Category Archives: travel

Travel Illustrations

This year I wanted to use the opportunity of #Inktober to work on illustrations of travel memories. Using the prompts from #theydrawandtravel illustrating the places on the list which I have visited.

Paris

Paris – Homage to the Paris icons of La Tour Eiffel, Moulin Rouge and La Basilique du Sacre-Coeur.

Paris is one of my favourite cities at any time of year. We were fortunate to visit most recently in November last year, which I have used as reference for this illustration.

Cairo – for many visitors this is the gateway to Egypt and its ancient wonders.

Here are my favourite Cairo landmarks brought into a composition – the majestic, mysterious pyramids, the stately Sphinx, the Ramses statue which looked onto to a bustling city square, and a river boat which is carrying intrigued travellers to explore the many temples along the banks of the Nile.

I was fortunate to visit first on a mini-cruise from Cyprus where I was working at the time, later on a trip from Sharm el-Sheikh, and on a work trip was fortunate to have a top floor hotel penthouse all to myself, when I attending the conference in place of my boss. A wonderful city, fabulous memories.

San Francisco – My favourite US city – first visited on a tour of California with my mum. We enjoyed the steep streets in a speedy taxi, rode a cable car were surprised by the sea lions at Pier 39. Most recent visit was en route to New Zealand with just a 24 hour stopover to enjoy the city and shops on Union Square.

Moscow

The stunning golden domes of the Kremlin and the colourful tiled domes of St Basil’s Cathedral in Red Square were what struck me visually when visiting Moscow. These and the enormous imposing Hotel Ukraine, one of the “Seven Sisters” of Moscow. 

Time in the city was a great experience which bookended our trip heli-skiing in Sochi. 

Sydney – what struck me as we walked towards the Opera House were the brightly coloured birds. The city felt much like a Northern European city, but the birds were striking, tropical, seemingly in stark contrast to the uniformity and familiarity of the buildings. The birds which enchanted me that day were Rainbow Lorikeets.

Sydney Opera House is a stunning feat of architecture, which I hadn’t realised until close observation is constructed in creamy coloured tiles, which appeared white in the bright sun, a little like the surface the space shuttle.

I took the opportunity to attend a dance show at the Opera House, performed by a number of Australian dance companies that was an evening to support Unicef. It was a dream come true to visit this stunning iconic landmark humanmade wonder.

Rock and Rome – featuring my Rome favourites. The Forum, The Colosseum, Vittorio Emanuele II monument, brought together with the tiny Fiat 500 so loved by my Mum.

Visited Rome on three trips last Autumn to help a loved one, and ‘Rock and Rome’ became a catchphrase.

Beijing – the iconic Great Wall, the curious roof adornment that is a man riding a Phoenix, and the Temple of Heaven.

Had a wonderful trip to China with @kuonitravel and met Cherie Blair (Wife of the UK Prime minister at the time) on the Great Wall. Recalling the fascinating acoustic effects at the Temple of Heaven.

Flamborough – Here are my favourite aspects of Flamborough brought together in this composition – Flamborough Head Lighthouse, the awesome gannets at Bempton Cliffs and our biking on the coastal path, all set under that huge sky with the salty breeze.

Here’s a round up collage of these travel illustrations.

Thanks so much for being here. These are my latest posts…

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 … Continue reading Ski A-Z X and O

Enjoy wherever you travel, real, memories or travel dreams.

Kim

Latest Ski A-Z Illustrations

I continue to create the Ski A-Z book, spurred on by the upcoming winter season, here are the latest illustrations…

‘L’ for Lunches

A long lunch after a great morning skiing is a delight in the spring months. The cool morning air is replaced with the sun, which bathes and warms away any winter blues from long winter nights of the previous months. A leisurely lunch on the mountain restaurant terrace is ideally followed by time reclining in a deck chair.

Initial sketches and the final painting.

But not every day is sunny with blue skies, the snow has to fall sometimes (preferably at night).

This illustration represents the lunch breaks on colder days, maybe even in a whiteout or blustery weather.

Warming up on a cold snowy day in the refuge of a mountain restaurant is like finding a safe harbour in a storm.

This illustration is based on a memory of a very cold day when I was a kid. My Dad helped me to get warm, which seemed to take a long time as I’d been lost for an hour.

The intention is to illustrate the feeling, not a likenesses to anyone in particular.

Once warmed up and recharged there’s chance for more fun in the snow, and if it’s accumulated a chance to ski deep snow.

