Sunday, 30 March 2014

PP: More patterns!

A few days ago I had a play with incorporating my artist research into some observational drawing to make digital images to use for pattern making.




Hardy as a pattern.

I could use these patterns with sublimation or mimaki processes to produce fabric products, like aprons, oven gloves, blinds etc. It would be nice to be able to produce wallpaper or drawpaper with so many colours, but the process would be very long and expensive. I could adapt the Ngai and Bard designs into two colours, one for the block shapes and another for the line work. Ngai's having blue and red and Bard's having two blues, for example. 

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

CS: Session 4 - Storyboarding

This week we were drawing storyboards for our animations, thinking about camera movement and positions.

The idea for my animation, which I'm calling 'ice-cream' for now, came about when I had the suddenly realisation I hadn't thought about my animation at all. I was in my bedroom at the time, staring at a poster above my bed, which was made by an illustration student I used to follow on deviantARt back in my GCSE days (You can check Jenni Bryan's work out at and I picked up on the yellow guy in the top middle section of the poster. 

Exaggeration was a key part of the example animation we watched in the first session, and I thought that I could build on this action of sticking out the tongue. It was a fairly nice day at the time, so I thought about a guy licking an ice-cream (probably because my girlfriend got me a LEGO movie ice-cream truck recently, as I do like me lego and me ice-cream.)  

I made a few rough sketches in my notebook and wrote up a brief outline of the animation. 

Then when it came to session 4, I drew up these storyboards: 


I thought about an opening title sequence, but I'm considering leaving the first 3 thumbnails out of the animation until I've finished the rest, as realistically we only have enough time to create a 20-30 second short. I added some extra content as I went along, so I have a feeling if I were to include those 3 thumbnails, the animation would run over.

My plans at the moment are to film some of the elements and rotoscope over them, such as the person running excitedly to the ice-cream van and the driver's over exaggerated grin, just to have some kind of reference to work over/from. Though I wont actually have people in costume, or source the exact scenery.

I'm not sure at the moment how much I'll be going in to sound production, only really having considered voices at the moment. I think I'll go for a Mr. Bean-esque grumble/grunt or almost inaudible speech.

Monday, 24 March 2014

CS: Session 3 - Rotoscoping practise.

Had a go at digital rotoscoping today, taking a sample video and drawing over it to make a new animation.

Used adobe media encoder to produce an FLV file from a sample FV4 video file. Also used to the encoder to cut the file down to a 5 second clip which we could import to flash to work with.

Then drew over the film, adding in elements. Like this little golpher's top hat and moustache. And replacing his little herb with a string of spaghetti, which he's about to throw up. The clip continues to a Koala yawning, which I was going to turn into an evil spirit escaping his body. It takes an age to do, but I look forward to shooting something myself and making a decent length animation.  

I love the movement that comes with no two frames being exactly the same, it really brings the animation to life.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Print Processes: Stage 2 - Where am I going? and Artist Research

As our induction workshops to the various print processes come to an end, it's time to consider stage 2 of the project and how our initial images need to develop. We'll be making examples or producing 2 products for the home, so the current theme of my work seems suited for the kitchen. However I feel like the theme of 'Man-made vs. Nature' doesn't communicate very well in my comparison of cultivated and wild fruit, veg and fungi. There's not enough contrast between the two.

So I'll be considering bringing in literal man-made elements from two areas of the household; the kitchen, including cutlery, chopping boards, work surfaces, pots, chopping knives and other tools. And the garden, including patio stones, plant pots, fencing, trowels, forks and other garden tools.

I'll experiment with the introduction of these through drawing in my sketchbook before moving on to stylised designs, which brings me to my second subject of thought. In my feedback from other projects there's been a consistent comment throughout, that my work doesn't reflect that of other artists which I look at as part of my research.

So I'm determined to have a play with the following artist styles, taken from my 'Interesting Illustration' board on Pinterest, before moving on to any further print production;

Victo Ngai: New York based illustrator originating from Hong Kong. Her website:

Sharp blocks of colour and tonal layers. Marks which provide texture detail, in a contrasting colour or negative. Contrasting line work which outlines the shape of the image as well as cutting into the block of colour to provide detail. Considered processes: Lino and screen print - for multiple layers of tone and line.

