#illo52weeks – Weeks 15 & 16

Week 15 – Detail

Screen Shot 2014-04-15 at 8.16.51 pm

Hand picked fushia
Adobe Illustrator

Interestingly enough, at college and previous to that i would say I was a detailed artist. It’s what I felt comfortable with. I could spend hours drawing in minute details into my art. But for this weeks challenge I found it difficult to be aas detailed as I used to be. Maybe it’s a time limit thing. Pre kids I had more time to draw in detail and take hours over one piece. So the above image is not as detailed as I would like it to be – I may come back to it.

Week 16 – Book Cover

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Book cover design isn’t an area I have had much practise in, infact this is probably the first book cover I have ever designed , so I know I have a long way to go to get it professional looking. A useful tip I have read about designing front covers is to keep it minimal, tis type of style will help the book to look timeless. It also helps the reader to focus on the book’s title and authors name.

I like what I have achieved here but it lacks depth and tone – another illustration I may come back to at a later date.


#illo52weeks – Weeks 13 & 14

We are in April already, so here are two more entries for Tania Mccartney’s 52 week Illustration Challenge:

Week 13 – Water

I had initially started this weeks theme on watercolour paper with watercolour paint, tissue paper and pastels. But the end result wasn’t what I had in mind. I like the shape of the humpback whales but the background/sea hasn’t worked.

original whales in pastel

So I wanted to see what I could do to improve it by working on the illustration in Adobe Illustrator.


Whales copy

I converted it by using image trace (16 colours option) and I liked the effect. Although it does feel a little bit like cheating. Never-the-less it is still a learning curve.

Week 14 – Simplicity

My illustration this week was inspired by an activity I did with my children’s school during an art auction a few years ago. It was made in collage using a variety of beautiful paper.

This was the class project:

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It is also a birthday for a family member who loves sailing, so to kill two birds with one stone I worked on Adobe Illustrator again to see if I could create a simple image:

This illustration challenge is 'sailing by' so fast!

This illustration challenge is ‘sailing by’ so fast!

I was pleased with the end result.

Simplicity is a subject that everyone has interpreted quite differently within the challenge. Some have taken it to mean simple in the way the image was made, others have created an image about something that is simple in everyday life (eg: a hug, a feather).

#illo52weeks – Weeks 11 & 12

Week 11 – Architecture

I wanted to really challenge myself with this weeks theme of Architecture, the trouble is that what is in my brain doesn’t always transfer to paper/computer when I am trying to create an image. I actually started a project on Adobe Illustrator but then got distracted with editing and revising my chapter and middle-grade manuscripts. I was in the flow with my writing and therefore didn’t want to miss the moment and let all my ideas disappear never to be remembered. This meant I ran out of time to complete my digital Architectural piece and instead doodled this:

Week 11 - Architecture La Rocco Tower By Ramona Davey

Week 11 – Architecture
La Rocco Tower By Ramona Davey

I have always wanted to improve on my pen & ink drawing skills inspired by a local artist from where I was born, Edmund Blampied, but I got frustrated with my lack of skill and left it as it was before I ruined it.

Week 12 – Number

It took me all week to think about what to do for this theme. Initially I was going to finish the digital Architecture building I was going to do as mentioned above, as the building has a date engraved in stone on it. But instead I did this:

Week 12 - Numbers Counting sheep By Ramona Davey

Week 12 – Numbers
Counting sheep By Ramona Davey

Every week I am learning or improving in some way. It may not be always obvious but it must surely be better than doing no artwork each week. Hope you are enjoying Tania McCartney’s 52 Week Challenge as much as I am!

