First Blog of Third year

Hello guys! Its good to be back after having a long break for the summer, but now I’m ready to show you all of the interesting, fun, cool things that I have planned to do for our final year at uni! To kickstart the new term, we were given two briefs, both consisting of 3 weeks! I know, very quick turnaround this year! But it will give us some good experience into the world of Illustrating as a profession, its such quick deadlines! Anyway, the first project I started working on was a collaborative project with one of the Artist Blacksmiths at our college! Due to our similar interests in fashion, Theo Somerville-scott and I were paired up! After meeting Theo, we both came up with an idea for a zine I had to make for the Ferrous Show, to represent Theo and his work. We got some details for the festival which i will be attending on the Friday.

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After meeting with Theo, we discussed some ideas, and i decided i wanted to ask my zine around him and his work processes, because he said that his planning and idea generating is the most important thing when he does a project, as it allows hime to narrow down his ideas. I also wanted to take different elements of the things he likes into account, and incorporate these into the design of my zine, which I can hopefully take you through a step by step. I did some mind mapping and idea making first of all.

I find that mind mapping is the easiest way i can get all of my ideas down, and then slowly select the ideas i want to use, and discard any that I don’t like. After doing the mind mapping, I managed to finalise my ideas.

The General decisions I made that weren’t content based were:

  • The zine form: I decided to use an accordion book for my zine, as one of the biggest concepts of Theo’s work was movement based, so I wanted to do an accordion book as it allowed me to create a flowing book, as opposed to a booklet type book. I did a whole module on bookers last year, which is on my blog.
  • I originally wanted to do 10 pages, but I had to extend this to 12 because i didn’t have enough room.
  • I wanted to use black and white but also add colour, as this was clearly shown throughout Theo’s planning that he liked using colour, and i wanted to add a bit of fun into the accordion book.

I did some research of Theo’s work which I will show in the next few blog posts, and I will also find out who his blog or Instagram is, so I can post it for you all to see the amazing work he has been doing!


My day at hay

So after doing our workshops at hay which I have blogged about, I was also selected to visit hay again with the college. I took loads of photos and we also got tickets to see some talks for free, as we were students! So this post is going to go into detail about the amazing day I had at this years hay festival!

So the first thing we when we entered the grounds were these absolutely amazing sculptures which sat just outside the entrance of the festival. The first image is a seating area also so we were able to sit and enjoy the sunshine. I really loved the look of this sculpture, and the Incan-style head is really cool! it was nice to see different cultured things, while we were going through security!

There were some really awesome places to eat in the food courts! We had the most amazing pizzas. Although it was a little pricey, which I expected, it was still really yummy! I also got to see all of my old work friends who were working the festival at the coffee shop, which was a really nice surprise! The food hall was always jam packed but we managed to find a table to eat on, so we spent a few hours in the food court.

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There were also so many places to sit down and chill out. It was so comfy and relaxing to be able to have somewhere we could just sit down and talk. Kate and I spent a while chilling in here, reading one of the books we bought at the festival.

Here are some of the other pictures I took of the general scenery we saw. I absolutely loved the flower stall, and took a business card as I wanted to see about ordering some flowers for my sisters birthday. Kate also took the funniest picture of me in the little head hole! But i am too embarrassed to post! Im sure she has in on her blog though which I will put a link to:

Also, here was the cutest vintage kind of jumble sale ever! Kate and I had a look round, and i found a really lovely mesh dress to wear over my swimming costume which I was really pleased about!

I also took some more pictures about the talks I went to and the artist and author I met! which I will do a separate blog post about! And I will also be posting the illustrations I have done for the hay festival, in hope of being featured in our college exhibition in July!

2016 Plein-Air Watercolor Sketches

Absolutely loved these watercolour sketches I found just browsing through my reader! The colours used are simply beautiful with a really summery feel to them! The shadowing makes the lightened parts of the images stand out so much and it looks truly amazing!

Pigment and Pixels

I am enjoying the summer of plein air sketching with the Urban Sketchers of Montreal Group, and Linda and her gang.  Every Tuesday we go out and sketch all day in one of the beautiful locations that the group has chosen.  Our recent visits have been Baie D’Urfe and Hudson.  I have also been going out on my own in and around Chateauguay which is offering up a host of picturesque and interesting scenes.

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Nadia’s work

As mentioned before, we were all given individual tasks to do. I did the info and activity packs, and Nadia did the zine and the lesson plan. So I though I would write a blog post about the awesome work she did for the workshop.

The first thing she made was the zine. The zine was to be used as an information booklet, showing the kids how to make the paper boats if they needed any guidance. I really loved the zine and the illustrations in it are great! Nadia has left the boat picture on the back and the flags blank so the kids can choose to colour them in if they want to. The instructions are great and i love the overall design of the zine.

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Nadia also made our lesson plan which I have posted on here, however, this is just a guideline, we will adapt things on the day if we need to.

Hay Festival Workshop Lesson Plan

I will also post a link to Nadia’s Instagram and blog, so go check some of her other stuff out! its really cool!

Making our sample paper boats

As a group, we had to make up some sample boats to show the kids as part of our demonstration, and also to give the kids some ideas of the types of things they could do if the wanted to. So me, Nadia and Kate spent an afternoon making the paper boats. We did one for each of the countries we had selected for the children to pick from, however if they wanted to do other countries, that was okay too. The 8 countries we chose were:

  • France
  • Germany
  • USA
  • Argentina
  • Africa
  • India
  • China
  • Japan

We did little brain storms and eventually came up with some ideas for some boats.

It was a lot of fun making the boats and I think they all came out really well! Now that we have done all of our final planning for the work shop, we are ready to go straight ahead with the work shop!

