Friday, 15 July 2016

2014 Illustrations

 2014 turned out to be quite the interesting year for illustrations. Or maybe random would be a more fitting description.

I certainly think my skills improved throughout the year which I credit to the previous year’s practice creating miniatures. I was amazed how much that practice paid off and think it shows when I switch to larger illustrations. This year I also happened to create the smallest illustration I have ever made so let’s start there!

Fellow artist Sea Dean introduced me to this niche little movement of postage stamp art. The operation is run by Friends and Faux https://friendsandfaux.wordpress.com/info/ and the idea is that each artist creates an original piece of art, the size of a postage stamp, in the allotted spaces on the reverse and then mails it forward to another artist until all the slots are filled. Once it is complete the postcard is returned to Friends and Faux to be displayed. Below is my teeny tiny addition to the postcard I was sent followed by the postcard as it was when I sent it off to its next destination.


Lion Cub postage stamp
Watercolour markers, Prismacolour pencils and Sakura white gel pen on Bristol vellum card.
Postage stamp, approx. 0.9 x 0.6” (or 2.5 x 1.5cm)


Friends and Faux Postcard ready to be mailed!

Next up is a piece I started in 2013 but never quite got around to finishing, that is until January 2014 when I decided I really must put the final touches to it. Completing the below magpie was very satisfying especially since it had been on my ‘to do’ list for quite some time. I’m not sure why but I really like magpies (aside the awful noise they make) and had wanted to make a larger illustration of one for quite some time. I also wanted the challenge of attempting to draw wings in perspective and boy was it a challenge. I was pleased with how this turned out and it was also well received among my peers.

Even better this image ended up being selected for use by Darcy Nybo in her short children’s story named Emma Jean Finds a Friend, fantastic! More on Darcy and story illustrations later though since that didn’t happen until 2015.


Treasure Seeker
Waterman ink, Prismacolour pencils, Micron ink and Sakura white gel pen on cartridge paper.
Letter, approx. 11 x 8”

The below illustration was created for a monthly competition set out by Colored Pencil Magazine. I recall agonizing over this illustration for a very long time. It took well over a week of short (3-4hr) drawing sessions to reach completion. Oddly, once I decided to draw the line and call it done, I was quite dissatisfied with the final. I think this occurred purely because I stared at it for far too long and because I compared it to the many other artists who drew from the same image. After a time, I grew to love it and now believe it is possibly my best realistic cat portrait to date!

One honour was that Colored Pencil Magazine bumped me into their advanced category instead of adding me to the beginner section as I had specified. I chose beginner because it is very rare for me to work purely in coloured pencil and nothing else. Hey-ho they obviously assumed I was a pro with this medium! Best of all this kitty was matted and framed and has now found a new forever home. I’ll admit I was a touch sad to see it go but also ecstatic to know that the buyers fell in love with the piece – there is no greater accolade as an artist. ^_^


Cat in a Sunbeam
Waterman ink, Micron ink, Prismacolour pencils and Sakura white gel pen on Bristol vellum card.
Letter, 8.5 x 11”

Below is one of those pieces that just seemed to sit on my desk forever. True it is a fairly complex layout but somehow it always got put on the back-burner. The reason for this is probably because I had so much else going on and I knew that this piece could wait. Yes, it’s another story related image! I quite enjoy creating layouts so it was a lot of fun trying to design what a section of the central part of the main city would look like. The large block on the left that has a diamond pattern is part of a huge spiral tower. The diamond shapes are meant to be slotted together pieces of vibrant green glass that shimmer when they catch the sunlight. I’m assuming they don’t reflect enough light to start any fires!! I do hope to eventually colour this layout, perhaps digitally but hey that might take another three years.


Draygun City Layout
Prismacolour col-erase pencils on cartridge paper
Letter, 8.5 x 11”

The below three illustrations were created for an Erotic art show. Now ‘erotic’ would not be my usual choice of subject but I thought it would be interesting to give it a go. I decided not to do anything too risqué, so don’t get your hopes up lol. Racy art really isn’t my thing and of course my mind went straight to my fictional characters. Since I nearly always draw the figures of my characters before I clothe them I figured it wouldn’t be too difficult to do a few shirtless examples. I chose men over women because I figured more artists would draw women and popping a few men in there, even cartoonish ones might balance it out.

We were also asked to add a one-line statement for each entry so I decided to get artsy and make a short poem for each one which I will include under the pictures. Also, yes, these three characters were purposefully designed to look similar to one another.

This first one below is actually a print from one of my original ACEOs that I first created for a theme week challenge in one of the ACEO groups I belong to. I think the theme was either roses or valentines but can’t quite remember. This image was the catalyst for the theme of my ‘erotic’ pieces and dictated which other two characters I would draw. I’m not sure why I decided to take this route because I’m not well practiced at drawing flowers and roses aren’t something I revere trying to render.

The character’s name is Adeth and the print was created using Hahnemuhle fine art paper then embellished using watercolour markers and Prismacolour pencils. I decided to recolour and re-edge the whole image to make the colours more vibrant than the original so that it would better tie in with the rest of the set.


Roses are Red
Embellished Print, Watercolour markers and Prismacolour pencils on Hahnemuhle fine art paper
Letter, approx. 11 x 8.5”

Statement:
Roses are Red and Adeth is blue,
This poet’s hand outstretched
In hopes you approve.

The below character is named Luk. I decided to add a bit of magic into this one with the telekinetic floating rose petals. This character is meant to look a bit sickly, mean and um, well strange since he isn’t the most balanced of personas. I imagine being in Luk’s boudoir would make anyone feel uncomfortable, including him lol!


His World
Watercolour markers and Prismacolour pencils on Bristol vellum card
Letter, 11 x 8.5”

Statement:
Fragile beauty and broken grace,
A fading flower reflects this space,
Stay here he beckons and my world embrace.

Another weird one; the below character is named Kale (yes like the vegetable) and he’s a few to the left of sanity. What I really wanted to capture with this piece was a piercing gaze which I think I achieved. I imagine locking eyes with this character to feel quite intense as though he is looking right into or through you.


Awakening
Watercolour markers and Prismacolour pencils on Bristol vellum card
Letter, 11 x 8.5”

Statement:
Bright night of jagged thorns,
Twisted vines at breaking dawn,
Light once lost, ever scorned,
Awaken now to new ties formed.


Sadly, the show ended up being cancelled due to lack of interest. This last piece however did make it into a different show to which I attended the opening. I recall it was winter and utterly freezing outside so I had on a huge purple duffel coat with my fluffy hood drawn tight to a close. The second we stepped into the gallery I roasted in that coat because it was a packed out with people! I’ll admit I was surprised just how many folks turned out to see the art on display that night and being nervous just made me sweat even more intolerably – argh!

Glad to say I did get to speak to a few of the patrons despite the fact that it was difficult to hear anyone above the chatter. I was asked by one person what the roses meant in ‘Awakening.’ They wanted to know the significance of the vines being threaded through his arms. To this day I don’t have a great answer to that question beyond, ‘he’s an insane and sadistic character that self-heals.’ It was an answer that got a look of intrigue that’s for sure!

Anyway, that’s all from me for this entry, see you again next time :)