Category Archives: ski

Decisions and Time Saving Tips

I’m busy working on the Ski A-Z book. Painting, writing, designing spreads and what has astounded me lately is the sheer number of decisionsi I am making every day.

Decisions about what to illustrate, where each line should be, I have a tip on this read on to see. What colour to choose, which brush – wet brush or dry, how far to dip the brush for the right amount of water, stroke direction, which colour to add for darker shades. Thousands of adjustments, choices, micro-decisions.

I am getting quicker, not that I was slow as I dip, paint, brush, dip, stroke, wet. I might apply more water to go lighter or might use the apply and and then dab to remove technique – choosing the optimal moment, to give the right impression of the fabric texture, to in effect unpick the paint (like when unpicking in sewing, but here doing it deliberately in order to add a highlight,

The right line – I have found that when drawing the right line is often between the first line and the second line. For example when drawing, if a line doesn’t look right and is overdrawn the right line will often be between the two. So I’m learning to not go so far to the second line and finding I can reduce the number of lines to get to the sketch that I want to use as the basis for my illustration. A time saving hack for my practice, And time is key at present as I steadily move towards the content deadline for the Ski A-Z book.

I’ve another time saving hack which is my lightbox – had it for long time with it languishing under utilised. It has since become a daily tool and probably the more time saving £15 I have EVER spent. Placing my sketch on the light box and painting backlit has saved soooo much time, removing the need to trace my completed sketch onto paper whilst avoiding unwanted pencil lines and rubber residue at the same time!

The process after drawing and honing the sketch was – trace, prep the reverse, trace on and then as I’m too heavy on the pencil, rub back to just visible. The light box has taken away all of these drawing stages. Happy dance – ideal for someone like me who gets bored quickly with monotonous processes.

This does mean, sadly, that I’ve not been able to work on watercolour paper blocks, but time is key at present.

Here are the latest posts from my Instagram, it’s a little less busy than normal there as I’m incredibly busy making the book. But watch this space for news on the book release plans.

Ski sun. Reinforcing the message about eye protection in the mountains they have their goggles on.

I’ve been going back to my roots for these illustrations.

I so enjoyed painting and reminiscing for this piece. Remembering sizzling hot summer days racing on the dry ski slopes.

I always enjoyed dual slalom the most of all and Summer Race League which was slalom in the morning and dual slalom in the afternoon.

The cows chewed grass just over the wall and pretty foxgloves grew by the ski lift track.

Ski Rossendale where I enjoyed my early years. If we weren’t there we were at another dry ski slope, our family travelled the length and breadth of Britain ski racing. Happy days.

Happy days ski racing in the hot sunshine. ❤️☀️⛷

Hot weather dry slope race days had a great atmosphere with friends and family enjoying the sunshine whilst watching the races.

Spectators would have their folding chairs, picnic rugs, parasols, and cool boxes of food and drink. It was a bit like beach meets skiing.

I recall fondly the camaraderie and joking when all of the racers were waxing our skis at the top of the slope.

Ice skater illustration for the Ski A-Z which will be part of a spread of other activities to enjoy on a ski trip.

It was great to be back on the ice this week after such a long time of rink closures and restrictions.

I learned to skate in a ski resort, fell in love with skating in Les Arcs, France. There was a rink by our apartment and due to growing knees skiing was painful so I skated lots that holiday.

Things don’t always go to plan and we experience setbacks. “Get up and dust yourself off”, they say. If anyone is struggling to get back up, know that there are better days ahead.

Time to go glacier skiing. I painted this alarm clock and then sewed the clock hands on to illustrate that you’ve got to start earlier for a glacier ski day in the summer months. The warmer temperatures make the snow melt and become heavy, so the early skier gets the great morning snow. See a stop motion animation of the alarm clock on my Instagram feed. https://www.instagram.com/inspirebykim/

Thinking of a powder snow day, so deep that you need a snorkel to ski.

Deep, light, dreamy snow to bounce through.

Ski illustration with a mermaid vibe, bringing together two things I love, skiing and snorkelling.

Thank-you!

Thank so much for reading, I really do appreciate the support. Have a wonderful day and may you find joy and love.

