into the unknown

I’ve been working on new colour images for my portfolio over the last few days but so far it is looking suspiciously like a black and white portfolio that I’ve coloured in… hey ho! Here is one of the things I’ve been working on; this is Gnat, a brave little fellow flying all alone into the deep dark forest.

To His Coy Mistress

A little while ago I was asked to create a piece of artwork inspired by and featuring the poem “To His Coy Mistress” by Andrew Marvell which was to become a print. An unusual job for me and a challenging one too! I wanted to create a piece that was somewhere between a pattern and an illustration and it was also important to keep the background fairly neutral to allow the poem to be read. I used the motif from a pattern I had previously made because this “Queen of Diamonds” just felt like the right character to me. I gave the image a completely different background pattern and overall colour, and placed the poem over the top. Below is the finished result – the print is 50cm high so it’s a bit easier to read!

Lady-Diamond

To-His-Coy-Mistress

scruffy garden dog

I like scruffy dogs, they are the best kind if you ask me. Here is one that’s been padding around the garden lately, sniffing everything and contemplating life. I think he might be looking for a friend…

scruffy-dog-colour2

Bear and Cat

Here’s a little something I just did just for fun.  I’m not sure how these two became friends, I guess they just are…

bear-and-cat

Print and Pattern!

I am over the moon to find that my work has been featured on both Print and Pattern and the Make it in Design blog today! Earlier in the year I submitted work for the “student showcase” after graduating from Rachael Taylor’s e-course The Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design and they chose to show my rainy sky pattern alongside the beautiful patterns created by some of my fellow students! I’m thrilled to bits and it just makes me want to make more patterns – in fact here are some below…

rainy-sky

pink-and-green-crocs

floating monsters

interview

I recently had a visit at my studio from Karen Jinks and Mandy Knapp who are the creative force behind Cambridge Creative Network. Karen and Mandy have been doing a series of artist interviews in advance of Cambridge Open Studios and they chose me! It was fantastic to meet artists who are so dedicated to helping people in the creative arts link up as well as promote what they do. Have a look at their website to see my interview and to find out more about Cambridge Creative Network and other Cambridge artists.ML

ML pencils

ML card

cats and dogs

I’m rather enjoying playing with putting patterns and drawings together at the moment. Here are a couple of creatures who have come into being of late who definitely need to find homes…

ML-Henry-dog

ML-red-puss

Meet the Mermaid

After helping create the underwater themed mural with children at the St Ives Bookjam recently, I decided to make my own underwater picture! It started life as a simple black and white ink drawing which I then scanned and coloured in photoshop. It’s unusual for me to work in the computer as I usually like to slosh as much paint around as I can, but it just seemed like the best way to do those beams of light… ML-meeting-the-mermaid

Maisie Hitchins – The Case of the Weeping Mermaid

May saw the launch of the last story in Holly Webb‘s wonderful mystery series Maisie Hitchins. This book is called The Case of the Weeping Mermaid and its action centres around dark and mysterious London docks which were the perfect setting for a front cover. I took photos as I was painting the cover so that I would later remember the different stages and here they all are below from the sketchiest beginnings to the final scan. I always find it challenging painting covers, they seem to go through a lot of different stages and look fairly awful for most of the time until suddenly at the end it all comes together – always a bit of a relief!

Here is the sketch for the cover ready to be transferred onto watercolour paper, as you can probably see I changed my mind about how the clouds were going to look!
Here is the sketch for the cover ready to be transferred onto watercolour paper, as you can probably see I changed my mind about how the clouds were going to look!
Here is the cover all drawn out on watercolour paper and I've just begun painting with the most important bit - Maisie!
Here is the cover all drawn out on watercolour paper and I’ve just begun painting the most important bit – Maisie! As you can see the sketch is to hand and I’m working in acrylic ink. There is a lot of empty space here which is to allow for the title and Holly’s name which will come later.
Here you can see the monotone background is beginning to appear, everything is still quite pale.
Here you can see the monotone background is beginning to appear, everything is still quite pale.
I've kept on working into the background to boost the colour and tone and to strengthen the shadows, and Maisie is getting more vibrant too.
I’ve kept on working into the background to boost the colour and tone and to strengthen the shadows, clouds are beginning to appear and Maisie is getting more vibrant.
Now the cover is nearly finished; I've added highlights to give the feel of moonlight and everything has an outline to bring it all into sharp focus.
Now the cover is nearly finished; I’ve added highlights to give the feel of moonlight and everything has an outline to bring it all into sharp focus.
Here is the finished image, scanned this time. The tendrils of mist were the last thing to arrive, they were made by painting dilute white acrylic ink over the top of the painting.
Here is the finished image, scanned this time. The tendrils of mist were the last thing to arrive, they were made by painting dilute white acrylic ink over the top of the painting.
Here is the finished cover as it looks with all the text in place - what a difference!
Here is the finished cover as it looks with all the text in place – what a difference!

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