Wednesday, November 30, 2011

November Challenge 4

Made it! It hasn't ticked over to midnight yet, so it's still November, and I'm done with the challenge. It would have been nice to do full-blown illustrations, like some of the other people in the challenge, but I just didn't, alas, have the time. November has been far too busy!

#27: Someone You Love
I love lots of people – my family, my friends. If I'm in a good mood I love practically everyone. =P However, I already have some family and friends in this challenge, and wanted to do something different. But I don't have a fella, so here is a Mystery Man. (Don't think I'm a sad lonely person, I'm quite happy as I am, truly! ^.^) 

#28: Anything You'd Like
Here's the start of a sketch for what will hopefully turn into a small ink-and-watercolour. Inspired by a little girl I saw in Dunsborough – she was rollerskating, and fell over. She didn't cry, she just looked really shocked, with her mouth forming a perfect 0. ^.^

#29: A Place You'd Like To Go
I visited England four times when I was little – once when I was 6, again when I was 7, 9 and 11. I'd love to go again, I really loved it there. I couldn't decide on one specific place in England, so we have a freehand sketchmap of the England, Scotland and Wales. 

#30: A Congrats Banner For Finishing The Challenge

And your bonus sketch for today is an Egypian shadouf that I knocked up extremely quickly for my mother, who has been doing getting-water-in-harsh-environments with her year 3s, and needed a picture that wasn't breaking copyright. 

Clearly it could be much better, but she wanted 24 of them on one A4 page, so I wasn't going to go into much detail. =P This was done freehand in Photoshop CS4. 

Previous Posts:

Saturday, November 26, 2011

November Challenge 3

No, I hadn't forgotten the challenge. I just got rather swamped. I was down in Margaret River from Saturday to Tuesday (leaving just before the awful fires, which was fortunate for us. It's so awful to see that so much of the area right around where we were staying is now obliterated. =( ) When I got home I found work waiting for me, and this week I also wrote in our mammoth pile of Christmas cards, which took me quite some time. 

However, without more adieu, we resume the broadcast of the November Challenge: 

#13: Comic
This is based on an incident last week where I'd just washed the dog. For the first time in ages he forgot that he's ancient (16) and rather decrepit and did the classic crazed running round-and-round the house. I was actually playing the piano while he was doing this, and he was running in and out of the room around me, so you can imagine the theme music from The Saint to go with this. 
And after all that he put himself to bed, poor thing. =P 

#14: Favourite Fairytale
Beauty and the Beast, despite the fact that I've now done 3 illustrations for various versions of Cinderella, and two for the Little Mermaid, and none for this one. =P

#15: Family Portrait
Based on a photo taken in Penang earlier this year.

#16: Inspiration
Uh.... everything? 

#17: Favourite Plant
I don't really have a favourite plant, so I went with the orange tree in our back yard, which produces the world's best oranges. 

#18: Just a Doodle
 My ground state of sketching is faces.

#19: Something New
This is a scarf I bought myself recently. It's white with navy stripes and a red trim. 

#20: Something Orange
Voila.... an orange. I am so original. >.<

#21: Something You Want
A personal laser cutter is high on my list. I covet them. 

#22: Something You Miss
My Grandmother, who died in 2006. I knew her the longest and best of all my grandparents.

#23: Something You Need
My sketchbook and basic sketching tools. I carry them pretty much everywhere.

#24: A Couple
A bit of a cheat here; this is a sketch I did about a month ago, and never posted. It's based on some publicity photos in the programme from the WA Ballet's Taming of the Shrew; Bianca and one of the suitors.

#25: Scenery

#26: Something You Don't Like
Spiders! *shudder*

End of broadcast, with four sketches to go!

Previous Posts: 

Friday, November 18, 2011

Illustration: Wedding Card

Here's something I put together for my cousin's wedding, which is tomorrow. I doubt there's any chance she'll be seeing this here, that being the case, so I'm posting it tonight. ^.^ 

My cousin is a graphic designer, and put together a fabulous folded invitation, themed around 'our journey', so I chose to echo the colour scheme of that (which was actually salmon and blue, not mauve), and include suitcases to continue the journey theme. Last I heard the plan was to have a vintage suitcase as the 'wishing well', so I thought it fit. 

