Friday, September 27, 2013

Photoshop: Autumn

Today was meant to be a Chester day, but I have misplaced all my sketches, which means my only copy is in London. Terrible chance of events! Well I didn't feel like redrawing all the pages again, so I brought out the tablet and had a painting day.

The process

Here's an unfinished piece in the spirit of Autumn. Inspired by this gorgeous photo.

Trees are fickle

The next painting day is on Monday, I believe. Well... til then!

 This document only has 3 layers

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Typography 1/6

Different people have different opinions; 
Some like apples, some like onions.
To say that this is my first venture into digital would be a lie; but this is definitely the first time I've tackled vector typography, and it's the first time I'm truly happy with those digital paintings. Text and layout were done in Illustrator, paintings in Photoshop.

I may decide in a few hours that this is too bright, even for someone like me who adores bright colours.* I spent a lot of time choosing colours: I wanted a good solid contrast, just like apples and onions, and picked the colours out of the paintings, tweaking the saturation. In the end I went with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's wonderful notion of "3 Good Things" (admittedly he's talking about food!): a limited palette of 3 colours does work in art too.

*I realise that I had uploaded a CMYK document, which is unsuited to web uploads. It has been replaced by the less vivid RGB document.

Related links:




Monday, September 23, 2013

Plans and Deadlines

Typography project; a series of 6 - to be completed fortnightly

Weekly comics - starting October 1st

First of a series; children's book - 31st October (to be published for Christmas)

B.A.A. 2014 animation sting - Deadline November 29th

Christmas presents! - to be sent 30th November

Music Video animation; -

Old Man Kayll; - collaboration for 2014 Spring

Basically my next 3 months are JAM PACKED. But I've organised it all and it at least looks possible!

Friday, September 20, 2013

B.A.A. 2014: British Animation Awards

It has been brought to my attention that the B.A.A. 2014 deadline is November 29th. The brief is to create a sting, 4-25 seconds, must contain sheep! Bonus points if you reference British animation. Well this is a chance to make a mark in the animation world, so of course I'm going to try and churn something out!

I'm always worried about clich├ęs, so I do hope mine won't fall in that category!

British Animation Awards:

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Illustrator: typography!

If you're not hand-lettering, Illustrator is a good way to go. Vectors are so good! Sadly since I only have CS2 it doesn't feel as advanced as the CS5 I was used to at Uni... But! It's just as useful for simple text editing.

Need to decorate those counters (empty letter holes)!

Update 15/9:

Started the next batch of type. Gosh trying to work out some letters was rather tricky. These do still need tweaking! Honestly, that P gave me too much trouble, when the solution was the easiest trick in the book (that's what happens when you think on an empty stomach!). And Illustrator kept crashing (I think the Undo and Copy/Paste cache is full); and I have learned that Scissors do not work if you have grid-locking on - who knew!

Not too shabby for an amateur typographer?

Update 16/9:

Hmmmmgghhhh I fixed the E ad S and now they look blobby and not so angular. I like that shade of green, might take it down a notch. The new text... I do not like so much. I think I'll experiment with cursive text.

Much better!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Photoshop: Onion

In conjunction with my apple, I made an onion. One of my typography projects was the phrase "Different people have different opinions; some like apples, some like onions". So here's the onion part of it!

I did this last night, for a couple of hours before bedtime: lots of blending and minor details.

GIF: the first couple of hours

Half done onion; finished product up soon!


GIF: an hour and a bit later - all the details done!


The trick is to paint, blend, paint, blend, add texture, adjust colours, paint, blend, adjust, paint, blend, adjust...for however long it takes!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Photoshop: Apple

I'm polishing up my digital/software skills! Since I am without a scanner, this is a necessary step.

This is an apple, painted in Photoshop. Over the next few days I'm going to churn out a bunch of digital work; I have plenty of experience with them, but I've been so caught up in my pencils, a big practice sweep is due. These may seem rather... dull(?) projects, since they're technical based, but I hope they're visually appealing.

Shiny version

Non-shiny version

(I should've made a gif.)


Since this will be part of a typography project, I'm opting for the non-shiny apple so it sits nicely against the non-shiny onion.

 I fiddled a little more so it's on par with the onion.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Moving! 2-week hiatus!

I am moving out of London for the winter. 

Instead of heading south, I'm going north! This means limited or no access to a scanner; so it looks like traditional art is on hiatus from the internet! I will of course still keep a sketchbook and I will be using it for a long while - but as far as posting online is concerned, it will most likely be full-on digital.

Moving will take a while, and I will need to find a job - so I'm hoping 2 weeks is all that is needed for focussed job hunting. Artwork will be back when my routine is sorted.

Thank you for sticking around! x

Typography Challenge!

Typography is defined as:
- The art or process of setting and arranging types and printing from them.

I know nothing about typography. I recently saw a great post on type, and was inspired by many funny quips from my podcaster and friend Thomas Kayll. Words have always been a big part of my life - books, poetry, plays; I grew up surrounded by these. My love for poetry translated into lyrics and sonnets, and I began listening to music for the words that resonated more than the beat.

When I put my portfolio together, I realised I had not explored typography. My work is full of mainly-University work, and we had not had much insight into this area. I took it on myself to figure out the basics, and to work with hand-created type.

This was my first venture:

I had a lot of fun with this piece; I did not have to think about fonts as I was copying the brand names. Since I am a meticulous, patient worker, I did have like spending time measuring and making sure the letters were correctly kerned. I think I did alright; but somehow after this, I ignored hand-inked type. When I created books and page spreads with lettering, I used standard fonts for uncluttered reading.

Now, I want to experiment and push this further. I am an illustrator, and it is not unlikely I will be twisting my words in a way that is much more visual. This challenge is a basic one; I asked the public for sentences or phrases from films, poetry, songs... Anything that had meaning, or anything that didn't. I would use these words to gain inspiration and create posters of type. I don't have access to a letterpress, but I can use pencils and paint brushes to create (I hope) beautiful text layouts.


Unfortunately, I am moving out of London for the winter. 

Instead of heading south, I'm going north! This means limited or no access to a scanner; so it looks like traditional art is on hiatus from the internet! I will of course still keep a sketchbook and I will be using it for a long while - but as far as posting online is concerned, it will most likely be full-on digital.

This just means I'm forced to use software - which is not bad at all for learning!