The wind is getting under my skin

A quick digital doodle.   Got to release this irritable feeling somehow.

Drawing a different kind of strength

I’m still fascinated by the Tarot.  This drawing is of “Strength”, one of the figures in the Major Arcana.

This card stands for a different kind of strength than that one usually thinks of. ” Perseverance, courage, resolve and composure – qualities that help us endure when times are tough.”   Patience and tolerance, guiding rather than using force, compassion and reliability.

This card is usually depicted as a woman subduing a lion, and here is my version.


The rats are fighting under the floorboards

A detail of a drawing I’m colouring in Photoshop.  Still very rough.  It’s very late, the gas heater is puttering away next to me keeping the winter’s night at bay, and every now and then the rats start a little fight under the floorboards.  Time to go to bed.

She’s quite willing to use that little red gun.

I’ve been reading Charles de Lint – and this came out of my pen:

She seems quite ready to use that little red gun.



Drat, I messed up her face

I was drawing on the wrong kind of paper for pen and ink, and I messed up the face of this odd little person:

So I cheated and fixed it digitally. Not sure which one I prefer, really.

I quite like her expression.  Seems like she has something on her mind:

Pearls, claws and keys

Now that I’m finished with doing illustrations for my Strange Neighbours stories,  I indulged in drawing whatever came out of my pen.  And what came out of my pen was this:

I have no idea what this means.  I was listening to Charles de Lindt’s “Moonheart” and Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Treasure Island” on audiobook. Maybe that had an influence.

The Doorbell Cat

I found some more old cat drawings (Procrastination? No!)  This one was done in Flash.   I liked this kitten so much that I named him Zumbador.  Apparently that means “doorbell” in some language, I forget which.

Zumbador stayed in my thoughts for many years and now he finally got a new life in one of my stories, the one called “Chasing Frogs” where he undergoes some startling transformations.

In this early version, however, he does not do much.  He can stand:

And he can sit 🙂

The Default Cat

I’ve been scratching around in my old image folders and found this forgotten drawing, done with the Harmony online drawing tool.

My default drawing settings are “cat” or “eye”.  When put on the spot to draw something quickly, out comes a cat or an eye.  But I like this one, a smoky cat with attitude and double jointed legs.  I suspect he can shape change at the twitch of a whisker:

The haunted phone and other drawings

I’m another step closer to publishing my short stories as an e-book.  Today I finished the last of the illustrations.  These are mostly small, incidental drawings that get dropped here and there between scene breaks or at the end of the stories.  To my surprise, not all the stories were easy to illustrate.  Not all of them had objects in them suited to this type of drawing.  One of the most difficult stories finally yielded this, a haunted office phone:


Then there is this mysterious bottle that a character finds in his garden shed:

Another story features a cat hopefully peering under a fridge:


And here is a flyer for a micro-lending firm that comes to a bad end in yet another story:

I’m tempted to post them all here, but that would make a very long blog post 🙂

My stories have been proof-read and formatted, and when I’ve placed these drawings in the text, I should be ready to publish.  Sort of a scary thought!

Thanks to those of you who added your names to my e-mail list to be notified when this book will be available.  If anyone else wants to add their names, please use the form below.


A Civilized Witch

There are worse things than spending a rainy winters morning drawing while listening to an audiobook.  I had fun with this drawing too, although it was more difficult choosing the colours for this witch. She is more civilized than Antjie Donder, and needed colder colours.


I cant wait to see these drawings printed.  I’m planning to sell digital prints of both the black and white and colour versions at the Grahamstown exhibition.  One more week before we leave so I’ll have to get moving if I want to get these printed in time!

Here are some details.  The crows were supposed to be the indigenous “Wit Bors Kraai”  we get here in South Africa. But apart from not having white breasts, these birds are not nearly bulky enough to be the indigenous kind.   I think these crows come from Europe, like their mistress.

I did manage to work in some roses into the drawing.  The drawing is based on a story called “Thorn Rose”, so the roses are quite important.  Roses and thorns are important, I should say!



The witch in full colour

I finally got round to adding colour to my Antjie Donder drawing.  I wanted to use a method similar to a colour lino-cut print; layers of colour overlapping, with the gaps in one colour revealing the colour beneath.

I put a “multiply” blending mode on the linework layer to knock out the white areas but keep the black line.  Then  I created 10 solid colour layers under it, and used layer masks to hide each layer.  Then, I painted with white and black on the layer masks until the whole image was filled with colour.  Some of the top layers are partly translucent.  I discovered a useful keyboard short-cut: “X” while using the brush swops foreground and background colours.  This is great when working on the layer masks because it means you can switch between black and white while you paint.

Here is the (possibly) final coloured version:

Some details:


One step closer to publishing – the cover design:

I’m about to publish my collection of short stories as an ebook. It’s been a very interesting process so far, lots to learn. I’ve just completed the cover designs. The stories will be available as bundles of three or four stories each, or you can buy the full collection that  includes illustrations.

Designing ebook covers has some specific challenges as they need to read clearly at thumbnail size and also in grayscale , to look good to potential buyers browsing for books on their Kindles.

Here is the cover for the first bundle:

I like the way they look as a set.  Here are the rest:


Nameless Girl gets coloured

I’ve managed to add colour to the Nameless Girl’s story that I’m working on for the Co/Mix show.  They came out rather different from one another, but still intriguing.  Here is the first one:

And the second one:

Stories with tentacles

I’m having another go at chopping up my drawings and seeing if I can tell a story with them.  Hoping to include these in the Co/Mix show as well.   The plan was to colour these, but I’m running out of time if I have to print and frame them as well…

A Witch Made of Ink

I finished it yesterday! Here is the inked “Mevrou Karwats” drawing for the CoMix exhibition:

I’m making digital prints of these drawings, and if all goes well, these will be for sale at the show as well as the framed original pen and ink drawings.   And my next step is to see what the digital versions look like with some colour added…

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