Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Drawing MANGA style

Having received a copy of How to Draw MANGA in Simple Steps by Yishan Li, to fully scrutinize. I thought the best way to do it was to try drawing one of the Manga style characters following the step-by-step method of doing so directly from a page from the book.

Being a 2D artist who sketches and draws the figure and form of people and animals pretty accurately in a purposely naive illustrative style and being a fan of comic book art, I decided to reproduce a copy- cat image of the character shown in (FIGURE 2) digitally, using a graphic's tablet (for the first time properly), alongside Photoshop computer software with which I am more familiar. 

So below is the page I chose to copy. I 've never been very good at approaching my creativity in a trained way. What I would usually do is just look at the character completed (the guy in colour in the picture below) and line draw a version that would match him pretty well.

Page is page 13 from the book 'How to Draw MANGA in Simple Steps' byYishan Li

The source material presented in the book I mentioned above, has, in itself, a wealth of instructional content to enable you to get very good at mimicking the art style quickly. My attempt at using a tablet to draw is very amateurish as you will see, and there are so many digital artists who could teach you the art form much, much better.  Least, this way, I can offer a few trouble shooting tips.

Instead of trying to draw an even oval for the face, I selected an oval shape from the side panel. Later found I couldn't erase the hard lines in favour of the more desired chiseled look overdrawing I had produced 

Probably should have continually selected more layers to amend errors more easily. I used the eraser tool a lot to tidy up the lines.

above you will see the problem developing with oval face, also notice the first signs of me gravitating from the source example and my own style of drawing coming through (just can't help it!)

Instead of blocking I favour the more sketchy approach and I find myself not following exactly Li's tips to achieve a like-for-like composition. I have to make a bigger collar and have my guy holding on to that instead of his arm floating

With the colour and tones added I produce an acceptable version of a Manga character but one that does not resemble much the character from the book on page 13

I might be a clever clogs pencil sketcher/pen on paper doodler usually, but I have to say this approach for me is a whole new ball game! My free form skills were heavily restricted and stilted by the mechanics of the tools I was using. My son, who works the other way and finds it easier to draw using the computer and who creates better stuff if he follows this kind of stage by stage instruction, thought that I should have hand drawn on paper all the steps above to demonstrate and not provided the evidence in screen shots. My thoughts however, is though I found it all very frustrating with the practice bringing about such limitations, I do believe one can produce some fabulous Manga creations using this book as a guide, whether it be digitally (with more practice in my case), or traditionally. I like originality however, and so make no excuses for being original! 

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Friday, 15 September 2017

THE JOY OF SEEING an art exhibition showcasing the work of the late Gordon Snee - Artist

Artwork by the late Gordon Snee - Abstract Artist

THE JOY OF SEEING is the first retrospective of the newly-discovered abstract painter, Gordon Snee . The exhibition opens on 30th September in Halifax UK, which not only showcases Snee's paintings but also reveals an absolute treasure trove of unseen pictures saved from the bonfire by Snee's daughter, Jo Snee. 

Gordon Snee painted from the late 1940s to 2013. He rarely exhibited his work. It was only after his death that his vast legacy of paintings, drawings, sketch-books and maquettes came to light. His life's work was only saved from the bonfire by the timely action of Jo, just after his funeral.

Since then, Jo has brought together a band of supporters for her father's work. With her daughter, Rachel she ran a couple of pop-up exhibitions in disused buildings in Sheffield's Kelham Island. The sculptor, Simon Wigglesworth-Baker built a full-size sculpture from one of Snee's models. Ernest Wright and Son Ltd, one of Britain's last hand-made scissor factories, donated space for the 'Snee Studio', where the pictures can be safely stored (and viewed by appointment). Jo restored and framed the hundreds of paintings, drawings, wood and lino cuts that her father left behind.

Meanwhile, arts writer, Simon Evans read Snee's seventy note and sketch books and so began to uncover the artist's lonely struggle against a hidden 'cultural cold war', so The Joy of Seeing exhibition throws new light on the secret history of post-war European art. 

Now this team are set to open what is the first major retrospective of Snee's work, at one of the north's leading independent galleries: The Crossley at Dean Clough Mills in Halifax. Alongside the exhibition there will be talks about Snee's work, a book launch, and projects with The Brooksbank School in Elland and Longley College in Sheffield.

Read more about the story of Gordon Snee here

Monday, 11 September 2017

Making Quilts and Badges from T-shirts - Book Feature

I have a friend who is a talented quilter and our craft group have made small quilted items under her direction. All four of us have visited a quilt exhibiting gallery at one time or another. So I was very interested in having the chance to feature the ideas given in The T-Shirt Quilt Book by Lindsay Conner and Carla Hegeman Crim for three reasons:

1. Because the idea of making keepsake quilts from tees which represent the wearers' fandom fancies; be it music related, sporting related, fundraising related – whichever - is such a good one. The t-shirting fabric lends itself so wonderfully in being able to represent a favourite theme into a very personal, one-of-a-kind keepsake for someone to treasure, or to commemorate someone or something special in such a tactile and pleasing format.

2. Because my own interest in the theme of this book strays ever so slightly as I have a new hobby. I’ve started putting patches on clothes and this book gives me loads of ideas for me to customize clothing with handmade badges that I can make from charity shop purchases, not only second hand T-shirts, but baby sleep suits stealing away their cute graphics; padded baby books and padded wall hangings, bed quilts etc. etc., Note: the following five designs are my own and do not appear in the book

3. Because the drain on the earth's resources involved in producing masses of cotton T-Shirts is so costly in such an immeasurable enormity (as represented in the following video) so goes to prove that producing this wardrobe staple has consequences in terms of environmental impact, therefore the idea of reusing existing clothing items this way is an eco-friendly thing to do and very valuable in that sense.

