Friday, 29 July 2011

How To Draw Elves

How To Draw Elves: "Video : Drawing is an incredibly entertaining skill. Lynn Stone teaches you how to draw an elf, without any prior drawing experience. Follow her instructions, and you can draw a realistic elf!. Drawing & Sketching."

OK, this may work better!

My first videojug video

Yikes! Well I am not happy at the intro at the beginning - no body likes to see themselves on film, but never mind! The rest of the video is OK.

Here I am showing you how to draw an elf! Enjoy! I can't work out how to imbed it!

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Final anamorphic rough!

Well at last the final rough, which has been signed off and now I need to turn it into a polished black and white, pencil drawing for the next week's meeting! You will notice that it looks a bit odd in places that is because it has been played with in Photoshop and scribbled on too - that's what a roughs for! Hope you like the final anamorphic wolf and degu, playing chess! A background of trees will be added too. My inspiration was the film 'Independence Day', when Goldberg is playing chess in the park with his screen father! The rough has been played about with somewhat, which is why it has odd tonal values in places!

By the way look out for Monday's blog, as it is going to feature my first Video Jug video. Some were broadcasted yesterday on!

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Anamorphic wolf and degu playing chess...

I have played around with a couple of ideas over the last few days and decided to try and have an image of some anamorphic animals, playing chess. So I scribbled a picture of a wolf and and degu playing chess!

This is just a rough and at the moment does not include a child, but tomorrow it probably will, as they wanted to see an engaging child too. But so far I can't seem to make it work too well. Am quite pleased with the gesture of the wolf and you've already seen the degu and so he is really just scribbled very quickly. Will post the final rough by the end of the week I expect - long way to go yet!

Further update. Agent said to make wolf more wolfish and change the hands to paws. It's spooky how he is always right!

Monday, 25 July 2011

Anamorphic Degu!

And you're all wondering what's that then? Well, I am working on a rough for my agent at the moment, which we hope to take to a meeting, hopefully in August, which fingers crossed will result in some work for me! At the moment I am just working on individual characters that I hope to put in the artwork. I have been inspired by a friend's pet Degus and have actually made one of my anamorphic animals a Degu.

Here are some sketches of how I would like him to look in the finished artwork. However the gesture and what he's doing may change entirely in the finished artwork.

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Anamorphic fun!

Sorry I didn't get round to blogging yesterday - I sort of ran out of time. Feeble excuse I know, but there you are!

Watch my blog next week because I will be posting some brand new artwork. I am currently working on a sample of a publisher that needs to include some anamorphic animals (humanised animals) and an engaging child! Have listed some ideas and am going to have a play with them tomorrow. So will be posting some sketches next week!

Thursday, 21 July 2011

The downside of being an illustrator

Two words: book keeping! Yep, that is what I've been doing for the last two days my cash sheet. All very boring, but necessary for the dreaded Inland Revenue, as it is called in the United Kingdom. In days of old they would have been hung for piracy, but times have changed. Now they just demand money with menaces - and no flintlock pistol or mask required! You just "stand and deliver" your accounts!

As I have had to deal with figures for two days (and not the naked kind unfortunately), it seemed appropriate to share a picture with you I did initially as a rough for Reed Primary for a book all about a Boggart. A few years later, I decided to re-work it up into something more finished in pencil and here is the result. Hope you like it! Do click on it, if you want to see a larger version...and comments welcome, please!

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Drawing in a nightclub

I think I have recovered from last night, just about! 

My trusty Ipod got my friend Ann and I to 50 Dean Street, Soho - venue for the burlesque life drawing! A couple of problems. First the Happy Hour was no Happy Hour! I went to buy a bottle of cider and was told it was £4.50 - yeah, right, I'm laughing out load, great Happy Hour! Secondly it was more like drawing in a nightclub. The music was so loud that Tony (the guy from the Life Drawing Society) had to shout out instructions to us at the top of his voice. It was completely nuts and not conducive to doing any good artwork. 

I now know that I am also not a fan of drawing burlesque models. I prefer drawing nudes. For the first half of the evening she wore an Emerald green dress and black bower, but it meant you could not really see her form. In the second part she wore nipple tassels and a bra that wasn't one and black g-string, tassled knickers, which meant you could see more. It was then I noticed the fake breasts - ugh! i'm sure she is very proud of them and they cost her a fortune, but I prefer drawing real ones. Trying to avoid making them look like two footballs glued to her torso was tough, really tough.

