Thursday, 19 December 2013

19th December

I've spent most of today sending out Christmas cards, so not much time for drawing. Here's todays illustration of a Robin, with mail under his wing. Not long til Christmas now!

(Original Sketch)

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

18th December: Christmas Chicken!

...Ok. So the drawing everyday didn't go quite as planned, but I'll try my best to keep up with it. Today I fancied drawing some chickens! So instead of a Christmas Goose, I give you Christmas Chicken. (And a sketch compilation)

Saturday, 14 December 2013

14th December: New Sample!

Has it really been a week since my last sample? Gosh. This sample has gone through a lot of changes with both colour scheme and characters. I think the scene may have turned out better if I had spent longer focusing on characters, rather than diving straight into it. As mentioned last time, they were originally going to be bees... then cats, then pandas, then mice, before eventually settling on rabbits. The colour scheme is certainly new to me, and I'm not sure it entirely works- but I did enjoy drawing all the little cakes!(Do the ones on the stand need to be a bit bigger?). It's come out better than some of my samples while at Uni, but still doesn't feel quite there.
I'm also thinking about revisiting 'The Cornershop Mice' in a christmas theme, but we'll see what happens!

Friday, 13 December 2013

13th December: Sneak Peak

Oops, forgot to blog! I'm working on a new sample idea, which again is Christmas themed. The original illustration was of a group of bees; but the bees really weren't they've changed to rabbits. Should be uploaded tomorrow- I just need to tweak a few bits.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

10th: quick update

A little short of ideas today, as everything I have in mind is a large, multi-character design. And sometimes it's nice to have really simple characters. Seeing as this took next to no time at all, I might do a few more faces like this...and a home-made wrapping paper it is!

Monday, 9 December 2013

9th December

...And today something a little different: it's Vintage Badger!
I wanted to do my own version of a scene from Mr Willowby's christmas tree (1963) by Robert Barry . I love the etching style, which is something I want to further develop into my own work. Pencil sketch coloured with Photoshop.
I found out about Mr Willowby's Christmas tree, and lots of other vintage childrens books from the wonderful blog 'Vintage Childrens Books My Kid Loves', which is worth checking out if you like old picture books-->[Link]
Will do something completely different tomorrow, though I'm not sure what yet

Sunday, 8 December 2013

8th December

Not as exciting as yesterdays piece, but here's a little dragon deciding which chocolate to have. (Because Christmas isn't complete without a tin of Quality Streets!)

Saturday, 7 December 2013

7th December: New Sample!

This weeks gone by too fast. So here's my new sample using the monsters I've been drawing the past few days. I'm really pleased with the outcome of this, as my past few samples haven't quite gone as planned. It's been fun to focus on lots of different characters, rather than getting bogged down in a scene. Working quicker certainly helps. (It reminds me a little of the Social Gathering Project from Uni)

Personally, I like the purple monster best- so who knows, later in the month he might make a come-back! I've no idea what I'll draw tomorrow, but I'll see how the day goes. New sample next week if all goes well.

Friday, 6 December 2013

6th December

Day 6! No illustration yesterday as my eyes were strained, and I kept getting a black blur in my vision- which seems to happen when I spend too much time looking at my laptop screen. So I've spent today drawing more monsters for my scene. There's a slim chance the big picture might be finished tomorrow, as I've only two more monsters to go.
Above is a design for a Christmas present tag, which I might use on my sisters pressies or adapt into a card of some sort. There's been a few flutters of snow in Scotland- here's hoping for more closer to Christmas.
...sneaky peak at another monster!

