Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Drawing graffiti creatively

Drawing graffiti creatively can be a challenge, and I don't mean hanging off dangerous buildings just to show off you can create a bit of vandalism over railway bridges! This is not something I would encourage at all. However the art of graffiti can be used to create interesting graphic effects, maybe towards a design for a poster to promote something, or an album cover?

Drawing graffiti creatively: As some of you may know I am trying to get into the habit of sharing my 'how to draw' videos with you! I do not profess to be an expert on graffiti at all, but this tutorial is aimed at helping you to improve your drawing skills mainly. A bit of an odd one, but apparently something people want to know and Google about. Obviously I have done it from the perspective of an illustrator and have broken it down into simple, easy to follow shapes that everyone can have a go at!

If you would like to follow this video and learn about drawing elephants, you'll need a sharpened pencil, or better still a technical pencil, which never needs to be sharpened, a good eraser, a range of coloured pencils and a sheet of cartridge paper to draw on. The advantage of watching and following this video is that you can hit 'pause' whenever you like or even go back over something again if you need to! Once you've had a go in pencil, maybe try stretching some watercolour paper, do it again and this time try some colour and paint it using watercolors or maybe coloured inks? If you draw it more than once, you can experiment with a range of colour mediums, just for fun! For instructions on how to stretch paper, see my blogspot blog.

I would love to get feedback from and you so by all means use the message box on this page to send me your thoughts on this video. If you would like to see more videos I have worked on, just got to www.videojug.com here! Or visit my blogspot blog page, where you can find many more tutorials and tips, click here!

Friday, 14 December 2012

The French Horn pub


Here is some artwork I haven’t shared with anyone on my website to date, and is a combination of conventional pen and ink, which has then been digitally coloured. It was a commission for The French Horn pub in Steppingley, Bedfordshire.


The French Horn pub: They wanted an illustration of a character that could become their logo and a sort guide on their website. As the name might suggest they wanted it to include a French Horn. They also wanted the character to be dressed in early nineteenth century, which for me was great fun, as I love doing period artwork.
The final image was to be used on their letter headed paper, leaflets, posters and of course their website. Therefore the final image really needed to be digital. However because it was an early nineteenth century character we wanted it to have a traditional quality too. I therefore did the black and white line work using a traditional mapping pen and black ink. This was then scanned and digitally coloured, using flat colour to give a quite graphic feel. I ended up doing the character in cool and warm colours to give the client maximum choice when using the logo. If you want to see my logo in use, please visit the pub’s website, which is lovely and very tempting: The French Horn
Here are the results. He’s quite a fun character I feel, and a touch Dickensian, wouldn’t you say?




Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Christmas illustrations


It's the season to be merry and so I thought I'd share some my Christmas illustrations with you this week. Some of these can be found elsewhere on this website, but today's selection can only be found in this post!


Christmas illustrations: I have created Christmas illustrations for Heritage Art Papers and for the last few years I have been creating my own Christmas cards with a range of different themes. Last year it was Christmas mice and the year before a dragon dressed as Santa (yes you read correctly). However this year I have been so busy with freelance work that I have not had the time, which is good news for me, but not so good for all my friends expecting a Lyn Stone original.

Today I thought I would share with you my reindeer Christmas cards that I created for Heritage Art Papers. I had produced them for my own use and HAP loved them so much they paid for the set to use themselves and sell through shops throughout the United Kingdom. If you want to see more Christmas illustrations, try some of my links above or why not visit Heritage Art Paper.

The following illustrations were created using pen and coloured inks. I used a mixture or wet in wet and dry.






Friday, 7 December 2012

Drawing elephants

Now for something different – drawing elephants. I am trying to get into the habit of sharing my ‘how to draw’ videos with you! This  tutorial is aimed at helping you to improve your drawings skills and produce a really good drawing of an elephant. A bit of an odd one, but apparently something people want to know and Google about. Obviously I have done it from the perspective of an illustrator and have broken it down into simple, easy to follow shapes that everyone can have a go at! The same technique can be applied to many animals.


Drawing elephants: If you would like to follow this video and learn about drawing elephants, you’ll need a sharpened pencil, or better still a technical pencil, which never needs to be sharpened, a good eraser, and a sheet of cartridge paper to draw on. The advantage of watching and following this video is that you can hit ‘pause’ whenever you like or even go back over something again if you need to! Once you’ve had a go in pencil, maybe try stretching some watercolour paper, do it again and this time try some colour and paint it using watercolors or maybe coloured inks? If you draw it more than once, you can experiment with a range of colour mediums, just for fun!

