(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.

Tremontaine S2 E11 - thumbnails

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.

Tremontaine S2 E11 - pencil

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

Tremontaine S2 E11 - final

Here’s a detail:

Tremontaine S2 E11 - detail

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

Tremontaine S2 E12 - thumbnails

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

Tremontaine S2 E12 - pencil

Not great at all.

Tremontaine S2 E12 - final

(And remember, you can see behind-the-scenes peeks of future art if you become a patron through Patreon.)

tre_s2_carousel_web_horz_1600x800_s2-1024x512

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:

So much drama! And everything is winding towards the TERRIBLE EVENTS of the last episodes.

Tremontaine S2 E9 - thumbnails

So we went for pure drama – a scene at the theatre, and lots of fun to be had with draperies, fringes and evil leaning gentlemen.

Tremontaine S2 E9 - pencil

And getting confused by all the curly bits.

Tremontaine S2 E9 - final cover

I should have put together a selection of Diane reaction shots from these thumbnails. She’s such a contained, boiling character.

Tremontaine S2 E10 - thumbnails

We had a bit of difficulties narrowing this one down – I ended up putting together full pencils for two of the thumbnail designs, and two of one image, because old fashioned locks aren’t always easily identifiable as such, especially at a small scale (worth image searching, though – so lovely).

Tremontaine S2 E10 - pencils

In the end we decided on Kaab, emoting.

Tremontaine S2 E10 - final cover

tre_s2_carousel_web_horz_1600x800_s2-1024x512

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:

I still have a soft spot for thumbnail D, with Rafe and Kaab rolling drunkenly through the streets.

Tremontaine S2 E7 - thumbnails

The image we chose was that of the game of strategy – Shesh, not quite chess. It is always enormous fun devising glimpsed bits of games.

Tremontaine S2 E7 - pencil

Although the border was quite fiddly to cut out!

Tremontaine S2 E7 - final cover

Apparently I was going through a phase of wanting to draw brawls. It would still have been fun! There were a lot of nuances and connections to earlier (and Season 1) episodes, so more thumbnails than usual.

Tremontaine S2 E8 - thumbnails

We settled with the bird, which I promptly realised would not be as simple to cut out as it seemed at the time! It was definitely one of those situations in which one begins to appreciate Peter de Sève’s statement that “An artist’s drawing is a catalog of the shapes that he loves. When I’m drawing something, I’m trying to find the shapes that please me. I believe that’s what makes up what people refer to as a style”.

Tremontaine S2 E8 - pencil

And I am very happy with it! I love those swirls around the bird (as with the other covers, it was all cut as one silhouette and areas selected for recolouring after it was scanned in). It obviously owes a lot to the “whiplash” of Art Nouveau style.

Tremontaine S2 E8 - final cover

And remember, you can see behind-the-scenes peaks of future art if you become a patreon through Patreon.

tre_s2_carousel_web_horz_1600x800_s2-1024x512

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 5 had some lovely floral imagery, but fortunately Serial Box restrained me from getting too wild with kingfishers in mid-flight, and other embroidered details from the episode.

Tremontaine Season 2 Episode 5 - Thumbnails

I still rather like the little Kaab middle left, and Micah, Tess and Kaab at the bottom right, but then I’m very fond of Micah.

But I was pretty happy with the final selection, and still have vague thoughts that it would make a nice crewel embroidery.

Tremontaine Season 2 Episode 5 - Sketch

As with almost all the episodes, the final image was cut in one piece of black paper, with colour added digitally afterwards. With many of the covers I’ve selected parts to be coloured. In this case, however, the colour was simply added to spaces in the image: the black is all of the original cut-paper.

Tremontaine Season 2 Episode 5

Episode 6 had some rather fabulous introductions, and I would like the chance to illustrate the opinionated, angular woman at the bottom right and middle one day.

Tremontaine Season 2 Episode 6 - Thumbnails

But this image, with its flowing draperies and a chance to attempt an impression of transparency in black paper was the final selection (and a good thing, since she showed up first in the thumbnails for Episode 3, and there was a chance she’d have kept returning indefinitely).

Tremontaine Season 2 Episode 6 - Sketch

Again, she was cut in one piece. Once the image was scanned and tidied, I chose areas to recolour.

