I had a message from a Graphic Design student in Paris last week. They really want to be an illustrator and there is not enough drawing on the graphic design course, which only uses illustration within design projects.
As I was wondering what to advise, I saw a video by @willterryart called called “Artists should always have a personal project”
It got me thinking. Life takes you down may routes and sometimes you might wish you had chosen a different path. Sometimes, if you are in a really bad or dangerous place, you need to stop and start again immediately, but generally, going back and trying another route doesn’t get you very far either. You can just sit down and cry, but that doesn’t help much.
It’s generally best to forge ahead and do the very best you can, learning all you can along the way. At the same time, have your personal project. If you want to be an illustrator, then draw ever day – all day – in every spare minute. then bring what you learn into the part of your work you find less interesting and do that to the best of your ability.
If you are stuck in a place, work so well, putting in love and enthusiasm to your work, so that you outgrow the situation you are in. It’s amazing how opportunities come to such people, because opportunity likes to work with hard working and talented people.
Your degree qualification will mean nothing in the big, wide world. You will be judged on the quality of your work, ideas and personal vision. So get working on that and others will start working to advance your career. Everyone loves a winner and everyone loves to be a part of their success.
Good luck to you all, but you won’t need it if you work hard and do in your own time what burns inside you. Luck only comes to those who have already prepared the ground.
If you wonder what this post is doing on a children’s book author’s site, then I wonder the same thing too. I’m planning to split my efforts across two sites soon. one will be more aimed at drawing, professional and personal development nad this will return to children’s books.
My head is full of dragons as I’ve just finished writing my next book, which is about dragons, and now I have to design the cover and think about the inside illustrations. So “!m afraid you are going to have to put up with a few dragon drawings!
This is quite a long video for a change – a lot of pencil technique involved!
I’ve just finished writing a story for my new publishers, Firefly Press. The story has a dragon at the heart of it, so now I have to draw the cover of the book and I’ve had to start thinking about the illustrations inside too.
I started doodling dragons to get in the mood, and soon realised what it is I find difficult about drawing them. It’s the wings!
If dragons are of this world, they must have evolved from a common ancestor to lizards or Komodo dragons of today. But their wings will not work the same way as a bird or a bat, whose wings are their arms or front legs. In the case of the bat the skin is stretched between it’s very long fingers.
So how do the wings work on a four legged dragon? They already have front legs so the wings must have evolved from something different entirely, or they are from a different world altogether?
Learn how to draw a a scallop type seashell using Derwent Academy Watercolour Pencils and a Derwent water brush. When drawing with coloured pencils it’s best to start off with the lightwer colours and build up the density and hues as you go.
Start with a lighter colour to give you a guide to work to and don’t press too hard. You could use a very light pencil and erase any construction lines afterwards.
YouTuber, @hamsterlearner11, asked me to draw a Dwarf Hamster a little while ago. Well, I didn’t know what a dwarf hamster was! So I went to hamsterlearner11′s channel and looked at the wealth of informative hamster videos. I asked if I could show a little bit of their dwarf hamster, Orkid, on this channel, and they agreed.
I drew a cartoon hamster before http://youtu.be/RfcGzs-fAQ8. This dwarf hamster is quite cartoony, because that’s my style, but it’s a little more realistic than the last one.
If you like rodents things, I did a Guinea Pig too: http://youtu.be/L5uCnpjmY_I
and a Meerkat tutorial as well : http://youtu.be/-D0JCPt4RNA
You can learn a huge amount about hamsters at hamsterlearner11′s channel. There are new videos all the time with helpful advice about cages, feeding and welfare. Make sure you subscribe to their channel and say I sent you!
Why not draw your own version of this drawing and post it to the Your Drawings page above? Every month my I choose my favourite and send an exclusive Shoo Rayner sketchbook to the artist. There are certificates for other that I really like too.
Watch the video and see what I drew in my sketchbook as we wandered around East and West Berlin last weekend, taking in the sights and history.
