Tag Archives: mountain sports

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

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.

I’m delighted to be able to now share the story of the extreme skiing illustrations I created this winter for the new book of Dan Egan and Eric Wilbur – 30 Years In A White Haze.

The Work

I created 24 illustrations in November and December 2020 for the third book of renowned US extreme skier Dan Egan.

Having seen my ski A-Z work, the US Hall of Fame skier Dan Egan, star of many of Warren Miller’s breathtaking ski films, asked me to create illustrations of his ski life for his third book.

It was fabulous, and a great distraction from lockdown restrictions, to be able to spend time vicariously in mountainous environments, creating high-adrenalin action art for 30 Years in a White Haze.

Anyone who knows my work knows that I’m a huge fan of colour, but I accepted and relished the challenge of conveying the excitement and thrills of Dan’s extreme skiing career, in black and white tones. It was key to show energy, movement, big air and Dan’s likeness in the artworks.

The Illustration Process

The Back Story

When I was growing up, our ski club, at the artificial ski slope in Rossendale, Lancashire, (England) used to hold Warren Miller film screening events each year. I loved the films and was in awe of the jaw-dropping stunts; so I was honoured when Dan asked me to create illustrations for his new book.

The Illustrations

With just a few weeks to go until the day that the book would go to be published I created 24 bespoke illustrations.

I worked in black and white tones of watercolour paints, and sometimes digital art, to capture and represent the excitement and thrills of extreme skiing.

Dan originally asked me for 15 artworks, I’m pleased to say that he liked the work so much he commissioned a further 9 pieces, it meant long days working, but it was fun. “Wow. The illustrations are amazing! You up for few more? “, Dan said.

Dan commissioned work from 4 other illustrators for the book. This investment in fresh ski art is wonderful. Art can cross boundaries, Dan was in New Hampshire, US and I was in Sheffield, UK, yet we were able to work together across the miles.

This short video gives a flavour of my extensive work for the book and the process.

Illustrating Skiing

I’ve skied since I was five years old including racing, teaching, and later promoting ski holidays. In January 2020 after a day skiing in Les 3 Vallees, France, I started what has now become a considerable project – the Ski A-Z, an illustrated glossary of the sport, that I hope will be published during 2021. It was this work which Dan saw on Linked In and prompted the work for his book.

My ski illustrations are intended to resonate with avid skiers, and attract new people to the sport, by demonstrating the exhilaration and joy of skiing. Through my work I want to encourage people to find and feel joy, to feel uplifted and inspired.

The Work In Print

I’m incredibly proud to see my work in the book. Every time I turn a page and see another of my illustrations the feeling is magic.

I’m so enjoying the reading the book. This sums it up…

“Dan Egan and Eric Wilbur’s Thirty Years in a White Haze is not only a story about Dan Egan’s worldwide adventures and the evolution of extreme skiing, but also a visual tour through the history, places, and relationships that help define both Egan and the sport of skiing.

To capture the joy, craft, and diversity of people and places readers encounter in the text, the book features custom illustrations sprinkled throughout the story. Egan called on the help of talented artists and designers to make this mixed media presentation come to life.” Said the ‘White Haze’ team.

Get A Copy

Dan said, “The book’s available on Amazon, on Barnes and Noble, on all the big retailers. It is also available at white-haze.com and if, of course, if you just Google ‘Dan Egan White Haze’, it pops right up. Shortly we’ll also have the audio book and the Kindle book. Next Fall, we’re going to release a special limited edition hardcover copy of the book. The book’s really special, you know, it has a lot of different elements in it. Of course, it has our story in it but each chapter opens up with beautiful illustrations.”

Unfortunately for many people in the UK and Europe there isn’t presently the opportunity, to ski the mountains; Dan’s book is a great way to get a ski fix until next being able to enjoy the slopes.

Thank You!

So a big thank you to Dan Egan and Eric Wilbur for this amazing opportunity, I am very grateful, and will treasure the book.

To be able to produce commissioned illustrations on a theme which is so much part of my existence was a wonderful opportunity, especially having seen Warren Miller films from such an early age.

Thank you to my husband for his support and being a helpful sounding board during this project. Thank you to my Mum and Dad for their dedication to our skiing and the wonderful mountain experiences that defined our upbringing.

Thank you to everyone who follows my work and supports with Likes, Comments and Shares, it really does mean a lot and makes it possible to keep going.

I’m delighted now to be able to speak about the project and show the work. If you’d like to know more please get in touch.

Bye for now

Kim

Latest blog posts…

Ski A-Z Cover Design

I’m delighted to share that I’ve completed the Ski A-Z book cover design which I’ve been developing over the past month.

The Cover Design

It’s a bright, bold design with three cover stars supporting the title letters in a mountain setting, The book will appeal to both those wanting to find out more about the sport, and to seasoned skiers.

Here’s the cover mocked up on a coffee table setting with ski themed props to bring the book concept to life. Notice the ceramic snowflake as a coaster for the edelweiss coffee cup.