I would love to get feedback from and you so by all means use the message box on this page to send me your thoughts on this video. If you would like to see more videos I have worked on, just got to www.videojug.com here! 


How to stretch paper

A few notes on stretching paper. You will need a sturdy board, maybe ply wood, or MDF. If you use MDF it will need to be fairly thick, as it is quite bendy and paper is surprisingly strong! You will also need paper tape. A container with water in it - to be honest a bath is ideal. Cut the paper tape into lengths a little longer than the paper size (by about three inches each end). Place the paper into the water and submerge. This only needs to be in the water for no more than about forty seconds to a minute. Take it out and hold by one corner allowing the excess water to drain off. Place the paper on your board and then with a cloth, take off the excess water. I find a towel works well, placed over the paper and 'padded' down. Then very quickly soak your paper tape strips in water and lay it down swiftly along each edge of the paper. This will tape the paper down to the board. Then allow to dry thoroughly before working on it.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Writing picture books


Writing picture books is far harder than you’d think and very multi-layered! I came up with an idea a few months ago for a picture book and am still working on it. Firstly it has grown into three books. Secondly just coming up with a great idea is not enough at all it would seem.


Writing picture books: I’m afraid I cannot share my picture book idea with you, because that would be daft beyond belief, but as my blog is a bit like a diary, I can at least share my thoughts. Luckily my agent also happens to be one of life’s natural teachers – in fact he can’t help himself, but he is very good at it! Having successfully published a number of picture books himself that he wrote and illustrated, he is the ideal person to guide me through this minefield! Just coming up with idea is not enough, because immediately you’ve just got a two-dimensional storyline that lacks any real depth, and there is a danger that your great idea can end up being flat and go out with a whimper. I have discovered that just like a cake, you’ve got to layer your ideas and give your story substance and a more three-dimensional feel. The more you put in, the better it gets!
Having battled with adding an extra layer to my original idea, I am now going to have a bash at doing some thumbnail sketches, to thrash out some ideas. This will no doubt feed back into the original manuscript and result in changes to wording and possibly characters. It’s exciting for me to be working on the words as well as the pictures for a change. Hopefully at some stage in the rather distant future, if this project goes ahead I may be able to share some actual artwork with you. However if you want to see more updates on what I am doing these days, and writing picture books you can also visit my blogspot blog right here!

Monday, 3 December 2012

Agatha Christie 1920s

Agatha Christie 1920s – a decade in which we are introduced to so many of her most famous characters: Tommy and Tuppence, and of course Poirot to name, but a few!

Agatha Christie 1920s: So having done quite a few spreads, which are set in the 1920s, I thought it would be nice to share some of the artwork with you. Some of the early novels I have illustrated for The Agatha Christie Book Collection include The Secret Adversary, Poirot’s Early Cases, The Mysterious Mr Quin, and my favourite Five Little Pigs.
For all of these I had to research costume styles for both men and women, hairstyles, shoes and accessories. Vitally this needed to be combined with what a character would wear. For instance let’s say a novel is set in 1926, but one of the characters is a bit of a stuffed shirt and very out of fashion. I would probably dress them in something from 1923 with an out-moded hairstyle too. All these things have to be considered when researching the period. Another consideration is the decor too. Luckily I have a very useful collection of magazines from the 1980s, called Times Past, which covers quite a few of the decades I have been illustrating. It was a weekly magazine, much like The Agatha Christie Book Collection and featured interiors, furniture and objet d’art from the Victorian, Edwardian, 1920s, 1930s and 1940s periods.
Heres are a few pieces of artwork from the 1920s books I have illustrated:
Tommy and Tuppence
Hercule Poirot and Mrs Ariadne Oliver. These were not illustrated for a book set in the 1920s, but as they are both characters that both feature in Christie’s early novels I am including them into today’s blog!


The Mysterious Mr Quin





Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Drawing nature

Let's learn about drawing nature. I am trying to get into the habit of sharing my 'how to draw' videos with you! This week's tutorial is aimed at helping you to improve your drawings skills and produce a really good drawing of nature. A bit of an obscure one, but apparently something people want to know and Google about. Obviously I have done it from the perspective of an illustrator. An artist would probably go outside with an easel or sketchpad and draw what they could see - some fantastic landscape. I would also liked to have done that, but was restricted to demonstrating in a studio. In this case my living room actually!


