Tuesday, December 30, 2014

A look back at 2014

I thought I should write an epic post to reflect on the past year. It's been a busy and eventful year for me – I've had my first picture book published and completed over 268 blackline master illustrations, with my work now featuring in over 50 publications for ReadyEd. I've worked on wedding stationary and Christmas cards, and I'm currently in the draft stages for another picture book. 

I'm looking forward to an even better and more exciting year in 2015!

January

I started off the year with Blackline master work. A lot of publications have to be ready for the start of the school year at the end of January, so the beginning and end of the year is always a busy time for textbook illustration. However, I also managed to practice brush inking – it was definitely a month for linework!

The Glass Slipper - Ink

Blackline Master Illustrations
Copyright ReadyEd Publications - Photoshop
Blackline Master Illustrations
Copyright ReadyEd Publications - Photoshop
Blackline Master Illustrations
Copyright ReadyEd Publications - Photoshop

Feburary

I was slowed down a bit in February – I got a tooth abscess that defied diagnosis for almost a week; I spent the evening of my birthday in Emergency, and was in acute pain with bad nausea for days. I had a lot of work with looming deadlines, but was unable to do anything at all, although as soon as the tooth was dealt with I was back working. It took quite a while to fully recover, however, and I was working more slowly. 

I did, however, manage to complete more blackline master work, a website banner, and some misc wedding stationary, and I even found time for a small personal piece:

Frozen: Elsa - Photoshop

Blackline Master Illustrations
Copyright ReadyEd Publications - Photoshop

March

March alternated between wedding stationary and Toughen Up Princess, which had been in the pipeline for a while. Work on it began in earnest towards the end of the month. I had a bit of downtime mid-March, and used it to paint Galileo's Daughter, and to study web design preparatory to redesigning my website.

Wedding Stationary - Photoshop & Indesign

Wedding Stationary - Photoshop
Galileo's Daughter - Ink, Watercolour & Pencil

April

In April I was working hard on the dummy version of Toughen Up Princess, and completed the cover as the first finished artwork. I also did some portraiture and more blackline master work, and needle felted an egg for my cousin's daughter's first Easter:

Cover: Toughen Up, Princess - Ink, Ecoline, Watercolour & Coloured Pencil 
Heather - Graphite
Blackline Master Illustrations
Copyright ReadyEd Publications - Photoshop

Needle Felting

May


In May I had some downtime while I waited for feedback on Toughen Up, Princess, so I took some time to do some quick pieces. I had joined Twitter at the beginning of the month and began doing some of the Daily Doodle and Sketch Dailies prompts. I also completed my Happily Ever After painting and a digital portrait of actress Joan Blondell, as well as needle-felting a mouse brooch and whipping up some branding for a friend's editing side-business. 

Fight Like a Pirate - Photoshop

Sleeping Beauty - Ink & Watercolour 

Happily Ever After – Ink & Watercolour
Joan Blondell - iPad Sketchbook Pro & Photoshop
Pencil and iPad Sketchbook Pro
Caprice Bohémien: iPad Sketchbook Pro
The Jabberwocky - Pencil & Photoshop
Noisy Fox - Photoshop
The Punctuator Branding - Photoshop

Needle Felting

June

I did a piece for the SCBWI Tomie de Paola award this month, and also had some fun painting a book cover for my portfolio inbetween furious pencilling for Toughen Up, Princess. That piece is still not finished, but is still serving its purpose of half-hour rewards for hard work. I also did a few more Daily Doodle prompts and a motif for a baby card for another cousin, as well as some needle felting on an ambitious full-body Snow White doll.

Katia and her Question - Ink, Watercolour & Coloured Pencil
Vampire Mouse - Ink & Photoshop
Slugs in Love - Photoshop
Needle Felting in Progress - Snow White
Little Mermaid - Ink
Masqueraders - Photoshop

Caterpillar Girl - Ink & Watercolour


Snuggles - Ink & Watercolour

July

By July I had progressed to painting Toughen Up, Princess - it's a 44 page book, so there were a lot of pictures to do! I also did some more Blackline Master work. It was a busy month, but I did manage to fit in a quick piece for the Daily Doodle 'Princess Bride' prompt:


Blackline Master Illustrations
Copyright ReadyEd Publications - Photoshop
Roar - Photoshop

Hoot - Ink

Bedtime Peekaboo - Ink

Anne Elliot - Graphite

Three Mouseketeers - Pencil & Digital

August

August was another busy month with picture book and textbook work, but I entered my Galileo's Daughter piece into a local book cover competition, and won first prize!

Page from Toughen Up, Princess – Ink, Ecoline & Watercolour
Bollywood Dancer - Ink & Ecoline
Aishwarya Rai

September

By September I was just finishing up Toughen Up, Princess, with some more blackline master work on the side, and a full week taken out of my time due to computer problems from Hell. I can fix quite a bit of stuff on my own, but this required a technician, and I was unable to save all of my stuff, after my computer and both backup drives failed within days of each other, all for different reasons. 
For a bit of much needed relaxation, I worked on a small watercolour of Clara from Doctor Who, really an excuse to paint interesting trees and rocks and a wildly coloured medieval gown more than anything serious:

Spread from Toughen Up, Princess – Ink, Ecoline & Watercolour
Clara - Ink & Watercolour
Blackline Master Illustrations
Copyright ReadyEd Publications - Photoshop
Blackline Master Illustrations
Copyright ReadyEd Publications - Photoshop

October

In October I had Toughen Up, Princess off my hands, and turned my attention to editing wedding photos for the couple I did wedding stationary for earlier in the year. I also did some more Blackline Master work, and several Christmas card designs for clients as well as one design for personal use. This was the month I hit 50 separate projects for ReadyEd publications, which means my work is now in 50 of their books.
In addition, I spent a day demonstrating portraiture and needle felting at the Kelmscott Annual Show, and completed a needle felted penguin.
Demonstrating Portraiture


Portraiture demonstration - Peter Capaldi - Graphite
Needle felted penguin

30 minute sketch - Photoshop

Christmas Card - Photoshop
Christmas Card - Manga Studio & Photoshop
Christmas Card - Manga Studio & Photoshop
Lucia (Christmas Card) - Ink & Watercolour
Blackline Master Illustrations
Copyright ReadyEd Publications - Photoshop

November

In November I worked on some more Blackline Master books and also did a Christmas card for a chiropractic clinic:

Blackline Master Illustrations
Copyright ReadyEd Publications - Photoshop

Blackline Master Illustrations
Copyright ReadyEd Publications - Photoshop

Blackline Master Illustrations
Copyright ReadyEd Publications - Photoshop

Christmas Card - Illustrator

Paddington Bear - Pencil & Photoshop
Sketch - Photoshop

December

The final month of the year has been spent doing more Blackline Master work, as well as working on a new picture book, for a self-publishing lady. The end of the year was also unusually social, with a number of weddings and other exciting things.

Blackline Master Illustrations
Copyright ReadyEd Publications - Photoshop
Rehana at her Mendhi - Ink & Watercolour

Thank you card illustration - Photoshop
Onwards to 2015!

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