So, I’ve been away from here for about four months. It’s been a really busy few months, two new jobs and moving out of my partner’s parents and in to our own flat. Now that we are settled in I finally have time to draw and blog again.
So here is what I have been doing!
The summer reading challenge is once again underway and keeping me busy in my new capacity as Assistant Branch Manager at Oak Farm Library. I have been drawing some Oak Farm Ogres and other mythical characters to use in events and workshops. I have also been spending a huge amount of time planning and now running free events for children in the libraries.
At Pitzhanger Manor I have been working as Maternity Cover for one of the Education and Learning programmers. This involves encouraging schools and community groups to come to the gallery and participate in workshops and tours relating to our exhibition programme and the historical house.
I really enjoy both my jobs but it recently I was beginning to feel worn down from sheer number of hours working. One day I will have one job!! Maybe…
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.