I went with my wife and best friends to have a good look round and came away inspired and confused! I had to confront several prejudices, or should I say cultural attitudes, that I was unaware of having before. I realised that, even at my great age, I come with the ideas inculcated my upbringing in the social class and country I happen to have been born into.
I didn’t have much time to sketch so grabbed moments in cafes and while waiting for planes and trains.
There is so much history I don’t know and haven’t been taught, because it in not “our” history. The Pergamon Museum is similar to the British Museum. It has undergone war damage and rebuilding, but I was surprised that I knew so little about it and even more surprised by the contents.
The Gates of Babylon were stupendous! Then I realised they had been plundered and brought back to the museum to aggrandise the German Empire, to add the sparkle of previous, mighty empires to the the German Empire as was. But then, that is exactly what the British Museum is all about, and the Louvre. Each museum is filled with the booty hauled from each country’s colonial sphere of influence, to say, “Look how wonderful we are!”
Of course now we say that we are saving, conserving and displaying these cultural artefacts for the World, but that is a revisionist point of view!
I lived in Germany as a child, around the time the Berlin Wall was built. I don’t remember that event particularly, but the East Berlin we visited was in such a time warp, that I sometimes felt I was back there in the sixties, like a time machine. So much of Berlin is a facade. Bombed buildings are rebuilt in an old or ancient style with modern materials, bits of infrastructure from the 1950′ and 60s survive with a lick of 21st century paint on top. You are not quite sure if anything is real or original.
After visiting the Stasi museum, I kept imagining hidden cameras every time I saw a camera-sized circular shape in a light fitting or poster, for instance.
The pace of development is amazing. Building going on everywhere. Eventually the split history of the place will be built over and it will become a single city again, but I certainly felt it was still a place of two halves. We kept asking ourselves, “Are we East or West?” You didn’t really need to look for the line on the map. The East still has a generation or two’s worth of development to catch up with the West, But they are getting there.
For a capital city, it does seem quite parochial though. It’s been left out of the internationalisation of other World Capitals for so long, it has a lot to do to catch up, in attitudes as well as facilities and infrastructure. We felt the general levels of service fell short of what you come to expect in major capital cities, these days.
We came home quite exhausted, both from physically doing so much and fitting in so much culture!
YouTuber, Jamie Webb, asked me to draw a pear. I decided to draw two – the first in watercolour and the second showing how to construct the shape of a pear and how to draw it with stipple shading. You can see that video below
Meanwhile YouTuber, Mimorsi, asked me — Shoo I really want to be an illustrator like you but I don’t have much skill, I want you to help me “practice,? practice, practice” but without copying someone else’s work (your work). What I’m trying to say is that I want to know how to draw stuff by checking reference, but then give it my own twist. The bad thing is I just can’t understand the basic shapes constituting my subjects, I find it difficult to get the essence of a subject to then transform it my own way. HELP PLEASE
This video starts with a bit of a discussion about using reference, where to find it, how to keep yourself safe with copyright and how to adapt the images you find to your use. Hope it starts to make sense. I will go into this subject more in other videos.
this is followed by quite a lengthy video of drawing and painting a pear with watercolour. I’ve not edited it too much because I know some people like to see the whole process and I haven’t doen a video like that for a while. Enjoy
Take your time and remember you can stop and start the video to keep up. If you get really stuck, you can rewind to the beginning and watch it all over again until you are confident of getting it right. Have fun!
When you have drawn the Tiger, you can colour it in. Here’s another video showing you how to choose the right colours and how to get them in the right place!
Still on my quest to empty a biro, I bowed to pressure of requests to draw a Wolf. Normally I’d sketch out in pencil until I was happy I knew what I was going to do, then erase the pencil afterwards, but biro ink is sticky and would probably smudge if I tried to erase over the finished drawing.
So I had to just dive in and see what happened.
There was no reference material for the paws and claws, so I had to make it up from pictures of wolf skeleton paws!
Did I finally empty a biro? You’ll have to watch and see! Now what on Earth am I going to do with an empty biro! There’s another video coming along for that soon!