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

4th December

Day 4! Ok, so I'm still working on the 'big picture' but here's one character from the scene. All digital this time, apart from the swirl. I've also solved yesterdays Blogger problem, it seems Google automatically 'enhances' uploaded images, so if you want to alter that go to your google+ settings, and you'll find a tab to change it.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

3rd December

Day three has been rather slow, but on the plus side I have some characters scanned in for tomorrows illustration- that will have several new characters in it! So for today have a sketch of a bear, and a small collection of various sketches I've completed recently.
Is anyone else having problems with Blogger making images dark when they are uploaded...when they are fine on screen otherwise? I'll try and replace the sketch sheet later, my file has a white background, but for some reason looks grey on here...

Monday, 2 December 2013

2nd December

Happy 2nd December!
Todays illustration is inspired by Kate Hindley's work,as I felt the need to try and get more textures into my work. Hopefully tomorrows illustration will be a bit more ambitious.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

1st December

It's the first day of December, which means ADVENT CALENDARS! Although I don't have a chocolate-bearing one yet, I've decided to try and do a new character illustration every day for 24 days. Every day is a new character in different styles. I hope to try out some typography too.

Today is the return of Badger- some of you may remember him- excited to find his Christmas stocking again. This is based off today's Christmas activity of hunting out the decorations. Oh, and I'll also upload a collection of sketches too!

Monday, 23 September 2013

More Sheep!

I've had a very busy last few weeks, working on some very exciting new stuff. It's all top secret for now, and I don't want to show anything until I have a physical (published) copy of the illustration in my hands!
I'm working on new samples, and project goat is a little closer to being finished. Hopefully next update I'll be able to share what I've been up to!

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

New Sample!

A new sample for my portfolio of fairytale characters waiting at an airport. I've tried to make the scene as busy and fun as possible, though I especially like the little pigs. Turn around from sketch to final was around a week; but a week very well spent.
I'm currently working on a new sample piece based on two of my favourite things- bears and camping! I'll upload some bear character sketches when I get a new scanner. In other news, I'm still working on 'The Wolf and the Seven Kids', and have started colouring pages, whilst tightening up some of the roughs.

Friday, 9 August 2013

Goodbye Lincoln!

Wow! It's been so long since my last update, and so much has happened. I've had my final show, which went really well, and received my final result of a FIRST!!
I'm so pleased all the work has paid off (and that I'll never have to see that dissertation again!). I'll miss Chad Varah House, and all the people I've met- it's been a great three years.

In the meantime I've moved away from Lincoln, and England altogether, as I now live in Scotland! I live opposite an old church, five minutes from open countryside and footpaths, with views of all the hills. And best of all, I'm on a bus route to Edinburgh! Already planning on going to the International Book Fair, as I'm eager to check out the Children's book sections. However, the plan for tomorrow is the Zoo, so I can get an annual membership card- so expect many animal drawings!

I'm currently illustrating an updated version of 'The Wolf and the Seven Kids', due to be published later this year; and progress is good- with the characters designed, and halfway through the roughs. I wont post anything here until its finished! Now Im settled in my new place, I can get on with updating my portfolio and more sample pieces! I think I'm set for a busy year...
Here's a teaser of what I'm working on for my portfolio;

(For anyone in doubt at the photo, I'm the central one in the Morbid Angel shirt)

Monday, 6 May 2013

FMP: Cooking with Little Fox!

I've just completed my last final piece- Cooking with Little Fox!
Above you can see just a very small section of the finished double page spread. Sadly, the file size is so large you'd see no details on here. The DPS is based on the brilliant 'They Draw & Cook', a site of illustrated recipes uploaded from all around the I've created my own version! I researched many Norwegian dishes, but decided that Pancakes were the most fun.

Wow, so that's my last uni final piece completed! That leaves the remaining weeks for printing out work, compiling all my research and tidying the studio! Fingers crossed, my postcards from MOO will arrive tomorrow.

Thursday, 2 May 2013

The last editorial!
Yes, this is my last editorial, taking it up to six in total. I feel as if they make a fairly good collection. This one is for a Guardian article about protecting gadgets. I feel as if the screen could do with a few icons or more scratches on it, so might try a few different variations before submission.

