A combination of “Tam Lin” and “Gather ye rosebuds while ye may” for this week’s Illustration Friday topic, “Passion”. Another playing card design, of course. Maid of Flowers, I think. Or Maid of Roses. It is pen and ink, and watercolour, with (imitation) gold leaf.
This is a photograph of it still on the easel, as I’m working out how to take decent pictures of gold leaf. And how to get fine dust of gold out of places it shouldn’t be.
This week’s Illustration Friday picture began as a technique practice/reset between jobs, but I lost track of what I had originally planned on doing and got carried away (not for the first time) with Janet luring Tam out into the daylight in the ballad “Tam Lin“.
I do appreciate that Janet always knows exactly what she’s doing. I do not require this of all my heroines, but Janet is so beautifully consistent. “Oh I forbid you maidens all who wear gold in your hair/To come or go by Carterhaugh, for young Tam Lin is there.” The story opens with a prohibition, which Janet consistently and deliberately flouts, while Tam is simply caught up by events (and Janet).
She should also be wearing green, but this is Janet, so “should” may be safely ignored.
This is pencil with digital colour and assorted textures. One day I will remember to make a cleaner layer of flat colour, because I do enjoy getting the flats to ‘read’ well. I ran these flats through Inkscape to tidy them up a bit for public viewing:
For the ballad of Tam Lin (as happens not infrequently – Tam Lin and Janet are matters of interest in this house). These are tiny little pen and ink drawings with colour and texture added on the computer, appearing here considerably larger than life size. I took some liberties with the clothing colours – her kirtle is green in the ballad, but I’m going through a stageofgreencoats.
In other news: I had last lovely morning tea today with Gavin, Kelly and Ursula (of Small Beer Press and general Ursula-ness). Books, drawings, copper teacup rings and octopus puppets were exchanged. I won’t see them again before they leave the country – but with luck I might manage it again before the end of the year!
I draw everyday. Sometimes it is a stick figure. After America and the sketch journal I have tried to continue drawing from life and reference* as well as from my imagination (the two are after all able to be combined infinitely). The picture below is based on a photo by one of the many skilled and inventive photographers and artists on flickr, Karla Jean Davis. Her photo, A Stiff Breeze, from a luminous photoshoot inspired by Mucha’s illustrations, was the basis for this sketch, executed in marker one evening when I was staying late back trying to do more work. The text is from the “Ballad of Tam Lin”, version Child 39A.
Since the only person who actually does anything in the ballad (and does she ever!) is Janet, it really should be called the Ballad of Janet of Carterhaugh.
*I do attribute my references, in this case on the next page of the sketchbook.