Although I’ve created illustrations for the letter ‘F’ (see the illustrations here) I kept feeling called to represent family ski days – so here is the content I’ve created…

‘F’ for Family

Skiing is a sport that all ages can do together. Meaning it’s great fun family time. I treasure many memories of skiing together as a family, from being a child, to leading the children and instructing, and now letting them lead when it’s safe for them to pick their own path. This one is inspired by a fab three generation ski day in Meribel, France.

Pop the word ‘Ski’ in my blog search box to see all the Ski content created so far and follow on social media to see the work as it’s created…

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Thanks so much for being here, please share this post with ski friends who’ll enjoy seeing it. If you work in the ski industry and would like illustrations for your promotional activity then please email me at inspirebykim@outlook.com

Here are my latest posts.

Enjoy your day.

Kim

Bob The Balloon – Children’s Book Illustrations

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.

Book cover mock up with props

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.

My initial concept for the characters

I decided early in the process that Bob would be a heart shaped balloon, as our world needs love.

Accessorising Bob – fun but fussy

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.

Bug looked out at me from a page of my character sketches

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 balloons which altogether make up the character Bob

The challenge then was to demonstrate Bob and Bug’s different emotions, whilst keeping the characters and colour palette consistent.

Conveying a range of emotions and interactions between the two characters

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.

Animation frames for Bob bouncing on a river, studying the globe and observing a ladybird which Bug is drawing.

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.

Character poses for Bug, using her imagination.

It was a criteria of the course to demonstrate the character in different action poses to give the character life.

Lighthouse inspired by Amsterdam architecture and a love of gardens.

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.

Bug is telling Bob stories of faraway places.

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.

Bob flies through the travel themed cover design

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.

How the final book would look.

Thanks also the the many insects who landed close by me during the course, which seemed quite serendipitous.

Grasshopper, beetle and ladybird.

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 inspirebykim@outlook.com

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.

Thanks so much.

Kim x

The Dog Who Wanted To Fly – Illustrated Children’s Book

REACHING FOR THE STARS – CHILDREN’S BOOK ILLUSTRATION

Children’s book illustration for the culmination of Jelena’s journey through a winter wonderland, to reach the stars.

“Grandma said Mummy is polishing the stars, so that they shine on me.”

My character Jelena (meaning Bright) is helped by the mountain animals to go closer to the stars, where she believes her late mother to be.

I’m delighted with this latest work. I can feel the progress, enjoyed painting it and am pleasantly surprised with the final piece. It’s already framed and on our wall.

Illustrated children's book page. Little girl Jelena lifted up by alpine wildlife.

Having lived with the next generation effects of childhood bereavement I wanted to create a work that speaks to children, and the child inside the adult, who lost their parent.

Jelena realises through the narrative that she is not alone, and is reassured by the support and kindness from her new animal friends.

The stars are so bright and you can see multitudes of them above the mountains, as there isn’t the light pollution. It can be breathtaking to walk at midnight in the snow and gaze up in wonder.

I created this painting for the Make Art That Sells #matsprep assignment. The inspiration for the mountain setting is from the Ski A-Z book that I am presently working on.

How This Piece Was Created…

I painted the alpine wildlife that we see when we visit the French Alps, and the Vanoise National Park.

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.

Collage of the animal paintings

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.

A3 Painting in progress, using masking fluid, watercolour paints and acrylic gouache.

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.

Here are my latest blog posts…

If you would like artwork to support a positive project please email me at inspirebykim@outlook.com

Thanks so much for being here.

Signup to see new work as it is available. Please ‘Like’ if you do, and if there’s someone who you think would enjoy seeing the art and illustrations please share a link with them…

I think you’d really like to see this illustration. Take a look.

Many thanks

Kim

Letter G in the Ski A-Z

G is for Gloves – an essential piece of ski kit as cold hands cam spoil the day. I love it when fresh snowflakes fall on my gloves and remain there whilst their intricacy can be observed. I’ve noticed this most often when on a chairlift in snowy conditions.

I created these snowflakes using free motion embroidery and secondly with icing sugar.

Mittens are great alternatives to gloves for children, and for extremely cold conditions. Good quality ski mittens have separate fingers spaces inside, to add to their warmth.

Key ski items also starting with the letter G are Gondola, for non skiers, this is not the Venetian boat but one of the popular ski lift types, and also Goggles.

Goggles are as fundamental as gloves for well-being and comfort for cold temperatures and snowy days on the mountains.

This illustration is for Gondola, Goggles and Gloves. There’s also one other thing that starts with a G, to be spotted.

Watch this space for the letter H illustrations and if you’ve not seen them previously you can see the previous illustrations at these links….