The Book Concept

The Ski A-Z book concept – a practical, informative, fun, illustrated glossary of skiing with hints, tips and advice.

It’s the kind of book that you’d recommend to the friend that wants to get into skiing, it’s a gift for a ski lover, it’s a conversation starter for an evening in the chalet during your holiday.

The Design Process

I created the background and skiing characters in watercolours and ink, used a glue gun to give the letters texture and composed it digitally in Procreate.

My mini model Bruce posing for this character’s painting.

I had an idea to animate some of the book characters ‘excited to meet the readers’ to demonstrate the energy of the book.

Watch This Space…

Watch this website, my Instagram or Facebook page for updates on the project.

Here are posts about my latest work. Thanks so much for following my blog. Please feel free to share it with friends and colleagues who will enjoy it.

Enjoy!

Kim

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:

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

Apres-Ski Illustration

My latest ski illustration is:

Apres-Ski – Party In Ski Boots

Ares-Ski – Party In Your Ski Boots – Copyright Kim

Intending to capture the atmosphere after a day on the slopes and feeling everything from euphoria of achievement, to relaxing relief, I painted this conceptual illustration in honey based watercolour paints. This will be applied as editorial illustration and wall art for limited edition prints.

The artwork features a live music band entertaining skiers and snowboarders, some are dancing on tables, two are relaxing in deck chairs, there’s a little romance on the balcony whilst a discussion of the day’s route tales place over a piste map, and a light hearted snowball fight is underway.

Apres-Ski – detail

And because Apres-Ski is reputed to be a party straight from slopes, whilst still wearing ski boots, it’s all happening in a ski boot. A nod to the children’s rhyme about the old lady who lives in a shoe, “had so many children she didn’t know what to do”.

Apres-Ski – detail

I’m intending this piece as the first in an Illustrated A-Z of skiing. I’ll be sharing the work as I continue to create it so please follow along here and on my Instagram or Facebook.

Apres-Ski – detail. Copyright Kim

I’ll be putting words with the illustrations so I’m interested to hear how Apres-Ski is across the globe so please share this project with your ski friends, and tell me about Apres-Ski in your favourite resorts.

Here are my other recent ski illustrations.

Ski Illustrations

Heli-skiing in Russia – Illustrated travel memoir

Here is some more related work

Christmas Commercial Illustrations

Best 9s of 2019

Thanks so much for being here. If you know someone who’d enjoy seeing my work please share www.inspirebykim.com or if it sparks an idea of how my illustration can promote your brand or service then please get in touch. To discuss licensing and commissions contact me at inspirebykim@outlook.com

Bye for now and happy skiing. Have fun and stay safe. Don’t be the one who takes it too far, like the guy in the Apres-Ski illustration who’s balancing precariously one the high balcony 😊.

May all your nights have fresh snowfall and your days be blue sky ones, with the magic of sunshine. I love it most when the sun causes a myriad of tiny colours to refract in the snow crystals.

The mountains are a wonderful place for a perspective reset. They are eternal whereas problems are more transient and will pass in time. Have a good day.

Kim

Ski Illustrations

I have skied since I was 5 years old, thanks to our local council taking the bold steps to build one of the first artificial ski slopes in Britain.

I decided to illustrate a subject matter that I know well and began painting ski equipment, there is a lot needed for a day on the snow.

I’ve been working on a number of ski icons as part of this project. Here’s are the pieces so far throughout this email…

The ski slope was our playground. We trained there, made friends, raced, jumped, fell, got up and enjoyed skiing in all weather from baking heat through drenching rain to the delight of freshly fallen snow.

Often travelling with friends and the local ski club we travelled to the Alps for the added magic of real mountain skiing.

More to come on this project as I’ll bring these elements into compositions for editorial illustrations and marketing campaign visuals. So follow my blog to see the development of this work.

I have been busy painting skiers, ski lifts, and most recently I started to paint some of the additional snow based activities such as snowmobiling.

One of my favourite pieces in the project so far is this Parascending painting.

I’ve found an ease to this work, knowing the subject matter and working from experience. I love these watercolour paints, they’re lush hues and a delight to create with.

If you’d like unique, eye catching visuals for your marketing campaign, editorial or activity you can email me at inspirebykim@outlook.com

Thanks for being here.

Here’s related work…

Heli-skiing in Russia – Illustrated travel memoir

On Brand Illustration

Best 9s of 2019

Christmas Commercial Illustrations

Tennis Club Promotional Work Highlights

It’s been a productive January with ski illustrations and two sewn projects.

I’d love to know what you think of this work so please Like if you do and comment below. I’m keen to reach people who will enjoy my work, so if you’ve a friend or colleague that springs to mind please share this post with them.

Regular updates on my Instagram feed…

https://www.instagram.com/inspirebykim/

Thanks folks 😊⛷

#ski #illustrator #marketingcampaign #socialmediavisuals #editoialillustation