Creature Court covers

Tansy Rayner Roberts’s Creature Court covers have been revealed!

These city silhouettes were so much fun (and detail), and the silhouette of Aufleur, for Book 1, is at the World Fantasy art show in Baltimore right now.

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If you’re at World Fantasy, the art show this year is FABULOUS. And I’ve brought a lot of original art including this one.

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November Calendar: Twilight Cats

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The cats of November!

Greetings from sunny California, with a background soundtrack of trains, coyotes, and The Fictator typing in the next room.

These cats were so much fun to draw — especially the brown and white one. I’ve always hesitated a bit over cats, but this time it seemed to come together: the reference, the practice, and memories of cats I’ve known, the way they move and look suspiciously around and the peculiar arrangements of their muscles.

Printable versions are available below – pre-coloured, or to colour yourself.

This month’s calendar is, as usual, brought to you thanks to the support of people through Patreon (there will be some new sneak-peeks and glimpses of work in progress going up there soon, if you’ve been considering joining — and two years’ worth of printable December stationery at the $3+ level, if you’re so inclined).

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The Lumberjack’s Dove – enamel pin

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GennaRose Nethercott – The Lumberjack’s Dove

I have just had the opportunity to design a second enamel pin, this time for GennaRose Nethercott’s beautiful poem The Lumberjack’s Dove, just out from HarperCollins. My copy just arrived in the post this week, together with a beautiful poem by GennaRose just for me (and, separately, Tom Hiron’s Falconer’s Joy – another poem of a very different modern mythology).

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I really enjoyed designing this pin. It was a completely different proposition from the Creature Court enamel pins, in both style of book and of art. The approach, however, was similar: to create an image that would undeniably connect to and represent the book but also function as a beautifully (if mysteriously) iconic design in its own right. Something people might want to wear or admire even if they hadn’t read the poem (or novel), but with a connection it would be difficult to forget.

Below are some of the process sketches (supporters on Patreon got to see this one in more detail as it developed).

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And here is the final pin. I have not yet worked out how to photograph gold properly, but it so very shiny!

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For information about opportunities to get a pin, follow GennaRose. The National Poetry Series Competition winning poem is now available from HarperCollins: The Lumberjack’s Dove. And for more behind-the-scenes art than I can share entirely publicly, check out my Patreon page.

Oh, and I design pins now.

The Running of the Deer – Patterns

I’ve finally persuaded the deer from the August calendar into a repeating pattern. They’ll be up on Spoonflower as fabric once the test swatches arrive, but in the meantime, they are up on Redbubble (scarves, bags, shirts, phone cases, etc).

Brown background:

 

Pink background:

Cabaret of Monsters

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So, a little while ago I mentioned Tansy Rayner Roberts’s Kickstarter campaign to reprint the Creature Court trilogy. It was successful, and she has launched her new novella in that world: Cabaret of Monsters. This was another fun image to play with: Flappers! Wolves! Stars!

The cover design and typography is by Cathy Larsen.

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Rats!

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The pins have also been produced, and look very shiny online.

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I’ll show mine off as soon as Australia Post delivers the goods but in the meantime, here is Tansy’s photo:

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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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