View from a window

In my daughter’s flat waiting for someone to come and pick something up I drew the view from where I was sitting. Fine liner over pencil on cartridge paper.

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drawing

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Splashing about with ink…

As I draw digitally most of the time, I like to break out and make a bit of a mess every now and then.  Last week I got inky, tried out some new water soluble pastels, and mixed in some water colour and pencil to make some original art work badges…

Mixing up media that you may not think will work together is fun. Grab some paper, don’t worry about the outcome. Just go for it!

For these images I used: acrylic inks; water based inks; water soluble pastels, water colour, pencil, a dip pen, a brush pen,  and water colour pencils.

My badges are for sale here.

Merry Christmas…

 

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Wishing you all a very jolly Christmas and a Happy New Year.

I was pleased to have this picture in the SCBWI Advent Calendar this year alongside Christmas illustrations from some super talented artists.

Lots of micro stories were written to go with the illustrations, you can read them on Twitter.

Thank you to the lovely SCBWI writers who wrote words to go with my illustration:

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Finally, thank you all for your support during 2016.  Hoping 2017 will be peaceful and marvellous.

Jools x

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A Brief Ramble about the SCBWI Conference 2016

I’ll keep it short and incoherent. For those of you who don’t know SCBWI is the Society of Children’s Writers and Illustrators (British Isles). Last weekend they held their annual conference in Winchester (and have lots of other exciting and interesting activities the rest of the time).

This was the 2nd time I’ve been to the conference.  It’s so fabulous I just have to tell you about it.  It’s also very intense, and fabulous.  I’m still mentally digesting all the wonderful fabulousness and remembering odd bits of fabulous stuff at odd times, so this is a very garbled account of some of the bits I did.

3The Sketch Crawl.

Drawing out and about in Winchester with a bunch of other illustrators and non illustrators. I drew skaters, buildings and other things.  Then we met up to compare sketches and chat over a mulled cider.  Here’s one of my sketches in progress:

Roman glass in Winchester Museum

Being inclined towards art the best thing about the conference for me is the opportunity to 8listen and talk to proper illustrators with books out in the real world…

This year Leigh Hodgkinson (she’s @hoonbutton on Twitter) was one of the keynote speakers and I also attended a break out session with her.  It’s completely fabulously fabulous to find out what goes on in the head of another artist. I love all her making different things and ideas, and came away with ideas of my own about collaging things and ways of working to try.

Viviane Schwarz gave an amazing picture book workshop. Lots of fast drawing, cutting up, stealing other people’s drawings and making a group picture book.  I learned a whole new way of thinking about ideas and creating characters.  You can follow Viviane on Twitter.

2One of the other things I did was to dare to put my portfolio out on a table where people could see it. That won’t be scary next time. It was brilliantly educational just seeing my work alongside other peoples.

10And there was so, so much more. So many people, opportunites, interest, books, pictures, cake.

The weekend was a lovely bubble of talking about writing and illustration.  I learnt so much and met so many lovely people.  I made friends.

You can visit the website of the SCBWI here.

Thanks to Dom Conlon for letting me steal some photos.

Animals in Jumpers…Free Colouring Sheet to Download

This week I’ve been drawing animals in jumpers…

…using pen, coloured pencil and watercolour pencil.  I thought they would make fun brooches..

 

I’m going to use the images for prints and cards and a few other things. The brooches are available on my Etsy shop, BearsGetCrafty.  Also, as they I enjoyed colouring them in so much, I thought I’d share the fun… Click here to download the colouring sheet.

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#memorydoodle

A few days ago I was relaxing with a beer and my feet up after a hard day’s drawing, pen and sketchbook at hand and I started to doodle a little chair…halfway through I realised it was a chair that used to be in my grandparents’ house, so I drew me sitting in it reading a big book.

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I posted my doodle on Twitter and Instagram. People seemed to like it and it sparked off a lovely idea in the ever fertile brain of my friend, Dom Conlon, which was to get people doodling their memories and sharing them. 🙂

So…if you have a memory to share, doodle, add a little text maybe, post it on Twitter with the hashtag #memorydoodle  or address it to @headfirst_dom so that he can share it on his Inkology website.

Read all about it and take a look at what other people have drawn here.  You don’t need to be an artist or even good at drawing. Here’s Dom’s effort:

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(I don’t think he’s as bad at drawing as he claims though.)

 

Fatwans (or further fun with my Rotring pen)

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I have been drawing a lot with my growing collection of Rotring pens lately.  A lot of bears and cats and pug faces.  I thought it would be interesting to try an actual pet portrait.  Fatwans kindly agreed to be my guinea pig. (Obviously Fatwans is neither a pet nor a guinea pig, but a rather beautiful cat with her own Twitter account. Follow her here.)  I’m reasonably pleased with the result.

It looks better in real life, I haven’t quite worked out how to scan pen drawings without the lines dominating.  Tips welcome 🙂

A ridiculous way of drawing..

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I started with his eye. He was nearly asleep. I was sitting on the conservatory sofa with pen and paper… new (secondhand) rotring pen (as I managed to bust the nib on my lovely old one yesterday) and beautifully smooth Bristol Board. I drew an eye, then the other, then an ear and it grew into a cat.

It’s a ridiculous way of drawing and completely against everything I was taught at college. Measure! Measure! Measure! I think it’s the way children draw, you just start at a point and carry on until you run out of paper. Perhaps there is still a measure of measuring in there.. when you’ve been drawing for so long it becomes second nature. I’m not always conscious I’m doing it, but yes, I do. That corner of the eye lines up with that part of the ear. The space between the paw and the eye is a little longer than that between the eye and the back of the head.

Lately I’ve been picking up a pen and drawing without a proper idea of how it’s going to turn out, without sketching or rubbing out and without worrying about ‘mistakes’. It’s a lovely, relaxed way of sketching and learning to use a new tool. And, I hope, of learning how to overcome the whole getting too uptight to draw thing. 🙂

Rotring

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I’ve been busy working on a new illustration project lately (featuring Bears, unsurprisingly) or rather, busy trying to work on a new… ripping stuff up, getting cross, having no ideas and drawing in a very uptight fashion.  If you are familiar with my scribblings you will know that my style is generally quite loose.. messy even.  I use a dip pen and ink and water and pencils and crayons and paint and brushes and fingers…  I’ve also got to the point where I think everything I draw or paint looks like crap. (Sorry, I swear and it will probably get worse than that.)

I had a bit of a moan to a very dear friend about how useless I am this morning. Sorry. You know who you are. x  And decided to put the whole thing on hold for a bit and refresh my brain with completely different things, ie not art.  Having a general clear up of my studio* (*corner of the conservatory) I found an old Rotring pen. 0.2 nib. I’ve had it for years, (slight guilt here) it was given to me by a good friend when her Dad died, as she thought I would use it.  0.2 nib. That’s very fine. And fiddly. I’ve used fibre tip type pens that are very fine and not liked them.  I like the variety of strokes that different pressure makes with pencils and nib pens. And wash. And rubbing things with my fingers. And flicking paint and ink about. Anyhow, I thought it’s not really my sort of thing but I’ll see if it works and maybe give it to a friend…

So I drew this (work in progress).  In spite of being really hung up about drawing anything it sort of worked.  I think it’s to do with being relaxed because you’re not expecting anything.  Whatever, the concentration kicked in. I think I’ll keep the pen. And play about with it for a bit.

Bears can wait. But I’ll be back to them soon.

If you want to look at the drawing more closely click on the photo for a larger view.

P.S.  If you want to see an expert with a fine nib at work you should follow @ArtMinxDesigns on Twitter. 🙂