My name is
Joanne Mackellar

Web Designer & Illustrator


Ira Glass

Posted on 11 Apr 2012 in Design, Quotes, Uncategorized | 0 comments

I’ve posted this a few times but really liked the typography on this one.

Life Drawing

Posted on 09 Apr 2012 in Drawing | 0 comments

There was no life drawing session last week because of easter and I didn’t have time to photograph my sessions from the previsous weeks sessions. Again I believe I need more practice in drawing the figure. I haven’t been drawing every day but I’m slowly improving.

Andrew - 290312_6

30 second sketches.

Andrew - 290312_7

1 minute sketches.

Andrew - 290312_5

2 minute sketches.

Andrew - 290312_4

5 minute sketches.

Andrew - 290312_3

Andrew - 290312_1

10 minute sketches.

Andrew - 290312_2

20 minute sketch.
I’m getting much better at drawing faces compared to two weeks ago, perhaps it’s the medium I’m using now (charcoal pencil):

Andrew - 230212_6

From the February session. Eyes were a bit weird……

Andrew - 290312_8

1 hour sketch.

As you can see foreshortening was a problem in this drawing. In reality the legs would be coming off the paper, because I was so obsessed with getting the entire figure on the page, well you can see what happened. The top half of him looks in proportion but the bottom half does not.

Another thing a fellow drawer pointed out was tone. He believes I use too much black rather than shades of grey. After reviewing my drawing from previous sessions I can see what he is talking about. I went out on the weekend and got different grades of charcoal pencil. I’m going to the next session on Thursday and hopefully will see some improvement.


Posted on 09 Apr 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments


Helpful to know.

Life Drawing

Posted on 20 Mar 2012 in Drawing | 0 comments

Last Thursday, and guess what I did? Come on guess! That’s right I went to life drawing again!

Claire had returned to life drawing this week as a model, there was a good reason why she hadn’t been modelling for so long, she’s 6 months pregnant! A long time ago, when I first started life drawing (and suddenly quit) there was a pregnant model.

Claire - 150312_9

30 Second sketches.

Claire - 150312_8

1 minute sketches.

Claire - 150312_7

Claire - 150312_6

2 minute sketches.

Claire - 150312_5

Claire - 150312_4

Claire - 150312_10

5 minute sketches.

Claire - 150312_3

Claire - 150312_1

This one was done in a hurry after the 1 hour sketch. I got tired of doing it and decided to start drawing Claire’s face. I would have liked to have spent 20 minutes on it. Maybe next time 🙂

10 minute sketches.

Claire - 150312_2

1 hour sketch.

Again I think this one thing I have to work on is speed. I find myself unable to finish drawings within 10 minutes. My aim right now is to be able to draw a properly proportion person in under 20 minutes (including the face). Adding tone is something I can work on later.

life drawing

Posted on 06 Mar 2012 in Drawing | 0 comments

I was a bit surprised I decided to go back to life drawing this week. I normally go every fortnight but lately I’ve been feeling the need to improve in drawing. If you are interested in Life Drawing and are in the Port Adelaide area on a Thursday night pop in to Active Art Studios.

I feel like I’ve improved a little on this session. I’ve stuck with charcoal even though I feel the medium is holding me back. There are many reasons why I’m using charcoal instead of pencil or paint. Charcoal is much easier to draw with (for me) than pencil. This time I’ve used compressed charcoal which is a little bit more controlled than willow. My hope is to eventually move on to pencil or conte.

Andrew - 010312_1

30 second sketches.

Andrew - 010312_2

1 minute sketches. I love using colour but I think I may go back to drawing the whole figure in balloons next time.

Andrew - 010312_4

2 minute sketch. The head is pretty small compared to the rest of the body! I’m not great with quick sketches yet!

Andrew - 010312_9

Another 2 minute sketch.

Andrew - 010312_6

5 minute sketches!

Andrew - 010312_8

Another 5 minute sketch. I’ve found myself getting slower as time goes on.
Andrew - 010312_10

10 minute sketches. I was lucky enough to get a professional artist during the session to give some pointers.

Andrew - 010312_3

10 minute sketch. I got a bit frustrated with drawing so decided to block the figure in pink……as you do.

Andrew - 010312_7

1 hour + 5 minutes drawing.

Unlike in previous sessions where I had started a new drawing every 20 minutes I decided to stick with the one for the entire hour. I could see the benefits and frustrations when doing this. The legs are a bit strange, I couldn’t really define where his thigh started and his bottom ended. Obviously I haven’t gotten the hang of foreshortening yet. I was actually pretty happy with this drawing though. One of the other regulars who attend the session said he looked like superman. Which is what I was aiming for.

I feel when drawing I should be quicker than what I am now. Right now I’m just taking my time understanding the figure, but I want to get better at drawing! I decided not to shy away from faces with my drawings. The only way I will get better is by practising every chance I get.

Inventing on Principle

Posted on 03 Mar 2012 in Design, Usability Interface, User Experience | 0 comments

Amazing talk from Bret Victor on inventing on principle. Well worth the watch if you have the spare hour.

Starting life drawing again

Posted on 27 Feb 2012 in Drawing | 0 comments

So I finally decided to head back to life drawing after a long break. It was a mistake not to keep going with drawing from when I left off. I have been practising hands but not the figure itself, going back last Thursday was a bit of a shock to me. I don’t feel like I’ve gotten worse, but I don’t feel like I have improved. I’m always looking for that moment I had with this session, where I feel I’ve broken through some sort of invisible barrier. At that particular session I felt I was beginning to understand the mediums I was using and understanding the figure as a whole. That moment is there waiting for me again, I just have to work harder to get to it.