Well I said I share the results and so here they are. Most of the drawings I did last night were pants - hardly surprising under the circumstances!

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Burlesque studies

Strange title I know, but all will be revealed! This evening instead of going to an ordinary life drawing session, I am going to one organised by the Life Drawing Society in Soho. The model is a world burlesque celebrity, called Sophia de Villiers (according to the website blurb!). The site goes on to say "This session is for the artist who enjoys something more fun that the regular Life Drawing session with a mixture of celebrities of the burlesque and stunning life models who are just ideal for that style of Glam Burlesque."

I believe she may not be entirely naked and will be wearing some of her burlesque costumes, which will be different and quite fun I think. So be prepared to see some out of the ordinary life drawing sketches tomorrow on my blog!

I'm going to leave you with this image I did some time ago now, which is about A2 in size! Some of you may have seen it before! Sorry if you have, but to get to some new ones, would mean an epic journey into the dark recesses of my loft - ugh!

Monday, 18 July 2011

Ink work

Sometimes it's nice to just work in a very pure way with maybe one medium, in this instance I am referring to ink, permanent ink and an old fashioned mapping pen.

Here's what a mapping pen looks like, except I use a wooden handle:

It took me a long time to master it and to find the right sort of paper to work on - anything with too much of a tooth and the nib gets stuck and sprays ink everywhere! The beauty of mastering it though, means you get a wonderful flexible nib to work with and can make some very interesting and fluid lines. 

Here's an example of an illustration I did for Hodder children's books that is rendered in this way:

Friday, 15 July 2011

Pub characters... bottoms up!

You may be surprised to know that as well as illustrating children's books I sometimes get one or two odd commissions and this is one I did for a pub - yes a pub! 

The pub is called The French Horn and the landlord wanted an early 19th-century/Regency character with a French horn for his website an also for the pub too. 

This was actually quite fun and is an on-going project and so I will be doing many more versions this character.

Here are the initial thumbnail sketches. 

Once he chose a pose I then moved on to a simple ink drawing:

Then the client chose what colours he wanted 
and this case he liked both!

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Black and white

Good evening everyone (well everyone in the UK anyway). Have recovered from a very mixed birthday this year - sometimes I wonder if they really are worth celebrating? 

Passing through such unpleasant thoughts and on to art! I may at some point, and this is an enormous 'may' be working on a monochrome project, which I have been dying to do for some time, because I actually quite like working in just pencil. Pencil can be very powerful and works very well, if it is not placed next to colour, which always drowns out the subtleties of greyscale pencil.

I know you have seen some of this work before, but it seems appropriate to show it to you again, because hopefully this is the sort of thing I hope to do.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Greetings cards...!

Thank you for all your birthday wishes today via email, Facebook and twitter - very nice of you all.

Having a fairly quiet birthday this year, as everyone is away! Have got an exercise bike for my birthday and so I have no excuses now, but must exercise! By the way the bike was my idea and not my family trying to drop unsubtle hints or anything.

Now art wise, what to share with you on my b-day? I think some greetings cards and note-let designs I worked on would be most appropriate. Here is some work I did for Heritage Art Papers. If you ever visit Scotland and go into any National Trust property, you will find my cards selling in their shop, which is quite exciting.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

I'm going quackers!

Sorry I didn't post yesterday, but I had my ten year old nephew over, who has just arrived back from Thailand for good. He wanted to show me his new Ipad and a game on Facebook called, Millionaire City! He has taken over me in the techie states! He said "have you got 3G on your Mac" - what the heck is that? He then said, "oh yes you've got the black strip". One task today is to google 3G, because I have a feeling I really ought to know what it is really!

Changing the subject I went to Hever Castle for a picnic on Sunday and the weather was perfect! I have never seen so many ducks in my life and the odd swan, and so that has inspired me to share with you not only a duck photo, but also some artwork I did for Heritage Art Papers for a waterfowl greetings card collection.

Friday, 8 July 2011

Gallery of faces

I thought it would be fun to do a sort of portrait exhibition of some of the characters I have developed for various books I have worked on. I have even put them in a ridiculous gilt frame for a giggle!

So here is my mini exhibition for you today...

Mixed race little boy with rainbow scarf

Captain Jake Rattlebones

Mediaeval woman

Boy from Boy's Annual 2010

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Quick studies in pencil, charcoal and chalk

Life drawing was very good last night, because we had a really great model, who was not only good at finding poses, but was also physically interesting to draw. 

