Illustration


Wanderlust

Wanderlust is Light Grey Art Lab’s exhibition of art from their 2016 Iceland residencies (which I attended). The exhibition is full of gorgeous art which, if you cannot get to Minneapolis, you can also see online – and buy in the art shop (including the originals of my paintings).

I sent in a set of four watercolour illustrations for a story I have been working on, which rose from the process of learning to filter stories through different landscapes.

I had been wanting to use more watercolour instead of digital colour over my line work.

Art in progress

I started researching a particular school of ink-and-wash illustration, and then went sideways into pencil and watercolour.

Art in progress

Here Our Heroine is set a task by three unusual ladies.

One of several dresses of unconventional material.

This is a rock we stood on when looking for puffins.

They are at a pretty typical scale for my work – and the originals are available from Light Grey Art Lab.

 

First of all, congratulations to all the winners and finalists for this year’s Ditmar Awards!

Ditmar

If you were following the ballot announcements, you might have seen that I was shortlisted for “Best Fan Artist”, but that no award was given. This is because I asked the committee if I could be withdrawn from eligibility – it’s been such an honour to receive several Ditmars in this category, but there are so many wonderful and committed fan artists who should be promoted and considered, and as most of my illustration work is professional now I wanted to make sure attention goes where it should. Always happy to accept nominations in other categories, though!

However, I was a bit conflicted about withdrawing this year – because I designed the Ditmars, and I kind of wanted one!

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My part of the design was a cut paper silhouette – so much fun with the swirly bits!

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But the awards were cut and constructed by Allan Carey of the marvellous Type40 – your source for all your themed shield and weapon needs (check out the Wonder Woman shield!)

 

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Type 40

 

 

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April Calendar - detail

Since it is fine weather for ducks here in Brisbane, this is a very fitting calendar! You can support these calendars through patreon.com/tanaudel – my thanks to all the patrons who have made them possible so far.

“The Goose Girl” has long been one of my favourite fairytales, although it is one of the few with quite ordinary waterfowl. It’s more common for wicked usurpers to go around changing true royalty into ducks, a habit I first encountered in “The Three Dwarfs in the Wood”.

April Calendar - detail

Sometime’s it’s swans.

April Calendar - detail

But my favourite waterfowl (today) are the plain but helpful ones of “The Enchanted Princess” (also featuring bees and ants that pay their debts).

April Calendar - detail

I read all of these first in two astonishingly-illustrated volumes of A Treasury of the World’s Greatest Fairytales, edited by Helen Hyman and with illustrations from Fratelli Fabbri Editori, although the individual illustrators aren’t identified.

You can download the images below to print at home (either pre-coloured or to colour in yourself). And if you do feel like throwing a dollar or two in the hat at patreon.com/tanaudel, I would be very grateful (and if you support at $3+ a month, you get the calendar early).

April Calendar ColourApril Calendar Lines

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.

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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.

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Here is the cover art for the next two episodes of Season 2 of Serial Box’s serialised prequel to Ellen Kushner’s Riverside novels, Tremontaine!

Earlier posts:

I’ve cropped the descriptions out of the thumbnail sketches, in case of spoilers, but as you can see there is quite a variety of actions in each episode (it is an ensemble cast). I make notes on the printed draft as I read the manuscript, then narrow it down to a few thumbnail sketches from which Serial Box can choose. There are quite a few considerations: what appeals to me, what I can practically achieve, what summarises (or at least doesn’t detract from) the main theme of the episode, how it connects to previous episodes and to future ones (which I may not have read yet), how it fits in the sequence of images…

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Here we went with the second (top right) image, but the third (lower left) made its way into a later cover.

Tremontaine S2E3: Cover

Sometimes the image is directly from the episode (as above). At other times we choose something more thematic (I’m still fond of the fancy fighters on the lower right, however).

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Tremontaine S2E4: Cover

Woodland Wedding detail

Late last year, my friends Andrew and Katie asked me to illustrate their wedding invitation. The imagery was to be in soft woodland tones, as above, but they had ambitious plans: a three-layer popup card with a woodland scene.

Here are Andrew’s notes from a meeting at the Pancake Manor.

Woodland Wedding - client notes

I then did placement pencil sketches, so that Andrew could print them out and make sure they all fit together as he envisaged (since I, having only admiration for Andrew and Katie but a strong sense of self-preservation, was only doing the art, not the construction!).

Woodland Wedding sketches

The illustration, as you can see, was in three separate layers, each paler than the last to add a hint of atmospheric perspective. The layers would only be 1cm apart, and I didn’t want the layers to fight with each other. I then inked and scanned in the final drawings and coloured them in Photoshop.

Woodland Wedding - constructed file

I provided the finished art to Andrew and Katie, together with a selection of spare deer, leaves, twigs etc for additional ornaments.

The designs were printed double-sided and cut out by laser.


Woodland wedding - construction

And glued together by hand (all construction photos are courtesy of Andrew and Katie).

Woodland wedding - construction

Andrew put the frame together with the spare leaf matter I had drawn.

And here is the final, three-layer pop-up invitation (these photos are from the wedding photographers, Trent & Jessie Rouillon).

They also printed a giant simplified version of the frame to act as a set for the wedding, and squirrels and deer lurk in the background of wedding photos.

Woodland wedding - construction

Woodland Wedding props

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Photo by Trent & Jessie Rouillon

It was a beautiful wedding, and they were a joy to work with – it was tremendous fun to illustrate a project with such clear ideas of construction and dimensions but also with the freedom Katie and Andrew felt to adapt images to many uses – there are even life-size deer and squirrels lurking in the background of wedding photos!

And here they are striking the same pose as on the invitation, although I’m guessing Katie’s wearing heels here, because I remember we had to rework the invitation a couple times to get the relative heights correct!

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Photo by Trent & Jessie Rouillon

Andrew and Katie have very kindly agreed to let me put some of those individual elements up as designs on Redbubble.

The images above will take you to the current “fairytale” collection. The individual pages are: SquirrelsWoodland, Flowers, Deer, Hedgehogs (that one is stickers only).

A dear friend of mine creates the Everyday Gratitude diary, and the 2017 edition is now available…

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… with illustrations that may not be unfamiliar to my readers.

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Bec has posted more about the diary: It’s here! | Everyday Gratitude and it’s available to order now. Mine are in the post and I am looking forward to getting my hands on them (also I love the endpaper design, which is not by me).

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