Tag Archives: cute

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

Creative Apps, Tools and Tips

I thought it may be helpful to share some creative apps, favourite tools and tips for use in visual arts and design.

CamScanner App

A great convenient, ‘on the go’ tool for scanning using your phone and the CamScanner app. You can either take a scan/picture using the app or can import an image to convert that into a scan. The app locates the boundaries of your image and adjusts the light so you can even scan in low light. It’s a huge time saver and has a good memory capacity before it requires any payment. You don’t get bugged by ads. CamScanner is 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 in my opinion.

CamScanner App screen grab
Screen grab of my CamScanner latest work

iPhone XS

My phone is a key tool in my work, for photographing, drawing, editing. The camera on this phone model takes beautiful images and the ‘portrait’ mode is a useful feature for product shots and photographing work. I like the ‘pano’ feature for creative shots. Couldn’t function without this. Great size, weight and stable when used with a tripod. iPhone XS 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Screen grab of my photo album.
I take a LOT of photos and create new designs on my iPhone

Pixelmator App

How I love Pixelmator. I can’t say how much I use it as it’s seamless in my work. I’m probably across in the app 5 times a day. Layering images, drawing, adding text, creating social media ads, resizing, mocking up ideas, creating repeat patterns. The app is intuitive, making it easy to learn and to use. This is a corker of a creative tool 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Pixelmator App Screen Grab Showing Layers of a Design.
Pixelmator App Screen Grab Showing Layers of a Design.

Bernina Sewing Machine

I would never have thought that I could love a sewing machine as much as I do my Bernina. It’s reliable, compact, and with the digital display I know what the machine settings are at a glance. I want to make the marks myself so I’m not interested in sewing machines that take over and do the sewing themselves. Swiss engineering is renowned and my Bernina is a fabulous example of this that runs like clockwork. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Bernina B215 Sewing Machine sewing an ice cream themed fabric that I designed

Bernina B215 Sewing Machine sewing an ice cream themed fabric that I designed.

YouTube

A learning gateway for everything you might ever want to learn about, where someone always seems to have the answer for using a new product, or technique. I’m going to give YouTube 🌟🌟🌟🌟 as the ads can be annoying, but then again it’s ‘free’. YouTube is about the people who take the time to share their experiences and knowledge. Of course it’s best to watch a few videos for any given subject to be able to gather a few perspectives/ methods.

I’ve always enjoyed making films so I love that I can share my movies and reach people through YouTube. Here’s a link to go to my channel.

Inspire by Kim YouTube Channel screen grab
Inspire by Kim YouTube Channel screen grab

50 Ways to Draw Your Beautiful Ordinary Life

This book is like a hug of a drawing course. The creators of Flow magazine have done something magical by bringing together exercises from their illustrators to make this big beautiful collection of inspiring, drawing skills inducing delight. Love it with some good TV and a pencil or fine liner. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ Flow Magazine.

Collage of the cover and pages of my drawings in the book.
Collage of the cover and pages of my drawings in the book.

Instagram

The place to see image based posts, as opposed to more wordy content. A window on creative studios, processes and what everyone is working on, it’s such a creative time that we live in. Instagram makes the world shrink to the size of the app and I love how we can connect with kindred creatives and find people with shared interests. And there’s always someone somewhere on Instagram, even in the middle of my night – when the darkness becomes a blank creative canvas for new idea seeds to germinate in my mind. Hoping the ads, which have increased in frequency, don’t takeover, like they appear to have on sister site Facebook 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Inspire by Kim Instagram Screen GrabInspire by Kim Instagram Screen Grab

Also I have to mention PicCollage, which now allows a mix of still images and videos in collages, and WordPress for my blog.

I hope this proves helpful. Wanted to share these findings and also this is a way of expressing gratitude for this tremendous tech and fabulous phone based functions which are my fundamental tools.

Please stay and see some more posts here.

If you’d like a street these are my favourite ones.

