Archive for May, 2010
Posted by: Kali Ciesemier
Book: Sabriel (purchase on Amazon)
Oh boy guys, it was so hard to choose what to draw this month! Sabriel has a harrowing encounter with a Mordicant, she finally makes it to Abhorsen’s house (her childhood home), AND meets her sardonic traveling companion and friend/foe, Mogget the cat (who isn’t really a cat after all). I did a lot of preliminary work and made several starts on different scenes which are chronicled on my blog. In the end however, I went with a spot sort of illustration of the entrance to Abhorsen’s House, complete with Mogget at the door. I’ve been drawing a lot of dark stuff for this book, and I wanted to do something a little brighter and lighter.
Abhorsen’s house is located on a tiny island in the center of a river at the very lip of a waterfall (fast water is an excellent defense against the dead!). It has tall whitewashed stone walls surrounding it, and the house itself is also white with a cheerful sky blue door and a red brick path leading up to it. With all the white in it, I thought I’d try sort of a spot style incorporating the white space of the page, but I ended up getting into some of the details. I think it turned out as a cross between a spot and a full page? Lemme know what you think!
Check out http://kalidraws.blogspot.com for more info and pictures about this latest adventure!
Posted by: Phil McAndrew
Book: From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler (purchase on Amazon)
Hello! Apologies for my absence during the month of April. My former computer decided that it no longer wanted to turn on shortly before I was due to post. It’s okay though! I have a new computer now and two months worth of material to share! First is my illustration for April (up above).
They wandered back to the rooms of fine French and English furniture. It was here Claudia knew for sure she had chosen the most elegant place in the world to hide. She wanted to sit on the lounge chair that had been made for Marie Antoinette or at least sit at her writing table. But signs everywhere said not to step on the platform. And some of the chairs has silken ropes strung across the arms to keep you from even trying to sit down. She would have to wait until after lights out to be Marie Antoinette.
At last she found a bed that she considered perfectly wonderful, and she told Jamie that they would spend the night there.
Claudia and Jamie have successfully made it to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where they’ve planned to hide out. On their first day they wander around the museum, blending in with the crowds and scoping out the joint. When the museum closes, they hide out in the bathroom stalls until the staff leaves.
As Jamie got into bed, he still felt uneasy, and it wasn’t because he was worried about being caught. Claudia had planned everything so well that he didn’t concern himself about that. The strange way he felt had little to do with the strange place in which they were sleeping. Claudia felt it, too. Jamie lay there thinking. Finally, realization came.
“You know, Claude,” he whispered, “I didn’t brush my teeth.”
For the month of May I decided to try something a little different. If I were actually creating illustrations for this book, I’d want to sprinkle little spot illustrations throughout the text. Tons of them. Little maps and diagrams and notes and drawings of important objects. Here are a few examples…
Jamie, the chosen brother, didn’t even care for hot fudge sundaes although he could have bought one at least every other week. A year and a half before, Jamie had made a big purchase; he had spent his birthday money and part of his Christmas money on a transistor radio, made in Japan, purchased from Woolworth’s. Occasionally, he bought a battery for it. They would probably need the radio; that made another good reason for choosing Jamie.
“My compass. Got it for my birthday last year.”
“Why did you bother bringing that? You’re carrying enough weight around already.”
“You need a compass to find your way in the woods. Out of the woods, too. Everyone uses a compass for that.”
“What woods?” Claudia asked.
They got the New York Times the next day. Neither Claudia nor Jamie bought it. The man who left it on the counter while he was looking at the reproductions of antique jewelry bought it. The Kincaids stole it from him. They left the museum immediately thereafter.
Claudia read the paper while they ate breakfast.
This last spot illustration jumps ahead in the story just a little. Claudia and Jamie are searching for information on something in the paper, something that they encounter in the museum. I hint at it a little with the headline towards the bottom of the second column: Record Crowd Views Museum Bargain. This object becomes an obsession for the two Kincaid children and will be introduced in my illustration for June!
A WRINKLE IN TIME. CHP. 4
First off, let me apologize for being late! Not even pulling an all-nighter could get these pieces in on time!
Where we left off last month, Calvin and Meg were having a moment in the apple orchard interrupted by Charles Wallace, bringing along with him Mrs. Whatsit and Mrs. Who. The third and final witch, a Mrs. Which is introduced as an amorphous floating orb which speaks strangely of the beginning of their quest.
