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I just… love that dormouse so much.

Hello, and welcome to the March calendar. It has been brought to you by my wonderful patrons – you too can support calendar development and even have the option of getting calendars early, and stationery based on them, as well as behind-the-scenes glimpses and the thrill of patronising me.

I based these folks on Sir John Tenniel’s most famous illustrations for Alice in Wonderland, although I decided I was not really feeling like drawing legs on the teapot. One day.

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By Sir John Tenniel

I didn’t used to love Tenniel’s design for Alice, but I’ve grown to. He captures so very well what many versions fail to: Alice is neither a terrible human being who never says thankyou, nor a precocious innocent.

March 2017 calendar

She’s simultaneously a child trying to make sense of an adult world, to enforce upon it the rules she’s been taught (falsely) exist, and the only remotely grownup person in the make-believe chaos of Wonderland. In some ways, I think, she’s a rather close cousin to (some interpretations of) Susan Pevensie.

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There will be some products and prints available soon. I’ll update, or you can keep an eye on Redbubble and Spoonflower.

March 2017 calendar

As ever, you can download the images below for personal use for this month’s calendar: pre-coloured or to colour in yourself. And if you’re considering chipping in on Patreon, I’d be delighted to have your support!

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Illustration Friday: Up

A little pencil foolishness, with colour added on the computer. There are some offset perspectives happening here but OH WELL, I like the little Gibson Harpy.

The Illustration Friday topic is “mischief”, which has a rather softened meaning in modern English.

The illustration, however, turned into the love child of The Cheshire Cat and Tailypo, and other things that hang head-down from the trees and whisper to you.

Illustration Friday: Mischief

I’ve also been playing around with cyanotypes (sun prints), so here is a print made with the original silhouette.

Illustration Friday: Mischief

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.

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My bittersweet (and Ditmar Award-winning!) post-revolutionary fairytale “A Hedge of Yellow Roses” has been selected for the 2015 Year’s Best Australian Fantasy & Horror! The book is edited by Liz Grzyb and Talie Helene and is available for preorder now from Ticonderoga Publications.

It has a great cross-section of current Australian writers, and if you’re looking to get a survey of what’s happening here then it’s not a bad place to start!

  • Joanne Anderton, “2B”
  • Alan Baxter, “The Chart of the Vagrant Mariner”
  • Deborah Biancotti, “Look How Cold My Hands Are”
  • Stephen Dedman, “Oh, Have You Seen The Devil”
  • Erol Engin, “The Events at Callan Park”
  • Jason Fischer, “The Dog Pit”
  • Dirk Flinthart, “In the Blood”
  • Kimberley Gaal, “In Sheep’s Clothing”
  • Stephanie Gunn, “The Flowers That Bloom Where Blood Touches Earth”
  • Lisa Hannett, “Consorting With Filth”
  • Robert Hood, “Double Speak”
  • Kathleen Jennings, “A Hedge of Yellow Roses”
  • Maree Kimberley, “Ninehearts”
  • Jay Kristoff, “Sleepless”
  • Martin Livings, “El Caballo Muerte”
  • Danny Lovecraft, “Reminiscences of Herbert West”
  • Kirstyn McDermott, “Self, Contained”
  • Sally McLennan, “ Mr Schmidt’s Dead Pet Emporium”
  • DK Mok, “Almost Days”
  • Faith Mudge, “Blueblood”
  • Samantha Murray, “Half Past”
  • Jason Nahrung, “Night Blooming”
  • Garth Nix, “The Company of Women”
  • Anthony Panegyres, “Lady Killer”
  • Rivqa Rafael, “Beyond the Factory Wall”
  • Deborah Sheldon, “Perfect Little Stitches”
  • Angela Slatter, “Bluebeard’s Daughter”
  • Cat Sparks, “Dragon Girl”
  • Lucy Sussex, “Angelito”
  • Anna Tambour, “Tap”
  • Kaaron Warren, “Mine Intercom”

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I had the blinding epiphany today, after trying out some white graphite transfer paper (Royal Langnickel which is the best name) that instead of squinting to see lead pencil lines on black paper, I could have been using a white pencil this whole time.

This isn’t a complete conversion: the lines aren’t as fine and don’t erase (whatever Royal Langnickel claims about kneadable erasers), so it’s only really good for designs that are fully developed before I transfer them to the paper – direct composition will still be pencil.

But good grief.

(And remember, patrons on Patreon get early previews of some projects).

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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:

Episode 11 or The One In Which Nothing Good Happens. Since I read manuscripts to look for images to illustrate, my reader-reaction is usually somewhat muted. Not in Episode 11. I’ve obviously read Season 1, but also I’ve read the novels that are set later, and suddenly a whole lot of events started rushing together to squish my beloved characters.

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I had to keep putting the manuscript down to worry, and then read on with my hand covering the bottom of the page so I couldn’t spoil it for myself. If you click on this link it should take you to the Twitter thread of me mostly just gasping and hiding under the sofa cushions:

However! We decided to go with the silhouette of the city, looking back to the original cover for episode 1.

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And it was so much fun to cut out. Sort of a Schroedinger’s Advent Calendar.

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Here’s a detail:

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To avoid spoilers for episode 11, I have cut off all the captions for the thumbnails for episode 12.

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But you can probably guess life isn’t great for all our characters.

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Not great at all.

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