Drawing nature: If you would like to follow this video and learning about drawing nature, you'll need a sharpened pencil, or better still a technical pencil, which never needs to be sharpened, a good eraser, and a sheet of cartridge paper to draw on. The advantage of watching and following this video is that you can hit 'pause' whenever you like or even go back over something again if you need to!

I would love to get feedback from and you so by all means use the message box on this page to send me your thoughts on this video. If you would like to see more videos I have worked on, just got to www.videojug.com here! Or visit my blogspot blog page, where you can find many more tutorials and tips, click here!



Monday, 26 November 2012


Latest illustration news is here! Rather than talk about recently published projects I thought I would give you an update on the projects I am currently working on – without giving too much away!


Latest illustration news: Firstly I have been busy working on a reading scheme book. They are a bit like picture books, because they tell a story with lots of pictures, but the reading levels in them get harder. They are a really good for runner of the picture book format and so are good to illustrate. They are usually published at different reading levels and are very popular with publishers. Having submitted the roughs for one, I nervously waited for a response from the client. Luckily for me the client liked the roughs so much they’ve given me a second one to work on, before I’ve even finished the first! So at the moment I am just waiting for the manuscript to arrive in PDF form. Here was me thinking I’d have December off – hah!
I have also been as busy as ever working on the Agatha Christie Book Collection, drawing more dodgy vicars, wicked barmaids and stroppy majors. The magazine series seems to be doing very well indeed! Here is some artwork from a recent brief:


Finally, I have at last finished writing the first drafts of three pictures books. All three books work as a set and so hence three rather than one! If my agent thinks they’re OK the next stage will be to produce some sample spreads. He has already said he likes the idea, and so fingers crossed here.  Once that is done to everyone’s satisfaction, they will then be shown to a publisher. Fingers crossed the publisher will think they’re wonderful (please, please), and go ahead and commission me for all three! Obviously I cannot give too much away at this stage, as it is all ‘need to know’. Only my parents have seen the manuscripts so far…

Friday, 23 November 2012

Drawing snowflakes

Drawing snowflakes: I am trying to get into the habit of sharing my ‘how to draw’ videos with you! This week’s tutorial is aimed at helping you to improve your drawings skills and produce a really good drawing of a snowflake. As it is nearly Christmas I thought it an appropriate one to share with you all! In this video I am just concentrating on the structure of a snowflake.

If you would like to follow this video and learning about drawing snowflakes, you’ll need a sharpened pencil, or better still a technical pencil, which never needs to be sharpened, a good eraser, and a sheet of cartridge paper to draw on. The advantage of watching and following this video is that you can hit ‘pause’ whenever you like or even go back over something again if you need to!
I would love to get feedback from and you so by all means use the message box on this page to send me your thoughts on this video. If you would like to see more videos I have worked on, just got to www.videojug.com here! Or visit my blogspot blog page, where you can find many more tutorials and tips, click here!

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Cinderella pantomime posters


The Cinderella pantomime posters are out and all over Scarborough advertising the Stephen Joseph Theatre’s pantomime this year! I said I would share the poster designs with you as soon as I could, and the designer very obligingly sent me the PDFs yesterday!


Cinderella pantomime posters: As I mentioned on Monday the artwork was actually done on several layers, which consisted of two sets of Japanese inspired waves, Cinderella on a surf board, her cat, giant seahorses and a fairy Crabmother! This way they could fit the artwork into any size or shape they wanted, including Monday’s YouTube video I shared with you.
They are so pleased with the artwork that they are definitely going to commission me in the future to do more poster artwork for them and so goodness knows what I’ll be working on next!
If you would like to see the artwork, please view some of my portfolios listed above in my site menu. If you want to know more about the Pantomime, then please visit the Stephen Joseph Theatre website here.
Here’s the poster! I think the logo is great and works well with the artwork. I would love to do Jack and the Beanstalk and so hopefully they’ll be doing a maritime version of that next year!


Monday, 19 November 2012

Cinderella illustrations animated!

I know I've already posted about this on my website, but I seem to have a different audience on blogger, so I thought I'd share it with you too!Cinderella animated using my illustrations! I did this artwork in the summer for the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough for the Winter Pantomime, and as well as appearing on posters, leaflets and in the foyer area, they have made a mini video out of it, which is very impressive!


