Little Santa Helpers

Inspired ThingsFor those of you who follow me on social media, you might know that last weekend I was holding a table (well, half a table) at the Thriving Sustainable Craft Market, in Wynberg. Next weekend, Michelle and I will be doing another market, this time in Hout Bay. I got into the Christmas spirit somewhere between then and now and decided to create some happy elves to sell.

These elves were inspired by the little Santa Helpers in the movie ‘Rise of the Guardians.’ They have individually crafted faces and ears, from clay, come in green and red, sport a little bling bling belt and have a bell on top. Oh, and don’t forget their little details on their shoes! In the video below you can see me crafted one of the faces and then the end shot is my prototype that I made. It’s going to be a very, very busy week!

The craft market we will be at is the Green Faerie Market, Sunday 6 November 2016, 10am to 5pm at Kronendal Primary School.

I will be making about 15 – 20 elves for the fair (will see how it goes!). If you can’t make the fair and would like to have one of the elves, please feel free to contact me. I’ll be selling them for R100 each.

I have also started a page on facebook for my arts and crafts items, called ‘Inspired Things.’ If you would like to be informed via the social media platform of all my bits-and-bobs, then please go and like the page to stay updated. Read more

Tips to Making a Light Box

Light box

I let Gruffy down

I love watching old episodes of Gummi Bears while I work. It not only puts me in the right frame of mind for illustrating children’s books, but it also provides the perfect background noise of something mildly entertaining, without being distracting. I know that Milt Kahl would have disagreed with me, as Richard Williams said in his book, but sometimes a little Gummi Bears is just what I feel like and I feel nostalgic about these bears.

Recently when I had tea with Paddy, I took an opportunity to ask her some technical questions. Paddy has a fine arts background and has been in the industry of children’s books, as well as an artist for years. For myself – I’ve done a class here and there, but for the most part it has been a trial and tested method, along with a  fair amount of self-learning. One thing that did catch my eye though, was that after the scanning process a lot of pencil marks come through. It’s a simple thing really – the scanning takings out some of the original colour and so to replace it, you need to tweak your illustrations in Photoshop. Read more

My Process – Traditional Medium

Watercolour

I thought it would be a nice idea to just blog post the way that I illustrate in traditional medium. There are loads of ways to watercolour and lots of different other illustration mediums you can choose from to create the same effect. This is just one of those ways.

First Layer

The first thing I do is sketch out my drawing in pencil. I try to do this as lightly as possible, so that there is less to erase later. Once the intial sketch is on my paper, I then do a layer of water-colour. At this point, I’m just trying to get to colours right. I’m not worried about shadows, highlights, or gradients. I am also not to worried about ‘mixing’ paints. I might just use the colour that comes in the tube! It is just about putting down ‘block’ colours. Everything is pretty light as this point (I had to saturate the photo for you to see).

first layer illustration
first layer in the illustration

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Creative Box: How I made the Video

Creative Boxes

Last week, my Creative Box: Colour Mug, went live on Youtube. The object was to test out the potential of making videos and to expand into this medium a little bit. That’s not to say I won’t be writing here, on the blog, but it does mean that some topics can be a little more interactive. I thought I would write up here, a little bit on how I put together the video, in case there are any other creatives/illustrators out there who want to give it a shot. Read more