Thursday, 28 July 2011

Young Artwork, An Organised Day & Whats in the Box?

Nothing like a beautiful cup of tea to begin the day.
Do any of you remember the other chinese teapot I did a painting of? Well I'll probably be painting this one too. On that note, you'll be able to get your mitts on some prints soon! 
The sale of the prints goes towards my savings for a course in natural history and underwater photography in the Aegean sea where I will be recording and cataloging species for conservation. So it all goes to a good cause! 
I'll be doing a couple of cards, and I'll be doing some A3 prints.
Comment on this post if you have a favorite piece of mine you would like to see in print, and I'll see if I can put it in the print order! 
I estimate that A3 prints will be £20, and A5 cards will be £5 plus p+p (I'm yet to find out how much that will be.) Obviously if you buy more than one item, only one set of p+p! 
I'm also looking into printing cushions too, or tote bags... we'll see!
'We choose not to be free' will be in print again as it proved rather popular last time!

Whats in the box?

The perfect storage box for my gouache collection!
I love cigar boxes, I can always remember my grandad's yellow camel cigar box, and I used to love it, so perhaps I'll start collecting a few, they're rather handy! 
P.S if anyone needs ideas of what to get me for my birthday, a cigar box would be ideal! 
Go here!

Don't steal my idea though! I would be a bit cross!

And here's my masterpiece from when I was little... remember I mentioned a dinosaur with trees on its back? Well its all there. Including a spitting dinosaur (probably the one from Jurassic Park that squirts the big guy in his eyes) 
So I'll have to do my up to date version soon! Excited!

I've had a super productive day, mending clothes, organizing my life, and trying to sort out this print order! 
Hope yours has been as productive!

bye for now!

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Gaiwan, Reminiscing & Beautiful Foods

Well well! What to tell you guys first!
Well, for a start, the ants are slowly taking over my kitchen, which is frustrating and rather unpleasant.

Bad news out of the way and onto the good stuff!
Got my new gaiwan (chinese teapot, steeping pot) from the tea shop today, and it is stunning. I think handpainted in just beautiful detail. Its very fine, so I have to take extra care not to place in in the path of any falling books. 

Oh, this was a progress photo from the painting...

And the delicious tandoori chicken salad with watermelon I made today!
I bought a mahoosive half a watermelon... should keep me going for a few days!!!

I just love how colourful it is. Watermelon, Mango and Strawberries... possibly my favorite fruits. Oh and yellow dragonfruit.

The spice rack of dreams, and all the grains/lentils/beans I could ever wish to eat, plus all the sauces I could ever hope to find a use for. (Housemates, I will make this hopefully less intrusive in the kitchen, but you're welcome to use any of the spices! Sadly not the sauces, as they come from far far away and I can't get any more of them!)

Beautiful flowers that I discovered in the teashop and then later discovered at fox rosehill gardens! Anyone know what they are?!

And the beautiful gaiwan

 And the smashed gaiwan, now resurrect with parts missing... I WILL find them. But I quite like it, its got a good story to go with it and thus more character. I'm hoping to grow a bonsai out of it.

 More new gaiwan in its fancy box with shaped foam

 Christened it with a good cup of Ao Wan Da Roast Oolong 2010.
YUM! Need to get some more of that one.

On that note, I've done a small page (comic layout) of the story of the gaiwan vs love (fashion magazine).
I'm hoping to get it to some standard so that I can actually show you guys and not hang my head in shame. Perhaps some digital colouring eh?

Sorry for a long and picturesome post.
Promise you some more DRAWINGS soon!

surfing tomorrow! Yippeeee

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

50 of you, and you & YOU!

Just a little note to say, 50 of you following me is pretty damn awesome, thank you so much!
Might do a little giveaway when I get my prints back from the printer :) 
Watch this space.

A Plague Upon This House, Gaiwan & Finally!

Wow, what a hectic 2 weeks. I've been full time at my evening job, and almost more than full time at the hotel, so I've been working both jobs almost every day. I've also had a friend down to visit, as he's off around the world for an entire year! He's kindly lent me his longboard for the year while he is away. So happy traveling Ben! I'll miss you, and I'm completely jealous of all the amazing adventures you're going to have! 
I'll link to his travel blog when I get hold of it for all of you who may be interested in his travels across Asia!

Alright, so on top of working myself to the bone at both my jobs, some of you may know I have a third job... no, its not prostitution or anything like that. I'm working on a book called 'When the Tree Flew' by Gabrielle Jonas. 

So here's the second illustration for it! *I'm not doing them in the right order for the book, so this isnt the second illustration, its just the second one I've done*

I call it 'Garbage Mountain' 
Johnny the Raccoon meets a cornsnake who is a professor in human studies and who wants to show Johnny his latest discoveries... at the garbage dump.

black and white 

subdued colours 
(personal favorite)

original painting

 Adjustment to background to make lighter (shows more depth)

Final without bleed
I felt that the ones with more saturated colours just didn't bring across the fact that it was a night scene. As much as I hate to use photoshop to make up for lack of painting ability, I just don't have the time or the know how to go back and correct things like that. 
So lesson learned as I carry onward.

I'm going to try and do some studies on depth in a landscape and see how it comes out. Both night and day scenes. I always feel my images are quite 2d, and never very 'depthy', so I shall have to see to it!

