Paper Puppets, Mangoes, and Warm Fuzzy Feelings

One of the most fulfilling things I accomplished with my art this year was to help a young author get published.  Lydia had written a story for younger children when she was just 10 years old and it was her dream to get it published.  Her wonderful parents decided that they would endeavour to see if they could help their daughter achieve her ambition.  They approached me in the hope that I might illustrate the book and I was happy to oblige.

My brief was to construct paper puppets with articulated parts that would be used to illustrate the story.  I loved the idea of that since it seemed to incorporate the whole idea of childhood play.  Lydia had drawn a single picture to illustrate her book and I wanted to try and retain some of the childlike quality of her drawing.  I also used her colour scheme as a jumping off point for painting the figures.

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The book was published in time for the print copies to be a Christmas surprise for Lydia and she was overjoyed.  It was truly a wonderful feeling to help Lydia achieve her dream.  It fills me with warm fuzzy feelings.

Mama Gets Me Mangoes - Edited 1


Inktober 2017 – #64 Newt Scamander

This is my final Inktober drawing.  Yes! I have finally filled both small sketchbooks. I had a terrible sinus infection this weekend and thought I may not get around to drawing my last illustration yesterday, which would have been the first time since 1 October that I had not completed a daily Harry Potter drawing.  However, I pushed myself to put pen to paper precisely because I did not want to falter at the very last.  I did, however, manage to smudge the ink with my hand.  Oops.

My final prompt was Newt Scamander who, though mentioned in the Harry Potter series, does not properly appear in any of the novels.  He is, however, the main character in the movie ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’.  It’s a bit of a cheat but let’s not split hairs.  Newt is a magizoologist and an author of a book about magical creatures.  I chose to draw Newt with his suitcase which, thanks to an extension charm, contains a menagerie.  He is holding a niffler and Pickett the bowtruckle.  Newt definitely looks more like a young Michael York than he does Eddie Redmayne.  Let’s blame my sinus infection for that.

64 Inktober - Newt Scamander

So I have completed my personal Inktober challenge, which of course lasted far longer than the month of October.  After 64 drawings, I definitely feel like I am coming closer to developing my own illustrative style – which is not to say that I won’t be changing things up from time to time but it is pleasing to have a sort of signature style, I think.  Drawing daily is, however, pretty demanding.  There were days when it was definitely tricky to get a drawing done.  Each drawing took a maximum of just 20 minutes but some days finding even that brief gobbet of time was difficult as was finding a spare 10 to 20 minutes that aligned with me feeling in a creative mood.  But I did it and it is done.

Inktober 2017 – #63 Stan Shunpike

Stan Shunpike is the scruffy youth who works as the conductor on the Knight Bus.  This is a magical, triple-decker bus that transports wizards at high speed and undetected by muggles.  Stan was my penultimate illustration in my series of daily Harry Potter drawings.

63 Inktober - Stan Shunpike

Inktober 2017 – #62 Bathilda Bagshot

I cannot believe that we are now in December and yet I am still working through my kids’ Inktober prompts.  All because I cannot count pages accurately.  Anyway, the end is in sight.  Only a couple more drawings after this one.  This illustration is of Bathilda Bagshot, an aged witch who is a historian of the wizarding world.  Harry and Hermione encounter her when they visit Godric’s Hollow but all is not as it seems….

62 Inktober - Bathilda Bagshot

Inktober 2017 – #61 Dementor

I was dreading having to draw a Dementor.  I have a history of doing a sucky job of portraying these horrid creatures.  I drew one for last year’s Inktober, however, that was so wretched (not in a good way) that I knew that this year’s Inktober Dementor could only be an improvement.  JK Rowling saw the Dementors as being a personification of depression.  Therefore, these wraith-like creatures rob people of their happiness and joy and leave them feeling in a state of despair.  They can also suck out people’s souls which is why they are used as guards at Azkaban.  I tried to capture the gaping soul-sucking mouth and the sense of decay in my illustration.  Still not a very good drawing but definitely a step in the right direction compared to last year’s effort.

61 Inktober - Dementor

Inktober 2017 – #60 Crookshanks and Scabbers

Crookshanks is Hermione’s pet cat. Since he possesses some unusual powers and was purchased from the Magical Menagerie, he is probably a familiar as well as a pet.  Scabbers, on the other hand, is a pet rat who has been in the Weasley family’s possession for some years and who accompanies Ron to Hogwarts in his third year.  Crookshanks knows something is very much awry with Scabbers and tries to communicate that to the humans in vain.  That is why I chose to draw Crookshanks looking a bit grumpy and frustrated.  Meanwhile, I drew Scabbers looking a bit shifty and nervous.  That is, of course, because he is not a rat at all but is in fact an animagus, and is a wizard in disguise.

60 - Crookshanks and Scabbers