Hello! I decided rather late on to do some illustrations for an advent calendar (it’s #adventcatchup on twitter). So I have been catching up, but its been fun thinking up new things each day. So here they are so far..
That’s all for now.. hope they make you feel Christmassy.
I was approached a while back by a lovely lady who really liked my ‘Love Birds’ print (over on my Folksy shop) and wanted it on fabric. I wasn’t able to print it myself and so began an exciting discovery of places that print fabric and how you go about it. Its been a massive learning curve, but very enjoyable and something I am very interested in exploring in the future.
I had no idea about ’tiling’ or how to put together a repeat, and so I armed myself with a great book ‘A Field Guide To Fabric Design’ by Kimberly Kight and learnt from there. It was a very useful book and I can heartily recommend it. Not being particularly techy I started by playing with photocopies and from there realised that I needed something to fill in the big spaces, a second ‘pattern’ was created and added. I’m sure it’s much easier to do it digitally, but I needed to physically play with it.
This is a picture of the very reduced photocopy of the print, so I could play with the pattern.
This shows a tracing paper overlay (told you it was low tech!) with the additional pattern added. The grid helped with placing the pattern.
After looking at many UK companies, we went with ‘Spoonflower’ from the States, mainly due to choice of Fabrics and usability of their site. I’ve only had a fat quarter sample of the fabric done so far, but I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out.
I also had a test of their wall decals done, I don’t think this design would work, but its inspired me to try some others. I couldn’t resist having a play with it though..
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.
The next picture is a sneak peek for a project I’m doing for Little Printer. These are the synchronised swimming geese..
what else could they be??
“Nonsense and Balderdash” cried Sergeant Rock Hard of Her Majesty’s Guard.. “There’s NO Such Thing as a Ghostie”.
This is from ‘There’s No Such Thing as a Ghostie’, written by Cressida Cowell and illustrated by me, way back in 2004.
A lovely thing happened the other day, I was emailed with a link to a blog Creating Misericordia and was delighted to read about how the blog creator , Katy, had made a Sergeant Rock Hard costume for her soon to be 3yr old son. The costume was superb and I was amazed to see how much detail she had picked up on. Very flattered.
So I wanted to do something special for her son. I set about trying to do him a picture of said Sergeant (-surprisingly difficult to try to capture how I painted back then) I hope he likes it.
To go with the witch illustration below and continuing my experiment with big washes and a simpler colour palette, here are the spooky woods from ‘Hansel and Gretel’.
Originally I’d wanted the witches house to be bright and stand out-but it just didn’t work. Rather than start again, I washed out the house and the result, before shadows, is what was left. I think it’s much more in keeping with the rest of the picture. It is a bit odd for me to have a spread with no characters in, but I quite like that you are not distracted by them. As I say, it was an experiment, and there are things I would change for another time.
I know, I know, it’s been ages again..I will post more frequently, I will, I will..
So I’ve been trying to learn photoshop, purely to help with registration for screen printing (and I’ve been weirdly enjoying it!!- I know!)
You’ll all be pleased to know that I have learnt there is a right way to have your wacom pad and if you have it round the wrong way, not only will your pen do everything in reverse, but you’ll also feel very silly.
SO, as a big antidote to all things technical, the paints are out and I’ve been experimenting and getting very excited. This witch is from the story of ‘Hansel and Gretel’.
I’m working on another from the same story. I will post it as soon as it’s finished (promise).
I’ve been drawing Raccoons lately and here’s one that was a tester..
Thought it needed a bit more warmth, so here was the next one. A relaxing Raccoon.
I think he’ll be cropping up again.
Quite pleased with my antimacassar (I have just been informed that it was so called because gentlemen used to use Macassar oil as an unguent in their hair- so an antimacassar kept the oil off the furniture.)
There, I’ve taught you something now.