Archive for the ‘illustration’ Category

I said I’d be back πŸ™‚

These are some of the wooden items that are making it onto my “wood board” – for the particular Lilla Rogers Make Art That Sells course that I’m doing, which has five substrates to do things for. First up, a wooden mask clock. I invented it in Procreate on the iPad with an Apple Pencil and transferred it to Photoshop.

mask for blog

The craft of mask making in Africa is apparently dying out.

The next one, and possibly my favourite, is a box. I think the box would have to be painted and textured and/or distressed (this is only a mock-up) and then the art is applied in decals. It could be hand painted but that would make it more expensive. I used a Rotring Artpen to draw the outlines of the flowers and rendered them in Photoshop with a Grut brush called (oddly!) Ol Butter Bits.

wooden box flowers

The colour palette is similar across all five substrates in the course.

And finally for now, this is a tray with a rectangular applied piece of artwork. The vague pattern was done originally in watercolour scribble (if you can scribble with a size 8 brush!) with an added digital “running stitch” from a brush I made. The flowers were done in pastels. I like reusing artwork!

Screen Shot 2018-07-30 at 18.54.52

Only a rough screenshot – needs tidying up considerably.

This is the palette, by the way.

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The 2nd and 5th from the left are to be used “sparingly”! Plus black is OK.

I hope you liked seeing these. Have a good week!

 

OMG I am so totally failing, all round. The experts talk about addiction to the internet or social media all the time at the moment – it’s even been defined as a mental illness. But mine is not reallyΒ internet addiction. It’s design addiction! And I do it from the interent and assemble in Photoshop.

You see, I’ve been doing the Lilla Rogers Home dΓ©cor course because I want to expand out from Redbubble. This is partly because they have a limited range of goods to put your art on. But also because it’s much better – if you can make the grade – to have a company buy your design and them use their own outlets to sell it! I don’t really have the outreach capacity via my Facebook page to reach enough people who’d want one of my Redbubble designs. It’s nice to have regular but spasmodic sales. But it would be even better to up my skills and find an art director who’d love my work!

Well, therein lies the time crunch. You can either write or you can draw/design – especially if you still work to earn. Β πŸ™‚

Since I use words all the time in my work, I really feel okay now about designing stuff in my spare time. Plus the issue of our ruined spring water supply is solved and we have a shiny new borehole πŸ™‚

This means we now have plumbers, builders and renderers in (thank goodness for this sunny weather), as well as fencers and painters and decorators. It’s like Piccadilly Circus here some days. I’ve snatched a moment to show you one of my sheets for the course. I’d love to know what you think, but have a fab weekend anyway, doing your own thing.

This is the sheet for my composited ceramic designs.

FINAL ceramic layout

The colour palette for all 5 substrates is at the top and this belongs to Lilla’s Farm Fresh trend board. You’re allowed the odd deviation (some different blues here) – but the idea is that the five boards look like they belong together.

The art work is, of course, all my own. I’ll show you some other substrates soon. Honest! I’ll definitely be back before another 10 weeks pass.

Let me say straight out that I found the instructions for making one of these fold-it-yourself books on this site, by the lovely Nancy I. Sanders, who shares so much of her wisdom about writing for children and schools via her many books. Previously, I have made my own dummies in a totally different way – less fun but maybe easier for including lots of pages.

Today I didn’t want many pages. But I did want twice as many as provided by one sheet of A4. So I simply made two and worked out which panels had to be glued together to make them one. This gives 12 mini pages and a cover and back.

And why a small one and not a 32-page picture book? Because I am still interested in writing for early readers or those who will only read something less threatening than a book, and perhaps also those children who like facts more than fiction.

I still had to pay attention to choice of words, and also how to put them on the page, leaving space for some line drawings in ink. And this is only a draft and a trial. But I thought I’d share the link and image, in case it’s exactly what you were needing to know. Chances are you are ahead of me and knew how to do this already!

You could use any layout software if you want to do it in type rather than handwriting – I used Pages on the Mac and deleted the grid before printing. Handwriting is all good though.

If you have children or grandchildren and want to write a very short bedtime story and put a few line drawings in, that would be a great way to do it.

