I haven’t really used fineliners extensively in years as their resolute uniformity of line can be frustrating. But I wanted to try out the new Derwent Graphik Line Makers when they were recommended by my friend and fellow artist, Claudia Hahn. I trust Derwent’s quality — and sepia fineliners are so rare. The line weight issue aside, I really do enjoy these as the ink flows so smoothly. It’s a little like drawing with a fountain pen, but without the flex of the nib (although most modern fountain pens have rigid nibs, too, which is also frustrating, but I digress…). The ink is also pigmented, waterproof, and lightfast.
This has been shared elsewhere before, when it was drawn back in 2012. It has since gained a mild popularity among my palaeo friends and has curiously become one of my best-selling prints. I suppose dinosaur puns are the most enjoyable.
On the subject of prints, I was actually reminded to post this by the fact that two of my friends have each coincidentally bought a tote bag of this design from my Redbubble store around the same time.
Of course, if you would prefer it in a different form, it is also available as prints, cards, and throw pillows…
Illustration for Jane Austen’s Emma, published by the Folio Society, 2007. This is the only illustration I’m happy with from this book, and one of the (increasingly) few pieces from the three Austen novels I did for Folio that I can still stand. Though I would alter Harriet’s feet now (in fact, the more I think about it, the more I feel it must be done, past work notwithstanding).
It was displayed at the British Library in the Folio Society Gallery as part of the exhibition, ‘A Houseful of Books: 60 years of the Folio Society’ in 2007. At the private view, one lady very kindly told me that it was her second favourite illustration of the exhibit, her most being an illustration for Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina by Angela Barrett, which, incidentally, was my own favourite piece there. I couldn’t have been more flattered.
Sir Henry Norton Manley encounters a Dreadnoughtus schrani. I think she may be dreading him a little.
I’d long known of Bristol board but never used it before. I’ve found that ink ‘beads’ on it, resulting in thicker lines than I might like, but conversely, its glassy smoothness can sometimes be helpful for nibs.
The cover is slightly different to the original UK edition and uses the more usual spelling of ‘Faeries’ instead. I’m also rather enjoying the idea of being a ‘celebrated illustrator’, even if that is embroidering the truth somewhat…
In the original Thousand and One Nights tale, The magician from the Maghreb who sent Aladdin to retrieve the lamp doesn’t seem to have been given a name. Entertaining ones have been used in retellings and pantomime performances, but I wanted to give him an earnest north African name. After a little research, I felt that ‘Amayas’ suited him best. I haven’t been able to locate my source again since, much to my chagrin, but in trying to track it down again as I’m writing this post, ‘Amaya’ was yielded as an Arabic female name meaning ‘night rain’.
His costume design has a basis in Tuareg and Berber clothing, with a liberal helping of Mongolian shamanistic elements. I imagined that he had probably supplemented his magic arts in central Asia during his travels along the Silk Road. His staff is topped off with half an addax skull.
More to come! Here is a reminder of last week’s post, in case you missed it.