Golly Bard: Virginia based illustrator. Her blog:

Again, blocks of colour, but without outlining and the use of complimentary colours to provide detail rather than contrasting. Considered process: Screen printing. Lino, experiment with wetness of printing ink to get water-colour feel? 

I'll also be bearing in mind the work of Emma Dibben ( when trying to create a 'juicy' effect, perhaps applying an ink wash to the paper before printing:

Jim Field: His website:

Blocks of colour, no outline, but with black and complimentary coloured lines of detail in the form of densely packed, thin pen strokes. Considered processes: Lino, colour and line layers, though lines would be thicker. Screen printing.

May Van Milligen: London based illustrator and print designer. Her website:

Block colour, detailed with pen strokes and cross hatching. Considered processes: Lino for colour and etching for linework- if lino print can be soaked for etching process after drying. Results will probably be slightly warped due to pressing process. Lasercut cross-hatching details and paint on top?

Samara Hardy: Design student and freelance illustrator based in Falmouth. Her website:

A few of her works really got me thinking about using negative space to create shape and line. Considered process: Could work with any, though preperation of some (e.g. lino) would be time consuming.

Wren's roost: Marsha, an 'amateur' artist on etsy:

In respect to the processes we are using, this image immediately made me consider etching. The minimal use of line could be scratched into the paint and the blobby water colour forms could be printed through deliberately leaving ink. Could also divide into two lino blocks. 

Gabriel Alborozo: London based illustrator. Can't find an independent website, but here's his profile by Bloomsbury Publishing:

Would work in the same way as above, but probably make the image out of one extra layer.

I also had a quick look around my on kitchen to see where print had been used. 
Here are a few things I could produce:

Key holder: Could be made with a laser cutter, the base and the hook. Could paint into it also.

Blinds: Paper or fabric, screen printing. Probably best to produce a concept in PS and come up with a swatch.

I think this might just be an odd thing that my family do... using wallpaper to line boring cupboards, serves a practical purpose in absorbing any extra drips from the mugs and glasses. Could always jsut produce concept and swatch for wallpaper in conventional use too...

Fridge/boiler magnet: combination of print technique and lasercutting.

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Camp Comic Book Slumber Party 2014 and PCA Stuff Fayre

So last week from the 10th to the 13th there was an event on at college called CBSP.

Run by various alumni of PCA's illustration course (Jack Teagle, Isaac Lenkiewicz, Donya Todd and Lize Mennings... and Ben Wright) the premise of the event was to invite both students and the public into the college to make comics and friends! Yaaaaay! Unfortunately I could only make it to thursdays session Boo!

However I quickly rustled up a character and an idea for a comic page:

And challenged myself to get the comic finished by Monday so that it could be printed in the anthology.
I pretty much worked flat out on the bugger from Thursday night till' Monday afternoon. And it was worth it!

Sure it's a little hard to follow and the plot doesn't make much sense, but woooooooooooooo I met a deadline and got my work publish alongside practicing illustrators and other awesome people from college!

I also got some awesome goodies at the Stuff Fayre the following Thursday and had a sweet chat with Jack Teagle about perseverance and having fun after graduating.

It even got me in the mood to produce another little comic about Thursday's workshop.

Monday, 10 March 2014

CS: Session 2: Frame-by-frame animation practise

Practising drawing frame-by-frame in flash using the brush tool, onion skin option and key shortcuts. Then using the paint bucket to colour.

21 frame animation: took about an hour to do after farting about and exporting etc.

Because flash's drawing capabilities are quite basic, I'll have to be careful when zooming in/out to be weary of my brush size changing as I do so. The lines in the first frame are considerably thicker than the following frames. 

Same tools and process, but thinking about animating the whole face.

A good tip for the future is to animate the separate elements of the face on different layers and work on them individually, as you would when colouring one colour at a time.

Then we took a basic walk cycle from google images and traced over it, adding in elements of our choice.

Just a rough go at it, will have to plan some cleaning/touching up for my final animation.

*I'll try to figure out how to make a looping GIF to show these off at some point...