Thursday, 28 February 2013

A little bit of summer to warm the last edges of winter

We've had a few hints that spring is on it's way here in the south-east of England and for a little while at least, I was vainly optimistic that we might see it early this year. False hope I know. Today the sky is an uncommitted shade of cool grey and even though I'm sitting inside with a jumper on and a cat curled on my lap, I can still feel a chill and a nip beneath my clothes and in my bones. As I have the house to myself and the whole day to do with as I please I thought I'd shake out a few of last summer's memories in the hope of spreading a little warmth, so desperately needed!

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Some pages from my sketchbook.

In honour of my previous post I have scanned some of my own sketchbook pages (well, if Rossetti and Burne-Jones can do it then so can I!). These are the scribbles that have informed some of my own finished pieces; my magic behind the magic.

p.s The last two pages on here are preliminary works for After the Fairytale Collective's February challenge. If you would like to see the final thing, click on the link below or the "Collective" tab at the top.

Saturday, 23 February 2013

The Magic behind the Magic...

This book was a Christmas present which, on opening, I nearly wept over. Not to sound overly dramatic or anything (I really did almost cry) but I was overwhelmed at having such a beautiful book in my possession which I first came across, and had instantly coveted,  in the obligatory gift shop at the Tate Britain's Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Avant-Garde exhibition (check out this online review of it). The pages of this book are just pure inspiration to me; filled as they are with the romantic work of the Pre-Raphaelites. But what makes it even more so is that it focuses on the sketchbooks, drawings, and preliminary work of these great artists rather then the final artworks themselves. It's rather like the unveiling of a magic trick or behind-the-scenes footage of a film. However, instead of being disappointed at the seeming simplicity of an ostensibly incomprehensible trick, it is reassuring to see the super-human talents of these artists be made more human in the revealing of the work that lies behind such beautiful finished pieces of art. In flicking through this book such phrases as "but those are the kind of confusing scribbles I have in my sketchbook!" spring to mind and, although I could not hope to achieve such skill in oil painting, it is pleasantly thrilling to think that I'm at the right beginning and to see my idols brought a little closer to earth. 

 Top: Simeon Solomon, A Pre-Raphaelite Studio fantasy. Bottom left and right: Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Caricatures of William Holman Hunt and John Everett Millais. Page 25 of Pre-Raphaelite Drawing by Colin Cruise.
 John Everett Millais, Study of the Head of Elizabeth Siddal for "Ophelia". Page 58 of Pre-Raphaelite Drawing by Colin Cruise.
 Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Fanny Cornforth. Page 94 of Pre-Raphaelite Drawing by Colin Cruise.
 John Everett Millais, Recto and Verso of a Sheet of Studies. Page 125 of Pre-Raphaelite Drawing by Colin Cruise.
  John Everett Millais, Study for "The Order of Release". Page 125 of Pre-Raphaelite Drawing by Colin Cruise.

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Holy Cow!

Just a small offering today. Another drawing for the Plaw Hatch Farm newsletter. There isn't much to say about it except that... it's a cow! An MRI cow to be precise; named after the three main rivers in Germany (Meuse, Rhine and Issel). Enjoy :)

Friday, 8 February 2013

A change of scenery.

So, some of you may, and some of you may not, be slightly perplexed at the radical re-design of this blog. I'm still slightly reeling from it myself but with the start of After the Fairytale Collective it was felt that a visual coherence needed to be implemented across our joint and separate blogs. To create a sort of family of blogs. And that is what lead to the change you see before you. Not perfect yet but it soon will be :)

Sunday, 3 February 2013

The Collective: This is going to be incredible!

Myself, Rachel and Diana have set up a collective between us called After the Fairytale: the collected imaginings of the cat, the rabbit and the blackbird. We are intending to take it in turns to set briefs for us to complete once a month to start with and we'll see where it goes from there. If you want to take a look here's the link:

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Happy Birthday Hannah!

I've been focusing this month on setting up a collective blog with two of my friends and fellow illustrators Diana and Rachel, more to come on that later. In the mean time, I made a birthday card for the very cool Hannah, it was her birthday at the end on January. This is what it looked like.