Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Across the Seine - Watercolour

Just a quick post to show you what I've been working on this week. I haven't painted properly since college (about 7 years), and I can never seem to get the effect I want with paint. I'm really hoping that with a bit more practice and experimentation I can pick up a more narrative style again, 'cause I'd love to illustrate books more than anything.

Anyway, I'm quite pleased with this. I sort of got the knack about half way through, so it's a little rough around the edges, but definitely good enough to share. I've been reminded that you really have to persevere with paint, because it can look completely shit to begin with, until you work into it and start adding details.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Japanese Stab Binding


On Sunday afternoon, my boyfriend and I took a walk down to the Canal Basin to attend a bookbinding workshop, taught by our friend Rosie as part of the Japanese Cultural Festival. I did some slap-dash bookbinding back in my uni days, but Rosie, an art student herself, is crazy about it and could definitely teach me a thing or ten.

The workshop was only an hour long, so Rosie chose to demonstrate a technique that requires little equipment or time, but is incredibly useful. She explained to us that she uses this method a lot, including for making her own sketchbooks. The books can be taken apart when full, and edited to her liking before being easily sewn back together. It is also great for mending old books that are falling apart. In fact, the most difficult part of this technique, we found, is threading your needle!

Rosie started the class by telling us a little bit about Japanese stab binding - 'Yotsume Toji', and its uses. She provided us with everything we needed, which were stacks of paper; lots of lovely decorative front and back papers; awls and hand drills for making the holes, and needles and coloured thread for sewing them together. The class was really relaxed, and Rosie was full of useful little tips such as the importance of paper grain direction, and the little shortcuts she's found for measuring the holes.

Being reunited with bookbinding has got me thinking about the possibilities it holds for turning my work into more than 2 dimensional prints, which I've already started to explore. I really love the overall feel that stab binding gives a book: there can be no doubt that it is hand made. I'm hoping Rosie has the time to show me more of her bookbinding, as there is no better way to learn or be inspired than by someone actually doing it there in front of you.

Rosie finished the class by giving us each a lovely little scroll of hand-written instructions. Unfortunately, she doesn't have any online presence that I can share with you at the minute, but perhaps I can persuade her to aid me in putting together some little tutorial blogs at some point. Otherwise, get out there and search the web for one, and have a go. It's an excellent art.

Friday, 4 October 2013

Across the Seine

A new travel drawing to share, working from my photographs from France. Paris itself has a pretty tight colour palette overall when it comes to architecture, with mainly sand and cream brickwork, and slate and blues for the roofs. That said, even though there is no pink or minty green in sight with this one, it is still lively. The blues in these photographs of my print are a little more vivid than life, but I have a terrible habit of using turquoise shades in my work that are difficult to replicate in print, and then again in photography. 

As pleased as I am with this illustration overall, I must admit that I did intend to hand paint it. I chickened out and used my usual digital method, but I still hope to paint the original linework. I want to do it in full colour, sky and all, to explore a more narrative style. Wish me luck, because I am awful and destructive with paints.