Thursday, 19 December 2013

Art I like

Some lovely illustrations I found by children's book illustrator Mae Besom

When I first looked at this one it looked like a bridge, but then I noticed it is a forest.

Writing my own Brief for college

Back in May I did a blog post about a book I received in the mail. The book was 'Swedish Folk Tales' with illustrations by John Beaur. Recently in college we were given the task to write our own project brief. I knew right away that I wanted to do a children's book and since I said that I was going to do illustrations based on the story 'Daga and the Flying Troll of Sky Mountain' from the book. I am making a start on it now.

Here is my brief that I've set myself;

Project Brief
Puffin Books are looking for talented illustrators to produce illustrations and a book cover design for a new individual edition of a classic Swedish fairy tale from the book ‘Swedish Folk Tales’. The book is filled with many tales of trolls and princesses, all with original illustrations by John Bauer. Although iconic as they may be, we are looking to create a new illustrated version of a tale from the book that will appeal to children with a fresh, imaginative and collectable look. It is a perfect opportunity to bring to life one of these stories, which is not as widely known as the Grimm’s tales or Alice in Wonderland. The aim of this brief is to eventually create a series of small paperback books each to be sold individually. The target audience for this paperback version will be 5 to 8 year olds. The series will be called ‘Old Folk Tales’. Your illustrations must have an imaginative concept and original interpretation. Aim to capture a classic element.  Your design must address the topic of open mindedness and individuality in a fun and relatable manner. It must have a point of difference from the many other fairy tale books it is competing against.

Format: 5x180x240mm, S - 0.5 W - 18 L - 24cm

In your sketchbook –
·      At least four pages of research on other illustrators that inspired you, photographs, films etc.
·      Thorough exploration of the story. Look at environments, symbolism, concept, overall feeling and mood.
·      Character development for all main characters.
·      Development sketches showing rough ideas, compositional sketches, thumbnails and colour experiments.
·      Develop thumbnails in rough format showing examples of text position; choose at least four to develop further.
·      Experiment with colour using at least two different methods.

·      Sketchbook showing research, development of ideas and thorough experimentation of media.
·      Two fully finished illustrations from two different scenes in the story.
One fully finished design for a book cover, back and spine.

So that is my brief. I will be posting my progress on my blog at least once a week up until the project is completed.


Thursday, 21 November 2013

Drawings Lately

I have been trying to do as much drawing as possible lately, as well as my 30 day a sketch a day challenge I've set myself. I feel like I do need some improvement drawing faces. I find drawing from the imagination quite difficult sometimes but then other times it just flows out of me. I love it when that happens!
For college just now I basically have to write my own brief, which is good in a way but quite difficult because I will have to pick something that I will enjoy and also my course lecture has to like it too.

I did this drawing last night using a comic book sketch pencil. I was inspired by Richy Beckett his pen drawings are fantastic. I especially like his attention to detail, it is painstakingly good. 

I upload every one of my #asketchaday's on my Instagram - @strawberryskulls87

It has got so cold in Scotland lately. Winter is here (sigh). I had to scrape my car for the first time. I have had it for a month now but it seems like so much longer. It has been great not having to rely on public transport to get everywhere. I have got much more confident on the roads compared to four weeks ago.

Nicola x

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Bear Kiss

Girl Kissing Bear Illustration. I did this on handmade paper using watercolour paints and fine liner pen. I was inspired by a story in a book of Swedish fairy tales I own.

Some Recent Instagram pics and more #asketchadays

Sunday, 10 November 2013


I have set myself the challenge of doing a sketch a day for 30 days. So far I am on day 5. I enjoy doodling away, even if it's not a perfect drawing, it's a good way of stretching your imagination kinda thing.

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Sugar Skull Girl

It's getting close to that spooky time of year again! So I decided to paint my face like a Mexican Dia De Los Muertos sugar skull. Just for fun really since Halloween is for dressing up. I don't know if this may inspire you or anything, but day of the dead skulls definitely inspire me a lot, they are melancholy yet beautiful at the same time.

Also last night I went to my friends house for an early Halloween party and dressed as a doll.

Pumpkin I carved in work which eventually went on fire!

Happy Halloween! 

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Bleach London Rant

After reading several tweets and blog posts about beach London and looking at pictures on their Twitter page, I have to say I was pretty excited for the brand to launch in Boots. Various bloggers were testing it out and raving about the products, so there was a small hype around them launching. I can honestly say, I have never regret using a semi permanent hair colour on my hair since I was fifteen! We all did it in our teens I'm sure, but when I bought Bleach London's semi-permanent hair colour in parma violets and tried it on my hair, I ended up with turquoise hair, which faded to green and no matter how many times I washed it, would not budge! I was extremely disappointed and quite upset as I had just had my hair dyed blonde the week before. I looked up pictures of people who had tried it before, turns out they had the same problem. Bleach London have apparently blamed Boots and withdrawn it from shelves. Whether this is true or not I am not 100% sure but I can be sure of this, if you want violet hair, I would not recommend buying Bleach London's parma violet hair dye. Not one bit! I got some advice from a girl on Instagram who had the same problem and she said Bleach London had advised her by email to put pink hair dye in to calm down the green and then it should fade back to normal. I have tried this and it seems to have faded the green quite well.

this was the same day I first put the dye in and I had washed it three times before I took the photo above. Not the slightest bit violet really.
Above pic I had washed it about eight times in two days, green still not faded. The flash doesn't make it look as bad.

After I put the pink hair dye in.

 Thankfully the green has faded, some traces remain but I'm hoping it will fade over time.

If you are a girl reading this, then surely you can understand my trauma. #sadface I hope I look back on this and laugh, just like I did on my high school years when my hair accidentally went green back then.

Thursday, 17 October 2013

What Does the Fox Say

Yeh, so I love the video 'The Fox' by Ylvis so much I decided to do an illustration inspired by it. It's not exactly a fox standing on its hind legs dancing or floating with strobe lights flashing behind it in a forest. It's just a simple watercolour illustration. I have always liked foxes, I may do more drawings of them in the future.

Monday, 14 October 2013

Week or so in pictures

Today I passed my driving test! I was so happy after it was over I was almost in tears. I can't wait til I can get my own car and go about driving myself. Feels so weird saying that.
I was in London a couple of weekends ago for the Steelers vs Vikings game. If you are not in to American football, you would still be entertained by the spectacle of the game itself. It was such a brilliant atmosphere all day.
Also I'm on Instagram! @strawberryskulls87

Monday, 9 September 2013

Down Under

I was in Australia for 3 1/2 weeks recently. I visited Western Australia, Melbourne and Sydney. It was a great trip, I did a lot of sightseeing and shopping!

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Some Shopping

I've decided I'm going to do a proper girly blog post today. I've bought a few things in the sales recently and just a few bits n bobs for my holiday to Oz in less than six weeks, eeek! :)

Boohoo Dress £14.99 

Topshop Dress £32.00 

Crop Top - New Look £5.99 

 White Jumper - Topshop - £15.00 on sale

Purse - Accessorize £15.00

Makeup Bag - Primark - £3.00 

Travel/Toiletries Bag - Primark - £3.00

Sandals - Warehouse - £15.00 on sale 

 Suede Wedges - New Look £19.99

Finally some makeup bits!

I hope whoever reads this post enjoys it, I really like watching or reading about what other girls buy.

Bye for now, Nicola x