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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Illustration, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 6,254
1. Christmas 2015

My holiday stamps this year -

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2. Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town


Poor, misguided folks. They missed the whole point. Lot’s of unhappiness? Maybe so. But doesn’t Santa take a little bit of that unhappiness away? Doesn’t a smile on Christmas morning scratch out a tear cried on a sadder day? Not much maybe. But what would happen if we all tried to be like Santa and learned to give as only he can give: of ourselves, our talents, our love and our hearts? Maybe we could all learn Santa’s beautiful lesson and maybe there would finally be peace on Earth and good will toward men._Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town_ Movie

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3. confessions of an obsessive sketchbooker

It started with a girl on a train. I had to start it somewhere, so it started there.
Then I got into work and it grew (I still have to pinch myself that I go into work to draw).
I was trying to cover up the mess of the marker pens that had bled through the previous and following pages. I love marker pens, they are my new favourite thing. But they do not like sketchbooks. They do make a right old mess. Although I kind of like that. I like the challenge and, actually, you could look at it in a totally different way; the stains/mess give you something to work with.
Yeah. Plus, it really suits the way I like to create my sketchbook drawings these days. You see, this chaos and mess expresses much more about what goes on inside my head than any of my earlier 'perfect', serene, calm sketchbook drawings did. Sure, I get that I was looking for that at the time - a kind of peace - and that's what I was hoping to achieve from drawing, but, for along time I denied the mess. Not any more.
There are no rules to this kind of drawing. Nor rules or restrictions to making these kind of spreads. They're just a sprawling stream of things that are happening multiplied by a stream of consciousness. That, at this present moment in time, is my favourite way to create my sketchbooks. And, is the most interesting way too.
Okay, there's just one rule. Spotted it?
Yeah, never leave one millimetre of paper untouched!
There is still a little time to order from my shop for Christmas. Inspire someone you know, to draw their lives, with my zines or books. Or treat yourself. You can find my goodies, all created with love, HERE.

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4. I’ve been saturating my mind with...

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5. L'ingrediente segreto- Cover

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6. New Self Promotional Postcards

Getting ready for a new mailing after the holidays - my new self promo cards:

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7. My Illustration Masterclass - Big Black Friday Sale!

Okay, much though I personally hate the whole Black Friday bonkers shopping thing, it turns out that there is an very definite up side... (pause for drumroll)... 

... because my Craftsy class is going to be offered at a special SALE PRICE for the whole weekend - hurrah!
So, if you haven't got around to signing up yet (shame on you :-D ) here is the SUPER-DUPER BLACK FRIDAY SALE link to my illustration masterclass, which will teach you how to draw the most expressive and funny picture book characters. I make it easy. Promise.  

Just think what an amazingly original Christmas present idea it would be for an arty friend. Or maybe just an early Christmas present for yourself (the best kind of present...). Go on, treat yourself...

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8. Happy Thanksgiving 2015!

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9. DESIGNER - sara jane langlois

Sarah Jane Langlois is a freelance illustrator/designer and one of the latest artists to join the Designers Directory on P&P. Sarah Jane works from a little studio by the sea in Guernsey and this beautiful island location provides much of her inspiration. She has recently moved more into surface design and hoping to license some of her work for  greetings cards,  stationery, prints for children

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10. Thankful


“Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving.”

_W.T. Purkiser

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11. I'm on Manchester's Library Cards!

Manchester Libraries have redesigned their library cards and they thought that the children's cards ought to be illustrated. 

They used illustrations from my baby books as part of their publicity when the newly refurbished library was launched last year (do you remember the poster?). So they came back to me this time and asked if I would let them use my work on the library cards. It seemed such a lovely idea, of course I said yes.

