Bread and butter stuff

April 12, 2012

Had a break for a few hours from freelance stuff today, whilst I waited for a client to comment on an artwork he had commissioned so flicked through my sketchbook to find an idea I could quickly turn into an image to upload to iStock, preferably a tree as they’re my sort of signature image, they’re quick to do and, if you get the image right, can be good sellers.

Found this page, with a little tree doodle….which , after an hour or so, translated into this,………..

It’s now uploaded and will hopefully appear in my tree lightbox on iStock soon………

Circular bird

April 11, 2012

I’ve got quite a few images in my iStock portfolio{%2225%22%3A%226%22}#600b398
that fit into circles and I have some doodles in my sketchbook of circular birds, which have sat there for some time and which I’ve not had time to fully resolve.

I’ve just sent some freelance work of to be checked so, as I had a few hours with nothing to do , resolved to finish off the part completed digital image I’ve had sitting on my hard drive for weeks which was based on the above sketches. It was never going to be a great work of art but it’s always difficult to judge what will sell and as I’d already spent time on it, and it was the most complete of the many half -finished I have sitting around I finally finished it, leaving one version fitting within a circle and , using some leaves I’d already drawn and used in some tree illustrations, made up a little sprig to place in the 2nd versions beak. It’s now in the inspection queue whilst I go and search for other images to finish off.


I’ve had this hanging around for a bit, so knuckled down today and got it finished. I have a desire to endlessly add bits, and in a way I feel it would be a lot better with perhaps a couple of cars ( maybe a 2CV or a Renault 4) and some people about but I’ve got an increasing freelance load. The  London Book Fair is in about 10 days so lots of little bits to do for publishing clients finishing off book fair presentations,

plus a fairly complex illustration for our website designers, Silk Pearce

so I want to clear my desk and concentrate on bringing home the bacon, so , finished or not, I have to upload this to my iStock portfolio and hope it gets accepted.

When our site when online last week we had a few items in our store

but were caught out when we had an order for a mug immediately, having not actually given any thought to how we were going to mail out the mugs. Carol ordered a pack of mug boxes and some tastefully coloured tissue paper from the retailer who came first in a Google search for packing materials ( yes, you know who you are!) on Thursday, and we were told everything would be delivered to us on Monday. Cue phone call on Monday morning from the supplier, saying no boxes until Tuesday, no tissue paper until Thursday, but we cancelled the order, having lost trust in their ability to deliver, rushed into Ipswich to try and buy mug boxes in Staples, a large office supply shop, to find they had none available so we bought a large cardboard box, the biggest they had, then went to Paperchase where we found tasteful tissue paper and found they were selling mugs in boxes, one of which we bought to use the box as a template. This morning we deconstructed the mug box and made our own from the template ( the Paperchase version was already decorated), and eventually, 6 days after the initial order ( sorry Ian!) got it all packed up and posted. I hate to think what the cost was, it was probably the worlds most expensive mug box, but it got done, and we learnt some valuable lessons on forward planning and costing. We’ve got enough card now for plenty more boxes, and Carol has made another one in readiness for our 2nd order!


Mug, awaiting despatch.

Coloured pencils Part 3

April 2, 2012

Bit of a record for uploading an image and having it accepted at iStock, map uploaded and approved in a couple of hours.

Coloured pencils Part 2

April 1, 2012

Finished off the half completed map from yesterday, scanned it, saving the file as a 300dpi TIFF file, which will enable me to edit the image and save it with no loss of quality, then, once I’m happy with the cleaned up file, and having done a few tweaks in Photoshop to contrast and saturation, I’ll save a copy as a highest quality JPEG which I’ll upload. I start cleaning up all the stray pixels that are the result mainly of the scanner picking up the grain of the textured watercolour paper.

Here they are magnified..Although it’s a bit dull, trawling the whole surface of the paper, enlarged 2 or 300 times, selecting them and filling with white, I quite enjoy it in a mindless sort of way.

End up with the cleaned up colour pencil map, which I feel is OK, may sell a few once I’ve passed the hurdle of inspection at iStock.

It will hopefully end up in my Maps lightbox on iStock.

Next to put some water onto the water soluble pencil map and get a watercolour version too…I don’t feel as happy with it as the pencil version, and I may try working into it a bit more, in areas where the paint has gone a bit thin. I’ll look at it in the morning, with a fresh eye, to see what I think.


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