January 2022 Calendar — tiny forests

Note: Want to support the arts? This calendar is made possible by patrons, who get it a little bit early, along with other sneak-peeks and behind-the-scenes art (patron levels start at very low amounts!): 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 a little world to meander through, for the first month of the new year. If you want, you could add in new details and denizens, paths, boundaries, labels…

Here are the sketches (right), and the inks in progress on the light box (left). I’d printed up a 1cm grid template for a previous calendar, so I used that to keep things roughly spaced, but drew the rest free-hand.

The trees are an amalgam of observation, my own habits, and riffs on references and approaches in various other maps, tree books, etc. Most of those are cited in this map workshop post, but some inspiration was drawn from the Ladybird Book of Trees mentioned here.

The illustration is available as a print from InPrnt and Redbubble and is also on a few other items — I’ll add others once I make it into a repeating pattern.

And here (for personal use) are the printable versions — two pre-coloured and one to colour in yourself. If you like them 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 by buying me a coffee or two through Ko-Fihttps://ko-fi.com/tanaudel. Both are greatly appreciated!

(You can see all the 2021 art in one post here: All the 2021 Calendar Pages.)

All the 2021 calendar pages

Every month (with the support of patrons) I make a printable (and colour-able) calendar page.

And here are all the pages of monthly 2021 calendar art in one place! I’m always a little startled to get to the end of a year and remind myself how much I drew during the year just making these, let alone… everything else. (Here’s the 2020 collection.) I’ve put the individual pages larger at the bottom of this post.

My favourite calendar page keeps shifting. I do very much like the July houses because of the different approach, and the frogs from May because they look velvety. But then the April fairy-tale motifs ended up inspiring the cover design for WQ Magazine. And the fish and waves from February got into two separate projects (illustrations for a secret book and a map for a book that is yet to be announced). But March’s rondels and April’s motifs have proved useful demonstrations for writing workshops.

Then the houses were a useful sampler of styles, but also research for something I’m illustrating and another piece I’m writing (and my mother wanted the line drawing for quilt backing). And all of them were places to try out approaches to surface patterns, or altered techniques, or new tools. And the chairs have been a long time coming, and the chicken-legged houses amuse me…

Note: Want to support the arts? This calendar is made possible by patrons, who get it a little bit early, along with other sneak-peeks and behind-the-scenes art (patron levels start at very low amounts!): 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. And many of these designs are available as prints, clothes, cases, etc on Redbubble, as fabrics and wallpaper on Spoonflower, and as prints in InPrnt

And below are all the designs, larger:

Continue reading

December 2021 Calendar — the mail

Note: Want to support the arts? This calendar is made possible by patrons, who get it a little bit early, along with other sneak-peeks and behind-the-scenes art (patron levels start at very low amounts!): 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.  

For this December’s calendar, it’s all about getting the mail through. And while the art is not Christmas-themed, there are 25 animals, so you could use the colouring version as an Advent calendar.

25 is a lot of animals, and I was tired. After I’d committed to the idea, I realised I could only think of about 5 plausibly fairy-tale adjacent creatures (it was late!). So now my notebook contains a list of animals made as I remembered their existence (eventually more than 25).

List and first ideas

I decided to stick with flowers instead of stars, since I’d drawn starry animals last December (A Crowded Sky).

Then I shifted to Procreate for the rough sketch (to keep in practice with the program, and it does remove one scanning session). You can just see, below, that I put rough scribbles down (and numbered them!) before drawing the animals. I wanted to keep a plausibly-deniable fairy-tale quality to the animals, so I sketched most of them loosely from memory, then consulted a bit of reference to correct the more obvious errors and angles.

At this stage I was still considering big flowers — not as big as around September’s chairs, but still quite large and cheerful.

But I’d been doing a lot of standard five-petal flowers lately, and wanted to mix that up a bit — and possibly add some shading again. You can see me playing with both ideas here.

I printed out the digital sketch and used it as a guide for inking the animals.

The chewed-biscuit looking edge at the bottom is the ledge of my drawing board which I’ve had for a couple decades now.

Once they were done, I started at the top left corner and began to fill in the flowers. I drew these freehand, although I did occasionally refer to the sketch.

To keep a reasonable mixture of flowers, I alternated 2 flame-shaped trios (and long sprigs of leaves) with one five-petal flower (with stray leaves). This helped distribute shapes and colours (although I wouldn’t have minded having added another yellow flower between the snake and the cat).

I was eyeballing the distance between elements, and occasionally the spacing drifted — for example, I was working looser at the top left of the full page, where I started. In the image below, near the sheep’s front foot, that sprig of leaves brushes one of the flowers near it. On some projects I would later bump those elements around individually on the computer, but I don’t mind the rustic crowding here — it does look more hand-drawn.

