#illo52weeks – Weeks 47, 48, 49, & 50

Lucky you, you get four illustrations this week. Gee, life is flying by so fast at the moment, I can barely keep up. School’s are breaking up tomorrow for the long Christmas holidays, so kids will be home!


Week 47: New York

This was a dufficult theme for me. It was too abstract. But I will not quit or avoid the challenge. I like history and was thinking about New York when it was new and young.

Week 47- New York
pencil sketch


Week 48: Fox

Foxes are harder to draw than I thought. I felt nervous and therefore decided to keep it small.

pencil and pastels in a 10cm x 5cm sketchbook
pencil and pastels in a 10cm x 5cm sketchbook

Week 49: Sunshine

Whilst still unpacking the house from a recent move I found my printing resources again. I was a bit out of practise and the first few attempts were disastrous, but I was pleased with the final result. I wasn’t brave enough to add the dark inner circles to my sunflowers. I didn’t want to ruin the illustration. It is sometimes important to know when to stop.

Screen Shot 2014-12-09 at 1.13.35 pm
Gelli printing

Week 50: Christmas

I love Robins! When I thought of Christmas, I thought of Robins, which then led me to think of worms and some kind of Christmas truce. Just like the truce on Christmas Day between the soldiers of opposing sides during World war 1.

pencil & watercolour
pencil & watercolour

Now to mull over next weeks theme which starts tomorrow (Wednesday): Sillouette

#illo52weeks – week 26: Clouds

This week I tried a new medium: Gelli art. I had so  much fun with it as did my nine year old daughter.

I watched a few you tube videos and videos on Pinterest to see what you can create with it. This is what I did for this weeks theme:

Clouds No. 1 – Polar bear under snow cloud

Acrylic paint rolled onto the gelli plate

cut out card templates block the paint from covering the whole sheet of paper that I lay ontop of the plate


Screen Shot 2014-06-29 at 8.30.08 pm


Clouds No.2 – Balloon floating up to the clouds

This time I used more than one colour, plus cloud templates. I then experimented with brushing paint across the Gelli plate (yellow, white, red) and laid the paper down to add to the first print.

Screen Shot 2014-07-01 at 5.05.32 pm

Thanks goes to Jess Racklyeft who demonstrated this technique within her own amazing illustrations as a fellow participant in Tania McCartney’s 52 week Illustration Challenge.

#illo52weeks – Weeks 17, 18, 19 & 20

Today I am uploading four weeks worth of illustrations. Why so many in one go? Well, about a month ago I received the call that every expat dreads… your father has died. And as to be expected I travelled back to Jersey with my children for four weeks and came offline. But the beauty of creativity is that it is always with you through thick and thin. And so there were moments I could distract myself from the sorrow I felt and withdraw into my arty headspace.


Week 17 – Horse

Screen Shot 2014-05-20 at 1.38.35 AM


This illustration was created on Adobe illustraor. First of all I found an image of a carousal horse online, printed it off and traced the shape. I uploaded my outline to the computer and then placed it into Illustrator and filled it in.

This image will always remind me of the weekend my father passed away. I felt a desperate need to get it done on the Sunday. I told my partner that something was going to happen the following week and I would not get my illustration done it time before the Wednesday deadline. So I worked on it all day along with polishing some manuscripts for other competition deadlines.

The next morning I got the call from my sister. Spooky but true!


Week 18 – Celestial bodies

Screen Shot 2014-05-20 at 1.40.38 AM

Completed on Adobe Illustrator.

Me and my siblings were not too sure what my father believed in when we were trying to organise his funeral – but I did remember that once upon a time I asked him if he went to church. He said he didn’t need to as the ‘sky was his church.’


Week 19 – Fish

Week 19 - Fish

I didn’t have access to my Illustrator software in jersey which was a good thing because it made me try a different media. I love cut paper art and decided to try one of my own.

PS: My father was a fisherman.


Week 20 – Colour

Screen Shot 2014-05-20 at 12.12.11 AM

The emotions of colour was fun to do and plus my drawing skills needed the practice.

I am back in Australia now and am catching up with everything, plus I am keen to see what else I can produce with all the interesting themes Tania McCartney has provided all of us participants.

Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

#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:

Screen Shot 2014-04-08 at 10.41.52 am


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

Screen Shot 2014-02-28 at 8.40.40 pm

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

Screen Shot 2014-03-06 at 8.12.42 pm

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.


Backgrounds for me are a tricky thing – I never know whether to leave it blank, add a bit of colour or add detail. IWhen adding colour I need to consider consistency of colour. Am I keeping the same tone with each illustration. Does it look right if some background colours are bold and others are softer?

Here are two examples;

Pumpkins 1


I initially used a green background as pumpkins grow in Autumn where I am from. But then I got thinking about the colour wheel and how opposite colours make each other stand out more.

Pumpkins 2


Plus, we associate pumpkins with Halloween, so I decided to make it night and add a yellow glow inside them. The only trouble is, all the other illustrations I have used for this counting picture book have soft pastel shades in the backgrounds.


I wonder, does it matter if one picture stands out from the rest? What do you think?