Posts Tagged ‘reading’

Not much going on in the studio at the moment in terms of bookbinding, but I’ve had some other projects on the go.  First up was a small crochet project that turned into an epic production line.  I’ll write about that separately (and possibly try and cobble together a pattern too) but basically I was making hats for babies, a child, and a grandmother.  Here’s my doglet looking mightily bemused at me perching a hat on him.

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I’ve also been a bit distracted by the reading challenge I set myself for this year – which is to read all of the classics on my bookshelves that I’ve not read previously.  To make it more challenging I’m reading them in the exact order they’re in on the shelf, so that I can’t just pick the ones I like the sound of (which would then leave me with all the ones I’m not keen on to plough through towards the end of the year).  It’s going well so far and I’ve read four, and to add a further challenge I’ve decided to illustrate my efforts.  The shelf I’m working through is stocked with £1 classics – cheap and functional paperbacks that I bought when I was in my teens.  They’re fine but they’re not the prettiest of books, so I’m changing the covers (well, the spines) for my illustration.  Here’s how it looks so far.

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The other thing I’m working on is new merchandise.  I’ve been having fun drawing and painting over the past couple of months and it’s about time I actually did something with my work so I’m looking into having a few of the designs printed as notecards, or even as notebooks (with lined pages for a change, as my handbound books are always blank).  It’s probably going to take me another month to decide which designs to go with, and then to get them ordered, but watch this space for updates!


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So, if you’re a regular visitor to my blog you’ll know that I split my time between gardening and arts/craft fairly equally.  I haven’t yet decided which hat I’m donning today, but either way I’m covered…



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This week was a week of tidying up loose ends.  First of all I finished an illustration I started quite some time ago

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When I last left it I had inked in the outlines and intended to add the colour with ink, but when I sat down and looked at it again (it resurfaced during the great studio tidy last week) I didn’t think that ink was the way to go.  What to do, then?  One of the other things which turned up while I was tidying was a tin of Caran d’Ache pencils, so I figured I might as well have a play with them.

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I started off by adding the background with brown and purple, blended together and then worked with a wet brush, then started adding colour to the books.  I’ve never used Caran d’Ache before so it was a whole new experience for me and I was surprised at how light the colours come out once you add water.

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The photo above was taken after two layers of colour had been added to everything.  Quite vibrant, but it didn’t feel quite right so I carried on…

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I started deepening the shadows behind the books, and adding shade to the books themselves to stop them looking so flat.

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Eventually I was happy with the books, but the white lettering seemed too stark, so I worked on that for a while to bring it down to a creamier shade.

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…and voila!  I’m really pleased with this, although it did take ages.  Really, if I’d known how long it would take, and how many layers of colour I’d have to add, I probably wouldn’t have started it in the first place.  Still, all’s well that ends well and I will be looking at having some prints or cards made with this illlustration, so watch this space for updates!

Jenna over at Timballoo has been very productive in her sketchbook since she got back from her honeymoon, pop along and see what delights she’s got this week.

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