Wednesday, October 1, 2014

September Sketches

Viking Spearhead Cork Museum

D shaped buckle Cork Museum

Life drawing in Waterfords Soma Life Drawing

Life Drawing from Cork Life Drawing Group

Drink & Draw sketch

Some of the sketches done in the month of September. I popped into the Cork museum in Fitzgeralds park when I was in Cork, as I had a workshop teaching how to draw such objects and wanted to field test some methods. Plus I was long overdue popping in there. I have started bringing an A5 sketchbook with me now to museums and Sceitse's, usually I only carry my A6 pocket sketchbook, but I prefer the freedom of working that size larger, when I have the time to. Mini sketchbook is still my main SB though.

The rest are A4 pieces. In life drawing been trying to find the right balance between conte white pencils and white ink pen, you get nice blanket whites from the former, nice white highlights in the latter, not quite worked out the balance yet.

The last is just a sketch of a random character from the noggin/head, been a long time since I actually sketched just for the sake of it and completely from the mind. I do get to work from the mind in Archaeological work but it has to be justifiable at all times. So it can be stuffy so been trying to phase the pure fun back in occasionally now.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Little Red Riding Hood

This is the cover illustration I did for the Cork City Libraries 2014 Children's Book Festival booklet. Its based on the classic children's story, Little Red Riding Hood. I also did the graphic design work for the interior of the 16 page booklet. Id like to thank Eibhlin Cassidy for commissioning me to do the illustration and graphic design work for the Cork City Libraries. Im sure the 2014 Festival will be a great success.

Friday, September 26, 2014


This is more a post to point out a site some people here might like to check out. A bunch of Illustrators including Jim Pavelic, Todd Lockwood etc came together to set up a site to try promote better working practises, advice and payment for those working in the Illustration fields. Due to those involved directly in its set up, its particularly aimed at the animation/gaming spectrum but they're gradually broadening it. Theres sample contracts, advice articles by leading illustrators in those fields and if you sign up, a review section where you can post reviews on dealings and pay from companies.

The facebook just posted a video of Jim and Aaron Miller discussing the site and fielding some questions from attendees at the American Academy of Art.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Baby steps...

This is a "guilty of not putting anything up here in ages and I'm sorry, but will this do?" post and a rather off the cuff one too, so just a quick screenshot. I was just about to post it on my Facebook but figured i might as well stick it up here.   

A bunch of WIP character concepts for a game I'm working on.

These are very much still in fleshing out stage middle of the process for me. I tend to grab a big ink brush and just draw shapes first, really random blobs that i then erase, resize, chop, draw over and adjust until i begin seeing a pose or character. When that's done, i lower the opacity and draw over the shape and basically define it.

I try keep it really loose and again things are changing as i go, fixes and adjustments ie. If you look at the character on the grey backdrop here you will see the late addition of a new leg position.  Once I've done a rough line drawing, i then do a tonal pass, just trying to flesh out light direction, focus etc. These are in that stage.

Next up, I'll tighten up the rough line drawing by inking over it again, tidying and fixing as i go. When its tidied, i go to color generally slapping down base colors in Color/Overlay modes then painting over. Used to just use a Round brush for most, but lately began using more textured brushes and Chalk brushes.

Besides the usual drawing mistakes/shortcomings I'm trying to learn to overcome, my biggest issue with my own work is that i feel my early drawings lose a lot of energy that i love by the time I'm hitting final stages. Still trying to find the happy medium.

Its probably not much different from most and maybe not the most time efficient but its become my workflow lately and seems to suit me.

In between all this "push and pull" there's a copious amount of tea, occasional biscuits and a few sessions of playing catch with my dogs. Also music. I really cant do anything without tunes. I used to leave radio on but it is too distracting listening to news, interviews etc in between the music. So now its just purely music.  I used to game a bit but games are too addictive and time soaks! I try limit myself there now. Currently its Hearthstone (generally over breakfast), then Wolf Among Us and LA Noire at lunch. Typically, I'm up at 7.30, breakfast/laze about and start working by 10. finish up at 4.30ish for few hours then depending on mood maybe bit more before bed or DVD.

These days i found myself doing most of my work moving between and getting the benefits of both Corel Painter ( I love its inbuilt pencil and ink tools) and Photoshop. Lately I'm drawing a lot more digitally from the start but as the mood takes me I sometimes sketch a drawing traditionally too then scan it in to take advantage of digital tools.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Eva's Sketch Books

Like every good sketch book addict, I have journals in abundance. I love variety, I love different designs, different formats, colours, page numbers, paper quality, you name it. Every sketch book is something special and has different memories. Unfortunately, I only brought a small number of books with me when I moved to Ireland in 2009, so the large number of my previous years of sketching is stowed away at my parents place. Would have been fun alright to show you a few pages of the really, really old sketch books ;) Maybe another time... here we go, these are my current books:

Old and new, clean and dirty, big and small, plain and decorated.
I love them all <3

Catch a few glimpses:

I also have a few special sketch books and journals and I only use them for specific occasions or share them with certain friends. There is the "Ruin Hunt" for example, where my husband Martin and I go out and about exploring the area we live in.

And there's another journal I share with my friend Halina. Both of us draw and write in it when we go out together. I just love to browse through the (mostly hilarious) memories we hold on to. 