Tremontaine Season 2 Episode 6

tre_s2_carousel_web_horz_1600x800_s2-1024x512

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:

I’ve cropped the descriptions out of the thumbnail sketches, in case of spoilers, but as you can see there is quite a variety of actions in each episode (it is an ensemble cast). I make notes on the printed draft as I read the manuscript, then narrow it down to a few thumbnail sketches from which Serial Box can choose. There are quite a few considerations: what appeals to me, what I can practically achieve, what summarises (or at least doesn’t detract from) the main theme of the episode, how it connects to previous episodes and to future ones (which I may not have read yet), how it fits in the sequence of images…

Tremontaine-S2-Episode-3-ThumbnailsForWeb

Here we went with the second (top right) image, but the third (lower left) made its way into a later cover.

Tremontaine S2E3: Cover

Sometimes the image is directly from the episode (as above). At other times we choose something more thematic (I’m still fond of the fancy fighters on the lower right, however).

Tremontaine-S2-Episode-4-ThumbnailsForWeb

Tremontaine S2E4: Cover

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Season two of Tremontaine, the prequel series to Ellen Kushner’s Riverside novels, is on its way from Serial Box, beginning October 19.

You may recognise the style from the covers I did for Season One (see also Tor.com’s post on that art).

tremontaineseason01cover

This year, however, we’re cooking in colour!

tremontaines2

I had a lot of fun with this image. A second season can expand out into the world or drill down into characters. This season pulls in more countries and cultures of the world beyond Riverside, but these add to the force and layers of what is happening to our spies and chocolate merchants, duchesses and politicians, swordsmen, forgers, mathematicians, scholars…

tremontainewip00

Once a final thumbnail was chosen and the sketch approved, the process proceeded much as for the previous covers. I still cut it as one piece, but this season we are reserving key areas for the highlight colour.

 

Twitter etc

  • Monsters! This new, Karen Beilharz-helmed anthology of comics (with sea monsters by me) is now funding on Pozible. It’s all written and illustrated but we need the pre-orders to get it printed. Rewards include a map by me. (Because it’s been asked, and Pozible isn’t entirely clear on this: if you want to help, but don’t necessarily want a book, you can enter an amount here: Pledge amount). The first comic, “Monster Hunter”, has been posted already.
  • Rapunzel: Fablecroft is publishing Kate Forsyth’s PhD exegesis The Rebirth of Rapunzel: A Mythic Biography of the Maiden in the Tower (background pattern and cover art by me).

Rapunzel-Cover

  • Deep Dark Fears: Late to this party, but Deep Dark Fears is deliciously evocative and unsettling, and I have ordered the book.
  • Pride & Prejudice & Zombies: Went twice, went with incredibly low expectations, had a ball, see it while it’s in cinemas. It’s also got a number of Easter eggs for long-term Austen fans. But I mistook Sam Riley for Kris Marshall and was confused (although not unpleasantly so).

  • Science! If you like science communication and illustration, the #sciart tweetstorm is currently on.
  • Two new books:
    • The first translation in over 100 years of Jules Verne’s Mikhail Strogoff, from Eagle Books (a new imprint of Christmas Press), with illustrations and gold-edged pages and just the right size to fit comfortably in the hand and handbag.
    • The Girl Who Raced Fairyland All the way Home, the last book of Catherynne M. Valente’s Fairyland books, which I will buy but which I am afraid it will hurt to read because they are so perfect in themselves that I am sure the ending will be like a knife.
  • Coffee in Oxley: If you are ever in the western suburbs of Brisbane, check out Re/Love Oxley on Blunder Road – a good little cafe with an industrial shed of old and kitschy things, including pyromaniacal sewing machines.

  • On looking too long at art reference: Seals are really weird and if you look at them too long it is like staring too hard at the word “walk” or “amongst”. They cease to be unique functioning objects and become gaps in the world, free-floating black holes, units of the matter before eternity. They refuse to be what you desire or believe them to be. If you gaze too long into the seal, the seal gazes back into you.
  • ‘A Plot for the Annoying of the King of Spain’ – this whole stream of tweets is delightful:

  • Style: Peter de Sève on artist’s style, although I believe it applies equally to any creative endeavour:
    “An artist’s drawing is a catalogue of the shapes that he loves. When I’m drawing something, I’m trying to find the shapes that please me. I believe that’s what makes up what people refer to as a style.”
  • Lessons learned: One thing I am repeatedly learning this year is how little you can get done in a day, and how much in half an hour.