Saturday, 1 March 2014

Horsey with magic birds and a revival

Hey there people!

Posts seem to come with two and today is no exception! As per usual I have two new artworks for you today. So without further small talk I'll get straight into it!


So this first image was done for my traditional Chinese new year illustration. You might remember last years work for year of the snake? This year being horse, I had the option to draw a mount, which I always love doing. A bit of further research showed that one of the five Chinese elements is also associated with the year, this year being wood. There are also colours, symbols, seasons and even planets associated with the element. This gave me plenty of direction in my self-brief.

I thought this time I got through the sketch and line-work stages much quicker than usual, though I still think I could be quicker. The biggest challenge in this work was working out a good and stylised way to "texturise" the wood, which I think worked quite nicely.

Now to the story behind logo on the wind barrels. It turns out the planet Jupiter is associated with wood, so I wanted some way to include that in the art. I remembered from a previous piece of work that all the Roman gods and thus planets had a graphic symbol to represent them, and obviously what you see on the barrels is the symbol for Jupiter. Out of pure coincidence the symbol also looks like a two and a four for 2014! I love it when things like that happen.

As you might've noticed I've included detail shots, which I think I might do from now on. Often I have  details in my work that really can't be seen properly in these web quality versions.

Now onto the next work...



This next piece is a little different from my usual work. It's actually my take on one of my sister's creations. That's right, my sister is an artist of sorts too. She dabbles in collage and crafts, mainly sewing and knitting. She does some great work, though she won't admit it herself. I'd be plugging her website here, but she doesn't yet have one yet.

So as you've probably gathered, the top image is my sister's original and the after is my take on it. I simply decided to do this because I liked her character, but also because I wanted to try "complexifying (tm)" a quite stylistic design.  

I tried to keep as close to the original as possible, however I did tweak the colours a bit and decided for fun to add some birds, two of which are birds my sister likes (namely the fairy wren and the barn owl), the others are made up. The particularly daunting task in this image was the pattern on the skirt. I couldn't decide whether to opt for a scan of a illustration from the same book as the original or attempt to draw my own in the same style. In the end I though it might look at bit too busy full of really complex line work, so I opted to do it myself and rather pleased with the result.

Vicky was actually really proud that I used her creation, which made us both feel good!

One last thing to post, I lied. A while back I worked on a new version of my 2012 image (year of the dragon) So I though I really should update my blog with the improved version, so here it is.

Pretty much the only major change to the original is the pattern on the kimono, which was supposed to look like stylised fire works, but I don't think it really worked that well. Most of the rest are just adding more detail or tweaking shadows.

EDIT: I forgot to mention that I've recently joined 'Drawcrowd,' a community site for sharing illustration and concept art with other artists. It was created by the ever generous Feng Zhu, who I ranted about before. He continually gives back to his industry in ways that are awe inspiring. So what are you waiting for? Check it out here! You can find a link to my page on Drawcrowd in the contact section of this blog.

Well that's it from me, time to get back to drawing. What's next you say? Well it involves penguins!

Thanks for reading.

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