Wednesday, September 24, 2014

52-Week Illustration Challenge, Week 39

3D papier mache squirrel, decoupaged with orange paper printed with the words "squirrel", "paw", "ear", "tail" and "acorn", plus eyes made with "i"s - and an "n" for a nose.

Week 39 Words
Week 39: Words


Black Stained by Sharpie ink (a brushlike tip, supposedly for drawing on fabric, but nice to use on paper, too) on La Carta Weave textured paper.

Week 39 Words II
Week 39: Words II

Week 39 Words III
Week 39: Words III

Words and Pictures: Watercolour over cardboard templates, painted onto the page of movie reviews from Mx newspaper. (Ha! I was cleaning up the work area the next morning. The "audience" template, which I cut like a set of paper dollies from some card and used to mask off sections, looks too pretty to throw away. Into the Odds 'n' Ends box it goes. We may see it again some day.)

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

52-Week Illustration Challenge, Week 38

Oil pastel giraffe wearing a bilby mask - and a bilby wearing a giraffe mask. Signage created in Word, torn edges and painted with coffee.

Week 38 Giraffe
Week 38: Giraffe


Two-part paper finger puppet - one finger forms the neck. Outlined in black Sharpie, coloured with watercolours.

Week 38 Giraffe II
Week 38: Giraffe II

Week 38 Giraffe III
Week 38: Giraffe III

Freehand silhouette in black card collaged to a safari print gift bag. 3D eyelashes cut from white paper, with curls rolled over the end of a paintbrush. I was creating this at lunchtime today when a Facebook message came in announcing the passing of my actor friend, Elaine Lee (Vera in TV's Number 96) and I suddenly realised that my new giraffe needed to have - instead of white cartoon eyes - big white eyelashes. (Many happy memories having drinkies in Elaine's dressing room, after a stage performance, and watching her peel off her huge false eyelashes.)

Week 38 Giraffe IV
Week 38: Giraffe IV

Mixed media collage with chenille sticks (poking through random holes made with a hole punch), torn paper and self-adhesive faux fur safari skin on a quill board background.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

52-Week Illustration Challenge, Week 37

Black and green Sharpie outline with watercolour.

Week 37 Balloons
Week 37: Balloons


Assemblage art with waterbomb balloons (decorated with Sharpie inks), metallic pipe cleaner, Scotch Expressions patterned "washi tape" and coloured card:

Week 37 Balloons II
Week 37: Balloons II

Thursday, September 04, 2014

52-Week Illustration Challenge, Week 36

"I'll huff and I'll puff and I'll blow your house down..." - Mixed media collage backdrop for a puppet show. Acrylic paints, real straw for walls, paper clouds, windows and door, thumbtack doorknob with commercial wolf puppet.

Week 36 House
Week 36: House


I decided I needed to do Part 2 of House I. "He huffed and he puffed and he blew my straw house down..." Mixed media collage backdrop for a puppet show. Acrylic paints, real sticks and cardboard bricks for walls, corrugated cardboard door, thumbtack doorknob, paper clouds and windows, computer print-out photos, with commercial pig puppet (playing three roles).

Week 36 House III
Week 36: House III

Between the above mixed media collages, I created another collage with flint paper, card, corrugated cardboard, black ballpoint ink and glitter stars. The black house is actually the negative space cut from the indigo flint paper:

Week 36 House II
Week 36: House II

Cotswold Cottage (1600s) and gardens, all transported from Chedworth, Gloucestershire, England, to Henry Ford's Greenfield Village, Michigan, USA. Watercolour and black Sharpie.

Week 36 House IV
Week 36: House IV

Week 36: House IV - mounted

Thursday, August 28, 2014

52-Week Illustration Challenge, Week 35

The beautiful art nouveau Métro entrance to Abbesses Station in the Montmartre district, Paris, France. In winter. Green and black Sharpies, opaque white Signo and watercolours on Mont Marte watercolour paper.

Week 35 Paris
Week 35: Paris


In the style of Théophile-Alexandre Steinlen's iconic poster for Rodolphe Salis' Le Chat Noir, here is my interpretation of le Chien Blanc, created in collage, black Sharpie, opaque white Signo and watercolours. Model: Jack Russell McLean.

Week 35 Paris II
Week 35: Paris II

My muse struck at about 10pm and I finally posted the pic after finishing at 2.30am and was too pumped to sleep. I hate it when my brain wants to keep being creative! In 1974, when studying French at high school, I used to wear a T-shirt with "le Chat Noir" printed on it, having originally bought it because it had French language on it, and having no idea how famous it was, nor its relevance to Montmartre! Last year, visiting Paris for the first time, the image was everywhere: in every Parisian gift store and souvenir shop and almost every cafe. Plus little white dogs (and dog poo) just as ubiquitous! Made me miss my Jack Russell so much seeing copies of him everywhere!

Is the tennis ball supposed to remind us of the "The French Open", aka in Paris as "Roland Garros"? Mais oui, but it is also there to hide a blemish in the background paper that was exaggerated by the scan. I came back from Paris last year all fired up with ideas for a story about a little white dog in Paris but, a few weeks later, my writer friend, Natalie Jane Prior, bought out her new picture book: of a little white dog in Paris (Pom Pom, where are you?).

L'escargot et la grenouille. Collage of painted watercolour paper, black Sharpie, coloured card and a downloadable, online, 3D menu:

Week 35 Paris III
Week 35: Paris III

I was trying to get the frog to look more shocked. But frogs are already so wide-eyed! The tiny print on the crumpled hors d'oeuvres menu actually lists both snails and frogs' legs. I found a free customizable menu template on the web! The sample already had a snails dish listed and I quickly altered the title of a different dish to include la cuisses de grenouille. (Just in case it's not "Paris" enough, it has an address card for the site of my cousin-in-law's first taste of snails. Much happier with it now. The shadows from the menu were all wrong last night, and I realised that the snail was seemingly falling off the table in the first version, but I'd stuck him down too firmly.)

Thursday, August 21, 2014

52-Week Illustration Challenge, Week 34

Metamorphosis roulette: cocoons often look alike. Will I get a butterfly, or just a moth? Collage of torn card, crumpled brown paper bag and watercolour paper, black Sharpie, lettering in Word, and a light watercolour wash.

Week 34 Butterfly
Week 34: Butterfly


Black ballpoint, watercolours, opaque white Signo. Childhood poem recreated in Word. From an era when all children's poetry had to rhyme. The poem was selected for a book that my primary school teacher-librarian, Janette McKenny (later Mrs Mercer) created the old fashioned way - and had bound in leather. "Just One More". I have enquired of the school and it seems to no longer exist. The original artwork pages for each poem were coated in egg-wash and I suspect it may not have withstood the decades. The butterfly above, of course, was painted this week!

Week 34 Butterfly II
Week 34: Butterfly II

Stained-glass window butterfly (in black card and cellophane layers - four original pastel colours of pink, yellow, red and blue) flies over my back garden - near the tree that inspired Tree Week. The result is way more subtle (and better) than originally intended. I was on my way to the newsagents to buy traditional sheets of cellophane giftwrap (with its vivid translucent colours) but ended up at the Chinese bargain store, buying four rolls of cello. But the unrolled portion was revealed as being so pale as to be almost transparent - and it took four layers to reach any kind of intensity of colour!

Week 34 Butterfly III
Week 34: Butterfly III