Kim

Extreme Skiing Book Illustrations

I’m celebrating my work being published in a brand new book by an Extreme Skier in the United States. I was commissioned to create 24 bespoke illustrations for the book. It is wonderful to see my work in print.

I’m delighted to be able to now share the story of the extreme skiing illustrations I created this winter for the new book of Dan Egan and Eric Wilbur – 30 Years In A White Haze.

The Work

I created 24 illustrations in November and December 2020 for the third book of renowned US extreme skier Dan Egan.

Having seen my ski A-Z work, the US Hall of Fame skier Dan Egan, star of many of Warren Miller’s breathtaking ski films, asked me to create illustrations of his ski life for his third book.

It was fabulous, and a great distraction from lockdown restrictions, to be able to spend time vicariously in mountainous environments, creating high-adrenalin action art for 30 Years in a White Haze.

Anyone who knows my work knows that I’m a huge fan of colour, but I accepted and relished the challenge of conveying the excitement and thrills of Dan’s extreme skiing career, in black and white tones. It was key to show energy, movement, big air and Dan’s likeness in the artworks.

The Illustration Process

The Back Story

When I was growing up, our ski club, at the artificial ski slope in Rossendale, Lancashire, (England) used to hold Warren Miller film screening events each year. I loved the films and was in awe of the jaw-dropping stunts; so I was honoured when Dan asked me to create illustrations for his new book.

The Illustrations

With just a few weeks to go until the day that the book would go to be published I created 24 bespoke illustrations.

I worked in black and white tones of watercolour paints, and sometimes digital art, to capture and represent the excitement and thrills of extreme skiing.

Dan originally asked me for 15 artworks, I’m pleased to say that he liked the work so much he commissioned a further 9 pieces, it meant long days working, but it was fun. “Wow. The illustrations are amazing! You up for few more? “, Dan said.

Dan commissioned work from 4 other illustrators for the book. This investment in fresh ski art is wonderful. Art can cross boundaries, Dan was in New Hampshire, US and I was in Sheffield, UK, yet we were able to work together across the miles.

This short video gives a flavour of my extensive work for the book and the process.

Illustrating Skiing

I’ve skied since I was five years old including racing, teaching, and later promoting ski holidays. In January 2020 after a day skiing in Les 3 Vallees, France, I started what has now become a considerable project – the Ski A-Z, an illustrated glossary of the sport, that I hope will be published during 2021. It was this work which Dan saw on Linked In and prompted the work for his book.

My ski illustrations are intended to resonate with avid skiers, and attract new people to the sport, by demonstrating the exhilaration and joy of skiing. Through my work I want to encourage people to find and feel joy, to feel uplifted and inspired.

The Work In Print

I’m incredibly proud to see my work in the book. Every time I turn a page and see another of my illustrations the feeling is magic.

I’m so enjoying the reading the book. This sums it up…

“Dan Egan and Eric Wilbur’s Thirty Years in a White Haze is not only a story about Dan Egan’s worldwide adventures and the evolution of extreme skiing, but also a visual tour through the history, places, and relationships that help define both Egan and the sport of skiing.

To capture the joy, craft, and diversity of people and places readers encounter in the text, the book features custom illustrations sprinkled throughout the story. Egan called on the help of talented artists and designers to make this mixed media presentation come to life.” Said the ‘White Haze’ team.

Get A Copy

Dan said, “The book’s available on Amazon, on Barnes and Noble, on all the big retailers. It is also available at white-haze.com and if, of course, if you just Google ‘Dan Egan White Haze’, it pops right up. Shortly we’ll also have the audio book and the Kindle book. Next Fall, we’re going to release a special limited edition hardcover copy of the book. The book’s really special, you know, it has a lot of different elements in it. Of course, it has our story in it but each chapter opens up with beautiful illustrations.”

Unfortunately for many people in the UK and Europe there isn’t presently the opportunity, to ski the mountains; Dan’s book is a great way to get a ski fix until next being able to enjoy the slopes.

Thank You!

So a big thank you to Dan Egan and Eric Wilbur for this amazing opportunity, I am very grateful, and will treasure the book.

