And finally!

img_5323Over the Summer I’ve been tussling to create some kind of products.

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.

Focus and Location

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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)


Hmm, not quite sure what I am anymore …

Jills HouseWe’re talking 2009 when I discovered Danny Gregory’s approach to drawing when I first started drawing again.10 - Apr - 12 - Creative License

(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.

 

 

bg1 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.

 

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

04-04-caramelised-red-onionAs a writer of foodie booklets – I find myself having to test, and retest (and retest) recipes before I can think about illustrating them.

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 …


Drawing food and little booklets

Wow!

03 - Trout smWordPress have featured my drawing in an article about food drawing bloggers!

“Have Your Cake and Draw it Too” – Food Illustrators Reflect on Taste and memory

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.

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And I’ve also made a set of cards to offer a little bit of inspiration for drawing your food too!IMG_3423

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.


Coming soon – to Sketchbook Skool

02 - Whisky smEek!

How very exciting!

I’ve got an online sketching school video coming along soon! (Okay, I really can’t use exclamation marks at the end of every sentence, can I?)

I was asked if I’d like to present a class (or Klass, as Sketchbook Skool likes to call them) just before Christmas.

So, after having my house filled with a film crew for the day, the Sketchbook Skool people went away and have put my online sketching videos together.

Here I am in the latest promo video!

https://youtu.be/teV1zHDSoQU

 


Letting my monkey have a rest

coffee monkey sm2Danny Gregory writes about our inner monkey – that nagging voice that criticises and pulls faces at our ideas and our attempts to put them into practice.

Let me put this into context for me.

This monkey drawing was a commission for a colleague at work.

I do not know this monkey.

It is not my inner monkey.

When I was asked to draw it – a monkey with a mug of coffee – I carried it out not realising the meaning for myself.

Sometimes out monkeys screech and cry loudly in our minds, sometimes they go quiet and I’m pleased to feel that my own personal inner monkey is on a bit of a hiatus at the moment. It is taking a break. It is no longer in the house.

Thank you.

goodnight.

 

It’s nice to think that the darned monkey won’t return, but I’m sure it will. (I’ll enjoy the ride more whilst it’s putting it’s feet up for a while) But what would art life be like if it weren’t there at all? How can we truly relish those full-on creative times , when nothing stands in our way, if we can’t recall those times when our inner monkeys mock and deride our work?

We can only appreciate the sweet when we also put up with the sour.

I’d love to be able to say that I have some magic words to help push through blocks and ruts, but I don’t. I think the main thing about making art, is … making art. But sometimes we have to look up and study the landscape that we are going to paint. Sometimes we have to reflect and do other things, so that we can bounce back and leave our monkey standing, er sitting with it’s coffee.

Bemused, perhaps, at our creative surge, but silent.


Betty’s Tea rooms II

Bettys A2 smI’ve posted this picture before. 

Well … sort of .

Hit the link above to see my original posting.

Any changes? Well, I’ve tinkered with the text a little. Just a bit here and there, just to tidy it up.

A bed and breakfast in York has requested a print of the sketch for one of there themed rooms, so I’ve polished the writing up a bit so it’s a bit more A2 print-worthy! Yes, you heard it here first … A2! Blimey! I’m used to seeing my little sketches in teeny tiny A5 sketchbooks.

Anyway, back to the story …

When I originally posted the sketch I can’t believe that I missed out the best bit!

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As usual before I started sketching I took a quick photo – using my iPad for a change.

Sketched my Fat Rascal and cup of tea – then enjoyed them.

By which time Caroline had finished her meeting and had come to join me for a second round of refreshing tea.

and then we headed back to the car ….

Reaching for iPad … I found that was super hot and the battery was down to a low percentage.

Somehow it had been taking photos the whole time! From the point when my tea and cake arrived – through my sketching and relaxing, then sitting with Caroline chatting and the walk back to the car!

 

I had about 3500 photos to delete on the way home!

And all of the inside of my bag

Each of the following photographs had several hundred examples. And while I can appreciate their, quite outstanding photographic excellence, it was a bit tedious scrolling down through hundreds of them!

And deleting them too!

Now, I love my drawing bag as much as the next person but 3500 photos from the inside seemed a little extreme!

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On the Cover of a Magazine

This month’s Camping and Caravanning Club Magazine boasts my illustrations splashed across the cover.

Well, actually, not just splashed across the cover, but the magazine title too. I guess it seems quite fitting when the magazine is a Food Special

Some of these illustrations are from the inside of the magazine – this month’s Eat Local article is about cafes.

But most of them were commissioned for cover. All cakes and tarts and puddings and a barbecue.

Completed cover sm