Thursday, 31 May 2012

Videojug: How to draw waves

Bonsoir tout! I have had a day off today from scribbling away, as I am busily waiting for clients comments on my Pride and Prejudice silhouette roughs of the Bennett family. So I thought I would do a lesson today on how to draw waves. Apparently quite a lot of you want to know how to draw and paint waves, and so here are two videos I did for videojug. One is on how to draw waves and the other on how to paint them. Enjoy!

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Pride and Prejudice

Today I have been working on a set of roughs that will eventually become silhouettes of the Bennet family. I've drawn Elizabeth and Mr Darcy, Jane and Mr Bingley dancing sedately, Lydia Bennett and Mr Wickham dancing enthusiastically. With Mary reading a book and Kitty dancing all on her own.

There tiny little drawings, only about eight centimetres high and great fun to do. Hopefully if the client likes them, I will then be turning them into silhouettes, but for this client conventionally rather than using Illustrator.

Can't share the artwork with you just yet I'm afraid! But here's something similar - well sort of! I did this artwork for Usborne Publishing.

Monday, 28 May 2012

Agatha Christie - Sleeping Murder

Today I can share with you some artwork that I have completed for the Agatha Christie book collection, magazine. The issue for this particular Christie novel is now published and is on sale in newsagents everywhere. 

The editor today mentioned that he is currently working on a French issue "trés bien" to that! 

This particular Christie novel is called Sleeping Murder, and was Miss Marple's last case. First published in 1976, which surprised me.

Here are the colour illustrations from this novel that are featured in the suspects page of the magazine

Now some of you may recognise the man on the left with the garden fork? 
Yes, it's my Dad!

See if you can guess who did it! What a motley crew!

Friday, 25 May 2012

Friday afternoon humour!

For all those dog lovers and library lovers out there, this one is for you!

As a consequence of building a new website, I am have been rummaging through some old artwork that I still quite like and have therefore added to my new website. I thought you might enjoy this one. Now take note of the books the dog has borrowed in this one...

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Un logo de poulet

And the reason for the French? Well the name of the company that has asked me to do a number of different things for them, including an additional artwork for their logo. They are a British company, but have adopted a French name. I can't say any more than that I'm afraid, other than it's an unusual commission for me and not what I usually get to work on at all. I'm struggling with this one a bit, because it is quite removed from my usual style and I am having to develop a different style/look specifically for this client, which isn't easy. So I am on a steep and speedy learning curve, and could do with an effective break!

So at the moment I am trying to juggle this project with my latest Agatha Christie artwork! So tomorrow is going to be exotic Christie and 'je fais du dessin!'

Off to my penultimate French class shortly...

Busy week I I feel a bit like this cat at the moment...

Monday, 21 May 2012

Agatha Christie an exotic mystery

Well I have just received my next brief for the Agatha Christie book collection and this one has an exotic theme set in the 1960s! This one has a shifty botanist, a magnificent hotel maid, a neat valet and tall, dark and possibly handsome hotelier amongst the cast! All are suspects of course. I have been told I need to aim for - to quote Agatha "gay clothes and exotic colouring". 

I have no idea if I can share any of my other work with you yet. I must speak to the editor, so I know which issue they are up to in the shops, and so then what I can show you!

Here's some sixties clothing I researched for the last brief, which was set in 1969.

I'm old enough to remember this sort of packaging design in the seventies!

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Illustrations for young readers

Having now completed my Top Secret project, which is aimed at an older readership, my portfolio is now unbalanced and is lacking in samples of artwork for younger readers. Now I have a bit if free time I have decided I am going to put together some new illustrations aimed at younger children. I think pirates, and fairies need to be in there, and also something with animals is always good too. 

As I normally create all my Christmas card artwork during the summer, I thought that there may be a way of combining the two? 

Either way over the next few weeks I hope to share with you some new sample artwork that my agent can then show prospective clients. He feels I am perfectly capable of doing illustrations for younger readers, but I lack the necessary samples in my portfolio. So lots of work ahead for me!

If anyone has any ideas, please send me a message or tweet me, as I know some of you now do! See you on twitter @LynAStone!

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

More fairies, plus fées minuscules!

Sorry - had to throw in a bit of French! 

Wow! One minute it's Monday, you blink and it's Wednesday! How did that happen? I guess it's called being preoccupied and this week it hasn't been with Agatha Christie, but with my Top Secret project that I can blab all about shortly - can't wait! I have been battling digitally with artwork this week and producing lots of foliage! 