To be able to produce commissioned illustrations on a theme which is so much part of my existence was a wonderful opportunity, especially having seen Warren Miller films from such an early age.

Thank you to my husband for his support and being a helpful sounding board during this project. Thank you to my Mum and Dad for their dedication to our skiing and the wonderful mountain experiences that defined our upbringing.

Thank you to everyone who follows my work and supports with Likes, Comments and Shares, it really does mean a lot and makes it possible to keep going.

I’m delighted now to be able to speak about the project and show the work. If you’d like to know more please get in touch.

Bye for now

Kim

Latest blog posts…

Citrus Sport Illustrations – Journal Design Concept

I thoroughly enjoyed my latest project to design a journal concept. I developed the ‘Joynal’ concept – a lovely book in which to note and track fun times, and joyful days.

The Brief

The starting point for the brief was a citrus and candy colour palette which we were then asked to develop into a journal concept. The brief was from Lilla Roger’s Make Art That Sells (MATS) Bootcamp for illustrators. I study with MATS as I can feel progression in my work during the course of a project.

My colour palette design created from the colour prompts provided

My ‘Joynal’ Journal Concept

Here’s my final journal design, inspired by Lilla’s advice to “create a journal you would love to own”. The journal design features fabulous female characters enjoying favourite activities and sports; with the citrus concept running throughout in the form of orange, lime, grapefruit and citrus flower iconography.

I’ve been creating many ski illustrations in recent months, so I’ve been keen to explore illustrating other sports, and this was a great opportunity to do so.

The idea of skiing through fallen citrus blossom is just blissful, and I’m looking forward to getting back to tennis and swimming after this lockdown. Cycling is presently a great escape from the routine of home; the countryside and big open skies are so refreshing.

My Journal Design Concept – Available for License at the time of publishing

The journal pages will be unlined coloured paper which can take some watercolour painting. To accompany the book design is a wipe-clean bookmark concept on which to write intentions, goals, or a bucket list; with a pretty, colour coordinating, tassel. The journal concept includes a dry-wipe glitter pen and citrus heart paperclips.

Things To Spot

Favourite elements to spot are the sea turtle, stingray, embroidered mountains, grapefruit sun lounger, the orange slice bike wheels, and the pink grapefruit heart motif.

How It Was Created

It was fun to explore for the brief, and I was very at home with the colour palette as it has a number of my favourite hues.

Watercolour icons and hand lettering

The illustrations were created in watercolours, free-motion embroidery on textiles that I have previously dyed/printed, and digital drawing in Procreate. Compositions were worked out on rough sketches.

The hand lettered journal and bookmark titles were created in watercolours and are embellished in the lace effect pieces that I created on my trusty Bernina sewing machine.

Additional Citrus Themed Outcomes

During the course of the project I created these two zesty refreshing citrus themed pieces. They remind me of hot sunny days, holidays and beach resorts (UK and overseas).

Citrus Ice Lolly Spot Illustration
Citrus and Candy Cocktail Spot Illustration

Products and Tools

These were those used in the project and which I am happy to recommend:

Kuretake Watercolours, Dr Ph Martin’s Liquid Watercolours, Arches Cold Pressed 300gsm Watercolour Paper, Colourcraft Transfer Paints, Bernina sewing machine, and Procreate app on the iPad Pro and Apple Pencil.

And finally

I really enjoyed the journal brief, citrus prompt and colour palette. Thanks so much for a great brief Lilla. If you’d like to see all the Journal designs created in response to this brief you can see them at this link…

If you’d like bespoke art or illustrations, or to license existing work please email me at inspirebykim@outlook.com

Thanks so much for being here. Please share with friends who’ll enjoy these illustrations.

Have a zesty, zingy day with plenty of what you love

Love and luck

Kim

Latest Projects

Extreme Skiing Book Illustrations

I’m celebrating my work being published in a brand new book by an Extreme Skier in the United States. I was commissioned to create 24 bespoke illustrations for the book. It is wonderful to see my work in print. Illustrations by Kim for new book 30 Years in A White Haze by Dan Egan and Eric Wilbur #30yearsinawhitehaze

Ski A-Z Cover Design

I’m delighted to share that I’ve completed the Ski A-Z book cover design which I’ve been developing over the past month.

