Thursday, 8 December 2011

Limited Edition ~ W.i.P

A few work-in-progress photos of my 'Limited Edition' project for Uni.
Decided to make a series of 50, and use four different colours of card; cream, yellow, green and blue (decided on these as they correspond to the four seasons), and I'll be numbering each one, and putting them in a little CD-sized holder to keep them flat - which I'm currently working on... pics soon, possibly :3 
(Sorry for bad photos being bad! No natural light in my room in Winter... 

It's been such a big job, and I've wasted SO MANY ink cartridges and loads of card in the progress... took me an age to get the measurements right, as the template I was using was ever-so-slightly and annoyingly wonky... but thankfully, everything's turned out chocolatey. Actually rather happy with a project outcome, for once!


Soph x

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Details of An Odd Week & Some New Work

For my new Uni brief 'Limited Edition', we have to produce 10 artist books loosely based around a given theme. Mine was 'Two Side Story', which I was really happy with! I looked at lots of different ideas, but finally I've settled on creating a selection of infinity cards, based around a woodland or forest animal theme (because I just felt like drawing loads of animals for this one! <.<) Still in the process of doing the drawings for it, but I wanted to share a bit of the work so far...


These were a couple of paintings I did for my first idea - I was going to create a circular book and have a forest scene inside each panel . When the book was to be opened, I was going to have a view of the forest from above, complete with little lakes and hints of animals creeping about within (...which should make sense if you view this video). I tried editing the colours on GIMP a bit, to see if they looked any better ~


I wasn't really happy with any of them in the end, or the idea in general really (and my failed method of painting over masking tape was a lesson hard learned!), so I didn't finish the others, and instead decided to look more into the mathematical wonder that are infinity cards and use a simpler, more stylized way of drawing ~

Animals that are awake in the day...
...and animals that are awake at night!

I'm quite pleased with how things are going with this style, people seem to be liking it and it's much more fun and simple than painting..! More updates on the book project to come :)

It's been a bit of a strange week this week, really...

On Tuesday (after checking out Rich's audio installation at uni - which insidently was awesome) I went with him to see 'Zappa Plays Zappa' at the Bridgewater Hall, Manchester. It was so fantastic :,D I'm a huge Frank Zappa fan, and Dweezil and his band did not disappoint. Don't think I've ever laughed so much at a music show before, either! Many thanks again to James, Nat, & James' parents for the surprise invite and tickets! :3 (Also, this is the perfect opportunity to post one of my extremely old portraits - and one that I am particularly proud of! ;3)

On Wednesday morning, I awoke to the surprise/shock/horror of having an axolotl tank filled with eggs (and also four slightly confused axies). I had the suspicion that one of my girls were pregnant, but still, I wasn't expecting it. I've found someone who is willing to take the lot though (thankfully!), and she's very excited about doing so, but still... I'm kind of worried as my other female is looking pretty damn huge these days. We shall see...

And finally, last night I went to St Helens to watch Derek Acorah's 'True Vision' Tour with my sister and her boyfriend. It was my Uncle's idea, he's a huge fan but he couldn't go, so I couldn't refuse when he said he'd pay for my ticket. I find the whole cult-like fascination with the guy to be completely hilarious, too.

It was actually a really great show, and very funny in parts. Some of the things he said were pretty uncanny, although I didn't take his 'readings' seriously. Nothing negative to say about the people who follow him, we have to make up their own mind up about these things, but until I'm completely persuaded otherwise. I guess I'm kind of a cautions skeptic when it comes to spiritual mediums and such (especially those who wear earpieces throughout the show...?!)

I'm very glad I went though, it was an... unusual experience! And the childhood memories of watching 'Most Haunted' with the bro and sis came flooding back. I decided to get a picture with the man afterwards with my sister, just to make my Uncle jealous... bwahahaa. I'm pretty sure it's the creepiest picture I've ever been in, for so, so many reasons.

Soph x

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Illustration Friday - 'Perrenial'

My submission for this week's Illustration Friday!
The theme was 'Perennial', which means long-lasting or continuous ~

I chose to show the bond between a child and her pet :3 The setting is somewhere cold like Alaska, hence the snow and fluffy hat.

