Sunday, March 26, 2017

The Rock Pool

I did this little piece a few weeks back for Colour Collective's "Sweet Potato" prompt. I decided I'd have fun playing with a limited colour palette, since it was such a retro orange. It reminded me of the reading books my mother (a teacher) has from the 70s - black and white with one spot colour at different strengths. I am so glad we no longer have to separate colours for colour printing now!

Here's a look at my screen while I was in the sketching phase. As you can see, I had a reference that I'd picked up in a google search, but I was only using it very vaguely, really more as a way to get the balance of the figure right. When you're drawing a figure it helps to have some sort of reference to hand, just so you remember your proportions. (Yes, at some point after I took this screenshot I decided her legs were too lanky)

Adobe Photoshop CC 2016 on a Wacom Cintiq Companion 2. Not entirely sure how long it took me because I'm very late writing this post and I've forgotten, but it was a couple of hours. 

Thursday, March 23, 2017


I was inspired by the enormous turbans of Nihang Sikhs for Colour Collective's 'Deep Koamaru' prompt. I'd had pictures of them pinned to Pinterest for quite some time. It's always good to have boards that you can just scroll through until inspiration hits!

Here's my illustration, thrown together very quickly. It's another of those Colour Collectives that I think have much more potential, and may indeed grow into something bigger in the future... But I didn't have enough time to do it full justice and still hit the CC deadline! We'll call it an extended concept sketch. =P 

And here's the photo (taken by Mark Hartman) that started me off:

The Nihang Sikhs, The Army of the Eternal | Mark Hartman
Source: Mark Hartman:
Adobe Photoshop CC 2016 on a Wacom Cintiq Companion 2. A couple of hours all-up.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary

I had to to a quick little illustration for Colour Collective's 'Amaranth' prompt as life's been pretty busy lately! Originally I had planned for her to be dwarfed by sunflowers, but in the end time constraints meant she ended up just looking at a butterfly. I'm hoping for some calmer weeks so I can spend more time on my Colour Collectives, but it's not looking hopeful....

Those enormous bows are inspired by a little girl I passed while walking the dog. I don't think they're big enough though.... 

Adobe Photoshop CC 2016 on a Wacom Cintiq Companion 2
3-4 hours but I wasn't really focussed >. > 

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Summer Rains

I was feeling a bit uninspired by Colour Collective's 'Opal Grey' prompt, probably because I had just done koalas the week before, and they are grey. 

I started off drawing a very muddy princess in a yellow dress, jumping in puddles with an equally muddy dog.... but I was having a very bad drawing day. So I jettisoned that, rather than frustrate myself by forcing it to work. We had had some very unseasonable rain (about 120mL in one day, when the February average is more like 20mL for the whole month) so I decided to draw a little grey mouse enjoying stormy skies. And I kept the yellow!

I love how green and lush everything gets after summer rains!
Also, I want that umbrella.

Adobe Photoshop CC on a Wacom Cintiq Companion 2.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Midnight Chase

Back in September 2016 I did a piece for Colour Collective's 'Venetian Red' prompt. I really liked it, but it had a lot of flaws - my Colour Collective pieces usually do, I don't have the time to plan them out properly, so they're always a bit rough and ready. I thought it definitely had potential though, so throughout February I worked on a remake of it after finishing work for the day. I was completing some work books that were heavy on stranger-danger and online predators, so I felt the need to completely step away from such work before I went to bed. I wasn't enjoying that assignment!

I think it looks much better now, and is worthy of being in my portfolio. I used my original as a sort of extended rough and colour study, and this time around I spent more time fixing up my perspective and playing with different textures.

Here's a progress animation showing the evolution from original linework to finished piece:

I've been trying to keep more of the freshness of my sketched lines in my final pieces lately, so for digital work I've been experimenting with sketching as normal, and then going over those lines with colour, so that the original sketch is still visible. At the moment I'm quite liking the effect. Here are my original sketches of the figures, and some close-up shots from partway through the illustration (when the figures were pretty much done):

As you can see, I didn't bother much with the man's feet, as they were going to be completely obscured by the bridge anyway. I just needed to know roughly where they were so that he didn't end up looking like he was about to fall over. 

Here's a look at the two pieces side-by-side:

This was done in Adobe Photoshop CC on a Wacom Cintiq Companion 2. It took somewhere between 20 and 25 hours, I think, over the course of January. 

Saturday, March 4, 2017


In January the whole world seemed so full of hatred and anger and it got me down. I try to love everyone (unless they make it impossible, I'm not a heroine of Victorian Literature =P) So I did the only thing I can - brought (hopefully) a little happiness and friendship to people's social media feeds. Let's all be friends!

This is in no way me and my friends when we were young - but I have always had friends of many different ethnicities and religions, and that is the way I like it. If people are nice, who cares where they come from? Being located in Australia, everything is very multicultural, with a definite south-east-Asian flavour, so that's what I drew here. 

I used an old preliminary sketch from a Colour Collective last year for this. I never liked the final CC piece I did then (I ran massively out of time, this was only a fragment) but I'd always liked this sketch and wanted to do something more with it.

Adobe Photoshop CC on a Wacom Cintiq Companion 2.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Meeting the Family

Colour Collective's 'Air Force Blue' prompt made me think of sailor suits, so here we have two late Victorian/ early Edwardian children on safari in Africa, meeting a family of meerkats. 

I wasn't at all sure if I was going to have time to finish this piece, so as a backup I coloured up a little sketch from earlier in the week:

Here's the original sketch. She's very loosely inspired by a little girl I saw in the chiropractor's waiting room:

All done in Adobe Photoshop CC on a Wacom Cintiq Companion 2. 


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