Thursday, April 26, 2012

Running - the original

Well, I think I just learned something tonight. Check this out - the original graphitint drawing taken with the handy dandy iPhone. The previous one I used was scanned in - not the same quality at all! Something to Google, I guess. The texture of the paper and the tones seem much more present in this version.

This was just a quick one ... I wish I had more time! I traced this one from my sketch book onto watercolour paper. I then coloured it using a graphitint pencil and water. I then added MORE pencil but was too impatient to wet it again! So I have a bit of a rough effect in the darker areas. I then added the footpath, grass and background in Photoshop.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Boy Drawing - watercolour, ink, digital

Well, I pretty much used everything here! I learned a lot from mistakes I made in the watercolour process. I had never used inks before, so I decided to try them ... I thought maybe they would hide my errors! The result was ... well, you see for yourself - the second image is the original. The word 'ergh' comes to mind.

I went to bed a little bit sad (and tired)! But when I awoke, I remembered that PHOTOSHOP my old friend could come to my rescue! It's just a quick fix. Almost passable...maybe...

Original + digital


Saturday, April 21, 2012


In the first picture I experimented with my new Graphitint pencil (Ocean Blue). I bought only two, to see what they were like. The shop assistant guaranteed I'd be back for the rest of the set. She was right, I'm hooked. On Monday morning, those pencils will be mine!

The digital version (second) was done in Photoshop...experimenting with some techniques Will Terry taught me (ok, through his videos!) Actually, after uploading them to this blog I see how lacking in contrast the Photoshop version is. Definitely a skill I'll need to work at some more...

Friday, April 20, 2012

Abacus...analogue and digital?

What is the plural for abacus? Abacuses or abaci??

Anyway, here are two counting machines - one in watercolour, one in Illustrator & Photoshop. To tell the truth, I'm a bit 'meh' about them both, but I'm glad I managed to do these at the end of what was another tiring day. 

Monday, April 16, 2012

Comfy chair - digital

Here you go - against all odds I've produced my first daily digital.

So, which chair is the comfiest?

Comfy chair

Here's the first of what I plan to make a daily exercise. I'd like to do two paintings each day (pretty ambitious, I know!) From the same sketch I'll do one watercolour and one digital painting. I want to do a digital tonight, but it's getting pretty close to bedtime *yaaaawn!*

In this watercolour I threw a bit of salt on the armchair. I experimented with wet-on-wet in the background. It was fun ... and I'd like to sink into this lovely old chair :)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

New beginnings

I'm giving this blog a good shake to the shoulders - wake up! Something's happening!!

About a month ago I decided I NEEDED a hobby. Although saying that I write for children is fun and allows me to hang out with super amazing people at SCBWI meetings, I got tired of repeating the same old line about being too tired to write at the moment. I guess the fact is that although I enjoy writing, it involves way too much rational thought at the end of a long day of child wrangling.

So ... illustrating ... how YOU doin'? Yep, I'm looking at you. I have always been a fan, but considered myself not gifted in that way. Well, after giving it some thought I realised that I enjoy taking pictures that tell stories, so why not try making pictures that tell stories? 

When I really stopped to think about it, I realised that I have some handy stuff in my toolkit that might just be useful. So at the moment I'm using every spare minute to dabble in sketching, watercolour and digital rendering. I feel so excited that I can't really put it into words. It's a really cool place to be.

So if you're out there in blog land and you have some words of advice, please go right ahead and share. If not, I'm just going to be doing whatever I feel like and I'll let you know what happens :)

Oh - and by the way, I am absolutely thrilled to have found Will Terry's online tutorials. So far I've watched How to Illustrate Children's Picture Books and am working through Digital Painting in Photoshop I've also been really impressed with what he has on his blog. I feel like I've struck gold, here!

Here's a picture of the first watercolour I did a few weeks ago. It was finished within 24 hours. I was so proud that I framed it (and learned that stretching paper first is a really good idea - a few wibbly wobbly bits under the pristine glass :P )