And I really like this dense, all-over pattern — especially after the very open chickens of November.

I scanned those lines, cleaned them up in Photoshop and Inkscape, then added colours and texture in Photoshop. Anyway, here are the underlays, without the lines.

And here (for personal use) are the printable versions — two pre-coloured and one to colour in yourself. If you like them and/or like supporting the arts, 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 by buying me a coffee or two through Ko-Fihttps://ko-fi.com/tanaudel. Both are greatly appreciated!

November 2021 Calendar — Chickens

Note: This calendar is supported by patrons, who get it a little bit early, along with alternative colourways, and other sneak-peeks and behind-the-scenes art: patreon.com/tanaudel, and also by those very kind people who throw a few dollars towards it via the tip jar: ko-fi.com/tanaudel

For November — some chooks/chickens/hens/poultry who have strayed into fairy tales.

Here are my first sketches playing with the motifs for this design.

I wanted to try doing the pencil sketches directly onto the iPad, to see if it would be easier to adjust/move elements. The jury is still out on that, although with practice I can see it would be useful. It was great for at least thinking about some of the colour distribution in advance. I do have a plan for a repeating pattern, which will require bumping around some spacings, but I’ve been away writing so will put the final together later.

Then I printed those lines out for a guide, and inked them the usual way (dip pen).

Then I scanned, cleaned, and coloured them on the computer. Here are some of the colour flats, without lines and texture. I really like this clear clean blue, and might tinker with the textures to brighten the pattern.

So here (for personal use) are the printable versions — one pre-coloured and one to colour in yourself. If you like them and/or like supporting the arts, 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 by buying me a coffee or two through Ko-Fihttps://ko-fi.com/tanaudel.

October Calendar — Bats!

Note: This calendar is supported by patrons, who get it a little bit early, along with other sneak-peeks and behind-the-scenes art: patreon.com/tanaudel, and also by those very kind people who throw a few dollars towards it via the tip jar: ko-fi.com/tanaudel

Here is the October calendar — a simple frolic of star-eating bats.

It began, as usual, in pen and ink — here’s a close-up. I’ve been drawing maps and bats all week, and have become very inky as a result.

Ink drawing of a bat chasing a star

And it is now up as a repeating pattern on various things (dresses, cases, scarves…) on Redbubble — and there’s a collection there of previous Halloween-adjacent designs, too (including more bats, and musical skeletons).

So here (for personal use) are the printable versions — one pre-coloured and one to colour in yourself. If you like them and/or like supporting the arts, 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 by buying me a coffee or two through Ko-Fihttps://ko-fi.com/tanaudel.

Printable calendar with pattern of bats — lilac bats on blue sky
Printable calendar with pattern of bats — linework

September Calendar — Chairs

Note: This calendar is supported by patrons, who get it a little bit early, along with other sneak-peeks and behind-the-scenes art: patreon.com/tanaudel, and also by those very kind people who throw a few dollars towards it via the tip jar: ko-fi.com/tanaudel

I am perpetually trying to find a better desk chair, so the obsession got into this month’s calendar. (Printable versions are at the bottom of the post.)

These are all from books — the only particularly subtle one is in the top right, which is based on one of my illustrations for Margo Lanagan’s Stray Bats

Here are the original sketches for the idea — with a few more fairy tales, rhymes and riddles, and a bit of Diana Wynne Jones! It turns out there are a lot of chairs in fairy tales. (I later dropped all the people out, for simplicity.) 

And here are a few more, branching out (there’s a Georgette Heyer in there, and I have no recollection of the thoughts behind the chair with shoes).

The process from there was to sketch the images up in more detail:

And then to ink them, before scanning and colouring digitally.

This one is based on one of my own illustrations for Margo Lanagan’s Stray Bats

So here (for personal use) are the printable versions — one pre-coloured and one to colour in yourself. If you like them and/or like supporting the arts, 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 by buying me a coffee or two through Ko-Fihttps://ko-fi.com/tanaudel.

August Calendar: Sprigs

Note: This calendar is supported by patrons, who get it a little bit early, along with other sneak-peeks and behind-the-scenes art: patreon.com/tanaudel, and also by those very kind people who throw a few dollars towards it via the tip jar: ko-fi.com/tanaudel

This month’s calendar is an arrangement of sprigs and twigs and leaves and fronds. I’d been wanting to draw a little pattern/sampler of plants, and I had originally planned to colour these. I did prepare all the areas for colour! But in the end I fell in love with the effect of the linework on its own. I imagine them as black-work (or white) embroidery on a Tudor-style blouse, or something like that. I have, however, included a green option for you, for variety. 

I do plan to play around with a repeating pattern for this one. However, this week I have been being artist/writer in residence at Concordia Lutheran College in Toowoomba (my old boarding school), and pattern-making time has been limited (it should be a simple repeat, but I need to move a few leaves around to balance the design).