They sent me some samples of the actual cards. Great aren't they? To launch them, they organised a days of children's events with me. We had a lot of fun. I thought it only fitting to read the three books featured on the cards, so I read Kangaroo's Cancan Cafe for the first time in a long time (complete with feather bower and high-kick dancing!), as well as Bears on the Stairs and Class Three all at Sea

I did two storytellings in the morning, then a workshop with older children and their parents in the afternoon. We had a great turn-out and it went really well.

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12. Why are children's book deadlines like buses?

They always run over time and then three arrive at once. 

What is it with my local buses? Yesterday the bus into town was 15 minutes late, then I waited nearly an hour with my daughter in the rain for a homebound bus back again. Why can't they keep to timetables? What is it that holds them up? 

From Michael Rosen's Nasty (Barn Owl Books edition, UK)

Well I shouldn't complain too much, I'm hardly one to point the finger at other people running late. This year has been demanding, illustrating books can take up a very large chunk of time, and I've been very, very late with all my projects, hence my limited online activity for much of this year. 

I wish I could anticipate production time for books more accurately, it's so much easier when you only have one or two images to create, e.g. for editorial (magazines) or other non-book work. I wouldn't say I prefer 'other' illustration over books, they're two entirely different types of work, but editorial is a lot more straightforward and easier to calculate schedules for. You read the commission, bash out some idea sketches which the editor quickly evaluates (in the case of Tokyo's Wingspan magazine it's within a matter of hours), do the artwork, and it's done! An editorial drawing might take just a couple of days including sketches, or at the most a week to turn around. 

Idea sketches for a recent editorial feature in Wingspan magazine, about an environmental exhibition featuring the biggest paper ball in the world. 
The finished illustration
Scheduling books however is much more difficult to calculate. 

For a start my technique and style of working is very different for books, the artwork for which is usually non-digital, in ink and watercolour. Books pull you into the 'world' of the text, you have to absorb the tone of the writing, to plan and compose the pages with a coherent narrative, to tell the story visually over succeeding spreads with strong characters and compelling compositions. It takes a great deal of contemplation and experiment to get into the skin of the text. Picture books usually have at least 20 images, often more, and always evolve and develop between concept to final book, whether self-penned or illustrating a commissioned text. At every stage of a book's production there are tweaks, re-writes/re-draws, adjustments and revisions, especially in the case of non-fiction where research is such a crucial aspect of the process. Books are complicated things with a whole manner of challenges that can potentially upset your carefully laid plans, even before you get to final drawing and painting the artwork. Despite the assumptions of a recent TV programme, you can't turn a book around in a day.

Early pencil sketch for Yozora o Miage-yo. A great deal changed between this and the final book.

All this planning and tweaking is okey if you take just plan one commission at a time, but if you've more than one project in the pipeline the pressure is on. You might find a relatively small unanticipated delay with book 1 causes a major re-scheduling of book 2, and complete postponement for book 3, if the publishers can't wait you find yourself in a mad dash to meet multiple deadlines all landing at the same time. It's exactly comparable to how ripple effects of minor delays cause major traffic jams, or buses to arrive late and bunched together.

This has been the case for me this year, which has been filled with two non-fiction picture books involving a lot of research and revision, one, Will's Words being a history of Shakespeare and the original Globe theatre, written by Jane Sutcliffe, and the other Yozora o Miage-yo (Let's Look at the Night Sky), written by Yuriko Matsumoto, on the subject of star-gazing. 

It's finished! Completed artwork for Yozora o Miage-yo

These were exciting but very involved projects, requiring much more time than initially anticipated. Both will see publication in 2016 - Will's Words by Charlesbridge publishers in the USA, and Yozora by Fukuinkan Shoten in Japan. 

There are certain ways you can speed things up - cut down time off, spend less time in front of a computer screen, work to more stringent daily routines etc., there are ways to cut down procrastination. But finding the correct balance is important, it's all very well working into the early hours, but with longer commissions what you gain from over-working on one day you tend to lose the next day due to fatigue
However, with the artwork for these titles now completed things will get a lot easier now (touch wood!) -  I've other delayed book commissions waiting in the wings, thankfully fiction!

