Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Illustrated ABC for Lucy, childrens book K and L and a new page for this book

I've finished illustrating up to Z - so now the covers and then putting the book together in Publisher, printing and binding - nearly done!

I'm putting the illustrations together on a page  - see the tabs at the top of the blog as those not interested in illustration may be getting thoroughly bored with these :>)   So  A-Z is uploaded there.   Covers to follow.


And hopefully some 'serious' painting time soon.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

abc illustrated book - g and h

The book continues - I've just realised I made changes to the G page and forgot to re-write the word giraffe.


It's taking a lot of time but today and yesterday I had time off - family visits and then simply chilling and curling up with a book :>)



Friday, November 25, 2011

abc for Lucy - illustrated book

and F - I did have a union jack there but it was too fussy, so simplified it to the cross of St George.

The end is in view ......

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

abc book illustrations up to D

It's flowing faster at the moment - I'm actually up to K in colour and M sketched out and ready to paint ......

Saturday, November 19, 2011

illustrating a book for a small child continued - abc for Lucy

Now on to B - so many more to go and so little time!

and the original with the print and added text - with typo - it should say big banana not bit!


Only 24 more letters to go plus the covers, plus the putting it together with the writing in Publisher, plus the printing, plus the binding ..... no pressure then.

And the original rough ideas sketch


Friday, November 18, 2011

An ABC book for a small child - continued

I spent some time working on the illustrations for the book for my grandaughter, for Christmas, today.   It's a mix of watercolour, pen and coloured pencil.  And  I suddenly realised the rate at which I've got to work to get 26 letters plus covers, plus put the book together in time .....  I think I'd better get on with it quickly!

I think primary teachers will frown at some of the phonics - like the aeroplane and auntie C.   Some of the words like avaricious are aimed at brother Sam, who is very articulate and will enjoy the big words.  I wanted to bring in lots of family things  and thinking up enough items for the letters isn't the easiest!

This is the A4 sketchbook with the original sketch below and above is a trial print of the page as it will appear with added text.

 You may be interested in the working out ideas sketches here and here  .   Other illustration projects can be found by searching under the tag Illustration.


A sketch still to be developed.

Back to work ...........

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Framing - what frame to choose?

Pollarded willows, charcoal and pastel in limed ash frame or black frame, framed it's about 3ft

Selecting frames is difficult.   The frame can make or break a picture - but it also has to fit in with a buyers house.

I notice this makes for a huge difference in opinions on framing between the US, UK and the continent when discussing framing with friends.  American friends always seem to go for dark dark wood, continental friends like more ornate frames, in England we tend to go for pale, minimalist framing - it so much depends on the surroundings in which they are to be hung as well as the image itself.

Originally I had framed the piece above in limed ash with an antique white (pale cream) mat/mount but wasn't at all happy with it.   I hadn't thought enough about it.   The drawing has a lot of darks with compressed charcoal as well as deep colour, is 'heavy' and the frame didn't stand up to it, seeming too pale and insubstantial.   The pale limed ash, paler than in the photo, didn't echo anything in the image or match it's mood, which is does with the seascapes I do.  I made the decision to go with black for the recent exhibition and liked it much better - it played up the drama of the winter light.

The limed ash  goes really well with the seascapes, as does white. It's very easy to feel that framing must 'match'  when hung together, no matter what the painting.   Sometimes it's necessary to break away into something totally different for the paintings sake.

I think I'll definitely be using black again where it enhances colour and makes it sing against the darkness.   What I'll do in future is limit framing to mainly the limed ash, black or white so that there aren't too many different elements going on.

I experimented with a black frame, digitally,  for the recent still life and like the effect of black with the rich colour, enhancing the glow - one of the reasons I like black as the background to my blog.


Frames need to enhance the image and not compete.   A frame that is too fancy or brightly coloured can mean that you are looking at the frame more than the image.

What do you think?   What influences your framing?  How do you frame?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Incoming Tide, still blue day, mixed media painting

Incoming Tide, Near Porthgwarra, mixed media, approx A4

Working from sketches done plein air and memories  - I felt in need of a virtual trip to the coast.

Sketching and painting plein air really helps to fix colour, movement, the shadows of rocks  underwater, the swirling water around rocks where air bubbles turn it milky and the ripples of incoming waves as the tide comes in on a warm, still day  -  - I want to be there now.

Working plein air is really important to me because of what I remember from  sitting studying a scene and working out how to catch movement, colour and mood.   I can then play in the studio with those sketches and memories, developing ideas from them.  If I simply looked but didn't sketch, then I wouldn't remember a fraction of the information that sketching fixes in the brain.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Pictures from an exhibition

Phew it's all finished - well apart from putting things away.   This was the exhibition with a little group of friends - we meet up once a month to discuss work in progress, critique, sometimes arrange to visit exhibitions or sketch plein air and a couple of times a year put on these shows.   You'll probably recognise the work here.

3 intense days, lots of visitors, lots of nice things said, lots of interesting conversations.

My browser - the portrait behind is the work of one of the friends.


so ...... here are a few images from the show.