swift start to inktober

It’s Inktober again! I haven’t done a great deal of drawing lately as I have had a bit of a disruptive time moving house, so the start of October and the Inktober initiative comes at just the right time to galvanise me and get me inking again. Here is the drawing I did for day one, the prompt was “swift” so I took it literally and drew a swift… They are my favourite birds though so I think it’s allowed!

feathered friends

As well as working on a new chapter book series I am thinking a lot about patterns at the moment as I am taking of one of Rachael Taylor‘s rather excellent Make It In Design courses! It’s such fun making patterns and really lovely to be spurred on by my teachers and classmates. Here are some of my newest patterns that focus on characters.

ML-owls-and-flowers

ML-cats-and-birds

ML-tree-birds

Portfolio covers

I recently wanted to create some new work for my portfolio and since I love book covers so much, I thought I’d do some of my own. The books don’t actually exist yet but that may change!

Agathas-Cat

 

somewhere

 

Watercolour and FW ink love

I have been away from my studio recently and travelling light with just my tiny water colour set to keep me company. I had forgotten how lovely water colour is and how different it is to acrylic ink, which is what I use most of the time for illustrations. I love both mediums in different ways; FW inks are incredibly vivid and very versatile, but water colour has a beautiful quality to it. The colours are subtle and each one seems to settle on the page in a slightly different way. I am by no means an expert but I do like to play – here are some patterns I’ve been working on, the first three were painted with water colour and the ones beneath that are FW ink.

House and Bat pattern

P-P repeat

pets

jellyfish and seaweed

Fishies

…more patterns…

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been drawing from nature, creating painted textures and putting it all together in my computer to make patterns. Rachael Taylor’s e-course in surface pattern design has been very inspirational and started me off thinking along new lines and working in news ways. Here are some of the results:

Blue-clover-and-lichen

Yellow-clover-dark-sky

Dark-sky-pink-flowers

Inky and Dotty

I have just finished my roughs for the next Maisie Hitchins book so it’s time for something a little different. This is one of the drawings I have been doing lately in my sketchbook. It was made with indian ink straight from the pot using the pipette to draw with. I rather like drawing like this because it is very spontaneous and a little bit uncontrollable. When the ink was dry I gave the drawing some colour using Caran D’ache neocolours which are another one of my favourite things. They are sort of pastelly but sort of oil-pastelly too and also can be watercoloury if you wet them! I know, it’s all a bit too much…

DOTTY

Elephant Card

Here is my new elephant design for Cards from Africa. Cards from Africa are a charitable company employing young, orphaned Rwandans to produce their handmade cards. This is my third card for them so I think they are going down well! This is my little elephant all made up.

elephant

Bubble!

Yesterday I went to visit fantastic children’s wear company Grubbies at the  Bubble children’s trade show in London. I was very excited to be getting my first glimpse of the new kerchiefs they asked me to design for next season. The last time I saw the designs was on my computer screen just before I hit send and now they are real! Here is a sneak peek:

toadstools scarf

Grubbies’ autumn/winter 2013 range features some rather special furry-on-the-inside dungerees as well as the two new kerchiefs Owl and Toadstools. I had a lot of fun designing these ones as they are based on woodland scenes (my favourite) with a lovely strong red and a mustard yellow as base colours.

Owl scarf

A young grubbies fan!

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