Urban Sketching – Cardiff

Some more sketches of buildings in Cardiff, using the continuous line technique.


On the 6th and 7th of Feb I went back into the city centre to do some more urban sketching. On the 6th I decided to just do more of the continuous line drawings, I did two, one of the train station and one of some buildings along St Mary’s street.

I chose to do these as I think that they represent the theme of My Cardiff well as I go through the train station most days to get to uni and walk along St Mary’s street to get the train home. I also chose them as they have interesting architecture. I decided to stick with the continuous line technique which I think works well, however I would like to try and add some colour to these drawings in some way, possibly using my tablet.

On the 7th I decided to do some more continuous line drawing but I wanted to add colour so I got some scrap pieces of coloured paper and stuck them in my sketchbook so that I colour draw over them when I was out.

These two sketches are my favourite that I have done so far. I think that adding the coloured paper worked really well to make the images look more interesting and dynamic. I used the same continuous line technique and the same pens to do these sketches. I also used a bigger sketchbook so that i could make these images more detailed. I think that they work really well as urban sketches and that the coloured paper and the continuous line technique is something that I am going to experiment with further.

Children’s Book Brief – Final Colour Pages

The development of my two final colour page spreads and the cover for my illustrated book based on the story The Singing Bone.

After I had finished my dummy book I started my finished, full colour page spreads. Part of the brief was to do 2 finished colour page spreads as well as the finished cover in colour. I started by choosing 2 pages that I thought would contrast with each other and that would look interesting in colour. I then used a number of materials to add colour including watercolour, gouache, acrylic paint and a conte pencil.

I then used photoshop and indesign to add text to the cover and to the pages. I also added page and bleed lines to the images. The text is hand written, I decided to do this as I felt it would fit with the simple, rustic theme more. This also allowed me to simply emphasise words which add to the drama of the story. I also made a change to one of the pages in photoshop, I decided to move the character up the page as he was too close to the edge, I think this has made him easier to see.

To improve these pages I would change some things. I need to re-doo the text to make it more even and regular as at the moment it looks too rough. I would also experiment more with line and develop the paint and charcoal/conte pencil technique. I would use different thicknesses of line in my images and use line for other parts of the pictures and not just the characters as i think this would help me to bring my composition together as a whole. I would also make the background lighter in the image with the boar in order to emphasise what is going on in the foreground.

Children’s Book Brief – Colour Page Plan

A colour page plan for my illustrated book The Singing Bone based on The Grimm Brother’s story for the children’s book brief.

In order to demonstrate how my book would look in full colour I made a rougher, more vague version of my page plan. I used watercolours to roughly show what colours would be present on each page and where. I did this as it helps people to get a better feel for how the whole book would look, it also emphasises what is happening on each page and it helps the viewer to connect with the story more.

Children’s Book Brief – Experimenting with materials

Some of the work that I produced whilst experimenting with gouache and other materials.

For part of my research and development for this project I decided to experiment with gouache paint as I thought it may improve my images because the colours would be brighter with gouache than watercolour.

I started by testing the paint by doing some blended backgrounds on brown paper. I also used a conte pencil to add trees in one of the images.

old man
Old man in woods. 

I then drew out one of my pages to see what it would look like in colour. I used gouache paint and then went over the old man character with a conte pencil. I think this image worked well, I was concerned when I did the page plan that this page would look too busy but I think that it works well to convey the fact that the character is deep in the woods. I think this image could be improved by making the space between the trees darker in order to add depth to the image.


forest background.jpeg
Gouache and Conte pencil 

After testing this page with gouache I decided to test the page that would go opposite it. The idea for this page is that it would have a simple image for a background with a square of bordered text on top of it. My first idea was to have a colourful background with a row of trees at the bottom of the page. I liked this design but it didn’t fit with the other page. I decided that the page with the text on it should look the same as the page opposite. I decided to make the background dark with the colourful trees covering it.

gouache trees.jpeg
Gouache trees 

I started by doing this with gouache. I used less water with the black paint in order to make it darker. This didn’t work the background still isn’t that dark and it looks flat. The trees don’t stand out against the background either. I then decided to use acrylic paint for the background as this would allow me to create a much darker and consistent colour.

