Apr 8, 2010

Illustration Friday: "Dip".

Hmm, well I was working on some pirates for this topic (you know, walk the plank, take a big dip, arrgh me hearties, say no more ... etc) and, while I was having a well deserved tea-break in the library, I came across an old book that once belonged to my Great Aunt Zelda - who we kids used to call Gaz, for short.

Anyways, it was a sort of diary come well wishing book where people wrote ditty's like "The grass is green and spring is sprung, but when do all the little birdies come?".... And right at the back of this diary, on the very last page in fact, scribbled in old fading ink, was this recipe for "Angel Fish Soup'.

So, being quite a culinarist as well as a maker-upper-of-words, I decided to adapt the recipe to my own evil means. As you can tell, I have used an old hand coloured photograph of Gaz when she was a little girl to get the message across.

And the fish? Well that's Brian.

More about Brian later....


For this work I used a new kind of illumination (for me at least). I've been passively studying Maxfield Parrish for a few years and am finally discovering how to emulate that patchy lighting which he evoked with his glazes and stencil brushes. So hopefully you can see a smidgin of it it in the skin of Gaz (above pic).

And lastly..... Hmm, walk the plank, feed the fishes? I've used the same patchy light in the pirate picture below which was a lead up illustration for this topic.  More on Brian's Adventures with The Yellow Pirates later.

Thanks for looking. By the way, my nose is stable after the operation so you can click the pictures safely if you like. Back soon to give some elocution lessons. :)



  1. sorry I accidently left the comments box off! I am not only silly, but I am silly! I can't even get the pics to line up :)

  2. Hey, nice work! (That was an understatement, but I can´t always say great, can I, won´t that be boring to read?)
    It´s always like a treasure-hunt looking at your pictures, there are so many details, lurking, waiting to be discovered :-)

  3. Very beautiful work with some detail.I like the bubbles...

  4. This is great Andrew. That dip sounds very interesting. I love old photos. My husbands Grandmother had a huge box of old photos that I have gone through several times; so many little treasures. Angel fish soup?

  5. Finally! Thank you for giving me the opportunity to comment on this wondrous piece. Andrew, you are blessed. You are gifted and your great sense of humor is so heart warming. Thank you very much. I do not know very much about you but for now that is okay. You are a bright spot in the blogs and it is a gift to me that I have you to visit. I wish you the best and success in your endeavors.

  6. Andrew: a bit dark, a bit funny, a bit ambiguous (mysterious), a bit scarry, so in other words: it is you. I like it. It is interesting how you "cropped" it - probably adds a lot to its tension (not really centered - because of the huge fishtank pulls it aside -, not really "whole", etc).

    I can never decide how much is digital and how much is non-digital in your images (apart from the text maybe), so I guess it is a good sign :D

  7. :))
    i love the first comment.
    so true.

    hmmmmmm, im writing something...

  8. would love to hear more about Brian.
    i want to live with him.

  9. gorgeous ... all your works are gorgeous!!!

  10. Angel Fish Soup! That sounds ... like something quite fantastical, mister! Love the recipe, lots of fun — and an unexpected twist on "dip"—

  11. Hullo :) Well today I rented a rubbish skip and filled it full of badly made picture frames. No prizes for guessing who made the picture frames.... Ho!

    Thank you very much for all your comments.

    Hi Janne, thankyou from you 'nice work' is a wonderful complement. I am always amazed at the work you have on your blog. You are so tireless.

    And Martine thanks for the comment on the bubbles. I try to introduce a unifying factor in the image to join one page with the next or an image with words. Today it was bubbles... tommorow the world ? :) Just joking. I need to dig up some leaves I think. Did I say yet et pour moi j'aime vos peintures beaucoup.?

    Hello Karen :) Well, the angel fish was the only fish I had hanging around the house. If it were a goldfish, then it would have been "GoldFish Dip". Sounds yummy eh?

    Ces! You are very kind to me you know. Thankyou. You still talk to me even when you know I am SO jealous of your work.

    Hello Kinga. For me it's all digital, so it is a good sign.. I think. I spend so much time hiding the genesis of the work I think I make it doo ambiguous sometimes? I am not sure,

    Hello Mita :) I am sure that you know by now that the first comment is far too true. Hmm. :) By the way, I am sure Brian would love to live with you. I will just have a quick whisper in his ear (do fish have ears?). Your piece on IF linked is beautiful... but if I check the comments I'd say you've been told that?

    Thanks Faruffa, I appreciate that very much. I'm learning a lot from your own clean style and use of texture.

    Justin :) Angel Fish Soup... very common in out back Australia among the stockmen I hear, bit had for them to come by mind you as they are about 1000 km from the coast! By the way, thanks for putting us all onto the 12 week challenge. I hope that forum keeps going after the twelve weeks is up.

    see you soon... :)


Hya! Thank you so much for leaving a comment. I appreciate your time and thoughts.