To all my long-suffering publishers and editors, my deepest apologies.

Now, onwards!

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13. New MB Artists Catalog

MB Artists has released our newest catalog, themed "Adventure".  Check out all of fun new artwork!


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14. Pick of the Week for ANIMAL and This Week’s Topic



Happy Illustration Friday!

Please enjoy the wonderful illustration above by Tamara Domuzin, our Pick of the Week for last week’s topic of ANIMAL. Thanks to everyone who participated with drawings, paintings, sculptures, and more. We love seeing it all!

You can see a gallery of ALL the entries here.

And of course, you can now participate in this week’s topic:


Here’s how:

Step 1: Illustrate your interpretation of the current week’s topic (always viewable on the homepage).

Step 2: Post your image onto your blog / flickr / facebook, etc.

Step 3: Come back to Illustration Friday and submit your illustration (see big “Submit your illustration” button on the homepage).

Step 4: Your illustration will then be added to the public Gallery where it will be viewable along with everyone else’s from the IF community!

Also be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter and subscribe to our weekly email newsletter to keep up with our exciting community updates!


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15. Tips for Loosening Up, Plus a Bonus Giveaway

Watercolor illustration of a bear and snail in a forest by Jessica Lanan

Hello, dear readers! Today I have a mishmash of a post to share with you, so I hope you’ll bear with me. (Ha.)

I have been on a bit of a quest lately to loosen up my technique. If you also struggle with this, know that you are not alone. It takes an enormous amount of practice to get the “quick and effortless” look instead of the “catastrophic disaster” look, so we watercolorists often get very tight and controlled in order to compensate. Of course, there are many different ways to work with watercolor and some artists do the “controlled” thing extremely well, but if you’re looking to loosen up, here are a few techniques I’ve stolen from other artists over the years that I’ve found helpful:

  • Using brushes that are much larger than I find comfortable
  • Minimizing the number of washes. The entire background of this image was one big, wet wash, not twenty-seven separate washes detailing every single leaf and bush
  • Using a lot more water and paint than seems reasonable; enough that I often end up having rivulets of liquid draining off the paper
  • Getting to know the paint. Many colors lighten in value or lose saturation when they dry, so it needs to be even darker than you think when you paint it on
  • Waiting for a wet-on-wet wash to completely dry before moving on to add details
  • Varying textures. I used some dry brush technique in the trees to simulate pine needles
  • Painting lots of really bad paintings that will never, ever see the light of day. I plan to burn these so that no one can accidentally find them when I die
  • Working as fast as I possibly can
  • Occasionally closing my eyes. (Just kidding! Or not…?)

I hope those help someone out there just as they helped me!

In other news, copies of The Story I’ll Tell are here, so I can also do that second giveaway that I promised you several weeks ago.

The post office didn't do the best job ever on this one

The post office didn't do the best job ever on this one

Fortunately, the books are just fine.

Fortunately, the books are unscathed!

Leave a comment below if you’d like a chance to win a signed book! I’ll announce the winner next Wednesday.


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16. Calendario 2016!!!!!!! :D

Calendario 12 mesi

edizione limitata di sole 50 copie
Carta patinata, 30x24cm

Monthly calendar, limited edition of 50 copies only
Matte Finish paper,  11,81x 9x44 inch. Italian language.

Price € 15,00 + spedizione (shipping)

Italia                           raccomandata   € 3,00

Europa                       priority mail (not registered)   € 7,oo

                                   registered mail € 9,50

for more info contact: blog.aris.blog@gmail.com

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17. Class One, Farmyard Fun: Mapping the Farm

In between my residency sketching days, I have been working on the roughs for Class One Farmyard Fun, my new picture book. It's another one by the lovely Julia Jarman, our 6th collaboration. It is full of all the usual fun and mayhem which Julia writes so well.

