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