Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Jungle Pattern

I decided to take a brake from illustrating wild animals and draw more wild animals. I went on and create a repeating pattern that I've always wanted to do. It can be hard to get the positioning right so the design tiles smoothly. In this pattern I wanted to approach the shape of the animals in a more graphic design manner and worry less about accuracy, regarding the anatomy. Although my illustrations aren't really realistic in general, I always like to present what an animals look like in a stylised way, but still stick to some basic anatomy rules. With this pattern I became a bit more adventurous and took more of an artistic license. I might try to make some more in the future!

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Happy Hippo

With no delay I went on and completed the next beast of the wild, the Hippopotamus or Hippo for short. I decided to take this pachyderm where his name suggested, "horse of the river", and although hippos look nothing like horses, they do love water. The hippo takes a dive into the fresh waters to cool himself down and there he sees wonderful shapes and colours, ribbons of fish and weed, all moving in slow motion. A school of fish is startled by the impact of the dive, while some other fish remain unimpressed. Something I wanted to portray in this illustration was the hippopotamus's main characteristics, his unique and enormous mouth  - wide open - and the bulk of his body. I didn't want to just show his head sticking out of the water, but to show the whole animal, so I thought I'd take him underwater. Also having this very heavy animal floating in the middle of the illustration, defying gravity, creates a very interesting visual.

Monday, 14 May 2012

Gorillas go Bananas

For my Wild Animals project I chose to do the gorillas next. These gorgeous big beast have huge muscles and furry forearms and can look pretty intimidating, especially to a child. On the one hand I wanted to show the gorilla's might, but at the same time I wanted to present a tender side to him too, so I thought I'd make him a father who's taking his little gorilla baby for bananas. Best dad in the world or what? Also I wanted to create an environment that felt natural for gorillas to live in, thick jungle with all shades of green all around and massive leaves hiding the sky. During this illustration I myself discovered the fascinating way in which bananas grow from the banana tree, batched up on a branch with a flower at its end, brilliant! So I wanted to share this new found knowledge with the children, although they already probably know.

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Lion - revisited

Τhe lion's head, made for the cover of my Wild Animals project, was the very first illustration in the series. However, after having completed it and printing it out I came to realise that the mane, was too messy with colours and shapes and distracted from the main shape of the lions head, which I felt was a shame. Now with a fresh eye I revisited this illustration and created this alternative look, which combines the exciting shapes of the original mane with a cleaner, easier to distinguish look.

I sometimes come back to an illustration and try and improve it if i feel I can do something better with it. Having finished this illustration I will move on to the next wild animal. I'll be posting sketches soon!

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Gazelle & Butterfly

Resuming back to my Wild Animals project, I completed the Gazelle & Butterfly illustration with great delight! When I started sketching for this illustration I wanted to capture the lightness of the gazelle and the grace with which it hops around effortlessly. In its jump, the gazelle momentarily becomes an avian creature and meets another creature up there in the air, a butterfly. The gazelle is dazzled by the pretty colours of this African butterfly, turning its neck to appreciate it. The butterfly in its turn is looking at this big animal rather curiously. Both elegant and beautiful, both in the air, yet so different to one another. Of course I had to put the gazelle in its natural habitat, so I created an open sky savanna with golden grass and umbrella thorn Acacias.

I had to wait a couple of months to put the final touches to this piece as my computer crashed just before I had the chance to finish it. Now I can finally share it with you and exhale!

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

first day of spring!

Today is the first day of spring for 2012, here is another pen and ink drawing to celebrate the start of this much anticipated season!  

Pen & Ink




Here are some of my most recent pen & ink drawings. Inspired by traditional archetypes and mythology I create these pictures with fast, rough strokes, creating a more powerful and impulsive result. I like using simple geometry to give the dynamic I want in a very straightforward way. I find it very enjoyable and creative to be able to express my idea so directly, without having to work on a piece for hours. It's a good balance for my more elaborate work.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Parents - pen & ink

Parents is a pen and ink drawing and is part of an ever growing series of such sketches. In these sketches I try to draw a lot of my ideas without worrying too much about detail and without spending hours working on them.

Going back to a traditional, non-digital medium to create images I rediscovered a certain charm and beauty in the process of drawing directly on paper. The work feels more intimate, it feels unique the way the ink sets on the paper and the way you can't "undo" what you've done. This gives you a bit of an adrenaline rush as you don't want to mess it up. All these factors give the image its personality and character.

When working with pen and ink I found I was producing images a lot faster and was putting a lot more of my thoughts on paper. Some of the sketches are images or scenes from dreams I had, which sounds a bit crazy, but it's fascinating to see "unique" artwork in your sleep and then recreate it in real life.

Prior to these pen and ink sketches I worked with oils and made a few paintings which I will be posting next.

Comic Strip

After a long brake from posting on my blog I have returned!
Having dealt with a series of computer failings I am once more ready to begin posting my mainly digital work!

During this time I've been away, I tuned to traditional mediums and created a few oil paintings and some pen & ink drawings, which I will be uploading in the near future. But for now I would like to post a little comic strip I felt like doing, just to say "it's nice to see you again!"

I hope you like it!


Friday, 6 January 2012

Crocodile and Egyptian Plovers

The second animal I have Illustrated for my book of wild animals(including the cover illustration of the lion) is the crocodile.

The artistic direction of this book is to keep the essence of the animals and view each through an imaginative lens, playing with their patterns, textures and colours. I wanted to present the crocodile as a funny looking, long shaped lizard with a very big mouth and a playful character who likes splashing in the water, rather than a cold blooded dangerous reptile with menacing jaws.

I thought it would be a lot more interesting to put the crocodile in his natural environment, showing his amphibious nature, his relationship with the symbiotic Egyptian plover (aka crocodile bird) and also look at him from an angle that shows how he is long and flat and crawls on the ground.