Of Tea and Dragons (also, bones and glue)

Hello again, dear reader! This time, I thought I might share some art process and a bit of poetry with you. The following images are (in order) the drawing for the Tea Dragons Alphabet poem (more about Tea Dragons in a bit) and the finished “painted” version.The drawing was done with graphite and black coloured pencil on Bristol, and the “painting” took place in Photoshop.


The painted version *is* a bit colourful, for me, but I hope you are not too badly shocked.

Here, now is part of the verse that it illustrates. ( I did promise you poetry, after all)

A is for Assam, a champion brew

B is for bones, crushed and mixed up with glue

C is for cups which we make from the bone,

D is for drinking, our tea skills we hone.

E is for Earl Grey, full of bergamot,

F for the forest where tea dragons go.

G is for gurning and grasping and grit,

H for the houses where we like to sit.

The verse, is by my wife and partner in crime (and other unsavoury activities) Nimue Brown.  It is part of a book project we started last year which is called (unsurprisingly) Tea Dragons. It began when I was making sketch cards for an impending Steampunk event and began drawing Steampunk dragons. One of them ended up being named Earl Grey, and that was all Nimue needed to start writing. It will all be be a book one day soon. Ostensibly for children but I think it will please adults every bit as much. It will be lavishly illustrated and, rather than wait for a publisher to be hunted down and tied to a burning contract, we thought it might be as well to bring this one out ourselves, via crowdsourcing. That will probably be some time this summer, so please stay tuned.

As always, I hope this finds you well, inspired, and thriving.

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5 Responses to Of Tea and Dragons (also, bones and glue)

  1. This is *beautiful*. I would buy this for my 6 1/2 year old cogling. It reminds me of the illustrators I grew up with: Arthur Rackham, Brian Froud, others whose names I forgot but styles impressed themselves upon my young artistic soul.
    Then the words…again, these stir echoes of words read long ago and cherished.
    I shall eagerly await the publication of your beautiful book!

    • gothicmangaka says:

      Thanks *so* much!! We will do our best not to keep you waiting long. That is all that we could have hoped for in a response, and more.

  2. Nimue Brown says:

    Reblogged this on Druid Life and commented:

    This is from a project I started a few years ago. There were a number of reasons – how little there is for a bright and articulate child to read, if they can’t cope with the emotions and ideas of adult books but they need something a bit more engaging than what’s normally aimed at kids under 6 years of age. Partly in self defence because as a parent reading books brought home from school I have been depressed and demoralised so many times by the banal, trite and joyless stuff they are so often given. Child readers deserve better. So do the poor adults trying to support them. Reading for all ages should be fun, it should be interesting, engaging, exciting, it should inspire and encourage and surprise and generally result in life being a bit better. I don’t know I can claim this project does all these things, but it does at least try!

  3. gaiamethod says:

    I love this, and if I ever have enough money I would love to commission you for some of my dragon books! I fully intend to. Definitely publishing it yourself is a better idea. I plan on doing the same! Lovely work and great idea by you both! I will buy one for both of my granddaughters when you publish!

  4. These are wonderful illustrations. I think some of the best art is produced for children’s picture books. It is often whimsical, always identifiable as to subject and with an astonishing array of colour in the palate. Look forward to seeing more and reading more as well.

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