New Year – New Projects

It’s a brand new year and a perfect time to feel refreshed and get stuck into some new projects. I have participated in #doodleadayjan and started an online writing and illustrating picture books course which I am throughly enjoying. I need prompts to make me work and this has been great for getting me to try new skills with my drawing.

#doodleadayjan was a good way to warm up my skills and not forget them before starting the course.

Here is a selection of my hand drawn illustrations from the drawing challenge:

And here is a selection of my digital illustrations:

I’m so glad I participated as I felt there were a few styles that could possibly be developed.

 

For the online course I have so far had to draw a little self-portrait, so here I am dressed up in my art teacher’s outfits. I always to dress to theme according to the artist I am teaching. Can you recognise the famous artwork on my skirt?: 

And we had to complete a mini book which was so much fun and not something I had done before. so chuffed to be learning new skills. Here is a sneaky peek at pages 3 and 4.

 

I am still writing but this year I am focusing on my illustration skills which has so far been lots of fun already!

 

 

 

#illo52weeks – July’s Illustrations

July has been a cold month. But I  have still managed to submit 3 manuscripts:

  1. for a monthly short story blog
  2. for a Writer’s Unleashed picture book competition (deadline has now closed)
  3. to an editor that I had a consultation with at the CYA Conference (fingers crossed she likes!)

And I have kept up to date with my weekly illustrations, so here goes:

Week 26: Land

I really enjoyed getting familiar with Illustrator Adobe again. I am hoping to improve my digital skills. This illustration is lovely and simple but one day i would like to be able to include interesting textures. It was a particularly cold week, hence the arctic theme.

© Ramona Davey 2015
© Ramona Davey 2015

 

Week 27: Style

I loved spending time creating this illustration. The moment I saw the theme i knew exactly what I wanted to do. My four year old niece Emma Rose, dresses up for every occasion even colouring in. I also enjoy collage.

Week 27: Style
© Ramona Davey 2015

Week 28: Winter

Yes, it was still cold outside and I had just taken the kids tobogganing as a holiday treat in Corin Forest, half an hour from Canberra. Cold but great fun! Of course it inspired this weeks theme in digital medium. I was thrilled to see that my ‘Winter’ illustration was among the selection of Lisa-Marie’s picks on The 52 Week Illustration Challenge blog. Check out the other great winter themed illustrations too.

© Ramona Davey 2015

Week 29: Love

This was inspired by a photo I saw on the internet of a little boy blowing dandelion seeds off the stalk. My figure drawing still feels a bit stiff and is something I need to work on.

© Ramona Davey 2015
© Ramona Davey 2015

Week 30: Portrait

I can not believe we are over half way already! As you know I am an aspiring children’s author. Therefore I have given myself the challenge that my illustrations must be completed in a style that would be suitable for a children’s picture book or chapter book. hence I have drawn this digital illustration as if it was drawn by my daughter when she was younger.

© Ramona Davey 2015
© Ramona Davey 2015

I hope you have enjoyed looking at my illustrations. I am always keen to know which ones resonate or are the most appealing to my readers, so feel free to let me know. Till next month – happy drawing! 🙂

Work in progress – Child writing #1

Today I have been trying to illustrate and create a character that I am currently writing about for a children’s picture book. The theme of the story  is set in the 1920’s and a young girl is writing letters to her father who is sailing to Australia from Jersey, Channel Islands for work.

First quick sketch in pencil

 

I actually need to get my daughter to pose for me in this position so I can sketch the body posture more accurately.

Adding the first colours in watercolour

Painting digitally is a strange experience. But I do like the control over any mistakes made. They can just be ‘undone’ at the click of a button.

More colour and detail.

 

As I only have black and white photos of my ancestors, I had to do a quick Google search to check what colours clothing fabric would have been in the 1920’s.

Adding more detail

 

To be continued…

Quick sketch – in the rain

We’ve had a lot of rain in Sydney lately!

In order to become an illustrator for children’s picture book you must practice the skill of drawing as much as you can. This is the only way you can become better at the skill. I’m a mood sketcher, painter, drawer. I do it whenever the mood grabs me. This can be often or seldom at all. In between those times I practise my writing. This system works for me.

The sketch above is my attempt to try and develop my skill at drawing characters. Although the girl is a little elongated in places there are parts of it I like (the jacket with buttons) and parts I can see are terribly wrong (her neck length, etc).

At college I drew from life. Life drawings, portraits and sculptures of the body. Drawing from imagination is incredibly difficult for me.

I get a lot of my inspiration from watching other artists illustrating and reading their blogs. Here are a few that you might find useful:

Helen Craig – Book Illustrator

Pixel Shavings

Inkygirl

Eric Carle at work

One Word Day: ‘Fly’

Today on Facebook a post has appeared highlighting One Word Day in Melbourne. This is a special event organised to raise funds for the Indigenous Literacy Foundation. It is supported by local illustrators of Australian Society of Authors who were given their choice of art supplies to create one or more pictures interpreting the word ‘fly’.

I decided to do my own illustration. I was thinking of a character I am currently writing about in one of my picture book manuscripts. It highlights his dilemna! I’ll say no more for now…

initial sketch
The beginning stages of my penguin in the arctic.

 

The finished piece.

Rejection letters

Image from http://www.writeyourwaytofreedom.com/

Yesterday I received a rejection note in the post along with the manuscript for a children’s picture book that I had sent over a month ago.

A reply in just over a month is pretty good going compared to some publishing houses. It is also very interesting to reread a manusript that you have not seen for a while, as you can see it again with fresh eyes. Maybe you can see why it was rejected in the first place or you may decide that it was just not what that particular publishing house was looking for in this moment in time.

I find space from a manuscript can be a good thing. I am then excited to look at it again and edit it with a keener more experienced eye. I am no proffessional, but I am learning all the time. And with each manuscript I can feel that I am getting better and better. I may sound over positive or sure but if I am not determined to succeed or believe in myself then all this work is a waste of time. I am not a time waster and enjoy stretching my brain, challenging myself and being creative!

So fingers crossed for the other 5 manuscripts I have out there in the book world!