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

Vector geranium

June 17, 2014

I’ve had to suspend the oil painting for the time being as I’ve got a couple of freelance jobs, strictly digital so I have to switch back to Adobe Illustrator mode. I’ve finished one batch, some maps, and whilst summoning up the energy to tackle some of the more complicated drawings in the other job ( a book of brain teasers and illusions and the psychology and physiology behind them) I managed a nifty bit of replacement strategy and found a half-finished ( or more accurately quarter finished) vector image of a geranium ( or probably more accurately Pelargonium), photographed in our garden and drawn because I came across the photo and felt I could get a decent illustration out of it.

Here’s the final image, rushed a little at the end as I suddenly felt I’d had enough of drawing those fiddly leaves.

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I’ve been feeling the urge to draw something recently, to get back to basics, with a pen and paper. I’ve been churning out digital imagery to sell online …. http://www.istockphoto.com/search/portfolio/911920/?facets=%7B%2225%22%3A%226%22%7D#1ec98cad

but sometimes it’s hard to keep up the momentum, and declining sales and views has made me feel restless and needing to explore possible new avenues. I’ve a pile of lino printing tools and lino, and I have thought I’d like to try some printmaking, but in the search for quicker results I decided to get drawing, using a nice long landscape format Tate watercolour pad I was given at Christmas, and a set of varying weight Staedtler pens I decided to use my local park as inspiration. I walk my 2 dogs there twice a day and it has a great collection of trees, some many hundreds of years old, and as I draw a lot of trees to sell online it seemed an obvious place to start. I also like the formal layout of paths and flower beds, a bit map like but in 3D, so I quickly sketched an idea in my sketch book and then worked this up more in the long pad.ImageThe first sketch is here, and this is the finished version, drawn with little or no planning, just straight onto the paper with a pen and hope for the best.

ImageThis was based on the arboretum area (the grey on the corner of the picture is just the shadow of my arm), and I then moved on to a couple of others based around the same theme, the 2nd one starting to get away from the looseness of the first one, as usual getting caught up in too much detail.ImageImageI then decided to return to a theme of a dividing road, something I’d illustrated before and which sells reasonably well as a stock image, useful for showing ideas of direction and choice.ImageI felt this one was loosening up a bit stylistically too, I tried to get away from the tightness of the 2nd one. I’ve done a couple of individual trees too, and I’m planning a bigger one, worked out now but not started. I’ve done digitally coloured versions too, but I’ll come back to those in a future post. I’m hoping to do an art fair here in Ipswich next month, something I’ve had a bit of a break from, and I’m planning to do one or two more to take to that framed.

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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