She had a very graphic invitation, in that sort of retro-modern style, with 50s fonts and graphic patterns and icons, so I thought I'd attempt retro-modern with the card. I like to tailor cards to the weddings themselves, if possible. Not that this is a duplication of the invitations, by any means, but a nod to what I know of the theme is always nice, I think. It was tricky to be so unrefined with my edges; I'm not used to that! 

Here are some photos of the final product:

Parts of the card have clear embossing powder on them, so they're raised and shiny – not that that comes across too well in the photos. My mother likes me to use glitter, but this really isn't a glitter card, so I compromised. =P

And there's a small motif inside the card as well: 

Adobe Photoshop CS4, with a Wacom Intuos 3. Printed on double-sided Epson Matte Heavyweight paper. 

Monday, November 14, 2011

November Challenge 2

Plus random sketching.

This should have been posted on Sunday, but I was at a concert. I was also out all Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon, so there was no blogging time.
However, to continue with the November Challenge hosted by Shealynn:

#7: Favourite Word
I don't really have a favourite word. I like lots of words. So in my mental search for a word that I liked the sound of, the first one that came up was 'spaniel'. I may be a bit odd, but go on, say it. Spaniel. Isn't it a fabulous word?

#8: Favourite Animated Character
Okay, two of them, you can't have one without the other. Bernard and Bianca from Disney's The Rescuers, which has to be my favourite Disney movie. Plus, they're mice! From a screenshot. 

#9: Favourite Tv Show
The Avengers, represented here by Steed's bowler and umbrella. 
For more Avengers on my blog: 
One day I want to do a proper illustration of all the characters, because they're such fun. At the moment that's not happening any time soon though.

#10: Favourite Candy
'Candy' isn't really a word we use in Australia, and I'm not sure if chocolate counts. Not having much of a sweet tooth, I chose Malaysian Kueh Lapis (a steamed layered rice and tapioca flour confection), which I'm currently trying to learn how to make myself. My first attempt was not a complete failure, but did not, alas, look even this good. =P

#11: Turning Point in Your Life
A definite candidate would have to be when I decided I wanted to be an illustrator. Which would have been about year 10. I don't remember the exact moment, though....

#12: Most Recent Accomplishment
I'm going to cheat here, because my most recent accomplishment is finishing Bawang Putih, and I ain't drawin' that again

If this prompt had only been a week or two further down the track it would have been 'finally mastering the theme to The Avengers on the piano'.... but I haven't quite got there yet.

And now for some random sketching:

Practicing children, based on some photos in the latest David Jones catalogue, but simplified down to my style:

And I did some gesture drawing today, and thought I'd share some. I was using the pose videos provided by ClockSketch on Youtube.

These blue ones are one-minute sketches: 

And these pink ones are three-minute ones. 

All done freehand in Uni-ball Eye pens, so no rubbing out (and even if I'd wanted to, I do my gesture stuff in my most vile sketchbook, which clogs up ballpoint pens and coats erasers, the paper is so revolting =P It's great for not being too precious about what I do in it, if nothing else.)

And finally, last night's concert was the music of George Gershwin. Bramwell Tovey conducted and played the piano, and at points was almost completely curled up while playing. Couldn't sketch at the concert, the lights were too low, but I found him playing on YouTube, and quickly sketched this out, to remind myself to take it a bit further some time in the future. 

This time it was a brown Artline, 0.4, in the same horrible sketchbook. 

End of broadcast. =)

Previous Posts: November Challenge 1

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Illustration: Rainy Day

Another from the archives. 
This has been in my portfolio since 2009, and has just been removed to make way for new images; rather than kill it off entirely, I thought I'd post it here, as I'd done with a Much Ado About Nothing illustration a few months ago. There are of course things I don't like about this now, but there's enough that I do like still remaining.  

