A little cotton-candy circus fantasy for Illustration Friday. You can see it larger here.
The panels were done in Inkscape, the lines with a pen and everything else in Photoshop.
The texture in the background is from the endpapers of my great-grandfather’s autograph album, which as best I can tell was in use from at least 1908 to 1913 and contains signatures and poems and paintings and such sentiments as:
Fall from the hill tops,
Fall from above
Fall from every where
But for Heaven’s sake,
Don’t Fall in Love.
Janey McHough – 11.12.08
Good boys love their sisters
But far better have they grown
That they love other boys’ sisters
Far better than their own
ELS – Oct 24 1907
Yours “The Egg”
31st May 1907
Freehand dip pen and ink (and brush), with flat colour added in Photoshop. I haven’t edited out the texture of the paper in this one.
Here is the original:
As is often the case, the original is much smaller – I drew her on a scrap of paper that had managed not to be invaded by clandestine rhinoceri. But that’s a story for another time.
I do not yet have internet at home, but I have organised it and am catching up on news and uploads. In addition to the wedding illustrations yesterday, there will be cooking and, maybe, a stray rhinoceros. Oh, and book reviews.
Dip pen and ink (and lightbox, of course) with colour added in Photoshop. I was thinking, as I so often do, about masks and making things out of cardboard boxes (there are some beautiful installations around Brisbane by who works in corrugated cardboard), and people doing things quietly at home. The rhinoceros (that’s a rhinoceros mask) is Dirk’s fault (I’m also drawing real rhinoceri).
The new blog header is an altered version of a sketch from the trip to Adelaide for Natcon:
I have a special dietary restriction when I travel. It is: I can eat anything I want as long as it isn’t something I would ordinarily eat at home.
These are some of the things I ate in Adelaide over the weekend (originally from my Adelaide sketchbook, posted here: Natcon Sketchbook):
From top to bottom:
- TARDIS cookie
- Frog cake
- Haigh’s violet cream chocolate
Pirates have to adapt to their circumstances. Dough hooks from Kenwood mixers can be adapted for costumes. Adaptations of classics are fun.
This is the reason I have pirates on my mind:
The South Burnett Community Orchestra had a fundraising banquet in Kingaroy this Saturday past. It was pirate themed, incredibly detailed and the orchestra, as well as serving, played the themes from the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. Aimee and I drove to Toowoomba where her costume was being finished by Lisa, then on to Kingaroy. This is Aimee, me and Rachel. Rachel made her costume. I borrowed a belt from my sister and cut up my old Starlight Express t-shirt for the mask. We drank peanut liqueur. On Sunday Rachel showed us the sights of Kingaroy. We had lunch high up at the Belltower restaurant, then left town and ate lavender scones, and then Aimee and I drove back in the dark, singing.
I sketched this straight onto the back of half a sheet of A4 drawing paper and cut it out with a craft knife, then photographed it mostly by staging it on a pile of books under my desk, turning off the ceiling light, lighting the theatre with a desk lamp under my chin and lying stretched out on the floor to take a photo without a flash. My housemates took this remarkably calmly.
Then I played around with Photoshop.
This is another version with part of the pile of books:
And here is a less tampered-with photo of the theatre.
All the supervillains are in raptures over this season’s autumn colour range.
Thanks to Aimee for striking some “poised to take over the world” poses for me on the weekend!
I drew the outline in pen and ink, then with the light box drew a separate layer of detail. There was also a third layer of ink and wash, but I decided to leave that out in the end. I scanned the layers and combined them in Photoshop, then added colour. Originally, I was messing around with texture but decided I preferred the flat colour.
These are the colours by themselves:
I quite like the effect and would like to do – oh, playing cards or an inlaid leather bookcover in that style.
And here’s a variation:
I like the one spot colour, and the way it can be used to bring out just one element – the background here or the hair, say, or the chair (the original is a very wonderful chair).
In some versions of the fairytale, Cinderella’s sisters cut off parts of their own feet in order to fit the shoe. And then they get their eyes pecked out at the wedding. This is pen and india ink and Photoshop.
It was late, and I didn’t want to put the pen away, so here are two more illustrations for this week’s topic (again, coloured/treated in Photoshop):
We were discussing at work today whether chocolate chip cookies are best cooked or raw. No contest in my mind. If it was up to me, none of the dough would make it to the oven.
And a shooting gallery:
I spent the weekend cooking (snow cake, and maple spice cake with fluffy maple icing, since you asked) and working on an illustration project (all sent off now, so I hope to be able to tell more about it soon). The project involved a dip pen and sepia ink, and once I start with those I find it very difficult to put them away. The byproduct is the Monster of the Smog above, executed in brush, pen and sepia ink and tinted in photoshop.
For this week’s Illustration Friday topic, a scratchboard illustration messed with (as usual) in Photoshop. I used a sample from a scan of an old painting as the texture/colour in the image above and as the background in the version below. Both are test cases – I wanted to trial some techniques for another project that is happening (of which more in the fullness of time… but if I am more difficult to pin down than usual, this is probably the reason).