Tag Archives: illustration

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

Love After Lockdown – Graphic Novel

I created this graphic novel page for ‘Make Art That Sells’ June Bootcamp Assignment.

As Lockdown restrictions are easing wedding planning can recommence for the couple’s big day. This opening image sets the context for the story.

I painted all of the elements in the story in Kuretaki watercolour paints and brought them together digitally for the A4 piece.

The MATS bootcamp brief gave photo portraits and a selection of items to spark a story. I’ve used these characters and woven the items together in a simple narrative with destination wedding and travel themes.

Here’s the final piece, intended as an A4 page. Zoom in to follow the narrative and see the detail of each of the artworks…

The rose farm poster is a small detail in the finished graphic novel but the A4 painting was one of my favourite pieces from the project, and the painted roses were then used throughout the final page.

These close up profile portraits were challenging but enjoyable to paint. I wanted to capture the joy of the wedding, and the relief and positivity after the uncertainty of lockdown.

MATS course leader Lilla Rogers gave an image of Issa Rae. I looked online for a joyful looking male to be her groom and chose an image which I later determined to be Jay Ellis. When I researched Jay Ellis I couldn’t believe it when I read that he co-stars with Issa Rae in a popular HBO TV programme ‘Insecure’. How bizarre a coincidence is that choosing them, when they are cast together romantically on TV!

This is my padlock inspired by the work of Alphonse Mucha, and also Hector Guimard’s Paris Metro designs. Playing with the idea of lockdown, and being locked together in love.

Catalina Island was prompted by a postcard in the initial brief. I enjoyed exploring the island virtually thanks to YouTube videos, and painted this scene for the location of the wedding.

I then developed the work into an animated video. Follow this link to see an animation of my graphic novel, which is over on my YouTube channel. Watch it here.

Thanks for being here. I’m developing my portfolio but presently have some availability for commercial and editorial illustration, and promotional work.

See my recent posts at these links.

Bye for now.

Kim

Beach Bag Illustration

Beaching can be a state of mind. For the past few years I’ve found that having a beach bag available for when relaxing in the garden can help transport oneself to the relaxation enjoyed whilst relaxing on holiday.


Months of lovely warm, sunny weather for most of lockdown have been ideal for garden beaching. I used the pretty colours of Inktense and my travel industry know how to illustrate the contents of a beaching, at home, bag.

Creating outdoors
Detail…

Here are my latest posts…

@baliparasol @derwentartofficial

Thanks so much for being here and taking the time to look at my work. I’m building my illustration portfolio. If you need bespoke art of illustrations to support a change for good project, please get in touch.

beach #holidayathome #staycation #travelinyourmind #illustration #beaching #illustrator #editorialillustration @makeartthatsells #theydrawandtravel #vacation #holiday #ink #inkart

Horse in Tulips

I decided to paint this Horse in Tulips after @mchorpash asked last week what was the hardest thing to draw, to which I said ‘Horses’.

Seeing this majestic horse on our walk this past weekend made it the perfect opportunity.

A weekend also filled with bountiful tulips for our wedding anniversary encouraged this composition painted in Acryla Gouache and metallic watercolour.

I enjoyed painting this work whilst video chatting with my good friend @dg_realise who was painting beautiful birds.


I’m pleased with the painting. Hoping I can identify the owner to show them the painting.

horses #tulips #illustrator #illustration #lovehorses #horseart #makeartthatsells #wipsandblooms #💐 #flowers #art #artistsoninstagram

Here are my latest posts…

Thanks for being here. Have a lovely day.

Kim

Ways To Feel Better

I wrote this blog post at the beginning of lockdown but for some reason didn’t share it. So I’m sharing it now…

Here are some ways to feel better. Here’s a bright inspiring wordsearch. Just a couple of minutes but the words will uplift you. Best done in a morning, to set a positive tone for the day.

You might like to create a word search of your favourite things. Maybe send it a friend who also loves the activity.

