Monday, 29 December 2014

Breaktime Studies

Hello all! Animation of the film is coming along very well; I hope to finish it by the end of Sunday. I'll then have three weeks for clean up, colouring and compositing; we're almost there! To do all of this though, I've been going in for early mornings and staying in for late evenings and so break-times are entirely necessary. Here are some studies from this week, done for stress relief.

Off I get back to work! Have a good week everyone!

Monday, 22 December 2014

The Week in Pictures

This time of year is enormously stressful at university as deadlines are getting closer! For the sake of my sanity however, I've been making sure to take some time out of university to get some fresh air, see the sunshine and do some drawing. I even went to London this week to see a screening of 'The Wind Rises' to review it for Skwigly (I'll keep you posted on when that's up).

I found a lovely little coffee shop this week where I spent some time
enjoying a creamy, marshmallowy, sinfully delicious hot chocolate and drew
people in the cafe, at the bus stop opposite and at the cash machine too. Each
of these drawings are roughly an inch tall, scribbled into my A6 sketchbook.

Later, I spent some time on a park bench in the sunshine experimenting with hatching techniques on the trees and seeing how few marks I could use to draw a dog. It sounds funny, I know, but it was a very enjoyable use of an hour, I have to say!

There was a piece of broken pottery in the park
that appeared very red against the green of the grass.

At life drawing, our model attempted to make us artists appreciate
the strain that a model is put through during a session. One of the
first years agreed to try a pose that involved putting all her weight onto one
foot while holding her arms out and agreed that it is really quite strenuous!
Life drawings after the break:

Monday, 15 December 2014

Drunken Snowmen and Other Shenanigans

Last night was my Google Doodle deadline. I'm sorry for not uploading this then, but something went wrong in the export and it's just worked now. Please enjoy this Christmas-inspired Google Doodle, featuring a drunken snowman.

Also yesterday, my review of 'The Book of Life' was published on Skwigly, so you can read that here if you'd like. It's a beautiful film and I recommend giving it a watch!

Until next week!

Monday, 8 December 2014

Google Doodle Doodle

Our current university coursework is pretty fun. We have to animate a Google Doodle in Flash and incorporate some interactive elements using actionscript. While I work on my final Doodle for the deadline on Monday next week, I thought I'd share with you a concept that I animated. Had it been my final Doodle, the animation would only start when you roll your mouse over the tree and leaves would follow your mouse. I would also have added an autumn-forest-type background. As it stands it's just a doodle of a Doodle, but I rather like it!

Until next week when you'll see my final, fully interactive Doodle! (I don't think I've ever used the word 'doodle' so often in my life!)

Monday, 1 December 2014

Digital Painting

When I was 16, my brilliant parents bought me a Wacom Bamboo Tablet for my Birthday. That was the beginning of digital painting for me. At the beginning of this summer, I made another technological leap in the medium; I bought myself an iPad Mini. Together with the incredible app Procreate and my Wacom Bamboo iPad Stylus, in 2013 I enjoyed a summer of digital sketching on the go.
The above image was the first finished painting that I created on the iPad. A quick disclaimer before I go on though; I painted this image using a Rapunzel picture book as reference. The staging, colours, idea etc purely belong to Disney. I used it to dive in at the deep end and see if I could create the same effects as in the book using these new and strange brushes and I'm pretty pleased with the result!
My next experiment was in textures and tones. I used reference images of ferrets off google for these. Ferrets are brilliant fun to draw I found - they make some great shapes with their bodies and they're cute too!
My last experiment I'm showing you today was made after I got the song 'Morning has Broken' stuck in my head. It was an experiment with the texture brush and lots of different modes of layers. Thanks to Photoshop, I'm very familiar with the multiply layer, but this piece was a masterclass in all of the other ones!
My next project after I hand in (and post!) my animation on Monday next week will be an Adobe project; playing with Photoshop and Illustrator, so there will certainly be some more digital art coming your way if you want to stay tuned!
Until next time!

Monday, 24 November 2014


Every so often I feel that I need to branch out into different media. Doing every drawing in pen, pencil or digitally can become very repetitive. Sometimes I like to experiment on projects but sometimes I prefer the safety of doing something for myself and being allowed to fail!

This was done for a friend with silver pen on white paper and then taken into photoshop. She has that original on the front of her Birthday card (I'm quite proud; it looks very delicate) and then I did this afterward.

