Showing posts from October, 2008


...this is the last of the illustrations for this brief. Clara dreaming of dancing mice from the Nutcracker.

Making a character look pretty in plasticine is a bit of a tall order but I hope I managed to pull it off.

Soldiering On

This is the last of the watercolour illustrations for the current brief.
I enjoyed being a conventional illustrator while it lasted:¬) I was trying out Hahnemuhle paper as it is whiter than the Saunders Waterford I usually prefer. The gelatine sizing will take some getting used to, but it was ok. I prefer to let the watercolour and paper to work for me by using wet on wet techniques. So it will take me some time to get a handle on drying times etc of the new paper.

I found it a lot easier to judge how long it would take to produce an illustration in watercolour than with plasticine. Things were almost sedate. I printed the rough directly onto watercolour paper, applied the paint, scanned the image and emailed the file to the design studio. Producing an illustration in plasticine involves do many stages, I have no idea how long an image will take to produce. And the process takes a lot more out of me.

I don't think I will get much watercolour commissions but I will use the medium to p…

Before I had kid's...

...I used to dance a lot in clubs. Unfortunately that boat has probably sailed. I do miss strutting my stuff;¬) so I have been looking for an alternative outlet for my pent up funkiness. The best alternative I can find for people like me who would look a bit sad in a nightclub is latin dance. I was browsing through Youtube and found a precident for moving from funk to latin and this track kind of bridges the divide. It was originally sung by Bill Withers in the 80's and is given a Latin twist.

A Couple More Loose Ends

This brief has dragged on a bit. The illustrations which were dropped from the original commission turned out out to be required afterall, except for one. My agent had sent an invoice for cancellation which amounted to 25% of the original fee, (to cover work carried out on the roughs). So he then had to send another job sheet to cover the other 75%. But the publishers had combined two of the original illustrations into one. This is out of order as in the original brief two separate illustrations were requested. Also the brief had asked for all images to be created in pen and wash but now one of them is required in plasticine.

Basically this is a real mess. The Nutcracker illo in the previous post was the one illustration which was actually dropped, but in the confusion I painted it and sent it to the design studio. I felt a bit of an idiot, but in light of the fact that the Publishers had duplicated artwork numbers and combined others it was bound to happen. Especially with my numeracy…

Nutcracker Prince

This is the Nutcracker. In the opera, Clara is given a Nutcracker for Christmas from her grandfather Herr Drosselmeyer. The Nutcracker prince comes to life to fend off the mouse king and his army from attacking her. As it turns out she smacks the mouse king over the head with her shoe when he started to overcome the prince.

...I for one have learnt not to get involved with a woman and her shoes;¬)

Japanese Mask

The Publishers asked for a evil king's mask from a Japanese theatre. The slight problem is that there is no such thing as a Japanese King. Japan had emperor's. And also there isn't an evil king, only devil like masks. Most Japanese masks have passive expressions. Their purpose is to obscure the actors facial expressions so that only there gestures can convey the emotion of the part.

Good And Bad

I have to get these 'new' illo's finished as well as the flashcards by the end of the month. One of them involves plasticine, (I wasn't aware of this), but the others are pen and wash.

This is the first time I have been asked to do an illustration in a 'normal' medium. I am quite excited about this, though I had written them off in my mind when mistakenly my agent told me they had been cut from the brief.

I'll post my efforts here. I am a bit out of practice with watercolour so I'm hoping it will all flood back to me, (scuse the pun):¬)


Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water, I get an email friday night from the design studio asking for some missing illustrations. A couple were just files they couldn't download from the server I uploaded the illustrations to. The others, however, were five illustrations which my agent told me had definitely been cut from the brief. In fact he had told me he had charged them a cancelation fee!But instead of the design studio saying 'sorry there's been a bit of a mistake here,' they just give me a list of missing illustrations, and suddenly it's my problem. Especially as they tell me they are now needed urgently!

Now what? a small question and answer session:¬)

Where do I go from here?

...not sure exactly. But now the Red Riding hood brief is out of the way, and just five farm animal flash cards for the 31st , I have to start thinking about where I go next.

How was the deadline?

The last illustration commission was bordering on the excrutiating in the end. The deadline had already been extended from the Friday to the Monday and I still had five illo's to get finished. I told the design studio on Monday that I need another day. They told me I had to get them finished by Wednesday. I had loads to do. I still had to model some rabbits, so I hastily recycled a chicken into a bunny and photographed it in a few different poses :¬)

It took until 2am to get the last illustration finished. It didn't end up as I would have liked, but by that time I was getting desperate.

I was under pressure, but not quite to the point of losing it.

But overall was it enjoyable?

My only motivation was to please the people commissioning me... and the money. But in ter…

Tunnel Vision

At the moment I can't see past my current deadline. I have less than a week left and still countless illustrations to go.

I have 2 or 3 or possibly more business ideas which I can't think about at the moment but will get some attention in a couple of weeks. My main worry at the moment apart from the deadline, is how I will react immediately afterwards. For me there is always the coming down feeling after the frenetic activities involved in meeting a deadline. It's hard to wind down as all the thoughts which have been pushed to one side start to trickle back into my forebrain. I have no idea whether I will get a feeling of relief or regrets about how I could have done things better.

...that is of course if I do manage to meet the deadline.