Cinderella animated: This of course is a Pantomime with a huge twist and unlike the more traditional story has a maritime theme to suit the theatre’s seaside location of Scarborough.
This is what they are saying about this year’s Panto on the theatre’s website:
Who knew that Cinderella came from Scarborough? This year the world’s most popular fairytale is given a seaside twist.
Cinderella’s happy life capsizes when a storm washes her Mum out to sea and her Dad remarries a strange widow from Bridlington. Thrust into a life of drudgery in her Stepmother’s hotel, her only relief lies in gazing out to sea and watching the surfers soar over the waves.
The handsomest surfer has his own problem. Heir to the Slot Machine Kingdom, he’s too shy to talk to girls! When the Slot Machine King throws a Grand Beach Ball for the eligible lasses of Scarborough, Cinders knows she’ll never be able to go…until her Fairy Crab Mother intervenes. But her Stepmother and malicious Stepsister have other ideas and it will take all Cinders’ strength and bravery to finally be free. Will she make it to the Beach Ball? Set sail in our sparkling, surfing story to find out!
The illustration was actually drawn in sections to give the client maximum flexibility when it came to layouts. Some of their posters are landscape and others portrait, and so there were about five layers. It also meant they could animate it all far more easily.
Just watch this video…

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Agatha Christie

I have been very busy - hence my lack of blogging! I have worked on lots of spreads for the Agatha Christie Book Collection, I have written three picture books, am in the process of illustrating an English learner fiction book. Probably some other stuff too, but I can't remember! O_o!


Anyway today I thought I'd share with you some of the work I have completed for Agatha Christie's suspects, red herrings and some of the heroes! Heroes later this week, and so watch this blog!

Books I've worked on recently are They do it with mirrors, The moving finger, Passengers to Frankfurt and the current one, which involves a mysterious man and is set in 1926. For all those aficionados out there, I'm sure you can guess the title of that one?

Anyway here is some artwork from a selection of these briefs. A mixture of sketches and final artwork...

This is a sketch of the left hand side of the spread for They do it with mirrors. I usually do the background separately, once the editor knows what he wants. 





This is the colour version. The novel is set in 1950s and so I have tried to give the artwork a slight 1950s feel, within the constraints of the brief and layout.




Here's a character sketch from Passengers to Frankfurt. Had quite a lot of fun with some of the characters from this book! Absolutely full of eccentrics!


Here's a closure look at his face. I put quite a lot of detail into the roughs for this particular project, as so much detail is given in the briefs and I want to make sure I've got it right for the editor and the Agatha Christie team!



Later this week, I'll share the colour artwork from this spread with you - be prepared for some truly odd characters!



Monday, 15 October 2012

Drawing camouflage

It is Monday and I am trying to get into the habit of sharing my 'how to draw' videos with you! This is a slightly more unusual one, but apparently a lot of people want to know more about drawing camouflage! How about that? This week's tutorial is aimed at helping you to improve your drawings skills. In this video I am just concentrating on how to do camouflage, because it's quite hard if you haven't got a technique to work from and develop.


Drawing camouflage: If you would like to follow this video and learn about drawing camouflage, you'll need a sharpened pencil, or better still a technical pencil, which never needs to be sharpened, a good eraser, and a sheet of cartridge paper to draw on. Also select some appropriate camouflage colours, some greens, browns and lighter colours, like maybe a yellow-green? The advantage of watching and following this video is that you can hit 'pause' whenever you like or even go back over something again if you need to! So anyone can learn and have a go at drawing camouflage. The only drawback is that you do have to put up with looking at me for about two minutes at the beginning - I can only apologise for the director's decision!

I would love to get feedback from and you so by all means go to my 'contact' page and send me your thoughts on this video. If you would like to see more videos I have worked on, just got to www.videojug.com here! Or visit my blogspot blog page, where you can find many more tutorials and tips, click here!

If you would like see more of my 'how to draw videos' on this site. Go to my link labelled 'videos' in the top menu. You'll find it on the far right. All that's left to say is 'good luck and happy drawing'!


Friday, 12 October 2012

Drawing children


Today I thought I would share with you some sketches that eventually led to one finished piece of artwork, so you can see the evolution an artist goes through to get something right. In this instance we are talking about drawing children, and in particular little boys!