These were done with black pen and watercolours. Having not used watercolours since 2011/early 2012, it was odd using them again! Each is about the size of a postcard.

These are also done in watercolours with black pen and are postcard-sized. The aim was to get some texture into the pieces and I'm pretty pleased with the result. 

These last drawings were done in coloured pencil. I love the cold Christmas penguin!

Have a good weekend everyone!

Monday, 17 November 2014


Happy Friday everyone! I hope you're all enjoying advent (we bought our Christmas trees today!) and I promise you'll see those advent paintings that I mentioned soon.

This week has been a crazy week and so instead of showing you some new work, I'm going to show you some old things.

Back in April, one of our university briefs involved making studies of faces. Having never studied the human face from a drawing perspective before, it was one scary brief! Using reference photos of actors pulling funny faces and from modelling agencies, I got to work. Certainly, if you can spot the three drawings of Ricky Gervais above, I'll consider this coursework to have been a success!

 Each of these drawings was done using pen and copic markers. I started using shades of grey but I did so many drawings with them that they ran out and I had to start using different colours! I adore copic markers!

Whoopie Goldberg anyone? This was more than just an exercise in drawing faces, it was an exercise in finding all the shapes, surfaces and forms that a face is made up of. As such, I found that I love doing drawings with lots of contrast in light and shade - all the better for seeing the forms with!

I need to get back into practicing drawing faces; because we see them all the time, they're arguably the hardest things to draw as all mistakes are instantly noticeable. They're so important though as so much expression can be found in them. Maybe soon I'll do a post with some newer face drawings so we can see an immediate comparison and see the improvement.

Happy Friday and I hope you all enjoy your weekend!

Monday, 10 November 2014

Life Drawing

I apologise for missing a post yesterday; I returned home late from life drawing and completely forgot! It's been a while since I last went life drawing and I hope you enjoy these drawings.

Unusually, there were three models present and so we played 'life model tag', the idea being that we each drew a stickman of a post that we wanted to see and the models took it in turns posing for us. We also had a new life model. She is super-skinny but lovely to draw - lots of angles and bones.

Monday, 3 November 2014

Life Drawing Withdrawal Cont.

Well, it turns out that there was no life drawing session this week. Monday is a big essay deadline day for me so realistically I should have been doing no drawing and just concentrating on writing... Well... I can't live like that!

Have some clothed models before the break with some more life drawing afterwards.

Monday, 27 October 2014

Life Drawing Withdrawal

I was flicking through my sketchbook over the weekend when I stumbled over some life drawing studies and was overcome with a wave of withdrawal. Somehow I don't feel like I've been drawing at all unless I've been life drawing.

As usual, I'll pop in a break and for those of you who don't wish to continue, please enjoy these drawings of fellow passengers on a train and appreciate how truly creepy I felt surreptitiously drawing them...

Monday, 20 October 2014

Life Drawing

I realised over the weekend that the end of term means the end of life drawing until January, so it seems like a good a time to update my blog with the drawings I've done since the last life drawing post. Once again, I'll put in a break just in case you've stumbled over my blog and either don't know what life drawing is or just don't want to see naked people!

For those of you who won't click to see more of this post, please accept some quick development sketches of my mouse character from my film idea as a 'mini' post.

Warning: (tasteful) nudity beyond this point.

Monday, 13 October 2014

Life Drawing

Life drawing is incredibly important for animators on many levels; it helps us practice anatomy, speed drawing and most of all getting the feel of weight and movement into our drawings. Over the last four weeks I have been attending a regular life drawing session and would like to share some of my favourite drawings here.

As you can see from my journal post before the first session,
I am very excited to be life drawing again! 

For those of you who do not know what life drawing is or have just stumbled over my blog, I have inserted a break here and a (tasteful) nudity warning.

Monday, 6 October 2014

Doodles and Skwigly

Hi all! Sorry for missing last week but to say it's been hectic doesn't even cover it! First of all, have a quicky flash doodle animation.

Second of all, I thought I'd update you on what I've been up to for Skwigly. At the beginning of the summer I had the enormous pleasure of interviewing Peter Lord and David Sproxton at the premier of the new 'Morph' series that was aired on YouTube over the summer. They were completely lovely and Peter Lord complemented me on my Morph-making skills! If you haven't already seen the series, watch it here and enjoy!

