I-F: Pattern

There are a lot of different patterns going on here - and I suppose 2 by 2 is a pattern too!

This is my submission for Illustrators Australia's annual 9x5 exhibition, where artists paint a piece of wood 9x5 inches in dimension. I used watercolours and coloured pencils for this -- I've never painted w/c on wood before so that was quite interesting!

The theme this year was "20" seeing as it is IA's 20th year anniversary. Mine is entitled '2 x 10'.

All pieces are for sale. You can go have a gander at them here, and bid! Or better yet, come along on the night if you are in Melbourne - Friday October 9th. Not long now!

I-F: Impatience

I think these parents are getting a bit impatient with their chicks!

Thank you to everyone for your nice comments on my previous post about experimenting with new watercolour techniques - it really encouraged me to try more!

I actually did the monkeys (below) first, following the book, then muscle memory from my one calligraphy class years ago took over and I had an urge to do brush painting again.

I love painting with ink - it is so fluid, and so black.


IF : Modify

At the moment, I'm modifying my painting techniques. Experimenting, trying new things, new media. I've had this Chinese Watercolour Techniques book for ages that I've been wanting to try. They make it look so easy! I'm trying to use watercolours more intensely - it's easy to let them get all washed out and I prefer the really bright, deep colours.

My poor chook looks a bit worse for wear here, but I had fun with this anyway...

I-F: Adapt & every day in may

Chameleons would have to be one of nature's most adaptable creatures. But still, even a chamelon has those days where 'ya just gotta be you'. my watercolour and pencil submission for Illustration Friday.

and also the last day of every day in may. I don't think I kept up with EVERY day in May, I am sorry to say, but I had good excuses: computer failure, a funeral, and a wicked sinus cold. I probably did do work on my children's book text almost every day, and I am happy to say, it is ready to be handed in tomorrow as Draft 8. so even if I didn't post about it every day as I had hoped, I'm glad I did it. yay for may :)

I-F: Leap

I thought "Leap" was a pretty good word to continue with the Cat Circus theme from my last IF post...

She seems pretty confident about making the big leap. Ah, if only I could be that confident in real life sometimes! ;-)

I also couldn't resist sketching my cat who was posing ever so nicely for me, lying in a sunbeam as cats are wont to do...

I-F: Multiple

It takes multiple cats to make a good Cat Circus!

The cat at the bottom is my 2nd cat Rusty.
The 2nd cat is my 1st cat Sniffles.
The 3rd cat is my current cat Whiskey.
Not pictured are Touchstone (Touchy), Muddy, and Kiska. Don't you just love pet names? :-)

The cat circus came from Whiskey because she can do these amazing leaps and bounds, I thought she should run away and start a cat circus. But I'd miss her. So I'm glad she didn't. But I think I'd like to do a series of cat circus illos - it would be hilarious!

Hope you like it!

I-F: Hat + 2nd bloggy birthday!

Happy birthday to you,
happy birthday to you,
you look like a bloggy
and you act like one too!
(how weird - "Happy Birthday" by Stevie Wonder started playing on my shuffled music just as I started typing this)

well, exactly 2 years ago today I started my lil kim blog, and a new chapter in my artistic life. so where am I 2 years down? well, a few educational books published which is great, lots of work i can look back on and be proud of (but still see where I can improve!), lots of friends and acquaintances made across the world, now a committee member on Illustrators Australia.... so yes, lots of things have happened, but they all started here!

So thank you to each and every one of you who has ever visited or left a comment. You have all been so lovely and encouraging and such a great community and it really has been a pleasure to be part of it all

and well I have to say it's been an amazing few weeks! Not so much illustration-wise but some other great things have been happening... namely... we bought a house! I am so terribly excited and house proud. it's the cutest little thing, and though it is twice as far out than where we are at the moment, and not nearly as funky a part of town, I can't wait to move there and settle in and know that if we want to we can be there FOREVER. And it's got so much potential (read: studio!!)

so I've been on cloud 11 lately. and also because of another little piece of news. but I'll save that one for another time. oooh, yes I'm a tease aren't I?

love to you all!
xx lil-kim.

Experiments 1 & 2

I've been feeling lately that my work needs to go to that next level, and I'm trying to figure out if I can do that in watercolours. I'm not sure - I still get really frustrated with them sometimes, and I feel that I can't always get the effects I like. I looked through my collection of children's books and other artist books and all the styles I was really drawn to were more of an acrylic or oils look. I'm not giving up on them yet, but I'm trying my hand at acrylics to see if that gets me where I want to go.

