Tag Archives: colour

New section: The Library.

WELCOME, come in, come in, take a seat. Tea? Biscuit? Are you sitting comfortably? Welcome to the library, a new section of the blog to show you some of my favourite books, some you’ll have seen or already have, but hopefully I’ll introduce you to new books. There won’t be in-depth reviews or analysis, just a few words on why I like the book. All the book were bought by me and are from my personal library.
The first book is Illustrators Unlimited: The Essence of Contemporary Illustration. If you’ve ever bought any of the Illusive illustration books then you’ll be fairly familiar with the format, they are large hard back books with great print quality and filled with a varied selection of illustration.
This is the same with Illustrators Unlimited. the book is 30.4 x 24.4 x 3 cm, with 288 pages it’s quite a hefty publication. The book contains the work of 102 illustrators from around the world. Each artist is given a few pages to show their work, there’s also a small amount of copy about each illustrator.
If you’re looking for inspiration then look no further, this book is crammed with it, well worth a purchase in my opinion.
I should add that the book is published by Die Gestalten Verlag, one of my favourite publishers of art and design books. You can also view more interior pages at the the Gestalten website.


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iPad therefore I am.

I KNOW, the title makes no sense, but it’s not easy coming up with a snappy title that contains iPad.

Anyway, I’d like to tell you how good the iPad is for art, it is amazingly versatile, from sketching to complete artworks. There are a wealth of drawing/painting apps out there for the iPad, the one I used for the illustration above was Brushes (£5.49) I believe David Hockney also used Brushes for his iPad paintings in his new show at the Royal Academy. Not that I am comparing myself to Hockney!

Along with the many and varied brushes and styles available, not to mention the ability to use layers, the main reason for me using Brushes is the ability to export the artwork to your Mac and then open it in Brushes Viewer to save at a much larger size, up to about a metre If a recall correctly, making it easily usable for glossy magazine illustrations. You can also create a video of the artwork in process, the video is saved as a Quicktime movie as is of a very good quality. Sadly as far as I know Brushes Viewer isn’t available for PC.

With the inevitable release of the iPad 3, which, apparently, has a retina display, I can only see art on the iPad gaining momentum. I can actually see myself doing more and more illustration jobs with it. 

Another thing I intend to try is sketching outside with the iPad, having watched David Hockney do this recently it has inspired me to try the same. So I intend to take my iPad out for a walk next time I’m in Scotland.
I know I’ve only mentioned the iPad in this article but it is by no means the only tablet out there. There are many available, I have no experience with them so don’t feel I can comment, but I would say get the one that best suits your needs.

So, if you have an iPad, or intend to get one in the future, I implore you to get creative with it. It’s also a lot cleaner that paint!
Below are my favourite iPad art apps.
Brushes (£5.49 iPad £2.99iPhone)
Sketchbook Pro (£2.99 iPad)
Procreate (£2.99)
Zen Brush (£1.99)


February 20, 2012 · 9:13 pm

Make it personal.

WELL, after a long break from blogging. I’m back. Work load has been a major factor in my absence, juggling a blog and work isn’t easy. But not all the work was paid, some recent illustrations have been for myself.
I found I got very stuck in the ‘If I’m not getting paid, what’s the point?’ mode. I used to say it religiously. Then one day I heard myself, what on earth was I saying?!
I got into this through a love of of art, of the visual, of creating something, for that buzz you get when you complete, and are happy with, a piece of work. I need to regain that feeling.
So I set myself a project, some of the fruits of which you can see above. I decided to do a book of bird portraits. I am a bird lover anyway, paid -up member of the RSPB so portraits of my feathered friends seemed the obvious choice.
And I won’t lie, I’m loving it! The fact that I’m not getting paid matters not. You can’t buy the feeling of creating for yourself and that is why I will always endeavour to do just that, as often as I can.

It’s good to be back!

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Swatch this space.


COLOUR, a constant worry, and a constant challenge, I have only recently noticed that I have a set colour pallet. When I put a large body of my work together, there is a definite similarity in the colours, I think maybe that is my style. Rather than have a set way my drawing looks, I think I have a set way my colour looks, and that has become my style. I’ve just finished a job which consisted of around 20 illustrations for a book, flicking through them, they all have the same colours! All this time wondering If I had a style, and there it is under my nose, well, under the layers pallet.

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THIS was done for a book called Human, I’d worked with the same people before on a project called Freewave (right), a great idea, it was basically a book full of design and illustration, at the back of the book was a DVD with all the work on, to be used by whoever bought the book, copyright free to do what you like with. I think it sold quite well.

Back to Human, unfortunately the book was never realeased. I find this happens quite often, people will approach you for a project, they pitch you the idea, sounds great! You submit artwork for the project and wait… and wait. Eventually you come to the realistation that it’s not going to happen, it’s a shame, but at least you end with artwork to put up on your blog one day.

Created in Illustrator CS2.


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One of the reasons I do this.

FREELANCING while being full-time employed can be a nightmare, take this past week for example. Working at my daytime job, then every night I came home and worked on my freelance work, a series of illustrations for school books. It’s now Saturday evening and I’ve just finished another day of pencils, and there will be more to do tomorrow. But you know what? I love it, I love to draw, create and deliver a good job to the client.

What I love most though, is going into a shop and seeing my work in print, not because I want to show off, but because the sense of satisfaction of a job well done is amazing.

I remember my first magazine work, for a Playstation magazine (Pic above, post below) I walked into WHSmiths on the morning the magazine was released, very nervous, very excited. I picked up the magazine, (wrapped in a foil bag so I couldn’t get into it!) I payed, and as soon as I got out of the shop the packet was open and I was frantically flicking through the mag looking for my work, and there it was… my work, in glossy full colour glory, I wanted to show everyone! (Obviously I didn’t, that would be foolish) but I was buzzing! It had came out fine and looked great! (In my opinion of course) I couldn’t get the smile of my face, all day, grinning from ear to ear!

An amazing day for me, and that buzz still gets me today, I still get excited at seeing my work in print.

That’s one of the reasons I do this, the reason I spend most weekends and week nights working.

It’s for the buzz!

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Autumn colours.

YOU may have noticed I changed my tagline to include photography. I take a lot of pictures, and I mean a lot. It’s just a hobby, but I love it. It’s the one creative thing I do that doesn’t involve a deadline. In fact I would say that I wouldn’t want to do photography for a living as that would strip away the thing I love most about it… freedom to do what I like.

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