New Things



So as I might have mentioned, I've been working out a way of doing things that suits me and I enjoy. This is some new work I have produced that maybe has refined my 'illustrative style' a bit.

It is coloured digitally, however I can't really beat my traditional drawing skills, so the line work is all based off of pencil drawings with some ink washes. I've also done some inky backgrounds and added textures. In a way I think it more closely resembles printmaking than any previous work I have made, and I guess that is something I was aiming to achieve. I hope I can refine and develop this style throughout the semester as I continue working. At the moment I'm working on some travel posters which will probably have a similar sort of effect when they are finished.

Here are my illustrations for the Folio Society Competition, where the book to illustrate was Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. I'm assuming they have chosen the winners by now so here is my entry. The book was challenging to read (some complex themes) and even more challenging to illustrate. 

"The bulging flanks of row on receding row and tier above tier of bottles glinted with innumerable rubies, and among the rubies moved the dim red spectres of men and women with purple eyes and all the symptoms of lupus."

"...inevitably he found himself thinking of the embraces in  Three Weeks in a Helicopter . 'Ooh! ooh! the stereoscopic blonde and ahh! the more than real blackamoor. Horror, horror, horror... he tried to disengage himself but Lenina tightened her embrace."

"Uphill and down, across the deserts of salt or sand, through forests, into the violet depth of canyons , over crag and peak and table topped mesa, the fence marched on and on, irresistibly the straight line, the geometrical symbol of trumphant human purpose."

Proposed Binding Design




Blue Bird

Hello all, I've been working on this little piece for a competition through Nokia about snow culture. If you think I should win then go and support me by voting for my entry here :)


Death and the Maiden



I promised I would put some new work up soon. So here is a poster I made for an exhibition at the filmhouse, in connection to a retrospective on Roman Polanski.

The film I got was Death and the Maiden which is based on a play by Ariel Dorfman. I happened to read it in school which was useful as I had already analysed some of the themes and symbolism.

It was difficult to come up with an idea that would make a good image because the majority of the story takes place in just one room, and the importance of the film/play is all in the dialogue (not very much actually happens). I considered doing a text only image, hand lettering a quote, but in the end decided on this. The title of the play that the film is based off of is of a musical piece by Schubert called 'Death and the Maiden', so I attempted to incorporate the fact that it is a piece title this into the design.





Cairngorms Again

Hello friends,

This past weekend I took a trip to the Cairngorms with the mountaineering club. The weather and avalanche forecast was a bit rubbish for winter climbing so instead we went on two very nice walks. Here are some photos. This trip has given me some additional inspiration for the Scottish travel posters I intend on doing as a project this year. I will most certainly be doing one which features the cairngorms and a lovely ptarmigan or mountain hare.





Flight, Bears and Wisdom


I wonder if I'll ever be man enough to do this. Not sure how I feel about the flares or whatever that is attached to their legs. I think the beauty of wingsuit flying is that its so pure, just relying on simple physics and your own bravery to fly, and the smoke makes it kind of look like there's machinery involved. Nevermind that though, still awesome.





In other words, after a short Christmas break where I didn't do much work, (at least nothing that wasn't just for fun) I'm back to being busy. I've been hermitting in my flat for the past few days working on some illustrations for the folio society competition. I shall keep these secret until I finish them.

I mentioned making things out of fimo clay while I was at home, here are some tiny polar bears I made as well. I am thinking of making more to sell so if you would like some, send me a message.


Mamabear and her baby
I can also offer you my wisdom tooth!
 It has magical properties that will make you wise...

The Bleps On Holiday

I might have written about the fact that I wanted to do an illustration project next semester that comments on wild places and the respect of tourism. It would reflect an environmentally concious statement about conservation and well... human interaction with nature, which also involves our impact on the wild.

I've been playing around with some Fimo clay recently (we made some Christmas ornaments for our tree) but I also made some other things and sort of ended up creating another world.

