Monday, 18 April 2011

space to work

Having turned my tiny studio into a tiny bedroom when J was born, I've spent the last six years working on freelance projects haphazard style in various places around the house (the computer desk in the living room, the kitchen table, the worktop in the utility room). As a result, not only do I have bits and pieces scattered all over the place, it requires superhuman motivation to actually do anything, given I've to clear a space, find what I need and then clear up after myself (you don't want to leave a wet watercolour painting anywhere a cat might walk!). Superhuman motivation is not my strong point, so I'm totally excited that I've finally got round to setting up my own studio space in my bedroom. Right now I'm herding paints, pastels, ink, drawing boards, sketchbooks and other paraphernalia from all four corners of the house and organising them all in one place! I told you it was exciting. I'm also finding mucho inspirado in the Wednesday Workspace posts over here (where I found the photo above).

As well getting my mitts on a lovely new workspace table, I'll also be able to ditch my gruelling stool in favour of comfy seating - I picked up two fabulous chairs (for £10!) on a recent rummage through a Borders charity shop, which I plan to reupholster in lovely fabric procured for mucho cheapness on ebay... will post the transformation when I'm done (then all I'll have to do is actually sit down and get on with some work... maybe, just maybe, even this!).

Friday, 15 April 2011

making plans

The last Juno illustration is finished (hopefully) and my fox linocut has sold after only 8 hours and 7 views... Only one left over on Etsy - the remaining two will be attending the opening of a new gallery in Inverness today (Saturday). I'm pleased for foxy, I like him. Next up, a dancing peacock - linocut style.

Thursday, 14 April 2011

inking foxes

I've been working late, late at night on my nocturnal padding fox, getting to grips with the process and experimenting with different papers.

The incredibly delicate Japanese Hosho paper wins hands down for crisp, clean prints (and ease of printing too) but I'm quite taken too with the mottled 'happy accident' effect of the watercolour paper. There will only be four Japanese paper fox prints in total - two are winging their way to a gallery in Inverness, two will be coming to my Etsy shop v soon... Just to see how it would look, I plan to hand tint the watercolour version. I'll post it here when I'm done.

Meanwhile, people never cease to amaze me; check out the picturesque wall spotted on my recent travels to the Scottish Borders... nothing mars picturesque quite like lethally lovely six inch shards of embedded glass glinting in the sun.

I guess there's not liking cats and there's really not liking cats, although there's always the hideous alternative that it's aimed at wayward kids rather than furry intruders. BIG pff (and I'm sure it can't be legal).

[Edit: apparently it is. Go figure.]

Friday, 1 April 2011

slow black fox

I should really be working on my next illustration commission but instead (feeling inspired by the linocuts of Ian Phillips and the fact it's so addictive) I'm sneaking in this linocut based on my quick brown fox just for the fun of it. 

I reversed my original fox sketch (so that he prints the right way round) and drew him out roughly on the lino block, then added highlights in white pastel pencil to help me see which areas need to be cut away and which stay (the bits that will be inked up).

For various reasons I'm quite taken with foxes these days - but not least is because the fox appears in numerous folk tales in countless cultures and is such an ambiguous character. I guess that's why I can't decide if this one is going to be paddy or prowly...

Anyway, I want to try printing a few in black ink only on Japanese hosho paper and some more on heavyweight watercolour paper which, depending on how the printing goes, I may or may not hand tint with colour washes...