Monday, March 31, 2008


My lovely Sunshine :)

Friday, March 28, 2008

Work in _slow_ progress

Work is moving very slowly on the book project... here's what it looks like at the moment (this is what its been looking like the last couple of days actually ...)

But in other news I HAVE been keeping up on my 365 photo project; viewable on my other blog or as a flickr set.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Faces in the crowd

I feel I've had a bit of a breakthrough this weekend. After spending a long time fretting about drawing people and drawing in public, I forced myself to carry around a small A6 sketchbook and a 2B pencil all the time with me this weekend while we were in London. I didn't care about what the 'finished' pieces looked like, I was just going to draw people, on the tube, in the restaurant, in the cafe, every chance I got.

And above is most of what I did - they were all done in just a few minutes and more importantly, without fear ... hooray! I actually really enjoyed doing the portraits, but my best one has to be the 'alcohol casualty' at the bottom; and even more the three girls that kept looking over my shoulder
and giggling uncontrollably while I drew him ;)

Friday, March 21, 2008

Work in progress

I've been working hard. Here's another sneak peak at the book project. The sneak peek on Wednesday was just the maquette ... this is the real thing. Its Easter weekend and we're off to London for a few days so no updates for a little while ...

Happy Spring!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

S.S. Great Britain

This morning I went and spent a gloriously sunny day out on the SS Great Britain (which just happens to be 15 minutes walk from home!). Took lots of photos, and did some drawings - mostly research for my Narrative and Sequence module book project. Was looking at the propeller (above), sails and rigging and all sorts...

Here's a sneak peak at some work-in-progress on the book project ...

What has books to do with ships? All will be revealed if I manage to get the thing done over the easter holidays ...

Monday, March 17, 2008

Birthday love

What a great birthday its been! Woke up in the morning to open my present from Sunshine ... the CHARLEY HARPER book ... Its HUGE and wonderful ... Birthday LOVE!!!!!!! Thank you Sunshine!!!!!!!!!!!! I LOVE YOU!!!!!!

After some lounging around with my book and having breakfast brought to me in bed, we headed out to the Slimbridge Wildfowls and Wetland Trust. What a lovely day to be out with the ducks and geese and swans. I took my sketchbook with me and tackled my fear of drawing live things head on, and am really quite pleased with the results. Above are just some of the sketches I did.

Sunshine and I were also quite trigger happy and took LOTS of photos ... once we've sorted through them, we'll upload onto flickr. But in the meantime, I've picked this one of the wonky feet of a moorhen to start me off on my project365. I shall be cataloguing my life for a year, a photo a day. So check back to this flickr set or this blog regularly.

Off to bed now - looking forward to great year ahead!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Portrait Birthday Party!

I've been wanting to have a 'Portrait Party' for a long time. Some of my course mates and I have also been planning a little get-together before everyone left for the three week Easter holidays (spring break). And with it being my birthday tomorrow, we though it would be great to make it all come together! So Alice, Rich, Jennie and Luke all gathered at ours yesterday for an evening filled with fun and laughter and plenty of drawing, eating, drinking and being silly. It wasn't as well organised as Rama's, but we were having too much fun to really care :)

Alice, Rich, Jen, and I managed to draw a lot ... we took it in turns to pose while the rest of the group drew the model together. At the top of this entry is the other's portraits of me :)

Below is everyone's portraits of Alice.

Then of Rich...

Then of Jennie ... Sunshine got in on the act too here.
He'd been playing host and providing 'entertainment' most of the evening.

So obviously we had to all draw him too ... (his entertainment consisted of finding us funny and silly web videos to watch between drawing sessions!).

Luke-the-lovely had offered to cook so was slaving away in the kitchen making Goan fish curry -YUM! - while most of the drawing sessions were going on. But as you can see he did get in on the act and draw Sunshine, and we all got to draw him lounging about with his glass of post-dinner wine.

And Luke also managed to do Jen, Rich and Alice all in a row on the sofa drawing me!
Proof that the Portrait Party did actually happen...

And a lovely evening was had by all!!!

Edit: Thought I's better tell you their full names so yo can look them up when they're all rich and famous artists! Alice Hyde, Richard Partridge, Luke Elston, Jennie Gyllblad, and 'Mr Sunshine'.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Panoramic: Panoptic

Click on it for a much bigger and better version!

