Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Tranquility for Illustration Friday 

This is a rough watercolour over ink. The picture is actually part of a one page comic I did for the upcoming Cardigan Comics romance anthology, Tango #6. The theme for that book is "Love and Sex," so naturally I did a story about swans :).

The setting is Bundalong, on Lake Mulwala, which is up off the Murray River (the Northern border of Victoria). The Murray is back behind those trees and there are channels between the Lake and the Murray down this end. There's plenty of wildlife, with platypuses and freshwater shrimp (they nibble your toes) in the water, and lots of birdlife of all kinds - kingfishers, pelicans, rainbow bee-eaters, many different parrots, etc.

When I considered "Tranquility" this is what came into my head - the kayaks slowly and silently gliding across the water in the beautiful silence. Of course, the place gets full of morons on jetskis in the tourist season!

This is a nice take on the theme...looks like a place I'd enjoy going. Those are interesting trees in the background...growing out of the water...like cypress trees here. I also love your birds/swan, etc. Nice work!
i like how you made the water. and the swans, i like looking at them and those trees is a must-see sight. i feel i am sitting on top of a tree from a distance....
...and not to forget the kayaks-they fit so well!
Nice. I like the relaxing atmosphere with swans.

Lake, swans, It´s a nice concept !!
This creates a very tranquil mood. Nice! I'm curious about those trees. They look dead. (Very enigmatic.) What are they?
looks great!
love it, the swans, then the boaters then the back shore, it all pulls my eye into the picture. I'm really excited that the comic is soon to be published! Great job! Jacque
Your placid scene definitely draws one in. I can almost hear the gentle water sounds made by all the lake's occupants. Lovely.
Ian - I really love the ink and watercolor combination, and your use of line is so eloquent - a little goes a long way! Wonderful swans...they remind me of a time long ago when I lived on a boat on a river...every evening several dozen swans would come around for their crackers (I was the swan lady who fed them)...I learned then that they have the most insistent voices, not at all in keeping with their tranquil appearance! Well done!

I'm enjoying this Illustration Friday thing...it's such a treat to see how other people interpret concepts and what techniques and media they use.

You had me until the morons on jet skis! *LOL* Really though, this is a great illustration. :0)
it's lovely, gorgeous swans...watching them in life really is soothing, isn't it? your post really helped set the mood as well...and i'm really curious about the nibbly shrimp...is that how you catch them these days? ha ha...
How do the Ozzie boys end up on a similar page? Cheruboy loves this one. Are those Mangrove trees in the background? Is there also mud? This image is beautiful and very tranquil. The sound of the water from the kayakers should overide the non-tranquil sound of any angry swans :)
Anonymous, as you say, the watery thing is probably on the minds of we Australians, particularly lately :). It's interesting how it's a pervasive theme in many of the Tranquility pictures - water, floating, etc.

Andrea, you're right, those trees are dead! They're old river red gums or ghost gums that would've died when Mulwala was originally flooded. They dried it out a year or two ago for some reason and then reflooded it. There's a lot of stumps of trees just below the waterline and it's easy to get a kayak snagged on them! No mangroves here though - it's purely freshwater (and a long way inland).

The birds are black swans - a mother and three almost grown-up cynets. I can draw baby cygnets (they appear elsewhere in the story).

Carla, those swans have quite a honk on them! Occasionally I used to hear it when migrating swans were flying overhead, and it's a familiar evening sound at Bundalong.

It's us in the kayaks, me, L, Jill and J, with the children in charge of the oars (there's no hurry), but it's set a while ago now.
A very lovely, tranquil scene.
It sounds like it's based on a beautiful place. Are those supposed to be cypress trees in the water?
There is a lake near here that is filled with them and it's quite eerie but pretty.
This is really a nice drawing!
Hey Ian, you're right, we were on the same page on this one! I noticed a lot of people did water-related drawings for tranquility. It's like Natalie Merchant says, "I go to the River to ease my mind, ponder over the crazy days of my life....watch the river flow..." It was a song I iked to listen to when my dad was dying. Really calms the mind, even thinking about being near the water (or listening to a song about it).
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