Food became a primary activity and the the highlight of the day during lockdown, both in terms of preparing it and enjoying eating.
In this personal project I’ve painted a series of pretty puddings.
By trying to make desserts photo worthy I found they could become delightful treats to add some joy to the days. Using images of our real puddings as the starting point I designed these sweet illustrations.
Painting feels meditative for me and it doesn’t get much better than painting a pudding, purely for pleasure. It can feel as indulgent as eating the thing,
Sometimes I have the dessert in front of me so there’s the incentive to paint until the piece is completed in one sitting, then I can enjoy consuming the still life whilst it’s fresh.
As ice-cream melts there’s a lot of observation whilst eating, and remembering involved in painting them.
Thanks so much for being here. Feel free to take a look around. See my new work as it’s created on my Instagram feed. Get in touch for bespoke illustrations, email email@example.com
These are related posts, and my latest posts follow those.
I hadn’t considered that children’s books was an area I wanted to explore, but knew that my drawing skills and illustration techniques would progress by doing the Illustrating Children’s Books course.
However, what I experienced during the intensive five week course was a wonderful journey through the process of creating characters and their world.
The Make Art That Sells course was a live global gathering of aspiring and professional illustrators having a wonderful shared experience towards a common goal.
I chose Zoë Tucker’s story about a balloon with wanderlust to travel the world; a feeling which I imagine a lot of people can relate to this year.
I decided early in the process that Bob would be a heart shaped balloon, as our world needs love.
In the story Bob the balloon lives with his best friend Bug in a lighthouse; until he’s gusted away on an unexpected magical adventure.
I created Bob using four small heart balloons (blue, pink, teal and purple), overlaid digitally and areas selected to give Bob’s unique colours, highlights, shadows and transparency. I added facial features to one of them to help with three quarter, side, high and low angle perspectives.
The challenge then was to demonstrate Bob and Bug’s different emotions, whilst keeping the characters and colour palette consistent.
Initially I thought that Bob might change colour with his feelings but then decided to keep the main shade of blue consistent. The real balloons were helpful in understanding the form, movement, bulging and deflation characteristics for Bob.
Whilst considering the character motivations I felt that Bug’s fascination with the balloon (Bob) may have been due to physical limitations, maybe she wished she could be light and rise off the ground. I experienced such yearnings after major knee injury, so could relate to these feelings. Therefore I developed Bug’s character to represent a person who is assisted to move around using a wheelchair, whether this be temporary (due to injury), or ongoing.
It was a criteria of the course to demonstrate the character in different action poses to give the character life.
The culmination of the course was a double page spread (16 x 10) inches of a scene from the book. I chose to represent a sunset scene where Bug is telling Bob stories of far away lands in her cosy nook bed. I made a pop-up book to include in the scene and made it cast a shadow on the wood panelling behind Bug. I added my watercolour paintings as wall art and soft furnishings. The globe form is inspired by a garden ornament at Renishaw Hall in Derbyshire.
By conveying emotions that draw the reader and child into the narrative, they will care about the characters. I wanted to demonstrate the connection between the characters and to give them a place to exist which is in a consistent style and medium.
The final task was to create the book cover, important for point of sale marketing whether viewed on a book shop shelf or as a tiny thumbnail on Amazon.
Thanks to Make Art That Sells, art agent Lilla Rogers and children’s book author/art director Zoë Tucker for a fabulous course and the wealth of informative content, sketch prompts, and weekly assignments. I felt my work shift forward enormously during the five weeks. I invested a lot of time, was determined, and am pleased with the outcomes.
Thanks also the the many insects who landed close by me during the course, which seemed quite serendipitous.
Mediums used include inks, gouache, watercolours, cut paper for the pop up book, and digital techniques.
I am open to illustration projects, editorial and children’s book illustrations so please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for being here and following my work. I’m creating new work all the time so please pop back soon or head over to my Instagram space to see work as it is created. My latest posts follow and a link to an illustrated children’s book that I created a few years ago.
Building on the Reaching For The Stars artwork (image below) featured in the previous blog post, I explored the character further.
I set myself the challenge of creating the same illustration from a top down perspective, with each of the animals in the correct order and corresponding position to the original illustration.
Here’s the resulting painting of the animal tower and young Jelena reaching for the stars, supported by the animals as snowflakes fall from the sky. Jelena believe her late mother to be amongst the stars; the animals assist her in her goal to reach closer to the stars.
In order develop the character further I created a page of illustrations of Jelena’s accessories.
I then thought about how she would move, painting different poses that she would move through in a children’s book story.
This work grew out of the Ski A-Z Book that I am working on. You can see this work at these links.
I created this graphic novel page for ‘Make Art That Sells’ June Bootcamp Assignment. As Lockdown restrictions are easing wedding planning can recommence for the couple’s big day. This opening image sets the context for the story. I painted all of the elements in the story in Kuretaki watercolour paints and brought them together digitally … Continue reading Love After Lockdown – Graphic Novel→
I decided to paint this Horse in Tulips after @mchorpash asked last week what was the hardest thing to draw, to which I said ‘Horses’. Seeing this majestic horse on our walk this past weekend made it the perfect opportunity. A weekend also filled with bountiful tulips for our wedding anniversary encouraged this composition painted … Continue reading Horse in Tulips→
I have often seen deer, foxes and wild boar whilst driving the mountain roads at night. The marmots we see emerging from hibernation in the spring, enjoying eating crocus as the snow melts away. I once encountered an imposing bouquetin at high altitude by the glacier near Val Thorens. We would also see herds of bouquetin grazing and fighting on the slopes of Champagny Le Haut. Mountain hare tracks can be seen from the chairlifts indicating their nocturnal presence. Whilst driving by Lake Annecy a family of five wild boar crossed the road ahead of us, parent and their young, so cute.