As promised, this is what we made last Thursday (took a while to get good photos). The idea was to work in groups of 2 or 3 and work on location around Bush House (where the illustration studios are) to record the environment in a 360-degree panorama. Didn't have to be exact, just our version of it. We could include anything we wanted including interiors, snippets of conversation overheard, people, buildings, anything really. ... I teamed up with Luke and Jen and we all went out for about two hours drawing quick sketches (we had to make about 32 each of about A6 size). We three have very different styles and it was nice to see how it would all come together. I also took some photos and did some rubbings (which the other groups hadn't thought to do!). Here's some of the stuff I managed to do in the freezing cold (some were done out of the studio windows when we couldn't take the cold and wet anymore - hence the one through the dome shaped window!)

We then congregated back in the studio and started photocopying the drawings; changing their scale, making some of them negative; and in our case, as I managed to get hold of some acetate, making some see through images too. We cut these out and stuck them down on two large A1 sheets stuck end-to-end. It was HUGE and actually quite difficult to do any decent composition-ing on as we couldn't quite see what it would look like. The process was obviously quite organic with us cutting things, moving things round, and running back and forth to the copier making more stuff. And in 2 hours we made what you see above ... I think actually it came together quite well, and we worked well as a team too. I've actually really enjoyed this fast paced generation of source material, and then manipulation to produce a final image, and am quite tempted to try some more ... Below is a close-up of my favourite bit of the image, the bottom right corner ... I love the series of boats and series of cranes.

I'll be putting up more work from Luke and Jen (and a couple of others) in the next day or two. I've had them all over today and we've had a portrait party! Its past my bedtime now so I'll do the collating and stuff tomorrow ...

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Portrait exercises

Last Thursday (yes, I am a week behind on updating the drawing module work) we spent the day doing portraits in pairs. I paired up with the lovely Mrs Charlie who you see above (no guarantee of resemblance!). Our first task had been to take it in turns to draw a detailed portrait of the other - on for ten minutes; then swapping; posing for ten minutes; etc. We each did 4 or so sessions, so the drawing above took about 40 minutes in total. Gary the tutor was very keen for us not to 'draw' per se, but just do a lot of measuring (pencil at arms length kind of stuff) and marking off where things were, and building up on that. Most of us did a bit of that to get proportions right, but then started drawing in details. I think though what he had really wanted was for us to just keep measuring and making marks, and hoping that that would eventually form itself into a picture of the person. I understand this now ... and I think I might have another go at this with Sunshine as my model.

Then we had to look only at our drawing, and generate 6 new smaller drawings which were, from top left; continuous line, blind contour, only tonal, left handed, using different media, and last but not least, from memory. I think the continous line one is my favourite.

Then the exercise was repeated, but looking at the real life model. We were being quite pressured for time by this point and you can see that we had both started drawing at the same time (Charlie's looking away from me) as we didn't have the time to take it in turns. It was fun though - and we were having a real laugh! I managed to draw her smiley face blind and make her teeth look like a mustache (!) whereas in one of her drawings she managed to make my nose look like a pig's! Very very funny .... but we didn't really care. It was all about loosening up and trying things that we don't normally do and looking at 'drawing' in different ways.

The last exercise was to start with a full portrait and then make each progressive one simpler, and simpler ... and see what you're left with...

I must say I struggled with this whole session as it was several things that are mental blocks for me - drawing people, drawing from an 'alive' subject, and on a couple of them, drawing faces from memory. EEEkkk!!! But I'm pushing my comfort zones, and that can only be a good thing ... And it was really nice to have Charlie as a partner - as we mostly struggled with the same things and could push each other on ...

We had a fab time at the drawing class today - I'll hopefully update all about that tomorrow when I've managed to get hold of some good pictures of what we've produced. It was also last day of term, before three weeks of Easter break! Yippee!!! I shall be celebrating my birthday on Monday not worrying about handing in assignments (although a lot of Easter break will be spent on the Narrative and Sequence module book project) or having to wake up early the next day ... aaaahhhhhh ..... lovely ....

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


We spent the last two days on a bookforms workshop. I made something titled 'Choreosophy in Blue'. Choreosophy is Greek, meaning 'the wisdom of circles' and my book is based on circles. Our brief had been to make something with just shapes and colours, no text, but thinking about pacing, rhythm, and structure. There were some really creative things that people managed to make in a day and a half. Here's mine:

This is what the whole thing looks like all concertina-ed out.

More pictures (with some macro shots) here.

I also did a small mock-up of another book which is a looping story of shapes and colours.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Crafting hands

So there you have it, these are the originals from which the final drawing was done. Sorry for the lightness - they were done with quite hard pencils on an off-white cartridge paper sketchbook.

Thank you to everyone who has been leaving me messages about sewing-drawing. It appears I have the special plate necessary to be able to do this on our sewing machine, and I've also invested in some embroidery hoops ... really excited about having a go!