Monday, 23 September 2013

Movie mania strikes...

Movie Mania is the title of a play for children I recently illustrated for an Australian publisher. The play is based around an African American family. A series of funny events unfold, involving a camera, a crazy cat and a boy. Movie mania strikes!

Movie Mania strikes: For this book I decided to experiment with my watercolour technique a bit. I used a similar way of painting that I had used for my boy riding a dragon. So I worked quite a lot in wet-in-wet using a smooth watercolour paper, so I could use a nib pen and ink. This avoids the nib catching on the texture of the watercolour paper and splatting the ink where you don’t want it.

This technique uses a lot of water and so I find it easier to stretch the paper first, so that I can control what I am doing far easier and have a flat and manageable piece of artwork to scan at the end. Everyone works differently, Quentin Blake and my friend Peter Kavanagh both work on un-stretched paper, which is great for them, but that just doesn’t suit me.

Today I thought I’d share a visual and finished artwork with you…

This visual is the revised drawing. The original didn't have a foot appearing in it at the bottom, which I am still unhappy about. The publishers wanted me to add a foot, but at the angle the camera this would be physically impossible. You would not see the holder of the camera’s foot, unless they were goose-stepping or performing some sort of weird gymnastics. Sometimes you have to bite your tongue and just do something even when you know it’s wrong!

Movie mania strikes again

29 Movie Mania Movie Mania strikes
© Lyn Stone

Friday, 20 September 2013

Pencil illustrations

Pencil illustrations just using graphite pencil is something I enjoy doing immensely. Today I thought I would share some illustrations that I haven’t posted about before from the book 'Hobbledown' that I illustrated for Kidspace Adventures Ltd.

Pencil illustrations: They plan to publish more and so hopefully I will get to illustrate those too!

The book itself has been published in hardback and paperback, and is available on amazon! The book was designed to promote the new 'Hobbledown' adventure park, but like many things it has become very much an entity on it’s own. In many ways it has inspired and fed back into the 'Hobbledown' site. Many of the characters in the book have their homes built within the park, and my artwork featuring the characters can be found all over the adventure park.

For the book I had to create a whole world of fantasy creatures from 'Hobblers' and 'Skibbler's, through to 'Rumpletump' – a particularly sinister monster. 'Rumpletump' actually ends up being rather useful to the Hobblers in getting rid of the nasty, smelly Skibblers who invade Hobbledown.

Anyway here is one you haven’t seen before. I would have posted more but the upload software on my website has just gone kaput! Maybe in my next post...

© Lyn Stone

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Hand tinting pencil drawings

Hand tinting pencil drawings is something I have experimented with this week. Rather than risk experimenting with one of my pencil drawings that may have taken hours to do I printed one instead.

Hand tinting pencil drawings: It worked surprisingly well. I printed the illustration straight onto a sheet of A3 watercolour paper. I then stretched it by soaking it in water and then placing it on a board. I then tapped it down with gum tape and waited for it to dry. The ink didn’t bleed at all. So at least that part of the experiment worked!

I then applied watercolour paint in washes. Not sure that the end result really works but it’s interesting to compare the original grey pencil drawing and the colour version. I feel though that it doesn’t look fresh and the colours look a little muddy. This is caused by the grey of the pencil influencing and changing the colour on top. I think a better option would be to do the pencil work using coloured pencils with less line work and ‘shading’ and then use watercolour paint.

Anyway I thought I would share the results with you and so below are the before and after results, just like the makeovers they used to do in women’s magazines!

By the way please do follow me on twitter if you can, cheers!



Colour tinting Hand tinting pencil drawings

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Editing illustrations

Editing illustrations once they are completed is a rare occurrence, but I have just finished working on a brief where the client then wanted to edit all the colours in the finished artwork, which is thankfully rare and a little odd too.

Editing illustrations: As you can imagine this can involve a great deal of extra work, which you are not being paid for really. This is especially true if you work conventionally. However this is where Photoshop can come to the rescue to all conventional artists. This of course is based in the assumption that you supply a client with digital versions of your work.

In Photoshop with a bit of effort there are several different ways you can isolate an area of artwork and then alter the colours completely. This can be done by either using the magic wand on a low percentage setting or using the lasso. You can then use colour balance options, photo filter, hue, etc to then alter the colour completely. Thus saving you from having to redraw the illustration from scratch. This is also useful when they want the changes within 24 hours or less, which happens.

Anyway to show you what I mean, here is a piece of artwork that has not only had it's colour range changed, but the size of the bed the child is sleeping on. All achieved digitally, using Photoshop.



Monday, 9 September 2013

Illustrations of horses and ponies

Illustrations of horses and ponies seemed to be popular with publishers and earlier this year I worked on four nonfiction lift-the-flap books. Horses and ponies was one those four books.

Illustrations of horses and ponies: I'm afraid I cannot mention the publisher just yet, because the book is one of a series of twenty-four that I am going to be working on. Once the first four are published I can reveal a little more, but only a little!

The work is all rendered in nib pen and coloured inks, used in soft washes that I build up gradually. I work this way so that I can judge better the build up of colour and have greater control over the end result. The deadline for this book I would classify as 'Mission Impossible', even the client was apologetic. It all boiled down to the fact that the buyer of the series, wanted the first four books yesterday! So I had quite a challenge on my hands, as a book on horses and ponies requires quite a bit of research, before you can even start sketching out ideas.

All the artwork had to be cut to white, as the book is lift the flap and the layouts just work better with artwork cut to white. The age range for the series is five to seven years, which is why I think I was chosen to work on them. I am not strictly speaking a reference illustrator, but my style does work with this age range.

I hope to share with you artwork from the first four books over the next few posts, and so here today are two pieces of artwork from this book...

Monday, 2 September 2013

Dinosaur illustrations in colour

Dinosaur illustrations in colour is something I would like to share with you today. Last week I showed everyone some visuals from a book on dinosaurs I illustrated earlier this year. Here are some of the finished pieces artwork!

Dinosaur illustrations in colour: Appropriately this post coincides with BBC 2's Horizon, which broadcasted a show entitled 'Dinosaurs - the hunt for life' very recently. Watch it on bbc iplayer if it is still on the site. It was very good.

It discussed new biological discoveries found within the fossils of one of the most infamous dinosaurs, the T-Rex. Namely blood cells and they even managed to extract soft tissue from the fossil too. They did this by leaving a fossilised bone in hydrochloric acid over night, and what was left in the morning was a very bendy fossil of soft tissue. Apparently there is substantial evidence to suggest it was a very mean big bird with teeth! So here are some mean big bird dinosaurs for you today, which will all be appearing in the forthcoming lift-the-flap book for five to seven year olds. I'm afraid I don't know the publishing date for this book - sorry! As soon as I do, I will post about it for everyone.

If you want to see more of my work then please visit my website