illustration friday


Illustration Friday: Mystery
Two art challenges coincide this week: The Month of Love‘s “hero” challenge, and Illustration Friday‘s “mystery”. I was reading “The Boscombe Valley Mystery” to my father this morning, and remembering (as I often do when I read instead of watching Sherlock Holmes), how human and eccentric and kind the great detective is. He is funny, polite, so rarely cruel (except to Lestrade), genuinely sympathetic to preserving honour and furthering young love, truthfully delighted to have Watson’s company, carrying sonnets in his pocket and, when weary, preferring to talk about novels than crime.

“The Boscombe Valley Mystery” (1891) has the additional charms of extensive Australian connections, the need for Holmes to say “coo-ee” more than once, and the slightly jarring experience of a proper (if impetuous) young Victorian woman referring to “my dad”.Sherlock-Boscombe-Sketch

I sketched the ornaments above after finishing the story and putting on an episode of Foyle’s War, then since I’d inadvertently brought a piece of scratchboard with me, I borrowed a utility knife from my mother and elaborated on one of the designs. If I go further with the idea, I’ll work with better tools and to a larger scale (this is about 11cm/4.5 inches high).

 

Illustration Friday: Smart

Due to circumstances I am temporarily parted from some of my art materials, so here, for Illustration Friday topic Smart and the Australian Fairy Tale Society‘s fairytale-of-the-month “Bluebeard” are pencil sketches of Lady Mary and The Girl Who Got Up the Tree: two of the clever heroines of Bluebeard-class (or slasher-fairytale) tales, who reveal through riddles their lovers’ perfidy. (You can see a larger version on Flickr here).

(There’s an A on the handkerchief with the severed finger because I misremembered the heroine of “Mr Fox” as Lady Alice).

Illustration Friday: Orbit - skirt

The Illustration Friday topic this week was Orbit. I worked through a few concepts (moon-gazing -> Hobbits -> Mary Poppins -> The Childlike Princess -> The Goblin Prince -> Celestial Carousels -> back to Labyrinth -> Regency astronomy -> satellites).

Illustration Friday: Orbit sketches

Eventually came back to the carousel. Why? I do not not know? It involved a lot more work, digging out compasses, working at a large scale, working out new techniques I’d just learned in Inkscape… Probably for all of those reasons.

The idea is to print this on fabric, a panel per yard, and make a skirt in one of the two colourways. I haven’t decided which, but will report back if it works. Or if it fails in unexpected and humorous ways.

Illustration Friday: Orbit - girls

Spinning

Even the spiders were sleeping.

Not quite finished: Pen and ink for this week’s Illustration Friday topic “Spin”.

  

  
I’ve been laid up with a bad back this week (never mop), and this is the first time I’ve been able to sit comfortably long enough to paint. Huzzah &c.

I’m playing around with a sample sheet of Daniel Smith watercolours.

  

At least, for January. Below, you can download a calendar for the month, either coloured, or for you to colour in, according to preference.

Illustration Friday: Soar

Happy New Year to you all! Clicking on the image will take you to a larger version, which you can then download and print (crop and print just the left-hand side if you need more room to write):

January Calendar Final

 

 

January Calendar Final Colouring

Will there be more? One lives in hope.

Illustration Friday: Unicorn

A little pencil and watercolour fantasy for this week’s Illustration Friday topic, in between book covers.

In other news, here is a post Kim Smith wrote about the experience of modelling for illustrations (not this one): A guide for creating #awkwardreferencephotos.

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