poetry and prose about place

my eraser is my friend

with 2 comments

I spent a quiet morning drawing a new image for the fourth book in my science fiction series.


Meniscus: Crossing The Churn and Meniscus: South from Sintha have been published. I am now waiting for editing and a proof of Meniscus: Winter by the Water-climb (to be published in July). In the meanwhile, I have some time to continue work on the fourth book, Meniscus: The Village at Themble Hill.


The Village at Themble Hill is the most tragic of the four books to date. Odymn, sometimes reckless, breaks her leg and then falls from a tree. How did she get in that tree and will she survive?


I am the first to admit my drawings are not perfect. I have no specific training and my hand does all the work so it takes all the blame. However, I love to draw. It is engrossing and being able to illustrate my own books has helped me tell my stories.


I begin by reading the text of the story to choose a scene I want to illustrate. I usually have the composition of the scene securely in my head as a result of the writing. Then I pose my little wooden model, find some photos to help me with the human form, and get to work. I have decided to show you the stages for a particular drawing.


In this scene, Odymn and the Slain have decided to explore The Fault, to make sure there are no unknown ways for the Gel-heads to gain access to the new Human settlement. The Gel-heads have invaded before, carrying off prisoners and trying to murder those they leave behind.


The Slain pulls his map from his pack.

Yellowed vellum. Corners worn.

Ink marks gloss the edges.

The Slain’s finger follows The Fault.


“We’ll go scouting,”

he says. “Make certain

there are no other stair-steps

carved in rock.”


“No other water-climbs,” says Odymn.


She hears what the Slain does not say.

He tires of life in Garth —

rules, duty rosters

and expected conversation.


“When do we leave?” says Odymn.


I begin with a quick sketch to establish the position of my characters. I use a 2B pencil and eraser. I think the eraser is the most useful of my drawing tools!



Then I start to consolidate the lines and sketch in some background.



The next step is to establish some of the shadow in the drawing. As you can see, a Q-tip is almost as important to me as the eraser!



Odymn is always the easiest to draw. She is a bit quirky, so her facial expressions mask her beauty. The main challenges are her hair and her nose which always tries to develop a hook.



The last thing I draw is the Slain’s head. He is a most difficult character/subject. I always get him too young or too old, too dark or too light. Sometimes he insists on looking a bit like a caveman!



The final drawing is almost exactly the scene I saw in my head. Odymn and the Slain look a little uncertain about what they will find on their adventure. As you can see, when you use an eraser, you also need a brush to shoo the eraser bits away without smudging the drawing.



With a few minor edits, this drawing will accompany this part of the story in The Village at Themble Hill. The Slain and Odymn will have some dangerous adventures as they travel along The Fault.



What do you think of my process and my final drawing?


Copyright Jane Tims 2017



2 Responses

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  1. Thank you for sharing the process. Drawing is a mystery to me but one day I hope to get beyond the “I can’t” and give it a try.

    Liked by 1 person


    June 20, 2017 at 7:47 pm

    • Hi! I imagine you have a hidden talent. Try a simple drawing for your blog! Jane


      jane tims

      June 21, 2017 at 10:25 am

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