Thursday, 15 June 2017

Feature Friday: Demelsa Haughton Illustration

Where are you from and where do you currently practice your artwork?
I live in North Yorkshire (UK) with my partner and our three children. I work from home which is a lovely commute!
My studio is 'under construction' at the moment so for now I work wherever I can find some quiet. 

Are you self taught or have you completed any training?
All self taught. I've always drawn and painted with traditional media but I was introduced to Photoshop and Illustrator
while doing a degree in fashion and fell in love with it. I did many, many frustrating tutorials to get the hang of it and I 
now remember approximately 1% of what I learned! I only use the basic features which is enough for how I use it though.
How would you describe your artwork/process?
I usually, but not always, start with a simple pencil sketch which I upload to Photoshop to paint. Sometimes I will know
where I am heading with a painting, other times an idea will come to me while aiming for something completely different.
Working digitally allows me go in different directions without having to start again and waste precious time.
What is your biggest influence/inspiration?
I love all things other worldly (the ultimate escapism) so that probably feeds my work quite a lot. I still feel heavily
influenced by my favourite books and films from my childhood, anything by Roald Dahl, The Lion The Witch and the
Wardrobe, Wizard of Oz, Labyrinth etc. 
What has been the biggest highlight of your career so far?
The first picture book I illustrated was published last year which was a highlight. But every time I sell a greeting card or a
print is a bit of a highlight too!
What are you working on at the moment?
As well as building up a greeting card and art prints business I'm also currently working on a second children's picture book
for Australian publisher Tusk Books.
Where can people see your work?

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Feature Friday: Sally Lancaster Art

Where are you from and where do you currently practice your artwork?
I'm from the gorgeous county of Devon and I'm a very proud Devonshire lass! I rent a room in a local printing firm. As I 
live on my own, I love getting out of the house and going to work at my studio-plus there are other people there to stop
me from losing the plot due to loneliness.
How would you describe your artwork/process?
I work from photographs so it starts with me doing a photo shoot. I will then go through the images to choose one that
stands out to me as something special, as the basis of my painting. I work in oils, although I do the first layer in acrylics to
speed up the drying time. I can then get to work with the oils, building up until the top, detailed layer.

What is your biggest influence/inspiration?
I love producing paintings with interesting lighting as this can create something either really dramatic or it can soften an image.

Have you ever received any artistic awards for your work?
Back when I produced mainly equestrian paintings I did win a couple of awards at the Society of Equestrian Artists annual
exhibitions. When I was a kid I won a painting set after entering a competition with Kellogg's Cornflakes-I was so
excited that I'd actually won something!

What has been the biggest highlight of your career so far?
When I worked as an Equestrian Artist there were a couple of things. Firstly being asked by The Racing Post to be the
artist working on their horse statue at an event set up by Cheltenham Racecourse. Secondly, being commissioned to 
do a painting of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the then ruler of Dubai. Now that I'm a Figurative Artist 
I'm waiting for a highlight, something like a solo show would be amazing! Hint hint to any galleries reading this...
Where can people see your work?
I have a few pieces in galleries which are listed on my website but most of my work can either be seen in my studio or at
any exhibitions-which are again listed in my website.

What are you working on at the moment?
To be honest, I'm having a little break due to needing to pay the bills but once things are back on track and I have time in
the studio, I'll be working on a few more of my paintings involving material draped over my model. I've loved working on
this series of paintings so am looking forward to getting back to them.
Sally Lancaster Art:

Friday, 19 May 2017

Tell Me a Story...

With the recent release of The Wishing Boat (Amanda Tarlau) I thought it would be interesting to provide a personal
insight into how I created the illustrations for this picture book. I’ll describe my process in a way that will hopefully provide
a brief overview of my methods.

Start at the Beginning.
The first time I read a story I’m simultaneously imagining the events playing out like an animation. I then begin to isolate
images that best resonate with the text and I start sketching. These sketches are quite reactionary, unrefined, a visual
response to a particular line, word or feeling during reading. 

I begin to create the character(s) early in the development process and The Wishing Boat was no exception. The girl 
is the focal point of the story, the narrator in this case, as the whole story could be perceived as her soliloquy.
Gathering Pace.
Storyboards are important, very important. This is the stage at which my ideas become refined and integrated with the text.
The storyboard is an opportunity for me to gather together my sketches, develop my initial ideas and start to build the
overall pace and structure of the book. 

The storyboard is the first look at how the book will read as a whole, offering the people you are collaborating with a visual
synopsis of what you are trying to achieve. In the case of The Wishing Boat I worked in black and white for the storyboards
as it’s easier to figure out the depth of the images this way - it’s also quicker to make changes upon request.
Roughs usually follow on directly after the storyboards are complete. The rough illustrations provide me with an opportunity
to start thinking about details, refining composition, light sources etc. These are important factors to consider before moving
on to the colour stage and the final artwork. 
I work mostly digitally and the final print-ready artwork is usually supplied as CMYK, at least 300dpi. Time management is
critical when you are completing 32 pages and covers whilst juggling other projects at the same time. 
*If you work traditionally, in watercolour for example, then factor in the required time it will take to send your illustrations to
the publisher. 

Closing Thoughts
The Wishing Boat is the first picture book that I've worked on that is in my own style and it’s both exciting and rewarding to hold
a physical copy in my hands. I have since developed my illustrative method and continue to learn and improve with every
new project I tackle.
The Wishing Boat is currently published across Australia and New Zealand and is available from Scholastic
The book is also available online in other countries at the Book Depository.