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.

Hand drawn stuff

August 8, 2012

I suddenly remembered the other day that I had read that Illustrator CS6 had particularly good live trace abilities, the way that a jpeg file could be imported and auto traced to produce a vector illustration. Having being producing a series of illustrations of American landmarks for a publishing client I’d got used to wielding a pen for a change so decided to produce a series of hand drawn illustrations of my existing vector illustrations of trees, to give a slightly more raw look. Here are the first attempts, all accepted into my iStock portfolio….

More to come as I do them, or get bored and move to something else 😦

I’ve always drawn a fairly large number of tree images for my istock portfolio…..


They’re steady sellers, probably half my sales on an average day are tree images and I’m often getting people ask me to design tree related logos, as the images for sale on istock are not allowed to be used for logos, about their only restriction. They’re somehow relaxing to draw, and it’s become a challenge finding new ways of drawing them. I often sit down in the evening with my sketch book, watching TV with one eye, doodling around as well in my sketchbook, I then look back a few days later to see if anything looks useful.

Here were some sketches from a few days back…..

Image(ignore the cats and rabbits!), here’s what I managed to salvage from it today….


Owl stuff

May 25, 2012

I had doodled an owl in my sketchbook, sitting out in the sun and making the most of the weather yesterday so decided to draw it in Illustrator today and see what I could do with it….

I drew a tree recently with a hole for a bird, so I removed the original bird and replaced it with the owl, then just put the owl on a simple branch , so getting at least two uses ( maybe more later) out of one drawing.

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