My style?

A torch shines. It’s light illuminates a running figure. A trail of blood shows its steps.

This was a transformation we had to do in our illustration workshop this afternoon.

How to show up the image? I used post-it notes to show the shape of the surface as the figure is running across the floor. If I hadn’t had just 20 minutes I would have added a chequerboard pattern. As it was it was fun to do.

When I clear photos

The remaining ones mix up. January’s in July’s, March’s in May’s. I find it hard to find pictures I want to use for college or for my blog. Hence this odd little photo, it came from a while ago and yet it is in recent images? I don’t know how to get them back in order. I think the old ones are filling in the spaces of the photos I have deleted.

So I have to put up with it. It does mean that I occasionally rediscover an image that I really like, and as I intend to keep on sharing images as I blog you will see what I find!

College work

I’m doing a single page narrative of how someone’s life has changed for the worse. So I chose hoarding as it’s insideous and creeps up on people. This is close to finished but I may add more. What do you think….

We had training at work about how to try and help hoarders. You can’t just tell people to throw things away, it won’t work. People become attached emotionally to their objects, an empty biscuit box might remind them of a relative they have lost. A pair of old shoes, a romantic holiday. Each item can be invested in memories and if they lose the object they fear they can lose the memory…. Sometimes people’s lives are overwhelming, if they live on their own with not many social contacts or an illness they may no be able to cope. Who do they turn to? And there is the embarrassment factor as well. Turning friends and family away because it’s hard to admit they have a problem. That’s what this little 9 panel story is about.

This image is in CYMK colours as it may be printed later. The size has to fit an A4 page with enough margins so the ink doesn’t bleed off the edges.

Easy rider

Part of the college course is narrative and storytelling. The webinar today was to write a short story then retell it in different styles. We had to use headings such as metaphor, dream, vision, retrograde etc.

For instance for the subject ‘dream’ I could say :

The day was quiet when a sudden roar was heard outside the door, a figure wearing a helmet and visor appeared in the room. I shall tilt at windmills on my steed he said. I will search out dragons. I watched as he rode up our street but as he rode the landscape turned to a seascape. He was riding a seahorse, his sword raised to kill the Kraken, but it turned into a wisp of smoke and he was swallowed whole..

From this you can see I probably don’t have the ability to write fantasy stories!

Building tension

As part of my illustration course I have to learn about narrative and storytelling. This weeks subject is about building tension in a story and we had to chose a book to look at:

I don’t have any graphic novels to look at, so I chose ‘Guards! Guards!’, by Terry Pratchett.

It tells the story of how Carrot, a human who was brought up as the step son of dwarves, and who may or may not be the heir to the throne, comes to join the City Guard of Ankh-Morpork and ends up fighting dragons to save the city.

The book cover is illustrated by Josh Kidby who helps raise the tension of one of the crucial scenes whilst including many of the cast of characters in the book. The illustration is full of drama but also emphasises the emotions of the guards.

Pratchett’s writing style is humorous and descriptive, he also uses the device of writing a continuous narrative, with no chapters, but swapping between different scenes which create a series of cliffhangers. His narrative carries you through the book with the images he creates almost visible to the mind’s eye:

  The dragon accelerated. The drunken rooftops of Ankh-Morpork blurred as it passed over,     wings sneering at the air. The neck stretched out straight ahead, the pilot flames of its  nostrils streaming behind it, the sound of its flight panned across the sky. 

 Just reading that makes me want to read on. I can see the flames and smoke billowing around the dragon. Will Carrot and the guards overcome this monster? Does Carrot die in a blaze of heat and fire? Will a million to one chance with an arrow save them?

You can see how much I have enjoyed this fantasy story by the state of the well thumbed cover.  I often look through the characters on the cover and try and match them up with those in the book. There is sometimes a mismatch between the words and the image but I think Kidby   handles it well.

I don’t have permission to use an image from Guards! Guards! So I did a quick doodle.

Digital drawing of Jazz

I was talking about digital art, about simple ideas to create interesting images. This is one of my old digital drawings I did years ago. Blocks of colour with added squiggles then drawn over the top with black, white and a few colours. Yes I did use different opacities but I think you coukd do something like this without them…

Trying to think of a three panel story

Rough sketches, three panel wordless piece. I experimented with colour and the positioning of the panels. Also could it be a front, side or top or bottom view of the cat and of it breaking out through the cat flap? Could the sequence change? What are the cats emotions? Why does it want to get out? Fear, adventure, looking for a friend? Lots of reasons, even sunshine….? Or a bird it’s seen singing outside… Oh dear!

Dancer/music

I went a bit mad for this, today’s #bandofsketchers prompt dancer/music. Made a drawing in metallic watercolours of a ballet dancer, I didn’t base it on a particular pose. When it was finished I wasn’t happy so I drew over it, then changed it in the photo app on my phone . I’m including all three versions I saved.

The inevitable

Sigh, it happened. Our intrepid outdoor cat has led my two indoor cats out into the great big green world of our garden. He is a bit of a cat burglar. Strong claws had forced the cat flap mechanism round so that the flap opened both ways. He must have come in for food overnight then forced it to get out. His Foster brother and sister were both ‘not in the house’ when I got up. That deafening silence that indicates ‘absence of cat’.

All I could do was call and whistle. Five minutes later, outdoor cat and Foster sister came in through the open door. Five minutes after that, Foster brother saunter up. You’ve been out I say, who me? He stares in innocence. I open the cat flap for him. No he wants the door opening. Finally they breakfast…. Now they are sitting tapping the cat flap again! Argh… Inevitable!