Better still, with slightly older kids, your could write the story together, get them to learn how to fold it (for any future stories they write), and get them to put a few illustrations in! Simple is best πŸ™‚

Here is a picture of my finished booklet.

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Any teachers out there?

A year ago, I kept a concertina art journal in which I jotted everyday stuff via images in pen and wash, with only a few keywords. So not a proper journal. Got one of those already! My PJs appeared, as did the dirty water we live with, the concert I went to (aged rockers they were!) and the first snowdrops. That sort of thing.

But on the way, I jotted down a rhyme I suddenly thought up, which has come to mind regularly ever since. So this week I got it out and drew the images to go with it. I changed a few phrases on the way – things can always be improved – but on the whole this now feels like a done work. Ps There’s a little joke I added to number 7’s image – do you see it??

It would be really useful to teach to Reception-age kids because they could do large arm movements of how the numbers should be drawn/constructed (like playing air guitar!) while reciting the rhyme, and just learn and enjoy all at the same time. It would even make an assembly little demo.

Still, I’m not in schools doing author visits at the moment and not in touch with many teachers at all these days. So I’ll let you enjoy it instead πŸ™‚

Let me know if you like it? It’s so encouraging to hear from you all. (OMG – have a I fallen into the “likes” trap? Perish the thought!)

numbers and words screenshot

Not ‘woes’, as in I can’t, but just wondering how you ever make a picture book sound like a story when you have left significant things to be shown in the illustrations only!

I was thinking this especially today as the SCBWI organisation (for children’s book writers and illustrators) is holding an illustration thingy for picture book stories of just 350 words to be read out and one chosen to be given a critique by an agent. It’s for the whole membership, and only 100 slots are available – from whom finalists will be picked. OK, fine. It doesn’t matter that I can’t manage it. The slots were probably filled two minutes after the competition opened!

But all my picture book texts in embryo form wouldn’t hang together if ‘just read out’. I thought the point was to show not tell!

So – let me explain the latest place where it would be a problem. I got this idea after sketching a little girl with a pencil who is picking up the shavings.

Day 9a girl and shavings

This Β gave me the idea to do a picture book about a girl who is small for her age and doesn’t want to go back for a second day at school in Reception class, aged 4+ (UK schooling system). At one point in the story, there would be this line: ‘But the children couldn’t agree about what made them happy.‘ On the next page there would be nothing but a spread of chaotic children in pairs arguing about how to make the picture they have to make in class. A bit of text, attitude, thought images etc would show it all. But it would sound bizarre to read on, in public, to the next bit, without the public knowing what this spread had shown. So no, I won’t be entering that sort of competition haha.

What I will be doing is making up a dummy to show which illos would go on which page and cutting up text and sticking it in place – and then sending it with the whole manuscript to someone or other to find it’s fortune. Wish me luck!

(Ps I think Jojo bows have gone out of fashion now, so the girl in the story will not look like that sketch I did!)

 

In for a penny, in for a pound, as my dad used to say! So here is my unicorn image and here is a haiku. Another haiku, um, or three πŸ™‚ Can’t choose between them this time. Maybe I should move on to some other poetry form! But I did say I would start writing again in September and maybe I’m easing myself in. That is, to fiction. I’ve never stopped writing factual stuff for journals.

Unicorn screenshot

unicorn moonlit circle

 

I can’t believe I last posted on a haiku and now I’m doing it again. Am I hung up on writing haiku? Badly??

Nope. In between I’ve done some editorial work (both in words and art) and tended to my Redbubble shop. It’s just that now, tonight, after time in the fresh air on a lovely sunny day, I was thinking of how vast nature is and how cramped I feel in trying to put that awe and wonder into words – and the haiku form entered my head.

It started off badly – you know how it is when you fiddle with the words and they don’t come out quite right. So two failed attempts. They went like this:

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In fact they were totally awful haha!

And then the third try hit the itch I was trying to scratch. And immediately I thought of two images I had made on separate occasions that would illustrate this idea nicely.

One, an acrylic nighttime land/skyscape; the other a pensive person watching. So here is the result, amalgamated in Photoshop with the proper haiku superimposed. Feels satisfying to have done this πŸ™‚ Hope you like it.

nature haiku