Wednesday, 17 June 2015

childhood memories, latest work from Laurie Stansfield

Hello, I'm Laurie & this is my first Brillustration post.
I'm sharing this piece I made of a family farm house full of childhood memories & characterful animals. It was created for the family who lived there until last year & wanted to record some of the memories. I tried to add in lots of specific detail to make it really personal.

Thursday, 30 April 2015

A Scribble of Illustrators!

Get yourself to Bristol to view this fantastic exhibition at the 
Centrespace Gallery, 6 Leonard Lane, Bristol BS1 1EA
2nd - 6th MAY 2015
11am - 5pm daily

Some of the best Children’s Illustrating talent in the UK today, including many Brillustration members, will be exhibiting at the Centrespace Gallery in Bristol.

Posted by Lauren Tobia on Sunday, 19 April 2015

Featuring big names from top publishers including Walker Books, Bloomsbury Publishing UK, Macmillan Children’s Books, Nosy Crow, Penguin Books and many many more.

Workshops for children (3-8years old), book readings and signings:

Saturday 2nd May:
12pm Paula Bowles / Sean Julian “Make your own mammoth”
2pm Yasmeen Ismail “Let’s Make Specs!”
4pm Paula Bowles Sean Julian “Drawing animals with funny faces”

Sunday 3rd May:
12pm Paula Bowles / Sean Julian “Drawing animals with funny faces”
2pm Yasmeen Ismail “Let’s Make Specs!”
4pm Paula Bowles / Sean Julian “Make your own mammoth”

Monday 4th May:
12pm Jo Empson “Make your own Rabbity music”
2pm Steve Lenton “Dog and Dragon’ drawing”
4pm Jo Empson “Make pigs fly!”

The exhibition continues on the 5th and 6th May without children's activities.

The exhibition and private view is kindly sponsored by 
Linda Owen-Lloyd of Children's Book Illustration, 
Nosy Crow, Walker Books and Child’s Play.

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Ink Dot Collaborative Mandala

Four Brillustrators (Donough O'Malley, Jane Davies, June Goulding and Josie Maskell) recently contributed to a group show with Ink dot Prints, based in Bristol UK. The mandala was made up of pieces contributed by eighteen artists. All the artists, designers and illustrators were working independently of each other and had no idea of how it was all going to look together. You can see our contributions in the isolated pictures below the main picture.
Prints are now available to buy via the Ink Dot website, and all profits go to the children’s charity, The Kid’s Company.

Monday, 16 March 2015

How To Draw A Monster

Hi there, I'm Laura Elliott, the person behind Drawesome Illustration and a member of Brillustration.  Today, I'm talking monsters...

I see illustration (or even being creative in general) as a skill that needs to be exercised, a bit like going to the gym to get better at sport.  Before a big work out, it helps to warm up so that you can kick ass when it comes to the meaty bit.  In illustration-land, my favourite warm ups tend to circle around monsters - mostly because there's no right or wrong way to draw a monster!  This benefit of monster drawing means that anybody can draw them - yes even those people that say they can't draw at all.

In today's blog post, I'd like to share with you one of my monster-drawing exercises, as I think it's a really useful tool for creativity.  Give it a go and share with us - we'd love to see what you come up with.

Step 1: Shapes
Firstly, grab a drawing tool.  Pen, pencil, crayon; whatever floats your boat.  On a piece of paper draw a random shape.  Here's a bunch to give you an idea:

Pretty random huh?  Ok, so I like this one:

Step 2: Features
Give your monster a face by drawing in some teeth, eyes, nostrils and so on.  I even added an extra ear as you'll see below.

Step 3: Detail and Shading
Here is where you ask things like "What would my monster feel like if I petted it?" and "How does it hear, or eat, or walk?"  These leading questions can help you fill in some of the details, such as fur, scales, extra limbs, claws or even accessories.

By using shading, I start to give the critter a sense of form.  Sometimes I'll draw a simple star shape further out on the paper to suggest where the light may be coming from, which informs how I shade the monster.

Here you can see my finished creature which went from 0 to Monster in a few simple steps.  By starting with a shape, it helps to avoid the initial worries of drawing a monster and feeling that it had 'better be good'.

If you liked this exercise, I run a creativity-flexing, monster-drawing workshop bookable through The Art Troupe where you can get more gems like this one.

Sunday, 8 March 2015

My First Commission

Every month or so we will be encouraging one Brillustrator to take over the blog and put up a post ...

Introducing Brillustrator... Richard Dearing


The power of social media really works!

Last week I was contacted to provide a book cover as someone actually liked my style.

It was my first paid commission and took about 14 months to get it.

Having not engaged in any art for about twenty plus years, I picked up the pencil again during a period of illness and decided to draw a cartoon a week and put it on Facebook, just for the hell of it.

It was to just be a joke of the week and make me keep to a deadline and push myself.
It turned into an on going story about a depressed sailor who gets into adventures with a seagull that visits his window.
I kept it going for about 40 weeks before deciding I really needed to write what was to happen, rather than make it up as I went along. So currently its on hold. (But will return one day)

A couple of other things were created, a Holmes and Watson story, a Monster Story and then...

"Hi, I like your style and need a cartoony book cover and I'll Pay!"

Terms were agreed and the above Picture was the result.

I've probably prattled on a bit now, but I'd love to post again as I've not even covered making the picture.

Comments are always appreciated.

Have a great Sunday.


Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Book signing at Playfull Toyshop!

Little Lou and the Woolly Mammoth have taken up residence in the window of Playfull Toyshop! (on Gloucester Rd, Bristol). Brillustrator Paula Bowles will be reading her book and signing copies at the lovely toy shop this Saturday 7th March, from 11.30am. Children can also decorate their own woolly mammoth too! Come and Hi!

Read a lovely review here to learn more.

  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Childrens (8 May 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1408839660
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408839669

Monday, 2 February 2015

What I did on my holidays!

Written by Jenny MacKendrick

Hello, I'm Jenny and I'm a member of Brillustration...

I thought I'd tell you a little bit about what I've been up to recently.  Sadly I haven't actually been on holiday but I couldn't think of a good title for my blog post.

Last year I illustrated a book for The History Press a lovely publisher in Stroud.  The book is called Can Crocodiles Cry by Paul Heiney.  It is a book of fascinating facts, things we all really need to know the answers to, like 'why do we get old?'

'can monkeys swim?'

and 'can fish love each other?'

You'll have to read the book to find out the answers.

This year what I've been working on so far is still top secret.  But if you know me you'll know I'm not very good at keeping secrets.  All I can say at the moment is that I've been drawing dogs, lots of dogs, nearly 300 of them.  They are for 4 gift books that will be out towards the end of this year about some of the silly things dogs get up to.  Which is probably why we love them so much.

Since I can't really show you any of the secret dog pictures I've drawn you a picture of my own dog Shona and her puppy friend Kato.  They are Hungarian Wire-haired Vizslas and pretty special too, although I haven't really captured all of their fluff in my drawing.  There may be a sneaky peek of some of my dog drawings on my website in the near future but not just yet...

P.S. My studio buddy the excellent Paula Bowles  will be on BBC Radio Bristol tomorrow between 2:30 and 3pm as part of Bristol's Library Week.  Yay!