Sunday, 23 June 2013

the minions are coming...

Despicable Me 2 is released later this week and I will hopefully be going to see it sometime next week for my birthday.  Nothing better than saying farewell to your twenties with an animated movie!  I loved the first film so I'm really looking forward to this one.

We watched the first one again last night in order to prepare Dan and he was won over by the minions, I love the minions.

my illustrating process

I always find it really interesting to see how other people work so today I thought I'd quickly share with you my working process.

The way that I work developed throughout my studies at university but it has continued to change slightly over the years and I now have a process that I feel works best for me.

I start with a very rough drawing, usually based on ideas from my sketchbook.  This helps me to work out composition and scale.

I work on a drawing, refining it until I have something I am happy with.  Because my work is based on shape, colour and pattern it is important that this final drawing is right so that all the pieces fit together properly at the end.

I then trace the drawing and transfer the areas that I want to be painted onto stretched paper.

I start painting, filling in one colour at a time.

Once the painting is finished I start adding details and patterns using coloured pencils.

After this is done I cut out paper shapes from my stash of pre-painted papers for the final details.  I then add extra details to these pieces using coloured pencils before gluing them in place

The final touch is to add the eyes.

When I was at university I used to cut out ALL of the pieces.  This took such an awfully long time and some illustrations would have hundreds of pieces to cut out, add details to and stick down.  Pieces inevitably went missing and things would often go awry if I didn't glue things on in the right order.

Over the years I have refined my process, I began painting more of the larger shapes and it felt more like creating an illustration rather than putting together a puzzle.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

from my sketchbook: crocodile dance

Lately I have been having a long hard look at my portfolio and it is definitely lacking in some areas.  As a result I have put together a (rather long) list of things that I want to work on for it.

This week I have made a start and been working on some character development pieces.  I can honestly say I have done very little character development since I left university and I've really enjoyed doing it this week.

I found a piece of work that I did in my second year at university and used that as a starting point for a family of little crocodiles.

Here is a little crocodile dance from my sketchbook.  Hopefully I'll get some time this weekend to start painting these happy little chaps.


I came across #twoodle on Twitter last week when up popped up in my feed.  The hash-tag was created by illustrator Alicia Padron

It's a pretty simple idea: twoodle = Twitter + doodle.  Every week you can join in by tweeting random words along with #twoodle.  Then on a Wednesday you search the hash-tag and choose two unrelated words and create a little doodle combining the words and then share it.

Last week my #twoodle words were squirrel and queen.

And this week I chose parrot and guitar.

You can find out more about #twoodle on Alicia's blog.

It's good fun and also a great exercise for getting you thinking and doodling, especially if you have been feeling a bit stuck and staring at a blank page.  Go on, give it a go.

words of wisdom wednesday #3

Sunday, 16 June 2013

happy farther's day

Happy Father's Day

We'll be spending the day visiting our families today, happy Sunday everyone.

Saturday, 15 June 2013


Do you have a collection?  I thought about this one and while I don't "collect" things, there are things that I have a lot of, so I suppose you could call that a collection.

Some things I currently have a lot of:
  • Picture books: I began buying picture books when I was studying at university and I haven't really stopped since.
  • Momiji dolls: These have been bought for me as gifts and I have now built up quite a collection.
  • Animation DVDs: From Disney and Studio Ghibli - one day I will own them all!
 Recently I have been buying a lot of house plants, succulents in particular.  Succulents are great plants to have as they are easy to look after and there is a huge variety.

I went around a few garden centres looking for succulents but I often found them to be quite limited and very expensive.  It turns out one of the best places to get large, good value succulents from is Ikea.  And their pots are great too.

Another great thing about succulents is, as they grow, you can split them down and get more plants for free!  I try to re-purpose things where I can so I have planted some of the smaller plants in empty Nutella jars.

I am gradually filling up every corner of our house with potted plants and very soon I will run out of room!