If you or the children fancy an art challenge why not paint, collage or print your bunting for home, and will also brighten up social media. If you have bunting already then maybe let it fly. Individual bunting flags around 16cm wide can be decorated and then sewn onto ribbon or placed on a length of sellotape.

Many people are making rainbows and displaying them in their windows for children to spot.

Here’s one for our window. For this technique I wet the paper where I wanted a colour to go, ie in an arc for the red. Then added gouache paint, which then flowed to the edge of the wet area. I then wet the next section and overlapped the red as I applied the yellow paint, therefore creating the orange when they layered. And so on. It’s an easy way to create a rainbow using just red, yellow, blue and an indigo, for contrast. Gouache colours are vibrant. This technique, paint on wet, needs a good thick paper or card so it remains nice and smooth and not buckled.

If video is what moves you then check out my art movies and animations on YouTube.

Leave the mixer in the cupboard and bake with just the strength and motion of your stirring, folding the ingredients. Let your mind wander as you mix and let yourself become engrossed in following the steps of a recipe. Edible treats are at the end so baking is a lovely thing to do. If you have time that you would normally have you might enjoy decorating them with pretty details.

My lovely niece enjoyed carefully decorating these buns so beautifully after breaking her foot. She enjoyed taking time in a way she wouldn’t normally and we all enjoyed these delightful bakes.

Planting and growing a garden can be so delightful and fulfilling.

For pretty much daily inspiration and content designed to make you feel better follow my Instagram and it Facebook Page,

Enjoy, be happy. Stuff will happen but we can escape into our own imagination, or each other’s imagination.

Have a better day, repeat and relax.

Here are my latest posts…

H in the Ski A-Z Book

Here’s the latest instalment in the Ski A-Z Glossary book I am presently working on…

H is for Hot Chocolate, a delicious comfort for snow lovers if all ages on a cold day, Warming up with a cup of hot chocolate in a mountain hut, with a log fire crackling, is a treat that revives the spirit for the skiing ahead.

H is also for Hot Tub. Warming the muscles at the end of the day in a hot tub is a soothing way to relax. These can often be found in a hotel spa, but a warm bath with salts can be as effective, although less sociable.

I’ve combined the two to create this fun Hot Choc Hot Tub illustration.

H is for Helmet – an essential piece of ski kit especially for skiing fast and when venturing off the marked pistes. Ski helmets are warm and cosy, sometimes too warm, so those with air vents which can be open or closed are a helpful solution.

H is also for Heli-Skiing, when a helicopter drops you off on a remote peak and you ski on slopes that would otherwise be inaccessible. I previously shared an account of heli-skiing in Russia. This travel memoir will appear in the ‘H’ pages in the Ski A-Z book. Here is the link if you’ve not seen it.

Heli-Skiing Travel Memoir

Editorial Illustration

Next up will be ‘I’ – so watch this space and Follow, if you’re not already doing so to see the new book content as it is created.

Thanks for being here. These are links to the previous ski artworks and content…

Apres-Ski Illustration

Technical Ski Illustrations

A-Z of Ski – E for Exhilaration

Thanks for being here. Please Like and Share so more people can enjoy the work.

If you need bespoke illustrations for your project you can contact my by emailing inspirebykim@outlook.com

Here are my most recent posts…

I hope you enjoy seeing the work. I’m making new art all the time so watch this space.

Bye for now

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

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

West Side Story Poster Design

My submission for the West Side Story poster design brief for #makeartthatsells. Theatre production poster for West Side Story on Broadway, NYC.

Work in progress Letters cut from striking papers I’d painted.

I added dancer shapes cut from paper and, a compass point, then wrote text in Procreate app to complete the design.

Experimenting with bold textured lettering creating using Dr P..H, Martin Liquid Watercolours

You might want to check out Make Art That Sells from Lila Rogers Studio.

Thanks for being here. Come back soon and see my new work.

Kim