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
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
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:
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
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
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!
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 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
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.
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:
Shirley Smith Duke
Lindsay Barrette George
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!
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)
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!
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!
A new year comes with new challenges.
I have already mentioned how I have started a new illustration challenge here:
52 week illustration challenge
My next challenge is by Meg Miller:
ReviMo – Revise More Picture Books Week - from January 12-18, 2014.
So today I sat down and looked back at an oldie but a goodie. I like to look at manuscripts that have been put to the side for a while as it helps me look back at them with fresh eyes. This particular manuscript was started in May 2012 and was received well by my critique group but it is a hard sell to publishers.
- It is around 700 words (which is deemed as too long for picture books nowadays)
- It is historical fiction (which I love and want to write more of for the younger age)
- It is a sequence of letters back and forth between a 6 year old girl and her father in 1929
- it possibly has a niche or small target market (Jersey folk – as in Old Jersey – and Australians)
It may be that I will have to self-publish it one day or it may really appeal to a publisher from a traditional house – who know’s in this tricky world of books.
It was good to go over it again and get it closer to the submitting stage which is what ReviMo is all about!
© Ramona Davey 2014
Here week 2′s illustration – theme KIDS
This week I decided to use a different medium.
- On my Wacom tablet using Art Rage software I traced over photos on the compuetr screen to create the composition.
- Once I had moved the kids around into the best position and varied their size, I began sketching with pencil.
- Then I used some close up photos of the kids clothing for the kids outfits. Erasing any material not needed.
This was a totally new method for me and I was keen to try a collage style of illustration which has been so popular in the recent years (eg: Charlie & Lola).
I am also aware of the growing amount of Author/Illustrators that are now being published (Mo Willems, Gus Gordon, Aaron Blabey) and this spurs me to work hard at seeing if this is something I can pursue. If I get good enough and find my own style, which at the moment is a bit eclectic!
Tania McCartney’s 52 week illustration challenge has taken off like a storm! The range of skills and numbers of participants of all ages and levels of ability is inspiring.
Happy New Year everyone!
I hope to be as productive as I was last year but with new aspects of my writing journey. Last year I completed Julie Hedlund’s 12 x 12 writing challenge which was fantastc because I completed 12 picture book manuscript drafts in 12 months. This year I thought I would develop another skill and therefore I will be joining in Tania McCartney’s 52 illustrations in 52 weeks challenge. For more information go to The 52-week illustration challenge or you can follow each participant through Twitter at #illo52weeks.
Here is my first illustration for the challenge:
Week 1 – eggs
I used pastels and watercolour pencil crayons as seen in image below:
This was the first time I have attempted to draw an egg in an incredibly long time and it was surprisingly enjoyable. I hadn’t decided what medium to use until I fetched the egg from the fridge. Pastels just seemed the right thing at the time.
My kids decided to join in (as it is still the school holidays) and this kept them quiet while I attempted to illustrate the egg.
Here are their wonderful efforts:
By Ruby age 8
By Joseph age 9