Buy a t-shirt of my drawing here
I ran a really successful and very fun workshop on the last Friday of half-term in the library. I really love running these workshops and they are a great part of my job. This one was based on ‘The Paper Dolls' by Julia Donaldson.
I missed the chance in the Summer to participate in Julia Donaldson’s campaign to create the longest paper doll chain as I was concentrating on the Summer Reading challenge. So I decided that we’d so something a little different.
Firstly we read the book together and learnt about the imaginary world of the paper dolls. We concentrated on the different appearences of the dolls and what they were wearing.
I gave each child a bare paper doll and a dice. They used the dice to choose the hat/hair, top and bottoms for thier doll. If they didn’t like what they got they had to roll the dice again until they liked what they had. The children were really enthusiastic about this.
After colouring in the dolls the children attached them to colourful lolly sticks to make puppets. Some children made two so they could have the dolls holding hands.
The children then answered a character questionnaire about their dolls, encouraging them to use their imagination to create a personality for thier doll.
I have neglected this blog recently. I’ve been concentrating more on reviving my cookery blog. I’ve been getting very excited about food and cooking on a budget in recent months and this blog has felt like a natural progression of that. I’m not giving up on the illustration side of things, and am illustrating the posts on my food blog. It’s been a really useful tool and given my drawings more purpose; although I don’t find food the most exciting thing to draw.
For Christmas I got a graphics tablet, which has sparked a series of experiments and a bit of an obsession! If you take a peak at my illustration blog then you’ll see some more of the results. It’s been really exciting and I’m loving exploring the things I can do!
I will endeavor to update the progress of my blogs and work on here more often!
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As well as working hard at improving my skills and expanding my portfolio, my spare time recently has begun to include the long dreaded search for another job. Currently I have two part time jobs that take up between 5-6 days of my week. Right now I’d kill for a normal 9-5, but it would probably kill me too! I really enjoy both my jobs, but that doesn’t stop them feeling like they are a means to an end, until I get a job I really want, either illustrating or working with education in galleries, museums or libraries. I’m probably closer to the latter.
However as of this week I have taken the plunge and am spending more time trying to get my work out there. It’s all very exciting stuff! I’ve entered a couple of competitions and I’ve started putting together a selection of works to send to art agencies and publishers (eek!) Any advice would be very welcome!
I’ll leave you with my latest painting, which I think needs going back to.
Recentlly I’ve been trying to teach myself about page layout and experiment with layering backgrounds in photoshop and on the scanner. This has allowed me to combine my paper cuts and drawings to create whole more finished images. I’m still learning and developing my work, but these early tests seem promising to me.
This was my first experiment, the bear is a little purple as it’s a photocopy of one of my sketches that I used in order to experiment. The colours in this image are a little muted, in the next image I scanned in the drawing, foreground shapes seperately and created the background colour in photoshop, where I put the image together.
The text in these images isn’t the most imaginative, I’ve put it in as a tool to teach myself a little about font and space to leave in my images. I prefer the colours in this image, it was a little rushed so there are a few white lines to crop still. I’m not sure about the drawing of the hare either!
I also wanted to see how this work with another scene,
This image combined my practice of people in poses and layering images. One of the feet looks a little strange behind the sand, but as it’s another layer I will just move it (I only noticed as I uploaded it here!). This is another image layered and then scanned. The shadows of the paper are more realistic this way, and I don’t have to worry so much about editing out white marks, but it is easier to change things the photoshop way!
Finally I tried an image using a range of shapes I had painted and scanned, and formed the background colours using painted textures and photoshop filters. I haven’t included text in this image.
So there you have it! My first four page layouts ever! They obviously need work and I need to practice this technique and decide what I want to achieve from it. But I’ve been having fun!
Don’t forget to check out my gallery blog to see updates of my work as I go along.
I’ve talked alot on here about my illustration work. I have spoken less about my other work in recent blog posts. Since finishing my internship in February I have been working in Hillingdon Libraries and Pitzhanger Manor House and Gallery in Ealing.
This summer in the libraries I have begun to take on the responsibilities of a children’s champion. This means that I run events relating to the summer reading challenge as well as story-times for under 5s and various outreach events within schools. The workshop style events that I have been planning and running this summer have opened up a whole new world of creativity in working with children. I never thought I would enjoy working with children, but I have found myself to be really excited by the activities and events I have been running. The photographs you see here come from my event ‘Make a Monster’ in which I read from the fantastic book ‘Morris the Mankiest Monster' by Giles Andreae and Sarah Mcintyre. The Children then described a monster for me to draw them before using body parts and features I had created to form their own monsters.
In Pitzhanger Manor I have kept one foot within the art world. I work here less than the library and do a wide range of things. Helping with the children’s workshops here have allowed me to learn more about children’s activities in these kinds of environments. All my workshops in the library have to have a firm base in literacy, and it is nice to help with events that have their base within art and the history of Pitzhanger Manor.
These jobs have worked together well to show me where I would like my career to go. While I will continue working on my illustration, I will also seek a career in education in Galleries and Museums. I plan soon to seek experience in schools, helping with events; before approaching them with my own workshop ideas.
So there’s the plan!
Don’t forget to check out my gallery of work where you can see my experiments with page layouts.
Even though its been a long time since I posted on this blog I have been very hard at work. Take a look at my work blog here to see what I’ve produced over the past few months, including my trip to London Zoo!
I’ve been steadily working at a portfolio and on improving my drawing skills and techniques. Using a combination of watercolours and fineliner drawing pens has really caused many of sketches to take on a new exciting quality. I’ve been experiementing with layering of different colours and using different thickness of pens with various results. Currently I’m concentrating on quick sketches that inform more finished coloured drawings, though I want to keep some of the looseness of the sketches.
I’ve been struggling with people. And I have been avoiding drawing them. I used to love to paint (in acrylic) portraits of people, while at school it was something I felt I was good at. But I have not drawn or painted portraits since I was on my foundation course 4 years ago and I’ve found it hard to go back to in a new medium. I have fallen out of practice and need to build my confidence in these sketches back up, so here come pages and pages of faces, noses, mouths, ears, eyes, body parts and portraits. Many of which I will probably want to rip up into many tiny tiny pieces! But hopefully for every several bad sketch there will be a good one, and with practice there will be more!
Looks like I’ll be taking my sketchbook to the pool on holiday with me next week!