Adobe Photoshop with a Wacom Intuos 3.
I don't know why I persist in doing things with umbrellas, I hate drawing them! =P

And for your amusement, the fairly hideous original sketch:

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Illustration: Bawang Putih

Finally managed to finish this off! 
Here we have an illustration for the Malay Archipelago folktale Bawang Putih Bawang Merah, a variant of the Cinderella story (although despite the fact that my depiction has Bawang Putih minus one shoe from her swinging, shoes do not feature =P). 
In this scene Bawang Putih is singing, which brings to life a magic swing containing the spirit of her dead mother – a passing prince hears her, and is captivated. You can read a synopsis of the story here

This was entirely done in Photoshop CS4 with a Wacom Intuos 3, barring pencil sketches for the figures before I started the computer work. Almost all the photos used for the background and textures are my own, although a couple come from Almost all the references are mine as well – I did use google to find costume references, reasonably authentic-looking baskets, and female jungle fowl.

A large part of this was forcing myself to come up with an effective way to do a jungle background, which is not something I'd done before. I also wanted a different type of tale for my portfolio. 

Here are some details. You can see the whole image bigger over here.

And here's a progress animation:

Previous Posts:

Sunday, November 6, 2011

November Challenge 1

I was invited by Shealynn over at Shealynn's Faerie Shoppe to take part in the November 30-Day Drawing Challenge. I'm afraid I have only time to do sketches, rather than drawings, but I am attempting to do so. 

#1: Yourself
My father's been telling me I'm not cartoony enough with my drawing, so I attempted to cartoon myself. In reality, I look like my blog banner, not like some slightly-crazed 60s-escapee. =P

#2: Favourite Animal
A mouse, of course. A very wonky mouse, in this case, but a mouse nonetheless.

#3: Favourite Food
I'm not much of a foody, but after a bit of thought I decided you can't go past a nice sandwich. This one here is curried egg and lettuce. =)

#4: Favourite Place
Okay, I know, it's not a sketch. The weekend has not been conducive to sketching time, I've either been entertaining, out, exhausted, cleaning or working. But keeping to the schedule, here's a photo of me at my favourite place – my desk. My father took this a couple of months ago. The piece I'm working on is a rough watercolour from a picture in my Tangled music book. You can see it here. 

#5: Best Friend
This, I'm afraid, is not even vaguely recent. In an ideal world I would have lots of time, in the real world I don't have enough (and also while I did do a sketch it's such a terrible likeness that I hate it =P)
So this is a mixed media piece of my friend Tilly, in a kimono. She went on an exchange trip to Japan in mid-2009, and at one point was naturally dressed in a kimono. She sent photos, and I came up with this  – a completely imaginary kimono and parasol, but the hairstyle is real. 

#6: Favourite Book Character – Can't be a Movie
I have too many favourite book characters, so I picked Moist Von Lipwig from Terry Pratchett's Going Postal and Making Money. I happened to have the former on my ipod at the time. 
True, they made a telemovie of Going Postal, but I didn't much agree with the casting, which didn't at all match my imagination. We'll just say this is Moist at the beginning of Making Money, before he switches hats. That has not been filmed. =P


And a bonus sketch. I recently finished reading Stella Gibbons' Cold Comfort Farm. 
I'd seen the movie before, and they set it in the 30s, which is fabulous, but I discovered that the book is set 'some time in the future' – it was published in 1932, and a war is mentioned as being in 1946, so at a guess I'd say it's technically set somewhere around 1950. There are some odd futuristic things mentioned, but it's quite bizarrely easy to transfer costume descriptions from the 30s to the 50s.

So here we have Flora Poste. Not as portrayed by Kate Beckinsale – this Flora with blonde hair, and a no-nonsense early 50s suit, probably contemplating how to sort out someone's life to her satisfaction. 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Sneak Peek: Bawang Putih 2

Slow going, mainly because I've had other things to do, but I'm very nearly finished Bawang Putih. This pleases me very much, as I'm getting sick of it sitting on my desktop, staring balefully at me while I work on other things. =P

Click for a bigger size. =)

As I mentioned before, this was mainly practice at backgrounds. I find natural backgrounds rather alarming to attempt, and I'd never tried a rainforest-type before. What we have here is a mixture of elements that I've drawn, and a montage of photographs that I took in Malaysia. Very much an experiment in technique!
I've been trying to get across that heavy, humid, saturated appearance Malaysia has when it's just been raining, and I think at any event the result could be worse. =P

Hopefully I shall have this completed in the very near future!

Previous Post: Sneak Peek: Bawang Putih


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