Spectacle Spectacles (Relay Week 7)

Using the bright, pastel colours of my edited photo, Fran produced this quirky photo of some bright glasses with an almost wall-painted texture given by the floral image overlayed on the top . Very cool.


I liked the glasses the most, especially the colours going on inside of them. The array of colours reminded me of the colours in a nebula, and I figured I do a similar pair of glasses, but with a nebula reflected in the lense. I also overlayed a stary galaxy over myself as the texture, similar to what Fran did with the flowers. The result is a little cheesy, and maybe looks like the kind of thing someone who just learned photoshop would make, but the inspiration is still there, and I think that gives it some merit.


Today’s tree is my second, but the first I put some consideration to. It’s lacking any solid relationship between the branches and the leaves, with the leaves hanging awkwardly over the top, but I learnt that smaller strokes for the foliage makes it feel more real, and more lush. Good for a first try!


Welcome Back; It’s A Beautiful Day

Today was, without question, the nicest day of the year. It was also, quite fortunately, a day where I had nothing at all timetabled. The weather forecast said 18C, but whether or not it was the long winter changing my perception, it felt damn-close to being a mid summer’s day. There wasn’t a single cloud to be seen, and I actually felt foolish for not wearing shorts for the first time in over sixth months. With no reason other than to say to myself that I’d been outside that day, I went on a walk into town. After a couple hours I came home with only a 20p packet of paracetamol, but that was enough to justify the walk. It was great seeing parks flooded with people again, even for a Wednesday afternoon. Looking ahead at the weather forecasts, it’s likely we won’t have any day like this for weeks, but it was a very welcome reminder that summer is just a couple months away.

Things have been very busy lately, with my first year at university almost coming to a close (I won’t bore you with a ‘it went by so fast’ talk) and my portfolio of work is starting to build. In just three weeks it’ll be over, and once again summer will beckon as it does every year. Before that, I have a lot of things to show and share on this blog that I’ve curated over the past couple months, and plenty of things to announce – ideas, awards, opportunities and so on.

For now, I’ll share one ‘announcement’. I was looking at a mug the other day with a crudely drawn dog running through some streets. The trees on the mug were a certain style of tree. Drawing landscapes, backgrounds, environments, has always been a pet peeve of mine, and I remembered looking at a similar tree and thinking that it was the solution: that a less detailed, but more stylized type of tree could populate my illustrations, since my ability to draw remotely realistic trees is lacking. The foliage can easily be represented as just a circle for a typical deciduous tree, or a series of triangles for an evergreen.


But then I remembered how much I adore some of the illustrations in my favourite books – Calvin and Hobbes (pictured above), The Moomins – all with fantastic drawings of trees and environments that brought the pictures to life, and didn’t just look like some poor piece of Microsoft Clipart. As with all things, practice makes perfect, so what if I drew just one tree everyday? That’s the challenge I want to set myself. I’m certain I can find just ten minutes each day to sketch a new tree, and it should be the start of a healthier relationship between me and my sketchbook. I frequently set myself new habits that I fail to stick to, of course I hope this one will be different, but I can’t make any promises – ultimately I’m a pretty lazy person.

Consider that my first tree, the tree I was never quite satisfied with, and hopefully each tree I post here each day (along with some thoughts for the day) be it hand drawn or digital, will display signs of progress.

Here’s to the coming spring and summer, and ‘turning a new leaf’, so to speak.

Night & Day (Relay Week 6)

Using my illustration of a badger as inspiration (particularly the aspect of night-time) Fran created a really moody piece by layering photographs. I really like how there’s no clarity as to where the surface of the water ends and where the buildings begin, giving it some cool mysterious vibes.


I thought since this piece was inspired by the night, I would create a corresponding but contrasting piece that would be set during the day. Again, using a photograph I took down by a fountain, I was able to create a really vibrant image through layering, increasing the colours and digital effects. It’s very psychedelic, and reminds me of a Tame Impala album cover.


It hardly looks like water at all, but more like paint on a black wall.

Nocturnal Beasts (Relay Week 5)

Taking my previous response directly, Fran created a twist on my newspaper badger, creating it instead with watercolour strokes, solid black and white shapes and elements of typography, adding some ambient information about the badger itself, and a very bold letter ‘B’ residing over the top. I think it turns my work up another notch, and actually making it closer to how I originally envisioned it. Nice one.


I decided to continue the badgery theme and do a digital illustration of a badger sniffing around at night as badgers do. I liked the sharp edges on the badger above, so I wondered what it might look like if I also created an environment around the badger in a similar style. I ended up with a modern story book like page, with some cool night time colours and a quirky looking moon that I’m quite proud of.


Maybe we’ll be off the badger scent next time.