Drawing children: Prior to these sketches I had never drawn a young child in much detail before and so it was a real learning curve for me, and you can see from the sketches that some work, and some just miss the mark for all sorts of reasons! It is very brave of me to share what I can consider my less than successful pieces, but I wanted to illustrate a point really.
Often the sketching phase of any project is where the most fun, work and brain power are used. It is often when I am doing sketches and roughs that I prefer to work in complete silence, so that I can concentrate more on what I am trying to achieve.
All the sketches below are just drawn using a soft leaded technical pen. I prefer to use technical pens, because they never need sharpening and so you can concentrate more with out interruptions. Also I am absolutely useless at sharpening pencils, and end up whittling away most of the implement! You can see more of my artwork of children by visiting this website here!
Now this sketch has humour, but needs more work….?

        This one is getting closure and it a better drawing all round, but the dog isn’t quite working…?


This one works. He’ s a little older, which is OK. It’s funny and lively and the dog is interacting more with the little boy. You may recognise this one? It's on my main website!




Thursday, 11 October 2012

Poule de Luxe logo

Poule de luxe is a company that specialises in luxury house-hold goods and in particular lingerie and ladies nightwear! Earlier this year I worked on updating their logo, which is to be used on some future products!


Poule de luxe: As their name might suggest their logo is a chicken, a rather beautiful chicken, but they wanted it updated a bit with the addition of a globe, a painterly style globe that would draw on some of the colours they are currently using in their lingerie! This was a very different project to what I normally do, but quite enjoyable. I had lots of fun coming up with different colour combinations and in the end they had over twenty to choose from. To be honest the colour combinations were endless and so I forced myself to stop at twenty.

The artwork was created digitally in Photoshop Elements, which was the quickest way to produce lots of different colour combinations for them, and allowed me an easy way to change individual colours if the combination did not suit their needs.
All in all it was a great way to use Photoshop and made a change for me from working conventionally, and hopefully they will come back with more work for me in the near future.
Here is the final colour range they chose – hope you like it?

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Drawing dragons

Well as you can see it has been over a month since I lost blogged. That is because I have been experiencing technical problems with blogspot.com, which I am hoping are now resolved!

Drawing Chinese dragons: It is Tuesday afternoon and I am trying to get into the habit of sharing my ‘how to draw’ videos with you! This week’s tutorial is aimed at helping you to improve your drawings skills and producing a really good drawing of a Chinese dragon. In this video I am just concentrating on how to do a really good dragon sketch, because it’s quite hard if you haven’t got a technique to work from and develop.


If you would like to follow this video and learning about drawing Chinese dragons, you’ll need a sharpened pencil, or better still a technical pencil, which never needs to be sharpened, a good eraser, and a sheet of cartridge paper to draw on. The advantage of watching and following this video is that you can hit ‘pause’ whenever you like or even go back over something again if you need to! So anyone can learn and have a go at drawing wonderful dragons!
I would love to get feedback from and you so by all means use the message box on this page to send me your thoughts on this video. If you would like to see more videos I have worked on, just got to www.videojug.com here! Or visit my blogspot blog page, where you can find many more tutorials and tips, click here!


Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Watercolour illustrations

I am sorry I haven't blogged here for a while, but I have been having terrible problems uploading images to blogspot, which put me off for a while, but I'm back for another go!


Watercolour painting can be very rewarding, as I have recently discovered. Yesterday I shared with you a re-working of an illustration of  a little girl. It was originally created in inks, but I think it now works better in watercolour. 

Today I want to share with you the rest of the illustration – the surrounding artwork that in essence, framed the little girl.
Watercolour painting: The original went to three of the major annual international book fairs, but I always wanted to try it in watercolour in a sligthly loser style too, which I am planning to push even further! In the artwork below, I outlined everything in nib and coloured inks. I then used a combination of wet-in-wet and another technique, which helps push the pigment towards the edge of a painted area. The second technique helps to make the flower petals illustrated more delicate.
What I would like to try next will be very different from anything I have done before. I would like to try outlining in nib and ink, as usual but then totally use wet-in-wet, so that everything is blurred, suggested. I want colours to bleed into each other and overlap, creating a soft effect. The only structure will be the line work. This could be a total disaster or it could be something quite special. I will share my disasters and triumphs with you here and so watch this space! To view similar subjects, surf my site or maybe click here!
Here’s the artwork itself: