Wednesday, 31 August 2011

It's a tough world

Well I have had some bad news today! The project I was keeping under wraps has come to nothing. I have not been selected. I have not won the X-Factor for artists! Apparently I did not emulate the original artist's style enough, which by the way is not the original artist, but a new artist. The company  were looking for the new Little Grey Rabbit artist, because the current artist is 'unavailable'. They want to re-publish all the original books! 

Apart of me was not really sure whether it was a good idea trying to draw like someone else anyway, that sort of commission kind of lacks integrity somehow.

At least I can share some artwork with you now. All the hard work I did for it and so today I am sharing with you two of the character roughs I completed. Will share some more with you tomorrow.

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Fun artwork!

This week I am taking a week off from freelance stuff to get started on my Christmas cards! Yes I know that sounds early, but it actually takes me a while to make them, bearing in mind I produce all the artwork to start with, so everything is made from scratch! I already have two bulk orders this year, from of all places - Twitter! A couple of my followers, who also follow my blog want to place orders for cards this year. I will be publishing up the designs on my blog and on Facebook, and so anyone interested in ordering any can. Just got to remember how much a charged - I know it was very reasonable, because I think it is silly to charge too much for Christmas cards really. Hopefully I may be in a position to share some of artwork with you here tomorrow, if I work really hard that is! Some of you may remember the pencil sketches I published a few months ago of this year's designs, but for those that can't remember, here they are again. I'm two designs short though and so need to come up with two more!

Friday, 26 August 2011

X-Factor for illustrators

Sorry I disappeared yesterday, but I just simply didn't get round to posting. Having a week off from art at the moment, as I've just finished the illustrators equivalent of X-Factor! In other words I have just completed a whole load of free work, just on the possibility I might get the golden pot commission at the end. The downside is I am competing with two other artists, who I am sure are very talented and professional! It is a hard life! I won't know I've got anywhere until this time next week. I was the first to submit my work, which isn't necessarily a good thing, I just work quickly. I wish I could share some of the sketches with you, but can't until I know whether I am a complete failure or a success! I have to say that more often than not these speculative ventures do not work out and so I am less than hopeful if I am honest.

But on a happier note, here's today's VideoJug, how to for you...

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Down House, Charles Darwin's home

Hello all! Well it's a non arty post today for a change.

Have just come back from a lovely sunny day spent at Down House, in the village of Downe in Kent. Down House was Charles Darwin's family home and so it is full of fascinating things and a really nice working garden - amazingly large vegetables, and flowers that looked more like one of John Wyndham's sci-fi triffids!

I went with a friend who was able to try out his new camcorder with macro lens and luckily the bees were out in force (unfortunately so were the wasps!).

There's a replica of Darwin's cabin on the Beagle, which is very cleverly done, and you mustn't miss the carnivorous plants and exotic orchids in the hot-house. 

Here are a couple of pictures of Down House:

Darwin's study/Salón where he wrote 'On the Origin of Species'

Monday, 22 August 2011

Drawing realistic figures - part II

Here's the second one:

Realism: drawing realistic figures

Double-bill today! Several more videos have been released today by VideoJug. I have already received some requests for videos on how to draw faces and figures, and it just so happens I did some for VideoJug and so I am sharing two videos with you today.

Hopefully I'll have some freelance news to share with you soon, but at the moment I am having to keep 'mum', which isn't easy I must say!

Am going to have to do this as two different posts, as the html won't allow me to put both videos into this post - weird!

Friday, 19 August 2011

How to draw graffiti

Now I am not encouraging vandalism here, I really am not! This was another of the twenty videos I did for VideoJug. Apparently lots of people Google how to draw graffiti, which is incredible and so here's another learn how video...

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Rain ruineth the day!

Well today I was meant to be having a day off from artwork and storytelling to children, and had planned to go to Down House for the day with a friend, but unfortunately the weather forecast is so dismal, we've decided to postpone until next week now. Down House is the home of Darwin and is an English Heritage property and not too far from where I live. It is situated in Downe village in Kent. 

This image sums up my current mood (minus the broken arm that is!)

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

VideoJug - how to draw a chicken

Yes - a chicken! Apparently according to VideoJug's research people really do Google for information on how to draw a chicken, which is why I was asked to show how you how to draw one for VideoJug!

It has just been 'broadcasted' on their website and so I thought I would share it with you today on my blog. Hope you find it entertaining. Unfortunately you will (as usual) have to put up with me talking to the camera at the beginning! Ugh!

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Kingfisher Publishing - natural disasters

Today I thought I would talk about one of the open access books I illustrated a number of years ago for Kingfisher Publishing. Each book had a character that guided you through the book and the character for the 'Open Access: Natural Disasters' was an Indiana Jones character, called Dan Quake - same hat too!

It was quite fun, although I felt at the time they could have been a bit more inventive with the spreads, which were traditional non-fiction layouts with photographs. 

Here are a selection of illustrations from the book...

Monday, 15 August 2011

ABC Murders

Hello everyone! I have spent the whole weekend working on my Agatha Christie project for a magazine, drawing and painting the main characters from her book entitled 'ABC Murders'. 

I enjoyed researching costumes of the periods, hats and of course hairstyles! As I have said before I will be able to share this artwork with you once the magazine and in particular issue five is in the shops - the ABC Murders will be in issue five.

To keep you entertained with something, here's another VideoJug video I did that you haven't yet seen:

Friday, 12 August 2011

VideoJug - how to draw clouds

Here's a wistful one for you! I was asked to do a video on how to draw clouds and so look really carefully because it is all very delicate pencil work and then have a go yourself! I am interested to hear how you get on...

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Agatha Christie artwork...

Busy, busy, busy...

I am so sorry that I haven't blogged since Monday and it's now Thursday - I have been so busy doing roughs for two projects. One is for a new Agatha Christie magazine - ads on telly soon folks and so watch out for those. The second is a project very different indeed and in it's own right quite challenging, but one I can't talk about at the moment, until everything has been approved! Then I can share artwork with you and up and coming work. If it all goes ahead, it will be a huge project that I could be working on for years - literally! 

I am itching to share some of my sketches with you, but can't for either project because I do not have permission and all the artwork for the Agatha Christie project needs to be approved by her Grandson too! Apparently I can blog artwork once the magazine is in the shops and selling.

To keep you entertained, here's another VideoJug video for you that you haven't seen yet - how to draw a face.

Monday, 8 August 2011

Top secret artwork

Today I am working on roughs for another new project for my agent. This one is all very hush, hush and so I can't say very much about it, which is frustrating! Hopefully I can share some artwork with you later on. Also I don't want to say anything yet, in case I put 'the mockers' on it! Just lately every time I've blogged about something, it has then promptly fallen through! So this time you will have to wait until I am on safer ground with this potentially huge project! 

I'll give you some clues: it is picture book in format and involves anamorphic animals - hence last week's sample. One difference though, it won't be in black and white after all, but colour!

Will share some artwork with you tomorrow. A private commission of two cats (done in my cartoon style) for someone.

Friday, 5 August 2011

Agatha Christie suspects...

Well I received an email from an old college friend last night, who is now a magazine editor and it looks like he has some work for me drawing suspects from some of Agatha Christie's novels. Can't wait! I'll be drawing vicious vicars, mad mothers, cold colonels and manic majors! What fun hey...?

It looks like the first set of illustrations will be for Christie's famous Poirot book, The ABC Murders. Remember the red herring? Oh, alright I'll let you know it was the travelling stocking salesman, who suffered from epilepsy, at least I think that's what it was. He kept having blackouts, and so began to suspect himself of the murders, poor chap.

Will keep you posted on this...

Thursday, 4 August 2011

VideoJug - how to draw the human body

Well this will be the last VideoJug video this week for you, as I don't want to bore you all to tears! This was quite a difficult one, because I felt a bit rushed as they wanted me to speed up and so I wasn't so pleased with the results of my sketch, but I guess it is only meant to be a guide!

Had a lovely day today in London with fellow illustrator, crafter and designer, Sarah Hurley. We got a bit lost, but it didn't take long for a guardian angel to appear and guide us right to the Chinese restaurant we wanted to eat in, which was very sweet of him. Also stunned Sarah a bit I think. In this day and age it is nice to know that there are still people out there willing to be just helpful, as apposed to mug you!

Here you are: How to draw the human body...

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

VideoJug - how to draw curly hair

Well this is a weird one, but apparently they did their research and people really do want to know how to draw curly hair and so here is my next video that I did for!

Hopefully my own curly hair doesn't get in the way too much in this video, like it did in yesterdays!

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Videojug - how to draw waves

Success! I have worked out how to embed the video into my blog, so you won't have to click on a link, just click on the big play arrow below! 

Here is another Videojug video for you to watch. In this one I show you how to draw waves! Sorry it features me at the beginning though, lol!

Monday, 1 August 2011

Final artwork: Wolf and Degu playing chess

Well folks, I promised I would share the final artwork with you and so here it is, in glorious, erm pencil! Yes the intention was that the final artwork would just be in pencil. 

As you know the image evolved quite a bit and in the final artwork I decided to hint at a background too, to give the image some depth.

Hope you like it...