Here the ashes lie undisturbed

Watercolour on paper
8 1/2" x 13"

It conjures up thoughts for me of what stays constant in a changing landscape, and how we can be so attached to a physical location that we literally cannot leave it. And there's something slightly sinister about the text that I find really attractive.

Digging through the archives

I found this in my files this morning and thought I would post - I did it earlier in the fall, around the time when articles were appearing in various media about parents' anxiety surrounding H1N1 in the schools. This is also an experiment in colour for me, an experiment in trying to stay within a certain palette. Editorial illustration is really what got me interested in illustration in the first place - I need to do more of it!

Logos - the No-gos

I'm in the middle of a logo / company branding project and did a lot of preliminary designs - a really fun process in my mind - trying to capture the brand of a coaching service for parents and communities with special needs children of all ages. I'm posting some of the ones we didn't go with, and I'm working on a final design right now (hopefully done over the weekend!)

I actually found it easier to "sketch" ideas directly into illustrator and run with them there, rather than do a whack of preliminary drawings in a paper sketchbook. Now all that's left is to put the finished logo onto a business card, letterhead, envelope, a flyer.... oh geez I'd better get working.

Moonlight Sail

Acrylic on canvas
20" x 16"

Still exploring the idea of a journey on water, light & shadow, creating a mood. Really trying to hone those painting skills - a painstaking, crazy-making task.

Foundation Design: Final Project

Our final project for Foundation Design was to design a shopping bag. We had previously drawn slips of paper with a type of store (Deli, Hat Shop, etc.) and I drew Perfume Store - which, at first, I wasn't all that crazy about. I have only ever owned one bottle of perfume in my life, and it was a free gift from the one and ONLY time I have ever answered a telephone survey. I'm classy like that.

But the more internet research I did about perfume, the more I got the aesthetic; for example, Kenzo is doing some pretty amazing things with their perfume packaging right now.

The name "Yozakura" means "cherry blossom lit by moonlight" in Japanese and it seemed a perfect fit. To be honest, I had already picked the colour scheme long before I thought of the name of the company (hey, when you design everything from the ground up, I think you get to do it in any order you please!) Designing the company logo was a lot of fun.

Yes, it's a wholly impractical bag in a production sense - 3-D flowers would probably make any bag manufacturer unceremoniously show me the door - but I liked the idea of the bag continuing its life as a keepsake, a treasure in its own right.

The only thing you can't see in these photographs is that the black surface of the bag is quite shiny, and there are large hand-drawn flowers that echo the shape of the paper ones and are sort of "embossed" in a random pattern all over the bag.

So I hand the bag in on Friday, and I believe the whole class is weighing in on the mark. Wish me luck!

Portrait Sitting - Girl

It was our last Foundation Drawing I class on Thursday and while our teacher was giving us our final marks one by one, he had this poor girl sitting for the entire three hour class. People would get their marks and just pack up and leave, so by the time class was nearly done, there were only three of us left. I felt so badly for her! But I did get a pretty great sketch out of it. So there.

The Release

Classes are coming to an end; it's hard to believe I only have one more week left. In Illustration class, we were allowed to do "whatever we wanted," so this came out of thinking about boats and the stories that go with them. I am pretty happy with this image and may try to take it over to watercolour at some point.

Flying Mansion

Playing with new sepia-toned ink!

The Stormwatcher

Acrylic on canvas
20" x 16"

Fundraising sketches

I learned me a valuable lesson this week in client/illustrator communication. I did seven sketches of characters for a theatre company's fundraiser and put in about two days of work from conceptualizing to finished sketch (just pencil, not inked or anything), only to have the "this is great, but I was actually thinking...." response. Humbled, I mourned the loss of two good days of work, but then got back into it and pushed past the original inspiration, drawing up three versions of *one* character. Which is what I should have done in the first place. It was a valuable, and very inspiring lesson! Here are the original designs, which I still like (but am also happy with the new sketches). I'll post the three other versions in a later post.

