Monday, August 30, 2010

Dragons on the drawing board

Our summer adventures brought us safely home again and I am back to work with pencil and paint. The pleasant task at hand is the art for the sequel to The Dragon's Egg, cover art above. I was well into it before we left on holiday and the dragons were waiting for me on our return.

Written by Alison Baird, The Dragon's Egg (a national bestseller and Regional Winner of the Silver Birch Award) was first published in 1994. My young model for the girl has since grown up but fortunately I still have some of the photos of her. The dragon has stayed in my mind, endlessly striking poses to be captured on paper, so I am very glad that the sequel is coming together at last. It is as charming as the original, with wit and adventure, and (not to give too much away) more dragons and magic.

The new cover art is complete, under wraps for now, and some black and white chapter headings are next.

I took my paints and brushes with me on holiday (a fully loaded palette, with fresh blues than softened and ran under the palette cover and combined to make interesting new tones), but it turns out that I am a good sailor only as long as I do not try to draw or paint at sea, so I enjoyed the rest from work and took photos instead. When the dragons are taken care of I'll get back to painting those beautiful blue waters and pink sands.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

"Gon Out, Backson, Bisy"

In other words, we're going on holiday. After busy weeks of painting, art show, and classes (the above picture is of Sovereign House, where I have been teaching painting en plein air) we are taking off to visit pink sands and coral caves. A house sitter is coming to mind our four-footed ones. The garden will mostly take care of itself.
The pear tree is again heavy with sweet-scented fruit. Twelve years ago it was a spindly little orphan from a local garden nursery, and now it is a towering tree that produces an embarrassment of riches every year. Sometimes a branch breaks under the weight, like the one sketched here.

They will be closer to ripe when we come back, in good time for pear tart and pear jam making. Meanwhile we are going down the shouting sea (taking my palette and brushes with me), or as Christopher Robin put it,
Gon Out