Sparkapolooza: Let them eat cake.

Recently, via the twitter networks, I was shown this great blog Sparkapolooza, which is in a similar theme to the Monday Project except a new brief is up every two weeks. Please pop by and have a look it’s got some really, really lovely work submitted there.

I really couldn’t get it together to come up with their last theme but this time around they’ve got: “Let them Eat Cake”.

My work being what it is, is still dead quiet and I had a image in my mind to go with this phrase. Normally I don’t break out the sketchbook at work cause management don’t like it. Thankfully management had been struck with a lot of meetings and absenses, so I was able to knock this up between the odd email. Really, I’d prefer to spend another couple of hours refining finishing sketching out the picture but alas, nobody knows what meetings the future will bring management. So I thought I’d stick up what I managed to get done today.

Let Them Eat Cake

Monday Project Submission: “They grouped under the lamp post, alone.”

I’ve hit one of those times at work where theres nothing to do. You’d think that would give me the opportunity to get all inspired and creative for my own projects. However, it’s one of those workplaces that even when you’ve got nothing to do, you can be seen to do anything productive that isn’t related to the company. So I basically get bored into brain death on a daily basis which seems to spill over to the out of work hours.

So with that discalimer, I present my Monday Project submission for the month. It’s pretty much a literal interpretation of the phrase (the first idea that popped into my head) and me playing around in Photoshop again.


“They grouped under the lamp post, alone.”


Monday Project Submission: Canberra Autumn

Surprisingly, this months Monday Project theme came to me easily this time around.

So, here is the picture and below a brief story…

Canberra Autumn
Canberra Autumn

So I had joined some friends at the pub, but since they had to talk business, I broke out the sketch book so I wouldn’t interfere.

Now at first I had absolutely idea what I was going to do. I’ve never been to Canberra, so I was at a lost on how to start. I wanted to avoid all the jokes about Canberra and really, with that said, 99% of my knowledge of the town was out the window. So I focused on the ‘autumn’ part.

Trees and leafs are a favorite of mine to draw and I quickly had sketched out the leaf followed by the rest of the layout, which was influence by the picture Soph took and had put in the post of the theme. My first thought was to complete the picture in pencil. However, I had bought a new toy, a wacom tablet. So I scanned it in and finished traced over and finished it on the computer.

The font choice was more a gut feeling and going with something I like more than anything else…

Anyway, I’m happy with this one.

Beach Baths

Ok, two things.

First, I’ve been really meaning to be putting more time into the Monday Project blog. But really, this last month has been kind of… well, to put bluntly… batshit crazy.

Second, normally I’d put in a long incoherent  ramble of what’s behind the picture. But, y’know, see above.

Basically, let me put it this way, I drew a complete blank on ‘beach baths’ so I focused more on beech. Which lead me to an interesting discovery that I have a love / hate relationship with the beech. But I’m starting to go all long and incoherent, so I’m going to have to save that explanation for later. Anyway here is the picture. It didn’t get beyond the rough sketch cause, yeah… still see above.

Beach (Baths)


On the difficulty of getting frog lips to purse…

Subtitle, reduxing my redux of my reduxed picture.

OK, this isn’t my most successful Monday Project, but below is my submission, after that is some sketches and a little discussion.

First the very original picture

Original drawing

And now, the redux…


And what the hell happened to get me from point ‘a’ to ‘b’?

Well, first I should explain, this picture is an idea I had of the old tale;  the princess and the frog. I mainly wanted to do it because it’s been a while since I’ve tried to draw some sort of human/animal hybrid.

So I wanted the frog-man to be a large over bearing creature, desperate for it’s kiss and the princess was on a swing, representing at any moment that she could disappear (swing away). Anyway, this initial picture had all the elements, plus a I was thinking of doing a tree that the swing was attached to. The tree was also going to form the border for the right hand and top side of the picture.

Redux Part 1,

Redux 1

This was me just trying to change the scale of some of the elements. I’ve also go a trick which I do from time to time, that involves using several interior borders, each with their own point of perspective. Unfortunately, I hated the way the main figures came out.

Redux Part 2, the reduxing.

A redux outline

I decided to that it might suit things a little more if I went for simplicity. So I decided to remove all of the background altogether and in break down the figures into less detailed versions. But I still wasn’t really happy with the frog. So…

Redux Part 2, Subsection b.


frog detail

A pencil version, detail of the frog which at this time I was considering making less ugly. I still wanted him large, but decided to make him less of a ball..  I was also playing with the idea of drawing the two figure separately and photoshoping them together. But, yeah, that sounded like two much work.

Redux Part 3, the revenge.

I here I abandoned my A4 sketch book and went down to an A5 and (two attempts later) I added colour. This is what ended up being the picture I’ve submitted. I wasn’t really happy, but I coloured it in and as I was doing going over again some of the outlines, I managed to put the pen through the paper and tear it. At that point I figured ‘that will do’.

Anyway, long story short, I think I stressed over this submission too much. As I said in my previous post, the MP for me is more about fun, but I think I wanted to make a big impression for the first theme that now that I’m helping out.

As it stands, I’ll probably put this illustration aside for a future redux. I’m very ‘meh’ about it as it stands now. However, it did feel good to sit down and do some drawing again.

And yeah, I never figured out how to make the frog look like it was going in for a kiss…

The Monday Project

Last week the Monday Project re-launched, and a new project theme is up and running for all that wish to take part.

As you may or may not know, I’m helping Soph and Kate organise things this year, but I thought it may be worth explaining why. And no, it’s not because I thought the MP blog would benefit from the spelling mistakes, typos and wanton disregard for grammar and readability that most people expect from my ramblings. Not at all.

I originally joined the Monday Project, because it can be really hard to keep up with being creative. As someone who does enjoy just relaxing and doing nothing, watching movies, having the odd drink, having the odd drink with friends, and doing all those boring things like work (including the occasional freelance job) and paying bills, I often find that months have gone by without allowing myself a couple of hours just to sit down and draw.

By joining the Monday Project, I found it easier to schedule myself an afternoon or two a month to motivate myself to be creative again.

Another unexpected bonus was how much I would end up drawing things I would rarely come with on my own. The Monday Project themes will often lead me to draw subjects that were totally different than the typical illustrations I used to create just for myself. I would often still use my own styles and techniques, but would end up with an image completely unlike the work in the rest of my portfolio.

Something else I’ve noticed, is that when getting involved the projects, I started to take a little more notice of the creative things around me. In truth, most of my submissions to the Monday Project were done in one or two afternoons. For me, it was a great way to experiment, and to take things I had seen recently… exhibitions, posters, books, movies, and even ads… and try to adapt what caught my eye into that submission.

And of course, I’ve met some really interesting people being part of the Monday Project.

So when real life meant the first Monday Project went on hiatus for a while, I really did nag Soph about it… Repeatedly. I found again without the deadline, I was, once again, going back to months at a time going past without me putting pencil (or pen) to paper. And at a certain point, I realized there was only so much I could nag other people, before putting my money where my mouth is, and actually offer to help out.

I’ve found the Monday Project to be a fun and rewarding collective to be a part of. So really, that’s why I’m excited about the site being re-launched.

Mr Sketchy

Cross posted at the Monday Project

An internet sketchbook