Category Archives: My Sketchbook

Rain and more rain..

For all of you who have been soaked and rained upon in the last few weeks, this is for you.

wet robin176

 

Happy New Year! Here’s hoping it’s drier from now on..

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Birds..

I’ve been doing a lot of birds lately, for one thing and another, so I thought I’d show you a couple.

The first was for a wedding card, loosely based on my ‘lovebirds’ screenprint.

wedding birds147

 

The next picture is a sneak peek for a project I’m doing for Little Printer. These are the synchronised swimming geese..Synchronised Swimming Geese

 

what else could they be??

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‘Love Birds’

‘Love Birds’ (and I do love birds!) is a new print for my Folksy shop. I was thinking of a card design about Love- Valentines Day was approaching and I’ve  been trying to put together some card designs, and this drawing just grew and grew..

love birds screenprint

..until it was just about print size. (The pink doesn’t show up that well in the picture, it’s actually a bit brighter-but not neon or anything!) Being relatively new to screenprinting, whilst cleaning the screen I inadvertently printed the black onto some newspaper. I quite liked it, so I cut it out.

love bird print collage

Not sure where it’s going, but it’s giving me ideas.

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Little Visitors.

Shhh! look what flew into my studio!

I think I may have some more visitors soon..

..half cut Sparrow is desperate to join in!

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Happy Halloween!

I seem to be hitting a glut of birthdays, so here’s some cards..

Happy Birthday Mum,

and Happy Birthday Hels!

This little ghostie was a stamp I made for my kids Halloween party, I quite like the white stamp pad effect.

Happy Halloween, I hope it’s a scarey one!

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Paper Geeky

As promised here is a post about paper. I had happily been using the same type of watercolour paper since college (Saunders and Waterford, Not, 140LB) but since experimenting with other pens and watercolours, I decided to test out some other papers. Here’s the results of my tests. I started by buying a pack of sample papers, (from Lawrences Art shop) I discarded some straight away for being too textured-not what I wanted and useless with a dip pen. In case you don’t know, paper is graded into three types, HP or Hot press -very smooth, Rough is the opposite and very textured, and Not which is inbetween the two. Paper also comes in weights, which here I’ve shown in LB.

On the test sheets, I tested how it was to draw on with a dip pen and how the paint went on and dried. The sheets with fewer experiments on were discarded earlier, where as those with more needed further experiments.

Sheet 1. Arches, RWS, and Fabriano all were very nice and I came back to these later.  The Bockingford papers I didn’t like painting on and RWS 425 LB was just too absorbant.Sheet 2. The two most successful were the Saunders and Waterford papers, (though bizarrely my usual paper didn’t fare so well in the test, but I ignored it a bit on experience!)  The heavier S.W paper was too absorbant.  Archers rough took the paint nicely, but rubbish with the pen. Fabriano and RWS HP papers, I found the paint sort of slipped off.. it didn’t really soak in and wasn’t nice to paint on.Sheet 3. I didn’t like any of these. All hotpress and didn’t take the paint well, it left marks and wasn’t smooth.Sheet 4. More indepth trials on the favourites. RWS white, Not, 300LB. Nice to draw on and the paint went on nicely, but didn’t seem to dry very flat. Arches, 300LB Not, very nice. Paint went on well and good to draw on.Sheet 5. Fabriano 300LB Not. Nice with pen though scratchy. The paint sort of floats on the surface but dries very flat, I didn’t really like how the paint went on.Sheet 6. After trying them all none seemed as good overall as the Saunders and Waterford paper. I then discovered that they do white paper , so two more tests – both 140LB, both white S and W, and there wasn’t much in it! The HP paper was lovely to draw on and took the paint better than any of the other HP papers I tried. The Not worked ok with the dip pen, lovely to paint on .The deciding fact  was that the paint colour seemed denser on the Not and that swung it for me. Very happy with it.

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Some new things..

Its been a couple of weeks since I’ve last posted, and I’ve been trying some new things. I’ve been experimenting with lots of different papers-more on that in a separate post-it could get very paper geeky-if  there is such a thing! I’ve been trying a new pen -Rotring art pen-very nice (but why oh why, does the lid not fit on the end of the pen when you’re using it?? huge error!)

I’ve also been trying to write my own story. Its always been a dream of mine to write and illustrate a book, so I’m having a go. Its a big learning curve, but I’ve lots of ideas and you have to start somewhere! I’ll keep you posted. In the meantime heres some images that I’ve been meaning to add..

 

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New roughs

Considering one of my new years resolutions was to blog more frequently, I’m not doing so well! All I can say is I’ve been busy. I’ve been reworking roughs which I think has improved the book and characters. Heres a few spreads.

A reworked version of the mermaids party- a bit cropped at the left but you get the idea.

This is the pirates surprising the mermaids, with Lazy bones being stolen away by the squid.

One of my favouite spreads in the book-the pirate conga! Much improved from the previous rough.

I’m now waiting on comments from the publisher to either rework or hopefully start some artwork..

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more Captain Bones roughs..

Thanks for all the lovely comments, most encouraging. Here are some more of the roughs I have been working on. I am nearing the end of the first set of roughs, which might make it seem like I’ve done them really quickly.  Its actually taken ages, I only work part-time (being a mum too) and this has been such a tricky project to work on. Tons of research and its all been a bit stop-starty. But although this is the first set of roughs, I’ve reworked and reworked a lot!

Captain Bones 4

We only have a small scanner so there’s bits missing off each side -but hopefully you get the gist! This is about half way through and the mermaid queen is trying to steal her jewels back, only to be surprised by the pirates! Quite pleased with my sword wielding pirates!

Captain Bones 5
This is the following spread showing Sid the squid holding Lazy Bones and dangling him over the crows nest demanding the jewels. Its missing a bit in the middle of the spread so its  disappearing into the gutter.

Captain Bones 6

This spread leaps a few pages and shows the pirates having won the treasure, celebrating by having a party. Its missing a bit at each side. I’ve divided the page up to show more of the action, with text boxes at the top and bottom right.  I’m particularly pleased with the Captains ‘Titanic’ moment!

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Captain Bones sketches

I have failed hugely with my blog so far, so this is my attempt at making more of an effort!

I’ve been working on roughs for ‘Captain Bones and the Mermaid Queen’. Its been a toughie but I am beginning to at last make headway. These are the first two spreads,showing just sections of them. I’ve done more than this- but I’m still tinkering..

Captain Bones 1

This is the first spread introducing Captain Bones and his motley crew on their shipwreck. The boxes at the top are where the text will go. The skeleton pirates were quite hard to characterise as a lot of character elements I would have added for a human pirate were not possible e.g earings and no ears! (but I managed to get them in anyway!)

Captain Bones 2

This is a section from the following spread. It shows the pirates off to gatecrash the mermaids party, Lazy Bones asleep in a barrel and Sid the Squid hiding in the shadows. I’ve tried to show the shipwreck as a cross section (without it looking naff!)

I tend to do quite detailed roughs as I don’t want the publishers to get any surprises  when they receive the artwork. I use concentrated watercolours and so its hard to make any changes once I’ve painted it-unless its a patch, which I’d rather not do unless I have to.

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