(black marker in 14x14 cm sketchbook, digital colour)
Happy New Year to one and all!
In Another Place, I took a little time to count up the paintings and sketchbook drawings I did in 2017. For various reasons, the grand total came to around 30, not a particularly impressive number but I expect next year's to be better.
And then I thought:
"Maybe I should do the same thing for my cartoons."
Hmm. Can it really be that I did none in the whole of 2017? I know I reworked one or two and added some digital colour to some others but it does seem as if my Cartoonist's Hat fell down the back of the sofa at some time.
At the top of this post is yesterday's sketchbook drawing of a cake. I've posted it here because I think it could also come under the heading of "Illustration" and one of the things it illustrates is the way I think the strands of my work are gradually drawing together.
So: does it make any sense to continue running two separate blogs? My inclination is to close this one down and simply post everything on Boogie Street. Cartoons and paintings are just as much a part of what goes to make me as were last year's daily entries from My Dad's Diary.
Last month I was asked to provide a cover for the tenth issue of the fanzine BEAM, edited by Nic Farey and Jim Trash. Nic gave me the general brief (and the photograph of the crossed searchlight beams) and left the rest up to me. I realised this was an opportunity to use some pages from my Sketchbook Circle book (see here) , so I combined the photo and the drawings, in the process having to work with umpteen Photoshop Layers for the first time, then coloured the whole thing in Photoshop. The fanzine has now been issued, so I can show the cover here. I'm pretty pleased with the way it's turned out, as I hope the editors are. By the way, for those slow on the uptake, or without Nic's Classics background, the crossed beams show an "X" for the tenth issue.
Me and the Monster (WIP) (Fine line marker and watercolour) One Saturday in May I went to Seven Stories, the National Centre for Children's Books based in Newcastle, where I'd paid for a Masterclass with Michael Foreman, the great children's author and illustrator. It was great fun. Michael told his life story, illustrated with family photographs and pictures from his books. He's a good storyteller with a fund of stories from his life and it's clear that his childhood has informed much of his work. The final part of the day was a workshop and Michael admitted this was the first he'd held for adults. That became clear when he asked us what we wanted to do, rather than giving us a project. What he eventually settled on was "Draw yourself as a child, then draw who you thought you'd be when you grew up". I don't think he could quite get to grips with what I drew (see above). I had to explain that I never had any idea of what I'd be when I grew up, and that's pretty much how I feel today. When I grow up, I might have a better idea. Not knowing what I wanted to be, I drew a monster next to me, because that was what I liked when I was that age (and, of course, I still do). I didn't have time to finish the watercolour work, or even get the feet right, but in due course I will.
Onion Head (Mixed media in A5 sketchbook) One of the potential difficulties with having my work split between this blog and Boogie Streetis that occasionally there can be an overlap. Were it not for having completed this image in a sketchbook in a Sketchbook Circle which is definitely at the Fine Art end of the spectrum, I'd almost certainly have posted it here as an Illustration. Well, nothing's perfect.
(Black marker and digital colour) Back on the ..er.. treadmill, as it were. This is for the latest challenge from the Cartoonists' Forum Cartoon Competition. Caption Competition No 337 asks for a cartoon on theTheme: AT THE GYM.
In yet another effort to push myself along, I've signed up to the 52 Week Illustration Challenge on Facebook. They also have a blog here. This week, the Challenge is FANCY DRESS and while I intended to hand colour my black marker drawing, I let things slide and ended up using the easy Photoshop alternative. Must do better.