Sadly a fashion magazine entitled 'LOVE' decided that after a year of sitting quietly on my top shelf, that it would kamikaze off and land right on top of my treasured gaiwan (chinese teapot) and smash it into oblivion. 
At times like these I can only raise my head to the sky, shake my fists and shout
'Why, oh why... what the hell are you trying to tell me?!'

also, a plague of ants and centipedes has been sent to the house.

I can only see this as the beginning of some punishment for something I've done wrong along the lines.

On that note, 
duck and cover!

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Fruits of the day, the perfect studio & freezing it out in the kitchen

Hey there!
I've spent the entire day mooching around the house, trying to get work done. Some has materialized but mainly I've set up a small studio/den in the kitchen. It was much better in winter when the AGA was warm and keeping it toasty, as now I'm freezing my toes off. So while it is far better to work in here, I am still no warmer. This is meant to be summer dammit!

So here's my new little workspace 
(for a couple of days before another housemate peace I tell you, no peace!)

I spent the day faffing so much, then decided to draw some raccoons to figure out what they're all about. Its been an indecisive day... to-ing and fro-ing between things I could do. I want to start my fruit bat, but well I cant seem to sit down to start designing the composition, and I'm no expert on fruit bats.
Or I've been wanting to work on my book too. Or, just be plain lazy and do nothing!

I had some company this evening in the form of Jeremy the weevil. He kept me occupied for a good half an hour photographing him and letting him wander around before finding him a good home on the tomato plant.
Jeremy likes colouring too.

This is a sketchbook page outlaying the perfect studio for me. I think it would also be in the rainforest and have a canopy station where I could do observational drawings of wildlife, or just admire the view.
Amongst the things in my perfect studio would be the old spice ad man as my personal vegan chef. Yup. You can tell I think realistically can't you?

Sorry its sideways but I really can't be bothered to go all the way into photoshop and correct it. So you'll just have to crane your necks. Why does blogger not have a photo repositioning tool anyway? Or am I blind?

night night! 
Should have another book illustration for you guys by the end of tomorrow!

Banner! Banner! & Bananner!

I've stepped into the world of blog banners. It feels goooood.
Why did I not do this before?
Ok, enough time today spent faffing around. 
Time to get on with some proper illustration work!

Monday, 18 July 2011

Intolerance, I'll be there & Prints

Paid today! Hurrah, I'm finally out of my overdraft. It only took me nearly a year. 
Damn overspending in Ecuador.
This time last year I was there, and it was probably today that was the last time I saw him. 
Memories oh memories. Still, we live, we learn and we move on.
Do you guys ever miss moments in your life? 

Anyway, enough soppiness,
More sketchbook pages for you all.
I've had a self-indulgent drawing day.
I've been wanting to draw this... for ages. 

And as promised, the list of things I can't really eat anymore
Its working though, I haven't touched any of it!
Ok, I've got replacement non-milk, but thats it :)
Resistance of brownies has been hard. 
But I've just been avoiding places that sell them. Feels good to deny yourself things once in a while.

I also ordered my PRAT portfolio for next year, so that I can put it together slowly as I go along instead of a mad rush at the end. It theory.
I will be doing prints soon, I'm still getting together an idea of which images I want to print. I think the raj will be one of them, and the monkeys another.
Some others inbetween too. Maybe the teacup (I'll still look into making cards) and some other things I dig up that are worthy of print :)

Bye for now!

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Embarrassing Times, Varoom & Goodbye AGA

Today the AGA was switched off for the summer. 
Goodbye fast heater of foods, warmer of toes and scorcher of falafels.

I decided to enter the Varoom! competition.
Initially I had intended to hang from a tree and read it. But sadly, I'm very much lacking in the strength to climb trees and hang by my legs and arms from a branch. So I recruited my slightly unwilling housemate Harry, and off we went! 
Here are the photos, just to embarrass him.
Sorry Harry.

We'll do most anything for prizes. 

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

When the Tree Flew, Sketchbooks & Fat Cat

I may have mentioned before that I'm working on a book,
I'm proud to present the first illustration for the up and coming book
'When The Tree Flew' by Gabrielle Jonas

This is Johnny and Clara raccoon, going to visit Beulah the bald cypress tree in the swamp.  

Original painting (far too blue), so I warmed it up. 
First I put it into black and white to see how the tonal masses where doing.
 Tried it out in sepia, just for fun

 Then decided it still needed colour, so brought back some subdued blues and greens with a warmer undertone. (All tweaking done in photoshop.)

Then had to make relevant changes (giving Beulah some 'knees' as cypresses have) and making Johnny raccoon bigger (to differentiate and because male raccoons tend to be bigger)
Didn't manage to get the exact same adjustment to colours, but its not far off.
Personally I prefer Johnny smaller, as the bigger one interferes a bit with the balance of the objects in the image.
But there we go, ta da!

I've managed to do a fair bit of sketchbooking, so that's been good, a good start to a new sketchbook always makes me happy. 

What doesn't make me so happy is becoming allergic to lactose, and having a nasty bout of hayfever. Every week it seems to be something else intent on making me ill! Get with the program immune system!!!

So I'm going to do a sketchbook page reminding me of all the lovely treats I now can't eat. Hopefully this will bode well for my waistline!!!

S'all folks