Tag Archives: illustration

2020 Review

I had a wonderful start to 2020 with skiing in France and Bulgaria, and little did I know when watching Cirque du Soleil at the Royal Albert Hall in March that it would be the last theatre visit of the year. Since we first went into lockdown in March my creative work has been enjoyable distraction and focus. As a result it’s been a productive year for my art and illustration work.

I have explored editorial illustration, children’s picture book work, and the themes of food and travel. Enjoyed the wonderful Make Art That Sells global community, and also the UK/US illustrator group that I’m blessed to be part of.

Ski Illustrations

After a day skiing in Les 3 Vallees, France I relaxed by painting ski related equipment.

This initiated the Ski A-Z book project which I have worked on throughout the year and will be in book form in early 2021.

Sharing these ski illustrations on social media led to an exciting client commission, which I will be able to reveal in the coming weeks – watch this space.

Here are my favourite ski illustrations of 2020 (that aren’t embargoed). I find that often the favourite pieces are breakthroughs in terms of the detail, materials, and/or techniques.

My intention with the project has been to demonstrate the joy and emotions of skiing and related activities in a way that is often less apparent in photographic images.

There are people who are at their happiest when skiing, unfortunately many of them aren’t able to ski at present, I hope they can feel some comfort by seeing the work and vicariously having some ski escapism.

More about this work at this link Night Skiing and TOP 9

Ski Prints

I’ve had a number of people requests prints of the ski work, so I’m pleased to reveal that I’ll be producing limited edition prints in 2021. Follow my blog for more details when they’re available. If there are ski illustrations that you’d like to be included in the selection made into prints please email me inspirebykim@outlook.com

Top 9 of 2020

Here are my overall favourite 9 pieces of 2020 across ski, travel, food and character design…

I worked hard on the first to show an expression of joy in this freestyle skiing pose. The second was a children’s book character I created for the Make Art That Sells Illustrating Children’s Books briefs. The third was a painting of juxtaposed elements of our biking holiday in Flamborough, the stunning scenery and incredible bird life.

The fourth was for an illustrated travel memoir of heli-skiing in Russia. The fifth is a conceptual illustration for Apres-Ski fun, my entry for the AOI World Illustration Awards. Sixth was my favourite piece from a number of dessert illustrations.

Seventh – the delightful feeling of calm and seclusion when enjoying some quiet time after skiing, warm and snuggly as the temperatures drop outside. I contacted Eddie (the Eagle) Edwards for a quote about the feeling of flying, and created this illustration from images that at Eddie provided. The ninth was a festive illustration/animation of steel deliveries at Santa’s Metal Workshop, commissioned by steel stockholder K Steels for their social media channels.

A particular highlight of lockdown, and since, were regular ‘Art Chats’ with my friend. We simultaneously worked on our individual creative projects on video calls. Being able to see the development of each other’s work, and to get ‘work in progress’ feedback, was helpful, I have found that chatting can help to divert the conscious mind and allow the subconscious to create in flow; the art nirvana that one can experience in particular circumstances and creative activities.

In the course of the chats my friend created an entire 2021 calendar of bird watercolours. You can see his work at

@dgrealise

For me personally good has to come out if a challenging situation, and thus I’ve made it a productive year with development of my skills and evolution of my illustration work. Here’s to a good 2021. Enjoy this short illustrated gif…

Thank you for each view, like, comment and all the support in 2020. Sharing my work gives me the impetus to continue to create, and to push myself to be able to more and more effectively express concepts visually.

It is always my mission to spread joy and inspiration so I hope that it contributes to the positive vibes going out into the world consciousness.

Read more about the key 2020 projects

Apres-Ski Illustration

Christmas 2020 Steel Illustrations

Pretty Pudding Paintings

Love After Lockdown – Graphic Novel

Bob The Balloon – Children’s Book Illustrations

Thanks so much for being here. Feel free to ‘Like’ the post if you do; and if you’ve friends who’d also be interested please share it with them.

Here’s to a great 2021. Hoping you have freedom to enjoy everything you wish for.

Find your joy

Love and luck

Kim x

Here’s are my latest posts:

Christmas 2020 Steel Illustrations

Here is the strategic Christmas illustration for Lancashire and Yorkshire based steel stockholders K Steels.

The illustration

K Steels wanted a still and animated festive illustration to reinforce the key messages ‘Great service and quick delivery’, and main steel product lines box section, steel plate and steel beam. The artwork was for use on social media and customer communication.

The animated version of the illustration

The setting is Santa’s Metal Workshop where the elves are busy unloading much needed steel. We see the edge of the production line where elves are busy manufacturing and welding. Santa is supervising and is very happy with the great K Steels steel and service.

I created the illustration and animation in the brand colours using photo montage of the wagons and hand drawn digital art on iPad and pencil in Procreate app. Watch the process from the final pencil sketch to animation in this quick time-lapse.

In addition to the illustration and gif I created a video version.

If you would like bespoke brand visuals, or have an idea that you would like to see visualised then email me at inspirebykim@outlook.com or complete the Illustration Request Form on my homepage.

This is the third successive year that I have created Christmas illustrations for the company. I’ve been working hard to progress my skills and techniques during these years.

What next?