Chapter 4 begins with Meg actually tesseracting, a horribly terrifying experience which is described as floating in nothingness, isolated and alone. Meg rematerializes partially when she arrives at her destination but is still invisible to her traveling companions, stuck in the limbo in between worlds. Gradually she shifts into reality and appraises her new location, a distant planet that smells like apple blossoms and is rich with song birds. The landscape is dominated by a towering behemoth of a mountain, so high in fact that the peak of the mountain is obscured by clouds.
Soon, the three witches arrive, the same arguementative and vague little creatures they always are. Mrs. Which is no longer a floating orb but is now a semi-realized human being, still see-through but now wearing a peaked witches’ hat and shouldering a broomstick. The three women explain that the children must be patient and take things seriously, even if they don’t always do the same. They explain they’ve arrived on Uriel, the third planet of the star Malak in the spiral nebula Messier 1o1 and this little detour is to help brace them for what they are up against. Its decided that the children must see for themselves with Mrs. Whatsit as their guide. In front of their very eyes, Meg, Calvin and Charles watch as Mrs. Whatsit morphs from a short squat elderly woman into strong broad-shouldered with biceps to spare Grecian centaur. With wings. And a winning smile.
They climb onto Mrs. Whatsit’s back (because she decides that just because her body changes, her name doens’t have to) and the winged beast zooms off for that mountain. On the way, they are given three flowers, picked by another creature who looks identical to Mrs. Whatsit. The flower is made up of thousands of little buds which, when breathed into, supplies the children with enough air as they climb into the thinning atmosphere.
At the peak of the mountain, the kids are greeted by a gorgeous ceiling of stars and one of Uriel’s moons, which is surprisingly close. Mrs. Whatsit is noticiably tense as they wait for the sun to completely set. She points out a dark spot on the horizon, a place where there is a total lack of stars. The dark spot seems to shimmer and shivers run along the spines of our characters, even Mrs. Whatsit in her magnificiantly muscled form. They leave the mountain and return to Mrs. Who and Mrs. Which in the field where they left them. Meg, unsteadily works her way off of Mrs. Whatsit’s back and while standing before the two other witches realizes that the shadow they saw, that horrible bleak blip on the horizon is where her Father has been all this time.
Thanks again for reading! And tune in next month as we learn how to tesser (its really easy, you should try it some time) and travel further along Orion’s Belt, drawing nearer to the black thing!
Posted by: Israel Sanchez
Book: Where The Red Fern Grows
A blizzard keeps Billy and the dogs inside for five days. The first night after it stops, the three race out for a night of hunting and it doesn’t take long for Old Dan to pick up the scent of a river coon. In this part of the story Billy and the dogs are prowling the river bottoms often, from time to time they get outsmarted by a sly raccoon, but they are quickly becoming some of the best hunters in the mountains.
“Mr. McMurphy, I’m warning you!”
Since my last post, the fog has been getting thicker. One floor above, in the disturbed ward, a patient has castrated himself and has died. Tired of group therapy and the monotony of the ward, McMurphy is still determined to beat Nurse Ratched at her game. His latest attempt is to break routine by watching the World Series game. Nurse Ratched allows the ward to vote on the matter, fully knowing the patients are so deep in her routine, McMurphy will not get enough votes to win. McMurphy dashes around the ward trying to get votes. He gets twenty. However, Nurse Ratched surprises him by saying he needs a majority to change ward policy and there are forty patients. She closes the vote and McMurphy, frustrated, continues to plead for votes. He gets the vote he needs from Chief Bromden. Nurse Ratched tells him the vote was closed but McMurphy turns on the television anyway. She flips a switch turning off the TV but McMurphy still sits there watching the screen as if something was there. Then patients begin to join him. Nurse Ratched is furious by this disobedience and begins yelling at everyone, telling them to follow their scheduled duties. Nobody listens and they continue to watch the blank TV screen. A victory for the McMurphy and the ward.
Thanks for visiting!
“Her face is smooth, calculated, and precision-made, like an expensive baby doll [...] and you can see how bitter she is about it.”
Nurse Ratched would be very disappointed that I wasn’t able to complete my drawing for today. However, I have posted her character drawing that I did a while ago. The quote comes from the first few pages of the book describing her appearance.
Adjacent to that is a part of the sketch for the drawing I will finish this weekend.
See you then!
(click on the images to enlarge)
(Click image to view it larger)
Posted by: Lucy Knisley
Book: The Giver, by Lois Lowry
“What your mother said is true as well. There will be changes.”