This world consists of several creatures that are not unlike the wild beasts that exist in our own world. These particular ones live in a very fragile environment. They feed exclusively on bioluminescent mushrooms (made of 'glow in the dark' fimo clay) which give them their glowing features and allows them to survive in the otherwise unforgivable conditions provided by these landscapes. Imagine seasonal dust storms so long and severe that you would need to rely on self generated light to find your way around and survive.

Coexisting in this world, are bleps, who once a calm and peaceful species, have taken advantage of every resource and built a network that has finally allowed them to travel outside their native lands, to far away and remote places where they would have never otherwise existed. It might sound familiar...

Unfortunately, when all is going well in these far away places, they are open to tourists who come along for commercial led 'experiences'. Little do these ignorant and careless bleps know what impact they have on this world.

The Bleps

Billy: 'Look Dad! A wild Snort!'
Dad: 'Oh my gravy! I GOTTA get a pic of this'
Mom: 'Billy don't get too close, they could be dangerous!'

A Snort and a Croak feeding on the Bioluminescent Mushrooms
The Blrblblbl is an inherently curious creature
Dad Blep on the 'Arctic Experience' with a Meh.

More related illustrations and things may come out of this if I feel like its worth my time, so I'm interested to know what your opinions are!

Mail-Outs

Here are some mail-outs that I made for the winter season, just to sort of say hello to some people and organizations I think might like my work. First time I've done this so not expecting too much, but if I do get any responses or feedback it will be really exciting!






Drawing Journal - Volume 1

As promised, I am now going to write about the drawing journal, which is actually more like an artists book, but is one of the things I have been working on this semester. The book is hand bound and contains pen and ink drawings that range from big landscapes to delicate botanical illustrations. The cover is a printed linocut pattern which I am very pleased with! I am going to produce a second volume next semester so keep an eye out for that! Here are some pictures of volume one:







New Prints

Some prints I have completed this semester. They are limited edition woodcuts and you can buy them... Send me a message on here or on my facebook page if you're interested.

Wild Blackberries

Pine Nuts

Wild Mushrooms

Panorama 1

Some drawins

Various drawings and doodly things created in the recent past that have some or absolutely no relation to my current work. My favourite is skippy the fat pony ascending into heavenly light.

friends of the forest - preliminary drawings for a poster

an imagined face


a rather sinister looking doodle

shrooms and berries

skippy ascends into the heavenly light
my bedroom window and the creepy shadow

lost in a forest of tiger trees

Stefan Norblin

When I was in Poland I went to the poster museum in Wilanow. They had a rather small exhibition as apparently there was some sort of radiator emergency in the other gallery, but they were displaying some work by Stefan Norblin, an early 20th century painter, illustrator and designer. The gallery showed a range of his broad portfolio which ranged to everything from posters to periodical covers to portraits. He even did a bit of costume design so there were some costume sketches on display. I particularly like his art deco/modernist posters.  Unfortunately I can't seem to find certain images online, so some of these are poor quality snapshots taken with my phone, but I thought the illustration with the windmill (presumably Don Quijote) and the oval shaped art noveau life drawings.








The museum itself is pretty cool and has had some great exhibitions in the past, some of which are archived on their website. I really like the Polish travel poster exhibition.


Rysunki


Greetings from Poland! I have taken a short trip to Poland to sort out some documents and see my grandmothers. Over the past two weeks I have been madly busy trying to get everything done before leaving, so for this reason I have not been able to show you much of what I have been up to. However, now that I have a spare moment or two, I can write all about my secret projects. To start off with, I have been working on some huge pen and ink drawings of Scottish landscapes as research for some large colour linocuts I will be making next year. The project is intended to advertise Scotland's wild places and ties in with some things I want to do next year.

 I'm going to investigate human interaction with nature and find out what makes a place wild. I am intending to approach this openly and make a comment on how people go around in tour buses looking out the window at landscapes, only stopping alongside the road to take photos and talk about how 'pretty' everything is. I sort of want to show that this is almost disrespectful and you can't really get a sense of a place from standing by a road. I also want to look at the other side of things, where hot shot climbers and mountaineers have equally no respect for the landscape, and waltz up to the base of peaks and do climbs only for the grade and the glory. This will involve some experimenting and possibly new three-dimensional paper things... oooooh.

