Fileas and the Balloons

Unicornloon1

UnicornLoon

I have been taking part in the Animaloon Collective on Twitter- each month a new animal is chosen to inflate (February is Guinea Pigs). What fun!

I decided to try and use it as an opportunity to work on Fileas Funeral Pyrate as he has been cast aside over other work lately and it’s frustrating . I cannot stress enough how important it is to keep your own projects and interests alive when you are doing work on other people’s projects – it’s a good way to relax and take stock of your own goals – it’s all too easy to see your personal projects abandoned and collecting dust where you left them. Drawlloween helped me with that in October and now the Twitterverse is keeping me sane with Animal Alphabets and Animaloons.

Fileas is a story I am developing. It began with the idea of him starring in scenarios I wanted to draw and I’m now looking at developing his character and giving him some history.

TurkeyloonBalloon

The earlier drawings for the Animaloon Collective

The illustrations here are the works in progress. I drew him on his Grandfather’s bike and then added a growing entourage of balloons – each month I added more detail to his clothes, and of course the new balloon. Each month I noticed all the flaws in the drawing too, so it became a useful tool in assessing the work which, unfortunately, eventually turned into self-loathing. Oh! the horror of how bad I thought it was! I decided the time had come to make a new illustration using the Indian ink I had fallen for during Drawlloween/Inktober. I enjoyed making the hot air balloon/Grandfathers bike conversion so much! The ink makes swift work of the colouring and works very well with my beloved Polychromos pencils!

The New Year balloon  is a unicorn which I decided to Steampunk because Fileas is Steampunk and I am excited that this balloon project works with my original plan of using the character for  practice with environments, as well as his developing story. This new idea for my animaloony balloons will no doubt evolve. It is evolving! The bike, and adding a new balloon each month, could only last so long so I’ve committed myself to a new illustration each month –  a patchwork, steampunk inspired hot air balloon with Fileas at the helm! Saying that, I’ve already set my cap on a space ship for next month…

Fileas Hot Air Balloon (Reindeerloon)

Fileas in his Hot Air Balloon (with a Reindeerloon to light the way)

 

Bibliography and Inspiration

Spectrum 22

Spectrum 23

Spectrum 24

Sci-Fi Essentials, Imagine FX/Future Publishing.

Anatomy for Fantasy Artists – An essential guide to creating action figures and fantastical forms, Fabry, G., and Cormack, B., David and Charles Publishers, 2006.

Animaloon Collective – @animaloonies

All of this:

https://drawingpaynes.wordpress.com/inspiration/

 

Music I listened to

This is a link for a playlist called Into the Void  from the YouTube  channel “Pandora Journey”– its dramatic, sci fi, futuristic space music and its wonderful! I listen to it a lot when I’m working !

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9kEMzXw7P2A&t=1596s

http://www.pandora-epic-music.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Endangered Animals

Art work for Endangered Species

I have participated in Twitters Animal Alphabets community for a year now and its been so rewarding! Its also been a little heartbreaking this time round.  The latest prompts were all about endangered species, a joy to draw but so sad to find so many amazing creatures that are at risk because of the human impact on habitats and animal population.

It finished a few weeks ago and this is the complete collection.

First 16 AA2Template Last 10 AA2_edited-1

I managed to make every single one and learned a lot on the way. Both on creative techniques and, sadly, on the horrors people inflict on animals.

The illustrations can be viewed individually here.

The next round will be about monster movie/book characters! A more palatable kind of horror,  I have to say, and I’m excited to have spent a whole month practicing! I took part in Drawlloween/inktober. So exhausting and so worthwhile. I’ll update my journal with the collection (and what I learned) shortly. Even the really bad ones. I don’t care – 31 drawings in 31 days is immense and I seriously don’t think I can expect to be happy with every single one.

In the meantime: Animals. I’ve singled these two drawings out as the numbat was my absolute favourite to draw, and the cranes were made at the request of Animal Alphabets to use as the reference art for week W (I’m so proud!).

 

I’ve included my inspiration, books and music below but it was over such a long period of time its all I can remember!

Bibliography and Inspiration

Anatomy Essentials, Imagine FX/Future Publishing.

Terryl Whitlach

I would really like to own all her books but for now I am pinning and following on Instagram:

Bobby Rebholz

I also follow on Instagram, and pinned:

 

Music I listened to

The Raveonettes

Queen of the Damned Soundtrack

My Chemical Romance

As I Lay Dying

Nine Inch Nails

 

 

Funeral Pyrate and the Animaloonies

I have joined in with another drawing collective on Twitter. It seemed the perfect opportunity to get Funeral Pyrate out of the house. Each month a different animal is chosen to be inflated like a balloon. Its pure silliness and a lot of fun!
I am grouping all of my balloons together. Each month I will add the new balloon.

