Sunday 29 July 2007

"Early Bird Beware."

Could also be called, "Let sleeping Elephants lie".This is a photoshop piece to allow me to plan out colour and composition for a watercolour I'm going to do for a friend's Elephant charity. It's been a fun picture to do, and unlike some, has come from sketch book to finish quite quickly. I decided not to overwork tone on the elephant, just let the texture of the background do the work...(incidently the background is a scan of recycled coffee paper).

Sunday 22 July 2007

Illustration Friday (poem). "Tyger Tyger".

I've always had a hard time appreciating poetry (unless it's Roald Dahl, Spike Milligan or Edward Gorey), but that said I do like William Blake's "The Tyger":

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

and so on...

(& I don't think I've gained "an immortal hand" or eye as a result of working on the image...!) :)

I did another version of this piece a few years back and wanted a fresh look at things now that my working style has changed. With IF having the topic "poem" this seemed as good a time as any to give it another go. You can see the earlier version and sketches for it on my website.

Wednesday 18 July 2007

Illustration Friday "Discovery"

The Elephants continue... Didn't think I was going to have enough time for IF this week but I managed to start this in my lunch hour at work and finish it off when I got home.

Monday 16 July 2007

"Citrus Elephant."

Elephants just keep appearing out of nowhere! In close-up the skin of a satsuma has a texture very reminiscent of an elephant's, and if you peel it right here's what you get.

MTV "Pimp our logo" competition.

Here's my entry for the MTV "Pimp our logo" competition. I'm not at all sure this will be the 'old school' that MTV suggested in the competition details but nevertheless I had a good time doing it and it forced me to use a colour palette I wouldn't have otherwise touched!

Sunday 15 July 2007

MOTEL project, give it a go!

After my drawn posting last week I was delighted to be contacted by Clay Sisk regarding his intriguing online illustration project "The Motel Project", created to promote his short live action film Motel. Clay's asking artists to download a sheet of headed stationery which he's created for his fictional motel and then work with it in any way they see fit.

F is for Fruitbat.

This is the latest in my ongoing animal alphabet. Whenever I have a spare hour or so I do another letter. A-E can be seen on my website. Expect G soon enough...

Thursday 12 July 2007

'dark side of the moon'

Just looked at the blog on my monitor at work, boy it looks dark! Take my word for it there is more detail in the elephant than you might think at first glance (he has eyes and everything... photoshop > levels and all is revealed).

Wednesday 11 July 2007

a link on DRAWN, I'm over the moon! / Illustration Friday "Moon" 2-8-07

The truly wonderful DRAWN has posted a link to my blog! I cannot get over it, my favourite site on the web, and there's my elephant. It's a real honour to share webspace with so many talented people. Many thanks must go to John Martz for the posting, I really appreciate the encouragement and I hope my future work won't disappoint. My thanks also to all those who have taken the time to comment on my work here or on Drawn. I hope to reply to you all but please forgive me if I don't manage to get back to you. Thanks for all the positive feedback, it means a lot.

ILLUSTRATION FRIDAY - "Moon" 8th August 2007

I've done something I sad I'd never do, posted an old illustration for IF. I want to do fresh work every week (the whole point of illustration friday for me) but I just don't seem to be able to find the time this week so here it is, "used illustration, low mileage, one careful owner". Hope you enjoy nevertheless.

Monday 9 July 2007

colour patchwork Elephant

It's amazing as you look at elephants, all the colours that you can find in there. You get all the way from cool greys through paynes grey into pale sky blue, then across the warmer tones from warm greys right through ochre to terracotta. Tonights offering is a quick digial sketch to try and explore this range of colours in an attempt to liven things up a little. I was also aiming for a bit of a 1950's 60's stylized animation feel for no other reason than I like that sort of thing.

Sunday 8 July 2007

Illustration Friday "geeky' (aka. "Chimpanzeethreepio & Gorillartoo")

Here's my offering for IF. This weeks theme is "geeky" so I've combined two of my (possibly geekish) interests in one picture. From my childhood there's Star Wars (just like every other male my age) while the apes are from my fascination with primates. Thinking of the play on primate names / Star Wars charcter names has given me a long list which I might well dip into in the future. A lot of fun to do!

Thursday 5 July 2007

"Toilet Elephant"

I think I've got elephants on the brain at the moment, so much so that I felt compelled to rescue a toilet duck bottle from the rubbish...this is the result of an hours furious snipping and sticking. I like the face, although it does look like he's wearing a mask.

Elephant warm up sketches

I'm working on some illustrations for a friend of a friend who runs an elephant charity ( ). These are todays warm up sketches to get me in a pachyderm frame of mind. Expect more elephants as the weeks progress...

Tuesday 3 July 2007

Bulgakov books on blogs

It's high time I thanked two blogs for their very kindly featuring my work.

Premiere de couverture and The Book Design Review have both posted articles about my cover designs for Penguin books upcoming Mikhail Bulgakov black classics A Dog's Heart, A Dead Man's Memoir and The Master and Margarita (formerly a Penguin Modern Classics cover, as shown in this post). The books should be out September 6th, so more about them then. If you want to see alternative submitted designs for these covers along with designs for another Bulgakov book have a look at my website.

Many thanks to Thomas on Premiere de couverture for his comprehensive post (June 24th 2007) on my three designs together with an illuminating comparison of the cover for The Master and Margarita along side past covers for this book. If you are interested in the world of publishing with an emphasis on book cover design I highly recommend Premiere de couverture. It's still early days for this blog (I can't talk though...) but what Thomas has achieved thus far makes for fascinating reading and bodes well for the future.

Thanks too must go to Joseph on The Book Design Review for his post (June 28th 2007) featuring a comparison of two of the covers, and his allowing me to drone on at (great) length in the comments section to this post about my thought process as I worked on the projects. I cannot praise Joseph highly enough for his fascinating blog about book cover design. Just delve into his archives and you'll find a wealth of material on good book cover design, he has a great eye for a cover!

If you've ever judged a book by it's cover go and check out these blogs.

Sunday 1 July 2007

My header image, not where it should be...!

I spent till the wee small hours putting together an image for my blog header, but despite my best efforts I cannot get the blogger template layout to except my file. So that my work hasn't died in vain I'll post the header illustration and hope it will occupy it's rightfull place in due course...