The action involves an escaped bull who moves around the farm, chasing various children and tossing then into the air. I tried to make a start, but was having trouble getting my head around the 'geography' of the story. I realised that I needed to create a map of the farm, so I could establish the layout and know which animals were where (ignore the 'flying' truck on the map by the way - that's me drawing a bit of reference off Google Images): 

The map was instantly a great help. As I'm working my way through the drawings though, I am occasionally having to go back and make changes to the farm's layout, so that certain things will fall alongside others which are juxtaposed in the text. 

For instance, I originally sited the whiffy muck-heap to the left of the bull, under the trees by the lake. The sheep had to be nearby, because Julia's text mentions them both on the same page:

They saw a lot of woolly sheep
And a cock on top of a whiffy muck-heap.
But they didn't see...

But this bit of text comes immediately after a page about the bull, so the two bits of the rhyme are on either side of a single spread. This is the first bit, about the bull:

...the bull in a strop.
They didn't see the big bull frown
Watching Class One walking round
Some of them wearing red
Which makes bulls cross - or so it's said.

I started off drawing this spread as two single pages, but there was such a lot of text to work around on the bull page, I couldn't get it to work. 

So I combined the two sets of drawings and turned it into a spread instead. Which meant going back to my map and moving the muck-heap and the field of sheep over to the right of the bull. Unfortunately, this change had a knock-on effect on an earlier page, but at least I had got things to work at last.

This is not the finished rough. It's early days. I get better as I go along, so often come back and re-draw the earlier spreads.

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18. Pick of the Week for WHIMSICAL and This Week’s Topic

Screen Shot 2015-11-12 at 12.19.50 PM

Happy Illustration Friday!

Please enjoy the wonderful illustration above by Carolina Laverde, our Pick of the Week for last week’s topic of WHIMSICAL. Thanks to everyone who participated with drawings, paintings, sculptures, and more. We love seeing it all!

You can see a gallery of ALL the entries here.

And of course, you can now participate in this week’s topic:


Here’s how:

Step 1: Illustrate your interpretation of the current week’s topic (always viewable on the homepage).

Step 2: Post your image onto your blog / flickr / facebook, etc.

Step 3: Come back to Illustration Friday and submit your illustration (see big “Submit your illustration” button on the homepage).

Step 4: Your illustration will then be added to the public Gallery where it will be viewable along with everyone else’s from the IF community!

Also be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter and subscribe to our weekly email newsletter to keep up with our exciting community updates!


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19. Comics Illustrator of the Week :: Paul Smith





Paul Smith - Wolverine and Roguefalcon-1










Marvel Fanfare 1Bnexus-38






Dr Strange #68B paul smith terry austin 1985X-Men_Smith_Sibal




















This week we celebrate the artwork of comics legend Paul Smith! The 600th issue of Uncanny X-Men hit the stands this week and I was very pleased to see that Smith contributed one of the variant covers for this landmark issue. X-Men was really the reason I got into comics as a kid. In fact the very first comic I picked up and read(besides the Bob’s Big Boy comics they used to give away when you ordered a kid’s meal..) was Uncanny X-Men #166 with that glorious Paul Smith cover of The X-Men battling the Brood!

A good friend of mine at the time(probably ’83/’84) had an older brother who collected comics and he had an big, old chest full of them(no bags ‘n boards, mind you..). So, when I’d go over there for a sleep-over, I’d get to rummage through his treasure trove of funny-books and then pull a few out for some late-night sleeping bag reading! Those Paul Smith issues of X-Men were truly magical, and always will be to me. There have been many great artists to work with Chris Claremont on his classic X-Men run, including legends like Dave Cockrum, John Byrne, Terry Austin, Bob Wiacek, John Romita Jr, Barry Windsor Smith, Arthur Adams, Alan Davis, Jim Lee, etc. etc, but for me, my favorite X-Men artist will always be Paul Smith. 

