Tag Archives: art sheffield

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

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 – F for Flying, Freedom and Flow…

The latest instalment of my Ski A-Z for the letter ‘F’

There is flow and freedom in skiing which can feel like you’re flying. I love it when gliding along on skis on the mountain tops can feel like flying. Often birds can be seen flying in the valleys below.

I wanted to capture this feeling in this artwork. A sunny day is a must to conjure this magic feeling.

I feel this sensation of flight most in Les 3 Vallees above St Martin de Belleville and Meribel, when heading in the direction of Val Thorens.

The feeling of flying got me thinking about how Olympian Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards must be the British person who has most experienced a feeling of flying on skis. Unusually Eddie, originally a downhill racer, first ski jumped as an adult. In a feat of courage and resolve he created a new British ski jumping record of 73.5 metres, the equivalent of jumping over 6 double decker buses.

I contacted Eddie (his given name is Michael), now inspiring people as a motivational speaker. I asked him about how skiing can feel like flying.

Eddie Edwards, said, “To fly……. is to be free!!”

I wanted to create an illustration which captured the freedom of flight mentioned in Eddie’s quote, along with the joy he demonstrated to the crowds after his Olympic ski jumps.

I don’t usually have a person in mind when painting faces for the Ski A-Z characters, I’m more trying to demonstrate joy and emotion in the expressions of the skiers.

A big thank you to Eddie for the quote, and the inspiration for the illustration.

Finally here’s a very short animation of the Fly, Freedom, Flow painting with a delicate ethereal stitched wing, to bridge between reality and imagination.

So, next up is the letter ‘G’ watch this space and follow to be sure to see the new work as it’s created.

Many people missed out on skiing this winter or had their seasons cut short. I hope that my artworks can give a positive vibe, to spark feel good memories.

If you’ve not seen the previous ski illustrations I’ve been working on you can see them at these links.

Technical Ski Illustrations

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

My favourite – Apres-Ski Illustration

Heli-Skiing in Russia – Illustrated Travel Memoir

Ski Illustrations

A-Z Ski Glossary

Here are my latest posts…

Thanks so much for being here. Please ‘Like’ if you do, and share with others who’ll also enjoy.

Many thanks

Kim

Workshop – Final Places Available

Make a fabric bird, or two, or something else that makes your heart sing at the fabric design. workshop on 2nd June. Book now with Sue of Stitched Up and Fleeced, Sheffield’s leafing textile studio.

For more details about the workshop click here . To see inspiration for what you might like to make visit this link. There really is no limit to what you can design and make.

Here are some examples of workshop attendees designs.

Hope to see you on 2nd June. If you’re too far away let me know where you are and how you like to learn and we can find a solution for you to try these techniques.

Book the workshop and enquire now by contacting Sue at Stitched Up and Fleeced using this contact form.

Fabric Design Highlights

It’s a year this week since my Heat Press machine arrived and made it possible for me to press my painted designs from paper onto fabric.

I’ve been reflecting on the work and continue to enjoy exploring the potentials of this colourful science of heat sensitive dyes.

Here are the highlights of the work using these fabric design techniques.

Heat Press Machine uses heat and pressure with special heat sensitive dyes.

Most recently this colourful doll. All the fabric was white when I began the work. I added colour and stitch inspired by my favourite things.

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One of the first things I made with my machine was this miniature bunting. img_4125

As I wanted flowers to always be at our Juliet balcony I created this tulip box draught excluder.img_6089

To help me relax and snooze whilst travelling I made this pretty eye mask, printing the fabric and the bias binding with my hand painted designs.

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In a campaign to raise awareness of bell pepper allergies and intolerances I created this piece by painting then free motion embroidery.

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I collaged pieces of painted paper to create this portrait.

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Blue Hair Tulip Lady

My latest make was tennis themed bunting, joined with heat pressed ribbon, as part of promotion work for a tennis club.

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In February I created samples to show different techniques and shared these at a half day workshop. Thanks so much to the workshop attendees, it was wonderful to see how you enjoyed putting your designs onto fabric. I can’t wait to see your creations with the fabrics you designed and made.

One of my favourite creations was the miniature cheese plant. Using hand painted leaves I pressed them onto satin, and using wire I stitched them and arranged them into this pretty home decor gem which doesn’t need watering or tending.

