Friday, 30 October 2009

Happy halloween

So after being getting away for a weekend escape to the Gold Coast for a wedding and being very slack on the sketching front i decided that it was time for another upload.

Happy halloween

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Life drawing

With the long weekend stealing the last life drawing session it was great to get back to the Sando and put some marks on paper.

5 mins

5 mins

10 mins

10 mins

20 mins

20 mins

20 mins - the crowd

Monday, 19 October 2009


Over the weekend I found some motivation and rather than adding to the glut of unfinished sketches I started developing them into larger pieces. This magician made an appearance back August for the Monday Project's 'brave' project and had been stylised and detailed into this piece. 

Other escapees from my sketchbook were 'oh crap' and 'treehouse'.

Sunday, 18 October 2009

and the treehouse continues to grow

The seed was planted when I posted my original sketch just days ago, now I have taken it though enlargement to colour. It has been a long time since I have even attempted painting with water colours so I was pleasantly surprised when it didn't look like a brown wet blob at the end of it. I'm still not sure if I am finished with the project, but am stoked with where it has gotten to. 

Maybe I need a story to put with it or a character who lives there. Food for thought.

Roughing it out

Adding colour

All done, for now

Saturday, 17 October 2009

pressure works

It didn't take long to work, less than a day in fact.

With the added motivation of putting it out there and not wanting to let the concept go stale again I have taken my tree house to the next stage of its development. I still see it progressing to a coloured stage with creatures hiding in the branches and people wandering below. It is definitely a while off being finished, but I can justify buying a some nice watercolour paper to accommodate it.

Another project which I have been playing with started last weekend with some acrylic paint being applied to sheets of paper to provide a base layer to work over. With no idea of what I would end up doing with the sheets I was pleasantly surprised when the character from by roll of brown paper made the trip to the big motley blue smear I had applied with a piece of cardboard and a washing up rag.

Tree house

Oh crap

Harbour monsters and leafy trees

I have been meaning to polish these two illustrations for a while but haven't found the time so to add some pressure to myself I'm posting both of them. Hopefully this will make me take them to the next stage.

Harbour monster

Tree house

Thursday, 15 October 2009


I was starting to wonder if design exhibitions existed in Sydney, now with two in two weeks I'm excited. Tonight was Go Font Ur Self at the Peer Gallery in Glebe. To start with it reminded me of a exhibition I went to run by the Typographic Circle in the UK. The difference is Sydney is graphic design/typography exhibition starved (someone please prove me wrong), so every Tom, Dick and designer was there.

Excitingly one of the typeworks 'say it with flowers' (image below) was by Jessica Hische who got a mention just 3 posts ago with her Daily Drop Cap project. Her work is amazing, so I will have to keep an eye out for a piece to decorate my wall with.

The second type event that I am excited about, but can't make it to is Some Type of Wonderful. Hopefully someone will go along and take some photos and tell me all about it.

Following on the type them. I was doing some googling today and read about the Australian Type Club which seems to exist only in a couple of forum threads in last 2008. Hopefully it reappears in the near future to be something like the Typographic Circle, Type Directors New York or Tokyo. Maybe then we will have a chance to get a design museum like in London or Breda.

Anyway, hopefully this is a sign of good things to come. Sydney could do with some design culture, not just designer markets.

Japanese calligraphy made to order

Lots of people in a small (awesome) space. DJ's on the staircase. Cold beers at the bar and sausages on the BBQ.

Jessica Hische, Say it with Flowers

Dave the Chimp, Amazing living wigs

Brett Stenson, Grue

From the outside in

Not really blog worthy

Now, I wouldn't usually find this blog worthy (except i've had a couple of drinks), but in my local alley walking adventures I found some havoc caused by a recent storm. Creatively cropped to make it look worse I missed out on the more interesting feature of the tree.

It had already had its upper limbs lopped and carted away. But in true council style, they not only left a giant (word used for effect) tree trunk protruding from a fence line, then stacked the broken palings against it instead of taking either away in the truck they obviously had. 

Under all this chaos is a very sad looking wheelie bin, which will no doubt need some TLC once the tree is removed.

Even after all that the most interesting part was that its a great metaphor (or maybe its the few drinks talking), being that I have been bashing against a creative block for a couple of days. 