Monday, 29 April 2013


Not long left until the deadline now! How has it gone so fast? This is my last week of doing final piece work, meaning more FMP stuff.I've just completed a set of illustrations based on the tale 'The Fox as Shepherd'. I plan to get these printed as badges and circular stickers! Suitable as prints, cards or postcards.
Next I'm working on my last piece: Cooking with Little Fox! (and another editorial if I have time).

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

FMP: True and Untrue

This is another Children's Book DPS based on Norske Folkeeventyr's 'True and Untrue' (Norwegian: Tro og utro). Despite having this near finished last month, I decided to return to it and completely redraw several areas of it. The story itself follows 'True' who climbs into a lime tree and overhears animals talking about the King and his dilemmas. True uses the knowledge to help the king, and eventually gain the hand of the Kings daughter.
I wanted to summarize several aspects of the story in one piece, rather than being a literal depiction of the text.

Bruin (bear) and Longears (rabbit) are two of the characters in the story, alongside a wolf and fox. Previous versions contained all the characters however I felt this version, with less characters, was stronger. The illustration includes other things mentioned within the story- such as chickens, a hawk, a toad, a castle and a lime tree with magical dew. If you look carefully you'll notice True's eyes in the top corner.
The story itself is set on St. Johns Eve (also known as Midsummer festival/ Sankt hans), further research into the day found Norwegians typically eat cooked meats, cured ham, polse (hot dogs) and Rømmergrøt- a sour cream that is what the characters are eating! The story implies use of Alcohol, but seeing as this is intended for Children, thought I'd stay away from that.

Annoyingly, the file size is so big its hard to see it all on screen. I'm hoping printed out it will be clearer, and you'll be able to see all the details. In the meantime, Im finishing off the Hawkwood Book entry, and moving onto new work. Ideally, I'd like to get another few DPS's done before the deadline. Due to True and Untrue's large background, I hope to use parts of it to develop 4 postcards/iphone covers.
Close ups:

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Charlie and the Moon: Complete

It's been a long few weeks, but I've finally finished the illustrations for Dreaming Tiger Productions 'Charlie and The Moon'! I didn't quite realize just how big this project was until I'd started it. The final project compromises of 14 backgrounds/scenes, some with moveable objects on different layers, and over 20 character poses (I daren't count them all). Given the relatively short time scale, I've completed the project slightly sooner than I planned, leaving me a hectic few weeks left for everything else!
This project has been quite challenging for me,as I rarely draw humans- and meant facing my illustration nemesis: backgrounds! Although I have a long way to go on them, I've certainly made a massive improvement as they don't look quite as 'flat' as they used to. So heres Charlie- my first drawing of a child character! :

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Charlie and the Moon

Over the past few weeks I've been working with Dreaming Tiger Productions on a project called 'Charlie and the Moon'. I've finally finished all twelve backgrounds, and ready to start work on characters. I usually avoid backgrounds, so having to do so many was quite a challenge. I can't wait to see the end project! I don't want to spoil too much, so here are a few illustrations:

Check out Dreaming Tiger Productions on Facebook: [Link]

Although I planned on entering the recent Puffin Book Cover Competition, I really haven't had time. Instead I'm focusing on the Hawkwood Book Cover Competition, which I'm now midway through. Next week I'll start work for the Macmillan prize, and finally be able to go back to FMP.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Bright Agency

I'm very pleased to announce the news that I am now with The Bright Agency! I'm so excited to be working on new work with them, and look forward to the projects to come. Last week, Bright took samples of my work to showcase at Bologna Children's Book Fair! Read a little about it here: [Link]

You can now find me on their site here: [Link]

In the meantime for Uni I'm working on the Macmillan Book Prize, Hawkwood Books competition, a project named Charlie and the Moon and FMP! How I'll get it all done I don't know.