One thing I can tell you is that this book does have a fairy in it, and so I feel justified in showing you some fairies I did for Templar Publishing some time ago. They were done for a dummy book, which went to the Bologna, Frankfurt and London book fairs. Unfortunately like many ideas it was not taken up. These days gift books, such as pop-up books are expensive to manufacture and so in hard times, like our current disastrous world wide economy, not so many are being published, which is very sad for us artists! In fact for every project you actually work on there are four or five that fall by the wayside and so it can be a very disappointing industry to work in. Anyone who thinks artists are soft - especially commercial artists need their heads examining. You have to be as tough as tungsten nails, unrealistically optimistic and as tenacious as a bulldog on someone's ankle. If you're none of these things, then just do art for fun or you'll go mad very, very quickly.

Anyway, here's a fairy or two...

Monday, 14 May 2012

Je suis une abeille animé!

Yes I am a busy bee! I have not stopped all over the weekend and another mad day today! I am still working on that big project that I can't divulge until July! 

That other matter that had me in utter shock and despair last week has been resolved. I managed to persuade the client not to go with the altered artwork and to allow me to alter it! I was very pleased with the results and thankfully so was the client and so disaster averted! 

Now what artwork can I actually share with you at the moment, that isn't 'Top Secret'? How about some nice pencil sketches of fairies? These you haven't seen before!

Hopefully in July I will be able to share over thirty news pieces of artwork with you, as well as some more Agatha Christie stuff.

Do not mind the French - I'm practising...

Une petite fée 

Une fée aux champignons

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

In the depths of despair

No client has EVER EVER done this to me. 

I cannot mention names or could get into real trouble with my agent. A client has taken a finished piece of artwork of mine and has got some A-level student, amateur hack artist to go over the whole artwork with digital colour - very poorly indeed! The client intends to use it. It is embarrassingly, excruciatingly poorly executed and makes me look bad and the client a complete amateur! I have never felt so insulted in my life. I will never be able to show the book to prospective clients, because it will be too embarrassing for words! 

I have reached an all time low in my career...

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Website versus trip to France?

Nearly there with my new website. I had no idea how involved it all is. I'm learning all about tagging images, improving your 'SEO', so Google can find you far easier and even getting the number of words on a page correct! If you would like to visit my site, I would be most grateful for any feedback, just click here! Do excuse any typing errors - it is yet to be proof-read!

Here's a visual of the homepage, which needs a little more work...

It hasn't been all work though. I have also been organising my short holiday to France, later this year. It has not been easy though. If you can't drive you've got to rely on other means of travel. In the end I settled for Eurostar and the French TGV! I'm going to stay in Honfleur in Normandy for five days and am really looking forward to it! It has been good practice emailing the hotel in French about various things. More on that tomorrow!

Best wishes

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

How to paint eyes...

I had completely forgotten that I had done this 'how to' video and discovered it this morning on and thought you might like to see it. I am so sorry you have to put up with a scary full frontal of my face in the first thirty seconds, but after that, as usual it's just me drawing and talking! This was filmed in my living room by the way, hence the sort of amber lighting effect...

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Wordpress web building for artists

I thought I would elaborate on yesterday's post with some useful information for artists out there wanting a website, but maybe lacking either the money to have someone build a site or the technical know-how to build one themselves. A friend of mine suggested I try using a software package, freely available called WORDPRESS. You need to use the version, rather than the .com version.  

Now for the novices out there you DO NOT download this software package to your computer, like you would normally expect. Instead you INSTALL into where you keep your website on-line. Now you are all probably thinking, "how the heck am I expected to know how to do that?". Well on YouTube there are a number of very useful tutorials on how to do it, and here's a link to one: CLICK HERE and click on lesson 1 first! This link is also very good: CLICK HERE. Depending on your web host you can login into your 'CONTROL PANEL' your 'CPANEL', find where they have software packages listed and hopefully if they support WORDPRESS, you can install it from there! This is a 'what you see is what you get' programme, and functions similar to blogspot.

Once you've installed WORDPRESS, you then need to visit and go through the thousands of themes freely available, download the one you like to your wordpress, activate it and hey presto, you can begin creating your website.

I just felt like sharing this with everyone as it has been very useful to me and hasn't cost me a penny - except for my web host provider of course!

Good luck and I hope my links work!