Now lets pretend the fence is the creative block (to tall,  to hard, to much effort). To get to the other side I could scale it and drop to the other side with only a small struggle, but then my return trip would involve climbing back up and over (who knows how many times I would have to climb the fence each day/week/year). The rest of the metaphor is that the tree is effort/energy and if instead of avoiding the problem I use the tree to smash my creative fence I won't have to climb back over it to get home. 

Strange places

Ever get that feeling that you've been there before, even when really you know that if you had, you would have remembered ... well, this was not one of those times. Tatzu Nishi has taken over the Art Gallery of NSW, enclosing (partially) the two bronze statues which guard the entry. It is definitely worth going to visit to get an understanding of the scale that these images don't convey.

Now if you ever pause to ponder 'hey, i think i remember a giant bronze horse and rider mounting my bed' or 'wasn't there a horse in that tv cabinet last week' you can blame Tatzu Nishi.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Hmm ... no posts this week

Every week I make a promise to myself that posts will come thick and fast. Unfortunately the week just passed I was particularly unorganised and didn't even manage a weekend update. It's not that I haven't been sketching away, but just that none of my bigger projects have finished. Now if I just stopped procrastinating through the medium of blog I will have something to show by friday.

Usually I don't use other peoples images, or yell and scream about things unless I am involved/know the person. This time I'm making an exception. Today the letter 'E' is brought to you by Jessica Hische's blog, Daily Drop Cap. Go have a look, it's a great concept and showcase of beautiful lettering.

Monday, 5 October 2009

I've created a monster!

I have been keeping my eye out for something different to sketch on. Something cheap to buy (moleskins are an expensive habit), and that I won't be precious about if it is hard to get. Cardboard was too thick to carry enough, butchers paper too murky and everything else fell into the expensive or mainstream pile.

BenZen had told me of a pianola roll that was given to him to illustrate (imagine drawing though the music, the holes providing glimpses of the other side). But my habit of thinking while drawing, as opposed to having the idea then drawing it, is not pianola roll worthy, yet. So I didn't need to start the long (potentially expensive) search for a piece of pianola music.

With an architecture student in the house rolls of yellow/white trace litter the office during assignment time. Both great candidateds, both unfortunately falling into the expensive pile.

So when I spotted a roll of brown paper in the stationery section of the supermarket I knew it was right. Cheap, alternative and totally replaceable.

Having watched it from across the coffee table for a couple of days I decided to use some of it to line the back of a display frame for a Jess Bradford print I purchased at a COFA art fair. Laying unwrapped on the desk I thought I should at least try it out. I found my sketching pencils and sharpies, placed the pencil to the paper and ... thats when my plan for a open slather doodling session came to a crunch.

Often I find myself changing pages in sketchbooks to change styles, but with a roll there is no page to turn. Your next image references the previous because you can see everything at once. Not that it's a bad thing, but it has created a monster. A long, brown, lightly textured, wood based, cylindrical monster!

If I cannot over come it I may have to resort to slicing its body into sheets each time I need a change. Until then it's decoration can keep dreaming up the page.

Bespoke temptation

After the Young Blood market at the Powerhouse I mentioned my very exciting purchase of a letterpress print from Bespoke Press. I didn't put up a pic of it as I thought it was rude to have an image up before they did. Excitingly they have not only put up Honey in Sunshine, but a whole lot more. Just as exciting they have put up little bios of the artists so now my print has a story as well.

Image from Bespoke Press website.

Saturday, 3 October 2009

and there followed a moments silence

Another month down, though it seems much shorter. With more creative endeavors and weekend filling activities time seems to fly by. Hence my rather rushed submission for the Monday Project's theme of 'and there followed a moments silence' developed into two ideas. One close to home, the other a much larger scale.

Along with running short on time, having a mid 20's designer/illustrator identity crisis doesn't help. As a designer I have been loosely advised to not have a style of my own, but to work to what is best for the purpose. Whereas illustrators are know for their style, it's what makes them salable. Hmm, now I need two mindsets to toggle between.

So to help solve my dilemma (or at least tide me over until I find a less time consuming solution), I am going to put up one illustration in 'my style' (though I am still not entirely sure what that is) and another in which I have tried something different.