Wednesday, July 23, 2014

52-Week Illustration Challenge, Week 30

My US holiday continues! Ironically, this Sydneysider is still reporting live from Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA, as my US holiday continues. This week, I spent about four extended sessions (sketching, outlining, painting, final touches) on a project that bounced into my head the moment I saw an ArtiCrafti brand moulded "koala canvas mask" in a Dollar King bargain store - for just $2.50 - a few months ago. I had to carefully pack and bring it OS with me, much to my penpal host's delight, who enjoyed watching the artwork emerge from my brain! The mask is decorated with images of Sydney in black ball-point ink and watercolour.

Week 30 Sydney, angle 1
Week 30: Sydney

Week 30 Sydney, angle 2

Week 30 Sydney, angle 3

Week 30 Sydney, angle 4

The mask is decorated with 3D detail, which includes yellow pompons for wattle flowers, white Tulip brand "puffy dimensional fabric paint" for seagulls and wave crests, and a toothpick flag.


Week 30 Sydney with Olivia
Above: As modelled by my Ann Arbor penpal, Olivia!

Week 30 Sydney in shadow box
Framed in a shadowbox

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

52-Week Illustration Challenge, Week 29

Still live from Michigan, USA. Douglas Lake in Northern Michigan, to be precise! The theme is "Plane, so here'a a model plane, created with iridescent Origami paper, which flies over my photograph of the lake at sunset.

Week 29 Plane
Week 29: Plane


Week 29 Plane II
Week 29: Plane II

"Open wide, here comes an aeroplane!" Paper collage and permanent black Sharpie.

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

52-Week Illustration Challenge, Week 28

Again live from Michigan, USA! Sitting here in Ann Arbor, Michigan, on a drizzly Tuesday morning, patiently(?) waiting for it to be Wednesday in Australia, so that I can share my "Week 28: Feather" before I'm out of Internet range for a whole week! Here is some assemblage art, which uses sequins, plastic jewels, chenille sticks, stickered lettering, a touch of gold glitter, a wiggly eye - and real feathers - on a wooden blank of a rather plain bird who now feels Very Pretty.

Week 28 Feather
Week 28: Feather

Week 28 Feather combo
The original blank (right) and an outdoors shot (left and below) of the complete work.

Week 28 Feather outdoors


When my brother's then girlfriend planned on wearing a Scarlet O'Hara crinoline for a fancy dress party in the late 70s, she ordered him the Rhett Butler outfit at the hire store. He examined it, baulked at the price and, instead, asked me to help him make a crepe paper chicken costume. Girlfriend was appalled - and my brother the chook was startled to meet a butcher at the party, who chased him all night with a giant plastic meat cleaver. Not easy to run in swimming flippers! Based on a Polaroid photo taken by me, the sketch is done in oil pastels on Ingres paper.

Week 28 Feather II
Week 28: Feather II

Week 28 Feather III
Week 28: Feather III

As in Arnold Feather (Jeff Kevin) of "Number 96", inspired by Andy Warhol's infamous Marilyn Monroe artwork. Freehand sketch with black Sharpie on transparent plastic film. Six coloured papers were placed on top, to colour areas with pencils, then placed underneath for individual photography. Six digital thumbnail tiles were then sorted in iPhoto and a final "screenshot" taken.

Saturday, July 05, 2014

52-Week Illustration Challenge, Week 27

Live from Michigan, USA! I've only ever been here in the snow before, but it's summer, of course! The snowman on the right with the "Star Trek" phaser is based on the one made by my penpal, Olivia, and I during out first meeting in January 1984. The little one is based on the one outside our restaurant window in December 2012. The squirrel victim is depicted because - squirrel! Drawn with oil pastels on two backgrounds.

Week 27 Snow
Week 26: Snow

I was thrilled to unite these two long-gone snowpeople, separated by decades, but definitely kindred spirits. Just noticing that the photo of this piece loses some subtlety in the hand phaser, and yet improves the tones on the squirrel. I'm fascinated how oil pastels work, and how they scan/photograph, when the colours are layered - and loving the unpredictability.

Prismatic origami paper snowflakes on a black card background.

Week 27 Snow II
Week 27: Snow II

Thursday, June 26, 2014

52-Week Illustration Challenge, Week 26

I spent all day Wednesday surrounded by fog in San Francisco so, in the wee hours of Thursday, when I tried to recreate a plump, fluffy, accurate-to-nature cloud I had painted in 1978, this came out instead. Celebrating the rediscovery that purple and umber are the perfect tones to shade a cloud! You'd expect to need grey or black, but no it's purple and umber! Oil pastels on tiny notepad paper of the Cova Hotel, downtown San Francisco, USA.

Week 26 Clouds
Week 26: Clouds

A bit of a thought experiment. "Every silver lining has a cloud." [Quote from Avon, "Blake's 7".] Created by attaching a torn Ingres paper cloud to my hotel window, complete with a silver lining made with a tinsel pipe-cleaner:

Week 26 Clouds II
Week 26: Clouds II

No more baked beans for you! Oil pastels on Ingres paper:

Week 26 Clouds III
Week 26: Clouds III

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

52-Week Illustration Challenge, Week 25

The theme for Week 25 is "Dots". I present Fairy Fatality Bread. 3D assemblage art using white foam core board for bread slices, coated with rubber art cement and edible sprinkles. Cardboard template fairy shapes were cut freehand. Wands made from toothpicks and glitter stars. All served on a dotty plastic saucer, cordoned off by miniature police incident tape (photocopied Word document on overhead projector transparency).

Week 25 Dots
Week 25: Dots

Large red card dot on Ingres paper. Cartoon figure in black Artline Ergoline finepoint.

Week 25 Dots II
Week 25: Dots II

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

52-Week Illustration Challenge, Week 24

Week 24 Octopus
Week 24: Octopus

Here's my watercolour, watercolour pencil, blue highlighter and permanent black Sharpie blue-ringed octopus on gesso-primed white canvas, accompanied by a newspaper article about my very exciting capture of one at Pearl Beach in 1973. "The Daily Telegraph" did an extensive phone interview by reverse-charges - via the only public phone box in Pearl Beach - but the eventual story was watered down after several more octopuses were caught on the NSW Central Coast on the same day. Must have been breeding season?

Mixed media collage - on an ink blot. The piece of inverted writing paper has a faint image of planet Earth printed on it. The seaweed was created from a puddle of green watercolour paint blown upwards with a straw.

Week 24 Octopus II
Week 24: Octopus II

I had been wondering if I could create a symmetrical inkblot octopus. It failed dismally, but I stewed on it for a day or so and then I realised I could salvage it with some collage over the top. That pack of silver/mauve "satin" metallic card was just $2 in a bargain store. Bargain indeed! The eyes are cut from a brown foam animal sticker and self-adhesive "jewels".

And, now, Dad Joke Warning (below): "I'd give seven tentacles to be amoctodexterous":

Week 24 Octopus III Amoctodexterous
Week 24: Octopus III

Week 24 Octopus IV
Week 24: Octopus IV

Things you do when you should be packing boxes of books and action figures for the interior painters' imminent arrival: A piece of iPhone photography. I uncovered a cache of stuff last night, including these glass octopuses (above). They are suspended from transparent glass bubbles with fishing line. Originally bought at Fremantle Markets, Western Australia in the early 90s. Took me waaaaaay longer to set up this shot that you'd expect. They kept swimming away!