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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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

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I suspected my initial blogging  enthusiasm might wane and, lo and behold, it has a bit. A new Mac to sort out, new software to install and get used to, lots of sometimes awkward freelance work, some unexpectedly sunny weather ( this is the UK, remember?), all conspired to distract me from my blogging activities. Missed me? OK, I thought not 😦  Anyway, as a sort of lazy stopgap I thought I might just post a selection of work as I go along, stuff I like ( plenty I feel a bit meh about will remain hidden) or that’s interesting for whatever reason. I may comment, I may not, but here’s just a start….Image I decided to return to my tree roots ( geddit? Tree? Roots? oh, never mind) and draw some more trees for my istock portfolio, they’re my sort of trademark there, so here are a couple more. I also discovered at the back of a dusty digital cupboard some nice peeling paint texture which I had digitised from a photo I took of some paintwork on a barn near here, so I started applying that to all sorts of images with enthusiasm, I could revive old images quite easily with a new look. If anyone is interested, here’s a link to my trees portfolio on stock…

http://www.istockphoto.com/search/lightbox/3337723/#10c3106c

Rol up, roll up, get yore luvverly trees ‘ere etc etc

The guys who designed our website also asked me to do some drawing for a presentation they were doing to a client of theirs, an Italian paper manufacturer, too… here they are….

ImageAnyway, going to watch the Olympics now, why not join me?

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….

http://www.istockphoto.com/search/portfolio/911920/?facets=%7B%2225%22%3A%226%22%7D#600b398

Here are the images…

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