The Creature Court returns…

Here is the finished banner illustration I made for Tansy Rayner Robert’s Creature Court Kickstarter campaign, which is now live!

The campaign is to fund the reprint of her previously published Creature Court trilogy (full of flappers, Rome-esque cities, animal magic and vicious skies), along with a new novella. I will be designing the new covers, as well as this banner and an enamel pin.

Cover art: Arcanos Unraveled

Arcanos covers

Meet Anya Winter, junior professor of magical textiles at Arcanos Hall. She spends her days designing invisibility cloaks and teaching reluctant sophomores to knit. If she can avoid her conniving ex-boyfriend and steer clear of campus politics, that’s a plus. But everything changes when her secret university is unshielded by a saboteur, placing the entire magical community at risk. Joining forces with a rebellious princess and a mysterious engineer, Anya must save her school—and her reputation—before it’s too late. But can she really change the world with just a ball of yarn?

This are the covers (e- and print) which I illustrated and Stewart Williams designed for Jonna Gjevre‘s novel of magic, knitting and computers, Arcanos Unraveled. (Print, Kindle).

Stewart did a splendid job, and if any of you are looking for a cover designer (and you should be, they are worth their weight in gold), his website is: Stewart A. Williams Design.

Every so often a project comes along which forces me to dust off my needles and knit a swatch for art-reference. I couldn’t find the needles this time, so ended up knitting with a pencil and the handle of a paintbrush.

Arcanos cover thumbnails 1

In the end it was decided to do a design that could function as two covers or a wraparound – there was some refinement, with boots.

Arcanos cover thumbnails 2

And sheep were cut out. They have these beautifully, misleadingly patrician faces. For scale, those are half-inch squares on the cutting board.

Arcanos cover art - sheep

I cut the illustrations out as two separate images which could be joined over the spine if so decided (although in the end they were framed by blue).

Arcanos cover art

Then I tidied these up, and sent the files away to be turned by Stewart Williams into something marvellous and blue.

And if you want to get early sneak-peeks and process details on projects like this, I post those for supporters on Patreon.

Arcanos cover art - sheep

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Three Australian fairytale artists

Fairytale article

Leife Shallcross has written a lovely article on Hodderscape about Spike Deane, Lorena Carrington and me!: Three Australian Artists Creating Fairytale Artwork That’ll Take Your Breath Away.

And while you’re at it, check out the cover for Leife’s own novel, coming out next year! The cover is by Daren Newman (illustrator) and Jo Myler (designer):

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Cover illustration by Daren Newman, design by Jo Myler

Into the Woods: TOBEYOU exhibition

Into the Woods - TOBEYOU exhibition

This is a cut paper piece (c 8×8 inches) that I made for Light Grey Art Lab‘s exhibition TOBEYOU: personal narratives, tales and memory.

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It is called “Into the Woods”, and is about growing up reading fairytales when you live in the Australian bush. The protagonist of the illustration is far more willowy and on-trend than I ever was when I did this.

The original is for sale at Light Grey Art Lab (in Minneapolis, and on their website), along with many, many other beautiful works of art.

I also made a few cyanotype prints (sunprints) of the illustration.

Into the Woods - TOBEYOU exhibition

Tremontaine Season 2 Episode 13

 

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

Earlier posts:

The final episode of a season is almost as difficult to illustrate as the overall season cover. How to represent what happens in this particular episode, while being true to the overall arc of the season and catching the right elegiac or hopeful note…

As a result, there were a lot of thumbnail sketches.

Tremontaine S2 E13 thumbnails

We went with the image of a Kinwiinik ship taking to the waves. Here are the final pencils.

Tremontaine S2 E13 pencils

And at last, alas, the finished cover (I’m particularly fond of the poppies). The final layout and design is, as ever, by Charles Orr.

Tremontaine S2 E13 final cover

Illustration Friday: Mischief

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

Illustration Friday: Internet

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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.