Friday, 28 February 2014

Bird in hand

I think I am back to do another post-a-day challenge. Well, nearly everyday anyway. Will see what happens. Today's picture was not inspired by anything in particular. Most things I do are just an experiment in using lines and colours playfully and I usually start out by drawing a few simple lines and then seeing what I can make out of them. I have loads in image reference that I gather off the web and this seeps into my unconscious and emerges bit by bit when I am drawing things. I usually aim to do things in about half an hour or so just using a clean page on the iPad. 

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Sunday, 23 February 2014


Today felt like the warmest day of the year so far and I had an enjoyable bike ride out and about though it was overcast, damp and very windy. Scribbled these trees in drizzle - the iPad is fine in such conditions but it would have been impossible to use my sketchpad. It isn't a brilliant sketch but I was playing with patterns and exploring how I can use and incorporate them into my iPad illustrations when drawing  from life. I rather rushed it because I was beginning to get a bit chilly.
I have been exploring more with my acrylic paints but after working for so long digitally I am finding that traditional painting is sooooo slow and not yet giving me a sense of life and playfulness that I get with iPad work. Will continue to experiment.

Friday, 21 February 2014

Rose pattern

I'm liking floral patterns on black backgrounds this week. The roses don't work for me and look a little scruffy but the concept feels ok. If I had spent more time on this then it might have looked better and I will add learning how to draw roses to my list of things to do.

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Trends and things

This experiment came out of some informal research I did today at work into floral designs with black backgrounds. I found some inspiring reference material on the web and drew this. I'm not hugely pleased with it - drawing on the iPad has limitations in that I can only use 16 editable layers and once I move an element off the edge it gets cropped. Still, it kept me quiet for an hour or so and made a change from drawing cats and birds which I have been doing a lot of recently.

Since visiting Spring Fair at the NEC a few weeks ago I have become far more interested in design trends. Partly because it has now become important to me in how I develop my own artwork (and that at work of course) and also because it is a wonderful excuse to just browse the web and look for interesting pictures. I use Pinterest now as a personal resource for collecting illustration and design reference material.

I have also begun to experiment with acrylic paints and I am developing a vision and strategy for doing something new but at the moment that is being kept under wraps and I'm not sharing my ideas on this publicly yet. Some new digital artwork ideas are also evolving alongside but I need to work out how to implement these as I don't have the luxury of a modern digital studio at home - just a slow rather old one that might just about work but I haven't had time yet to sit down and power up to see what will happen. Or else I just downscale everything to the iPad and use that 'cos, actually, it does much of what I want to do pretty well - and more affordably! 

So lots of creative thoughts flying around. Must be springtime.

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Monday, 10 February 2014

Green cat

A green cat. I am beginning to combine artwork created in Procreate with more graphic elements from iDraw. I am working on some new illustration ideas but not sharing all my scribbles or ideas here. Things are evolving....

Monday, 3 February 2014

Hopton Titterhill and Croft Castle

I have been up to my favourite part of world this past weekend. Saturday was spent around Hopton Titterhill in South Shropshire. I had a very enjoyable walk from the main cark round the hill and down the eastern side to the restored castle keep at Hopton Castle where I sheltered from a heavy rain shower. I then continued past the church and along the road towards black hill, up towards Obley then back to the car. It wasn't too cold and the sun was almost warm when it was out, but at one stage I did have to shelter in an old barn from a torrential downpour and almost gale force winds. A day of contrasts. Wildlife notes: as I drove up through the village in the early hours of the morning I came across a hedgehog wandering around; found a dead goldcrest which actually looked so small and almost cute (not idea why it had died); and came across a couple of the largest wood ants nests I have seen for many years - one must have been almost 4-5 ft high - very rarely have I seen any in this part of the Welsh border.
Sunday was a gorgeous sunny day for the most part and again it wasn't that cold. The above picture was drawn in the walled garden at Croft Castle (NT): weeping willow, snowdrops, hellebore and honesty.