Thursday, 21 August 2014

Viking Table Top Design

The design is meant to be viewed from either side of a table by the players.

I'm back, drawing another Viking inspired illustration for Wakefield Museum.
This one is for a table top in the Library and is to feature interesting Viking facts and a game to play.

The hand drawn and painted artwork is going to be enlarged to fit the table (1500 x 750mm) and I am working  at half size, which means breaking out the magnifying glass again to get the detail into the drawing.

I've pencilled the layout onto the watercolour paper, following a loose brief
from the Museum and making the drawing up as I go along. 

I used 2b lead for the pencil drawing. Experience from doing the floor map showed me that the harder HB lead left a slight indentation in the paper when the graphite is erased. Not so much a problem for the naked eye but when the industrial scanner, scanning at high resolution is used at the print origination stage, they were picking up shadows from the pencil indentations. hopefully the darker lead will be easier to erase without leaving those shadow marks.

After inking with a dip pen and Black India ink I leave the work to dry for a good few hours. Then using a putty rubber erase the pencil under drawing. I then start to apply colour washes using water colour paint. Mixing up a good quantity of the base green and blue, which probably translates into something equivalent to an egg cup of each. I build up several layers using a 1/2 inch Flat Brush, trying to keep the looseness and spontaneity in the painting.

When the 'block' colours are done and dry I then go in with  smaller 6 and a 7 Round Brushes, adding spot colours and darkening shadows and textures. As I did for the Viking Floor map I finish off with a bit of coloured pencil over the top to bring out a bit more texture.

The final artwork was then ironed flat and a bunch of River Serpents added in to the gaming grid design bit. These serpents were spay-mounted down into position with a very strong craft type aerosol glue applied sparingly.

Did I say iron flat the artwork? One of the technical issues from the previous floor map was shadows caused by buckling of the watercolour paper. This can happen with the thickest of papers and also paper that has been pre-stretched. The problem was solved last time by dry mounting the original on to mount board. I had tried ironing artwork years ago with little success, it seemed to stretch the work and make waves out of the buckles, still not desirable. I found this video on the internet which refines the ironing technique and works a treat.

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Beyond the Border Storytelling Festival 2014

I recently took my sketchbook and pens to Beyond the Borders Storytelling Festival at
St. Donats Castle and Arts Centre in Wales, 4th -6th July 2014.

I made drawings and notes in situ over the weekend from the performances I saw and compiled them into something with a narrative. The festival is huge and is spread out over several plateaus and fields, its in its 21st year and this comic strip is the briefest of snapshots of what went down Beyond the Border...

Interested? Here are some useful links to some of the spectacular
performers on show over the weekend...

Laura Simms

(I've done this sort of thing before but never this organised or
on this scale of which you can see more here, here and here.)


As a little blog extra, here are some mobile phone photos of the drawings in progress...

This is the rain battered book I was working in for the weekend...

The sketchbook is a record of the festival in itself.


Extra, extra...

Leaving Wakefield Friday morning.

Home for the weekend.

Set up in the rain.

And then the sun on Saturday made everything okay.

The feeding tent. This made the project possible.
(I couldn't afford to pay festival food prices all the time)

Look. People sitting around outside on a Sunday afternoon.
Listening to stories.

Yeah. More weather. Aint so bad.

Monday morning. The walk home back to reality.