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Round up of recent commissions

 

I’ve been a busy bee with a new course at the House of Illustration, learning how to make children’s picture books alongside commissions and commercial illustration work. It’s been a brilliant couple of months and I’ve loved every minute! I can’t show you the commercial work yet, but here are one or two recent commissions, they make a lovely gift – £100 unframed with background or £120 in a simple wooden frame. Alternatively the portrait illustrations are £45 or £60 in a frame.

 

Sophia in the woods

Here’s a Christening commission I’ve just finished, really enjoyed this one! Little Sophia loves bunnies and her Auntie wanted an illustration of her in a woodland glade, we managed to include her family cat, lots of rabbits, 2 of her cousins peeping out from behind a tree, as well as a rainbow and lots of butterflies!

Christmas commissions are fully booked now, but these make lovely gifts for all sorts of things – Christenings, birthdays, a starting school present…

Poster designs

I’ve designed the posters for our local primary school’s Christmas Fair, and decided to do a kids edition as well as a proper grown up poster to get the kiddies excited about the event. My idea was to do a comic strip style for the kids version, and a light, fun, illustrative one for the main poster.

I love these kinds of projects! Look out for my work up around Rutland promoting the Christmas Fair, and if you’d like a design or illustration give me a shout!

Christmas commissions

It’s been a really exciting few weeks and I’ve got a lovely mixed bag of work at the moment! I’ve been working on a bit of branding and graphic design for a new company launching in Rutland in the New Year, illustrating a Christmas card for a construction training centre and designing a tattoo for the lovely Brooke of Handmade by Brooke.

The best bit has been working on some fantastic commissions – 2 boys in their superhero den, 3 children walking the dog, 2 busy boys biking at Rutland Water, a seaside portrait with someone else’s dog, 2 more boys with their pallet creations in the garden, individual portraits with guinea pigs, rabbits, and cuddlies! It’s been brilliant! And as almost everything is for Christmas it’s all TOP SECRET!

If you’re wobbling on the fence thinking you might just want a Christmas illustration please get in touch soon, I still have a few spaces left for pre-Christmas commissions, but not for long! They really are such a lovely pressie, and I can now deliver to anywhere in the UK, beautifully packed and ready to hang on the wall.

In other news, I have been working hard on my Christmas cards and I’m really hoping to have them printed and ready to buy in the next fortnight… here is a sneaky peak at the work in progress stage… watch this space!

Collage with Mark Hearld

As mentioned in my earlier post about paste paper & marbling, I spent a very happy 2 days earlier in the summer with the staggeringly talented Mark Hearld. We watched him absentmindedly snipping miniature horses from scraps of waste paper with his tiny nail scissors, we rifled through his personal paper stash, piled high with hand printed fragments, calligraphy and paste paper. We listened as he explained the dark secrets of collage, mesmerised by his fluttering fingers which would spring to life producing charming shapes and structures from the most mundane of cartridge paper.

Mark Hearld is truly a magical genius and I would have paid good money to sit in his studio and sit quietly watching as masterpieces flowed from his fingers like he was born to it.

AND he’s married to the lovely Emily Sutton, who knew! And we collect her books, have 5 of her prints, one of which is beloved and up on my daughter’s bedroom wall. Blimey. Literally like meeting a rock star.

Anyway, so I loved every minute, and tried very hard to scratch the surface of collage, but it’s so very difficult to do. A good collage combines light and dark, depth, complimentary colours, paintwork over cut sections, just the right amount of detail, a focal point, and good sticking (PVA). I found the process really challenging, but I absolutely loved it. Here’s what I produced while I was on site, I plan to do lots more, I rushed myself so I’m hoping to make some more considered collages in the studio.

 

Paper making fun

Earlier in the summer I was so lucky to do a brilliant course at Burlingham Hall, which started off with paste papers & marbling taught by the mesmerising Victoria Hall, and ended up with 2 days of collage with Mark Hearld, one of my absolute favourite illustrators and frankly a bit of a genius. More about Mark Hearld later…

Victoria is an incredible paper specialist, she taught a full day of paste papers, which I absolutely loved, there is so much you can do with a bit of flour paste and some pigment, I ended up with reams of beautiful paper treasures and lots of techniques I can progress with here at home. The second day was marbling, which also resulted in a heap of gorgeous paper for me to take home, and lots of new ideas for using the marbling techniques to make large abstract colour compositions. Victoria was fab and really inspirational.

My favourite was the paste paper, I think it would make a great background for linoprints, but I also loved the bold marbling effects with blobs of pure colour – how amazing would these look with a light box behind them?

You can find out more about Victoria Hall and her amazing paper work here http://hand-decorated-papers.com – she is brilliant.

Illustrated scrapbooks

I love illustration and at the beginning of the summer I was loosening up and trying all sorts of new things, one of which was illustrating a couple of scrapbooks as gifts for our lovely reception teachers at my daughter’s school. All of the parents contributed by sending photos of their children and messages, either hand written, written by the kids or sent to me by email to be transcribed. I used my trusty washi tape and my top fave Faber Castel markers to jazz them up a bit.

The books came from Paperchase and I imported some amazing gold felt from the US to do the lettering on the front which looked awesome against the linen.

And even better, I got a commission to do a personalised book for a friend, so that will start next week and I’m really excited to get going with it!

Massive watercolour finally finished!

It’s been an amazing summer playing with the kids and we’ve hardly been at home! Just starting to get back into the school routine now and there are some really exciting projects on the horizon, as well as starting Uni to study Fine Art at the end of the month, can’t believe it!

So the latest big piece was a watercolour based on some photos I took in the Langkawi rainforest, it was great to work on a huge piece of paper (roughly 90cm x 60cm) and I loved using watercolours with pastel pencils and soft pastels to get some really strong colours going.

A couple of other bits I’ve been working on are 2 illustrated scrap books (I’ll post separately about those), some graphic design work and a fantastic collage/paste paper week with Mark Hearld and Victoria Hall which totally blew my mind…

Here are some pics of the watercolour, waiting for some more fixative to arrive before I can frame it up, another one of these in progress right now.

 

Seascape oils

Here are a couple of oil paintings I’ve been working on recently, I’ve included some of the prep work so you can see the idea taking shape. It was a late night thought that began as a very rough sketch on my iPhone before bed…

Then ended up being worked into watercolours, sketched in pastel and pencil and finally went into oils… Here you can see the oil painting taking shape, the third pic is the final piece.

This is the second piece I made, I really wanted to work with a darker colour palette and get a really brooding image. I used several source images as well as working from my pastel sketches which had a real depth of colour in the blacks and blues. I really liked the piece at stage 2 with the lighter blues, but decided to tighten it up a bit and go for the moody pinks, as well as lowering the level of the sea to emphasise the weight of that stormy sky.

 

malaysia sketches