Those choppy seas

Here is another piece that I have worked on this week. I am really pleased with it and feel it is the benchmark for all my other work to start living up to.

It really catches the essence of a boat at sea during a storm, I am so pleased with the feeling of movement that I have captured.

I have shared the piece with a few friends children (and their Mamas) to get some feedback and it has been met with lots of ‘WOW’s’.

So here it is

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Revisiting Rocket boy

Developing my layered illustrations I decided to revisit an old friend ‘Rocket Boy’, I first met him in  a sketchbook doodle around 3 years, ago, a few months after that I painted an A2 illustration featuring him.

My work has moved on a lot since then and working with him again was a lot of fun, and I am really pleased with the final outcome.

I still need to work on the photography of my 3-D pieces

Here is an angled shot

Developing my style: Illustration Friday revisited

Late last night as we drove home from Brighton after visiting some family, it had been a long day (we left just after 6am) I had a huge pang of inspiration, I hoped my Eureka movement in regards to developing my style further.

Despite my ventures into mixed media I have always been frustrated by the flatness of my work, as well as the lack of movement and definition I felt existed. I pondered this heavily, I had toyed with getting some screen printing equipment, something I was experienced with in college and inspired by my love of Jay Ryan’s work, or maybe collage?  If I could combine these element together it might create something interesting.

My mind also was brought back to the Escape from Illustration Island podcast interview with Liz Lomax, I have always been intrigued by the idea of doing something 3-dimensional, but I was unsure I would even know where to start.

Then whilst doodling in my notebook I had an insight….. I remembered some (almost) 3-D paper bunting I had made to sell at craft fairs, I had made some chalk boards in a similar style….. I remembered the Holly Hobby 3-d pictures I had as a child and realised I could apply the same technique to my illustration… if I produced each element as an individual piece, foam sticky blocks between each layer to create depth and a feeling of movement.

So this morning I set right to it. I decided to recreate the same image I had worked on for this week’s illustration Friday  (see this post), so I could compare it to the digital and painted versions I already had. This would be the best measure to see if it was more successful.

So here it is along with an in progress shot. I

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Illustration Friday: TALL

For this week’s Illustration Friday I decided to have give myself a little test, to reproduce the same drawing using two different Mediums.

The idea behind this was to help me define my style, what works and doesn’t work for me, and hopefully to get some feedback on this.

The initial drawing was done in pencil, and used for both pieces. The first one was coloured up digitally in photoshop using a scan of the original drawing and the second version painted using watercolour, and then highlighted using a bic biro. The latter used the original drawing as the base.

I am really keen to have some really honest feedback on them both, do either work? do you have a preference?

I’m still undecided……..

(small note that they are A3 paintings so you can’t see all the detail at this scale., Also my scanner has really intensified the colour on the painted one).

Analysing my work so far

I have been trying to develop myself as a children’s book illustrator for the last few years, just in my spare time to start with, but not taking it too seriously, I have sent out promos, but then never follow through properly, but now it is time to make a real push forward.

My main issue has always been that I lack confidence in my work, and my style. Actually I don’t feel so much I have a clear defined style. I think like how I draw (more honestly, I don’t hate it), but it is my medium that I am not convinced by.

I started off 3 years by illustrating in watercolour, and pencil. I have always been happy with them, but they were incredibly time consuming and very static. I also felt that they had too much white space and not enough context to be suitable for children’s books. Here are a couple of pieces (there are more in my portfolio section).

So then I messed around drawing in brio and colouring in photoshop, sometimes the results were great (as with my Dino piece), other times something was lost and they were just too saturated with colour, lacking detail and definition (Little Red riding hood and my entry to the Waterstone’s Picture this competition 2011 are good examples of this).

Since having my Son I have been side tracked by a creating family; Mother and child related pieces (which I sell on Etsy), these have mainly been water colour and pencil but some have used acrylics too, collage, bit of oil etc.

They have been very time consuming paintings but it has opened my eyes to come back to redeveloping my work for children’s books and the want to try to find a ‘style’ I truly feel at home in.

My background is in textiles, I studied it at university so I have had experience in really shaking it up and letting loose, but then I retrained in Graphics which tightened it all back up again.

I have a 10 day stretch ahead of me, my husband has some time off work so he can look after our son, so it is time for me to really delve in to this subject. I am hoping I will also get new promo material created in this time and put myself back out there. I know how hard I work (I paint & draw constantly), and this is what I really want to do,  so I know I can make a difference in this time period.

If anyone wants to critique any of my work I would be so grateful.