Today, the book I feature has contributed to me having one or two light bulb moments. Block building info; templates and full instructions for 8 projects are also included in the book, yet I'm a fan of it mostly because of the images and suggestions it has given me in terms of creative ideas of how to reuse my charity shop finds.

Here are some images from the book:

Here's some t-shirt quilts featured on Pinterest 

The T-Shirt Quilt Book is available from Amazon
Disclosure applies see here

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Monday, 4 September 2017

Primary School Nostalgia

Doesn't seem five minutes ago that I blogged about term end and School Sports Day. Hasn't it been the quickest summer holiday EVER!

So this week it's back to school for most. As always this time of year my thoughts turn to the many parents of little ones taking their first steps on the educational ladder.

Many of the Ravensburger jigsaw themes that I see mirror the social good in life and often act a prompter for an idea to blog. I think this puzzle box image, looking back to infants engaging with a teacher in a classroom is very poignant. We hope the profession hasn't redefined itself over time, and that teaching a child how to tell the time or reading a story out loud is still vital and enjoyed, and has not become a tick box chore

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Thursday, 31 August 2017

COLOUR by Marion Deuchars - Book Feature and Review

This book explores colour and its meaning to humans and what we relate colours to. The author is award-winning illustrator, Marion Deuchars.

a two page illustration by Marion Deuchars asking 'Why do children paint rainbows but adults don't?

Questions are presented (but not answered), like this one above about painting rainbows. Designed for us to consider how we might have looked at things as a child and how we look at things differently as an adult. 

Quote by Georgia O'Keefe  from the book Colour by Marion Deuchars

This quote above by Georgia O'Keefe appears in the book. It is a personal response to the subject of colour by the famous artist known for her bold and vibrant painting of enlarged flowers particularly

Colour scheme 'Evening in Istanbul' from the book Colour by Marion Deuchars

Colour Scheme 'Tahitian Women on the Beach' from the book Colour by Marion Deuchars

Colour Scheme 'St Ives'  from the book Colour by Marion Deuchars

The three colour schemes shown above are a selection of twelve altogether, where Deuchars has produced a palette of colours from famous artworks, so we are
 absorbed in that feeling of familiarity when we think of the original paintings. Artworks mentioned above are:Evening in Istanbul by the late American painter Stuart Davis style was cubism, modern art, pop art, and abstract; 'Tahitian Women on the Beach' by Gauguin whose striking use of colour, especially in his Tahitian works,produced such powerful forms; 'St Ives' by the late British artist Ben Nicholson who gave extra considerations to colour in his compositions. Colour was very textural to Nicholson. The book does not include any pictures of the famous artworks alongside the Deuchars colour blocks, I guess this would change the overall presentation of a book that features the author's illustrative work only.

Most Japanese children draw the sun as a big red circle from the book Colour by Marion Deuchars

Colour in art related facts are included. See pic immediately above and the two below.

from the book Colour by Marion Deuchars

from the book Colour by Marion Deuchars

My superstitious Nan always said it was 'Blue and Green should never be Seen!' What is the correct saying?

from the book Colour by Marion Deuchars

In this simple colour blob circle Deuchars shows those wonderful shades of the colour blue.

from the book Colour by Marion Deuchars

This is my favourite page, I love the manuscript style writing and the pink tones

More about the book:
• Hardcover - handle with care as it can easily crease and mark. Pages are a excellent publishing quality, art editorial work is very good

• Content: Offers engagement, provokes thoughts, feelings and curiosity about Colour
• The author presents us with a book that is visually very pleasing
Comment and review by Debra Hall, Creative Writer

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Book Review - Timmy Failure A Cat Stole My Pants




A Cat Stole My Pants - 

Review is by Jack D from Derbyshire 📘
Aged 11 years

Timmy Failure, A Cat Stole My Pants, is a book written by Stephan Pastis. Timmy, a boy with his mother on a honeymoon, although he has found ZERO evidence that his mother and her "husband" Doorman Dave even got married in the first place. (He fell asleep during the wedding). The boy, who believes he works for a made-up company he calls Failure Inc, of which he says is the best detective company in the world. Though this is proved to be fake as some of the supposed "crimes" aren't real. For example, Timmy attempted to arrest a CHICKEN for pecking him on the foot. 'When I am attacked by a bird of prey. It's not a bird of prey says Larry. It’s a chicken'. 
Timmy is proved to be a terrible detective, especially at the beginning, where he doesn't even bother to look for his pants and immediately blames the cat.
My Opinion
In my opinion, I have really enjoyed reading this book. I love the type of book it is, a lot of words with some pictures. Much like the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series.  Although, the book is great, it rarely changes the subject, making the story drag in a way. This makes it slight boring as there is never a twist in it
I would give this book 4 stars. Like previously mentioned, I loved it but it gets boring after a while. If there is ever a Timmy Failure a cat stole my pants 2, it would be great if there were twists and turns in it
All Characters
Every single character in Timmy Failure has unique personality. Every single person in the book is here: Timmy, Timmy's mother, Doorman Dave, Emilio, Larry, Billy, Largo, the little who was being eaten by Butterflies, Rollo and Corrina.
Any Possible Improvements
Like I've said, the story gets a bit boring because there are no twists. I feel like it is straight all the way through, nothing more. If this book were to get edited, it would be great if there were more twists and turns in it