The Persistence of Poison cover

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Daphne Featured Image

Whale of a time

As the days grow cooler here in the southern hemisphere, whales are returning to the waters around Cape Town. During the summer months it’s rare to see a whale in these parts, but come autumn their blows are a regular sight off the coast.

I was fascinated to see an unusually shaped whale blow a few days ago. Instead of the normal single jet of what looks like steam erupting from the water, there was a twin, v-shaped jet.

Thanks to the power of google, I’ve learned that this is the blow of a Southern Right whale. Southern Rights average 15m (50 feet) in length and weigh a bathroom-scale-denting 60 tons.

As I stood watching, I saw more and more twin blows in the same area, sometimes more than one at a time, which meant there must have been a whole load of them. They were too far away for me to see their backs when they surfaced, but I felt privileged to have witnessed their blows all the same.

Chronicles of Wydoria progress

While working on the next Chronicles of Wydoria book, Daphne Mayne and the Hounds of Magic, I took some time out to paint a scene where Daphne stands before the Castle of the Consistorium.

I find it helps me focus better on a story when I’ve created some artwork to do with the story or the series. I don’t always put the pictures I create on my website because they are often just quick sketches, but I went the whole hog on this one and created a finished piece.

Castle of the Consistorium

I use Affinity Photo for my book covers and other artwork (it’s a fraction of the price of Photoshop and it’s a one-off payment rather than Photoshop’s monthly subscription model). There are tons of tutorials and other resources on the web for Affinity Photo too. You can even follow a Photoshop tutorial and, with very little effort, work out how to complete the steps in Affinity Photo.

I’m not affiliated to Serif (the creators of Affinity Photo) in any way and don’t receive anything for promoting them, it’s just that I like the product very much.

Soon I’ll have to get around to adding a dedicated section for Daphne’s world on this site!

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