Thursday, 4 August 2016

Scene from a story

It’s incredible how quickly I lose interest in my own illustrations. I go through phases of having a good flow going and feeling really inspired. Other times I finish an illustration and don’t even like it or I look back at my work a few weeks later and I can see mistakes or I look at it and think I could have don’t this bit better or that better.

I have been trying to do a series of illustrations in a children’s book style for a story I have in my head. When I sketched this character I was trying to go for a very cute, naive style. This is not my natural drawing style. My mind always wants to try and make objects or people look realistic. But I am trying to stray away from that and draw in a more loose childlike style.

For this illustration I was trying to mimic the style of the first character. I suppose I am inspired by my own childhood as I remember always loving wandering through the woods. I love old folklore and tales of trolls and fairies.

This is the first version. For this I used fine liners, watercolours and pencils. I’m not so keen on the colour scheme in this one, it just doesn’t look right. I like the way the grass turned out though. In the second version I decided to change the trees and add a bit more detail, which I think looks much better. But I’m glad I decided to have another go at it. I feel like the second version turned out better although I’m still not 100% happy with it.

At the moment my plan is to keep working on my water colour skills and sketch sketch sketch!

Sunday, 10 July 2016

Children's Book Illustration Short Course - Preston

Recently I completed a short course on children's book illustration. It was great to stretch my creative side and be in that sort of environment again. It was interesting to get an insight in to the industry of book illustration and get lots of tips and advice. Everybody in the class had such different styles, it was very inspiring.

We were given the task of finding a children's book, typing up the text and swapping with each other in class. This was a good idea because we were not influenced by the original illustrations. I created a double page spread from the book I was given. The book is about a young girl called Nora who is very badly behaved at home. Turns out the character Nora was actually a mouse! In hind sight I kind of wish I made the characters animals. I think my final piece is quite boring. Although my character development has improved. I used watercolours, pencils and ink for the final piece.

I always use my Windsor and Newton watercolour palette. I have had this for about three years and it was definitely a good investment. I am still on the lookout for a good quality set of watercolour brushes and a decent bound sketchpad.

This illustration is Nora dropping her sisters marbles. I like how this one turned out. I did a bit of character development in my sketchbook which helped but I didn't quite get the main character to look consistent.

Trying different techniques was fun.

Overall I would really recommend the course at Melbourne Polytechnic in Preston. If you have an interest in children's book illustration and you are looking for an insight in to the industry, you would definitely enjoy this course. The only thing wrong with it is it didn't go on for long enough.

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Living in Melbourne Pt.2

It was my birthday recently and I was lucky enough to get a lovely new vintage style bike, complete with wicker basket! Now that it's full on winter here it's pretty cold. On a nice fresh sunny day I went a cycle down the east coast of Melbourne. St Kilda to Mordialloc. It was windy. But worth it for the lovely sea views.

I would really recommend checking out Japanese Dessert Kitchen in the Asian district in Melbourne. Also for an 'American style' grilled cheese sandwich, the Prahran market does one that's the bomb!

The bike!

 This book was on display in a cafe at Acland Street and it reminded me of the mixed media project I did a couple of years ago.

I enrolled in a short course on Children's Book Illustration. I wanted to do it mainly just to meet people with similar interests and encourage myself to create more for my portfolio.

And some pretty blue skies!

Me loving the bike.

I am still enjoying living in Melbourne. Homesickness has struck but I just need to give it a bit more time to get used to the new surroundings. There is so much to do at weekends so I am rarely bored.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, 4 April 2016

Warrior King

This illustration is probably the best one that sums up my current illustration style. I actually did the original sketch for this about a year ago on my lunch break in work. I got my inspiration for this from some photographs of people dressed up as warriors with helmets, swords and viking style clothing.

At the weekend we went up to Yarra Valley, done some wine tasting and ice cream tasting. yum!

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Life in Melbourne so far

I have been living in Melbourne for just over a month now. I'm still looking for a place to rent as well as find an area I'd like to live in.

Me at Luna Park the other week. St Kilda beach is a really cool area for drinks, food and quirky shops.

Classic Flinders street station pic with the Eureka sky deck peeking over the top.

I went to the State Library of Victoria in the centre of Melbourne. Huge building, I sat in the main reading room. It was busy but very quiet. If someone was to cough it would echo forever.

Sun Theatre, Yarraville. We briefly wandered about the main street here, it was a nice little area.

Wander round Malvern - another area with the typical small quirky style shops you will find throughout Melbourne.

Lunch, including a Tim Tam milkshake which was ridiculous but amazing! I'm definitely going back here!

One of my recent book purchases - Anne of Green Gables. I've never read it before but I thought it would be a good book to read for inspiration for future illustrations.

 Been trying out a new style of drawing with ink and adding watercolour over the top. This was a first attempt, I think it worked out not bad.

Wednesday, 10 February 2016


We arrived in Chicago on the 2nd of February. It was a huge difference to New York. Freezing cold! We stayed on the Magnificent mile at the Sheraton, which was really nice. On the first day we got some amazing pancakes for breakfast from a place called Wildberry Pancakes. So good! Then we walked through Millennium park to take some pictures of the bean and make our way to the art institute. The rest of the time we did some shopping and got a tour of the stadium Soldier Field. We obviously tried some deep dish pizza but never got round to getting some Garretts popcorn.