Fabric Design Doll

Fabric Birds

Workshop – Testimonials

Reflecting on 4 Colour Full Years

Paperart Originals – Ready for a new home

Years in the making, and hundreds of tiny details in paper, but I’m pleased to have completed my Brighton inspired Seaside Arches.

In a big move forward for me I am, for the first time, offering three paperart originals for sale in my Folksy shop. (Act quick before I change my mind).

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The British seaside inspired this piece. I tried to keep to a limited colour palette, which is tricky as I love colour so much. The steam train is arriving at the seaside where the arches are a tea and ice-cream cafe, a beach paraphernalia shop and a boutique with pretty dresses, hats and handbags. The picture captures a warm sunny day with brightly coloured bunting being tousled by the warm, salty sea breeze.

This time the small white dog Sam is joined by my new little four legged friend, thanks to www.BorrowMyDoggy.com, with both wearing neckerchiefs.

There’s a deckchair and beach towel available for anyone wanting to imagine themself into the pretty seaside scene. Hmmm memories of happy days by the sea.

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This winter scene is influenced by gingerbread houses, ski trips to the Alps and Russia, my love of ice skating and a chocolatier selling from a street booth I spotted in Lisbon. There’s a shift in the scene from Autumn trees into winter and the cosyness of festive lights.

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Going to the seaside is all about breaking away from the norms and city to race eagerly towards the seaside, the East coast of England in this picture, the shores of Lincolnshire and Norfolk. A pretty cottage awaits the family’s arrival with a fun big wheel and ice cream van to cool down after some sunny time on the beach.

People always ask how long the pictures take to make but I’m never counting the hours as I find a happy space in cutting and placing each piece of paper to build the picture. It can be almost meditative. I most like to do this work at the table in our garden but it’s rare for sunny days still enough to work with such tiny pieces of paper; they can so easily be carried by the wind, but those rare days are magical.

More images and detail about these artworks at my Folksy shop.

I’m going to be bringing my paper art skills together with the fabric design techniques I’ve been exploring to create some cut paper fabric designs. There, now I’ve said it here I’ll make it happen. Watch this space and see more at my Instagram feed.

Here’s more about the paper part of my story.

Related posts:

Paper Art Pictures

Animating Paper Pictures

My Life in Paper

Paper Art Time-Lapses

Designer Dog Coat

Personalised Pooch Weather Proof Coat

My four legged furry buddy isn’t keen on walking in the rain. So to stop this little guy…

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…ending up looking like this…

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I decided to make him a bespoke coat. As he’s a Lhasa Apso with a long body shop coats don’t fit him so off the peg wouldn’t do the job.

So using his silhouette and paw print, captured on a snowy day, I designed a repeat pattern.

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I painted the design in dyes using wax relief…

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Then heat-pressed the design onto fabric and cut out the shapes from the paper pattern I had created to fit my furry fashionisto.

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The good weather took the sewing and quilting of the layers al fresco.

I love reflective fabric so used used this for back panel of the dog coat.

My lovely Bernina sewing machine made light work of the creative quilting and edging tape sewing.

I don’t think, for me, sewing can get much better than making with fabric I’ve designed and printed myself.

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After attaching the pieces and adding Velcro and a button fastening the coat was ready for “walkies”.

The collar up option for heavy rain is quite David Bowie/spacey.

The collar down option for chillier but less wet days.

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You might want to see these dog inspired projects:

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Drawing With Silks – Cute Dog

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The Dog Who Wanted To Fly

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Maltese Dog Portrait

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Dog Portraits in Acrylic Paint

I’d like to thank my fabulous furry fashion model, Borrow My Doggy for the introduction and you for being here.

Make a new furry friend through Www.BorrowMyDoggy.com

For more fun makes follow my blog, my Facebook page and Instagram feed.

Thanks

Kim and Willow xx

Satin Cheese Plant…

I had an idea to make a cheese plant, this was inspired by seeing the cheese plant when doing Yoga With Adriene. I didn’t want a cheese plant that would grow too big or might result in soil spilling onto the carpet, so decided that a mini one would be ideal.

