Monday, June 30, 2008

Still Life of a Decanter on Damask

In case any one was wondering what kind of work I do in my spare time, here is a still life that I did last year. It has just sold in a Dublin exhibition, so I'm feeling a tiny bit wistful for it.
The technique I generally use for painting like this involves doing a pretty detailed drawing direct from the subject, and then working the painting up in oils using colour notes and photo reference. The end result is that these paintings have a muted, monochrome appearance that is very much what I'm after in this series of oils, as a contrast to the work I do in book illustration.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Robert Dunbar Archive

My good friend, Robert Dunbar is a highly respected academic working in the field of Children's Books in Ireland. A series of his radio interviews has just gone live on the Children's Books Ireland website, and one of them is with me. I think it was made about ten years ago so it's an interesting archival piece.
Just click on this link.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Valentina's Room

I've just come across a page in Valentina's Room, which is all about my work. 
Valentina is an Italian girl working in an Irish bookshop's Children's book department. I must say it really interesting to get her perspective on my work.
Grazie mille, Valentina.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Full Step-by-Step of "The Gift of the Magi" cover

You can see a much fuller version of the step-by-step process I used to create the cover of The Gift of the Magi on Scamp, the Irish Illustration Blog.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

"Making Fairy Tales" with Full Commentary Part 1

Here's a high quality version of a video that I posted some time ago. Part 2 will be posted soon.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Roughs for the cover of The Gift of The Magi

Here are a couple of roughs for the cover of The Gift of The Magi.
The first is a quick sketch that I coloured in Photoshop, and you can see how I was trying to make the type work against the lightness of the window.

A few variations of this went back and forth between myself and Liz Woods, my designer at Walker Books. 

Liz is an extraordinary designer. She takes immense pains in getting every detail of a book cover just right, and is a very inspiring person to work with.

The next drawing is the final rough, but this also needed to be tweaked. I remember that the size of the table and chair in the foreground were a cause of much deliberation. Again, Photoshop makes it easy to change the size of elements like that, and to move them around.

And the last picture shows the almost finished painting. Look how much bleed there is. (That is the surplus area around the actual cover image) This is needed for wrapping around flaps etc, but it makes it very much more difficult to consider the essential image as you are painting it.