Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Happy wokcake day.

Just got this posted before the day is out. Did you squirt lemon juice in your eye then...? For the first pancake day in ages I made pancakes... well non stick wok cakes as my non stick pan is now a stick pan !

Sunday, 22 February 2009

The Moggy & the Magpie. - IF "instinct"

What to do for this week's illustration friday...? The answer was outside my bedroom window. There was a magpie making a racket (more so than they usually do) because an ambitious little black and white moggy was trying to sneak up on it. Instinct told them both how to play the situation... the magpie really seemed to enjoy taunting the mog while it in turn tried to act like a black and white twig and stop it's bell from tinkling. After ten or so minutes the magpie got bored and went higher up the tree while the cat decided to try and get down. Now here is where instinct decided it was also bored and buggered off leaving the mog with a problem! Going up instinct chose all the right branches, coming down gravity decided it wanted to pay a part in the proceedings. It took the cat another ten minutes to try out all the possible routes, psych itself up then inelegantly scramble backside first down the tree!

Forgive the poor photo... I didn't want to go get my longer lens in case it all kicked off! Believe it or not you can just make out the cat's eye in the bottom ring... honest.

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

IF "celebrate" / Happy Birthday Mr. Darwin

Well with Illustration Friday's topic this week being celebrate I just had to work up my Darwin birthday sketch into a finished piece. I know I'm a few days late, but after 200 years I think a few days here or there don't make too much difference.

Monday, 16 February 2009

Ships that didn't pass in the night!

Now the Atlantic Ocean is big (to paraphrase the late great Douglas Adams, it's REALLY BIG... you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemists but that's just peanuts compared to... the Atlantic) anyway, it's general bigliness, it's vastitude, it's very real immensibility being taken as read... just explain to me how two state of the art nuclear propelled, nuclear weapon carrying (did I say nuclear...) attack submarines manage to swim into one another with the whole of the Atlantic to paddle about in...?!!!? (story link here). I suppose the French and British navies will both argue the case that their respective subs are so very stealthy and hush hush that the other sub in question wasn't able to detect it. I think I'd rather everyone with a big red button (16 of them in fact) knew exactly where everyone else with a big red button was... and stay out of each others way!

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Happy Birthday Charlie!

Just got my birthday greeting in before the end of the day! I've really been enjoying all the Darwin programming on TV and radio, especially as I've also been reading a fact/fiction account of Darwin and the Beagle captain Fitzroy which adds a human face to the whole story. I can highly recommend it, "This Thing of Darkness" by Harry Thompson. I wanted to mark the event in some little way so here's a quick sketch... happy 200th Mr. Darwin.

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

V&A Book & Book Cover Awards 2009

Well you've got to be in it to win it but given the other superb submitted covers I don't fancy my chances. If book cover design appeals you could while away a few moments checking out the entries for this years V&A Book & Book Cover Awards (yours trulys Bulgakov covers included... not sure why they have been stretched though...?) It's just a nice buzz to be seen in connection with such great illustration under the V&A website 'roof' :) (Quite surprised they let my submission waffling onto the site as well... ... blah blah blah)

The Curious Book Cover of Benjamin Button / IF "Time" part 2

Went to see The Curious Case of Benjamin Button last night.... too tired to write coherently now but I'll add to this post tomorrow. For now this book cover concept I just had to work up might fit as another post for this weeks IF topic of time... I'd be interested to hear peeps comments on the film and my take on the cover. I read the short story before starting this... if anyone is so inclined to compare film and book you can download Fitzgerald's scribblings here. G'night...zzzzzzzzzzzzz

Morning...well afternoon.

As I was going to say here's my take on the Curious Case of Benjamin Button book cover after seeing the film and reading the short story. I won't go and spoil anything for anyone who hasn't seen/read this yet save to say what you must already know... Ben is born old (the film and book differ slightly on how this is handled) and as he grows up he gets younger. You can probably work out the major story themes for yourself. Do see the film if you have the inclination. As you'd expect David Fincher makes a beautiful piece of work with some lovely touches. There is a great running gag I won't ruin for you... I have begun to really dislike film critics, what are they for exactly except to enjoy the sound of their own voice while they give away the story! If you want to see the film you shouldn't listen to them... if you don't want to see the film there is little point in listening to them...?! Anyway I'll get of my soap box.

Reading the short story, it feels to me there is a slightly different emphasis on Ben's narrative compared to the film. Given it is a short story his life appears more as the traditional three act structure with 'old' Ben and 'young' Ben bookending 'normal' Ben. The film (for me anyway) has more of a continuous flowing narrative... think Forrest Gump (less surprising when you find out both films share the same screen writer Eric Roth). I'm waffling... to cut a long story short (no pun inteded) I decided to take a visual cue from that 'bookending' symmetrical life... hence the paper cut Bens... If anyone is still puzzled the figures on the left with the aged paper are old/young Ben... the pristine figures on the right are young/old Ben.... simple...?! :) Not sure if it comes out on your particular monitor but the background to the cover isn't solid black, there is a subtle felt like paper in a deep burgundy/violet hue. I thought solid black a bit of a conventional cop out and not in keeping with the warm, aged theme which the movies promo mataerials so successfully capture.

I did intend to work on the text a little further. I have a thought to use hand lettering based on the font... possibly with a little button creeping in instead of the O in buttOn. I'm really very satisfied with the overall design although the placement of the authors name on the spine is perhaps a little unfortunate...

Sunday, 8 February 2009

IF "Time" (Sandy's sorry saga)

I was surprised that Illustration Friday hadn't done "time" as a topic before now... No shortage of directions to take the subject into, I opted to go light hearted (that is unless you read in a life is short, make the most of it before all the grains flow away subtext :(

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

IF "Flawed"

Isn't it the flaws which make for a more interesting personality...? What better example of this than Sherlock H... the cocaine, the pipe smoking and the mood swings. Had fun with this one!

Monday, 2 February 2009

The wheels on the wedding bus go round and round...

Needs a bit of explanation this one... I had a great time at a friends wedding over the weekend. The proud groom is English while his lovely bride is from Spain... hence the colours. To put the icing on the cake of a really great day (no pun intended...anyway they had a chocolate wedding cake... I digress) the guests transportation to and from the church was in fantastic old red London Routemaster buses... hence the bus. If things look somewhat bare I version I sent to the happy couple had a congratulatory message on the yellow and white bars. Just a little way to commemorate at grand day out!