My favourite fabric at present is satin, I love how the light catches it and used it recently for the Bird and Flowers Cushion. The cushion featured leaves and so I can recognise the idea flow through these projects.

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The Bird and Flowers Cushion

Following this commission project I made a bookmark, a pretty lady emerged, and then an eye mask.

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So botanics were a theme flowing, or should I say ‘growing’ through my work, largely this was inspired by Botanica – Encyclopedia of Inspiration by Uppercase Magazine, a book I love. My garden is also a huge source of inspiration and vital to my creative process.

Here’s the cheese plant creation process in a one minute video. Including a quick animation that I was inspired to make. This quickly shows the steps to creating the miniature cheese plant…

This video and my growing collection of art videos can be seen on my YouTube channel.

I’m really pleased with this outcome and eager to see where this leads on to, I have some ideas but not ready to share them just yet.

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Cheese Plant in Satin – Copyright Kim

Related creations that led to this work are:

Bird and Flower Cushion

Eye Mask

Mini Bunting

My Life in Paper

Thanks so much for being here. If you know someone who would enjoy seeing my work and maybe they like creating too, then please share this with them.

Enjoy creating…

Bye x

All the images are copyrighted.

Blackpool Icons Textile Project

I wanted to make a really special and unique gift for a loved one, encapsulating all the things they love about Blackpool and the Lytham St. Annes in Lancashire.

I transferred carefully selected images to a range of fabric textures using sublimation and gel medium methods. Then stitched into the images before assembling them in a kind of patchwork.

I added hand painted seaside icons such as ice-creams, buckets and spades, fish and chips.

I included some of my own repeat pattern fabric designs and sewed into the design to represent the sea, rollercoasters, the beach and also to accentuate elements of the design.

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I chose a candy stripe fabric to represent rock and a fun ice lolly fabric for the reverse side of the cushion. Bright blue bias binding and zip really made the colours ‘pop’ in the design.

I’m delighted with the outcome, as is the recipient who hopefully will have many hours enjoying the images, detail and references which will evoke nostalgia, memories and encourage a new way of seeing a favourite place to visit.

Here’s a one minute movie of the project…

My artworks which relate to this project are:

Paper Art Pictures

Inspired Bags

The Inspire Bear

Drawing With Silks – Cute Dog

As a small sofa-friendly project over the easter weekend I decided to embark on a small embroidered portrait of the little dog that spends some days with me.

 

I found a high res picture that really showed the detail, and began first to represent the darkest areas gradually and carefully colour matching the different tones with embroidery silks, and representing the different textures. I took a drawing in silks approach, using drawing techniques that I use in life drawings.

 

I was pleased with how the embroidery began to take on his likeness and reflect some of his character. I added a paw print, from a picture I captured of it whilst walking during a snowfall.As I liked how the portrait looked in the embroidery hoop I decided to turn that into the frame, giving it a collar effect using a football boot lace (ssshh!)

The little dog is a lhasa apso with a lovely coat and sooo cute. He’s a great little guy who it is fun company.

The little dog’s owner was really pleased with the picture and how it captured the detail of his face and coat.

This is not the first cute dog that I have had the pleasure of capturing in art, I previously used acrylic paint to illustrate a children’s book about a white dog called Sam who wanted to fly.

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

More related posts are at these links:

Art Challenge 28 –  Dog Portraits – Maltese

Sewing into Art

Have a n-ice day! Sewing challenge

I later created another dog portrait – here is the link to the story and a video of the project. 

Its been a pleasure to share this story and its fab to have you here, please share my site with friends who’ll enjoy it x

I write my blog as story by story I’m logging my creative journey and writing my book. If you’d like to read the chapters as they are created you can follow this blog. It’s presently a small and select group but it would’ve lovely to have you join us. 😊

Kim x

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.