#illo52weeks – weeks 8, 9 & 10

I present 3 illustrations today for weeks 8, 9 and 10. It’s been a busy time as I have been filling my days with:

  • teaching myself Adobe Illustrator by watching many youtube tutorial videos
  • submitting manuscripts to Koala Books /Scholastic before their deadline closed on 28th February (a rare opportunity, too good to miss, so fingers crossed)
  • preparing a chapter book manuscript for my critique group

So here we are, I present 3 more completely different styles yet again:

Week 8 – Cross-hatching


I really enjoyed this process, it can go wrong quickly so it is best not to rush. This started as a sketch while I was writing/reading blogs/catching upon facebook/etc. One of my recent picture book manuscripts has a Rockhopper Penguin in it!


Week 9 – Tree

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I never know what I am going to do each week. It always takes me by surprise. Here I wanted to capture a scene rather than a stand alone object.


Week 10 – Pattern

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This was hard work as Adobe Illustrator is new to me. I can’t access my Art Rage Software as it is on our computer that has broken down. This has turned out to be a good thing as it has made me try something new. Again, watching youtube really helped me understand using a grid, the pen tool, etc.


To see all my illustrations for this challenge so far go to this page:

52 Week Illustration Challenge 2014

#illo52weeks – weeks 6 & 7

The good news is that I am practising my art more than if I wasn’t participating in Tania McCartneys 52 week Ilustration Challenge.

The bad news is that there is still no sign of a very obvious style developing as you will see in today’s post:

Week 6: Machinery

Week 7: Machinery by Ramona Davey
Week 7: Machinery by Ramona Davey

The material sfor this artwork came just in time for the deadline before the theme changed. I had ordered some polystyrene tiles for printing with. Usually I use a pencil and draw onto the tile by pressing into it nut this time a use utensils/machines. I pressed the objects into the tile to create a machine looking type of robot. I rolled white acrylic paint over the tile and pressed black card ontop of that.

Week 7: Watercolour

Two of my manuscripts include a main character that is an Australian Little Blue Penguin. Sometimes I draw them. This helps me to establish their character in my mind and discover what litlle quirks or personlity traits they may have. I used Mont Marte woodless graphite pencils and watercolour pencils.

week 6: Watercolour - Little Blue Penguins by Ramona Davey

Week 6: Watercolour –                                                         Little Blue Penguins by Ramona Davey


So, as you can see, two completely different types of images, techniques and styles yet again. If you are taking part in the challenge, I hope you are enjoying it asmuch as I am! :-)

#illo52weeks – weeks 4 & 5

The weeks are whizzing by already and so are the weekly challenges. My main computer broke down last week and so today you are getting two illustrations instead of one for the Tania McCartney’s Illustration challenge that I am participating in:

Week 4: Selfie

At college, life drawing was one of my main subjects, so I am no stranger to self-portraits and drawing humans in a realistic way. Therefore, I wanted to challenge myself and try and do a self-portrait that was not really realistic. Here is the line drawing in pencil of the 3 me’s:

Week 4: Selfie by Ramona Davey

Week 4: Selfie by Ramona Davey


Week 5: Flower

I couldn’t believe the brilliant timing when my parcel of art goodies arrived in the post the last night of week 5′s challenge. I haven’t printed using polystyrene tiles since I taught in Primary schools 10 years ago. This was my 2nd attempt using acrylic paints:

Week 5: Flower print by Ramona Davey

Week 5: Flower print by Ramona Davey

Every week I think I am going to come up with nothing and every week I surprise myself. I may not have established a style yet (my goal) but I am certainly enjoying the developing my creative skills.

ReviMo – Day 5, 6 & 7

ReviMo 2014

Ok, so the end of ReviMo 2014 has arrived. How did you do? I didn’t do too badly. I admit that I didn’t quite get around to revising 7 manuscripts but I did manage 5 and that is the important part – that some of my picture book manuscripts did get a good looking over and a bit of sprucing. If I hadn’t have entered this writing challenge at all, I would have achieved nothing, so 5/7 to me is a bonus.

