Well, I can’t believe another year is done and I managed to complete 52 more illustrations for the 52 Week Illustration Challenge founded by Tania McCartney.
Week 48: Warm
Week 49: History
Week 50: Party
Week 51: Family
Week 52: World
This year I have particularly enjoyed line drawing. Has a definite style emerged yet? I’m not sure, but others say they can recognise my work. I have thoroughly enjoyed being part of this ever growing community and have been determined each week to complete an illustration no matter how busy or chaotic life may be at the time. I have set myself an achievable goal. I did not have to complete masterpieces each week but I had to complete a drawing, a sketch, a painting, an illustration each week before the deadline.
Am I glad I stuck to it, for sure, will I do it again this year for 2016? Maybe, I haven’t decided yet… you will have to come back soon. 🙂
Here is a brief glimpse of all my illustrations for this year:
I can’t believe the year is over – which means The 52 Week Illustration Challenge founded by Tania McCartney is also over! It has been a great challenge to be part of and I have created over 52 illustrations that certainly wouldn’t have existed had I not participated. It was a delight to see everyone else’s creations too. If you would like to see the complete collection click here: 52 Week Illustration Challenge 2014
Week 51: Silhouette
My other hobby is family history and I love the old silhouettes or Victorian era cameos that were in fashion as broaches and wall portraits. This is my daughter drawn using textas onto white oval shaped paper and then stuck onto black card. Ignore the dodgy and wonky outline of the oval, I had to draw the shape by hand. 🙂
Week 52: Fireworks
Last night was New Years Eve and so it was apt to finish with fireworks. Using a Gelli printing plate can be a bit hit and miss. I love this aspect about this medium. Using cut out firework shapes I created layers of different colours and finished the illustration by adding the cut outs on top to create a mixed media collage.
I had a great evening watching the Sydney fireworks with family. So Happy New Year everyone and thank you for all your wonderful support throughout this creative year!
Here is this weeks illustration for the theme ‘Psychedelic‘ for Tania McCartney’s 52 week illustration challenge:
Pencil sketch, wax crayons and masking fluid painted over with watercolour and outlined in food colouring as I didn’t have any indian inks.
I need to do a little more practice with the masking fluid as this was my firts time using this material. I couldn’t get it off and when I did manage to peel some of it back off it tore the paper.
Each week I have no idea what I will illustrate for the weeks theme. I mull it over in my head and wait for my brain to decide which medium it fancies experimenting with or developing. As usual the image in my head is nothing like the image that eventually comes out in paper this can be a pleasant surprise a s much as it can be a pain in the bum.
Here is my workspace for the day – the dinner table was taken over! 🙂
Wow! Where has the time gone? We are at the end of week 25 for Tania McCartney’s Illustration Challenge. Here are the previous weeks worth of my ilustrations:
Week 21: Boxes & Week 22: Eyes
Based on egyptian coffin of Khnum Nakht – completed in Adobe illustrator
Week 23: Feast
Pencil sketch – Watercolour – Artline pen outline
It can be very frustrating to have an image in your head that your hands just can’t create. This was fun to do never-the-less.
Week 24: Octopus
This first image was completed in Adobe Illustrator. It’s okay. I am getting frustrated with my own lack of skill with this medium but I enjoy creating digital art, so I am going to have to go on a course.
I decided to have another crack at the octopus theme in pencil and then Photoshopped the image just for fun (using Trace image).
Week 25: Dots
Again I decided to do more pencil work.
Pencil – watercolour – Copic pen outliner
And that brings me up to date – I look forward to seeing what I create for next weeks theme – ‘Clouds.’
So here are the following questions to explain my processes:
What am I working on?
Everything at the moment, which feels a bit hectic. But I am working for 3 deadlines/closing dates which are happening in the following week:
I have to submit manuscripts for appraisals at this years SCBWI Conference
submit a manuscript to CYA Conference Writing Competition
submit a manuscript to KBR Unpublished Picture Book Award Competition
Actually, the first one is the only job I have to do, but the second two are what I need to do to help me develop into a more satisfying and successful writer. Entering competitions helps you work towards deadlines. Some offer feedback sheets which are invaluable and help you to spot strengths and weaknesses in your own work.
So, what am I working on?
3 chapter books/ middle grade novels
1 rhyming picture book manuscript ( I know, rumour has it that they are not easy to sell to publishers, unless the ryhme is perfect – I intend to make it perfect 😉
How does my work differ from others of it’s genre?
I learnt a new word last year – scatalogical. I submitted a manuscript to an American Literary Agency for Julie Hedlund’s 12 X 12 Writing Challenge (write 12 picture book manuscripts in 12 months). The agent replied to me with a very nice rejection letter explaing that ‘scatalogical’ humour was not her thing.
I don’t know why but many of my manuscripts seem to contain scatalogical humour in some shape or form including: cow pats, bird poo, super-glue poo. Maybe that’s how it differs.
I also have two manuscripts which have a connection to the island I was born on – Jersey, Channel Islands.
Why do I write what I do?
I have often read blogs that say don’t write to trends, write about what you know or enjoy.
Well, I know about Jersey, living on a tiny island and Jersey cows.
But I’m not an expert on a great variety of poos – although I have stood in dog poo (which isn’t lucky) and bird poo has landed on me (but that’s ok because it’s lucky.)
I love history and therefore I have two manuscripts that are historical. Both are based around real events. One is a picture book which made my daughter cry. She thought it was a horrible story as the father wasn’t going to make it back in time for his daughter’s birthday. (She threw the manuscript on the floor!)
The other one is a middle grade novel which is so exciting to write but difficult too. It is based in 50BC and as I wasn’t around then it is quite hard to make sure I am including details that would have existed then, eg: food, transport, tradition, clothes (or lack of – Gauls had been known to fight naked!), family life, rules, etc…
How does my writing process work?
In the past I have entered Tara Lazar’s PiBoIdMo (Picture Book Ideas Month). Or I have seen something in the news or in the newspaper, on Facebook or something my kids have done – and Bingo! It has given me an idea.
I then go through the following quick checklist:
WHO is the main character?
WHAT is the problem/ inciting event?
WHERE is this happening?
WHEN is it happening?
I write the first draft. Spell check it. Read it out loud into my voice memo onto my iphone (this is especially useful for my rhymimg text)
I have recently come across this devise to help you hear your work: http://www.naturalreaders.com/index.php
I also get my 8 year old daughter to read out the manuscript aloud.
Then I meet up with my brilliant critique group and they give me valuable feedback on the good and the bad. And I rewrite, rewrite and rewrite until the writing feels polished and every word is needed. This can sometimes be hard to judge.
And now to introduce next week’s blogger;
Rob Harding is a voice-over artist, TV presenter and kids author. You have probably heard Rob’s voice before – perhaps on the radio or TV for Coke or Optus or perhaps one of those ads where he shouts at you about a Massive Clearance Sale. He appears on the BBC’s pre-school channel CBeebies, where he gets to dress up as a gnome and speak in a pirate accent, although usually not at the same time.
Rob has also written several critically acclaimed children’s books. At this stage, none of these books have actually been published, so the critical acclaim only comes from Rob’s kids. His wife thinks they’re OK. His dog thinks they stink. (Which actually isn’t such a bad thing because she used to eat her own poopy.)
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:
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:
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!
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.
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 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:
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.
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 challengeor 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.