Archive for the ‘courses’ Category

I produced all the material required for the final assignment of my London Art College Illustration diploma a couple of weeks ago, and they found it acceptable!! Yay!

But what does that mean? I’m fully aware that the award of an overall distinction by my superb tutor Spencer Hill is meaningless in one sense. If the work I produce in future is substandard, I won’t be commissioned by anyone, however hard I tried to get that distinction. Plus, I need a channel to commit to now. That period of college time is gone; the future is at stake.

But which way to jump? The course took us carefully through six types of illustration, but my preferences obviously still follow my seeming life preferences – which are the same as before: editorial work and children’s books. I think I could slot in here pretty well in an illustrative capacity. If only I maintain a good-enough standard.

So I have a plan for 2016 and will stick to it. I will pursue editorial illustration chances and will also build a portfolio of children’s work – and at the same time be re-illustrating my out-of-print children’s book. I think limiting my options like this will be an incentive and a focus.

So how come I am ending the year still sketching whatever I please? Like this lady in a cafe down south last week (I loved her crutch propped there, and hat with its knitted flower):

cafe lady

And this one of the famous striking clock in Thornton’s arcade, Leeds, that I took a photo of a few weeks ago on a sketchcrawl arranged by a group of members of ArtTutor in the north. I used to live in Leeds, so it brings back fond memories.

Leeds arcade done

Maybe I just like sketching – and that will remain my morning, in-bed activity for sure. And as I don’t believe in new year resolutions, I’ll write the mantra Focus Focus Focus over my desk and hope to stick to my other plans all year – but only after I’m out of bed 🙂

I can’t believe so long has passed since I last posted here. I’ve been deep in work, of course, editing journals for press, but art is a strange thing – when I’m painting, digitally or traditionally, that’s the only time my coffee goes cold or the dinner is late because I forgot the scheduled start time. Time simply ceases to exist for me. I suspect it’s the same for many others too. Is that called being in the zone?

Anyway, I’ve been working on my assignment in between times. I’m way into it now (although way from finished too), so I’ll show you some views of the Little Grey Woodlouse who keeps stealing Vicky’s toothbrush and using it for his own nefarious ends.They’re just sketches in my sketchbook – and actually he ends up with red spots on his jacket,  not green, as he’d be a little dull otherwise. I hope you think he’s ‘naughty but lovable’ enough.

Little Grey Woodlouse comes alive!

Little Grey Woodlouse comes alive!

I also sketched a couple of versions of Vicky and LGW interacting – I’ll need to be able to do that for all the thumbnails I have to produce for this picture book assignment. You’ll notice there’s a size problem. Well, I’ve decided it’s pure fiction and to make the spreads work there has to be a compromise on size. I mean, how would a tiny woodlouse even pick up a human toothbrush? The story premise is preposterous to start with, so as far as I’m concerned they can dance together in joy and I’ll make no excuses 🙂

Vicky and LGW interact

Vicky and LGW interact

Silence reigned on here recently, as you may have noticed. But my pencil and pen and computer (Manga Studio 5, specifically) have been working furiously after that consultation with my tutor Spencer Hill at London Art College. After I emerged from the despair of ever managing!

I have now done the first part of the assignment to the best of my current ability. Granted I don’t read cartoons or graphic novels, I’m just a tiny bit pleased with it.

The words in the balloons and the sandy environment and something being found were given to us, although the hero and context could be anything. I drew in pencil, scanned it into Manga Studio 5 (Clip Paint Studio), tweaked things to be consistent (we didn’t want 4 different rucksacks, three varied walking sticks, and a grand set alternative ears, now did we?!) and then painted it digitally. Watercolour-ish for the background and opaque for the mice. I did try adding a 1.5% filter of noise in Photoshop to make it a bit sandy, but ditched that idea. This is the ‘neat’ version.

The next one requires some original thought by me to invent a one-page story with no hints and rules. It can be illustrated however I wish, in any medium. (I quite like tradigital though.) Since my better half reckoned he could hire and use a JCB after watching one YouTube video (he did!), there is already the germ of an idea emerging!

In the meantime, let me know what you think of this effort? I’m not sure how legible this will be – the original file is huge so this is much reduced.