I was a little more inventive last night and also tried a quick study with coloured chalks on a coloured background, which I used for all the mid tones.

Here are some of my sketches from last night, they vary, as some were only two minutes, some five and others twenty.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

What no art?

Well, well, nobody can have read my post yesterday, that makes me sad...

Here we go again, as well as publishing my artwork I thought for a change it would be nice to post some of my followers work - including my agent if he's reading this! I thought I could do a followers gallery exhibition post - just for fun! If you want to submit your children's artwork, then do! Just either tweet me, Facebook me, make a comment here, then I will then get back to you with my email address for you to send artwork! So why wait, send me your artwork - that's you too Sarah (you know who you are...).

Here's a piece of artwork I did for Oxford University Press, rendered in coloured inks and an old fashioned dip mapping pen! I love adding cats or any animals for that matter wherever possible.

Life drawing tonight and so see some new images tomorrow on my blog!

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Bonne soirée tous les..

It is my last French class this evening until September and hopefully if they get enough people book up I will be able to do level two next year. I have thoroughly enjoyed learning a second language. It has been quite a challenge, as some of the sounds that you have to make in French, like rolling your Rs in the back of the throat is practically impossible if you're English. We just do not make that sort of sound. In the same way it is very difficult for a French person to make a 'TH' sound, instead they usually make a 'Z' sound also it is hard for them to sound their Hs! I find it all fascinating.

But back to art, which is what all this blog is about. I am always showing pieces of my artwork on this blog and wondered if it would make a nice change if a few of my followers would like to send me jpegs of their own artwork, which I can add to a post later this week? You can send me anything and we can have a mini exhibition, which would be fun - and that includes my agent if he's reading this post! Children's artwork is most welcome too! 


Monday, 4 July 2011

Can miracles happen?

I have had a funny day today really. A completely mad story time session today with some completely out of control three year olds. Oh dear, three year old boys are a nightmare when together! I had them roaring, mooing, howling, clucking along to the stories today - a complete manic din! Oh and lets not forget doing frog impressions - crazy jumping everywhere, all thirty of them!

You're thinking what has that got to do with miracles? Well my agent has been in touch too and reckons he can set up a meeting with my favourite publisher in London with my portfolio and get some sort of deal struck. Well I'll eat my hat with ketchup if he can pull this one off, I really will. It sounds exciting, but I won't hold my breath just yet. I will keep you posted on developments!

I am also heading off to life drawing again this week in Camden (where I managed to leave my walking stick and so I have no choice, I have to go back). Hopefully after this Tuesday up until September I'll be able to attend the Dean Street venue in Soho, which is closure to home for me. Will post some results on Thursday for you.

Talking of naughty boys, here's a cartoon picture of my nephew, Finley!

Friday, 1 July 2011

Looking after art material - brushes

Obviously to start with you need to use the right kind of brush for the right paint and also what you hope to achieve on paper, wood, board or canvas.
To clean brushes where you’ve been using oils you can use turpentine or white spirits, but I feel that apart from being very stinky and so therefore not great for you to breath in, it is a little harsh on brushes. There are many brush cleaning products on the market now, even ones that are citrus based, like ‘Zest-It’, which is made from orange oil - it also smells very pleasant. I then use a brush cleaner, designed for water-colour, oils and acrylics. This ensures there is no residue left - they come in small plastic tubs with screw tops and look a bit like old-fashioned tooth powder containers (I’m going back about a hundred years now!). It looks like a hard soup inside and froths up like soap too! Finally and you may not want to do this, dry off the excess water, place the brush in your mouth, purse you lips and pull the brush out so it has a perfect point and dries with that point. You’re all going “eugh” right now, but it works and helps finer brushes retain their points. Obviously store upright, but you don’t need to be told that I’m sure!
When cleaning brushes that have been used with acrylic based paint, excess paint should be wiped off with a soft cloth or tissue and then rinsed in lukewarm water. Always make sure the water is lukewarm because hot water can damage brush hairs and cause them to fall out and in order to protect the brush further it is important to wash it with mild soap or the brush cleaner mentioned above (the toothpowder one).
This should be repeated until no paint colour comes from the brush and it returns to its original colour and shape but if it appears misshapen then use your fingers to carefully push the hairs back into place - or use my mouth-to-mouth resuscitation technique!
Good luck all and I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!