Monday, 25 March 2013

A raft of Otters

This is an illustration for a year group art book we are creating, called An Assortment of Illustrators. The art book will be available to buy at the end of year show- and I can't wait to see the finished thing! The theme was collective animal nouns, and I chose 'A raft of Otters' (Although, I was tempted by a mischief of mice and a sleuth of bears). This piece took me a long time to get right, so hoping the final print turns out OK. I spent far too long drawing otter in various poses before starting on the final piece, so perhaps in future I'll only draw whats necessary, rather than having pages and pages of the same character.

Sunday, 24 March 2013

It's been a while since I've updated, so I will be posting a fair bit this week...expect children's picture book pages, postcards and FMP work.

Once again another editorial, this time reverting back to my comfort-style of drawing objects using SAI Painter. This piece has been edited following tutor's feedback, as previously the cassette looked too flat. Part of a collection of editorials.

Friday, 1 March 2013

Editorial Friday

After spending the morning in the library looking through different magazines and publications, I came across 'Ecologist Magazine' which uses a fair bit of illustration rather than using stock photos. This is my version for an article 'Don't Go Back To Work' about quitting work and going somewhere new. I decided to try a different style of illustration which was more fitting to the magazine.

I've also decided to make each Friday 'Editorial Friday', so that I get back on track with work.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Commuter Error?

Editorial 3:
Another editorial intended to build up my portfolio, using the same style as 'How to be conceited' and 'Madness of Crowds'. This weeks editorial is 'Commuter Error?' , again, for The Guardian. The planning for this one seemed to take a lot longer than usual and I had to keep making subtle alterations for it to work.
With my dissertation finished and handed in, I'll now be able to focus on my final major project and the competition module. I hope to get back on track and do one editorial every week like I originally planned.
Annoyingly, Blogger has altered the upload process so images always align to the left. Good job I know basic CSS to change that.

Friday, 1 February 2013

Too much pink for one day...

Editorial 2:
Yesterday was a long day working on the editorial 'How to be conceited'.
The original image was of an open box of chocolates, which looked more interesting- but was too distracting from the envelopes. While I like the bold style, as used in a previous editorial, the colours make it far too girly...and not really suitable for the intended audience.It's probably best suited for Cosmogirl, or some other teen mag.
Clearly all the valentines day things along the High street have taken over my mind.

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

more little fox...

Some more drawings of Little Fox pestering his dad and making notes on what Trolls look like.Im working on the next DPS for this, as well as the illustration 'A raft of otters'.

'Can you stand on one leg..'quote is from 'Hanen og reven' ('The cock and the fox')

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Trollhunter: double page spread (almost) complete!

Over the past week I've been busy working on a page of 'Troll Hunter' (working title), which is an idea for a children's picture book about a fox who goes searching for a troll. It is based on texts in Norske folkeeventyr - my chosen FMP text.

As part of my research I watched the Norwegian movie 'Trollhunter'(2010) directed by André Øvredal. Despite dismissing the film in the past, believing it to be another 'Cloverfield', I found it rather enjoyable. The film itself is heavily based on Norske Folkeeventyr, and makes several references to the stories of the book. The trolls are portrayed as creatures who are part of the land, rather than just lumber-some giants, which is something I wish to explore.

This piece has taken a lot longer than I expected, due to having to re-draw lines in and trying to balance the colours and details. Im aware the differences in colour are subtle, and will most probably need adjusting for print. While they look fine on my screen, Im not sure they do for everyone else. Backgrounds have always been an issue for me, so using snow as white space is slowly making me more confident in attempting more ambitious scenes.
Edit: The final piece just needs fox to be actually looking at something...most probably a troll footprint, or something troll related.

Onto the next scene; based on 'The bear and fox who made a bet'

original sketch:

Close up:

Monday, 14 January 2013

All this snow today has inspired me to start planning backgrounds for a double page spread, of my fox character who goes troll hunting. I'll upload backgrounds when I have a few more done. This is possibly how fox will look (and how I felt walking back to the studio earlier...)