The Sweat poster

What is The Sweat? As bands go, it's a little difficult to explain. But I was happy to capture all of their epic, sweaty rock in this poster for my design class.

Self Portrait

I'm sure there's something meta-navel-gazing (can that exist?) about posting a personal self-portrait on a personal blog, but in my defense this was a project for up it goes. Can I tell you how freaky it is to recognize yourself in pencil? Try it sometime.

Rowboat Adventure

Personal piece
Gouache on paper

Fashion Illustration take 2

After looking at the red dress illustration for a few days, I thought that I hadn't quite captured the look that I loved so much about David Downton illustrations. Hence the blue dress - it's my second attempt.

Fashion Illustration

It's been a really busy few days and I haven't been able to post anything in over a week or even attempt to do a sketch for Illustration Friday, which secretly is alright with me because the last two topics have been really hard! Nevertheless I hope to get back on that train, plus I have a few more ideas for Creepy Robot Love that have been kicking around inside my head that I would love to see on paper.

In the classroom front, the pace of homework assignments have accelerated and it's forcing me speed up the whole concept to finished work process. It's hard, but good.
Here's an assignment from my Illustration class for a fashion illustration.
It was one of the more frustrating sketch processes I've gone through in a little while, but ultimately I'm happy with the result. Even if I she does look a bit like Jessica Alba.

Illustration Friday: Worn

She wasn't surprised to see that the heart she wore on her sleeve was getting pretty worn.
Gouache and graphite.

Creepy Robot Loves To Go Camping!

Creepy Robot thinks his ghost story is going really well - the other camper robots are really frightened!

Poor Creepy Robot.

A different take on drifting

I'm really drawn to the idea of a "journey" lately and this image is no exception.
Apologies to J for not choosing her colouring suggestions!

Pen & ink, coloured in photoshop.

Illustration Friday: Drifting

Now that it's summer, it's easy to drift away...

This was one of my first attempts at using gouache.

Beck (after Riccardo Vecchio)

This is my pen & ink version of a beautiful oil painting of Beck done by Riccardo Vecchio - in my heart of hearts, although I absolutely adore Creepy Robot Love, I want to draw more like this.

And ps. This was done with the chopstick!

Twiggy from memory

This week's Illustration class had us looking at an illustration of the model Twiggy for 15 minutes and then we had to draw her from memory! Pretty hard stuff, but pretty fascinating too. Yeah, I'll admit it doesn't look exactly like her, but I'm happy with the results nonetheless. Today my instructor said that he wanted me to work on my expressiveness and then gave me a chopstick. True story.

Angry Woman gets Inked

This is exactly the same woman as before, now rendered in pen & ink. Seventeen thousand little tiny marks of pen and ink. (Not that I was counting). I think it might be time to move on to another person's face!

I'm also considering a new project called "I draw what I eat" which would be a series of loving pen & ink renderings of meals that I'm about to eat. Either a brilliant way to gain a whole new artistic appreciation of food, or the worst diet plan ever conceived.

Pen and Ink Texture Thumbnails

This was an exercise for Illustration class - practice rendering textures in wood, water, and stone using only pen and ink. I think my favourite is actually the first in the water series, because it reminds me of wet cobblestones.

Illustration Friday: Unfold

Got a bit stumped this week. This was a hard topic! Creepy robot love to the rescue...

Foundation Design: Logo

Logo design for a Metropolitan Zoo

This is my cubist giraffe. As is what usually happens, I'm sure, this was originally my least favourite and most hastily sketched of three thumbnail roughs we had to show our instructor last Friday, and of course it was the one that interested her the most. I had a hard time simplifying it (logos should be clean and simple, easily reproduced) without losing the freehanded-ness of the giraffe. So although I really like it now, I don't know how successful it is as a brand or a trademark. But it says to me (as much as zoos can): modern, metropolitan, ehrm....Paris.....?