Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Week 3 of Making Art that Sells

Hi everyone

Last week, I had an enormous amount of fun working on an assignment where we were given a task to illustrate Hans Christian Andersens, 'The Snail and the Rose Tree'. This is a short story, with the moral story-line: never give up on personal achievement. How relevant! It was a great challenge as I have always wanted to illustrate a book.

This is my final piece. Everything was hand drawn using pens, pencils, watercolours, or painted with acrylics and then scanned and collated in Illustrator.

At the beginning of the process, I developed the two main characters, and I hope you can see the amount of pleasure I had with this assignment through the amount of drawings and sketches I made that covered the kitchen table... and floor? It was an organised mess!

I started the drawing process by looking at the snail and trying to get his character right. He was the hardest for me because I wanted to make him look  'cute' but not loose the shape and character of a normal snail. Below are some of my sketches that did not make the cut.

I have to admit the Blue snail almost made it to the front cover. I feel he is a very jolly little fellow. But, this was before I had read the storyline. He looks too happy and needs to be more grumpy.

Next are the sketches for the border. When we were asked what was our favourite children's book, I immediately knew mine from childhood. The Riverbank Rumpus by Simon Joyner. The detail and quirky little characters really inspired the way my cover developed. The idea for the border was that in the story, the garden is surrounded by hazel bushes, so these sketches are what created the edging on the book cover and they would be inhabited by some little characters that might not be seen at first glance. Look out, there are four of them hiding around.

I hand painted my background using techniques I had developed on the Flora Bowley course (which you can see in a previous post here) and then the final pieces were: the writing (which is a whole post in itself) and the rose tree with the bushy eyebrows. He was the one I had the most fun designing and I hope to develop him further in future projects.

I hope I achieved the rose tree character to look thoughtful and wise but not too scary for a children's book. I love how his character evolved from bushy eyebrows to hairy ears. He makes me smile every time I look at him! I really had tremendous fun in creating this book cover and could visualize a whole book. Maybe one day? Now I must look to this week challenge of orange and green... that I will post about next time.  

Last weeks challenge, I feel, has really brought out more of my personality in the use of different art mediums, rather than just through ink and pen. Thank you Lilla Rogers. Your amazing input and encouragement is bringing out the best in all artists on your course. I cannot speak highly enough about Make Art That Sells. This course is really showing me that by using stepping stones I can achieve my goals.    

I can't wait to have a spare moment to catch up with my fellow bloggers. I have slightly got behind. Sorry.

Until the next time, have a good week. 


Monday, 17 June 2013

Making Art That Sell

Hello everybody

I have been very fortunate to find myself on the e-course 'Make Art that Sells' run by Lilla Rogers, who is an Art Agent Extraordinaire. 

Last week was week two and with the fantastic support of my wife, I have managed to find the time to complete two great assignments.

The course is about helping you to develop your work ready to use in a commercial market.

The first assignment was to develop a vintage kitchen style fabric

I used my own photographs and drawings to help influence the final outcome.

I have not drawn like this for a long time so it was a great exercise.

Assignment Two was to design a set of plates. This was a bit more difficult, but here is the final result.

I would love to know what you think? 

Time for me to start Rinda's 2013 scavenger hunt and the third class assignment commences this week. All I know is that it is book illustration; can't wait!

Busy times ahead at school also as the end of term exams and ofsted (again) are looming.

Take care and I promise to be back soon with a glimpse of this week's assignment about which I am very excited. Can you tell? 


Sunday, 2 June 2013

Creative half term

Hi everyone

Once again, I have not been on my blog for quite some time. Apologies! Exam season has started and this means lots of nervous students and extra paperwork for me, so I was glad of the opportunity to be creative this past half-term week.

First of all, I had a mammoth baking session. The evidence can be seen below and in the delight on my family and friends faces.

Malt loaf and a White Bloomer


and then, home made Croissants - A major job to make, but well worth it.

Secondly, I also had the time to play around with the Gelli plate which I won through the Sketchbook challenge.

I loved using it but feel that I would benefit by having it more accessible to be able to learn more about it. I shall have to find some free working space but what with the baking, and two creatives in the house, that is going to be difficult! I used ink sprays and acrylics mainly but I could not resist an insect or two.

The insect is a mono print painting. There is a video on the GelliArt website (June 28 2012) on how to use it that I found very helpful.

This was an experiment to see if I could add drawing to the prints... I love the colour combinations.

And finally, I have to share these photographs with you. The first shows a visitor to our garden yesterday. This little damselfly is one of my favourites. I think the shape and the delicateness is what appeals most.

The second is a Mural spotted in Chichester when we visited family there. Having known the area for a very long time, it was great to see new large scale paintings and sculptures everywhere. This was our favourite.

Lastly, if you have not seen it yet, Rinda has announced details of this year's scavenger hunt on her blog. I missed the hunt last year but read all about it. It sounds like a great amount of fun, so I have a feeling I will be posting a lot more often in the next few weeks as I participate. If you take part, good luck!

Back to work again tomorrow, but hoping to post again soon.