I think that this second attempt using acrylic looks a lot better, the trees really stand out and the background looks a lot more dense. I think that using acrylic with the gouache works the best so in order to improve the image of the old man in the woods I will redo it using acrylic for the background instead.

acrylic trees
Acrylic and Gouache 





Children’s Book Brief – Trees

Some ideas on how the trees and forest will look for the illustrations for the story The Singing Bone.

The forest is quite a big bit of the story, The Signing Bones, that I have chosen to illustrate for this brief, so I decided to draw out different versions of trees in order to decide what design to use.

I started by drawing out some simple designs, some of which were inspired by trees from some of the books that I looked at at the beginning of this project.

I then chose one of the designs I liked and incorporated it into an image that could be used to illustrate the story. I used watercolours to paint the sky and the ground but added the trees using a fine liner pen .


Children’s Book Brief – Initial Ideas

My initial ideas, sketches and paintings for an illustrated book based on the tale The Singing Bones.

After doing some research I started doing some sketches and paintings of my ideas for a children’s book based on the story The Singing Bone by The Brothers Grimm. I started by drawing some ideas I had for the forest.

I then started to do some sketches for the characters, taking inspiration from Shaun Tan’s book The Signing Bones and primal cave art.

This research inspired me to create simple characters that looked primal and solid. I tried to simplify the human form as much as possible but still make the look recognisable and relatable. I added colour with watercolours. I wanted to make the characters look like they had been carved out of wood and stone in order to make them look more primal and prehistoric.

I then did some quick paintings to test the characters in the environments I wanted to include in the book. These paintings were inspired by the book The White hare by Nicola Davies and illustrated by Anastasia Izlesou. I tried to imitate the blended watercolour backgrounds which allowed me to try something different.

After doing these images I decided to try and redesign the older brother as I don’t think he looked very human and he didn’t really resemble the younger brother. To redesign him I looked at Inuit carvings and primal sculptures of the human form. I then quickly sketched out some simple designs based on the images that I looked at.

After drawing out these simple forms multiple times I came up with two ideas, I then drew these next to the design of the younger brother so that I could compare them.

Characters and Place

Work from a group project about a soldier’s story from the Spanish Civil War.

For this group project we were put into groups and given the name and some information of a soldier from Cardiff that fought in the Spanish Civil War. The outcome of the project was to work together to create an exhibition telling the story of the person we were given. Our group was given a man that was originally from Cicero in Spain, who moved to Cardiff whilst trying to escape the civil war. His story was about him joining the Union’s Militia in Spain where he fought in some battles but had to retreat. His story then documents how he sailed to France to try and escape the war, then ended up back in Spain. He then went on to become a sailor and went to Canada, Scotland and then finally Cardiff. His story ended with him going back to his home village of Cicero in Spain in the 70s.

As a group we started by brainstorming our ideas, talking about the most significant parts of his journey and the ones we should include in our exhibition. We decided on each of us doing a different aspect of his story which we would then bring together using a map that we would make plotting out his journey during the Spanish Civil War. We decided to work separately but we would all take inspiration from propaganda posters from that time so our work would all fit together at the end.

I drew the map that showed our person’s journey during the war. I collaborated with an animation student who added the animated affects that showed where he had been.

finished map.png
The Map

I chose an old fashioned style as it has similar colours to those used in the propaganda posters. Once I had drawn and coloured it Alys from animation added the animated affects that plotted out where our soldier had been and in what order.

I also made some small postcards for the exhibition. I decided on 3 places he had been, Barcelona, Paris and Cardiff. I then looked at some old postcards taking inspiration from propaganda as well. I then screen printed these postcards using stencils. I only printed 2 colours for each card because of limited time so I printed onto colour paper and used coloured card to add grass to them.

All of the final work from the group.