Monday, March 12, 2018

Illustrating "The Penance of Borund the Bear"

I've been working away steadily on "The Penance of Borund the Bear" and I'm on the final stages for the interior artwork. Half of the images are finished, and the other half are coloured but need lighting details added. In a week or two, I'll work on the cover, and then... Done!

And then I can get started on book three!

Here are two images I recently finished. Borund the Bear is working as a palace guard on night shift so that he can fiddle locks and search rooms without anyone catching him. Unfortunately, he is about the open the WRONG DOOR and then... Things will go wrong.

And below is Duchess Karria, posing as a messenger so that she can escape from...

Well now, that would be telling.

I'm pretty much on track to get this thing finished by April, and then it'll be off to the printers!

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Head sketches

I'm gearing up for book two: "The Penance of Borund the Bear" which will be an illustrated short story (mostly prose but with some illustrations). I'm doing the final edits to the story, so I'll be working on the artwork soon.

After "One Step Ahead", I just wasn't happy with how I was drawing faces, so I've been studying this book and doing some practice: Anatomy of Facial Expression.

This is an incredible book and I highly recommend it!

I started with bits and pieces of faces. Trying to do upshots and downshots of faces means fighting with your brain a lot. It's tricky.

After a lot of frustration, I started drawing faces from photo reference. (The weird-looking top left image is my loose, reference-free warm up. This helps to get started on a drawing session.)

Faces are such subtle, nuanced things. A philtrum curling inwards or outwards is the difference between a slight duck-face and a tight-lipped expression, and it really doesn't take much to change the face's entire mood.

Often I would find that the photo reference was smiling harder than my drawing, so I'd go hunting for clues to find out why: lower lid covering the lower part of the iris, wrinkles around the eyes, the cheek crease (caused by distortion of the malar fat pad, something which DOESN'T EXIST IN OTHER ANATOMY BOOKS, DAMN IT!), the stretch of the lips...

Faces are tricky, but I'm going to decode them! Or die trying.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

"One Step Ahead" now with the printers!

OMIGOD! I uploaded my printable PDFs tonight, after so many colour tests and checking through everything so many times. It's impossible to know exactly how the colour is going to come out in the final print, so all I can really do at this point is hope. But, my printer did a beautiful job of "The Pique of Death" last time so I think this book will be in good hands.

Here's the cover! Now I'm going to go collapse for a while.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Almost done with the graphic novel!

Omigod, almost there! This afternoon, I finally finished colouring all 38 pages of "One Step Ahead".  (Well, 'finished' apart from any tweaks or fixes I missed!)

Next, I need to do the title page and cover, some colour printing tests, and then the book will be ready to go. After a couple of years of effort and a few downward anxiety spirals, it will be rather nice to have it done! Check out where I'll put up more details once the book is available.

Here is the last page, minus dialogue (no spoilers!)

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Colouring the graphic novel

Still not dead! I finished the pencils on my graphic novel early this year, then did the inks, and then spent the last couple of months panicking over how to do the colouring.

I finally figured out a nice colouring paradigm that is easy to set up, easy to change (because I'm fickle and fussy) and looks pretty. Here is page 4, raring to go.

I'm planning on getting this book finished by early 2017 in time for my 'convention season', so I can flog it a lot. Whee!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Working on a graphic novel!

Okay so, I'm not dead! I'm working (slowly) on my first fantasy graphic novel "One Step Ahead", about a bounty hunter on the trail of a shapeshifter. This is the bounty hunter's mule going a bit crazy and creating mayhem. I'm only about halfway through with the pencilling... so much work!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

The Pique of Death

I've been busy! It was time for a new publication, so I repurposed a short story I published in an anthology in 2003, did some illustrations for it, and put it into its own pretty book.

Behold, "The Pique of Death"!

Here is the double page spread in the middle (the main character, a retired mercenary woman called Graysil who took on a hobby of strangling people, chasing some constellations):

And a random illustration from the interior pages. This is a lion-head armrest, looking unimpressed.

I'll be selling these beautiful little books at the MCA Zine Fair this Sunday 25th May 2014, and at Sydney Supanova in mid-June. Also online on my Zeera shop page right here!