I sat down and wrote out things that I enjoy doing:
- incorporating drawn patterns or collage
- simple shapes and characters
- limited colour palettes (complementary especially)
- lots of texture!

and I thought I'd try to redo this rather simple illustration I did digitally years ago, in a few different styles to see what grabs me:

this was the first one I did. still feels a bit too much like a child's drawing, i think maybe it's the outlines.

this one is getting a bit better... I like how with acrylics I can make the collaged paper part of illo as opposed to it sitting on top of the paint. I used coloured pencil for a few outlines, but only where they were needed. This is feels good so far - may keep going with this for a bit...


Every year, Illustrators Australia has an exhibition called the 9x5, where each member is sent a piece of wood (that is 9" x 5") in the mail to paint, decorate, deface, etc., and then they are auctioned off. This is the first year I'm participating, and the theme is Connected.

here is my piece, acrylics and ink on wood.

and I must give credit where credit is due, the idea for this came totally and completely from my hubby. Thanks, A!

I-F: Juggle

I had an idea something like this for Illustration Friday's 'Momentum', but it probably fits better for this anyway. do you like his stripey socks and 'jazzy' shorts? (as my mum would say)
fresh off the presses using watercolours and coloured pencil

As an extra added bonus here is an old one from my digital days, done for an article about teachers juggling everything that teachers do.

Thinking, not doing.

How did it get to Thursday evening already? I've been thinking all week about what I'd do for IF's 'momentum' but I guess I haven't had much of it myself this week. whole days seem to fly by in a flurry of meetings with clients, househunting, and thinking about all the things I should be doing instead. darn.

Well, to counteract that at least a little, here is my next series of travel photos: Dogs & Cats. (See the first series, Doors & Windows here.)

these are all from our little mexican paradise, San Augustinillo - a tiny little fishing village on the southern coast of mexico where we found a dreamy hut, a hammock, great fish, and a lot of dogs. some of them are scarily skinny, but most seem to be pretty happy playing in the sand.

The top two cats were also from San Augustinillo - I just caught that first one at the right time, and the 2nd one seemed to be in the same position on that chair every day.
bottom left puddycat was in a shop window in Paris, and I got told off by the shopowner for taking a photo in her store. when I said it was just for the cat, not the products, she told me off even more! one of those people who proves the stereotype i guess?
The last one was at a butterfly and flower farm in West Texas. one very chilled out cat. i love the black cat against the white chair.

next series: inspiring art!

a few more in the series

Here are some more in a new series of acrylic paintings:

This one is heading off to my new little niece who was born on the 23rd of August. Her name is Claire and she lives in Boston with her mother and father and big sister.

These are heading up to Brisbane with the other two.

and this one was for a friend who's been going through a tough time...

and I'm quite happy today because since being back from travelling I haven't had any (paid) illustration work, but just this week the phone has started ringing again. so hooray for that! more deposit for the house I'm sure we'll find very soon. ;-)

new medium, new work

what's that you say? acrylics? didn't that girl only do watercolours?

well yes, a bit of a change for me here, and I'm really excited about it. I haven't painted on canvas in ages and never with acrylics, but I decked myself out this week and got into it - and I'm loving them. They don't dry nearly as fast as I thought they would, coming from an oils background (though I did have some choice moments talking to my canvas when trying to blend colours - 'no, no, not yet! stop! damn.' )

Anyway, my friend's sister is opening a homewares shop in Brisbane where she's going to have a "kid's corner" so these are heading up there to warmer climes (although it was beautiful in Melbourne today - bring on Spring!)

I'm really happy with the way they turned out. I think the bits of collage work well and make them feel a bit 'special'. Canvasses are great because you can just hang them straight on the wall and don't have to mess with framing which can be expensive. These ones have the thicker edge so they look good hanging without a frame, and I've varnished them so they are well protected from sticky little fingers. I'm thinking I might start approaching some kids shops in Melbourne too. you never know what might happen!

I've decided to 'market' this new style under my lil-kim bloggy name, so I'm going to have this little easel which only stands about 4 inches tall near the paintings. and it's time to make up some more business cards too because I'm all out! time for a freshen up anyway....

Jungle rhythms

(this isn't a great reproduction because it's too big for my scanner so I had to photograph it)

A friend of my husband's saw my website and loved my giraffes, so asked me to do a painting for him. It evolved from a giraffe into a four piece jungle band! I had sooo much fun doing this. Also it is bigger than I usually paint (it is about 320mm x 450mm, and I normally don't do much bigger than A4 - 210mm x 297mm) so it was a challenge that way too. i really enjoyed painting larger - it gives you so much more room to play and to add little details.

I took a few photos along the way:

lines traced onto 300lb Arches watercolour paper

base wash of yellow and starting to put in the greens with some fun drips & spatters

shadows on the greens and add in reds/browns

all the colouring done!

painted ink lines to finish it off.