Eventually Funeral Pyrate will fly!

Animaloon gopher

Funral Pyrate and his balloons

 

So far we have done a cat, a dog, a sloth and a gopher. I will re work this design at some point and make it with watercolour, for fun/practice. I have to say it though, my heart has been stolen by the Polychromos pencils. Perhaps the two can be a team!

 

Bibliography and inspiration

Sci-Fi Essentials, Imagine FX/Future Publishing.

Anatomy for Fantasy Artists – An essential guide to creating action figures and fantastical forms, Fabry, G., and Cormack, B., David and Charles Publishers, 2006.

Animaloon Collective – @animaloonies

Music I listened to

Logan Soundtrack

Warm Bodies soundtrack

Interpol – The Undoing, Always Malaise, etc

The Endangered

First 9

I have completed the first nine animals for the endangered species Animal Alphabets project on Twitter. It’s really keeping me on my toes, as I have a mountain of other things to do and to learn. I’ve got to say it; we are very bad for the planet and its inhabitants. Every animal I have researched for this so far is dying because of us. Every single one!  I am sharing all the reasons on my creatures page and on Instagram so I can explain this in my own way.  It’s a great project though, an eye opener – but it is also very, very sad.

As for the illustrations, I have leapt out of my comfort zone and made a lot of these works with watercolours. I think I am gaining confidence and that only comes with practice! I wish I could post some of the other watercolour illustrations I am working on right now but this work is for the two children’s books that are keeping me so busy, so I must keep that under my beanie for now.

I think the key thing I have realised recently is that as well as putting the time in to develop you must have decent tools. There has been a sort of artistic cull spurned on by the acquisition of three good quality paint brushes and two artist quality tubes of paint. Five items. And they put the rest of my materials to shame.

Bibliography and Inspiration

Anatomy Essentials, Imagine FX/Future Publishing.

Terryl Whitlach

I would like her books so much but for now I am pinning on Pinterest and following on her on Instagram.

Bobby Rebholz

I also follow on Instagram, and pinned a board on Pinterest.

All of my Pinterest inspiration.

 

Music I listened to

The Raveonettes

Queen of the Damned Soundtrack

My Chemical Romance

As I Lay Dying

26 Fairytales later

It is a proud moment when you complete a drawing challenge! This has been a lot of fun and I think I have learned a lot from it – not only in creating characters and settings but also in meeting a weekly deadline on top of all the other projects I am working on.

26 weeks later – the next round will be about endangered animals. Challenge accepted! I will continue to collect them on my page dedicated to creatures.

Bibliography and Inspiration

This was over a long period so it covers a lot of reading and research – I usually use at least 2 or 3 of my books for reference and inspiration for each drawing. So. Pretty much all of this.

Music I listened to.

I always listen to music when I draw. Again, this was over a long period and I have probably forgotten a lot of it but I can safely say it was:

Mozart – Requiem

The Birthday Massacre – especially Superstition

Siouxsie and the Banshees

Westworld Soundtrack

Echo and the Bunnymen – Ocean Rain

The Devil Wears Prada – Space EP

Interpol

Turbo Kid Soundtrack

 

 

Vasilisa the Fair

This illustration pretty much demanded some kind of paint – I tried in vain to make a night time scene with coloured pencil. What a stupid idea, that was! It just ended up looking so dull and messy – I think its possibly problem with the polychromos as they are not very blendable but I’m not really sure that if I owned a coveted tin of prismacolour I could have achieved the shiny brightness I had in mind –perhaps on a large scale that’s a big ask for a coloured pencil. But since I don’t have those pencils to test that theory I was forced to turn to the watercolours.

I am glad I did because even though lots of the expected watercolour problems did occur (e.g mud and cauliflowers blooms) I seem to have learned to either welcome them or fix them. Patience is the most important thing but knowing a little about how watercolour behaves on the paper is also very useful. I think what annoys me those most is the tests I make before I commit often looks better than the piece. And I always use the same paper for the test – always! Vasilisa the no fair!

I guess small tests don’t always help predict the larger outcome but one positive is that my tests used to look pretty bad and now most often they look pretty good. It’s perhaps these little things that show progress with watercolours will be made. Even if it is slow. Which is sort of my fault as I should spend more time on it than I do; watercolour paper is expensive!

Bibliography and Inspiration

www.artistdaily.com

Dreamscapes Fantasy World, Stephanie Pui-Mun Law, Impact Books, Cincinnati,Ohio, 2014.

