Wednesday 6 June 2018

'How To Spot A Galaxy' Comic In Black Crown Quarterly #3 IDW

I'm so pleased to be able to show you my first, official, internationally published comic 'How To Spot A Galaxy' in Black Crown Quarterly #3 from Black Crown & IDW Publishing.

The comic is part of Black Crown's 'Hey Amateur!' series, a "how to do anything in nine panels" feature at the back of every issue of Black Crown Quarterly. There's been some amazing ones so far (I particularly liked learning how to do an ollie in issue 1!), and I chose to dig deep into my love of stargazing to teach people how to find constellations in the night sky!

The comic features two young gals out stargazing, and the older sister shows the younger girl how to find The North Star (Polaris!), the constellations of The Plough, Cassiopeia, Andromeda and Pegasus - and then how to find the Andromeda Galaxy!

I love space. Growing up one of my favourite books was a big non-fiction book on the universe, I've spent lots of nights out stargazing with my dad (the skies are ridiculously clear where my parents live), and I spent hours on a incredibly nerdy educational pc game finding constellations and galaxies (I really need to remember what that game's called! I think it was free with Encarta or something...).

I wanted to teach people something I was really excited about (and would work well visually in a comic) and so here we are! I love the process of using one constellation to help you find the next, so the comic lays out pointers to take each step, until on a clear night you're looking at a galaxy with over a TRILLION stars!

The illustrations are all a combination of hand-painted ink linework and digital colouring (aside from the space backgrounds, which are watercolour!). Let me know if you'd like to see a more detailed process rundown, and I'll show you the original linework pieces in a future post. So, not only is this my first internationally published comic, it's also the first time I've had a story I've written published! I've spent many years illustrating amazing writing by other authors and journalists (and I love it!), but it feels amazing to be out here writing and illustrating my own stories.

The entire comic is just brilliant. Punchy, exciting, gorgeously drawn stories - and I'm so pleased to be a part of it. Huge thanks to Shelly Bond for bringing me on board! Here's to more comics coming up. You can buy this comic on IDW Publishing's website, or in your local comic store!

See You Space Cowboy...

Tuesday 5 June 2018

Wes Anderson Exhibition To Celebrate The Release Of 'Isle of Dogs'

I was lucky enough to be asked to be part of a Wes Anderson themed exhibition to celebrate the release of his newest film 'Isle Of Dogs' in March. The exhibition, on display at The Electric Cinema in Birmingham, shows illustrator's interpretations of their favourite Wes Anderson films - so, it was a toughie, but I chose to create this Moonrise Kingdom themed print featuring the characters Sam and Suzy.

The exhibition is still on at The Electric Cinema and the box office has a limited run of prints available. So if you're in the area pop over (and take a look at the swish retro cinema as well!).

Speed Painting In Watercolour

Every so often, between commission work, I like to loosen up with quick speed-paintings and uninhibited doodles! I think it's a great tool to just break you out of that pressure and concentration that can come when working on really important client jobs.

I thought I'd capture one of these speed paintings on video for you on my YouTube channel, so you can see my process! Just a quick Kuretake watercolour portrait of someone imaginary. Enjoy!

Friday 1 June 2018

Live Illustration At House Of Fraser for Mother's Day

So this post is a little overdue (it's been a very hectic and exciting few months!) but I wanted to finally show you some of the portraits I drew when I was booked for live illustration at House of Fraser Manchester last March!

The event was to celebrate Mother's Day, so shoppers could get their own bespoke live portrait (or portrait from a photo!) to take home when they bought a frame from the homeware department.

I had lots of young families having portraits painted for their mums, gifts for friends and even the fabulous Doris who was celebrating her 80th birthday that day and wanted a special portrait (how amazing is she?!).

I love creating live illustration instore, it's definitely hard work, but it's amazing to see how thrilled people are with their portraits, and brilliant to see a unique selling point for instore shopping!
I assigned 15 minutes to each portrait, and blocked it out into slots to make it manageable throughout the day (six hours of drawing is intense!). I love the challenge of drawing a sitter when they're right in front of me, it's a great opportunity to hear interesting stories, meet new people, and get in some good life drawing practice!

Huge thanks to LiL Collective for bringing me on board! Hopefully I'll have some new live illustration dates for you soon, or if you'd like a portrait yourself head to my family portrait Etsy listing!