Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Shrimp Gumbo!

A long and crappy day in my regular day job today so I badly needed something to let off steam and remind me life is colourful and fun! These little shrimps (or the singular as plural if you prefer) have been sitting in my sketch book since I had call to make use of them. Thought I'd let them out and play... I'm happier now.

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Edmund was much happier swimming once he found a way to stop water going up his nose.

I've been playing hooky from the book project for a few hours. I desperately wanted something for the blog and you know when you just have an urge to draw a polar bear in a diving suit... or is that just me...? I've tried the same technique as the previous fly, completing the illustration fully in grayscale first then adding colour over the top. OK I've pulled my punches a little and gone for a more tinted basic colour scheme, but as a way of working I'd love to try it out further. It creates as many working issues as it solves but it's worth another punt I think. Now I see the polar bear and fish cropped in I suppose all I really needed to show was everything below the waterline, still drawing able seaman 'Rusty' and his pump was fun too :)

My usual heartfelt thanks to all who have been stopping by and commenting... and my usual apologies for not reciprocating as I should!

Monday, 1 February 2010


Still busy on the book, and my blogging has suffered as a consequence. I'd love to be posting everything I do but understandably the publishers want to keep their powder dry for when the book is available. I'd also love to take the time out to comment on everyone else's splendid blog works but once I get started panning through the blogosphere for nuggets of pure gold I can loose hours, and I've set myself the task of finishing all 15 illustrations plus cover as quickly as humanly possible, so please bear with me...

In the same vain as the last posts this next is the "Sid The Fly" character isolated from the rest of the illustration (to keep the surprise). Although all the pictures in the book are to be greyscale I couldn't resist trying out some colour on this one and I really enjoyed the way of working, adding colour over the top of full greyscale watercolour texture, plus extra digitally toned work. The final result obviously isn't quite as subtle in the colour variations as true watercolour, but you do have fast, fine, flexible control over your colour choices. I know some painters and illustrators do like to work in this manner, full tone in paint or pencil then colour over the top. This fly trial was very quick to do so I'd really like to do a finished illustration with this new way of working. I might well trial it on the front of the book as the cover uses an expanded version of one of the greyscale interior illustrations. I think it could suit my Jabberwocky plans too... when I eventually start them in earnest!