There’s the opportunity to play with these techniques and design your fabric for a craft, fashion or home decor project at my next workshop.

I’ll be demonstrating and teaching these techniques at a one day workshop in Sheffield on Sunday June 2nd. The workshop is at Stitched Up and Fleeced studio from 10 – 4pm, £60.

The one day workshop will bring stitch techniques into the process to explore how stitch can be used before and/or after pressing the designs onto fabric, to achieve some beautiful effects.

The workshop can be booked at the venue website. Just complete the contact form to ask any questions or to book. You can of course ask me any queries at inspirebykim@outlook.com

We’ll be exploring how we can reuse and upcycle existing fabrics that you already have, to breathe new life into them.

Here are testimonials from workshop attendees.

Can’t make that date? I also offer Fabric Design one to ones. Just message me for more details and dates.

So here’s to another year. I’ve some new ideas I’m developing, so watch this space. You can see my work in progress through my Instagram and Facebook.

These are related posts, enjoy. Thanks for being here.

Fabric Design Workshop – 2nd June, Sheffield

Fabric Design Project – Window Box Tulips

Workshop – Testimonials

Satin Cheese Plant…

Fabric Design Doll

Workshop – Testimonials

I’m delighted to have received these testimonials after a run through of my upcoming workshop, which will take place at Stitched Up And Fleeced in Sheffield on 9th March from 10-12:30.

“The workshop had a relaxed environment in which I felt comfortable asking for help or any questions about the work. The organisation of the workshop meant it was enjoyable and the time given meant I wasn’t rushed into completing my design. I am very happy with what I produced and the skills and knowledge about heat press and the dyes I developed during the process.” AGR, Sheffield.

“I thoroughly enjoyed trying a totally new skill. Instructions were very clear and the group dynamic made the whole experience much fun. It was great to see the vibrant finished result emerge from my own design. It was rewarding to complete the task from beginning to end in just a few hours.” JPS Chesterfield.

“Amazing evening experiencing the ‘Magical’ creation, made possible by the unique experience of Kim and her Heat Press techniques.” MK, Manchester.

The workshop provides the opportunity to create a design and transfer it onto fabric for use in a fashion, sewing or craft project.

Priced at just £30 it’s a lovely, great value experience for some quality ‘you time’ or a lovely early Mother’s Day gift.

Book now at

http://www.stitchedupandfleeced.com/workshops

Here are some of the lovely work made at the workshop trial run….

Here are samples I created to demonstrate a selection of design methods to use in the Heat Press.

For more information click here.

Book at http://www.stitchedupandfleeced.com/workshops

This website is supported by Colourcraft Ltd.

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

I have wanted to create a book since I was 7 years old.

The fluffy white Maltese Terrier Dog Sam has featured in each of my paper cut pictures, so I started to feel a story was emerging.

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Seaside Village. Copyright Kim

 

‘Sam’s Adventures’ came to mind and I decided to sign up for a Writing Children’s Books workshop with London-based publishers Nosy Crow. I ticked the box for the option for a manuscript review, and then was shocked when I received an email asking for the manuscript a good time ahead of the course. I swung into action and started to build a book from the pictures I had created.

I didn’t enjoy the process and the publisher’s MD didn’t like the outcome, as the character wasn’t prominent enough in the illustrations.

In the time between sending the manuscript and the course I had a burst of courage in my painting ability and I decided to paint the character and hoped to capture his spirit.

Here are some of the watercolour and acrylics paintings I created of Sam.

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Meet Sam – Copyright Kim

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Detail from the book – Copyright Kim

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Book design in progress – Copyright Kim

 

Sam was my brother’s dog, we had great adventures in the Alps and Provence together. I loved him very much and although it would be wonderful to have a dog of our own for the time being creating stories for Sam will have to suffice.

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Meet Sam – Copyright Kim

On the theme of Sam the dog wanting to fly I created a range of artworks. I scanned my paintings and created a PDF file which I then uploaded to create an e-book through Kindle Direct Publishing. I’m proud to say that the book is now available online.

