Showing posts from October, 2009


'Global' in the context of Illustration is a word I do not like. I just got the comments back from the editor on the Camel brief. In one of the first illustrations he wanted the sand to be more yellow and the sky lighter. There are several other changes required but I thought having to make the alterations to a few illo's wouldn't be so bad. But that innocuous word 'global' means I have to apply the changes to EVERY illustration, all 40 of them. And they want the camels eye to be yellow! I didn't come across any camels with yellow eyes in my extensive research. But somehow I must think of a way to give them what they want. the customer always right?

Shifting Sands

I thought the title was apt in the light of my recent work:¬)

I always get the feeling of arriving at a crossroads when I finish a commission. And this time is no exception. Last time round I spent a lot of time learning CGI techniques. To me it's like climbing a slippery slope. Just when you think you have got up to a certain standard, another piece of software or technique comes along to send you sliding down again. So I've decided to allot the time available to making real stuff. I'm talking tables, mantle clocks, sculptural forms which serve a purpose other than just aesthetics.

I started on a figurative study today. As I stated before, I am only any good at something my heart is into. The sculpting felt natural to me and I hope it will reflect this. I'll post some WIP images soon.

Oh My Gourd It's A Ring Holder

Well it could be I guess. As I don't have a potters wheel. I'm basically rolling out the shapes on a board. This ended up kinda gourd shaped. Because these 'block pots' are solid initially, when you slice through them to form a lid you can guarantee the lid will fit the base.

It's the surface finish of the form which should bring it to life. We have been shown how to use liquid slips, (watered down clay) to add colour to the clay's surface. And how to use Sgraffito, (scratching through the slip to reveal the clay beneath). But I am looking forward to trying different glazes,. oxides etc.

First Pot WIP

I guess it looks a bit naff so far in the raw clay, but believe it or not this is the beginnings of an incense burner. The coiled section is the lid and will double up as the snuffer. It's a variation on a simple pot we were shown how to create in the first of my ceramics classes. You basically create a form in solid clay, slice through with a cheese wire to form a lid, then after it has become leather hard, hollow out the inside.

It is still very wet, but once dried I intend to fire it with some kind of metalic glaze for the lid and a matt blue for the base.


This is just one of the required exercises on the course. I don't see myself making a habit of producing a lot of pot like objects:¬)

Tomorrow I'll be starting a sculpture which is more within my comfort zone:¬)

The Last Of The Camel Illustrations

These were two of the last images I produced for the brief. I opted to use aluminium foil for the pool in the bottom picture instead of using CGI and just used a couple of filters in Photoshop. The gravel/soil I ordered for the ploughed field had to be sent from France in the end. It arrived on the day the illustrations were required; which would have been ok had the colour and texture been suitable. Unfortunately neither were. I had to rely on pure CGI in the end. It was all a bit of a rush, but I hope I got away with it.

I've spoken to my Agent about the possibility of writing and illustrating more Rudyard Kipling books. It obviously depends on how these are received. I have been attending a ceramics course for the past couple of weeks. It is only 2 hours a week but it's full on in terms of learning techniques. I also joined to see if I could make new friends. Unfortunately the class is made up entirely of women most of whom I don't think I relate to, but a couple seem to …


I decided to give my Blog a bit of a change. I'm afraid I get quite bored with things being the same for too long. But maybe that's a good thing.

I'm Free

For the first time in three months I am free to do what I want. Just in time for the cold weather to set in:¬(

Where did the summer go? That's the problem with having a contract that runs from July through to September.

Choices, choices, choices

What to do next? I think I'll clear the decks and get all that sand out of the crevices, (it really does get everywhere).

I am thinking of several options including ceramics. I'll talk about the ceramics course I'm taking in my next post - it does offer some inspiration.