IF: racing

OK so this is a bit of a stretch for 'racing' but perhaps he is racing to catch as many stars as possible?

This is also a submission for my critique group The Creative Cup where we're all illustrating the namesake. We will soon be revamping the public side to the blog which is very exciting!

Oh, and don't forget to check my previous post for lots of free goodies and giveaway madness surrounding the launch of my new children's book!

IF: proverb

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step"

This little polar bear is on a long journey. I'm going on the long journey with him, and together we've only just taken a few baby steps.

I'm putting together a story about this guy to submit to the agent I met at the SCBWI conference. I've done three paintings so far -- and I am happy with them, but I have been going around in circles about the next ones, so for now it is back to the drawing board. um yes, that pun was intended.

I redid this one in my current watercolour style. The original was acrylics:

hope you like!

I-F: Giant

Imagine going on a surreal flight with a giant turtle?

I wanted to do something unusual and a bit whimsical this time -- this will be the last piece that makes it into my folio for the SCBWI conference in LA. I leave in TWO WEEKS !! wohoo!

and... I've finally discovered a few other people who are heading there too, (thank goodness!) through Chris Cheng at SCBWI Australia. So hello to fellow aussies Samantha Hughes, Caz Williams and Angela Driver! (Angela's website will be live July 10th) Looking forward to meeting all of you in person!

My first WaWe & I-F: Satellite

I have joined Watercolo(u)r Wednesdays! It is watercoloury version of Illustration Friday. (Coincidentally, this piece works for IF too this week!) Themes for WaWe are more involved than IF's one-word prompt however... for instance last week was 'my strange pet' and this week is 'Archimedes or Galileo'.

I reckon Galileo must have started out like this....

Had some fun with ink this time, which i haven't played with for a while, as well as watercolours (of course) and collage. Hope you enjoy!

I-F: Dip

Boris the Bilby felt every dip and rise in his hot air balloon....

Hope everyone had a lovely easter! Here in Australia, we have easter bilbies, along with easter wabbits. I love the Australian spin personally.

I had a blissful long weekend - cooking yummy food for friends, planting trees and pottering in the garden, my first Illustration Friday since September! It's lovely to have 'normal life' time again after finishing a big illustration project.

so much to share about the book process and other things too... more coming soon!

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: Strong

Some strong winds a blowin!

This is a bit of a companion piece to my previous I-F painting (Caution), both potential entries for Image Zoo's contest for their artists (of which I am one). It's a 'show off' contest, but unfortunately I only had 2 hours to do this from start to finish so don't feel like it's much of a show off, so not sure if I will enter at all...
The topic was 'social networking' - so these are both entitled "Face-book (old school)"

Also, as a bonus here is a previous IF post "Strength" that I did aaaaages ago, when I was still working digitally. Have I really been doing Illustration Friday for 4 years? wow.

I-F: Caution

No need to use caution when lost in your imagination! The scan isn't great on this one - you may want to click on it to see it bigger + some more details.

Well, I have come to a decision about which medium I will use for my book (gouache vs. watercolours). I'm going to stick with the tried and true (w/c). I think more than anything, learning gouache to any level of mastery in a limited time is a stress I don't need to put on myself!

And I think watercolours will be just fine, thank you very much. I want to make sure I use them intensely, brightly - so I will keep having fun with this. Also experimenting with using coloured pencils for shading in this one, giving it a bit of a sketchy/hand drawn feel, which I like.

I-F: Wrapped

There's nothing more comforting than being all wrapped up in bed when it's stormy outside. (As it was here in Melbourne this past weekend!)

Well thanks again for all your encouraging comments on my brush painting from my last two Illustration Friday submissions. As fun as it was (and as much as I want to continue!) I need to get down to the crux of my dilemma at the moment: which medium will I use for my book?

I've used watercolours for several years now, but I want to incorporate collage a lot more into my work, which is difficult to do with w/c - because it's transparent, you can't paint on top of the collage paper. So at the moment I am experimenting with gouache, hoping it will get me where I want to go....

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...

IF : Idle

Ah, those idle days of childhood...

This one is a bit of an experiment - watercolour background, but the foreground is done in gouache. It is my second attempt at using gouache (too embarassed to show you my first one!)

I think it will be good once I get used to it. I remember feeling this frustration when I first started using watercolours! But I like that you can use gouache thick or thin - transparent or opaque - and then it dries with a matte finish (unlike acrylics) which means you can still use other media on top of it.

so stay tuned for more experiments!

IF : Craving

I've been unwell for the past 2 weeks and am really craving my good health!
I was going to recreate this one as it is an oldie, but I just can't seem to get my head together, so here it is in its original glory.

I should be back to my old self soon, that's what I keep telling myself anyway... c'mon, self!

(and no it's not swine flu, though as a friend suggested, it could be wine flu!)

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 :)

every day in may & I-F: Parade

a parade of elephants!

Really enjoyed doing this much looser watercolour style. I think I may explore this some more.

in edim news, the editing of my children's story continues.
day 12: 725 words, day 13: 715 words, day 14: so far, 722 words. 
Don't seem to be able to break that 700 mark! 
I'm not sure that I need to, it doesn't feel too wordy to me, but then again I've been looking at it a lot lately. It has to be submitted this weekend for workshopping so I might just tighten up a few bits and see what other people say! But in short, it's going well. :)

I-F: Theatre

Kids are natural actors aren't they? (and artists, and musicians....)

This one was baked fresh today just for IF. Feels good to do an illo just for fun again.
When I drew this, it was going to be the typical damsel in distress scene, but when I started painting, I realised she was acutally a sorcerer casting spells. Funny when a character tells you what they should be doing!
Well with some extra time up my sleeves, I have been doing a few things I've been meaning to do for ages, like join Jacketflap. If you're a flappin' and want to be friends (maybe even best friends forever), please look me up here. If you don't know what Jacketflap is, it's sort of a myspace for writers/illustrators/publishers/editors of children's books. I still haven't fully checked it out myself, but it looks good!