Sunday, 25 January 2015

Happy Birthday Burns

A snippet from one of Burns' most well known poems 'Tam O'Shanter':

But pleasures are like poppies spread, 
You seize the flow'r, its bloom is shed; 
Or like the snow falls in the river, 
A moment white-then melts for ever; 
Or like the Borealis race, 
That flit ere you can point their place; 
Or like the Rainbow's lovely form 

Evanishing amid the storm. -

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Book Cover

I've been working away on a brief for a book cover.  It is part of a competition by Floris (an Edinburgh publisher) to rejuvenate the cover of the children's book 'The Hill of the Red Fox' by Allan Campbell McLean.

The competition details are here:

Below are two finished illustrations with minor differences.  I still don't know which one to choose.  Once the main illustration is done, it becomes a critique of small details:

Front/Back Opt 1

Front/Back Opt 2

Option 1 I like because it shows a different scene and more of the landscape, but Option 2 has the cover wrap around from front to back and looks simpler which can have more impact.

Overall I'm happy with the illustrations and enjoyed the process.

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Mono Printing

As well as Lino cut printing, we were introduced to monoprinting.  Named because you can only create the print once.  I loved and hated it.  I love how unpredictable it is.  Not knowing the effect you are going to get.  It is great for creating textures and patterns, and for achieving a more interesting line than say e.g. nib or pencil.

The hate part is the mess. You can suddenly find yourself surrounded by 50 sheets of inked paper with nothing you like or are happy with.  You can easily let it frustrate you and make you want to throw everything away as a waste of time.

But, like most artists media, you have to make mistakes, and figure out how you can make the medium work for you.

For my illustration using monoprinting, the brief was open, so I decided to do a little picture of my friend who was visiting Edinburgh at the time from Australia.  I did lots and lots of different prints and then composed and coloured in Photoshop.