“Good changes, though,” his mother pointed out. “After my Ceremony of Twelve, I missed my childhood recreation. But when I entered my training for Law and Justice, I found myself with people who shared my interests. I made friends on a new level, friends of all ages.”
“Did you still play at all, after Twelve?” Jonas asked.
“Occasionally,” his mother replied. “But it didn’t seem as important to me.”
“I did,” his father said, laughing. “I still do. Every day at the Nurturing Center, I play bounce-on-the-knee, and peek-a-boo, and hug-the-teddy.” He reached over and stroked Jonas’s neatly trimmed hair. “Fun doesn’t end when you become a Twelve.”
Lily appeared, wearing her nightclothes, in the doorway. She gave an impatient sigh. “This certainly is a very long private conversation,” she said. “And there are certain people waiting for their comfort object.”
This follows a long conversation Jonas has with his parents, during which he expresses his apprehension over his imminent “Ceremony of Twelve” (the ritual birthday when The Community chooses and announces each 12-year-old child’s profession). I always liked this scene, because it seems so alien and comfortable at the same time. I was about 12 when I first read this book, and I remember being aghast that your lifelong work would be chosen for you at that age. But the feeling of talking with my parents about my anxieties over the dinner table was so relatable, still somehow in this weird weird world.
The conversation is brought to an end by Jonas’ younger sister, Lily ,who requests her “Comfort Animal.”
…Her father had already gone to the shelf and taken down the stuffed elephant which was kept there. Many of the comfort objects, like Lily’s, were soft, stuffed, imaginary creatures. Jonas’s had been called a bear.
CREEEPY! Bears and elephants are imaaaaginary!
The Neverending Story starts with the theft of the book named The Neverending Story by Bastian Balthazar Bux; a fat little boy who was hiding in an antique bookstore from the bullies that chased him home every day. Finding himself fascinated by an old leatherbound book with two serpents entwined on the cover he surprises himself by putting it in his schoolbag when the store’s owner, mr. Koreander isn’t looking.
Realising he is now a thief, he decides he can never go home anymore and hides himself in his school’s giant disused attic. He puts an old musty blanket over his shoulders and starts to read the mysterious book.
Which whisks him away to the land of Fantastica, where a Will o’the Wisp named Blubb is making his way through the vast Howling Forest to the Ivory Tower of the Childlike Empress. In the woods he meets a Rock biter: a giant whose kind eat nothing but stone, a night hob and a tiny. All three have come from different regions of Fantastica with the same mission, to tell the Queen about the Nothing that is eating away at their land, and to ask for help.
Sitting in the forest they share stories of how the Nothing suddenly appeared. Where once there were lakes, trees and hills, there is now absolutely nothing. The eye can’t even see it. Scariest of all is that those who come close to these areas find themselves irrevocably drawn to the Nothing, coming closer and closer until they are swallowed by it.
I have huge shoes to fill here, and this drawing is not what I had intended my first illustration to be. Unfortunately, the past few weeks I’ve been swamped with assignments and I wasn’t able to give this project quite the time I would have liked. So when I found out that my idea wasn’t working the way I had intended I didn’t have enough time to fix it. So here’s the drawing I made without all the terrible terrible colours I inflicted on it.
Once I’ve finished a version that I am satisfied with, I will of course unveil it forthwith.
posted by: Chuck Groenink
Book: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
Posted by: John Martz
I have recovered from illness in time to complete and post this before the weekend is offically over.
It’s probably safe to say that this is a favourite part of the book for many people, particularly the inner monologue of the poor whale as it gains self-awareness and the ability to form new thoughts and ideas all within the short time it takes for it to plummet to its death.
Zaphod leapt out of his seat.
“Then what’s happened to the missiles?” he said.
A new and astounding image appeared in the mirrors.
“They would appear,” said Ford doubtfully, “to have turned into a bowl of petunias and a very surprised looking whale…”
It was my intention to introduce the Starship Heart of Gold into this illustration. But I have specific plans for how I want the ship to look, and it would have been all too distracting an image to include it here with the whale and the petunias. And the planet Magrathea, which I took liberties with and made purple instead of red, as it’s described in the book. So a simpler, stronger image it is.
I may need to rewind the book a few chapters for my next illustration in order to properly introduce the improbable Heart of Gold. Until then, here is that poor, poor whale.
And wow! Hey! What’s this thing suddenly coming towards me very fast? Very very fast. So big and flat and round, it needs a big wide sounding name like… ow… ound… round… ground! That’s it! That’s a good name — ground!
I wonder if it will be friends with me?
And the rest, after a sudden wet thud, was silence.