Studying for an MA in Children's Book Illustration at Cambridge School of Art....a wonderful place with lovely people!

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

More snow!

Well, it's still here! Really enjoying painting with stops me concentrating on the detail and it is good to be working with colour after so many black and white drawings. As the snow has fallen so early this winter, the Autumn leaves are still on the trees so created this really unusual scene.

Monday, 29 November 2010

Life studies

First attempt at a life study in and quick to do!

Let it snow!

I hate the snow...anyone who knows me, knows I HATE SNOW! ...But it's lovely to look at so I'm looking on the bright side and doing some pictures!

Early in the morning there were some very dramatic skies. Painting white geese on white snow was a bit of a challenge!

A little bit of colour

Last week Jane brought in some of her sketchbooks and prints to show us. Her work is so colourful and very simple in style.

Went out in the car (it has been so cold!) and tried some watercolour landscapes.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Drawing at the Botanical Gardens

Went on a drawing day to the Botanic Gardens. Really enjoyed it as I was much more relaxed than when we first all went out drawing. It makes such a difference now we have all got to know one another and are not so scared or making a bad drawing.

As usual I embarked on an epic drawing which would have been great to finish but did not include any people. Fortunately Pam came to see my work early on and suggested I use the day to draw my fellow students so I made four quick drawings. I would like to go to again or to a similar place another day (perhaps in the summer!) and make a detailed study /watercolour when I have more time.

Would just like to give an honourable mention to the brave souls who sat outside for two hours a sketched! I took the easy option and drew in the glasshouses!

Had a very interesting presentation from Egmont Publishing who have a strong connection with the MA course. The recommendation to build a promotional website was a good one I think!

Working for a change

I have had a few small illustration jobs in's one I worked on this week. Have been finding the illustration jobs easier since I have been working on my drawing so that's good news!

The first two images were for children aged 5-6, the next two for ages 7-9 and the last ones 9-11. The customer only requested one change which is very unusual....I would have expected at least one change to each illustration, so maybe my drawing is helping there too!

Dark and Creepy

After an interesting but very confusing tutorial last week I thought I would stop trying to do everything that had been suggested and concentrate on one recommendation per week. This week I tried drawing tonally on a smaller scale. Beth and Chris said they were very creepy!

Monday, 8 November 2010

What a mess!

Had another good day in the studio this week. Always come away so tired though!
Think I may be going back to too much detail with my work.

Had done one drawing with inks and dip pen the day before. What a windy day! Crows and leaves flying everywhere...inks tipping over. Wasn't too sure I liked that way of drawing but the feedback was that generally everyone preferred the inky drawing to my painstaking pencil drawing of Beth. I persevered and did some more...still think its a very messy way to draw and hate having black fingernails!

Watched a very interesting film called Picture Book at the end of the day...featured our tutor Martin Salisbury and my hero Shirley Hughes!

Monday, 1 November 2010

My Beth playing the piano

A really busy week and 'artist's block' combined so that Saturday arrived and I hadn't made any additions to my sketchbook. Beth was home this weekend so decided to sketch her playing the piano. Sketch turned into marathon!

Had a fantastic day in the studio last Wednesday and had so many ideas from looking at everyone's work. Unfortunately circumstances meant I had to miss the lecture this week, but studio time with Jane and Alexis was fab as usual.

Although I have been trying to get away from detail I felt a real need to hone everything I have been learning about ie composition, tone, context. Alexis suggested I needed to now be more careful with my mark making when suggesting tone and this led me to make a more careful rendering of the scene.

I am waiting for some inks and a dip pen (suggested by Pam last week) to arrive ...think this will speed up my drawings but this weekend I had to make do with my soft pencils.

Really enjoyed it, but after eight hours drawing, felt exhausted!

Started to photograph my work for the Blog, although they are not as clear as scanning. I am worrying that the scanner is smudging my work. Well and truly fixed this with several layers of now my sketchbook smells lovely :)