Anyway, enough about that for now, you'll have to keep checking back to find out where that takes me. For now you can see the aforementioned pen and ink drawings. These also make an appearance in my Drawing Journal - Volume 1 which I will write about soon.

Buchaille Etive Mor - Glencoe
Loch Avon - Cairngorms

Sea Cliffs near Flodigarry, Skye





Gola Shoe Designs

Here are all the fantastic shoe designs various artists and designers submitted for our exhibition!













drawing my life away

Here are some more drawings from life. I am planning on doing a bit more experimentation in life drawing this year. I never really use collage and find it quite difficult, but I think it can add some interesting effects and happy accidents in a drawing. I will try to use elements of collage as graphic shapes within a drawing, as that sort of relates to my studio work. For two of these drawings, we were given the task of illustrating a word drawn out of a hat with our representation of the figure. I quite enjoyed this exercise and I was pleased with the result so I might do a bit more of that as well. What do you think?







Belated Blogging


I haven't written much in a while, and I've been so focused on researching and making new work that I haven't really had a chance to scan it all for the purposes of displaying here. Here are two editorial illustrations I did at the start of the term. I am not particularly proud of them, and feel like maybe a lino cut isn't the most effective way of working quickly, as they ended up a bit rushed and unrefined. One is for a book review discussing a book on etymology (the history of words), and the second is for a review of another book about the history of the Battersea home for dogs and cats.





















13 x 13

I have entered the Sint-Niklaas international bookplates and small printmaking competition with two prints. There was no theme to the competition, just that the image had to be smaller than 13 x 13 cm. There was also an option to create an ex-libris for someone but seeing as I did both of these within 24 hours I never got around to it.

The first is a linocut, half inspired by the folk song, 'Big Rock Candy Mountain' and half inspired by the simple life of a Swiss farmer waiting for the cows to come home.



The second is a dry-point inspired by a poem titled 'Sum' by Polish poet, Jan Brzechwa. It is a pun on the word 'sum', which like in English, is the mathematical term for addition, however in Polish it also means 'catfish'.



Jan Brzechwa 
Sum

Mieszkał w Wiśle sum wąsaty,
Znakomity matematyk.

Krzyczał więc na całe skrzele:
Do mnie, młodzi przyjaciele!

W dni powszednie i w niedziele
Na życzenie mnożę, dzielę,

Odejmuję i dodaję
I pomyłek nie uznję!

Każdy mógł więc przyjść do suma
I zapytać: jaka suma?

A sum jeden w całej Wiśle
Odpowiadał na to ściśle.

Znała suma cała rzeka,
Więc raz przybył lin z daleka

I powiada: Drogi panie,
Ja dla pana mam zadanie,

Jeśli pan tak liczyć umie,
Niech pan powie, panie sumie,

Czy pan zdoła w swym pojęciu,
Odjąć zero do dziesięciu?

Sum uśmiechnął się z przekąsem,
Liczy, liczy coś pod wąsem,

Wąs sumiasty jak u suma,
A sum duma, duma, duma.

To dopiero mam z tym biedę -
Może dziesięć? Może jeden?

Upłynęły dwie godziny,
Sum z wysiłku jest już siny.

Myśli, myśli: To dopiero!
Od dziesięciu odjąć zero?

Żebym miał przynajmniej kredę!
Zaraz, zaraz... Wiem już... Jeden!

Nie! Nie jeden. Dziesięć chyba...
Ach, ten lin! To wstrętna ryba!

A lin szydzi: Panie sumie,
W sumie pan niewiele umie!

Sum ze wstydu schnie i chudnie,
Już mu liczyć coraz trudniej,

A tu minął wieczór cały,
Wszystkie ryby się pospały

I nastało znów południe,
A sum chudnie, chudnie, chudnie...

I nim dni minęło kilka,
Stał się chudy niczym kilka.

Więc opuścił wody słodkie
I za żonę pojął szprotkę.