New work.

March 24, 2014

I’ve decided to just post some new images without taking too much time to comment, these are basically a series of images that have progressed on from the last post, either coloured versions of previous drawings, scanned and live traced in Illustrator to produce a vector version, or , in the case of the birds in the tree, where I have taken a tree from a park drawing and added the birds from another, plus some leaves from a third image. I drew the birds to fit a small decorative frame I have but, because the frame was designed in such a way that I needed to trim the artwork down to the very edge, I thought I would scan it and use the print in the frame instead, but for some reason the colours would not scan accurately and every imperfection in the drawing seemed visible, so I abandoned that idea. I now have a tiny drawing which took ages and which I don’t have much use for now, but I may have another go at scanning it and play around with the settings more to try and get a more accurate reproduction.Image

Below is the drawing with the birds, originally pen and ink on watercolour paper, then coloured with Doctor Martin liquid watercolours, looking more garish here than the original.


Next is a coloured up version of the dividing path image, featured again in the last post, same process here, scanned original drawing and coloured in Illustrator.


I wanted to expend on the park drawings, perhaps add in some more map influences, something I’m always interested in, so I took a pice of the Suffolk coast I know well and drew a pretty abstract map featuring the area, without making any reference to a real map but just fitting in the features as I knew them to be, but without worrying too much about accuracy. The checkerboard area is Southwold, the sea the North Sea, the river the Blyth, with the wide area of the river where the A12 road crosses the river. It was just a device to give a backbone to hang an image on, with the added though I would be doing my next art fair in Suffolk, and I will be hoping to sell some framed versions of the map.


Just to finish , a poster for the next fair, drop by and say hello if you’re in Ipswich on the 6th!


Last weeks fair at Colchester Arts Centre was a big improvement on the previous ( and our first) craft fair. A smaller venue but much more arty in feel, printmakers and illustrators much in evidence and we sold more, and a more varied selection, than at Ipswich, so we are now applying to other fairs, at The Minories in Colchester and Norwich Arts Centre.

Otherwise, back at the Mac, and also using pen and paper, to develop some new ideas and to finish off some old stuff. I’ve got 5 tabs open in Illustrator at the moment, here’s what’s on them….

Image This one’s finished, just awaiting an upload to my istock portfolio……

Imagethis one is a development of the previous one, the sort of conceptual image that can sell OK as a stock image….

Imagethis one just finished, a chopped up version of a silhouette I did previously, taken from a photo of my neighbours smart Trek road bike…….

Imageand  this, which is just me doodling around with some existing artwork of mine to try and come up with an interesting image. Not finished, but I’m quite pleased so far, and finally, playing around with pen and paper to draw another decorative bird, as we had some good sales of a similar image at the 2 fairs. Sometimes though, it’s hard to recapture the spontaneity of a successful image, and though this is OK, it’s not as good as the previous one.Ornate-bird-twoThe top right part of the image is the detail parts from the previous bird, so I can sample the colours off it. The bottom right part of the image is where I have just copied the detail parts of the main image, just to see if they would work alone as a bird without the black background, and, with a bit of work, they may do.

Rather ironically, as I’m currently illustrating a book called Blogging for Photographers,I was reading some text from said book, all about how bloggers start off with good intent then lapse into indolence and lack of direction. >sigh. Sounded a bit familiar so I decided to start just posting images as I do them ( well, ones I like anyway) and do away with the waffle, unless I’m in a waffle-ey mood, in which case I’ll, err, waffle. I mention new shop stuff above as I’ve opened a Cafe Press account and re-opened my Zazzle shop. As it takes a bit of time to get these populated and up and running I’ll post links at a later date, in the meantime here are a few recent images I’ve uploaded to stock, the keen eyed may notice I’ve gone back to owls, and I’ve also had a little run of new lighthouse images, for no particular reason other than I came across a sketch of one in a sketchbook of mine and as I hadn’t anything else to draw I took up the illustrative baton and ran with it.Image



Had a stressy few days as a week ago last Friday discovered lots of nasty pixellated lines appearing all over my monitor, which became gradually worse at times, whilst other times clearing and functioning normally. As I depend 100% on my mac, which is admittedly 7 years old and well overdue for replacement, this turned into a few days stress fest, resolved by taking it to the Genius Bar in the Norwich Apple Centre, where it was diagnosed with terminal video card degenerative disease ( and not a faulty monitor, as it was a 50/50 tossup between the two components.) I ordered a new iMac from John Lewis ( same price as everywhere else but a 2 year warranty)and picked it up the next day, and not very enthusiastically started transferring all my old files and getting everything set up. It’s amazing how different a new mac looks, I’ve been unable to upgrade mine beyond OS 10.4.11 due to it being so old, and it’s great to have everything working so well and fast. Did I say everything? Err, not quite. I’d been planning to run my old software until I could afford to upgrade that too, only to find nothing would run on the new  Mac. The biggest disaster was having no access to Adobe Illustrator, which I use for 99% of my work, but rather than lay out nearly £600 on a new copy I discovered that Adobe now provide software on subscription so for £17.50 or so a month I was able to download Illustrator CS6 and enjoy the luxury of the latest software and no more having to ask clients to save files down to an earlier version, in fact today a client had to ask me to do the same for them, as they only had CS5. After a few days I’m starting to feel more at home with the new mac, and finally managed to produce a few new images for my stock portfolio, nothing too exciting but just something to allow me to feel I’m back in control. Here’s the portfolio….

Here are the images…

Bird doodles

June 29, 2012

I felt I’d reached the end of the owl illustrations for a while but like drawing birds so had sat down one evening and doodled a page of birds ( a couple of owls slipped in too, but more of those later). ImageI was interested in getting a rough, hand drawn look to these images so I also drew some felt pen lines on rough watercolour paper, which I then scanned and live traced in Illustrator , and then made custom brush strokes from them, allowing me to apply a rough edged line to the drawings. here are the lines I drew and scanned…Image

I also included some short marks and some more woodcut style triangular marks, just to give me some more choice. I uploaded the sketches , placed them as a template in Illustrator and picked the best 4, then, using my favourite colour palette, an old vector pattern I drew ages ago and my custom brushes, came up with 4 new bird illustrations for my iStock portfolio…{%2225%22%3A%226%22}#600b398Image

Went shopping this morning at one of our favourite home stores at Snape Maltings…

Snape is home to the world famous Aldeburgh Festival and not only has the fabulous concert hall, but also a collection of great shops, full of the sort of tat we find hard to resist.

We managed to not spend too much today, but, in the kids shop, found this little knitted owl, sold by a French toy company but made in Nepal as part of a project to inject cash into poor communities, and particularly relevant to me given my recent owl production phase..

It’s all knitted, with a little brass bell attached to the branch. It now resides in my cabinet with all my other favourite little bits and pieces ( see an earlier blog for a full picture)

Fabric owl

June 8, 2012

Been lacking inspiration for the last week or so, long public holiday, lousy weather, all encourage non creativity, so to fill the yawning gap I decide to revisit a former theme, not entirely mined out, and managed to pull together an image I felt OK with. Got it accepted today, appearing early next week in my istock portfolio..{%2225%22%3A%226%22}#600b398


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