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I was commissioned to create a bookplate for a company which has recently created a new library of contemporary and historical books. As the collection is a special one, and relevant to the company the client wanted the bookplate to feature an illustration of their prestigious premises in the West End of London.

The building is on a corner so there was plenty of discussion over which aspect to depict, or whether it should be both. To help the decision making process and give flexibility I did both aspects individually, which I ended up merging digitally to create the final image:

The Final Bookplate

The Final Bookplate

I have removed the client’s logo from this final piece.

The first original drawing

The first original drawing

 

The second original drawing

The second original drawing

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I thought I’d post a couple of the other cover designs I created for The Incompetent Cook. As you can see if you follow that link, and below, we decided in the end to go with a colour version of one of the drawings from inside the book. 

Here are a couple of initial concepts I came up with that I thought encompassed a lot of the themes from the book. Click for a closer look.

As a point of interest, I was asked the other day whether the drawings were done in colour originally and then published in black and white. The answer is no, they ware all done in black ink with brush and dip pen. The one that I chose to use for the front cover I then put into Photoshop and coloured digitally. Here it is in both forms. Again, click for a better view.

If you want to find out more about the book go the the website, theincompetentcook.com, where you can read more and purchase the book.

I’m not really one for making new year’s resolutions. I always really enjoy Christmas and new year, despite, or indeed quite possibly because it often feels a bit like a black hole sucking in time and space.

But, after the final week in December, January does always seem a good time to take stock and work out at least a vague plan for the coming months. I like to decide what my new goals are and identify which of my old goals I haven’t yet achieved. So I have been making lists, starting new sketchbooks and notebooks, and have a few new things I am excited about and looking forward to. Which is a great feeling at the start of a new year. Here we go…

New Year, New work

Also, you’ll notice I have added a widget for my Instagram stream on the right of the page, so have a click and a follow if you like.

I’m working on a new project, a story set in a forest. It’s a beautifully simple, poignant, calm story for children. My first task is to decide on the look of the drawings- how I want to depict the forest itself, so I have been trying out a few techniques and looks.

The drawings below are just primary ideas, they all need more development. Some of the scenes will have mist flowing between the trees, so the bottom right one has some in it, although I think it’s a bit on the cartoony side. Which is your favourite of the approaches so far? Feedback is welcome in the comments section.

Sketches for a forest

Sketches for a forest

This is my first post in my second blog (You can see my first blog here if you like).  The idea is that I will post bits and bobs of current work that I am doing, whether it is illustrating, photography or anything else.  I’d like to think that it will be an interesting read, peppered with pictures to give you a good flavour of my work.

I have found myself increasingly busy lately so this kind of feels like it may not be the best time to start writing too, I’m going on the theory that the busier you are the more you get done.  I don’t think that can be the quote I’m thinking of!  It seems like a bit of an obvious statement, but I hope you know what I mean.

The latest project I have been working on is a novel/collection of short stories.  I’m not going to go into too much detail yet, but here’s a couple of drawings I did for it that aren’t actually going to be in the book.  Each of the stories has a recipe at the end, and each has its own illustration, so my original idea was to illustrate the food from each story.  I ended up taking a different angle on the subject matter, but i am still fond of these.

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