Next you might want to take a look at these related posts…

Bali Parasol Illustrations

Apres-Ski Conceptual Illustration

And here are my most recent blog posts…

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy 2021.

Best wishes

Kim

Here’s my skiing Santa Christmas Greeting gif

Night Skiing and TOP 9

Here are the newest illustrations for my Ski A-Z Book are for the letter ‘N’ along with my Top 9 ski illustrations from 2020.

I started painting ski icons after a great day skiing on January 2nd 2020, in Les 3 Vallees, France. I continued to create the work through the season and when it started to gain momentum I decided that the word would form an illustrated glossary of skiing The Ski A-Z. I hope to make the book a reality in 2021.

Here’s are the latest illustrations…

Night Skiing – slight play on words for this illustration. I thought about floodlit night skiing but skiing by torchlight is truly exhilarating.

Inspired by the amazing armour at Warwick Castle. Remembering a New Year’s Eve torchlight ski in Austria. Painted in watercolour and metallic inks.

Skiing by Torchlight – I created this digital piece whilst exploring the colours and light of torchlight skiing.

Nordic Skiing by Moonlight – Bringing together floodlight and Nordic skiing I imagine the crunch of the snow under the skis and the nocturnal wildlife visible in the moonlight.

2020 – It’s been a momentous year for my ski work, and it culminated in an exciting project that I have to keep under wraps for the time being. Follow my website to see the work.

Top 9 Ski – In the meantime here are the Top 9 Ski themed illustrations that I created in 2020.

There are many of us who aren’t able to get out on skis at present, hopefully the ski illustrations can help spark some good memories. Thanks for being here. To see all my ski illustrations pop ‘Ski’ in the search box on my website.

Thanks so much for being here. My latest posts follow.

Kim

Here are my latest Instagram 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 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

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…

2020 Review

Upbeat review of my favourite art and illustrations of 2020.

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…

Instagram @inspirebykim

Facebook @inspirebykim

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

  • Chalet in Gingerbread
    Ski chalet baked and constructed in gingerbread
  • 2020 Review
    Upbeat review of my favourite art and illustrations of 2020.
  • Christmas 2020 Steel Illustrations
    Here is the strategic Christmas illustration for Lancashire and Yorkshire based steel stockholders K Steels. K Steels wanted a still and animated festive illustration to reinforce the key messages ‘Great service and quick delivery’, and main steel product lines box section, steel plate and steel beam. The artwork was for use on social media and … Continue reading Christmas 2020 Steel Illustrations
  • Night Skiing and TOP 9
    Here are the newest illustrations for my Ski A-Z Book are for the letter ‘N’ along with my Top 9 ski illustrations from 2020.
  • 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

Pretty Pudding Paintings

Food became a primary activity and the the highlight of the day during lockdown, both in terms of preparing it and enjoying eating.

In this personal project I’ve painted a series of pretty puddings.

A sunny, caramelly Portuguese tart (Pastéis de Nata) complemented with strawberries, raspberries and sprigs of fresh mint.
Reminiscent of lovely Lisbon.

By trying to make desserts photo worthy I found they could become delightful treats to add some joy to the days. Using images of our real puddings as the starting point I designed these sweet illustrations.

Painting feels meditative for me and it doesn’t get much better than painting a pudding, purely for pleasure. It can feel as indulgent as eating the thing,

Dairy-free ice cream with fresh strawberries, wafers and a sprig of mint leaves in my favourite wavy cornet style bowl.
Painted with a bun standing in for the ice cream, which would have melted too soon.

Sometimes I have the dessert in front of me so there’s the incentive to paint until the piece is completed in one sitting, then I can enjoy consuming the still life whilst it’s fresh.

Work in progress – the painting and the prize!

As ice-cream melts there’s a lot of observation whilst eating, and remembering involved in painting them.

Berry ice-cream boules atop a wafer cone with @hotelchocolat chocolates. New painting adapted from an ice-cream I enjoyed earlier this summer.

Thanks so much for being here. Feel free to take a look around. See my new work as it’s created on my Instagram feed. Get in touch for bespoke illustrations, email inspirebykim@outlook.com

These are related posts, and my latest posts follow those.

Enjoy.

Kim x

Ice-Cream Signs

Ice-Cream Van Bag Design

My Life in Paper

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

Snowy Children’s Book Illustrations

Building on the Reaching For The Stars artwork (image below) featured in the previous blog post, I explored the character further.

Reaching For The Stars

I set myself the challenge of creating the same illustration from a top down perspective, with each of the animals in the correct order and corresponding position to the original illustration.

Here’s the resulting painting of the animal tower and young Jelena reaching for the stars, supported by the animals as snowflakes fall from the sky. Jelena believe her late mother to be amongst the stars; the animals assist her in her goal to reach closer to the stars.

In order develop the character further I created a page of illustrations of Jelena’s accessories.

I then thought about how she would move, painting different poses that she would move through in a children’s book story.

This work grew out of the Ski A-Z Book that I am working on. You can see this work at these links.

Apres-Ski Illustration

Technical Ski Illustrations

A-Z of Ski – E for Exhilaration 

Thanks so much for being here on my website. I’m posting new work as its created on my Instagram feed so you might like to follow my work.

Here are my latest blog posts…

Bye for now.

Kim