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Update April 2018 – A hard copy of the book is available at my Folksy Shop

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My conclusion:

The first book was about the scenes, the second book/ iteration was about the character. My challenge now is to find ways of putting the more developed character into unique environments and settings. When I achieve that I will share the outcome. Watch this space. You can do that by following the blog, just add your preferred email address in the box at the top sides of the page. I love welcoming new followers to the fold and won’t clog your inbox.

The Dog That Wanted To Fly – Sam’s Adventures on Amazon Kindle

Earlier blog posts that are related to this one are…

Paper-cut Pictures – Art Challenge

Dog Portraits – Maltese – Art Challenge

Animating Paper Pictures – Art Challenge

My Story – Art That Has Come Out Of Injury

Pop along to my Facebook Page to see more or feel free to take a look around, maybe enjoy viewing my portfolio.

In loving memory of Sam Kay

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My Life In Paper

“My latest paper masterpiece, “Hot Days Eating Cool Ice Cream”. It is pretty with details and interest, always something more to see and packed with pictorial love from corner to corner.” 

Read the full story: 

I often have an idealistic view of what an event will be like. For instance say to me garden party and instantly an image conjures of pretty bunting flapping in the wind, smiling faces, beautiful colourful tablecloths, bright blooms, pink lemonade with ice glinting in the sun, gorgeous dresses and a cloud leisurely tracking across a vivid blue sky. My idealism can often lead to the reality being a little disappointing. I had seen this  as a trait that was negative, that I was being naive and childishly silly.

But I have realised that it is this ideal world imagination that is the magic that can make my special kind of art.

My growing number of paper cut creations, finely crafted like a self-made jigsaw, come from this visual idealism.


Best seen in their original form the pictures are intricate and unique. In their creation is a calm happy place for me, one where I am in that sweet spot between consciousness and subconscious. Piece by piece, thought by thought I cut and stick to form a whole that when I step back I wonder how that came about.

When I was a youngster I would get frustrated that my art did not look like I had envisioned. That I could not recreate on paper the picture that I had in my head. But my paper artworks never start from a whole vision, it begins like a building, first the walls go in place, then I furnish the building with pretty furniture from my imagination and add personal items that belong to the imaginary owners, curated over their lives.

Ta-Da… My Latest Picture Revealed

I very recently completed what I feel is my latest masterpiece, “Hot Days Eating Cool Ice Cream”. Like the earlier smaller (A4) Beach Huts, Allotments and Ski Chalet (all in the strip above), it is pretty with details and interest, always something more to see, but this new piece is A3 and packed with pictorial love from corner to corner.

I created the Ice Cream artwork with new colour understanding after studying the relationships between colours. As a result it really pops off the page.

So here it is for your visual consumption. Have a Flake with that.

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Hot Days Eating Cool Ice Cream – Copyright Kim

Hot Days Eating Cool ice Cream is a design made entirely from pieces of paper cut into shapes to make a bright, colourful work of art. The design feature an ice cream cafe on a sunny day. The ice-cream maker also sells the delicious ice creams out and about in the sparkly ice-cream van.

Two girls are at the cafe to enjoy ice-cream and a small white dog trots by to in the hope of a little chocolate or sweet treat.

In the distance people enjoy the fun and thrill of a rollercoaster ride and a plane flies overhead to spread the work about the wonderful ice-creams.

This is my first paper cut work that prominently features people. This was a challenge, at first I painted people and cut and added those, but later recreated them in paper and am happier with the paper characters.

Here are some details from the picture… (watermarked).

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Of course Maltese Terrier Sam, as in each of the paper-cut pictures, is there – Copyright Kim

And now the fun starts on creating canvases, fabric and products which will take the picture out and about and on the move in the world.

Ice Cream Jigsaw
Hot Days Eating Cool Ice Cream – Copyright Kim

I am seeking an art agent or art business mentor/manager to assist my art out into the world. Please share my post so that it can find its way to the ideal person to help.

If you’ve enjoyed this post here are related posts to feast your eyes and imagination on. Enjoy!

Paper-Cut Pictures

Animating Paper Pictures

Paper-Cut Portrait

Paper-Cut Pictures Part Two

My Story

My YouTube Channel

My Facebook Page

All that Ice-Cream makes you feel hungry then have a few scoops and a Flake.