Tag Archives: Illustration process

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

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