Tag Archives: colour

New Spaceman in Town

19 Feb


I can now reveal the third picture in the Spaceman series, as alluded to in this post. Man in Space joins Luna Oddyssey and Moonscape and was commissioned by catundra, after she saw the original Luna Odyssey in the 2008 Swancon Art Show. It was a really interesting experience doing a new spaceman, some two or three years after the original. I felt I had better control over Illustrator, although most of the techniques I used were the same.

(You may also recognise Man in Space as the final destination of this)

(And there’ll be a copy of him in the 2009 Swancon Art Show 🙂

A Coat of Arms

29 Dec

My Dad belongs to a special German club, which I won’t try to explain too much about because it’s a bit crazy. However, as a fully-fledged member he needs a coat of arms. He’s been a fully fledged member for over a year, but he still didn’t have one so I took a couple of photos of some the other members’ coats of arms at their Xmas function (there’s a set layout) and made him one for Christmas.

Coat of Arms

Most of my time was spent tracing the knight from one of the photos, though I took some liberties with the colouring and highlights on the fabric. I used my Encyclopedia of Fonts to identify the font used (Old English ITC) so I could get the exact same one. The periodic table is all my own work 🙂

Recent Projects: The Spaceman Series

29 Dec

I completed a couple of Illustrator projects for Xmas.

First up, a sibling picutre for planeterry’s Luna Oddyssey, the Moonscape.


The Moonscape uses a bit more colour and I’ve actually rejigged the original to make it a bit more colourful too.

Planeterry: A Luna Odyssey

There is a third picture in the series, which is still in secret mode, but I’ll blog it in Feb when it’s recipient has received it 🙂


17 Oct

I put up 2 A4 prints for the Paul Haines artscaresyou auction. Somewhere along the way, a suggestion arose that perhaps it would be nice if they could be posters instead. This wasn’t quite what I was expecting, however I though posters would be awesome, so after some research, I got them printed last week and I picked them up yesterday.

Dalek and Tardis posters!

(Note the odd wrinkles on the bottom of the picture – they’re my feet on the bed 🙂

I sent the Tardis and Dalek to nonsensitor this morning (who’s been very kind about the extra time it’s taken to get them printed). However, I’ve also had another 9 Dalek posters printed up too – just in case anyone else might be interested. The posters are A1, printed on high quality photo paper (shiny!) and are $40 plus postage if required. This is in line with what nonsensitor paid and – to be fair – they weren’t much more cheaper than that to produce.

Plus they’re awesome!!!

Something Different

15 Oct

RACI Health Safety and Environment Banner

I’ve been involved with the Royal Australian Chemical Institute for years, most recently with the WA Health Safety and Environment Group. So when it was suggested that the group design a promotional banner, I was quite enthused. At 2 m x 90 cm (approx), this would be the largest Illustrator doc I’ve ever produced. Resolution had to be relatively high too so it prints nicely, which meant finding some supersize photos. The actual design was finished some time ago – months ago even! However, I didn’t get around to finding suitable photos until this week. For a while I was hoping that flickr could provide some creative commons licensed photos that I could use (with proper attribution, etc). However, flickr photos are, in general, just not big enough so in the end I turned to shutterstock, which has a huge array of stock photography for purchase. The banner itself has not yet been printed up (though I hope it will soon), but already the design is adorning gift tags, a powerpoint presentation and a letterhead. It’s amazing what you can do in an evening 😉

(Hopefully more exciting and large-scale printing developments in the next half hour or so, though probably won’t be reported here on lj for a couple of days…)

EDIT: Photos of the gift tags I made in action:

Gift tags
Gift tags

Swancon 2009: The Poster

2 Jul

Using the original logo, this is the poster I recently designed for Contact: Swancon 2009:

Swancon 2009 Poster

Supanova was held in Perth last weekend (see mynxii‘s post for a pretty cool wrap up of the event) and committee were there in force to promote Swancon to a bigger audience, with this as the flyer. I didn’t get there, mostly because of pressing deadlines (mostly met – hooray! 😉 so I haven’t actually seen the final product yet and I keep alternating between forgetting they actually exist and desperately wanting to see them. Hopefully I’ll be able get a couple to keep at the next committee meeting 🙂

(I really (really) like it, but I think I need to learn more cool effects for text…)

Book Cover Comp

18 Apr

So I was pottering around the internet last Saturday and found a competition to design a cover for a book that HarperCollins (UK) is putting out in a couple of of months: ‘The Last Days of the Lacuna Cabal’ by Sean Dixon. I love books – both reading them and as objects and would love to get into designing book covers. There wasn’t much time left, though, with just inder a week before the competition closed. After thinking it over for a couple of days, I spent a bit of time with ole faithful, Illustrator, and came up with this.

Lacuna Bookcover_final.jpg

It was an interesting experience to draw something based on a brief – the author had picked out four excerpts from the book and there was some other info provided too. The composition I came up with is quite different from the first ideas I had. And, oddly enough, it was inspired by the fact that I couldn’t find my ruler when I was doing preliminary sketches! (I was using protractor instead and that inspired the setting sun). The rest of the composition loosely incorporates elements of the tale laid out in the excerpts – the Jacob Lighter Building, and a the ferry boat particularly. Although the excerpts did hint that ‘The Last Days of the Lacuna Cabal’ had a dark edge to it, the overall impression I got was of a rather quirky and whimsical story. I *suspect* HarperCollins don’t actually want whimsical in their cover, though, and will probably go for something edgier than this.