I also painted a Eurasian brown bear which lives in the Caucasus mountains of Russia, where we skied over bear tracks in the snow. Next to our hotel was a woodcarver’s yard where he whittled life sized bears from huge tree trunks. I chose a small carved bear as a souvenir of the trip. To read about heli-skiing in Russia click here.
My first composition (below) felt predatory, I needed a less confrontational arrangement of the elements.
Therefore I chose a tower of animals, united in assistance for the story’s main character, painting them in a less literal style for the final artwork.
I’m determined to keep learning and growing my skills through study of theory and techniques, practical art and colourful exploration. You can follow my blog to see work as it develops and the projects progress.
My intention is editorial illustration work, ideally the cover of Flow magazine, and commercial artwork for ‘change for good’ marketing campaigns. The big dream is an interactive art TV programme.
I created this graphic novel page for ‘Make Art That Sells’ June Bootcamp Assignment.
As Lockdown restrictions are easing wedding planning can recommence for the couple’s big day. This opening image sets the context for the story.
I painted all of the elements in the story in Kuretaki watercolour paints and brought them together digitally for the A4 piece.
The MATS bootcamp brief gave photo portraits and a selection of items to spark a story. I’ve used these characters and woven the items together in a simple narrative with destination wedding and travel themes.
Here’s the final piece, intended as an A4 page. Zoom in to follow the narrative and see the detail of each of the artworks…
The rose farm poster is a small detail in the finished graphic novel but the A4 painting was one of my favourite pieces from the project, and the painted roses were then used throughout the final page.
These close up profile portraits were challenging but enjoyable to paint. I wanted to capture the joy of the wedding, and the relief and positivity after the uncertainty of lockdown.
MATS course leader Lilla Rogers gave an image of Issa Rae. I looked online for a joyful looking male to be her groom and chose an image which I later determined to be Jay Ellis. When I researched Jay Ellis I couldn’t believe it when I read that he co-stars with Issa Rae in a popular HBO TV programme ‘Insecure’. How bizarre a coincidence is that choosing them, when they are cast together romantically on TV!
This is my padlock inspired by the work of Alphonse Mucha, and also Hector Guimard’s Paris Metro designs. Playing with the idea of lockdown, and being locked together in love.
Catalina Island was prompted by a postcard in the initial brief. I enjoyed exploring the island virtually thanks to YouTube videos, and painted this scene for the location of the wedding.
I then developed the work into an animated video. Follow this link to see an animation of my graphic novel, which is over on my YouTube channel. Watch it here.
Thanks for being here. I’m developing my portfolio but presently have some availability for commercial and editorial illustration, and promotional work.
Beaching can be a state of mind. For the past few years I’ve found that having a beach bag available for when relaxing in the garden can help transport oneself to the relaxation enjoyed whilst relaxing on holiday.
Months of lovely warm, sunny weather for most of lockdown have been ideal for garden beaching. I used the pretty colours of Inktense and my travel industry know how to illustrate the contents of a beaching, at home, bag.
Thanks so much for being here and taking the time to look at my work. I’m building my illustration portfolio. If you need bespoke art of illustrations to support a change for good project, please get in touch.
I’ve created some garden sign designs of ice-cream and ice lolly nostalgic summertime themes.
Ice-Cream painted sign. The wonderful, iconic 99 ice-cream, here in a tasty wafer cone, with chocolate at the end. 😋 Poster design to enhance the garden shed. Adding some fun summer icons.
The second design, with the same colour palette, again in acrylic paints was themed on the Fab ice lolly.
Nice weather meant it was possible to get outside and paint.
Have a Fab day! Fab ice lolly themed poster art. Enjoyed painting this piece. Please scroll sideways to see the work. Research was fun, and tasty 😋. The fab lolly is a product which is still going strong after more than 50 years!
Here’s the latest instalment in the Ski A-Z Glossary book I am presently working on…
H is for Hot Chocolate, a delicious comfort for snow lovers if all ages on a cold day, Warming up with a cup of hot chocolate in a mountain hut, with a log fire crackling, is a treat that revives the spirit for the skiing ahead.
H is also for Hot Tub. Warming the muscles at the end of the day in a hot tub is a soothing way to relax. These can often be found in a hotel spa, but a warm bath with salts can be as effective, although less sociable.
I’ve combined the two to create this fun Hot Choc Hot Tub illustration.
H is for Helmet – an essential piece of ski kit especially for skiing fast and when venturing off the marked pistes. Ski helmets are warm and cosy, sometimes too warm, so those with air vents which can be open or closed are a helpful solution.
H is also for Heli-Skiing, when a helicopter drops you off on a remote peak and you ski on slopes that would otherwise be inaccessible. I previously shared an account of heli-skiing in Russia. This travel memoir will appear in the ‘H’ pages in the Ski A-Z book. Here is the link if you’ve not seen it.