Friday, February 25, 2011

The Rose-Elf

Even though the Rose-elf himself didn't feature in the end; this is my illustration for the climax of Hans Andersen's short story 'The Rose-Elf'.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Image Hoard: Kaleidoscopic

Here it is: your start-of-the-week visual boost.  I've found 4 images that are high in kaleidoscopic detail, with areas of intense patterning.

1- Various Pediastum from"Kunstformen der Natur" by Ernst Haeckel
This is a plate illustrating various different forms of green algae.  Who knew green slime could be so pretty?

2- Illustrated fashion editorial by Good Wives & Warriors for I <3 FAKE
GWAW is an illustration duo consisting of Becky Bolton and Louise Chappell.  They collaborate to create these very intense and dense decorative images.  They cover everything, from magazines to chairs, and even a car.

3- Vintage Armani, photographed by Stephen Shore for Amica 
via Pocko

4- Illustrative book detail by Harry Clarke
from "Tales of Mystery and Imagination" by E. A. Poe, 1923
Clarke was a stained-glass-window-maker-turned-illustrator.  He created a large series of illustrations for Poe's work; some full colour, some monochrome and some extra page bits like this writhing, flourishing monster.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A is for Antlers

This is a repeat pattern I made yesterday.  It is inspired by a small hunting room stuffed with trophies at Schloss Buckeburg; a German palace that I visited last year.  

The motto reads "HIC VERO - NUNC VERO".  It's meant to be a rough translation of "Right here, right now": a modern 'Carpe diem' and a phrase that's tattooed (in English) on my husband's wrist.  I used google translate (+ my powers of logic) to translate it into Latin so I wouldn't be sure that it would make sense to a Latin speaker.  Good job there aren't too many around.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Image Hoard: Serpentine

Hi y'all, and a happy Valentine's day to all the lovers out there!  I've got a few more inspirational images and links to open your hearts and blow your minds.  Relax; they're not 'love-themed' and there's not a red heart in sight...

1- 'Playing with Fire- The Handler' by Tara McPherson, oil on birch
Well, if you see love as a viper that you have to wrestle and tame, then perhaps this one is love-themed.  But then I don't know what this chick thinks she's doing taking on two snakes...

2- 'Siphonophorae' by Ernst Haeckel
Haeckel was a 19th century polymath.  He studied and visually recorded all kinds of life in the most aesthetically pleasing ways.  Click here for Haeckel on Wikipedia.
This image is the whole, and various details, of a Siphonophore colony.  Siphonophorae are an order of marine invertebrates that form colonies resembling jellyfish, such as the Portuguese Man o' War.

3- Chalk work by Dana Tanamachi via Apartment Therapy
Tanamachi is a 'graphic designer and custom chalk letterer' from Brooklyn.  Custom chalk lettering has more uses than you might first imagine.  And it's very pretty.

4- Hanging garden by Heather Moore via Skinny laMinx blog
I'm always taking note of how to incorporate plants into a home.  I like having living things around and using this method you could create a veritable jungle without sacrificing any floor space.

5- 'The Penguin Book of Irish Poetry' edited by Patrick Crotty, cover by Coralie Bickford-Smith
I love books.  This one would reconnect me with my Irish heritage, and it has a slammin' cover.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Sketchbook: Dayak Trophy Skull

I cut loose with some india ink this morning and drew this Skull.  It's a head-hunting trophy and has been hand-carved on the cranium.  It's not very intricate decoration, but it sort of matches the brutality of the practice of collecting enemies' heads.

The Dayak are a large collection of tribes that live in Borneo and were feared headhunters.  Here's a link to the Wikipedia page, incase you are curious.

Now I have happy inky hands.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Sketchbook: prep for The Rose-Elf

I'm just starting to work on an illustration for 'The Rose-Elf', a short story by Hans Andersen.  I've been reading a collection of his fairy tales and I find the quality of Andersen's work varies a lot; some stories are genius, some are baffling, and one was so boring I actually skipped it.

But 'The Rose-Elf' is a the story of a quiet revenge reeked by some conspiring jasmine flowers and a rose-elf on a cold-hearted murderer.  It's a good'un.  

A disembodied skull features in the tale; and anything with skulls and flowers together quite tickles my fancy, so it inspired me to have a bash at an illustration. 

The following are my first sketchbook pages dedicated to the matter...

First with pen & ink

Then inks

Friday, February 4, 2011

Image Hoard 7: Middle Cyclone

Top left: 'Untitled' by Tiffany Bozic, 2006, acrylic on wood
Bozic is an American Artist inspired by nature and natural history; working in acrylics, watercolour, mixed media.  I can't get enough of her imagery, I think it's fantastic.

Top right:  'Tengu' by Sekien Toriyama
A Tengu is a Japanese "heavenly dog" or monster spirit, often taking the form of a bird of prey.

Bottom left:  Flowers in Tankwa Karoo National Park via Eendag op 'n Reendag

Bottom right:  Neko Case
I first heard Neko Case's name mentioned in a Buck 65 track.  Once it sank in I became curious and now I'm so glad I looked her up on Spotify.  (And if you've never listened to Buck 65, for God's sake get on that too.)

Below is a photo by Carson Ellis, off her blog.  Too cute and sparkly.  :)