The Cover Design

It’s a bright, bold design with three cover stars supporting the title letters in a mountain setting, The book will appeal to both those wanting to find out more about the sport, and to seasoned skiers.

Here’s the cover mocked up on a coffee table setting with ski themed props to bring the book concept to life. Notice the ceramic snowflake as a coaster for the edelweiss coffee cup.

The Book Concept

The Ski A-Z book concept – a practical, informative, fun, illustrated glossary of skiing with hints, tips and advice.

It’s the kind of book that you’d recommend to the friend that wants to get into skiing, it’s a gift for a ski lover, it’s a conversation starter for an evening in the chalet during your holiday.

The Design Process

I created the background and skiing characters in watercolours and ink, used a glue gun to give the letters texture and composed it digitally in Procreate.

My mini model Bruce posing for this character’s painting.

I had an idea to animate some of the book characters ‘excited to meet the readers’ to demonstrate the energy of the book.

Watch This Space…

Watch this website, my Instagram or Facebook page for updates on the project.

Here are posts about my latest work. Thanks so much for following my blog. Please feel free to share it with friends and colleagues who will enjoy it.

Enjoy!

Kim

Ski A-Z X and O

Here are my latest illustrations for the book project I am working on The A-Z of Ski.

New illustration to demonstrate those magic, powder days off-piste. If I had to place this it would be Plan Peisey part of the Paradiski area in France.

Ski themed decorative letters featuring off-piste ski tracks, snowflakes, mountains and fresh corduroy. In the same warm colour palette as the illustrations. These will be page headings throughout the book.

X’ formed with the skis is the universal symbol for an accident. This skier is a little dazed so his friend has stuck his skis in the snow to warn other skiers, and to give him chance to recover. Don’t worry, he’ll be fine.

As you’ll guess from the letter shown here, the Ski A-Z is getting closer to completion. Follow my website or Instagram to find out more details, as soon as they’re available, about how to secure a copy.

If you need ski themed art for your project to promote your ski related venture then get in touch and let’s chat,

Thanks so much for taking the time to be here. My latest posts follow.

Have fun

Kim

Copyright Kim on all illustrations in this post.

Brand New Ski Illustrations – Ski A-Z

Here are the latest illustrations for my Ski A-Z book project.

This collage shows all the ski related illustrations that I created in October 2020.

X Jump

New ski illustration for the letter ‘X’ in the Ski A-Z. I reached out to the Facebook Ski Club for ideas for this tricky letter and this jump position was a popular suggestion.

Rescues

We never want to need rescuing from the slopes or the off-piste mountain areas, but if we do then we’re grateful for the care and skills of the ski patrollers.

They may go by different names in different parts of the world, but they are the ones who help us down the mountains when injury means we aren’t able to get down unassisted.

This illustration is dedicated to those individuals, these heroes on our worst ski day.

Nordic Skiing

Nordic skiing’ encompasses a number of disciplines but has roots spanning thousands of years.

Whether classic or skating style, cross country skiing is a great way to explore alpine environments without the need for uplifts, allowing the skier to get close to nature. It is an energetic workout so has lighter weight clothing ranges than downhill skiing.

The lightweight skis, fixed only at the toe require precise balance which I find makes downward slopes exhilarating.

Thanks to the Facebook Ski Club members for this suggestion for the letter ‘N’.

Telemarking is also a Nordic ski discipline, something I wish I’d tried whilst younger, watch this space for a telemark illustration.

Snowshoeing

Snowshoeing is a great way to explore the mountain and spot wildlife. We like to pack a picnic and find a place to perch, ideally with a view across the mountain range, blue sky and sunshine.

Snowshoeing is a good alternative activity for those new to skiing, as learning to ski is very physical. Skiing is a sport that becomes easier as one progresses. A brisk walk or snowshoeing is a good way to stretch the legs muscles.

The ski illustrations on my previous post are also featured in the October collage, you can see them here…

Thanks so much for stopping by to see my work. I’m working on a mock-up of the Ski A-Z book, so it’s really starting to come together,

My most recent posts follow.

May all your ski days be blue sky and powder.

Kim