Sunday, April 27, 2014

Thumbnails in Paper App

thumbnails in Paper app

Recently I did some work for a new company in the UK called Story Corner, and it was one of the funnest projects I've worked on. The job was to illustrate a set of cards that are used to create your own story - a child can lay out the cards in any order and create their own narrative. The subject matter allowed for a lot of creativity.

I did my thumbnails using the Paper by 53 app, sketches with Vellum and colour in Paintbook, with some edits and texture added in a Photoshop.

In the garden

Sketches in Vellum

Colour in Paintbook

Tuesday, April 8, 2014


Just been having some fun drawing portraits on the Sktchy app.

Monday, September 7, 2009

My music week


One of the great things about playing in a band with a school teacher is that she comes to practice with some preprinted charts and sharpened pencils, so you can dutifully take notes for your upcoming recording session, and see all the things that you better get working on. We're finally going to finish the Onward Voyageur cd that we started almost a year ago, and I have about a week to fix all the lyrics and guitar parts that aren't quite up to scratch.

Its quite a challenge mind you, as I've had a few Duplex! rehearsals for tonight's show in Veda's backyard, as well as picking up the drums for my son's best friend's band, Youthful Exuberance. Its fun to be the old lady on the drums behind a 12 and 8 year old songwriting team and we worked pretty hard on convincing their Dad to play bass, in spite of his conviction that one should not be playing a gig after one day playing bass - he isn't taking into account his inherent musicality. Playing drums is fun fun thing. Anyone out there need a drummer whose meter isn't too bad but never does any fills? (but I don't own my own drum kit).

And Duplex! sure is fun, because after being a bass player for many many years, I suddenly find I rarely play it anymore. Since Duplex! averages about a gig a year I find I'm losing a lot of flexibility in my it time to start playing with a pick? And I can't even begin to tell you how much fun, and difficult, singing harmonies and playing bass is.

Oh, and just for fun, I was messing about with a band photo. What do you think? This is just a first draft.

Picture 2

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The New Duplex album is here!

duplex! worser

At last, the new record from the laziest band in show business. More rock songs for small people and their minders! Topics covered: noble gases, sandwich making, photosynthesis, same-sex divorce, dogs in sweaters.

Its taken us 4 years but we've finally managed to get it together to put out our second album, Worser. I'm pretty darn happy with it, and not only because I got to do the silkscreened art. Great song contributions by everyone in the band, too. Here's a song - Orange Popsicle, by Duplex!:


(I'm going to post my little demo version of it later, so keep an eye out for it!)

One really, really great thing about playing music for kids is you get to do early shows, at say, noon. This works perfectly with my schedule. Oh, and if you're trawling around on myspace or reverbnation, add us as your friend!

buy the album

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Recently one of my workmates was unloading some things her children had outgrown, and I picked up the book The Biggest Best Snowman by illustrator Will Hillenbrand. I was pretty intrigued by his style and the textures he was getting, and (like most picture books) there was a bit of info regarding the media he was using - the one I was most curious about was his paper, which was vellum.

Always eager to hand over more dollars to my local art store, I went to buy some but was rather discouraged to find that the heaviest they carried was something like 29lb and that that was as heavy as it got. How did he use watercolour and acrylic on it? My own experiments were horrible, wrinkled messes.

Luckily for me, googling the illustrator turned up his website and a whole section on his process! Isn't the internet fabulous for sorting out your problems for you? :) It turns out the trick is he's dry mounting the vellum. Not having a dry mount press, I've resorted to vellum spray glue, but after playing around with the mixed media bit I'm back to oil pastels. The spray glue stinks and is probably not the most environmental solution - I'm either just going to tape the vellum to bristol to keep it flat, try dry mounting with an iron (apparently some mixed results with this) or try out some Letratac adhesive sheets.

In the meantime, here's a picture I made for my new book, done with oil pastel on vellum:

picturebook illustration

I have to say I love it - I finally feel like after 2 years of experimenting I've found my materials - no small thing, I assure you! It works beautifully with oil pastel, its so easy manipulate the pastel with a paper stump.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Gratefulness You!

I haven't written in a month, and the first thing I did was wade through my comment spam and came across this:

I was just reading a point on how to place your down comforter all puffy again and on the brink of all the answers said that you can save some tennis balls in the dryer to amount to that happen. how to build tabular tennis tables So how does that chef-d’oeuvre exactly? Why does this happen? Can you throw away something else rather than tennis balls? Gratefulness you!

Why does this happen indeed!

So I will try and encapsulate what I've been up to for the past month:

a) my daughter was frightened by my hairy armpits recently (they're not grotesquely hairy!) and tried to put my arms down so that she would no longer have to look at them (I was lying on the couch at the time). When I told her that she would have hairy armpits too when she got older she wailed, no, I want to look like Barbie!! This is a sign that I am failing horribly as a parent.

b) I love my new house. Although we have been here for two weeks today is the first day of officially being moved out of the old. I'm writing this from my kitchen window where I am overlooking the courtyard and the crowd of children playing outside, including my own. I cannot stress enough the joy I feel at booting my children into the great outdoors after dinner.

c) Here is a little picture of my new deck. I have been foregoing my studio of late just for the sheer pleasure of sitting outside with its gorgeous view of the mountains. What is missing in the photo is the smudge left on the glass door by my forehead when I ran into it. As I later remarked to a friend, I'm not used to things being so clean.


d) some gigs again finally, and practicing once a week is starting to pay off. I was horrified lately when I came to the realization that I have been playing guitar for 16 years. 16 years!! Ok, not religiously or anything, and there was quite a long bout of only being the rhythm guitarist, and yes, sometimes my fingers still behave like they're clinging to a bass guitar, but shouldn't I be better by now? The tradeoff though, is that I am not so professional that I find it a chore to practice every week. In fact, I love it.

e) Mood lately: I'm a happy happy camper. Grateful Me!

Friday, June 5, 2009

The Big Move

We take possession of our new place today, but we haven't even begun to pack - luckily we have the whole month. We have been spending most of April weeding out all the things we've accumulated over the last 6 years, and once again I despair over my giant footprint. I'm trying to gather up all the toys that my children don't play with, and the awful thing is this: one tiny piece is missing from this toy/game, rendering it useless if I don't find it, but surely it has to be in the house somewhere! And what if I get rid of this now and it turns up when I start moving out the furniture? I already had one instance when a boot of my daughters went to Big Brothers and the other one was mysteriously left behind. That nagged at me forever.

Seriously, there has to be a better way to deal with stuff. Obviously, acquiring less of it would be the best place to start (and that should be easier considering the jump in rent that we've undertaken) and I'm really thinking that I'm going to buy only second hand toys from now on. My daughter's birthday is coming up and she's dying for one of those new disney princess dolls, and so far they have not turned up on craigslist. If I buy something on ebay is it really better considering what it takes to ship it here?

Meanwhile I have been working on my third picture-book (number one is still out in the world, and number two was ready for sketches when I was sidetracked by number three). Its amazing how difficult they can be to write - isn't there a better, simpler way that I can say this? Also compounding my difficulties was the fact that this time I created a story around what I felt like drawing. It may be to my benefit that if a line doesn't feel right I will literally have a physical feeling about it, and I have to keep writing and rewriting it until I can read it without that nagging sense that those lines are just wrong. I think I may have got it, though, and I'm keen to continue with the sketches!