Sunday, 25 October 2009

'In Ancient Egypt' by Ian MacDonald

This is an illustration I did for a book cover for an educational book called 'In Ancient Egypt' by Ian MacDonald, published by Educational Printing Services. The publishers wanted a montage of Egyptian images for the book cover, my illustrations combined with photographs that were provided for me. The finished book cover is below.

The publisher wanted me to produce the illustrations in the familiar ancient Egyptian style, ie. simplified figures in profile.  Here are a selection of line drawings.

Friday, 23 October 2009

Dougal as a puppy

This is a work in progress, started last year and then put to one side.  It's a personal painting for myself, of my dog Dougal when he was 8 weeks old.  I have copied Dougal from a photo my friend took of him, but I have added the butterfly.  Dougal was a little monster and I don't think he could have stayed that still with a butterfly fluttering past his nose... the little tyke would have snapped at it and tried to catch it, like he used to snap at people's feet as they walked by.  Anything that moved was a game of chase to him... he hasn't changed much.  Dougal is a Scottish Terrier and is eight and a half years old now.  Thanks for looking :)

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Work in progress for one of my 'fairy dance' paintings

Finished Illustration - Hooray!


I've added the fairy to the background and tweaked it a bit.  Hopefully it's finished now.  I don't know what to call her yet.


I have cheated a little here.  This is the background I designed for my 'Auburn Fairy' painting, but as it is meant to be a series, I thought it would be nice to keep to the same background and colours (plus it's easier for me, hee hee).  To produce the background, I used layers.  First, I chose a basic white background.  For the second layer, I painted some ivy (inspired by the ivy growing plentifully on my fence at the bottom of my garden) which I manipulated on Photoshop and made slightly transparent so that the white background showed through.  I then added a smaller, purple layer that became the border and I used the same ivy painting again as my fourth layer, which I placed on top of the purple layer, 100% opaque this time.  There may be easier ways to do this but I'm not an expert in Photoshop and this is just how I do it.  I use a Wacom Intuos 3 graphic tablet and pen to paint with pixels - I'll never go back to using a mouse again.  I'm going to add the fairy to the background now.

I have finished the detail on the fairy, now to add the background.


I then start adding more detail to the dress: folds, pattern on the fabric, the lace etc.  Once I've finished this, I'm going to work on the wings. I've pointed her foot downwards so it looks like she is dancing in the air rather than on the ground.


I then start adding detail, starting with the head.



This is the second stage of the painting. I have decided to paint it digitally using photoshop.  I have scanned the image into photoshop and tidied the edges and then applied a wash over the sketch.


Work in progress: This is a pen sketch for the second painting in the series entitled 'The Fairy Dance'.  I don't know what to call her yet though.  Her dress is inspired by a mixture of eighteenth century fashion, the high waisted 'empire line' is late eighteenth century, early nineteenth century, but the sleeves are earlier.  However, fairies are timeless and wear what they like and don't follow fashion.  I envisage her in rose pinks, with blonde hair.  Please check back to watch the painting in progress.

Friday, 2 October 2009