And last but not least: The infamous Pub Diary! If you have been out with me for a pint at some stage you might already know what this is all about :) This is by far my most favourite sort of sketch book activity! Rules are simple: Every time we're out at a public place (pub, concert, travel, etc) we sketch or write some random thoughts. And of course let others, friends and strangers, do the same. Best memories ever!   

The Paperblanks Minis are perfect.
Fit into every pocket and look super stylish!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Cork Horror Comic

This is the coloured version of the Cork Horror Comic cover that I illustrated recently. The Cork Horror Comic will be launched on October 30th at the 2014 Dragon of Shandon Festival that is being put together by Cork Community Art Link. The full list of contributors to the Cork Horror Comic are as follows:

Plague Doctor
Emma O'Mahony and Chris O'Halloran

Devils Chair
Dylan Fitzgerald and Damien Duncan

War of the Birds
Liam Hughes and Charlie Aabo

Cab Ride
Mark Lenihan and Podge Fitzgerald

Shandon Tower
Sean Creagh and Joe Griffin

Story Editor
Colin O'Mahoney

Art Editor
Alan Corbett

Ann and her Beloved Copper Book.

Hello, my name is Ann, and I draw a lot. 

This is more of a statement of fact than anything else, and I make no apology for it :) I have been known to have brought my sketchbook to a wedding with me.
Previously to the studio flood I had last year I had stored pretty much every sketch book I'd ever bought/filled carefully filed. 

Then the flood happened. 


And about 2/3 of my old sketchbooks got so soaked they were no longer salvageable. I was kinda upset, but life went on and I filled more sketchbooks, leading me to enthuse about this one. 

In April we were at MCM Ireland in the RDS Dublin promoting Bunsen Bunnies, at that show was the rather excellent Will Phoenix and his copper books naturally I had to have one & bought one with a lovely Mystic (Dark Crystal) on the cover. ( his website is )

I should point out I love these books, they are refillable...

...As an artist who is also a pack rat I tend to have the current sketchbook, the old one and a new one, all in my bag ( my back hates me for this).
The old one because I'm not done yet with some of the sketches, the new one in case I run out of paper in the current one, and ya know the current one is the current one. 
So the fact that these refill, and I can transfer the pages I'm still working on with the refill... Well... COOL!  
If nothing else the weight of my bag has dropped substantially already. 

When Chatting with the lovely Mr Phoenix, I discovered he also made these to commission... one wedding gift for my cousin promptly ordered :) and I again couldn't resist getting one for me with my Bunsen Bunnies logo on it :D 

Personally I think he did a lovely job on it. He also very kindly showed me the secret binding technique he uses, so that I wouldn't have to post him the whole sketchbook to get it refilled. 

My sketchbooks tend to also be the note taking spot, the scrapbooking  of interesting stuff spot and the I'll keep it here so I don't loose it spot. 
At the beginning there are many print stacked in doodles and photos of old work, along with my card, in case I loose the whole book.

The neon page marker dispenser is a reasonably new addition, they peel off the pages again cleanly so have potential to be useful... I hope :) again these pages have been scrapbook end a bit and have traveled with the book when the paper was refilled the last few times. 

These are reference of some of the watercolour postcards I have been selling at various events, mostly this is for my own reference, and for props when I try and explain the Deadpool Bunny. 

Brainstorming for mad science classes, and Miss Quinn, one of the newer comic characters, a practice sketch in my beloved rainbow pencil. 

Doodles of Baker with And without his natty scarf. I believe his was in a coffee shop awaiting some friends. 

The most regular use the sketchbook gets is of course comic page planning, once John has written up a page or bit of plot line we get together to brainstorm it out, thumbnail style, and I them work from these thumbnails to ink out the page and watercolour it. If it has dialogue it's then sent back to John as my spelling and grammar are terrible. (The bookmark was a gift from Replay, a games shop in Bangor)
Inked page
Then painted. 

The following pages were from a Day trip down to Dublin, the Enterprise was rather stuffed with people so I spent my time doodling, while some of them are inspired be passengers I spotted none are drawn directly as it tends to creep them out if I started to regularly stare at them.

That guy just needed some stitching and a few bolts. 
Some of these doodles will them be used as the basis for characters of paintings later on.

On my last Friday off myself and John decided to head to Belfast Zoo, I haven't been since I was a small sprog let, so it came as a surprise how hilly it was. We had a great morning and hiked about looking for non sleeping critters for me to draw...

Penguins rock, every zoo I have been to has had epic penguins .
The Meerkats were abundant and had a bit of a tiff with a local peacock who called in for a drink, the baby meerkats felt he had entirely too many feathers.
John had to speak fast to convince me that the keepers would have counted them, and no I wasn't allowed to adopt one. 

I think at this point I have conveyed my deep fondness for the A5(ish) copper book. The others book I have recently been using is an A3 sketch pad, spiral bound which I picked up for £5 in Art at Home in Holywood, apparently the cover was damaged. Since I almost immediately draw on or decorate sketchbook covers this wasn't an issue really. 

Due to transport reasons it hasn't been traveling with me as much recently, so there isn't a lot in it yet...
Hulk bunny planning, and black widow bunny... Long story that.

Planning for a steampunk robot. 
The inked robot. 

And finally some Tv sketching. Mostly, brain on autopilot as you doodle. Very therapeutic. 

Feel free to comment and let me know how you work with a sketchbook :) are you a pack rat like me? Or are your books lovely and neat?

AKA Dragon
Bunsen Bunnies Artist.