Saturday, 21 April 2012

Doodling in a lecture

I've been on a course for my day job. Very nice hotel and interesting stuff. My day job doesn't involve a lot of sitting around listening so the drawing helps to keep my subconcious fidgety self in line while I learn. (Biro on hotel notepaper. The girl with the apple was from the second day, I stitched her in with Paintshop)

Wednesday, 11 April 2012


So here I am at the end of the course. I can't say that it has been easy but I do think I've learnt a lot. Although I have always liked illustrative images I often didn't really see them. I think that many good illustrations disappear into the background. It is almost that the better the illustration the more likely it is to be ignored as it works so synergistically with the text.
I am much more aware and more likely to be impressed by a good illustration so the course has expanded my horizons. I am trying to be more aware of how text fits into context but again good typeface blends in, only bad choice (or multiple choices) of typeface scream out.
Although I look at other illustrators work (not that I am presumptuous enough to call myself an illustrator) I am guilty of not documenting my research so this is in some way an apology and an attempt to make amends.
Where to start? There have been so many influences and the Internet makes it possible to make fleeting visits into other peoples worlds and admire their creativity and ingenuity.
The French illustrator  Sandra Dufour does inventive work with textiles

On the same theme Debbie Smyth does amazing pin and thread pictures.
Pin and Thread Illustrations by Debbie Smyth textiles needles installation illustration art

The website was introduced to me by my daughter and is a constant source of diverse and interesting ideas
We went to the Degas exhibition which I really enjoyed but what can I write that hasn't already been said?
I would like to go to the Lucian Freud exhibition but I'm not sure whether time will permit. I enjoyed looking at the reviews in the papers anyway.
Andrea Joseph is always a source of inspiration. I don't know how she manages to be so prolific and creative, and she sketchcrawls with Lynne Chapman who is one of my heros along with the other correspondents of the Urbansketchers blog. Check this out for amazing use of light...
She's not an illustrator but Celia Smith's wire sculptures of birds are both artistic and illustrative.

I love other student's blogs. Working in isolation it is lovely to be able to check how other people have reacted to a project or exercise. I try not to peep until I've come up with my own ideas but when I'm really stuck its been great to get me started.
Jereme Crow and Rob have helped enormously. Thanks guys!
Jereme's blog introduced me to the work of Jacky Fleming who can draw and be funny at the same time. Very clever.

I have also been to the Whitechapel Gallery and seen the Government Art Collection which was suprisingly diverse, Mike Silva's "Pathway through Park", John Virtue's "Landscape No.664"and John Wood and Paul Harrison's "Ladder, Handle/Rope, Map, Lean, Slide and Platform" all stood out.

The White Cube had the Gilbert and George Exhibition which is a very interesting concept but somehow very scary when you're in the room with the posters. I hate to be critical but I think the posters were too busy when you put pictures (of Gilbert and George amongst other things) behind them. There was a sculpture which I'm guessing was by Anselm Kiefer though I can't find any information on it.

It looks like it's made from old books and I love it (this is my attempt to draw it, it's so complicated it would take weeks to do it justice)

Just because I have finished the course I won't stop drawing and posting so please pop back from time to time to see what I've been doing, I've enjoyed your company!

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Seven Days-the finished story

So to complete the story it needs colour. I started with coloured pencil
 I wanted simple block colour, nothing too complicated or too busy, it's become a picture book.

I've done a little computer manipulation to make the colour "sing" but it's not quite what I'm looking for. I coloured the whole story and assembled it but it wasn't quite right. What the story was screaming out for was watercolour which I'm not that experienced with.

I think these work better though when I scanned this I noticed a missing leaf which I've added for the final version. The last 3 pages are too big to fit in my scanner so I photographed them with my phone

For the cover I thought I would include the seeds
 I did some studies using runner bean seeds and coloured pencils/watercolour

and thought about including a hand but it doesn't fit in. I tried some roughs in my sketchbook and eventually settled on this. The letters were covered with masking fluid and I painted on a watercolour wash. The masking fluid didn't cover as well as I'd hoped for so the lettering became a bit distorted. The colour of the beans is much richer than I could have hoped for

The pages alone don't give a proper idea of how the booklet tells the story so with the help of my eldest son I videoed it. It's a bit wobbly but it gives you an idea.