Smith is mostly a self-taught artist. He worked as an animator on Ralph Bakshi’s The Lord of the Rings and American Pop before working at Marvel Comics in the early 1980’s. After establishing himself on titles like X-Men, Doctor Strange, and Marvel Fanfare, Smith would go on to do more independent, critically acclaimed series like Leave It To Chance and The Golden Age, both with writer James Robinson. He continues to work in mainstream comics for special projects, and cover illustrations, while also staying very busy with private commission work.

The best place to get updates on what Paul Martin Smith(PMS) is up to and to see more art is on his website here.

For more comics related art, you can follow me on my website comicstavern.com – Andy Yates

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20. Happy Fairy Friday

Original Painting Available Here: 

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21. LOVE IS….

Un altro assaggino :D

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22. Happy Birthday to Joni

Made this little sketch to celebrate the birthday of Joni Mitchell. My idol. My hero. My inspiration. I've pinched - I mean, been inspired by - her lyrics more than any other artist, to use in my work, as blog post titles, as life coaching. Happy Birthday Joni (her birthday was actually yesterday, but I did draw this late last night so it was kind of in time, although as my family and friends will tell you my birthday cards, presents and wishes are always, without fail, late).
A young Joni in, my new drug of choice, the Pentel brush pen.

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23. a bit about making art commissions

 I thought I'd just share a bit about the making of an art commission as I've been working on a few of them recently. I also thought I'd post about it because perhaps, just maybe, sometimes, some folk don't quite realise what goes into these things.
So, I was commissioned to draw this beloved Land Rover in front of this beloved house.
 Now, I'm not really one for drawing from photos, things would have been a damn sight easier if I were, but I like to really get a feel for the place I'm drawing. There's absolutely nothing wrong with photos and I took a few as visual prompts/reminders, but I started with sketching from life. Which, living in the UK, and specifically the north, means one thing; standing/drawing in the rain.
So I got a load of en location sketches together; some of the Land Rover, some of the house, some of the Land Rover and the house. I made them on various papers and various sizes with various materials. Then, when I was chilled to the bone, I went home to work on the finished drawing.
...into the wee small hours of the night. Well, morning.
Then with some sleep between us I started again. I'd been building up to adding the colour, and putting the red door in. I say building up, but I mean dreading. I knew that bit of colour was make or break for the picture.
Then I totally panicked that I'd made the picture to feminine. So, I spend more time worrying over the colour and making it more red than pink. Then I spent a bit more time worrying that they'd hate the it and be really disappointed. This is an obligatory stage in the whole commission making process, I find.
Unfortunately, I haven't got a photo of the whole thing. It was A3 in size and I don't have a scanner big enough.
So, there's just a little insight into what goes into making commissioned artwork for somebody else. To be honest, it doesn't even scratch the surface. I haven't even mentioned the blood, sweat, tears, anxiety, deadlines, avoiding deadlines, procrastinating, deadlines and avoidance. Next time.

 Oh, I needn't have worried so much, he loved it. But, I know I'll go through it all next time too.

I currently have FREE shipping worldwide on all of my original drawings (including a Land Rover Defender) in my Etsy shop HERE. I truly appreciate, more than I can say in words, being supported in this way. It keeps the wolf from my door.

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24. illustration friday~whimsical

moonlight mavens
11x14 acrylic on canvas
©the enchanted easel 2014
truly this week's IF theme was created just for me....and little maggie. ;) two little insomniac BFFs painting themselves a whimsical night sky. ' cause while the rest of the world sleeps, we paint. :)

{throwing back to last july 2014 for this one...my website's home page image and the *face* of the enchanted easel. a bit more about this painting here....}

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25. Rain Rain Go Away

I just completed illustrating a book about floods. I think it rained the entire time I was working on it. The sun finally came out today! And now I start a project I am super excited about.... more to follow.... Read the rest of this post

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