So for my final major project I have decided to get on and create some illustrations for a couple of folk tales/fairy tales and such. I did want to find local folk tales but have had trouble trying to locate them, so instead I have been selecting some story’s from my book of “Celtic fairy tales” by Joseph Jacobs. One of these such story’s I have selected is called “The Horned Women” which is about an invasion of twelve witches taking over a woman’s home to make spells and do their business. Whats especially peculiar about these witches is that they all have horns protruding from them, with the first witch with only one and the twelfth with twelve.
Brainstorming ideas for FMP
Experimenting with dip pen and ink
Sketching out random visuals I could muster from the story to see what sticks,
I’ve been brainstorming how to go about illustrating this story, and have considered doing it for a children’s book, or a graphic novel, or even making it into a simple zine. Unsure which path to go down, I’ve been doodling ideas for how to visualize scenes and the witches themselves to see what works. Its honestly been a process of throwing things at a wall to see what sticks. I have also discovered my old dip pen, and have been practicing drawing and writing with it a bit. I think the old fashioned look and the spindly lines/marks it produces can create some interesting atmosphere. I think the look of it is quite appropriate for an old Celtic folk tale.
I struggle with drawing figures so I worked around this by drawing the witches as vague and mysterious as possible. I kinda like how they look, but I think they still need some development to get right. Maybe going a bit simpler again would work?
I really liked my small drawing of the two witches/mysterious figures arriving at the cottage door, so I decided to try and redo this idea. I used a postcard sized piece of watercolor paper to draw on, because I wanted to see what dry inky textures would work. There are a lot of mistakes in this little drawing, but I learnt a lot from doing it. I love how atmospheric the inky textures look, but I need to learn how to control the brush better so I don’t make a royal mess of it. I think this kind of illustration technique is more appropriate for things like Folio Books rather than children’s books, maybe that’s the direction I should take this work?
For my Sherlock book cover I wanted to keep things simple. The image of the pipe with the smoke is from a small painted sketch from my sketchbook, which I scanned in and copied. The simplicity of this cover is inspired by other old hardback books, the type that have a small image embellished into the cover. I first tried out doing the image just as small, but it didn’t quite look right so made it larger.
The pipe motif is also used in one of my collograph prints, the one for “the Scandal in Bohemia.” I really liked how that small sketch turned out, so used it for both the cover and as a detail in one of my illustrations. The colours I chose were also inspired by my illustrations, but instead of using a dead black I used a dark grey, much warmer and inviting than a dead black.
The other day we had a workshop with printmaker Charles Shearer, creating collographs. We were each given an a4 sized piece of display board. Display board is particularly good for this style of print because you can peel away the layers of card that it is compromised of.
For my first print I created a composition based off a bunch of small sketches and visual ideas I had in my sketchbook for the ongoing Sherlock illustration project I’m doing. The story that I was focusing on at the time was a Scandal in Bohemia. My first print didn’t turn out particularly well, I had forgotten that prints come out as a mirror image, of course. Charles recommended to fix this by cutting back some layers of where I had used type. To help this mistake look like it was originally part of the image I cut away more layers on the letter part.
I think it looks much better being lighter than the background, previously the overall image was too heavy, and now the focus of the image is drawn into the center, where it is supposed to be. I particularly like the nice unexpected effect of the pipe overlaying with the letter, but I do not like how the hand turned out. I think this goes to show that I need much more practice with hands and with this medium.
The second print we did was an experiment with colour and shapes. I originally tired to do something linking to Sherlock, but it was too detailed and wasn’t working out so I cut out simple bird shapes instead. Birds always seem to be my go to thing when I’m absentmindedly doodling. To layer the different colours on to the prints we made we cut out stencils of small shapes. I’m quite happy with how this print has turned out, the colours are quite beautifully muted. It was fun to try out something new.
Last Thursday we as a class were prompted to start thinking about preparing for our exhibition in May for our Collections module. Our tutor gathered some equipment; a large roll of paper, paint brushes, black acrylic and charcoal. After some discussion of what to do we got caught up in somehow illustrating the name of the exhibition “Collections” as a collection, displaying the letters as objects on shelves. Each of us were given a letter or two to illustrate and we mostly just went for it, trying not to worry too much how it turns out.
We had two attempts at the poster, the first was just a rough mock up and the second was an attempt at a completed looking image. Our tutor Nicholas has been kind enough to take pictures of the posters we created and is currently stitching together a rough mock up.
I’m Nadia Bryant, you might’ve figured that out from the title of this blog. I am an illustration student at Hereford college of Arts, just started my second year. I was asked to make this blog for my work, mostly to get used to the idea of talking about my work, I guess.
Currently I have been working on two new projects, book arts and editorial illustration. More to come later on those two tho, because I currently do not have any decent photos to upload.
I will aim to post here a weekly update on what work I’ve been doing, but if you want to see more little regular updates follow me on my instagram or tumblr. (I use instagram but link both WordPress and my Instagram to my Tumblr blog) Most of these posts will only have a couple of sentences about what they are, while I’ll be using WordPress for more in depth talks about my work.