Archive for the ‘art style’ Category

While getting my journal through design and to press at the end of a cycle, I am usually wanting a bit of down time. Time without a screen and time without a deadline or responsibilities.

This time I threw some watercolour around on a 12×16″ piece of Cason XL paper. I allowed both hard and soft edges and used a bit of Indian ink too.

loose wc background

Seeing as how nothing jumped out at me to turn it into via negative painting, I then decided I would sketch a lady and flower and cut a stencil from it. I managed to preserve my fingers (I’m useless with a scalpel!) and placed the stencil over the background three times, moving it around and taking a photo each time, and this is the result.

three wc ladies

I rather liked all of them for different reasons. But not wanting to waste the bits I’d cut out, I traced round them onto the watercolour paper, and stuck them on black paper.

collaged lady and flower

And finally, before chucking the stencil out, I placed it on some mid-grey Strathmore paper and pressed white pastel through it.

pastel stencil lady

This proved somewhat messier, but there you go – I had completely unwound and satisfied the itch to create something!

 

I spent some time last week doing pen and wash sketches of various kitchen items and various foodstuffs – mostly cakes and pastries. They are not meant to be accurate, rather an indication. And in the case of the kitchen items, I tried to remove mention of any branding but keep colours close enough that they would be recognisable for what they are.

I owe much to Yasmina Creates for kicking me off on this path although, as she told me, this is the first time she’s seen anything but pastries done in this style! Plus, I imitated her trademark flowery offerings by trying an image in similar style. Is this a style I want to pursue? Who knows? It could come in useful for illustration purposes. I certainly take to watercolour more when it’s used like this. We’re maybe not quite friends yet, but me and my pan sets are getting more of an acquaintance relationship recently 🙂

Eleanor Patrick cakes and pastries

Eleanor Patrick kitchen stuff

flower and wash2

I really believe in the benefits of drawing something every day. I always start with a proper sketch, which I upload to a sketching thread on ArtTutor, or sometimes maybe a few thumbnails for an illustration I’m planning to make. I try to fit in some writing too – and that’s all before breakfast!

But at Christmas, a friend gave me a Moleskine Accordion notebook:

IMG_8357

I’d never had one before but have many times followed Lynn Chapman’s adventures  as a resident artist doing similar things (with greater skill haha!).

So I set about it, documenting bits of my life every few days or when I felt like it. And today I got to the end of the second side. (You work through it one way, then it sort of folds over and you work your way on the reverse until you get to the cover again.)

It has been such a fun journey. Here is one of my spreads from a month or so ago.FullSizeRender 8

I might have to buy another, but then I also need a few other things, like, um, food! Although art does tend to become all-consuming 🙂

My mother always said I was a fairground child. She had reason – I used to like trying my hand at all the stalls. Not that we went to many fairs, but the Girl Guides and the Scouts had them and occasionally one came to town from further afield.

I think I frustrated her because she could see that I had some talent of sorts but that I squandered it (her words!) on getting to grips with many things instead of mastering just one.

Actually, I think this enriches my life. I love learning all sorts of things and getting fun from doing all sorts of activities. But – and it’s a big but – it does mean that while I’m illustrating (and in the zone), I’m fine. Same with writing. But if I’m casually doing one or the other (not in the zone) then I can get seriously distracted . For instance, I had just finished an article illustration done digitally, about the financial sickness of a particular country’s banks, when I decided to do some watercolour! Not for any reason in particular; just some vegetables and fruit for fun. Miniature ones. I’ve assembled them here for you.

wc-fruit-and-veg

White Nights watercolours on Khadi handmade paper

It’s not that they’re bad (for my lowly ability, they’re quite reasonable – and each is only two inches tall) but I know I won’t continue to practise watercolour: my oil pastels are winking at me. And my alcohol inks… So – fairground child indeed!

What I’m thinking of doing is rationing some of my time. Work is work and I must concentrate, then allocate myself some hours or days to simply do whatever takes my fancy among the fairground stalls. For that, I shall call myself Wandering Ellie.

After finishing two very intense weeks of serious work proofreading and copyediting, I got back to a couple of self-imposed tasks to illustrate two articles.

One was intended to honour some of the celebrities that died in 2016 (delayed from New Year – when it was at least relevant! – because my dad died suddenly). The other draws attention to the amazing number of crowdsourced activities currently happening. These seem to range from medical operations to new products to books to activities. Getting the money doesn’t seem to be a problem (the aspect I show here), but getting the market reach afterwards might be 🙂

My favourite of the two, though, is the celeb one – I wanted to show them (I hope you can recognise them!) refusing the die off, and the reaper’s angry look as their legend lives on. I hope you like them. Both started on paper and were coloured and finished off digitally.

crowdfunding-final

 

celebs-who-refuse-to-die-aoi

I really love reading articles. I just so wish I still had time to write and submit. I used to really enjoy the challenges and the successes – and learn from the defeats. Now I am bogged down in editing and proofreading. I enjoy that in a different way. It probably appeals to the little bit of OCD in me 🙂

Anyway, I’ve read a lot this year about the organisation called Birthrights. They seem to have been featured in may publications, probably because there is always a story about a woman who has been poorly treated in pregnancy. (You do seem to lose a lot of control and a lot of basic human rights when pregnant.) And perhaps also because their CEO, Rebecca Schiller, is a good writer and passionate about the cause.

Anyway, I was inspired to create an image that for me sums up the facts of often being sidelined or even completely shut out of the decision-making process when pregnant.

I sketched my own pregnant lady, stylising her and patterning her in both pink and blue (how trad!) in Illustrator including indicating the baby. I imagined the relevant human rights being showered down – so for this I used one of my own photos of a fountain at a famous garden I had visited.  I then drew a maze in graphite and coloured it digitally, and added some sea for it to float on, from another of my own photos. The chain is one of the brushes in Clip Studio Paint. Add a common or garden padlock and that bit was done. (I passed the image into CSP for the chain, but otherwise worked in Photoshop.) I hope you like it.

human-rights-matter-for-pregnant-women

 

I read the news about the latest plan to fine CEOs if their firms conducted unwarranted cold calling. Immediately an image sprang to mind (well that’s what you would want in the heat of a commission, obviously, if it were one!). So I sketched it out.

cold callers.jpg

I knew straight away the pool of tears was OTT and thought I’d better have a few different ideas. I also knew I’d need some snakes and some telephones to make a more accurate image, even if I stuck to my normal hand-drawn, sketchy feel.

So I came up with the idea of a sledgehammer because these callers ‘bash’ you persistently. Trouble was, snakes don’t use sledgehammers – although I reckoned they were okay weaselling their way down the telephone line.

sledgehammer idea.png

I also thought of depicting a woman (it’s always supposed to be old women who are frightened and scared of cold callers!) with the snakes wrapping themselves round her neck while she listened to their hiss (a silent cold call??). Bit far-fetched, that one. The sketch is too awful to show you!

I would have offered the above choices to an art director and been happy to pursue either of them (never offer what you would be miserable doing ever more of!). But as this was self-originated, I worked on the first idea – sometimes the one I’m passionate about it the best to work on. It ended up like this.

cold calling menace.png

The change to a stick person works so much better emotionally. And as usual, I coloured some of the line work and rendered the main part. You can see others in a similar style in my portfolio. Have a good week, enjoying whatever you love doing.