But here (for personal use) are the printable versions — one pre-coloured and one to colour in yourself. If you like them and/or like supporting the arts, 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 by buying me a coffee or two through Ko-Fihttps://ko-fi.com/tanaudel.

July 2021 calendar — Houses

Note: This calendar is supported by patrons, who get it a little bit early, along with other sneak-peeks and behind-the-scenes art: patreon.com/tanaudel, and also by those very kind people who throw a few dollars towards it via the tip jar: ko-fi.com/tanaudel

I knew I’d be running late on this one (due to some project deadlines), and I also knew this was NOT the fastest design I had in mind, but OH WELL. I’ve been wanting to draw a pattern of houses for ages and it was a very pleasing design to work on. And I was able to put some Queenslander houses into it, and a few hints of stories.

That, for me, is one of the charms of book maps — not “here is the place where this story takes place”, or even “here is this sort of place…”, but “here are the sorts of stories that might happen in a book like this.”

And that applies just as well to a town as to other maps.

It is also up as a print and repeating pattern on Redbubble if you are in need of (for example), prints, phone cases, notebooks or dresses (or a jigsaw puzzle). It’s up in both colour and as a line drawing (if you prefer monochrome, or would like to colour in your own clothes). Edit: And it’s up on Spoonflower as fabric and wallpaper in line and colour

And here (for personal use) are the printable versions — one pre-coloured and one to colour in yourself. If you like them and/or like supporting the arts, 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 by buying me a coffee or two through Ko-Fihttps://ko-fi.com/tanaudel.

June 2021 Calendar — Dragons

Note: This calendar is supported by patrons, who get it a little bit early, along with other sneak-peeks and behind-the-scenes art: patreon.com/tanaudel, and also by those very kind people who throw a few dollars towards it via the tip jar: ko-fi.com/tanaudel

Dragonlets for the June calendar! Wriggling all over the place. You will notice distinct design homages to Smaug (as depicted in Tolkien’s drawings), particularly the tiny wings with a single anchor-point, and the three-pronged tail. It turns out tiny wings are MUCH easier to manage for decorative purposes. Others are more in line with my usual dragons.

Here’s a glimpse of the project’s beginnings in my notebook, where most calendars begin.

I was originally planning mermaids, for the Mermay illustration challenge, but we just had mermaids in February

I drew these to a grid, which was a puzzle, getting them all to fit — especially since I wanted some to go off one edge and back on the other (to better repeat).

There’s a printed grid under this sheet of paper, which I used as a guide — all the dragons take up 10 squares.

Once I’d sketched out the dragons, I used that set of dragons as the base for another set of sketches (each dragon filling the same space as its twin, but facing the other way. I put those together and darkened the sketches on the computer, then used a lightbox to ink the finals on clean paper before tidying and colouring them on the computer.

Hunt Crowquill 102 nib and Winsor & Newton black ink, on Canson illustration 250gsm paper

I’ve also wrangled it into a repeating pattern, which is now up on clothes, stationery, prints & etc at Redbubble! I will put it on Spoonflower, too. Oh, and the February mermaids are now up on Redbubble, too.

And here (for personal use) are the printable versions. If you like them and/or like supporting the arts, 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 by buying me a coffee or two through Ko-Fihttps://ko-fi.com/tanaudel.

May calendar — Frog princes

A pattern of dragonflies, waterlilies, golden balls, and crowned frogs on a dark background, in shades of mauve and olive/sage

Note: This calendar is supported by patrons, who get it a little bit early, along with other sneak-peeks and behind-the-scenes art: patreon.com/tanaudel, and also by those very kind people who throw a few dollars towards it or buy me a coffee via Ko-Fihttps://ko-fi.com/tanaudel — I’m extremely grateful for all your support.

Welcome to the May calendar! Frog princes, this month. It’s not a story that usually leaps to mind as one of my favourites, but it keeps recurring — I love the murky gleam of it, the promises, the consequences. It underpins “Undine Love”, and was one of my earliest repeating patterns and has infused my PhD.

A frog swimming towards a lilypad

But it’s a challenge, too — it’s an odd story, and greens and yellow are complicated to pair in art as pleasingly as they go together in life, and frogs’ hips are wildly improbable.

I’ve also wrangled it into a repeating pattern, which is now up on Redbubble! (I will put it on Spoonflower, too).

A Redbubble promotional image with a scarf showing the repeating pattern

(The April calendar design is also now up on Redbubble and as a print on InPrnt.)

And here (for personal use) are the printable versions. If you like them and/or like supporting the arts, 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 by buying me a coffee or two through Ko-Fihttps://ko-fi.com/tanaudel.

Calendar for May 2021, with the design of frogs and waterlilies

Colour-able outline of design