Materials used are my beloved Letraset fineliner and watercolour pencil crayons. Any comments will be very much appreciated, and all critiques are helpful to me and will be considered! I'm really trying to improve so I'm very thankful for any opinions ^-^

Well anyway, I'm pretty happy with the outcome, although I think I prefer the pencil sketch over the finished piece, despite it being a quick doodle! I don't really have my own cartoon 'style' yet as I mainly tend to draw things more realistically (although you wouldn't think so looking at this blog...), but I'm just going with the flow and experimenting, to see if I can come up with anything nice. Slightly proud of the dog's face, anyway :D

Soph x

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Grizzly Bear & Fox Designs

I've done a few character designs following on from the Grizzly Bear I drew the other day. All these were first drawn in pencil, outlined in my trusty Letraset fineliner, then edited on GIMP (yeah, I still haven't got PhotoShop...) I think I'll call him Timothy (based on Timothy Treadwell from 'Grizzly Man'), and his fox friend is (as yet) un-named. I'm thinking if I worked on the idea a bit more, I could come up with a children's story or something. We'll see :3 Also I hate to be a swine about these things, but please note these images and characters are copyright by me.

Comments and ideas are much appreciated! ^-^

Also today I managed to do a few more t-shirt designs on RedBubble from my doodles. If anyone's thinking of joining the site, it's really, really worthwhile - designing t-shirts is surprisingly fun and easy, not to mention the sales really help when you're scrounging for money like I am. That website has given me a fair amount of much-needed spending money these last few months, so believe me when I say it's definitely worth giving it a go! :3

T Shirt: Fox Love TShirt

Soph x

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Leaf Bowl & Labyrinth

My bowl arrived this morning from Wales! :D

Showing off my bad photography skills...

Creepy bearded head
breathing out incense smoke.
Last Wednesday in Wales, I gave in to the sordid temptation to paint a ceramic something and have it fired. It was at a little pottery hut in a (slightly nerdy, but entirely awesome) theme place in the middle of nowhere, called King Arthur's Labyrinth.

This is what fun looks like.
Took about an hour to get there, in terrible weather, squished up in the back of a car. The scenery was nice though, although I would have appreciated it more if my spine wasn't contorted into countless bad angles.

My Dad decided to surprise all eight of us when we got there with a lovely trip down into the 'mythical labyrinth' itself, where we had to wear hard hats and listen to the forgotten stories of King Arthur, while a guide dressed as an executioner showed us where to go. There was an underground boat trip and everything, complete with dragons and waterfalls. It was so lame, but obviously painfully awesome at the same time. And silly me decided to wear shorts, so I was freezing.

Anyway after that, I sat for a couple of hours unwinding and painting a bowl, while 'Volta' by Bjork and the Amelie soundtrack played away in the background. It's the first time I've ever done anything like that, and I enjoyed it a lot, but I do wish I'd done a better job on the finish.

It took me a while to decide what to do, but in the end I just went for something simple, green, and leafy.

I'm pretty pleased with it anyway, despite the paint job being a bit naive and gloopy. Believe it or not, it's more attractive in person. I really want to try something like this again though as I think I could do a much better job next time. At least I now have something relatively pretty that can hold confectionery, and provide a happy memory of almost freezing to death down a disused mine.

Soph x

Sunday, 10 July 2011

The Royal Cambrian Academy, Conwy

The Royal Cambrian Academy was the first gallery I visited last week in Wales. I'd been to Conwy countless times before, it's the usual place we decide to stop off on the way down to whatever cottage we're staying in, but I'd never thought to search out any galleries there. It's a good job I did a little research before going, as the gallery was down a little side street that I doubt I would have located easily without the help of Google Street View! I found a couple more small galleries in Conwy (which were essentially art shops), including a potters gallery on the main road, but the RCA was certainly the most interesting one there.

Here are some of the photos I managed to get of some of the works in there ~

Wendy Mayer - "After Louise"
Papier mache, wax, acrylic eyes, mixed media.
Wendy Mayer - "Paper Chain Dolls, Y Fersiwn Cymraeg"
Papier mache, wax, acrylic eyes, Welsh and English comics.
Wendy Mayer - "Oes Gafr Eto?"
Wood, wallpaper, papier mache, acrylic eyes, wax, Welsh sheep fleece.

There was a surprising amount of unique and interesting work there, some of which I really liked - especially that of Wendy Mayer, who created the slightly unnerving (but fantastic) human-like sculptures above. I checked out her website where it explains in detail the influences and ideas behind her concepts, and this can be found here.

Two paintings by Gerald Dewsbury, & Sally Matthews' - "Hare Sitting" mixed media.

