Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A single leaf fell silently to the ground.

Here is another drawing for my illustrated book class, we had final critique today and it was great to see a big range of really unique and inspiring work. I'm looking forward to heading home to Australia tomorrow to spend some quality time with family and friends in the summer weather... lots of drawing and sleeping time to come in the full day of travel ahead! Happy holidays everyone :)

Thursday, December 11, 2008


The Russian Queen of Studio 2 sleeps on a cloudy beach...
what is she plotting now?
just practicing some more oil painting - from photo reference

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

hold me in your arms and sway me like the sea.

This is my latest painting and the first time I've started to feel more comfortable with oils. I really enjoyed painting this one, which was inspired by the Kimya Dawson song "All I Want is You" and is dedicated with love to a couple of the world's most beautiful people as voted by me... Jasmin and Will!

here are some of the lines to the song:

"All I want is you
Will you stay with me?
Hold me in your arms
And sway me
Like the sea

If you were the wood
I'd be the fire
If you were the love
I'd be the desire
If you were a castle
I'd be your moat
And if you were an ocean
I'd learn to float"
- Kimya Dawson

Monday, December 1, 2008

Thanksgiving left-overs

I hope everyone enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend! Here are two more drawings for my book project and a sketch of some members of my adopted American family, the McMillans, around the Thanksgiving dinner table :)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Young Playwrights Festival Poster

Earlier this semester I had the great opportunity to work with CENTERSTAGE, Baltimore's leading theatre company, thanks to their ongoing relationship with the Maryland Institute College of Art. The senior seminar class submitted sketches for the Young Playwrights Festival poster, which aimed to encourage young people to enter the playwriting competition by stimulating creativity and innovation. I was honored to have my concept chosen for the final poster. I had a week to complete the finished illustration through which I gained some good experience working with art direction, making changes that were focused on making the character one that a broad audience could relate to.

here is the finished illustration

here is the printed poster and the poster folded for mailing

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Bare Tree

Another for the book,
13 x 17 inches, graphite on cold press illustration board.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Vote... today!

As an Australian citizen I can't vote in the U.S. but tonight I decided to do a painting instead! I decided to mark this historic election with another historic event - my first ever portrait using oil paint, it needs some work, but I think you can tell who it is enough to go and vote for him!

book + sketches

Here is another page from my book project, basically the girl is lonely because all the leaves on her tree have disappeared. This page involved drawing lots and lots of grass... enjoy!

also a couple of sketches - one of my beautiful Oma drawn from life in January and only scanned today, and another of a woman from last week in McDonalds - clearly her extra ear is proof that something is up with the food!

Monday, October 27, 2008

book progress

Here is some process on my book project, I am illustrating a fairly long picture book with a story I wrote about a girl who lives beneath an autumn tree. I had a good time with the story board, most of the book is just the girl and the tree so I tried to push myself to experiment with interesting and varied viewpoints. I did one full set of thumbnails then took photo reference and did a second set, although most of the compositions stayed the same you can see how some of them, like this one changed. I am happy with the large drawing, which still needs some work on color, however there are parts of the small sketch that I liked and lost (probably because I chose not to transfer the small sketch, but to draw the final again from scratch, oh well - good drawing practice!).

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

sketching in the sky

Last weekend I flew down to Sarasota, Florida to attend the Illest of Ill Exhibition put on by Illustration Majors at the Ringling College of Art and Design. It was an amazing exhibition with plenty of quality Illustration. Sam Weber and Jillian Tamaki were there to judge the show and gave some helpful and inspiring lectures. It was also really interesting to see a dry brush ink demo by Sam Weber.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

drawing + color

I am working on finding a way to add color and unify patterned areas of line while still keeping the essence of the drawing. Here I sealed the drawing with acrylic and tried a few things, but most of the color ended up coming from oil washes.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Saturday, September 13, 2008

'Grounded' May 08

a personal piece completed earlier this year, some elements of this may be of use in a new book project I'm working on... we'll see!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Thursday, August 28, 2008


my first mural in the entrance of the Baltimore Freedom Academy highschool - a surprise project last week that needed to be done before school started... so I had one day to sketch and tape & three days to paint. It was 24ft long, about 10ft high, a good challenge and if nothing else at least it brightens up the school entrance which was previously a very depressing green tile! The main requirement was to include the words that are the goals of the school - revolution, activism etc and an image to go along with that theme in a fairly abstract way - no portraits of historical figures etc. One thing I learnt was that shiny tiles and painter's tape don't go that well together, I had to fill in a lot of areas that tore up the paint & don't even think about using masking tape when you run out of painter's tape... ever.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

More Illustration Academy Projects

Most of these require minor changes, but for now you can get the idea of some of the projects I worked on at the Academy...

Week 1 - Mark English's project was based on a slice of life in sarasota and limited to flat color, which helped to put the focus on composition, color and value. This was a really challenging but great first assignment because it forced me to think more about the essentials of picture making without relying on rendering to make an impact. painted in acrylic gouache.

Week 2 - John Foster's project was a portrait of a fictional character showing an emotion. I chose Tita the main character from "Like Water for Chocolate" due to a family tradition she is forbidden to marry her true love and confined to a life of caring for her mother in which cooking is her only means of expressing her emotions. This is an acrylic painting with a burnt sienna oil wash, it was the first time I had tried an oil wash and it really helped with the skin tone and in unifying the colors overall.

Week 3 - Gary Kelley's assignment was on the concept of a color chosen randomly - i picked yellow and so after cycling through a lot of ideas choose to do a dozen sunnyside-up eggs, I learnt that conceptual doesn't always mean complicated and I had a really good time painting this one - I poured white paint from a coconut shell to get the spontaneous spatter of a cracked egg and used watered down gouache and acrylic.

Week 5 - C. F. Payne's assignment was to illustrate a conversation using expressions to make it clear what was happening. I was happy with how this turned out, the main change that was suggested is putting some reflection on the scissors which I think will make it come together really well.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Beginning...

Illustration Academy 2008... what can I say? It was amazing! One of the best experiences of my life. Apart from the best instructors you could ask for, crits, lectures and demos, I really enjoyed the environment of the Academy - just being surrounded by so many passionate and positive people (faculty and students) really inspired me to work harder and smarter. After the first day of the Academy I could already see a whole new standard to hold myself to & to work towards. One of the highlights of the Academy for me was meeting the fellow Aussie, week 6 visiting Illustrator Robin Eley, who just had a really good spirit & was able to share some really relevant and helpful advice about pursing an Illustration career from Australia - my home & where i will most likely be living after I finish at Morgan State University in Baltimore in May 09. For me the Academy went by so fast that I couldn't bear to leave town straight away, so I'm still in Sarasota with the beautiful Princess Jasmin enjoying the beach and working on thumbnails for a new project we came up with - lyrics from a song with an environment. I'm so glad that I was able to attend the Illustration Academy this year as it has given me a new perspective & more effective working process as well as a whole lot of motivation for the future, I'm more excited than ever to get to work & make my senior year a great one!

Robin Eley and Scott Anderson's Rolling Stone Portrait project (week 6) - 
Tori Amos (acrylic)

more scans to come...