Creating my activity page

As part of the doing our workshops, we each gave each other different jobs. Nadia’s job was to make the how-to page on folding our paper boats, which we will be using as handouts for the children to use to help them making the boats. Kate was in charge of idea storming, and helping create the paper boats samples. I was in charge of making up the the foam board with the world map on, and adding the boat images and flags to them for out informative part of the workshop. I was also in charge of creating the kids activity packs for the children take home with them. First, I made the activity sheets.

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For the activity page, I did two parts, one where the children have to guess the flags, and then the second part being the word search, where they will find the names of the flags. It is quite a simple activity sheet, as it is just a time filler really. I am a little unsure about the colour at the moment, maybe wanting to do a coloured background, so I have kept the background white so I can possibly print on coloured paper. Also, I did try to get some boats as the boarder, but I couldn’t in the end. The pencils do look nice however. Here is a picture of the packs I made:

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Next I made the boards with the boats and countries on.

We still have to make our sample paper boats to show to the children, which we will all be doing. I will also be including a post about the work that Kate and Nadia do, and I will include their blogs on here too for you to have a look at!


Paper boat making

We then decided to have a go at making some paper boats ourselves, following the instructions we had found on the internet, and also a really helpful youtube video we found which showed us how to make there paper boats. The video was really useful and we plan on using it at the workshop to help with our explanation, and help the children to make their paper boats.

The link to the video we used is:

We then made a plan of what steps we are going to use on the day:

  • Firstly, we will be introducing ourselves, and showing the different countries on the map, and what boats match to which countries, using the boats we have made.
  • Secondly, we will split the children into 3 groups and will be showing the group a quick demonstration of how to fold the boats using plain paper, getting them to do a practice example.
  • We will then let them use their own choice of boat, using different coloured paper etc. We will also be giving the children a zine with instructions on and showing a youtube video throughout. We will be helping out too if anyone needs help.
  • Then we will be helping the children decorate their boats, using coloured pens, stickers etc.
  • After that, if someone the children finish before the others, we will get them to make their own flags to go onto the boat.
  • Finally, we will be taking photos of the boats, and will be handing out activity packs that i plan to make up for the children to take away with them.

We made a small list of materials, including: stickers, colouring pens, straws, a world map, flags, activity sheets, images of boats around the world, our demonstration page, plain paper A4, coloured paper A4, masking tape, tubit lids, blue tac, pins and string. I will also be bringing my computer as a means of displaying the video.

Our next step is to print out our flags, activity sheets, and to get our map sorted and our boat images. I will then create the map display, and will set out our activity packs.

Planning our hay workshops

Now we have finished our illustrations that are ready to go up onto vinyls at hay, we have now begun to focus on the planning of our workshops we will be holding at the hay festival. We were given the brief to create a workshop based around the theme of the world. The workshops are for children aged between 5 and over. I was put into a group with Kate and Nadia, and we had the age group 12+. After discussing our ideas, we decided to go with a paper boat making activity, and then decorating the paper boats after. Here are some examples of the type of design we are intending to use:

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We had a look for some instructions to use for our work shop, and we are going to use some on the lines of this:

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To add to the learning side of things, and to make the workshop more educational, we have decided to link the boats, with different countries around the world. We are going to use a world map, and will be putting up some different pictures of boats from around the world, and what they are about, to then be able to create a little quiz or word search for an extra activity, so if the children finish a bit quicker, they can have another activity to do. The type of map we are going to use with be a very simple coloured map, something similar to the one below.

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We are also going to be using flags as a way of symbolising the different countries. We with be making little flags to go on our boat example. We are currently working out what materials we need and how we will plan the activity out, and also practicing making the boats so we can demonstrate this for our activity.

Check out my collabortive partner, Kate Jury’s blog, for more info on our project!:

Focusing on line

For some extra ideas that I would have potentially done differently for my collections project, Nicholas and I talked a lot about using single lines, and not going over any of the lines we had done before. I also set a limit to only spend a maximum of 30 seconds on a drawing, which is a challenge for me because I do like to take my time a little bit more and add in detail. So doing these types of drawings are quite hard for me. But I had a go with some pencil line drawings, and I surprisingly really liked this technique! I feel like the figure looks like he has more movement to him, and looks a little less stiff. I also didn’t join any of the lines up, again emphasising the idea of movent, which my collections piece was focused on.

I plan to do some more like this, maybe with my ink and nip pen as I really like using that technique. I also plan on revisiting my exhibition piece, to add in a bit more detail, something I wanted to do but didn’t have enough time! However I will keep you guys posted about everything I have been doing very shortly!! 

Group painting session

Whilst prepping for our deadlines, Nicholas thought it would be a cool idea to have a bit of a fun project, and teach us about painting with inks, and how to add shading and shadows according to the light source in the piece. So a group of us all had to paint a mural, type thing, based on either our collections, or something we were interested in. We all wanted to do something fun, so 4 of us from our year, and 4 from the third year all collaborated on working on the mural! here are some close ups of what we have been doing!

I absolutely loved doing these collaborative pieces, as there are so many narratives we did. I really like how everything comes together, even though there were 9 different artists, with 9 different styles, working on it. The piece has a lot of cohesion, which I was surprised with, because of how different everyones styles are! I did a lot of the sea creatures which isn’t normally the style I would go for, but Kate and I did the sea wall together, so I did try to match her amazing style a little! Although a lot of the simplified buts are in my type of style! The finished piece looks super awesome as well!

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It looks super quirky and fun! But the black and white also gives it a bit of a darker feel which is quite cool! We plan on doing some more of this type of work but using colours which will look really awesome I think!