Wednesday, April 16

LOTR & Red Dwarf Prints & Cards

Hooray! I've finally finished and had printed the Lord of the Rings and Red Dwarf greetings cards and prints that I've been working on the past few months!
I took a few quick photos of them last night. (My apologies for the slightly off colouring of my photos)!

And here are a few close up of a couple of the Red Dwarf characters:

So all together I've created:
  • A6-ish Red Dwarf birthday cards, with the main characters of the show on the front of the card (all of the characters featured are Lister, Rimmer, the Cat, Kryten, Ace Rimmer and Holly) and then some specially birthday-themed Red Dwarf quotes inside the card
  • A5 Red Dwarf prints featuring quotes from the TV show
  • 145mm square Lord of the Rings Christmas greetings cards - depicting Hobbiton, Moria & Rivendell in some wintery scenes
  • 210mm square (if I remember correctly) Lord of the Rings Christmassy prints
  • A4 prints of 5 book quotes I illustrated a while back.

All of them are printed on a lovely textured stock, printed by Ripe Digital.
I'm really proud to have got these done in a reasonably quick time frame, but work does not stop and I'm moving on to the next card-y endeavours! Heres a little sneak peek:

All of the items I've just spoken about should be going up on my Etsy shop soon (this weekend, hopefully)!, so keep your eyes peeled!

Saturday, March 22

Hand drawn diagrams

Just a quick post showing some hand drawn diagram type things I did quite a few months ago now. There is a whole set of them and they are to sit inside a little handbook and compliment the accompanying text. My favourite one is the building of a sandcastle!

I've been working on some fun things in work recently so hopefully I'll be able to post about some of these projects soon!

Saturday, March 15

Durin's Door - Step by Step

I mentioned in my last post that I am working on some Lord of the Rings-themed winter watercolour scenes, and I thought I would show a walkthrough of how I worked on one piece; which is Durin's Door (the entrance to the mines of Moria, or so I'm led to believe).

Firstly, I did some research and collected lots of imagery of Durin's Door as well as pictures of gnarled trees and the like. With this little collection I was able to sketch up this scene...

I did a lot of quick sketches to figure out how I wanted the composition/layout to be, did I want a lot of the trees to be in shot? How close did I want to be to the door? And so on, so in the end I came up with the above sketch.
Once sketched I used my light box to do an inked up version on some watercolour paper (I'm not very savvy on my watercolour papers I'm afraid, I'm in the process of just experimenting with different ones as I go along - I suppose I've not found one I'm amazingly happy with yet)!

The room I work in is extremely light, so I usually waited until night time and worked in the dark so I was able to trace my work properly. (If I worked in the day, I resorted to draping a blanket over the curtains in the room as an attempt to darken it, which works reasonably well)!

The green stuff you can see on the inked version is masking fluid, so I was able to paint large sections (like the background) with ease rather than having to be really careful around the fiddly branches and such. Now having painted the piece, I wish I had used more, don't underestimate how much you are going to need!

So then it was on to the painting, I started with the background first.

I wanted the light from the door to stand out in the piece, and so was careful to make my paint fade to a more lighter colour as I went nearer to the door. I also added a light blue to enhance the ethereal glowy-ness.

Once I had finished the background I removed the masking fluid making up the pattern on the door cause I was too excited to wait to see how it looked!

I then moved on to the trees and basically all the other bits and bobs in the piece, just making sure I painted from left to right (being right-handed) so I didn't put my hand in any wet paint! (I still happened a couple of times though when I was jumping about the piece, but hey ho)!

And once all the paint had dried, I used a tiny bit of dry watercolour pencil to add to the glowy-ness of the door and to add to the lighting cast on the trees and rocks and such. I can't resist adding pencil to any watercolour piece I do cause I just like the rough texture it gives to them, I think it makes them look down to earth and homely I suppose.

So there we go, there is the finished product. Hopefully reading about the process is kind of sort of interesting or maybe even useful to people. Once all of the paintings I'm working on (just Rivendell to go! Woo!) are done I'm thinking of getting so many printed as greetings cards for Christmas time and maybe even a few as larger prints! Phew, and then it'll be on the next project I can think of! I should give myself a break sometime...

Saturday, March 1

General update

Hey ho, I've been busying myself lately and not had too much time to do many blog posts, so this is a quick summary of what I've been doing the past few weeks!

My hard drive failed whilst I was in the middle of re-vamping my portfolio just before Christmas, so I had a lot of kafuffle sorting that out (as well as a lot of tears of despair). I got all of my data recovered, (by a company called Data Clinic) and I was able to finish and print my updated portfolio! Hooray!

And now I'm working on making some Red Dwarf birthday cards (in the same vein as my Star Trek cards) and some traditional Lord of the Rings Christmas cards/prints (you can never plan too early)! So heres a couple of piccy wics:

I'm really excited about these cards because I love Red Dwarf, and I really like the messages that are going inside them. I'm aware Red Dwarf isn't particularly a big trend to make cards for, but I'm just a big fan and I figure there must be other fans out there who would appreciate a Red Dwarf card too.

I decided to illustrate 3 places in Middle-earth in a traditional wintery scene. I thought people quite like their traditional style of card at Christmas, so why not blend tradition with the world of Middle-earth? Depicting landscapes is definitely something I'm not used to doing, but I'm having a lot of fun trying it out! (Especially doing night time scenes as well)!

So after I've completed these two ideas I've got a list of others to be getting on with, so I'm sure I will be giving updates about them in the coming months as well.

I also bought a couple of books for myself recently, one being A Geek in Japan by Hector Garcia, which is just amazingly informative. It tells you all sorts about Japanese culture and traditions, such as their religion, history, family life, work ethic and much much more! I highly recommend it to anyone with a rather large fangirly (or boy-y) love of everything Japan.

And the next book being an Adventure Time graphic novel entitled Sugary Shorts Vol 1. Obviously it is awesome - what particularly drew me to this graphic novel (rather than the mathematical editions) was the variations of style used throughout the book, I love me a mix of styles so this book had to be bought. Plus, bright colours!

I've also been following Double Fine's Amnesia Fortnight, and I suggest you do too! Go Little Pink Best Buds! So want to see that turned into a full game!
Have also played Broken Age which is incredible, but shall not waffle on about that except to say that the visual stylings of it make me drool all over my computer.

So there we go! Update complete! Woo! Now to eat some ice cream.

Wednesday, February 19

Stop Gap Go Animation

About a month ago I finished working on a rather interesting animation involving a potato! This animation was for a company called Mindflow Solutions.

It was really fun to work on, but also a bit of a challenge due to the textured stylings of the animation - which were inspired by the works of Eric Carle.

During the animation, the potato changes shape multiple times, which required me to illustrate each frame of these transitions to ensure they looked realistic (as realistic as a metamorphosing potato can look)!

I enjoyed animating the breathing potato the most!

I really enjoyed working with textures again, as I feel they add a nice homely feel to a piece of work; and it was nice to do some character design. I quite like my little potato character, and I actually felt sorry for him when he was upset in the animation.
I used a mix of Illustrator, Photoshop, Flash and After Effects to make this animation, it was great to get into Flash again as I haven't used it in such a long time, but having looked at a few After Effects tutorials, I would love to learn to animate in that program - it looks so slick!

So there we are, a potato animation! Whee!