A Few Edinburgh Bears

 

CattravellingEarlier this month I managed to pack my bags and head off to Edinburgh, with my daughter, for a few days.  Naturally, I was on the look out for bears.

The signs were there. 37438782952_56f11d5916_o

 

 

The first bears we met were a bit on the stiff side to say the least..

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..and this was not at all what we’d expected from the famous Edinburgh pandas.  IMG_4657

 

 

Those are in the National Museum of Scotland which is lovely and well worth a visit. It also serves excellent cake.

 

We did catch up with a real live panda at Edinburgh Zoo, but I didn’t manage to get a photo. These chaps were more co-operative IMG_4691(and more terrifying).

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I think my last Edinburgh bear is my favourite.   It’s the memorial to Wotjek, the WWII ‘Soldier’ bear, in Princes Street Gardens.  You can read about him here.

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There was also whisky, getting wet, history and tales of body snatchers in the kirkyard after dark, but you should go and find out about those for yourself.

I’ll be back soon with needle felting, new drawings and other things I’m making.

Thank you for reading and don’t forget to look at the new things in my shop.

 

 

 

My Creative Place #mycreativeplace

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This is my work space. Sometimes I swap the cat for my laptop and graphics tablet.  I usually have flowers, a selection of bears, and cut out characters from projects I’m working on.

Are you an artist, illustrator, writer, musician, blogger, maker, knitter, craftsperson?  What to you create and where? Do you have a studio, kitchen table, desk, armchair, tree?  It would be lovely to see your creative space.  Take a photo and share it on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, anywhere else you can think of, with the hastag #mycreativeplace

Jools x

Printing on fabric with your inkjet printer.

Printing on fabric with your inkjet printer! I saw a tutorial for this on Pinterest. I was slightly dubious and concerned I would end up with a printer full of tangled inky threads, but I tried it anyway…

The fabric I used was cotton and fairly thin. It worked beautifully and I covered some notebooks. I’ll be experimenting with coarser fabrics as well.

I used images from my sketchbook which I scanned and arranged in photoshop, but you could draw your artwork at A4 and then simply scan and print.

Now I’m thinking about all the other things I can use this technique for…watch this space.

 

Pop Art

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I’ve been having fun making Pop Art Badges. There are lots of different designs and they’re all available on my Etsy store BearsGetCrafty.  I’m working on some card designs at the moment, possibly with customisable text.  I’m also happy to customise the text on badge for a very small additional cost.  And don’t forget, badge designs are also available as pocket mirrors on request.

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Prints

Just to let you know I’ve added two new prints to my shop.

‘Eloise’ and ‘Hare’ are printed in long lasting giclee inks on fine quality paper, from original watercolour and pencil paintings by me. They are a limited edition of 100 each and sell for £18 plus postage. (Note: if you require international postage please contact me, or wait a few days as I will be adding it shortly.)

 

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Doing it digitally…

Not much of a blog…more pictures than words.

I’ve been busy learning to draw on my Wacom Cintiq. Here are a few images that I’ve come up with so far:

green bear
A bear…because no blog is complete without one.
magic
Illustration for a poem by Dom Conlon.  Click here to read.
camp
Rusty old van

Johnny clark copy

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Illustration for a poem by Dom Conlon. Click here to read.

 

treedressing
Something seasonal
dancing rabbits
Happy Rabbits – an early attempt
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A bear in a chair – experiment with print texture
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A bit blowy

 

Making My Own Textures for Photoshop (contains Bears)

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A Sad Bear

I recently bought a graphics tablet and have been busy teaching myself to use it and improve my photoshop skills (which are quite basic).  Here are some early attempts:

dancing rabbits
Some Happy Rabbits

I felt these needed some texture. I’ve used downloaded textures on pictures before, but wanted to create a retro printed look.  See a few examples of work that inspires me here.

I decided to try making my own textures. The easy bit was messing about with ink.. I rollered printing ink onto a smooth surface, then placed paper on top and rubbed hard. I also rollered ink directly onto different textured papers.

Then I scanned the results (after drying them, don’t scan wet inky or painty paper. It makes a mess of your scanner. Not that I’ve ever done that. No).

And, of course, you can make textures any way you like: paint, lino printing or scan or photograph fabric, paper etc.

Now the complicated bit (because I didn’t know how to do it).  Thank you @Daz_Woodcock on Twitter for a suggestion which made me think: “Oh! I know what to do!”  It was the making my black inky lovely textures into whichever colour I wanted to use in my picture that I thought was difficult. It’s really very simple indeed:

  1. Open your texture file in photoshopopen texture file
  2. Add a fill layer over the texture and choose the colour you want to useselect colour for texture
  3. Adjust the blending option to ‘screen’colourfill screen
  4. Flatten
  5. Select all and copy.flatten texture & select

Don’t forget to close this file without saving when you’ve finished with it!

The next bit is about inserting this into your picture. You’ll probably want to start your drawing as a separate file before you do the texture thing above.  If you’re not interested in this bit you may still like to scroll down to the bottom to see my finished piece of art.

I start with a new file whatever size I want. I create a layer over the background to draw on.  Something like this:draw bears

When I’ve finished the line drawing, I create a new layer above the background and under the line drawing layer. I paste my texture onto this, then resize it using Free Transform.add texture under drawing

Obviously, I don’t want green bears. Well, not this time. So I’m going to add another layer of texture in brown. It’s a different texture to the green one, but I used the same method to make it.

This time I made a new layer between the green layer and the line drawing..paste 2nd texture

..and again used Free Transform to resize and move it.free transform 2nd texture

I removed the excess brown by selecting and cutting the parts I didn’t want, then tidied it up using the eraser. This can be done as neatly or as roughly as you like. The effect I want is to have the brown colour not exactly under the line drawing.add detail

I then add a lot more line detail and drew in the noses and eyes. The shadows were added by selecting an area and using a 50% transparent fill with a darker brown.add nose and eyes

That is a very much simplified version of  my bear picture. In the one below I used more layers, messed about with different blending options and layer transparency and drew in more detail.  Obviously as I’m a beginner at this there is a lot I don’t know and there are other ways of doing things. (Tips always welcome.)

Here’s one I made earlierblue bear 1