Saturday, 30 October 2010

Two Dachshund Designs

Two Positives created for my Dachshund Project, which will be used on my origami greetings cards. 

My main inspiration I feel so far has been the work of Jonny Hannah. I initially looked at his work as I really liked his use of typography and the interesting compositions and shapes he uses, although I really fell in love with this one image below. 
I feel it isn't typical of his style, as from my limited knowledge of his work he generally seems to focus more on colour, but I just loved the white on black look. I had a go at scanning in my drawings and reversing them, but it just doesn't give the same feel as working on black with white ink or pens. Thats why with my positives I worked directly onto acetate with paint, so that I could get that white on black look by scratching at it, but also be able to edit the images by rubbing the paint off or painting over certain bits... which I would be unable to do if I was working on black paper.

The cards are going to have wrap around designs... so the right side of the images is the front and the left is the back. They are all going to have educational messages about dog care and/or the breed standard, combined with appealing contemporary imagery. I created these designs in the last week and went in and prepared a screen with them... so on Monday I can go straight into the studio and start printing.

I also went to the Paper Mill Shop today and bought a crazy amount of different coloured paper to experiment with, including some really tasty metallic glittery card. Yum! It really helps having all the different colours in front of me, so that I can select some really nice schemes for the card, inner leaf and envelope. As each design is going to be limited edition then I think it will be nice to do them on really special papers, each design with different colours. I was also thinking about envelopes - I have created some mock ups testing out different styles but still need to fully explore them. I was wondering wether to make each one, or buy them? Would it ruin the handmade feel with shop bought envelopes? Only it would save a lot of time to concentrate on other products. I still have to decide :s I know though that I definately want to print onto the envelopes, to make them special as well, wether they are shop bought or hand made.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Heather Shimmen

A few linocuts by Heather Shimmen - I can't find much about her or her work, but these few that I have come across are gold.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Woofy Woof!

Two more Private Commissions completed, for two different clients :) I really enjoy working in ink and watercolour... I think the delicate linework suits the small size of the images (approx 4x7 inches) really well :)

I still have so many to get through! But I'm not complaining :D

More Illustrations for Dog World

Another illustration produced for Companion Dog World, this time focusing on the theme of ringcraft - ie. where you take your dogs and puppies to socialise them with people and other dogs, and train them. I focused on this idea of training and produced this image of a puppy, messing around on the lead, with an 'L' Plate on its bum! I sketched out lots of other versions, I did have a go at painting all of it in one although the linework and 'L' plate lost its definition and I preferred the simpler approach; so I did submit a second version with very light digital colouring just as an alternative... couldn't decide which I liked best. I also had to leave the canvas free, so that the text could wrap round it. 

The Kennel Club Art Gallery and Library

Cecil Aldin
Cecil Aldin

Lucy Dawson

I went to The Kennel Club on Wednesday, to have a look at their Art Gallery and Library and get some inspiration for my doggy project. They have some really lovely collections... I really enjoyed looking through their large selection of art books, showing a range of old and contemporary work with dogs. They also had lots of really nice books by Cecil Aldin and Lucy Dawson, who are two of my favourite dog artists. They are fantastic at capturing the expression and characters of the dogs, and I know their books are very difficult and expensive to get hold of, so I took the opportunity to get lots of photocopies of the gorgeous work. Even though I am using more of a different style in my own work, I still find their pictures very inspirational :)

Doe Skull

(Bad) Photo of one of my four etchings of a Does Skull, that I produced last week - you can't really tell from the photos but it is only quite tiny, aww. The whole of the plate had a picture on it, but I decided to selectively ink up the plate and rub it off to focus on just the skull. I really like this technique and I think it has taught me how to add more drama and mood into my etchings.

This week I was only in the studio for an hour as I had to go home to go to the Dentist, thanks to my filling being crap and needing to be replaced. I did however pay for a lovely new white one, so now it doesn't even look like I have a filling :D So I didn't have time to really do any prints, only just chat with my tutor about my project. 

Did you know that a Dachshund should always move with drive?

Papercut in progress, done for my project inspired by my Dachshunds and the Breed Standard. I have really enjoyed doing papercuts for years now and thought about including them in the range of greetings cards I am designing, although just to do half of the card took forever... unless I can find a machine to cut them out for me I will either have to really simplify them down or just stick with my hand printing idea. It was fairly difficult to cut as I had to use a thick card to give it strength, although I like how it looks so far, apart from the paws which Im not too keen on. 

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Reinventing Illustration, sketchbook pages!

A super sneaky look into one of my sketchbooks... a uni project about my doggies, showing, the breed standard and dog care! Im not going to go into it too much at the minute as I am really really tired, so for now just enjoy some lovely drawings!

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Tom Bennett's Monotype

While researching different artists who use Monoprint for my printmaking 'Aesop's Fables' project, I stumbled across the work of Tom Bennett - oh my god! His work is so fantastic, I love the drama and mystery that he captures in his work, not to mention the lovely watery texture - which I have a feeling is created by watering down the inks with turps. 

When I am in the print studio next Tuesday I am definately going to have a go at watering down my inks, using more colours and wiping the ink of the plate :) I think this style would really work with my story, allowing me to create 'dark' prints that are full of atmosphere. 

You can see more of Tom Bennett's work here

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Companion Dog World

My Illustrations, in the first ever issue of Companion Dog World! You can pick up a copy at Open, Club, and Companion Shows, and your local pet shops, and see my illustrations with Sheila Atter's article on page 4! I am really pleased with how they look, and will be doing some more illustrations for them for issue 2 :)

You can find out more about Companion Dog World On their Facebook page or order copies (for a club/society) here.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Printmaking Inspiration

I came across the work of Sarah Amos while researching different artists for a project I am working at the moment, for my printmaking pathway at uni. I find her work really interesting due to her mixed media approach to print, which I want to experiment with in my own project, and her use of layering which is something I love to use in my own personal work anyway, in order to create really complex and detailed pieces :) This, combined with the expressive, abstract, patterning make them irresistable!

"Broken Hill Mungar" 39 x 59 in, Collagraph with Mixed Media, 2007

"Black Viker" 78 x 79 cm ft, Etching and Hand Drawing, 2009

"Red Tree" 15 x 39, Collagraph with Mixed Media, 2006

Go and have a much on some more of her work here

To sum the project up, I have to take an Aesop's Fable and produce a folding book of the story - I have chosen "The One-Eyed Doe" as I loved the sadness and emotion in it, I felt this was something I could really play with. I'm still unsure how to present the book, but I think I might just do a standard binding as I really want to focus more on the imagery and printmaking.

For those of you unfamiliar with the story you can read it here

Friday, 1 October 2010

A sneaky bit more sketchbook...

The sketches are in one image for your viewing convenience... see, aren't I thoughtful? :D

Most of the drawings have been done over summer, all various life sketches and doodles. Also, I have a bad habit of painting over pages I find awful/boring and working into them until they get too busy or I am happy with them. 

8 Songs About Climate Change

Or can be interpreted that way. When I researched into it, surprisingly there are quite a few out there... the only difficulty was trying to download a (free) version of some of them. Done as a summer project for uni, developing James Lovelock's Gaia theory (is theory the correct word?) where the Earth is a living organism.

The CD front and back cover, and original artwork:

And once again, a lifetime of congratulations to my scanner, who every time manages to kill the contrast and colour of my work. Thank you.
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