More recently, I headed down to the Bristol Encounters Short Film Festival. Each day of the festival has its own write up and the highlights have their own articles too. Have a look here if you want to see what I thought of Day 3 but spoiler alert, I enjoyed it immensely because I met Glen Keane! Honestly, it was such an incredible day!

He was there to present his film 'Duet' and the interview I had with him will be on Skwigly's Youtube series 'Lightbox' soon, so keep an eye out!

Until next week!

Monday, 29 September 2014

Observational Drawings

 Observational drawings are incredibly important in lots of different ways. They help in the growth of an artist, they can help an artist understand the object(s) better and they can inform an artist for a piece of work that they're undertaking. In my case, I'm planning to do a piece of animation either in my reading week or over the christmas holidays. As you can probably guess from the sketches below, the stars of the piece are going to be hands and feet (I know, it sounds strange!). I'm using the exercise to teach myself how to use Adobe After Effects and hopefully, I should also be able to have some fun too!

Over the summer holidays, I went to Spain and was in a very rural area for the Fiestas in August; Villadiego. There I saw some traditional spanish dancing and that is what has inspired me. I took lots of videos of the intricate hand and feet movements and hopefully I'll be able to recreate the beauty of them.

Most of the time, I can use my own hands and feet for reference but for those occasions when my hands are crampt and I can't physically rotate my feet to the correct angles, I use these references for anyone who is interested:

Until next time!

Monday, 22 September 2014

And It Begins Again!

Hi everyone! Today was the start of my 3rd year induction week and so the madness of term begins again! Here is my first post of the new year! To explain, over the summer I downloaded a trial of a piece of animation software called 'TV Paint'. I may be buying and using it for my film this year, so I thought I should have a go first!

Monday, 15 September 2014

Throwback Monday

I've posted a few nostalgic posts over the summer and I promise that this one is the last! Finding these old drawings from first year is lovely on a few counts; it is good to see improvement, good to reconnect with old ideas I've had about creativity and good to reaffirm where I am now. It's made me excited for third year!

Drawn at Cardiff Museum, October 2012:


Drawn at home, the Cotswolds, Spring 2013

Drawn from photographs, Easter 2013:


Monday, 8 September 2014


It's almost time to go back to university for my third year! So, in the interest of bringing my observational skills from where I've let them slack over the holidays, as well as life drawing, I've been doing more observational drawing. This week it's been hands and feet.



Monday, 1 September 2014


The other day I felt the need to both be productive and blow off a little creative steam by working on something different for a couple of hours. The result was that I put together a couple of concepts for my housemate's game project. His brief was to do an old abbey in the style of the 1992 'Dracula' film, on top of a cliff with waves crashing below. He also wanted a couple of interior shots. Here is what I came up with:

Monday, 25 August 2014

Time, Time, Time

I don't know if I wish there were more hours in a day or if I just wish to be more productive with the hours that we do have. One way or the other, I simply don't have the time to create all of the animations I want to! I've had an idea for an animated short about a deer, based on a piece of music that I had heard. Well, I'll file it away in my future-personal-projects folder until such a time as I have time!

Monday, 18 August 2014

Improvement and Nostalgia

This week I returned for the first time in a while to my old Deviantart page. Having created it at the age of 15 and not having posted to it in two years, it was filled with work that I was once really proud of. Going back over the 100+ images that were on there though, I marvelled at how much I've improved since then! I've now deactivated that account, but for nostalgia's sake I'd like to put here the few images from that account that I am still proud of. 

Age 15 - I did a project on Rodin and made 3 sculptures of hands; a
child's hand, an adult's hand and an older person's hand. I then did a series
of etchings of piano keys so that the final piece was both 2D and 3D.

Age 17 - In 2011 I kept a series of sketchbooks and resolved to draw one image every day.
Unlike my current illustrated journal, these images were mostly from my imagination.

Age 17 - Another page from my 2011 sketchbook series. This one was drawn at Halloween
and eventually I used it as inspiration for my first year character design university project!

Age 17 - This was the year I really started experimenting in Photoshop.
I titled it 'cozy' and used a 'knitted-jumper' type texture on the image (my first
time using textures!) and I feel very nostalgic looking at it now. 

Age 18 - This I think is my favourite of all of my old drawings. My teacher
at the time was doing a Masters degree in Psychology and she gave each of
us a questionnaire to fill out to help her. I loved the concept 'draw your mind';
it has so many possibilities!

Until next time!