Game board

December 24, 2014

Just a quick posting of a recent illustration. This was for LCB Resources, a company providing training for healthcare professionals. This was a game they had devised to help trainee health visitors gain an understanding of their job whilst having some fun. Quite a big image, approximately A3, a nice fun job to do.Board

Grungy textures

December 4, 2014

I was asked by my agent for a headshot/mugshot, for some publicity material they were producing for a forthcoming trip to the States in the spring of 2015.
I wanted to produce something a bit different from a straight photo so managed to take a selfie I was OK with and applied some filters to make something that looked a bit more interesting.

JohnW

Thinking about this I realised it might be possible to use some of my existing vector illustrations and use similar effects, so I made a big jpeg and had a go. I’m fairly pleased with this and will take it a bit further in the next week or two.

Grunge-heads

Facebook

November 7, 2014

I’m a regular social Facebook user and have been experimenting with using a business FB page as an alternative blog/diary/portfolio. I haven’t abandoned WordPress, it’s just that for short entries I find FB a bit easier and quicker to use. If anyones is interested please visit my page there as well as carrying on following me here on WordPress.
https://www.facebook.com/johnwoodcockillustration?pnref=story

Wordy map

June 30, 2014

I’ve always been a map fan, and done plenty of them in my working life, in fact doing 20  for a sailing book at the moment. I’d seen a similar treatment to this on a map of London and thought it would work well on a UK map. I had a couple of days off so managed to fit this one in for my iStock portfolio.Image

After my earlier documented excursions back into the world of drawing with pens ( as opposed to using a computer) the bug bit a little harder and by coincidence I came across a local artist and teacher running a painting class nearby. My father had left me with a large collection of brushes, canvases and paints after his death, so I thought an introduction to oil painting would be a good idea. A couple of days before the first class I sat in the conservatory and did a little drawing of what I saw…….Image with the aim of using this as a basis for a painting.

I transferred this onto a canvas, which I took along to the first class.

The first task was to put a stain on the canvas, just a wash of colour diluted with turps, where I soon learnt that turps plus oil paint plus pencil all dissolve into a grey mush. I persevered however and by the end of the first 3 hours had this on my canvas….

Image

I managed  to paint out the worst of the smeared graphite and felt reasonably pleased with my progress.

Enthused with my new found skills I carried on at home, adding detail and building up layers of colour, helped by the use of Liquin, a jelly-like medium for oils painting which makes the colour flow better and dry quicker, slow drying being both an advantage ( its possible to keep working on an area of paint for days before it dries) and disadvantage ( large quantities of paint transfer themselves to every available surface if the slow drying is forgotten about)

This was the progress later in the week.

Image

 

Parts of the painting I was quite happy with, I liked the mug on the table, but other areas, such as the rug and the cushion on the seat of the chair, were looking a bit crude and harsh. Both objects are quite old and worn but the patterns I put on looked too hard edged and I felt I would need to rework those.

The following week I attended the class again and decided to concentrate on tidying up the door and finishing the chair, so one part of the image would be complete. This started off OK, but I began to realise that I was just getting too involved with detail and somehow the image was losing the spontaneity that the original washed on colours had given it and had become dull and static ( that’s how I saw it anyway). I could feel my enthusiasm draining away and by the end of the class had decided that my career as an oil painter might not advance quite as quickly as I had hoped. I feel the painting has some merits and I hope I can finish it over the next few weeks but I feel I need to stop getting too tied up with detail ( always a failing of mine) and bring some speed and life into my paintings.

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I’ve put the painting to one side, found three smaller canvases which I am going to use to do some quicker paintings whilst resisting the desire to fiddle about with tiny brushes. Watch this space for progress!

We moved house 10 weeks ago, and the process of finding a house, buying a house, and then actually moving house have taken a bigger than expected chunk out of my blogging life. We have moved from a rural Suffolk village to the centre of Ipswich, and although we love the convenience and the activity of a busy town, it’s been exhausting too. Freelance work has all ended so it’s back to producing digital images to sell online.

http://www.istockphoto.com/search/portfolio/911920/?facets=%7B%2225%22%3A%226%22%7D#155d4954

iStock have recently announced they’ve reached the 1 million vector files mark, so getting things found is getting harder. Maps are quite a safe bet for sales, so I decided to add a couple more maps, UK because it’s where I live, and USA because it’s where most buyers live. I recently saw an image of an old  badly printed map from a magazine, and I wanted to replicate that sort of look, so using a map I had already drawn previously as the outline, and adding some dotted lines and a nice grungy texture, plus some  halftone dots, again textured and worn, and two background files, one solid colour, the top one having a texture cut out of it so the flat background behind shows through, I got the sort of look I wanted. I also offset the colour slightly, to achieve that sort of out of register look. I think one has sold already so I may do some more maps in the same style, again using maps already drawn, but applying the same look.Image

It’s a bit boring doing them so to break the tedium I did a couple of illustrated maps. I re-drew my UK and USA maps, using a much simpler style for the outline, just simplifying right down, whilst retaining the feel of the shape. I then applied a thick edge to the land and added detail, the UK map being the first. I put a bit more into the USA map and I think it shows, just a bit more detail, more clouds to give visual interest etc.

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I also added another grunge version, using some old painted wood texture I digitised and which makes a good background, seen in quite a few of my images, don’t let a good background go to waste!

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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.

Craft fair thoughts…

March 28, 2013

Carrying on from my last blog, we survived the craft fair, it wasn’t as busy as we’d like but we did have some sales, very surprisingly the two actual drawings we took both sold, as these were the most expensive things on the stall. We also sold some smaller items, a few cards, a mug, a notebook. Nothing earth shattering but not a complete disaster and we probably took more than I would have dared to guess. BTW, some of the new items are available in the store on our website…..

http://www.johnwoodcockillustration.co.uk

At the end of the fair we were approached by another stall holder, who organises fairs herself, the upshot of which is that we have agreed to attend a fair in Colchester on Saturday……..Image

Our daughter Lucy and her boyfriend Chris have offered to do this one, so it will be interesting to see how it compares with Ipswich ( more buyers, we are hoping!). Anyone in Colchester, pop in and say Hi!

Here’s the Ipswich stall…….

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