On Drawing

I have always agreed with the old adage that ‘you have to know the rules so you can break them.’ I draw stylised people in my illustrations, but they are backed up by at least twelve years of learning to draw traditional portraiture. I think it always appealed to my competitive nature because I compete with myself to improve and make the drawing look more like the person or animal or photograph!

Animal portraits are actually much newer to me than people; they started with a commission at the end of 2015 and I’ve had a few since then. But the same rules of observation apply so it was less of a jump than expected.

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Colourways

 

Colour Studies

It was during my final uni project, when I was trying to create convincing lighting and colour schemes, when I made these digital sketches.

It is always interesting to see a photograph and figure out where the colours land on the Photoshop colour palette.

The first image is of Ryan Gosling I borrowed from Google images; the other two images are screenshots from ‘Wild Ireland: The Edge of the World’ on BBC.

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This final image strongly inspired the look of my cover design for The Magician’s Nephew.

Bath Part 2

Most of these were taken on or near Bath Spa University campus… I was in awe for most of this trip, it’s a ridiculously beautiful.

We wandered off the campus into a tiny, picturesque village. Entering the little churchyard we heard the sound of a choir practise inside the church. It was serene and surreal; to happen upon the sound of beautiful voices in such a peaceful place!

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Magician’s Nephew Sketchbook

Just a few of my favourite spreads from my sketchbook for my final uni project. I love doing sketchbook work, it’s such a valuable tool for planning out my illustrations.

If you’re not familiar with the book, it’s set in Victorian London, where the main characters Polly and Digory meet. When Digory’s unpleasant uncle gives the children some magic rings they get into all sorts of adventures and see the formation of the magical land of Narnia.

 

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The very first sketchbook layout: studies of Victorian children.
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Initial character exploration for Digory.
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Initial character exploration for Polly

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Having visited the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford I knew I wanted to give the Magician a cluttered and eclectic study, which I designed around the objects I saw in the museums I visited between February and May this year.

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Exploring a concept for the attack on the magician (They are only curious, but he is terrified as he’s been horrid to animals in the past!)

Bath

I’m visiting Bath for the first time this week and I’m a little bit spellbound. It feels like the most quintessentially English city I’ve ever been to; around every corner is something beautiful; a tiny shop, a beautiful view of the countryside, a quirky local or their dog (or a cat on a lead which was pretty great!). I feel like I’m on holiday and I’m not sure if it’s into the past or sometimes to Northern France. Even though it’s very English, it does seem too good to be in this country at times! The weather is so lovely.

I’m just waffling now. Enjoy the photos! I can airbrush but I don’t want to obscure any of my sisters beauty… I had to take the liberty on my own face though, because my mouth in reality is peely and sore (something to do with the stress of my final hand in last week!)

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