fairytales


February 2017 Calendar - detail

As you may have noticed, I’ve started a Patreon account. That lets people be involved with the process of creating my personal art – like this calendar! If you’d like to join in, that would be lovely.

This month, with the input and support of my patrons, I decided on Sleeping Beauty (it’s also the current fairy tale under discussion for the Australian Fairy Tale Society).

February 2017 Calendar - art

I will be developing it into a repeating design, but I had a couple of other end-January deadlines, such as finishing the first round of edits on an Australian Gothic novella! In the meantime, this version of it is up as a print, t-shirt, etc on Redbubble. (N.B. Patreon support helps there be more time for calendars and patterns:)

February 2017 Calendar - detail

You can download the pages by clicking on the images below to print at home (no commercial use, please, without prior arrangement with me), either pre-coloured or to colour yourself.

february2017-calendarcolour
 

february2017-calendarlines

Illustration Friday: Sound

This week’s Illustration Friday topic is “Sound”, so here (for reasons of voicelessness and the geographic & nautical terms) is a little mermaid in pen-and-ink and watercolour.

I’d always been a fan of what Disney did to the story. I reread the original again recently, however, and it improves with (my) age.

December Calendar detail

It’s the last of the calendars for 2016. But there will be more next year!

For now, however, we’ll take the year out with the Twelve Dancing Princesses.

decemberwip

This fairytale has been on my mind because it is was the latest topic of discussion for the Australian Fairy Tale Society, and I was surprised at the number of people I’ve met recently who weren’t familiar with it. It’s also felt rather iconic to me, but perhaps that was the visual texture of it: leaves of gold and silver and diamond, all those worn out shoes, the gowns…

December Calendar illustrations

Conveniently, as there are twelve princesses and twelve lanterns, the colouring-in version can also function as a 25 day (if you include the background as the 25th element) or 12 day Advent/Christmas/Holiday calendar.

Clicking on the links below will take you through to the individual images for printing.

December Calendardecemberlines

I love being able to make these calendars every month and provide them for free. However, I’m self-supporting these days and these calendars do take up a lot of time. So I’ve just started a Patreon. If you don’t know what that is, it’s a system that lets you be a patron of the arts at any of a number of levels – you can pledge as little as $1 per month to support this and potentially other projects. In return, you’ll get all sorts of little behind-the-scenes perks – and at some levels, some not-so-little ones.

The Patreon is open, but still under development, so get in touch with me if you’ve got any questions or any of the puns seem particularly cringeworthy. But since most people who read this post are pretty ardent supporters of the calendars, I wanted to let you know first.

I’ve also uploaded this month’s image to Redbubble, if you want a higher quality print than your home printer can manage (well, mine only exists to hold up the scanner bed, yours is probably more modern), or a fairytale shirt or notebook.

November Calendar detail 2

Days early, it’s the November calendar! I was going to do something complicated with hands, but then I thought: you know what would be easier than something for which I have reference on the ends of my own arms? Unicorns. Unicorns would be easier.

November Calendar detail 1

Then it deteriorated into reportage on rampant unicorn-theft, and here we are. (Unicorn… foal? unicornlet? corncub? I suppose it depends on the design).

November calendar art

You can download the design to print pre-coloured or to colour yourself by clicking on the images below. It’s also up as a print on Redbubble: Unicorn Thieves.

I’d like to keep doing these calendars and similar extra art next year, because I love them and hope you do, but they do take time out of my paying deadlines. I’m considering starting a Patreon, hoping to keep a version of the main calendar design free but to give supporters extra behind-the-scenes details, input and material. More detail in due course!

novembercolour

novemberlines

Once

Once

The beginnings of fairytales (historic or galactic) are freighted with nostalgia, bearing endlessly back into a past that may not have existed and yet always has been long gone. It’s part of the logic of fairytales that I love, a clear warning that they happen on a plane of myth and symbol. “Outside, over there… Maybe it did and maybe it didn’t… Now hear o my best beloved, and listen, and attend… A long time ago…

These two sketches are from fairytales-in-development, at the point where I was finding my way into that tone. Pencil and watercolour above, ballpoint pen below.

Once2

And here’s another, the cover of a sketchbook for a project with Angela Slatter. This is just for me, but here, too, I aiming to strike the note that will let me enter the mood and story when I sit down to draw (along with a key to the colours I’ve used).

SkinSketchbook

This is where ideas come from:

You mention on Twitter that you don’t know how you started following the local Hereford Breeders society but that you find it soothing. A friend asks for recommendations for chicken fancier accounts.

The search is unsuccessful, but when you sit down to warm up for some other projects with some watercolour painting, you have chickens on the brain.

Fancy chickens.

Fury Road but with chickens

 

You are taken by the idea of Fury-Road-but-with-chickens. But also you were thinking about eighteenth century dresses, because of Tremontaine, so you give a fancy lady a chicken.

Lady with hen

But you aren’t sure you got the jacket quite right, although you want those sleeves, so you get into bodice construction and bowls of eggs because those are also hard to paint pleasingly. Since this is clearly a Cinderella-type, she gets a fancy dress too. You are quite pleased with these Daniel Smith colours and also with that shoe.

Cinderella with chickens

It seems likely Reynolds would have painted her godmother at some point, so another dress happens. Your dad was watching Pride and Prejudice in the next room so a bit of Catherine de Bourgh gets in there.

Godmother

She’s a little too straightforward, and also accidentally stepping on her hem, although that is an effect you might go for deliberately another time. You like her skirts, however.

You are now enamoured of two half-seen fabric designs, and decide to sketch them out in more detail. A costumer friend would like to make one of the dresses, so these plans may coincide. You have the beginnings of a chickenful fairytale idea, and also that first dress just about captures the feeling of a story idea you had last night when you started transplanting the bits you like of Supergirl into assorted historical contexts. This is now half-outlined and has about 1000 words of test-scenes.

An author friend points out that the first lady should be wearing clogs, which leads to a discussion about pretend chicken farmers, and although you meant to refer to Le Petit Trianon, somehow you are led astray into talking about “fake cheep girls” and everyone agrees you should stop talking for the day.

March

A wild ride for March’s calendar, and for Illustration Friday topic “Shelter”.

Illustration Friday: Shelter

By clicking on the images below you should go through to the full-size image, which if you wish you can print in colour, or to colour in, according to taste.

March final - outline March final - colour

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