Like many slush piles the entries range from those who couldn’t event follow the basic instructions (dimensions and the text that needed to be included) to some really good ones (I like this one). The competition closes in about 12 hours from now and I think the quality of the entries is ramping up in these last few hours. I’m really interested in see what they pick.

(And I already have ideas of what I else can do with the image, in the likely event that it doesn’t win 🙂

Moo, Phew.

1 Dec

Christmas EveChristmas DayChristmas Night
Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and Christmas Night

Deadline for the MOO Holiday Card Designs is 11.59pm, November 30th GMT. I didn’t get my pictures submitted to the flickr group until after midnight, however Perth is 9 hours ahead of GMT all is ok 🙂

I’m very pleased with how these turned out. After the very English pudding and the brussels sprouts cards, I really wanted to make a card that said something about Christmas in Australia. I had the idea of baubles in a gum tree early on, but it did seem a bit… obvious. However, then I had another spark of inspiration, while I was making cards from my first three MOO designs[1]. MOO is all about taking a design or a photo and cropping it to make something unique. I decided, therefore, to make a card that can be cropped in any number of ways so that, theoretically, every card could be truly original. This design can be printed in portrait or landscape, cropped in close or far away. The baubles can be centred or on one side. If you really want you can crop the baubles out entirely!

I started with Christmas Day (then untitled), with the background representing the intense blue of an Australian summer sky. However, exp_err suggested the leaves would also look good with a sunset, so as well as I also created Christmas Eve (the sunset) and even Christmas Night too. I won’t say how long the card took, partly cos I’m not sure ezactly and partly cos it’s potentially embarrassing how much time I spent on this. I will say, however, that every frickin leaf was drawn individually by frickn hand. Slowly.

Still, it turns out that (apart from the time eating), I love hand-drawing stoopid leaves so I did enjoy it. Actually, I’m kinda obsessed with leaves now. I look at other trees and wonder how they’d look if I drew em indifricknslowly as well. I’m resisting for the moment.

Anyway, I gotta get up a stoopid hour tomorrow to go to Adelaide so I will leave it at that for now.

[1] Which have been delivered but I don’t get to see until next week!!!

Moo Holiday Card Competition

11 Nov

I’ve spent my week drawing Christmas cards. This was something I was *totally* meaning to do this year, but rapidly not getting around to. (I managed to not get around to it last year too). However, then MOO announced their Holiday Card Competition and I was suddenly compelled into action.

I’ve made two images so far

cassiphone – A Water Nymph

4 Mar


Even though I didn’t know her very well at the time, cassiphone‘s was the first piece that I knew *exactly* what I was going to do. I knew within five minutes.

My notes for cassiphone:
pencil sketch, coloured, V&A

Last April I’d been up to the V&A to sketch with my art class. At first everyone apprehensive about doing it in front of other people, but it turned out to great – really inspiring. Our task for the day had been to use colour pencils to investigate tone and we’d spent the time in the Cast Courts. Statues are great for tone and it’s amazing the difference there is between colour tonal pictures and plain graphite or charcoal. You can get some amazing effects. I drew a very nice lion and the back(side) of some nekkid boy who was blowing a trumpet. I had been planning for months to go back to the V&A by myself to do it again. While I really liked both the pics I’d done before, the lion suffered from me pressing too hard (once you press, you can’t unpress, you can only press harder), and I felt that I’d only began to understand the purple/blue/green/yellow colour combo I’d been using on the boy.

This seemed the perfect opportunity to do it again. cassiphone loves things Roman, so I would go find her a nice Roman statue and draw it in colours! When I got back to the Cast Courts, however, I remembered *Doh!* Medieval!! – perhaps cassiphone would like to make do with something else[1]. After a considered tour of the Courts, I found a series of water nymphs that I really liked. I didn’t know it at the time, but these nymphs were (casts of) the work of Jean Goujon, who carved the nymphs for the Fontaine des Innocents in Paris. (The originals are now in the Louvre).

One of them stood out immediately (frankly, I think it was her sexy stomach), so i did a quick and dirty graphite sketch to warm up – twenty minutes all up. Then I thought I should give another nymph a go and did a (still fairly quick and dirty – and I pressed too hard) sketch in colour. Another 30 minutes gone and I thought I’ve got all the time in the world!! I still liked the first one best so I quickly tried out her head (being properly careful) and decided I time for a lovely lunch (pot o tea and a chocolate brownie 🙂 in the Museum’s Cafe. I then had about 2 and a bit hours before I was scheduled to meet my friend for afternoon tea[2]. I got out my heavy cream (A4) cartridge paper and started. So now I was doing it ‘proper’, there was a lot more thinking, a lighter touch, and it was much much slower! After 2 hours I’d done her outline, but had only filled in the detail to her waist. I texted my friend for a half hour stay, but after that I was not much further, and I really needed a break anyway. So I finished her feet and legs at home. Luckily my camera takes photos because I totally didn’t *think* about taking my camera, which was stooopid of me. All in all this visit was a good lesson for me of the merits of quick n dirty, versus the payoff you do get when you draw proper.

I *love* this picture. I love the colours and think I used the combination of purple/blue/yellow/green much better than in my original nekkid boy. I’ve tried other colour combos, but nothing seems to really match it. I do love drawing – better than painting but that may just be practise. And mostly I love drawing at the V&A. It is still a most excellent experience and I should go back again 🙂

[1] Actually when I went off to have my lovely lunch, I found the Roman section, but I still like what I’d picked best. I also found a tiny but fascinating display on Maurice Sendak and Beatrix Potter, but that’s another story entirely.

[2] For more tea and brownies, perhaps?? Actually we went straight for the wine 🙂