to fit into a repeating pattern. Here’s a glimpse (dodgy late-night photo!) of how it was constructed (Julia Rothman’s introduction to repeat patterns is a useful explanation).

As ever, the calendar is brought to you with the help of my excellent patrons, who get previews, process shots and stationery, among other things, from $1/month – if you’d like to join and support the calendar (and the soon-to-return Dalek Game!), it would be a lovely birthday present:)

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May calendar: Selkies!

Selkies for May!

These calendars are brought to you with the help of my patrons on patreon.com/tanaudel, and if you’d like to contribute, or are trying to think of a birthday present for me (it’s in May!) joining Patreon would be a great way to do it. Levels start at $1 a month, and there are many extra behind-the-scenes things, as well.

The colours were tricky for this one. Selkie pictures tend to be very muddy brown or too green. I worked towards these colours after consulting a number of William Morris designs and several photos of seals on beaches at sunset.

The page can be printed coloured or to colour yourself, from the files below. And please do consider supporting the calendar on Patreon!

(Oh, and the Angela Carter foxes are up on Redbubble as individual stickers and many other things)

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“The Heart of Owl Abbas” – now on Tor.com

My very odd short story “The Heart of Owl Abbas” is now up on Tor.com!

The story kind-of-sort-of-maybe exists in the same world (or continuum of worlds) as “Kindling” (in Light Touch Paper, Stand Clear and Year’s Best Australian Fantasy and Horror 2012) and “Skull and Hyssop” (Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet #31 and Prime’s Year’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy 2015).

Huge thanks to Ellen Datlow, editor for Tor.com, and Angela Slatter, story doctor extraordinaire, for all they contributed, and to publisher and art director Irene Gallo who let me have Audrey Benjaminsen’s beautiful art. I think it’s the first time a story of mine has been illustrated by someone else and I think it is remarkable. I keep staring at all the little details. Thanks also to Noa Wheeler, copyeditor, who gamely catalogued all the careless inventions and copy-edited with an ear for the weird structures, and to Jodi Cleghorn who kickstarted me into writing this particular project when I was focussed on drawing.

Also, a word to the wise: baroque stylings exponentially increase editing difficulty. Thanks here to C.S.E. Cooney who is the sort of person you want on your side to find replacement words that slot into a particular matrix of sense, feeling, alliteration and anachronism. And also to Amber Gwynne, who diagnosed me with semantic exhaustion.

 

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Hugo Finalists!

The 2018 Hugo Award finalists have been announced. The list is full of wonderful professional and fan creators, publishers and critics – and I’m one of the artists! But the whole slate is marvellous, and you should check them out:

Best Professional Artist

April Calendar: Magic Mirrors

The April calendar is brought to you, as ever, by my delightful patrons, who keep art in my life when the exegesis is nearly due. (Patrons also get the calendar early).

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This month I decided for magic mirrors. I don’t quite remember why, but here we are. I had several ideas, but they kept turning into Dissertations Requiring Comprehensive Research on Aarne-Thompson Classification Systems. So I stripped this back, kept it pretty multi-purpose (there are a few specific references, of course), and tried to add a hint of Gorey. I particularly like the bat.

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It is in two colourways: a nice wine/plum, and a horrible peasoup green which is one of my favourite colours because it reminds me of Ruth Park’s Playing Beatie Bow. (By the way, if you like Ruth Park, Australian literature, creativity, writing history, etc, I highly recommend Ann-Marie’ Priest’s small, delighted, indignant book A Free Flame – and there’s a podcast episode here with the interview that made me buy it: Avid Reader Podcast).

So here they are, printable for personal use, whether pre-coloured or to colour yourself.