Thursday 26 August 2010

& another thing...

Hate to have variations go to waste... Here's my tryout for the birthday greeting in a cooler palette. Decisions decisions...

night all!

birthday bits & exciting things to come...

There doesn't seem to have been the time for blogging over the last few days, but I my pencil hasn't gathered too much moss. I've been scribbling some words for my Jabberwocky story idea, but until the words work I'll hold off on the pictures. I really want to try and do a unique job on this one... If I can get my minds eye for the story out onto the page I'll be happy. But the words need to be solid first! Meanwhile birthdays seem to be a theme.

Firstly a quick email birthday greeting for a friend... A nice opportunity for graphic tablet calligraphy. When I've scrawled reminders to myself of late on scraps of paper they've been increasingly elaborate word doodles. I'm a big fan of hand lettering but it can be a fine line between spontaneous and harmoniously balanced, and cack handed, unfocused and illegible. Fun to play though... sometimes I think my visuals are regressing back to primary school activities. Perhaps not a bad thing, children's artwork is so unselfconscious, vibrant and expressive.

The second pair of sketches are for a little boy's second birthday. His folks saw the painting I did for another lad's birthday (previously & previously) and wanted something along similar lines. Needless to say, little Owen like's his bulldozers and diggers! I'll keep the blog posted on developments.

I got a lift yesterday when Nate Padavick over at theydrawandcook let me know my "marmalade flapjacks" was one of several recipe images picked out by a food magazine to illustrate an article about the theydarwandcook site. Given the plethora of superb artwork on the site I'm delighted and flattered that they liked mine enough to pick it out from the crowd. I'd love to do another recipe, maybe with the same character...? I'll keep the blog posted on developments.

And finally, I hope the Bathroom Lion book I did illustrations and the cover for (details on rebel books site here, here & here) will soon hit the shops... very exciting! I'll keep the blog posted!!!

Tuesday 10 August 2010

The Fearsome Beastie, part the second... finally

How can it be nearly a month since I last posted...?! Time to make amends right now! I was beavering away on this beastie character some weeks back now (previously, on matt's blog...) so I could put together a sample double page spread for the author of the story to pitch to some publishers. With my first attempts at the F.B.'s design I got a little caught up in my shorts. I've also got ideas for another 'monster' project on my drawing board (that's for another day... I hope...) and I was having trouble distinguishing the two characters in my own head. My first beastie designs were also not giving me the facial features I needed for the acting I wanted in the spread. Well, long story short (too late) I pretty much had all the nuts and bolts I needed in my preliminary beastie sketches (the doodle with the lampost had all I wanted for the beastie) so, with a monday deadline breathing down my neck (always focuses the mind) I cracked on this weekend to try and finish the spread. Ok, so I didn't quite make it but, in my defense, I did get the author a 97% finished spread to show then worked on the last 7% yesterday evening.

I really wanted to try and improve my drawing of children on this one. It's something I still find a challenge, to try and get distinct personalities instead of bland generic child 1, child 2... I'm still not sure about the blue skin children shown IN the night time shadows... I might have more of a children OF the night?! I did like the fact that giving them a nocturnal palette shifted attention to the two face beastie in the scene while picking out beastie colours for a limited palette in the children helped to balance the whole spread. Maybe I do need to give the beastie's evil side of the face the same blue treatment... but does that suggest some link with the children which I don't want to convay...?! Decisions decisions... On looking at things this morning the pool of lamp illumination on the floor does need adjusting as it seems to occupy a different plane to that of the dry brush cast shadows... so 99.9% done, 0.1% for tonight maybe. I could fiddle with the image forever (a bad habit of mine) but until there's any interest in the book what I have so far will have to do.

On a colour related note, if anyone reads this perhaps they'd be good enough to pipe up with a comment if they find the images way too dark on their screen...? They look fine on my iMac LCD monitor, print fine but look too 'X-Files' shadowy on another cathode ray monitor I sometimes use, despite my checking all the settings on hardware and software. I'm inclined to believe my iMac screen until told otherwise... Or maybe it's my tired eyes...

By the way all copyright on the text goes to the excellent Giles Paley-Philips

story text © Giles Paley Philips 2010