Thursday, 3 April 2014

The Girl and the Bird

My course leader Ashley Potter from Plymouth University has been running a project to investigate how different people tackle illustration work and how this may relate to their personalities. 

The project was entitled "Girl & Bird" this subject has been tackled many times in the past in all different ways and we were asked to interpret it however we liked, and then answer a questionnaire about our work which involved questions about ourselves, the work we did and about our personality types. 

I used this project as an opportunity to do a "real" illustration project, after months away from university I have found myself spending much less time on research and drawing development in the work I do and I wanted to push myself further in this one to try and create something exciting.

I used Pinterest to collect a variety of images to inspire me. Since I started learning aerial hoop I have been collecting different poses to motivate myself and I found myself drawn to the idea of including this in my work for this project as the grace and elegance of aerial artists posing in hoops reminds me of birds sat on branches. 

The first aerial girls I drew were ok, I found myself reverting back to the style I used when drawing the circus characters for my final year project. Whilst the facial expressions for that worked well, I wanted this girl to look less juvenile and more sophisticated.

After researching pierrot makeup and fashion illustrations I spent a while experimenting with different face styles in the drawings shown below. 

I much preferred these to the simplistic expressions I used to use and decided to carry this as a theme within the bird character. My first birds were fun, but rather fat :

I developed these using longer, curvier lines and more sophisticated faces, I wanted them to look more like birds of paradise.

For my final piece I chose a hanging pose for the girl on the hoop as I really liked the pose, I decided to use textured watercolour paper as it gave the line work a rougher style.

After scanning the drawing in I coloured it using Photoshop, I chose a palette of bright, fun colours to fit the fantastical theme, I was very happy with it and I hope to put prints online soon!

Friday, 7 March 2014

Eden Project Flower Studies

I went for a short break to Cornwall last week with the boyfriend. Since I he has never been to The Eden Project and I haven't been for years, we decided to take a day trip in the hopes we could see some nice wildlife and get away from the great british weather which basically has so far consisted of vast amounts of flooding! 

We were very lucky with the weather, it was cold but dry and quite sunny, when we were in the biomes we sat for a while and pretended we were in another country as it was lovely and warm! Definitely in need of a real holiday I think...

Here are some of the awesome things we saw whilst walking around:

Birds with furry heads

Flowers with furry heads

A hot air balloon

Some epic metal sculptures

And of course many, many flowers! I was feeling a little down the other day having not done any drawing for a good while and looking through these photos motivated me so I sat and had a little sketching session:

I used rotring rapidograph pens with 3 different nibs to create depth in the drawings by varying line thickness. Hoping to edit these and maybe put them together for a print or something when I get motivated to scan some things :)

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Moomin Adventures Book Review

I have wanted to write a review of these books for ages, well, not even so much a review more just to show them off because I think they are beautiful! 

My mum bought a set of these for christmas presents but I liked them so much I got her to order me a set, you can buy them here for the absolutely stupid price of £4.99 for 3 books!

This set is based on the original stories and illustrations by Tove Jansson, they have been simplified for younger children and modernised with bright, fresh colour palettes. 

Before you even get to the first page the endpapers are absolutely beautiful!

I love the typography in the first couple of pages:

Each page has a different main colour which makes them very bright and exciting, with each illustration looking very different from the next. 

I love the style of mark making used with lots of small lines and dots creating patterns and depth within the drawings. They have done a great job of keeping the artwork in the traditional style whilst using colour to make it more modern and appealing to young children.

So awesome! What do you guys think? Do you like the way colour is used or do you prefer the more traditional style?

Sunday, 19 January 2014

"Winter" Cd cover design

So a few months ago my dad told me he was recording a new EP to be released sometime around christmas. For the past few years I have dont the artwork for all of his CD's along with doing a bit of backing singing on various tracks which is always quite hilarious! 

 My parents took a trip to Alaska and a lot of the lyrics were inspired by that, one song in particular was about sitting outside with a glass of whisky looking at the night sky. I decided this was a pretty good visual so I decided to run with that. 

I wanted the image to use flat perspective with a lot of pattern and strong shapes. Here is a bit of my research looking at fantastical Illustration and book art - the Never Ending Story cover is my favourite!

I used a thick italic fountain pen for most of my sketching. Most of my linework is usually done with thin Rotring fineliners but I wanted the drawing to be quite rough and rugged and this pen gave more of that effect.

I drew the figure on an Adirondack style chair, I sat on a lot of these chairs in my time in New York and they take me back to that feeling of being out in the countryside surrounded by trees and beautiful forest landscapes. 

I wanted to create a patterned border to frame the piece as I have always loved illustrations with borders like this but I have never tried to create one myself.

Setting up my "studio" on our kitchen table to start the final artwork.

Inking up the pencil line

Getting to the final stages

This is the finished artwork after I had added pencil shading for depth. 

For the typography I sat for an evening and ruined my wrist everything using my glass dip pen in a simple font style. It hurt but I enjoyed the effect once it was finished.

I then had to scan it all in to be digitally coloured and edited together. The final CD arrived this week yayyyy!

I used the same border and elements from the main image in the inside and reverse cover so it all linked together and I put the trees on the main CD because I liked the shapes they made (plus I love pattern so I hate empty space...). Let me know what you think of this, has anyone else done any CD art they would like to share? I will put a link to the tracks when they are online which should be soon!