Children's Book Illustration: Final Project

Well, it's finished! Sadly, because of the accordion-style nature of the book, it's hard to get a good shot of the thing all assembled, so I have just uploaded the jpeg files.

And of course, once you get it assembled you look at it and decide you want to change a million things, but, oh, it's too late. But! Excellent learning opportunity...

Children's Book Illustration: Final Project Cover

I'm still in the process of making my final project for the Children's Book Illustration class I have. As part of the accordion book, we have to design the front and back covers, and I pulled together this pattern that will be in the background. The little tails! I can't wait to finally assemble the book.

Colour Class: Final Project

Hope you all had a nice weekend! This morning I finished up the final project for the Colour Theory class I'm taking on Mondays. It was a study on complementary colours and how placing them side-by-side will make each colour much more vibrant. I actually think that it's vibrant because I used that pale orange/yellow on such dark paper, but maybe that's just me!

Children's Book Illustration: Cover Project

My assignment this week was to draw and design a book cover for an existing fairytale, and I chose Hansel and Gretel. I had forgotten how dark a story that is, but was also excited to try and draw something with a really strong mood. I also don't draw children a lot, so that was also a fun challenge.


My adopted neighbourhood - and a random assortment of its buildings. Google Street View was the real winner today: what an interesting tool for building references!

You really should know Luke King

When I saw that Luke King's post for Illustration Friday's topic "Breakfast" was of a man with fried eggs for eyes, I knew I had to spend some quality time with his blog.

Messy (I love the ink splotches), delicate, and a little twisted, Luke's pencil and ink drawings are pieces that I could spend hours looking at. Their details are pretty fantastic.

Luke says that he lives in Norwich, UK, and is about to enter his final year of Illustration at University. He says he'd "love eventually to get into narrative areas of illustration such as illustrated books or even graphic novels, but at the moment i spend most of my time focusing on my university projects." Sigh, yes I know that feeling sometimes.

You can see the rest of his blog here and I highly recommend that you take a look!

Birthday Card

I thought I would share a birthday card I made for a friend's 30th this past weekend. The top illustration was the front of the card, with a handwritten line below that said "Well, that ship has sailed"

The bottom was on the inside with "But look what's on the horizon!"

p.s. It was a great party!

In Progress

Here's a little work-in-progress shot of a pelican-type bird for a project due next week for my Children's Book Illustration course. The premise of the story will be four images from a cat's dream. And, don't get too excited, but it's going to rhyme. I know!

No City Fun Posters

My band, No City Fun, will be playing Sunday, August 8th at Bread and Circus in Kensington Market!

You really should know Kirstie Edmunds

Kirstie Edmunds is a children's book illustrator based in London, UK. She was actually one of the first people I started following after seeing her posts on Illustration Friday. I absolutely love her style and the way she draws animals and kids, and so I was doubly excited to learn from her that she is essentially self-taught! She has a background in graphic design (was once an art director for Nokia) but always dreamed about illustrating children's books, and so is now ecstatic to say that she has TWO books on the horizon - one of which is called So You Wanna Be a Rock Star (how cool is that?)

Kirstie said to me in an email that she has "been drawing and illustrating since very young. I work from my home studio, and you can often find me on the balcony sketching and drinking tea (providing it's a nice day of course!)." Sounds like heaven to me!

You can find loads more of her sweet and fun images at her website here, or on her blog Pencil Pocket. Thanks to Kirstie for letting me share her wonderful illustrations!

Sketchbook Project: Pg 12 and 13

Illustration Friday: Diary

I kept a diary for so many years, well into my twenties. Sometimes I miss writing in it - it was a valuable exercise, turning abstract thoughts into sentences with a beginning and end - but after a while I just fell out of the habit. I either didn't have time, or I just really didn't feel like writing. And, like everything you do, when you fall out of practice, it's that much harder to start back up again. Maybe I should start a sketchbook diary...

Bird Collage

This is the best new experiment I've tried! I bought a bunch of paper from De Serres the other day - you know, all of those scrapbooking papers they have over in the crafts section - and scanned them. Now that I've got a bit more of a working knowledge of Photoshop, I can colour them, use their textures, and digitally cut them until the cows come home! Now I just have to figure out what to do with this little bird.


This was a very fun piece to do and was commissioned by a friend of mine from theatre school, Matt Swan. He sent me a list of movies and images that he really liked (film noir, Quentin Tarantino) and then gave me carte blanche to do something for him. I did one little mockup for him and then proceeded on to these five canvases.
It was really fun working on this scale, although difficult to do in my little apartment. I spent a lot of time crouching to paint, standing up to look, crouching back down, etc., etc. But in the end, I think it was worth it.

Now to clean up the living room floor before my roommate gets home, yipes...

Escape from Illustration Island

I'm not cheating - I know I've posted this one before! But I recently saw on Twitter that one of my favourite resources, Escape from Illustration Island, was looking for submissions for Share Your Illustration 3, and I thought I would dust off this illustration. EFII is a truly fantastic website for emerging illustrators, and I can't recommend it enough. The site's founder, Thomas James, posts all kinds of helpful things like "7 Elements of an Effective Portfolio Website" and "Promotion 101". And on top of being a freelance illustrator, Thomas ALSO (where does he find the time) hosts a podcast where he interviews other illustrators, art directors, and agents, and talks about what it was like for them when they were starting out, what do art directors look for in freelance illustrators, etc. It's great, period.

I decided also to make a few changes to the original image, namely, by taking away the text and adding in the upper part of the highway, which I think is a bit more effective.

In Progress

Here's a small (9" x 12") work in progress that I am developing out of a sketch that I did for The Sketchbook Project. Right now I'm playing with doing the lion's share of the image in pencil, and maybe work on a gouache, very earth-toned background. I really like these women, especially the one in middle (hard to see) who's smoking a pipe.

Sketchbook Project : Pages 10 & 11

You really should know Sam Caldwell

I've been participating in Illustration Friday on and off for the better part of a year, and through the site I've stumbled on some truly amazing artists and have devoured their blogs and images. I thought it might be time to start sharing their work on a semi-regular basis, and not just greedily keep them all to myself.

So, here's Sam Caldwell:

Sam is 19, he lives in Bolton, England, and has a lovely blog called Umbrella Head where he shares more wonderful images like these ones. I love the textures he creates out of simple pencil lines and brush strokes, and am slightly mad about his colours. He is going to art college in Edinburgh in the fall to focus on painting and illustration, and I wish him all the best.
Here's a small sketch that I did when I should have been paying attention in Colour class last night. You might be able to read into the text that I wished I was somewhere else....

This drawing only makes me wish that I had a better scanner. This is the result after several hours of cleaning up in Photoshop, and can still see areas of grey that I would like to clean.

I'm not sure how I'm going to take this into colour, but I see potential in this image.

Illustration Friday: Giant

Sometimes I feel like my "style" is always changing, and sometimes I think that it's just that I'm using different media and tools. This is a pencil drawing that was scanned and painted in Photoshop, a program that I don't reeaalllly know how to use properly, but I'm having fun playing around with it.

Oh boy oh boy

I don't know if you remember, but last month I blogged about submitting an illustration to Uppercase Magazine when they asked their readers to illustrate their creative workspaces. Well, look what came in the mail...

It's terribly exciting, even if it is just a reader submission page. I really love Uppercase Magazine and their aesthetic and I love seeing what the other readers submitted as well! And, I have to be honest, it does give me a little boost of encouragement that I can continue on this path...