Part of assignment 5 for London Art College Illustration Diploma by Eleanor Patrick

Part of assignment 5 for London Art College Illustration Diploma by Eleanor Patrick

A mouse dropped by

Posted: August 31, 2015 in courses, learning
Tags: , , ,

Last time, I was telling you how I was stuck with my comic cartoon page I have to do. I finally contacted my tutor about the assignment and got some encouragement. I then decided to do mice not bats (I’m into bats after reading The Silverwing Trilogy), and to have a mouse finding something instead – required by the assignment.

Right now, I’m not too happy that the thing he finds responds appropriately to the initial given wording about having to do something – a father would go willingly. So some tweaking of the idea is needed.

But for the record, I’ve been drawing mice most days in the last week, and at some point this is bound to pay off with the better idea that I need because I’m feeding my brain information that I need an idea on mice! Retinal activation system and all that.

Here are a few to amuse you. Just quick sketches. I wouldn’t, for instance, give the mouse these boots now, but that day I did!

mousie1

mousie3

cheese mouse

How did 12 days pass with no post? I’d best bare all!

For my next assignment for the London Art College Illustration Diploma, I have to move on now to sequential illustration – which includes comic strips, graphic novels, manga etc – anything where you draw more than one image and they follow on and encompass a story element, I guess. Obviously I don’t have to do all of these. There are two parts of the submission to complete, one given to us and one a free choice.

The problem is that I can’t find a place to start.

I’ve been given a skeleton structure of a scenario – briefly it includes a desert, some thoughts, some speech, a variety of shots needed at different times, an outcome. etc All of this can be interpreted in myriad ways – that’s deliberately left to us. Plus I have to produce several sketches of the character to submit alongside the page of panels, any medium, black and white or coloured. Are you now as overcome as me??

I think the block is in the freedom. And knowing where to start. Character? Frames? Story? And do I choose a character I can draw from different angles and distances? Or the best for the idea but maybe less well executed… Have fun? Be sensible? Cartoonish or real? I’m floundering.

Time to consult the tutor, methinks. Distance learning always presents a problem. I mostly do well if left to learn and study and practise and eventually submit. But just sometimes, like now, I need a helping hand to move forward. I think this is the most challenging part of the diploma for me – not quite my thing. The final assignments are around children’s illustration, which will be just my cup of tea 🙂

Anyway, while procrastinating and losing myself in a fog of indecision, I did a couple of pictures:

running girl col copy

Not sure I got her legs to body ratio right!

From a teaching book by Duncan Smith

From a teaching book by Duncan Smith – his was pencil, mine is biro and digital colour

Thanks for being alongside me in my fog for a few minutes!

I get my teaching and inspiration from a number of places at the moment. I just thought I’d mention here that Craftsy has three excellent courses for those who are trying to illustrate for children.

A while back I did The Art of the Picture Book, taught really well by Shadra Strickland. She generously shows us her process, her mini mock-ups and her sketch books, and talks us through the whys and wherefores of illustrating a given text.

Later, I watched Picture Book Illustration, taught by Eric Johnson. We were able to watch him paint his scenes, which was instructive as one of the things about illustrators is they work alone and you’re never quite sure that what you do is considered normal! It was a treat to see him at work and again be told how and why.

Finally, at the moment, I am part way through Doreen Mulryan’s class People in Picture Books: Developing Your Main Character. I found it hard to understand her speech at first but the content is proving good again.

I can’t say the same of all Craftsy classes. I tried a few others because I was tempted further afield than children’s illustrating. But for me, some are too boringly presented to watch. That’s just my personal opinion, of course.

Other art tutors on Craftsy that I really can recommend (if the course suits you, that is) are: Marc Taro Holmes, Matt Rota, Paul Heaston and Donald Yatomi. Many thanks to them too for inspiring me and helping me along.

These are some figures I sketched while watching Donald Yatomi’s concept art class. He starts with scribbles and sees what emerges – so I did too. He then develops them into the kind of character the brief asks for. So obviously he doesn’t develop different ones – they are all on the theme, say, fighters. Mine are, well, varied 🙂

craftsy.com website