November Calendar: Twilight Cats

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The cats of November!

Greetings from sunny California, with a background soundtrack of trains, coyotes, and The Fictator typing in the next room.

These cats were so much fun to draw — especially the brown and white one. I’ve always hesitated a bit over cats, but this time it seemed to come together: the reference, the practice, and memories of cats I’ve known, the way they move and look suspiciously around and the peculiar arrangements of their muscles.

Printable versions are available below – pre-coloured, or to colour yourself.

This month’s calendar is, as usual, brought to you thanks to the support of people through Patreon (there will be some new sneak-peeks and glimpses of work in progress going up there soon, if you’ve been considering joining — and two years’ worth of printable December stationery at the $3+ level, if you’re so inclined).

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November Calendar Lines

Map Makers Workshop!

I’m giving a map workshop at Where the Wild Things Are bookstore in Brisbane on 3 October.  This is an illustration workshop (I am not a cartographer!) about making maps of and for stories. Details and tickets are available from the bookstore’s website: Mapmakers Workshop with Kathleen Jennings.

It’s a school holiday workshop for ages 10+, but adults are welcome!

(If you’re a little bit further north, I’m giving Marvellous Bird and Narrative Imagery workshops in Hervey Bay and Maryborough on 22 & 23 September).

The Running of the Deer – Patterns

I’ve finally persuaded the deer from the August calendar into a repeating pattern. They’ll be up on Spoonflower as fabric once the test swatches arrive, but in the meantime, they are up on Redbubble (scarves, bags, shirts, phone cases, etc).

Brown background:

 

Pink background:

August calendar: Sacred deer

I am home from Brittany, and Les Rencontres de l’Imaginaire de Brocéliande, which among many mysteries and delights (a purple castle! the Lady of the Lake’s lake!) included an art exhibition about myths of the Sacred Stag, which duly inspired this month’s calendar. (As ever, supporters on patreon.com/tanaudel have seen the behind-the-scenes development of this and other projects!)

I am also rather horribly jetlagged, which apparently affects my colour picking abilities — so there are a couple of colourways for this one. I’m oddly enamoured of the hot pink.

And don’t forget, you can support the continued existence of the calendar, as well as other projects, on Patreon: patreon.com/tanaudel.

 

July Calendar: Strolling

 

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A selection of fair pedestrians for July’s calendar.

I have been in England for three weeks, and many of the details are from events that have happened here: flowers from fields and the Blenheim Flower Show, keys from cathedral libraries, damselflies and English magpies, Regency soirees and Tolkien exhibits, tea and Old Weird Britain.

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The colours and offset colouring style are drawn from old advertisements and the ironwork in the Oxford Natural History Museum.

As ever, these are brought to you with the help of patrons on patreon.com/tanaudel, who also get the calendar early and other extras, should you wish to help support it!

You can print the calendar, pre-coloured or to colour, by clicking on the images below.July calendar - colourJuly calendar - lines

Book cover: Mountains of the Mind

I’ve known Gillian Polack ever since, having read Diana Wynne Jones’s Deep Secret, I decided to go to a science fiction convention in Canberra. So I was honoured when Shooting Star, a brand new press, asked me to illustrate the cover for her collection of short stories, Mountains of the Mind, launched at Continuum earlier this month.

Here is the first round of thumbnails sketches (with colour inverted for ease of visualising possible treatments). I enjoy the challenge, with collections, of trying to get in thematic references to most if not all the stories.

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We went with the first design at top left. Some details, however, required refinement — attempting to combine readability with some degree of historical accuracy, a nuanced line when illustrating stories by a historian. Here are some of those further notes.

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After a full pencil sketch was approved, I transferred the design to a larger than usual sheet of black paper: A3 instead of A4 — there’s a lot going on here and I couldn’t quite fit it inside the usual dimensions. I also forgot to flip the design before tracing it, so the original now runs the opposite way to the final design.

Cut, cut, cut.

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Then I have to lift the design out without breaking any delicate bits.

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There’s a pure satisfaction in working the design out of the scrap paper and leaving the offcuts entire.

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Here is the image cut out and scanned in, waiting for a few minor tweaks where corners folded or joined, and general tidying. The grey overlay is to show the crop lines for the cover.

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And here is the final cover, designed by Wolfgang Bylsma of Gestalt Comics, art by me, book by Gillian Polack!

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(And if you like regular behind-the-scenes process glimpses, I show them (along with calendar designs, etc) to patrons on patreon.com/tanaudel).

June Calendar: Firebirds (feed the stars)

Firebirds for June! A few white ones in there, as a nod to The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. 

‘m working on a series of bird illustrations for my MPhil novella “Flyaway”, so it was practice for that, as well. You’ll see one or two Australians in there.

The asymmetrical shape is to allow the design to fit into a repeating pattern. Here’s a glimpse (dodgy late-night photo!) of how it was constructed (Julia Rothman’s introduction to repeat patterns is a useful explanation).

As ever, the calendar is brought to you with the help of my excellent patrons, who get previews, process shots and stationery, among other things, from $1/month – if you’d like to join and support the calendar (and the soon-to-return Dalek Game!), it would be a lovely birthday present:)

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