Thursday, 23 March 2006

Fancy a bacon sandwich?

I've been a busy beaver today. I started off taking advice from the lovely Linzie and the equally as lovely Ben, and made myself a load of scan-able textures. I've ended up with about 12 full sketchbook pages of really nice patterns, made even nicer by the fact the results are all happy accidents, like the marbling. A small selection:

You may be able to detect a slight printing theme. The top three are made with a roller and water-based printing ink. They are actually a nice Prussian blue, but I scanned them in greyscale to make things easier. I love the bottom one. The hump in the middle looks like a Japanese mountain overlooking a lake. The very bottom one was made by dabbing a small cork on a ink pad. I love the way each splodge is so individual, even though it comes from the same mould.

So, on from these lovelies, I tried applying them to my latest piggy ink sketch. Results thusly:

I think I'm getting somewhere. It's just a case of churning out as many variations as possible, I think. Working with a brush with the ink is really "free". I've just drawn the line straight off, and not worried too much about any details or being too precise. Drawing fairly large really helps too. You can get into the flow of the line much more, plus nice accidents happen with the thickness and weight of the line. Oooo, I'm all excited now! However, I really must go scrape all the ink off my desk.

Wednesday, 22 March 2006

Chicken hash.

Following some tips from the Lovely Linzie, I had a quick go at making my chickedy more retro.

Tuesday, 21 March 2006

Chick, chick, chick, chick, chicken, lay a little egg for me....

The order of the day was chicken.

And a few girls, obv.

I've shown these to Mark, and he's liking them so far, so more of the same tomorrow, it seems.

Monday, 20 March 2006

Let's do the Timewarp again.......

Spud came over Friday night, and the three of us teetered off into town to watch The Rocky Horror Show. It was a new production, so a lovely new set to perve over. Such a nice feeling to have an evening off, a kind of celebration of deadlines-passed.

Take a butcher's at our sauciness:

That last one of Spud is my fave!

A big old catch-up.

Oh dear, oh dear. I do seem to be incredibly slack lately. However, all the big deadlines are now out of the way and I can go back to experimenting.

Today I finally managed to get my new Eeries postcards out there into the ether. Hopefully they're winging their way through the postal system as we speak, off to earn me new contacts and new contracts. I addressed and stamped 62 of the little buggers, so I hope they reap some rewards. I've found them to be very useful so far, and I've only handed out about 10 of them. Seeing Rima talking to ADs at the London Book Fair two weeks ago made me take a deep breath and say "Right, if she's brave enough to actually show her portfolio, I can go up to someone and just hand them a card." I got a call from Fernleigh books the day after. Gemma, who used to work for SGA, now works for them, so it's very nice to have someone I'm quite friendly with already in a new publishers. Plus, it's brought in a lot of email enquiries and more traffic on my site. Speaking of which, the new and updated website is now online. I'm especially proud of it as I built it all myself in Freeway. No more relying on Lovely Jon to update it for me. I am my own (web)master! Mwah-ha-ha!

I spent the rest of my available time drawing chickens. I'm going back to experimenting with line and digital, and I thought chickens were as good a place as any to start. Here we go:


And a few attempts with colour:

I like the black line. It's very simply done with just ink and a brush. I'm going to have a go with stick-based line-making tomorrow, and even just sketching really small with a fineliner and them blowing it up to see what happens. I'm not so sure about the "sponge" effects on the second chick. Maybe it's too much. I'm off to have ANOTHER look at Linzie Hunter's site for inspiration.

Monday, 6 March 2006

The weekend's activities....

...have nearly killed me.I am knackered. Actually knackered. Lovely Jon and I spent the weekend putting up our shed at the allotment. It looks fandabbydozy- like a real place to grow veg now, even if I do ache all over. Here is me, wearing a thousand layers just to stay alive, with my new weekend retreat:


Today has ben spent getting to grips with the new mini mac and installing PhotoShop and related gubbins. I've also been re-building my website using Freeway, most of which I've forgotten since the weekend, but I am slowly getting there.

Saturday, 4 March 2006

This week's Illustration Friday subject - "Insect"

A little ladybird I did around Christmas time to use on badges to sell in the Open Studio. One of the better sellers. Also one of the first pieces using Dr. Martin's Inks.

It's all a bit technical....

I'm teaching myself Freeway this evening. I think I've got the basics down, but it IS making my head hurt a bit.
It's about time I got myself into gear and learnt some web-building techniques. I can't rely on Lovely Jon to keep updating it for me forever, especially as he's just as busy himself. This way I can do a new piece of work and have it online the same day.

All I need now is some work to put up and I'll be well away.........

Friday, 3 March 2006


I feel REALLY bad I've not uploaded anything this week. I did actually kill the iMac (please, I don't want to talk about it), but once my new MINI MAC (OOOOooooo) is up and running there'll be more to see.


Big news today: (adopts dodgy Yorkshire accent) I've only been nominated for the bloomin' Kate Greenaway medal!

Check out the shortlist HERE

Up against the reet famous likes of Mini Grey, Dave McKean and Lauren Child, I don't think a young whippersnapper like me will be winning any large prizes, but it's just fantastic to be nominated for something so huge.