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25 May 2014

Lots and lots of colour

Who doesn't like colour? I love working with colour. I do like working with just a black pen but colour is always special.

Not only do I like making pictures and illustrations with colour but I also just love playing with colour. When I get new paints or pencils or a new palette one of the first things I do is make a colour chart so I can see how good the colours really are. Colour charts are great resource material. It can often be hard to distinguish the actual colour by just looking at the tube of paint or pencil. They seem to look different on the page.

This week's theme for the  52 week Illustration Challenge was colour. Did you guess that?

At first I was at a loss of what to do. Too  many options, hard to narrow it down. So I went back to basics. This is one of my new watercolour palettes. It is bigger than my Winsor and Newton travel palette but still small enough to take with me. As usual I laboured over the decision of which colours to include. You may notice there is still one empty slot. I was going to include Quin Gold but when I tested the paints I saw that the Gamboge I had selected was very close in colour. I am still deciding what to put in there, maybe Paynes Grey...

When I was first learning to paint with watercolours we were taught to paint chickens as an exercise in colour mixing. They are fun and simple and just a bit different from random blobs. But you may argue that they still look like random blobs. Here are a few mixing chickens.

The Bird of Paradise is one of my favourite flowers. Not just for its wonderful colour and great structure but because it does not have perfume and therefore I am not allergic to it. I was going to include a small bird perched on the stamen as I have seen them do but then decided to have some fun instead. The little mouse just likes hanging around...

I am trying to become more proficient and confident with my digital drawing and painting. Here is a simple illustration done in Photoshop. I am trying different styles.

18 May 2014

Something fishy going on...

This week was devoted to fish in the 52 Week Illustration Challenge. There was a mass of goldfish and other wonderful creations presented. I procrastinated for a long time before finally coming up with a couple of ideas.

I did some browsing on Google for ideas and came away with this page of fun quirky sketches.

I know whales are not technically fish but I really love them. I would so love to see them in the wild one day. The size, the majesty, the freedom they represent to me. Would be amazing and mindblowing. Here is my little tribute, a sketch done in watercolour.

I kept thinking about the idea. I had fish fingers on my mind, the kind you eat. But then a spark led me down a different path and I came up with this. I drew my hand and then scanned it and coloured in Photoshop. This is a different way of colouring for me and I must say I really like it. I like the boldness of the flat colour. I think it is really strong and would be great for children's illustrations. I will do more like this.

09 May 2014

Sometimes life just gets in the way of art...

I have very little to show for the last week. Things have been busy, lots going on, not a lot of art going on. I need art for my sanity so feeling bit down about it all.

I did a few rough sketches in my sketchbook on the bus. And one finished piece for the challenge. Not much else going on. Didn't even really do much homework either. But I am ready to get back into it all this week.

Pen in hand, ready to go...

This was my entry for the 52 week Illustration Challenge. The topic was Celestial bodies. My only thoughts on the topic were the nursery rhyme "The cow jumped over the moon" Was done digitally in Illustrator. Didn't turn out too bad at all actually.

Just sharing those rough sketches. They all add up and keep you in touch even if just a small way. Keep drawing...

And a different view of a shoe...

02 May 2014

Networking with other Illustrators

As many of you are aware I am in my final year of an Illustration course. The end of the year is looming fast and I have committed to putting myself out there in preparation for hopefully finding some work soon.

Participating in the 52 Week Illustration Challenge is part of that commitment. I have met some wonderful illustrators in that group. As a whole the group is amazing and supportive and encouraging and friendly. I have been made to feel very welcome there. I am pleased to be able to consider some of the other participants as new friends.

Part of my networking goal was to actually seek advice on the Illustration industry from a couple of these wonderful people. I chose a few whom I admire, work in the children's book industry and whose style resonates with me.

Kayleen West was one of the people I contacted. Not only did she gladly offer to provide the information I was seeking but she posted it as a page on her blog for others to benefit from as well. She is a very kind hearted lovely woman and I am so thankful for her words her advice and wisdom.

Here is a link to her blog and the page she created. I hope you go over and have a read and look at all the other wonderful information she has available.  Kayleen West Q & A for Illustration students

Never underestimate the power of networking and just participating in social media and getting to know others in your industry.

Horses, a challenge full of love

The theme this week for the 52 Week Illustration Challenge was horse. I love horses, always have. I had the privelege of owning one for a short while when I was a teenager. Every girls dream. I have continued my love affair with horses even though I no longer have contact with them.

The horse is such a recognisable image and evokes such strong emotions in so many people. Their majesty and strength shine through. This makes them a challenge to draw.

As in past weeks I have tried a few different approaches to drawing my horses. I started by drawing 5 pages of realistic sketches in my sketchbook. I have included just a couple of those images.

I think tried something more fun and whimsical on the horse theme. This was done in watercolour in my handmade sketchbook.

I also had a play with this fun digital painting done in Photoshop.

This line drawing was completed in Illustrator. I think it turned out really well.

As usual time was limited this week or I would have loved to devote more time to this wonderful theme.