I also really liked Gerald Dewsbury's intricate root paintings above. The detail up close was really fascinating, and I just loved the colours and textures he used.

Harry Robertson - "Vale Near Castell-y-Bere" oil.
Harry Robertson - "Waterfall in February" oil.

I really liked the above two works too, oil paintings by Harry Robertson. He has a website here, and all of his work is just astounding - exceptionally detailed and life-like.

Other works I found to be interesting ~

David Griffiths - "Sophie" oil.

For more information about The Royal Cambrian Academy, and details about the exhibition I visited, check out their website here. It's well worth a trip if you're planning on being in Wales this Summer!

They also have a cute little gift shop selling pottery and art cards, where I bought a handmade card by Ann Giorgi, because I thought it was really sweet. I just found her Etsy shop, and the card I bought was very similar to these.

Soph x

Saturday, 9 July 2011

A Delightful Week In The Country

Today I got back from the (obligatory) annual holiday to Wales! ...Hurrah!

Despite going there every Summer I can remember, and knowing my way around the place almost as good as if I lived there, I enjoyed it a lot more than I expected to.
We stayed in a lovely cottage, complete with an 'interesting' selection of DVDs, two living rooms, our own personal herd of authentic Welsh sheep just outside, and an American-style fridge that dispensed ice cubes.

It was wonderful, and I already realllly wish I was back there.

There are so many independent art and craft shops and galleries dotted around in Wales, which I really took the time to mooch around this year, and explore a bit more than usual. I was lucky enough to stumble upon some really interesting exhibitions and various things going on, which was very nice and unexpected. I'll post about them all soon once my photographs and information is all collected and uploaded etc... as things are now, I'm still unpacking my clothes and souvenirs (including a wolf plush, a Gandhi postcard, and a large Nosferatu candle)...

As well as the gallery pictures, I might also upload some generic holiday snaps for posterity.
For now though I'll leave you with the only drawing I managed to do during the week, the view from my bedroom window ~

It wasn't nearly as melancholy and depressing as it looks there, by the way. The countryside in Wales just sometimes has that aura, despite it being bright and sunny.

Still recovering from the (surprisingly fun) six-and-a-half-hour train journey home, so now it is time for me to flop on the settee with a hot chocolate.

Soph x

Monday, 27 June 2011

Illustration Friday - 'Midsummer Night'

This week's Illustration Friday theme really stumped me a bit, I have to admit. I thought about going for some kind of take on Shakespeare's 'A Midsummer Night's Dream', but as I've not read that in yeeears, decided to go for something a bit less... daunting.
So I had a little think about some of the things that go on in the world during a midsummer night. I thought about doing something festival-related, what with Glastonbury being all over the TV etc, but that would be a big job too, and I kind of wanted a change from drawing people.

Eventually I thought why not an animal or something? So I thought straight back to something I saw on Springwatch the other week (haha... yeah), where they secretly filmed a bunch of baby owls living in a barn. They were being fed constantly by their parents all night, and just looked really cosy and cute. It was great! :D

Anyway, seeing as that was a Spring night, and not a 'midsummer' one, these owlets are slightly older than the ones I saw, so it kind of makes sense. Oh and if you'd like to see a larger version, visit my DeviantART page here.

Here's my first draft / doodle ~

And works in progress / alternate versions ~

Mini-update: Apart from the owls, I've not really done a lot of drawing these last few days, but I've discovered some amazing illustrators and animators that I plan to post about soon. I have also started reading a book that I'll post about when I've finished it. I'm going to Wales for a week this Saturday, so I've been researching any galleries or shows I can visit while I'm there. Oh and I went to Southport beach yesterday, and Millie the border collie absolutely loved it.

Millie frolicking in the bee-infested sand dunes!

I needle felted a black bear and a spotty pig the other day too. I sold two mini sculptures on Etsy in the past few weeks, and I got a bit inspired to create a few more! Sadly though I'm not sure I'll be listing these for sale anytime soon, as I've grown rather attached to them (especially the bear, because his face turned out just too adorable! D:) Sorry for the photos though, needle felted things are annoyingly difficult to photograph :/

Spotty pig - complete with curly tail (not pictured).

 Sitting black bear, with hand-sewn claws and dark brown beady eyes :D

Also I forgot to mention, I drew a (rather creepy-looking) gnome the other day. Guess in some way it's kind of related to the IF theme..? ~

Soph x