31 December, 2008
23 December, 2008
20 December, 2008
17 December, 2008
15 December, 2008
04 December, 2008
25 November, 2008
...and here is my personal card. As you can see, the theme is as usual a Cornish village in an unlikely covering of snow. In the foreground is a rather Barbara Hepworth-ish sculpture garden, inspired by my visit to St Ives this year. This is my ideal garden and given the chance I would have brought it home with me.
You can see hubby and I walking the hound and son and his fiancee admiring the tree.
I have had to farm the printing of these out this year, due to a regrettable breakdown of the steam printing machine tethered to the computer.
05 November, 2008
I haven't even got any fireworks because I'd planned to surreptitiously watch next door's display from behind my rhododendron with my daughter. All I've got is three jacket potatoes and two of those are on the turn, which means I'll be ok but Elodie and her mum are bound to whinge about theirs.
So I've thought things through carefully and next year I've decided to have the last laugh by drenching my bonfire wood with water, rendering it unlightable.
Stay safe and follow the firework code, kids.
23 October, 2008
Anyway, my chums at b small publishing kindly sent me Korean versions of four Science Around You books through the post today. I illustrated these books last year for them and although my Korean's a bit rusty, I reckon Elliot probably hasn't even seen the Korean alphabet before.
So when he's round I'm going to ask how he's getting on at school, to which he'll tell me he's top of his class. I'll then give him one of the Korean Science Around You books to look at and when he tells me he can't read it because the writing's 'funny', I'm going to convince him he's dyslexic!
20 October, 2008
In previous years I have been tempted to try the 'pair of sausages - Frankfurter style' for lunch. They aren't good. This year I ate sandwiches instead and thought I'd make use of the "Illustration Machine" to illustrate quite how unappealling the sausages are. This is the machine's interpretation of my request - not exactly representative of boiled sausages, dry bread roll and blob of mustard.
Fortunately nicer food was to be had in the evenings and the Fair was as expected a good chance to meet customers and promote our services to publishers.
You'll be pleased to hear that most of the publishers I spoke to were sounding positive in spite of the tough economic times we are told are imminent... Fingers crossed then!
07 October, 2008
But Sarah left the series and I grew up (sort of) and my feelings remained hidden until 1992 when the twenty one year old me found out Elisabeth Sladen would be doing an autograph signing session in London. So the portrait above is one of two exact portraits I did of her (taken from a photo in the second Doctor Who Monster Book, fact fans). I kept one which she signed and I gave her the other and she was lovely about it. She accepted the drawing, put her arm round me and kissed me on the cheek in front of a load of other Doctor Who anoraks. And in that moment I was five years old again.
Now, quite rightly, Elisabeth's back on telly and fighting the monsters once more in the brilliant Sarah Jane Adventures and, quite rightly, my little girl's a fan too. Our Sarah Jane x.
26 September, 2008
Some of you may remember the little wood engraving print I made of our Jack Russell Charlie last year...well, I submitted a print of him to the Society of Wood Engravers Annual Exhibition and he got selected!
So this Tuesday saw hubby and I down at the Bankside Gallery in London, attending the Private View. We had a thoroughly enjoyable time, speaking to fellow engravers whose work I have admired for a long time. The buzz of seeing my print hung in such distinguished company was priceless.
The exhibition travels around the UK over the next few months, so if anybody has the urge to go and see a collection of amazing craftsmanship and artistry, go and feast your eyes.
Bankside Gallery, London 23.09.2008–05.10.2008
Bristol, City Museum and Art Gallery 11.10.2008–14.12.2008
Newcastle on Tyne, Northern Print 16.01.2008–21.03.2009
Art Jericho, 6 King Street, Jericho, Oxford 22.05.2008–27.06.2009
24 September, 2008
This is a large charcoal drawing (so technically not a sketch as the above title suggests) of him condensed down to a handy blog sized chunk and if you saw the recent Leonard Cohen post from August then you'd know how much I like to get on my easel in breaks from the rain which provide short breaks from book illustration. So this drawing was done as a distraction.
22 September, 2008
18 September, 2008
01 September, 2008
26 August, 2008
07 August, 2008
I don't know about you lot but taking a break from the desk and taking to the easel is something I look forward to a lot. When them deadlines are a looming and things are getting pressured and when the going gets tough, the tough sketch Cohen.
Did you see what I did there? Ahhh, you'll come for the drawings but you'll stay for the weak puns.
10 July, 2008
Below the scallop shell is an image of three armatures for the current commission. They are for the hen, duck and horse. Below that are the animals at various stages of development. The horse and duck are semi-roughed out. I modelled the hen's body but decided I would need more detail for the head. So I did that separately and added it to the body in Photoshop! Shown at the bottom of this post.
03 July, 2008
This country was ruled by the Governor, because the heirs of this country - the Count and Countess - were bewitched into black and white swans, which can still be seen in its Coat of Arms. Visitors could only cross its border by first learning its very special greeting-ceremony and by buying a so-called visa.
