Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Customer House Illustration – Cal-Australian Bungalow

I was approached by a local to Illustrate the family home which had sadly been claimed for the West Connex project. 

The House is a classic Bungalow style, which is an important Architectural Style in Australia and one of my personal favourites. 

The Bungalow design came from America. They were a popular design after the war as they were cheap and easy to put up, using what ever materials were local. The design was adapted to suit the Australian climate, with further variations made for the different states to accommodate their conditions and the building material available. 

This house and the garden are immaculate and feature a rust, teal and cream colour scheme for the house and various succulents, camellias and standard roses placed carefully in the garden. There were a couple of feline family members roaming around, who made themselves be a part of the illustration.
The house has a large Jacaranda tree off to the left, which frames the house nicely. I painted the Jacaranda in full bloom to add a bit of drama to the landscape, and created the flowers out of water colour blooms. For the bricks and the wood panel I used the seams of a vintage cardigan and a dark coloured knit for the street. The rest is hand painted in water colour, with the link work drawn in black ink pen. 

It’s at the framers right now, I’m looking forward to seeing it all boxed up and handing it over to the client. 

Monday, May 25, 2015

MCA Zine Fair - The Launch of Coffee & a Sketch Zine

After a few more coffees and a few more sketches, I thought I would compile these little ideas into a zine. To keep my sketches in good company I drew some matching coffees to sit side by side with them. 
I designed the zine in 3 colours, black for the linework, with a swish of teal water colour for the buildings and a splodge of golden brown for the coffee rings and cups. I had hoped to print this on a Riso printer in 3 separate colour passes, which would make the colours a nice matt texture and by manually feeding the paper, give the imagery a slight shift in registration. Unfortunately the machine was on the fritz, so I’ll have to revisit another time. For now, a full colour print job will have to do. I launched Coffee & a Sketch at the MCA Zine fair, which is always a great event. I collected probably as many zines as I sold, I have bag loads of inspiration and lovely ideas to flick through. 

I‘m still hoping to publish the zine on the Riso printer, I’ll post something when I do…

Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Valhalla Cinema in Glebe

I used to live in Glebe about 10 years ago. After my recent visit I noticed that it had changed quite a bit with more cafes and restaurants and the Blackwattle Bay walk along the waterfront had been completed. I was commissioned by a Glebe resident to illustrate the Valhalla cinema on Glebe Point Rd, which is a building I have admired for a long time, pretty much anything Art Deco will catch my eye. Of course I jumped at the chance!

The Valhalla originally opened in 1937 as the Astor Theatre, with a full house seating 992 people. With the introduction of television the cinema shut down in 1959. The cinema was used as a storage facility then opened and closed a few times as a cinema and performance venue before it’s rebirth as the Valhalla in 1979. Over the years the Valhalla was converted into a twin cinema playing art house features and was quite successful for a time, before strong competition forced it’s closure once more in 1999. The cinema re-opend briefly but closed for good in 2005. In 2007 the Re-developement into shops and apartments began. (Info references:
I have illustrated the current vision of the Valhalla. With the ink linework I watercoloured the icey green colour and left the white walls bare. In some of the surrounding buildings I’ve hand painted the bricks, which might sound monotonous but I quite like it. I used a few different fabric patterns for the lower windows to catch the street reflection, and denim for the top windows reflecting the sky. I have included the original Astor sign (right) as well as the street art mural that has been present on the right of the building for some time.

I am happy to say that the print is now available in a limited edition GiclĂ©e print of 50 at Sweets Workshop. 

Monday, April 13, 2015

Tuscany Illustration for Get Up & Go Magazine

Recently I had to opportunity to illustrate a story for Get Up & Go travel magazine. The storyline was quite exaggerated, reminding me of a Faulty Towers episode or a Monty Python sketch, perhaps a little bit trippy. As the magazine audience is baby boomers, I decided it might be a good fit to introduce some 60's fabrics and make the illustration a bit of a fantasy.

The story is about a bus tour in Italy on its way up to the rolling hills of Tuscany with a few mishaps occurring along the way. I drew a big old yellow bus with passengers appearing or hanging out of the windows in different scenarios. The bus is heading up mounds of rolling spaghetti, with a delicious meatball sun on the horizon.

I completed the illustration in watercolour and ink first, finishing it off by adding fabric and other textures in a digital collage.

The magazine will be on sale in the Winter edition of Get Up & Go Magazine.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Coffee & a Sketch

I had a day off recently. Well, it was kind of sort of a day off - I was scouting out a good location for a potential commission for a typical Glebe scene in amongst taking myself out for lunch, coffee and a beer. Glebe has an eclectic mix of Architectural styles and while I was wondering around I was looking at the contrast between the simpler 2 story terraces with filigree cast iron trimmings and the more elaborate Victorian/Georgian terraces in particular. I sat myself down to stare at some terraces and have a coffee. I sharped up my pencil and started a very loose sketch of the terraces that I was face to face with. In the afternoon I took myself to another location and with coffee in hand, I sketched another, this time it was a freestanding home. I think that this will become a Regular practice.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Beautiful Little Things - Logo Design

I had my inks and watercolours out again to create a logo for a photography business called Beautiful Little Things. The client was after a hand watercoloured treatment for the lettering, along with a little fox graphic. 

I trialed a few different font styles, from traditional scripts - to looser, loopier versions and had a play with ink weights and layering. This was a great exercise for me in working with varying pressure placed on the brush and learning to accept my wobbly hand. 

I created the little fox by doing different separations in ink. This allowed me to be quite flexible with the colour changes that the client required. I used a cream, Amber and red brown ink separtions, which I then layered in Photoshop and plate with the opacity.

The colours and the handpainted technique gave the logo warmth and heart which is what the client was hoping for. 

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Illustration Commission of a Terrace House

Terraced Houses can be seen stretching across the landscape of Sydney’s Inner City Suburbs. This style of housing was built between the 1830’s until the 1890s coinciding with the population boom, due to the gold rush in the 1850s. They could range in size depending on the affordability, from single story cottages to 4 or 5 story houses. Often the foundations were set in sandstone, built with brick and stucco. 

I was commissioned to illustrate a simple two story terrace in Darlinton, in Sydney’s Inner West. The terrace had been in the family for years and was almost fully renovated solely by the owners, the illustration was to be a celebration gift. The colour of the terrace is a refreshing mauve-grape colour, which I used along with a subtle knit texture for warmth (lets face it, a lot of heart and sole went into this renovation). The terrace featured a cute little attic window and the risen communal walls, which many Sydney terraces do. I created corrugated iron roofing effect from the cuff of a jumper. 
I haven’t been past the home since I finished the illustration, I’m hoping the renovations are complete and that the family are now enjoying their revamped terrace home.