Saturday, December 29, 2012

best of 2012 obviously

This time last year I wrote a fairly comprehensive post on my thoughts about  Making Things for Other People

This year my feelings are much the same, though I'm busy for different reasons, Christmas is still awesome and I still love making things for people. This year I made some unique kindle cases following this tutorial  and including some of my own painting and bookbinding nowse. I also decorated a number of notebooks on the theme of birds beginning with the same letter as the gift receivers name, here are 4 of my faves;

who knows, maybe some day I'll do a whole alphabet's worth, it's not like that's been done before. 

2012 has been a good year for me

I completed my NQT year (blood, sweat, tears etc.) and got a better part time teaching job than I had dared to hope for at the end of it. I went to Amsterdam, Disneyland Paris and the south of France, not to mention Margate, learnt to carve soapstone and to create giant sculptures out of just newspaper and glue.

I saw some Olympics, some awesome plays, exhibitions, musicians, football and even some good tv. I painted a mural and a huge amount of live portraits. I co-founded an illustration collective and started my own pet portrait business

I drew all of my friends beginning with F and G and a bunch of celebrities who are still under-wraps. I drew and wrote about fashion and other things, designed logos, cushion covers, cards and comics. I drew dancing deities, teapots, weddings, tigers, orchestras, huskies in party hats and two sexy cowboys riding a giant walrus. 

I do have an official new year's resolution, about which more later, but looking through my albums and folders to make this post, I have noticed though a worrying list of people I love that I don't seem to have seen much, if at all this year, which is sad. What's really needed for a new year's resolution is I think a list of people I need to see before this time next year. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

while I do spend sleepless nights regretting how little I managed to cash in on the put a bird on it trend,
(it is now, apparently too late. I still like birds tho. I liked them before it was cool)
I feel secure in my appropriate and even philanthropic handling of put a moustache on itness.

mostly I put moustaches on people. for Gallery of Mo on the internet and at 2 awesome gala parties. Live portraits are one of my all time favourite things to do, I really should investigate how you get a license to do this on the streets for tourists. Although I might have some anger management issues if anyone asks me to do a caricature. 

here are some photos, all taken by Gallery of Mo photographers, of some of my favourite moustache portraits done at the second of these parties. There was a lot of tweed and cowboy in evidence.

here's me drawing

and here's the drawing

here's the beautiful Jenmon and partner

this was my favourite drawing I did on the night

subtle skills of moustache representation were required

and not so subtle 

to my right here you can see the amazing Cliodhna Ztoical of Irish Comic Superstar fame, she was FAST

      but not as fast on the draw as I'm sure these three amigos were, after that quantity of charity beer

After many hours meeting and drawing moustachioed gentlemen, and adding moustaches for the (mostly) unmoustached ladies, I began to see moustaches everywhere and was confused by the hairless lips I saw in the street on my way home.

I feel so proud to have been a part of such a great project, (I already wrote about it some here) bringing together art, charity and comedy in such a great way and contributing to the raising of now over £11k! 

You still have a little time to get yourself a movember portrait from an array of awesome artists over on the Gallery of Mo website too.

So now all I need to do is actually cash in on the trend in a, you know, less selfless way

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Did I post official pictures of my chrismtas cards yet?

no. no I didn't.

here they are. 

I decided to combine 2 of my favourite things. drawing birds and making collages out of found text.

you can buy them here in packs of 8 or email/tweet/bookface me with your requirements.

if you do I will send you an EXCLUSIVE code for a discount off of my etsy shop isn't it?

featured in background small part of our excellent christmas tree. of course.
this is a Robin. like my name. but just one of them.

this is a tufted titmouse. from AMERICA

this is a turtle dove. like on the second day of christmas, only just one of them.

this one is A LITTLE BIT RUDE, even with the strategically placed snowflake. sorry. it is sparrows. they look as happy as sparrows usually seem to when I draw them. which is not at all.

cowboy walrus painting

Ok, I normally forget to take WIP (work in progress) pictures, but when Ben Bale commissioned me to do this epic surreal portrait, I knew it was likely to be a bit of a one off chance to do something this big and weird and fun, and I wanted to record it for posterity, or something. So I made a point to take photos, which I am now getting around to sharing with you. The order I did things in is not actually very logical, and the pictures are not massively clear, but well, here you go.

first, sketch out design of walrus, mountains and people, not sure what I was watching on TV here - seems to be someone eating a juicy apple.

collage of ripped up print texture papers made while at Uni from leftover printing ink, adds texture and depth to painting (although I painted over most of it) and also a pretentious historical element, as both the people in the picture where at the same University at the time.

ink in figures, told you it wasn't in a logical order.

under-painting on walrus, acrylic. paint is mixed on soup lid.


 under-painting on ground and sky

add colour to figures using combination of watercolour, ink and acryllic

add ink detail to foreground and walrus

add moody clouds

add lightening and adjust colours with ink washes. 

there you go. Isn't it these glimpses into the artistic process that just bring artworks to life? 

shameless promotion: have a weird idea for a surreal, portrait of you or a loved one you'd like to make a reality? I can do more of these.