One of the more rewarding projects I did quite some years ago - at the end of 1989 to be precise - was designing its own currency: the "OoitSenten", which could be purchased at "the Bank of Ooit".
I'm proud to say, that these banknotes were printed by the printing-house, where also the dutch national banknotes and passports were (and are) printed: The Royal Joh. Enschedé in Haarlem , founded in 1703, one of the ten oldest family-businesshouses of the Netherlands.
That's why the OoitSenten look so beautiful (at least in my opinion) with their special iris-print; the gradual change in colour in each note.
So if you like, check out: ooitgetekend.blogspot.com
Only in dutch, I'm afraid, but with loads of illustrations.
19 June, 2008
I stripped the bark off and reconnected all the bits of wire framework and built the whole thing up in green plasticine. It was like creating Celtic knotwork which is more like maths to me than art. Having said that, at times I quite enjoyed creating the sculptural form.
15 June, 2008
04 June, 2008
27 May, 2008
15 May, 2008
08 May, 2008
The subject of 'Orphan Works' is currently causing a stir in the USA with proposed legislation called the 'Orphan Works Bill'.
It basically proposes that if someone cannot identify the creator of an image following a basic search, then they can call the image an 'Orphan Work' and use it however they want without having to obtain permission and regardless of who owns the copyright.
Though this is proposed US legislation, it could affect all international artists as it could be your images that are described and used as 'Orphan Works' in this way.
The Illustrators' Partnership based in North America is leading the campaigning against this bill and is asking people to write in now and express their concerns with a pro-forma letter they have supplied:
"For international artists and our colleagues overseas, we’ve provided a special link, with a sample letter and instructions as to whom to write."
07 May, 2008
a, I didn't know him and
b, I was only 6.
So what's old Leighton's connection to Elvis? Well, apart from the spectacular burners that streak down the sides of our faces, we're both beautiful and can sing the birds down from the trees with our deep, honey-toned drawl. Admittedly Elvis was more successful with his singing career than me but how many books did he illustrate? Eh?
Thank you. Thank you very much. You're a beautiful audience ladies and gentlemen.
Leighton has left the blog.
11 April, 2008
You don't have to be an AOI member to fill in the questionnaire and it is anonymous so you may wish to contribute and help them exceed the 250 responses they received in 2004.
The responses they receive are used to compile statistics to help them when lobbying on behalf of the Illustration industry...
"The Association of Illustrators is currently engaged in an important industry wide information gathering exercise that relates to all illustrators, the commercial practices of commissioners and supply of statistical information to influence Government and various lobbying groups etc. Deadline is Monday 21 April.
It would be very much appreciated if you could take 6-7 minutes out to fill in the on-line questionnaire below. Just click on the link."
07 April, 2008
Back from another successful visit to the Bologna Children's Book Fair catching up with existing customers and seeking out potential new ones.
This was our 5th consecutive year visiting Bologna and as it is focussed on Children's Books, it is definitely the best Fair for us to present our portfolio to a wide selection of British and International publishers...
...and the food is much better than at Frankfurt too!
20 March, 2008
.......but now slightly different.
This is one from a series of four illustrations which I did for - and to be used in - an archeological exhibition in the town-museum of the city of Vlaardingen (near Rotterdam). The pictures tell the story of one of the earliest counts of Holland in his struggle for independance from the German emperor in the battle of Vlaardingen in AD 1018. In this battle the poorly armed Frisians (as they were called) defeated the mighty German army, which could hardly manoeuvre on the - at that time - inaccessible, swampy terrain of the dutch delta, full of water-courses, dikes, swamps, puddles and ditches. As a result almost all soldiers were killed by the dutch or drowned, while withdrawing in panic. the Duke of Lorraine was captured and served as a hostage in the negotiations with the Emperor. Ultimately this event led to the rise of the powerfull county of Holland.
Because image-sources from that time are very rare, my client and I agreed to use a very rich informative and famous contemporary source from 1066: the Bayeux Tapestry; which I did with much pleasure, for it's fabulous!
18 March, 2008
11 March, 2008
I need to start looking for a new computer for my illustration work. My present one (Powermac 867 dual mirror door for the techies among you) is at least 5 years old and although chugging along still, I'd like to replace it before it expires.
Now my question is this: do I spend an awful lot of money on a new basic Mac Pro model which I know will do the job and last me another 5 years or so...or do I go for a much cheaper and more compact imac with 24" screen? The thing I worry about is the screen...is it up to professional standard colour correction for publication? I read on a forum that there are issues with some units having uneven screen illumination, which isn't good news.
Does anybody out there have any thoughts? (Apart from buy a Windows machine....not an option. ) All opinions welcomed and thanks.
17 February, 2008
These are some images from a commission I'm working on almost continuously now for the last 4 months and which I hope to finish at the end of February. It is/was great fun but at the same time it will be a relief when it's ready!