Friday, 14 December 2012

"How to Write a Book in 30 Days"

For our final editorial we were required to design the cover for a supplement featured in a magazine, the aim of which was to encourage readers to become writers, using the methods in the supplement. I photographed a composition of items typically associated with a 'work process' then used Photoshop to add the text and edit the image.

Monday, 3 December 2012

Madness of crowds

After using it whilst re-doing the past couple of editorials, I was feeling a little more confident at using Photoshop so decided to assemble this piece digitally. Using acrylics to paint the poker chips and the bear, and ink to draw the bear itself, I then used PS to finalise the composition of the piece and add some collaged ephemera.

Sun, sea, sand... and sniffles

The article discusses leisure sickness, so I chose to combine the idea of sipping cocktails on holiday, with taking medicine. I love traditional pen and ink work and it is something I've always enjoyed doing, so after fiddling around with the composition I drew the image in black ink then added the colour digitally.

Why small victories matter

I think this is my most successful editorial piece. After a discussion with a couple of my tutors, I decided to go with the theme of 'seeds' for this article on the importance of celebrating small victories, instead of chasing large challenges. I liked the message that even the smallest of seeds has the potential to grow into something enormous, so after many, many variations I decided upon this idea. Using this as an opportunity to explore alternative techniques I chose to do a lino print, which was then scanned digitally on to a collaged background.

How to... decorate

For our first unit, 'Contemporary Illustration', we were assigned the task of creating a series of editorial illustrations, whereby we had to encapsulate the content and tone of a body of text in a single, readable image.

I found this fairly difficult at first so my initial ideas weren't great! But I feel I improved as the weeks went on, so I found some time to go back and revisit my editorials using the knowledge and techniques I'd acquired, to get them up to (what I feel is) a higher standard of work.

This article spoke about the futility of self-decoration; covering up natural beauty with the intention of expressing one's identity. I decided to base my illustration around the quote "Earrings are the light fittings of the head" by digitally layering monoprints, and using a peacock feather as a backdrop.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Cat's eyes

From the age of 11, when I had my first art lesson at school, I have developed a fascination with drawing eyes. Not only are they beautiful to admire but its a real challenge trying to capture the shine and depth of light through the convex surface of the eye. So when I was given the project 'Cat and Dog' in my second year at uni my immediate thought was that of studying cats' eyes. Here's one of my initial sketches for the project, drawn from a photo of one of my many cats!

'A Sound of Thunder'

This project encouraged us to look at book cover artwork and depicting the essence of a story in a single image. I was given the science fiction short story 'A Sound of Thunder' by Ray Bradbury, based on the concept described as the butterfly effect. The text could have been a lot stronger but I intend on improving my typography skills during the next year of my course. Particularly when we start looking at illustration used in advertising.

'The Strange Feathery Beast'

Some observational work acting as visual research for the task of creating 8 black and white vignettes to accompany the short story 'The Strange Feathery Beast'. I tend to work in black and white so I really enjoyed this project (as well as being given an excuse to look at the work of John Tenniel and Quentin Blake!), but I need to experiment with using colour and improving my skills using other materials. N.B. Break out of your comfort zone!

19 Chickens + 1 Fox

This was a final piece completed for the second year of my degree. I was particularly happy with the outcome of the chickens in this piece, drawn using continuous line in fine liner. The fox, however, didn't turn out as well as I'd have liked and I think it would have provided more of a contrast between the chicken 'tail' if the use of watercolour was less spontaneous and more controlled. I'd like to revisit the 'continuous line' technique in the future as it forces you to think carefully about the object you're illustrating to ensure the drawing is readable, and not a scribble. The flowing movement was surprisingly therapeutic as well!


Poor quality photo as I didn't have an A3 scanner at the time, but this is a pencil drawing of a dead seahorse my brother found whilst on the beach several years ago. It was an observational drawing required for last year's summer project, 'Jumble'. I'll upload a better quality image when I get the opportunity.


Geri from the Pixar short film 'Geri's Game'. A self-initiated sketch I did some time ago when I found myself at a loose end.

Life Drawing

During my first year we had a module to encourage us to study, and better observe, form and practice drawing figures from life. Despite it taking place in a small, cold, converted barn at the top of a very steep set of steps, I found it very enjoyable and rewarding! I'm hoping to attend some of the life drawing sessions available to us this year to build on the skills I learnt. In the meantime, here's one of my earlier sketches.

'Think Outside The Box'

This was a project from my first year at university whereby we had to create an artist book based on one, or a collection of, 'buzzwords'. I chose the phrase to 'think outside the box', something I believe people rarely do enough of nowadays.