500 Manga Villains and Heroes, Yishan Studio, 2010

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vasilisa_the_Beautiful

Music I listened to

The Raveonettes – Pretty in Black

The Birthday Massacre

Paper

q-is-for-the-queen-of-hearts

Q is for the Queen of Hearts

I really love paper. It’s so important to how a drawing comes out and I have been spending some time working on a few different types of paper to find out how different the results can be.  I like different types  for different reasons.  The smoother paper is great for a drawing with a smooth and bright finish and the blending of the pencil is cleaner, however it doesn’t allow for too much layering as it doesn’t have enough tooth for the pencils pigment to grip to. A rougher paper has an interesting texture that can work with the drawing. It allows a lot of layering which is good for building up colour depth – the colour is not flat and colours in the lower layers provide a deeper finish so the drawing looks vibrant and less flat.

p-is-for-pinocchio

P is for Pinocchio

The Queens of Hearts was made on 200g/m

Pinocchio was made on smooth 140g/m

Rapunzel was made on printer paper and she suffered badly for it!

r-is-for-rapunzel

R is for Rapunzel

Rapunzel is a mess – the drawing became damaged very easily as I needed to erase and rework an area – this paper does not take a lot of abuse. It was harder to build up layers of pigment, too.  I got quite angry with it, actually! However, I have learned something important. If you run out of your nice paper don’t be lazy and go to the damn shop!

All of these drawings were made for the Twitter challenge I joined. Previous drawings are here – creatures

Tooth – texture, rough or smooth – the more tooth the paper has the rougher the texture; the less tooth, the paper is smoother.

http://helloartsy.com/how-to-choose-quality-drawing-paper/

Bibliography and inspiration

http://helloartsy.com/how-to-choose-quality-drawing-paper/

ImagineFX Future Publishing

500 Manga Villains and Heroes, Yishan Studio, 2010

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: The Graphic Novel, Austen, J. and Grahame-Smityh, S., Titan Books, 2009.

Martin, Justin.,  Poses for Artists, Vol. 2, Standing Poses, Eagel Ink Factory, Justin Martin, 2016

Music I listened to

The Birthday Massacre – Superstition (I am addicted to this album – 3 weeks and counting!)

Red

l-is-for-little-red-riding-hood

Little Red Riding Hood

I drew Little Red Riding Hood walking through the woods – she carries her axe for comfort and protection. Still, she startles at shadows as she sees the terrifying face of her enemy, the Big Bad Wolf, lurking among the leaves and branches of the trees.

Any excuse to draw trees. It’s been a while!  I really like the tree silhouettes in the graphic novel  Pride and Prejudice with Zombies so I took some inspiration from there, and  for Red, my Poses book has proved invaluable. I can’t recommend it enough – for me it really helps me double check my angles and gesture and its such great practice.

I am continuing my exploration with the polychromos pencils. I wish I had more! They are lovely to use and you can buy 120 of them! I have about 30; and a mission to buy them all!

Bibliography and Inspiration

ImagineFX Future Publishing

500 Manga Villains and Heroes, Yishan Studio, 2010

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: The Graphic Novel, Austen, J. and Grahame-Smityh, S., Titan Books, 2009.

Martin, Justin.,  Poses for Artists, Vol. 2, Standing Poses, Eagel Ink Factory, Justin Martin, 2016.

Music I listened to

The Devil Wears Prada – Dear Love: A Beautiful Discord

The Birthday Massacre – Superstition

Jack

I have been busy working on more fairy tales. I especially love my attempt at Jack and the Beanstalk. I think it is because I had the time to work on the environment for this one.

j-is-for-jack-and-the-beanstalk

Jack

It’s  a very simple environment and  I am keen to practice and develop my ideas with more depth and textures – they just add so much more to the  story. I have collected a huge amount of inspiration for this idea. My ImagineFX subscription is probably the best thing I did this year! So, as usual, no new year resolutions except to learn something. Last year I wanted to practice my figures and character design. This year I want to continue with that but take it a step further and give them a place within their story.

Some of my other illustrations (up to K, so far) are here – Creatures.

Bibliography and Inspiration

Fairy tales!

ImagineFX Future Publishing

500 Manga Villains and Heroes, Yishan Studio, 2010

Fantasy Underground – How to Draw Zombies,  Butkis, M, and Destefano, M, Walter Foster Publishing Inc, 2010

Martin, Justin.,  Poses for Artists, Vol. 2, Standing Poses, Eagel Ink Factory, Justin Martin, 2016.

Music I listened to

Warm Bodies Soundtrack

The Birthday Massacre