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Tuesday, 30 March 2021

 New in my shop this week are these Wild Woods risographs.  Click here to go to the shop.

Risographs are an environmentally friendly form of printing. The image is printed using soy ink on recycled 250gsm paper.  It has a similar feeling to a screen print but the printing is done through a risograph machine and so is less labour intensive.  

Friday, 19 March 2021

Book Nook Blue

Another colour_collective.  This time they chose a colour that I use all the time.  This dark blue features heavily in my work. Trying to decide what to do felt odd because I've never noticed how much I use it before.  To do something specifically with this colour felt like pressure had been added.  Anyway, I like the beaver.

Monday, 22 February 2021

Squirrels and wolves and bears, oh my!

I've been playing with symmetry again but this time I wanted to use it as a base for an image, with different parts on each side to show a seasonal shift.  I started again with my stag motif.  I wanted it to feel very Highland but the bears and wolves are pure artistic license.

I've enjoyed playing more with line and limited colour lately. These feel like an evolution of my advent illustrations which you can see here.  

Here is the original pencil drawing  I only drew half and then copied and flipped it in photoshop so I had two sides.  The animals were drawn separately.

The line work was done in Procreate and the colour was added in Photoshop.  
A few close ups.

I'd like to explore line work like this for book chapter headings or cover art but for now it's very new and something I enjoy playing with.

Friday, 12 February 2021

Mirror, Mirror

This weeks #colour_collective fit in nicely with an illustration I did yesterday.  

Final image.

I finally finished some pieces I'd been working on this week, had a tidy and decided to have a day drawing whatever I wanted.  And I had no idea what to do.  What do you draw when you can draw absolutely anything?  I usually revert to animals I like the look of, or things I've sketched before but never explored properly.  I find I think best when I start drawing.  I remembered a badger I'd drawn a long time ago so I drew badgers until I had an idea to make an image using only black and white animals.  

I liked that it looked like a Rorschach test.  I've been playing with Procreate lately and there's a symmetry function I hadn't used before and it's a lot of fun.  It's also so much faster to only draw half of an image.  I usually draw my outlines onto paper.  This is the first time I've really drawn everything onscreen. 

Procreate has a time lapse function so you can watch all the decisions being made in real time.  I finished the image in Photoshop so you only see up to a certain point here. 

Here's the original sketch.

What do you draw when you can choose whatever you want?  Do you have too many ideas or have to work them out on paper like I do?

Wednesday, 10 February 2021


I've been painting up some of my #illo_advent drawings lately.  It's amazing to see the ones which work on a larger scale and the ones that don't.  Or is it because I'm not used to painting so my efforts are still hit and miss?

Each colour layer is painted separately in black gouache, scanned and coloured digitally.  I like using a traditional medium because of the unexpected marks and mistakes it creates.  Flaws.  I like flaws.  When I work digitally I always end up tidying too much.  This is a way for me to loosen up.  

If you happen to be frustrated by your process and want to loosen it up too I suggest playing with a new medium for a bit.  Recently I've been enjoying crayons and felt tip pens in limited colours.  I haven't found a way to incorporate them into my work yet but I've learned to enjoy the lack of control and enjoy the flaws.

Monday, 8 February 2021

This is a little hedgehog I made for #colour_collective  They post a colour every week and you make an illustration of your choice.  I don't often get the chance to join in, and I often struggle with a only colour for a prompt, but this week it was a really nice shade so I thought I'd have a go.  Why a hedgehog?  Who knows.  

I tried to stick to the more limited palettes I've been using lately.  I usually make sure I'm happy with the the drawing and then start colouring but I rushed this one and had to go about fixing it as I went.  Some people work like this all the time, adapting as they go, and I usually make small changes but for this one I was making separations.  Each colour layer was drawn in black so they shapes needed to be right to begin with and they weren't.  It's not a huge problem but it meant the process took longer than I wanted.  I should've taken my time to begin with.  

My top tip, if you work like me, is to make sure you're happy with your drawing.  It'll save time later.