This session’s model was a male called Andrew. I haven’t really drawn males before apart from the first session, when the model had a very difficult figure. I don’t think I’ve made much progress in this session since it felt like I was starting out again.

Andrew - 230212_4

30 Second poses. I quite enjoy working with colour.

Andrew - 230212_3

1 minute poses.

Andrew - 230212_7

Andrew - 230212_9

Andrew - 230212_5

5 minute poses. I believe the last one was the most successful out of this lot. I mapped out the figure in this pose and believe the proportions are almost correct.

Andrew - 230212_6

Andrew - 230212_10

I had a go at drawing faces. I’m not sure if I should be drawing faces at the moment because I’m still so new to drawing the figure. I often wonder if I should be concentrating on just the figure? But isn’t the face part of the figure as a whole?

Andrew - 230212_11

The only 10 minute pose I managed to get.

Andrew - 230212_2

Andrew - 230212_1

As usual with these sessions there was a long pose at the end for an hour and a half. I like to start again every 20 minutes and see what I’ve missed. While this has been successful for me in the past, on this night I felt like ripping up almost everything I’ve drawn.

Current materials used

I’m beginning to think the materials I’m using are holding me back. Currently I only use willow charcoal and colour pastels. I’ve been using these because it was what I was most comfortable with. I think I need to explore different mediums such as conte and compressed charcoal to start with. I don’t know if this is good or not but I’ve noticed other people in the session use a range of materials with excellent results (even if they won’t admit it). I will probably try working with a range of mediums next Thursday instead of restricting myself to just one.


Posted on 24 Feb 2012 in Quotes | 0 comments

Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better. – Samuel Beckett

What Grammar has taught us

Posted on 22 Feb 2012 in Quotes | 0 comments

Social Media Cheat Sheet

Posted on 26 Jan 2012 in Social Media | 0 comments


It’s really hard to explain social media to someone who has never used it. Flowtown have come up with a great cheat sheet that explains social media to potential clients.

Inspiration Friday 1: Edmund Dulac

Posted on 13 Jan 2012 in Artist, Illustrators | 0 comments

Lately I’ve taken an interest in 1900 European style book illustration. My interest in comic illustration has peaked once again (it comes and goes depending on the decaded) and found a lot of comic artist are inspired by the past. I’ve come across a lot of great children book illustrators and thought it would be a good idea to record down who I’ve come across.



Edmund Dulac (1882 – 1953) is a french illustrator. He’s one of those unique individuals that study law, decided that it was boring and turned towards an illustration career. The most famous artworks he is known for include Arabian Nights, Sleeping Beauty and Stories from Hans Christian Andersen.

How Logos are really made

Posted on 12 Jan 2012 in Design | 0 comments


Oh dear! He shouldn’t give away secrets like these!

Life Drawing

Posted on 29 Dec 2011 in Drawing | 0 comments

The last life drawing session was actually on the 15th of December but I haven’t got round to posting them till now!

Nadia - 151211_6

We had 30 seconds poses to start off with and a new model I haven’t meet before. Nadia is a fan of difficult to draw poses and foreshortening. I didn’t mind a challenge but didn’t feel as successful as I have in previous sessions.

Nadia - 151211_3

A lot of the shorter drawing times didn’t turn out the way I wanted them to. I guess that’s the nature of drawing, you’ve jumped one hurdle only to be confronted by 100’s of more.

Nadia - 151211_2

Nadia - 151211_1

Nadia - 151211_7

Because the poses were so short, I found myself going back into old habits of avoiding faces and hands. I’ve found in these sessions that some models have positions they are comfortable in, which makes drawing faces and hands easier. Since Nadia was a new model and favoured different positions from other model I found myself falling back into old habits.

Nadia - 151211_8

I decided instead of starting a new drawing every 20 minutes I stuck with the same drawing for the entire hour. It was a success in terms of portion but I found myself fussing. I need to concentrate on how to draw hair but I think I will continue this from now on.

Nadia - 151211

I’ve also recently acquired a new book from Jack Hamm. I’m looking forward to learning more drawing techniques. I’ve also found a neat little website while life drawing sessions are on break which should come in handy!

Fundamentals of Design

Posted on 21 Dec 2011 in Design | 0 comments

Great little video explaining the fundamentals of graphic design.

Life Drawing

Posted on 18 Dec 2011 in Drawing | 0 comments

I’m ashamed to say I haven’t been to a life drawing session in the last two weeks and next week’s session is the last one of the year! I had planned to go last week but felt lazy and decided not to leave the house, that will teach me! Where will I get my practice once it’s over for the year?

Claire - 241111_11

Claire - 241111_7

Some practice with Colour. I believe these were quick 30 second poses.

Claire - 241111_5

The proportions are a bit off on this one, the idea is the better you are the quicker you can map out the body. Unlike the previous weeks I chose not to map out the body, just to see where I was at. Obviously I still need a bit more practice. This was a 3 minute pose.

Claire - 241111_3

I’ve using blocks of black charcoal to show shadow. I know it’s not the most realistic way to show tone but so far I think it’s an effective technique. I’m still understanding how charcoal works. I’ve been a bit surprised by the difference between charcoal, pastel and pencil.

Claire - 241111_10

Claire - 241111_1

I actually had a go at drawing a face for once. Now to just work on hands and feet!.

Claire - 241111_12

The last drawing of the night. To be honest this was the most frustrating drawing of the night! I don’t know why but the longer I spend on a drawing the more I want to perfect it. My aim was to