A Crone for Christmas

Or, if you like, an Old Seer for the New Year.

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This Yuletide I was mostly drawing Vikings for Janina Ramirez, who has written her first children’s book. You can find out what Janina normally gets up to here.

The deadline was particularly aggressive, so I took the chance to experiment with what I like to call my ‘rough’ style, which is supposed to be speedier than usual. The idea is to do quick, minimal line drawings and let the diluted indian ink do most of the work. Sometimes this worked out; for example the smokey atmosphere around the Crone was done in one watery daub, and likewise below, the crashing waves. Unfortunately I had to spend a lot of time fixing things in Photoshop when I’d drawn a nose in the wrong place or the tone had bled into places it shouldn’t and various other speed-related horrors.

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Anyway, they’re all finished now – these are just a few of the thirty or so illustrations from Riddle of the Runes (out in May!).

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5 Replies to “A Crone for Christmas”

  1. Beautiful work as ever David. It’s always a treat when your latest post drops into my mailbox. I love your use of free washes and white space in these. What ink do you use? I’ve been playing with Kuretake Sumi ink which flows in interesting ways, somewhat different to my usual India ink.

    1. Thanks Keith – I’ll check out the Kuretake Sumi inks – I just used some old winsor and newton ink I had lying around. I’ve found it goes a bit viscous if it sits around for too long and doesn’t work too well in dip pens, but it’s fine for solid blacks or watering down. Having said that, it was difficult to control as I never knew what it was going to do next, but I figured that would keep things interesting!

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