Apres-Ski Illustration

F for Flying, Freedom and Flow

Technical Ski Illustrations

and more ski posts are on my blog.

Thanks so much for being here. Letter H will be coming up next…

Have a great weekend.

Kim

Ski A-Z ‘E’ for Extreme, Enjoy and Exhilaration…

I wasn’t sure as to whether there is relevance to continuing on with my ski A-Z project in the present global climate. But time is spent in lockdown should be time made better by finding the joy, and I get a lot of joy from making this work, and so I found that it felt best to continue. There’s a lot of people who enjoy skiing and mountain sports and so maybe share in the work can share some joy too.

If you’ve not seen my artworks for the letters from A to D then check out the links at the bottom of this blog post to catch up there.

Next up is the letter ‘E’ there are a lot of words that came to mind for E and I have incorporated this into a large artwork which illustrates some of my favourite ski feelings.

These are:

Enjoyment of the soaring peaks and stunning views of the mountain environment.

Exhilaration of skiing strong and fast, putting myself against the challenge of the mountain slopes. I always enjoyed giant slalom, over slalom courses, when we were ski racing.

Experiences – Skiing is a great switch off as it’s so engrossing physically and mentally that it’s hard to think of anything else meaning it’s a magic kind of mountain meditation.

One of the ways I love to experience and soak up the mountain atmosphere is to get off the piste and find somewhere to just sit, and be in an entirely natural environment, ideally with a semmel sandwich and a refreshing drink. To sit awhile and take it all in. For the non skiers, if you can get your skis into the snow you can use your ski poles between them to make a seat. Alternatively you can sit on the snow, ideally on a rucksack or plastic bag to avoid getting a soggy ski pants.

Extreme skiing needs you to have your wits about you and is so satisfying when you look back up a slope that you’ve achieved. Often having experienced a range of emotions on the way from doubt and fear to joy and euphoria.

My most extreme ski experience was Heli-skiing in the Caucasus mountains of Russia and Georgia. I illustrated an account of this trip which you can read and see at this link.

Here are the links to the Ski A-Z work already created…

Apres-Ski Illustration

A-Z of Ski Glossary

Technical Ski Illustrations

Watch this space for the ski paintings for the letter F…

Thanks so much for being here. If you’ve enjoyed this post please like it and if you know someone who’d enjoy it please share it with them. Let’s spread the joy of skiing.

Kim

A-Z Ski Glossary

I can now reveal my new project, the A-Z Ski Glossary illustration project. This will become an illustrated book, you can follow along as the work develops over the coming months. Here’s my creations for A-C.

A is for Apres-Ski and Alps

Intending to capture the atmosphere after a day on the slopes and feeling everything from euphoria of achievement, to relaxing relief, I painted this conceptual illustration in honey based watercolour paints.

The painting in progress

Because Apres-Ski is reputed to be a party straight from slopes, whilst still wearing ski boots, it’s all happening in a ski boot.

The artwork features a live music band entertaining skiers and snowboarders, some are dancing on tables, two are relaxing in deck chairs, there’s a little romance on the balcony whilst a discussion of the day’s route tales place over a piste map, and a light hearted snowball fight is underway.

There’s a bar and snacks for refreshment and an open fire to take the chill off as the sun sets and the party goes on into the evening.

This will be applied as editorial illustration and wall art for limited edition prints email me for an order form at inspirebykim@outlook.com

B is for Basher, Piste-Basher

Predominantly nocturnal machines they are responsible for grooming the pistes. I love to feel the corduroy they create.

They make the glide magical and the speed exhilarating. It’s a treat to see them in the daytime and enjoy their fresh track with short swings turns. Also referred to by the brand Pisten-Bully.

This piece was inspired by when I was lucky enough to drive a piste-basher. It was challenging and fun.

C is for Chalet

Chalet – a wooden house with overhanging eaves, common in alpine regions.

Copyright Kim 2020

After a satisfying day on the slopes in the fresh air and cold it’s lovely to snuggle up and get warm. In the mountains it feels easier to disconnect and go offline with a good book or watch a movie undisturbed. Get comfy and unwind. There are a number of things which begin with ‘C’ in this illustration.

Here’s a little chalet video..

Posts which relate to this are:

You can follow my website to see the next instalments of the A-Z Glossary of Skiing and my other visual communications projects. Just pop your email address into the subscribe box.

if you like instagram you can see my work as its created at https://www.instagram.com/inspirebykim/

Thanks for being here. Stay safe on the slopes and enjoy!

Kim