I produced a couple of little booklets about drawing food earlier in the year, for an online Sketching course I was on with Sketchbook Skool.
And from those I created a little deck of drawing cards, which are quite fun to shake things up a bit with your drawing.
(And then there’s my ‘naughty “50 Shades of Grape” tea towel)
But four things isn’t quite enough to lay on a craft fair table; so I’ve been having to work on creating a foundation of ‘things’ to sell.
I’ve added about 20 cards onto my Etsy site, so far.
And I’m in the process of making some invitation cards and a third little booklet (Which is a bit trickier than the previous two, as it is completely original illustrations throughout – so taking considerably longer to put together)
(I realise that it is grammatically impossible to ‘first start drawing again’, but my pre-2009 drawing wasn’t really, truly drawing for a purpose, it was aimless drawing, drawing for the sake of producing a picture of a pretty scene. I was going through the motions, but I didn’t know who I was)
flash forward to now –
and I still see myself as a drawer of things in front of me, but things have changed, and warped.
As a magazine illustrator – I find myself being sent photos to reproduce and, sometimes, I’m sent ideas which I have to somehow conjure into reality (Elvis driving a camper van is still one of my favourites!) which involve sourcing photographs and manipulating them into a drawing.
This was something I recently had to do with a series of mythological tales. One of my personal favourites being the Tale of Brave Gelert. A faithful hound who protected it’s masters’ infant child from a wicked wolf.
As a card designer – I find myself taking illustrations and tweaking and tuning them in Photoshop.
Adding in, necessary, details; such as the information that is found on the backs of cards.
And having to work out page designs.
It’s quite fascinating finding out what’s just around the next corner; what I’ll be asked to turn my (drawing) hand to next …
I’ve enjoyed planning out one or two projects using notebooks and thought it would be quite fun to try to design a notebook that I can use to project plan.
Now I prefer to use A5 notebooks that i can carry around in my bag and I also prefer to have all the pages numbered, so that I can refer to a specific page for a specific element of the project. So, I knew I wanted at least those elements present.
But my approach has been a little topsy-turvy; rather than simply designing a notebook cover and then selecting a style of line for the interior pages, I instead opted for a fish-mash of different paper styles for the interior pages.
So each left-hand page is roughly blank, or at least doesn’t really have lined paper, and the right-hand pages have a selection of different lined papers. But the whole thing is presented as if you’ve already collected this diverse range of different papers and stuffed them into a notebook.
So here on the pages 32-33 spread you’ve got boxes which echo Instant Camera photos and a page from a diary with a bunch of page markers.
and on the pages 62-63 spread you’ve got the back of an envelope and a different diary page, with what looks like some kind of grocery list page.
So, every page is a different selection of hand-drawn papers for you to collect your thoughts on.
All the pages are numbered and the first page can be used as a contents page should you so wish.
It’s like some crazy scrapbook of a notebook – that seems to encourage sticking in of found articles and scrapes of additional paper.
I’ve been experimenting with little ‘incidental’ images to add to blog posts; part of a commission for a friend who has a blog about teaching – Mr Hill’s Musings.
It’s been an interesting commission, forcing me to learn to use some basic functions of Adobe Illustrator. I’ve always said that computers and technology are a bit like a foreign language – we only tend to learn what we need to ‘get by’.
I know a lot of illustrators enjoy using technology to tidy things up and make clean lines, perhaps even producing a whole project using technology,but I have to admit I like to see that contact with the paper – those wobbly lines, variations in line width and colouring. It just seems so much more authentic to me.
Earlier in the year I had to illustrate a cartoon picture of a couple of pirates having a bit of a disagreement.
I was really pleased with how the basic drawing came out – I liked experimenting with the different forms of line and texturing.
And then used pantomime colours for the colouring;
Hmmm … maybe it’s a bit too bright, for me (I do like those muted colours…) But I think it fits the brief of a jolly illustration of funny pirates slaughtering each other .
I’ve had a few crazy days of urban sketching. I’ll write more on this when I get back from my break – however – it was fantastic to meet up with old friends, but also to meet up with people I’ve only been in touch with via social media; people I’ve had conversations with, but never met. I also got to meet a load of creatives who I’ve admired for a long time – in fact it’s been so long that they actually knew me and recognised me! Boy, was that amazing!
It was also a wonderful opportunity to meet new people and make new friends.
And everyone was very supportive and friendly.
Now I’m looking forward to the next one – in Chicago! (Mmmm… That might be a bit tricky!)
Lucy was doing a Saturday morning course at Leeds University Art Department a few months ago; she really enjoyed experimenting with various art forms and it was a good excuse for Caroline and I to hang out in Leeds for a couple of hours; just enough time to wander into town and grab a cup of tea!
Trying to think of a foodie-related thing to tap into people’s feelings about food festivals – especially when they’re focussed on local produce – I figured a ‘fruit and veg box’ would be a good way to go.
Not this particular fruit and veggie box (on the left) as this was one I produced for Ali Ray’s “Pitch Up, Eat Local” cookery book a couple of years ago, for The AA.
So I’ve been working on a fresh box! In fact I only checked out this older drawing as I was completing the Leeds Food Festival illustration; and I think the newer one is a bit more colourful as it includes fruit and vegetables together.
I didn’t realise that it’d be landing in the real world so soon! Here’s my little contribution; basically an introduction to me and my drawing.
One of my primary motivations for drawing my food was documentation; usually when we go out for a meal it is to either to simply to have a lovely experience or to even celebrate, with friends and family.
When I look back at a foodie drawing – it often transports me back to that time and place; I am able to recall sights and sounds and smells at that location and better remember the whole experience.
Of course, the real trick is to not just draw a picture of the food, but to try to capture a sense of freshness, of heat, of liquidity – all the elements which make a simple dish into something appealing and mouth-watering.
I’d like to think that sometimes I am able to capture that particular lightning in a bottle – to evoke in a foodie drawing those elements which can make the viewers mouth water and create a sense of desire.
The reason why I prefer drawing over photography (although I do photograph my foodie subjects for reference purposes) is that drawing adds personality to the subject.
Taking photographs and drawing both incorporate skill and personality; but whilst photography works via the medium of technology, drawing works via the simplest medium of something as basic as a pencil. The creative can be far more involved in the creation of their work therefore.
I always feel like a lot more of my personality has been used and is on show when I create a drawing.
The word ‘quirky’ is often used to describe my work.
This isn’t something which I have strived for, but rather is a mark of my personality upon the work.
Head on over to my Etsy shop for a couple of little booklets I’ve penned about drawing food.
And I’ve also made a set of cards to offer a little bit of inspiration for drawing your food too!—
I’ve been a bit quiet on this blog for a week or so; the school term has been wrapping up, so I’ve been having to cross t’s and dot i’s and try to reach the end-point with everything completed that needs to be completed and retain my sanity too!
I’ve been working on another little booklet – something a little more interactive (no, not another colouring book!) – initially as an idea for myself, but I thought it might be fun to share it – another week, or thereabouts to finish the drawing work, and I should be ready to start scanning and getting it printed.