Day 5 Revisions

  • This manuscript was another idea from my stay in Dunedin, New Zealand. It will hopefully be a historical fiction picture book (my favourite type to read and write)
  • I looked at my notes and brief story outline and filled in the gaps
  • I decided that I was trying to fit in too much of the main character’s life and therefore needed to focus on one main aspect – bingo – it suddenly came to me – as it often does – focus on the news of the Titanic sinking – this leads to what my main character decides to do next and the rest is history as they say!
  • I have to try and avoid it being too sad a story as drownings are part of the historical content, but there is a good ending and sense of achievement at the end!

I never managed to get around to revise for days 6 and 7, but I enjoyed the challenge never-the-less. I am further with my work than I was a week ago – how great is that!

During the challenge there was some great interviews and advice each day from the following:

Deborah Underwood

Miranda Paul

Ame Dykeman

Shirley Smith Duke

Jim Averbeck

Lindsay Barrette George

Simone Kaplan



ReviMo – Day 3 and 4

Phew! The days are whizzing by! I am busy with kids on their holidays, a birthday boy, joining in #illo52weeks and ReviMo – so yesterday even though I participated in Day 3 of ReviMo, I didn’t get time write a post about it. So I am doing 2 in one today.

Day 3 Revisions

  • I revisited a relatively new manuscript which was begun during last years PiBoIdMo 2013 writing challenge
  • This story came about because of a few nick nacks I found whilst on one of my weekly walks (there is a lot of sitting down with writing and illustrating)
  • It has been critiqued once, and rewritten twice. Yesterday was the third time I rewrote the beginning and therefore changed the rest to make it flow to the end.
  • it’s starting to feel more solid and believable as a story
  • word count: 499 :-)

Day 4 Revisions

  • Today I revisited a new favourite, written in the depths of a sustainable farm in Dunedin, New Zealand whilst staying with family.
  • It’s a sentimental story of family, growth, sustaining resources, new life ad a good life!
  • wrd count: 481

These challenges have made me look at and work on manuscripts that otherwise would be left alone until the kids were back at school.

I look forward to my critique group’s feedback! :-)

#illo52weeks – week 3 – caravan

The weeks feel like they are whizzing by already being involved in all these new writing and illustrations chalenges!

One of my weaknesses where my drawing is concerned is that I feel I have an inconsistent style and just to prove it, here is this weeks contribution to Tania McCartneys Illustration challenge (in a completely different style to week 1 and week 2)

#illo52weeks - week 3 - caravan


My aim was to try and create an image that would quite easily be seen in a childrens’ picture book. I ruled out the ‘bleed’ area and the middle of paper where the fold of the double page spread would be. In the end I hadn’t left enough space between the caravan and the car. Therefore I would loose part of both in the fold of the book. Lesson learned!

  • I hand sketched the inital drawing
  • then used Art Rage on my Bamboo tablet to outline the image in ink pen
  • I coloured it in using brush and watercolour
  • stencils were used for the road, door panels and grass tendrills

Hopefully by week 52,  I will have developed a very definate style!

52 week illustration challenge


ReviMo – Day 2

Yes, I know I am writing two posts on the same day but international times always confuse me as does daylight savings. This causes huge problems when I enter USA writing challenges online.

As a teenager in Jersey, Channel Islands, every year I would go to my Saturday job an hour too early or an hour too late when the clocks went back and forward. It is something I will never beat!

Anyway, today is day 2 for ReviMo and you can read Meg Miller’s latest post with Miranda Paul  here: ReviMo day 2 – Interview with Miranda Paul

Day 2 revisions:

  • I revisited an old picture book manuscript started in November 2011 (yes I know that is over 2 years ago)
  • I went back through it using Review/Track Changes on word
  • I then created an A5 dummy version of it to see how the text flows and how effective the page turns are
  • word count: 427 (much better compared to yesterdays 700)
  • it has a Librarian theme – therefore I have quite a huge target market – town libraries, school libraries, preschool book corners (much different to yesterdays manuscript again)

Now just need to get my critique group to read it as they haven’t seen it for a while and they may be able to see it with fresh eyes too!