Tag Archives: SKETCHBOOK

A Summer Of Learning

Hi everyone!

Since a lot of people (and therefore clients) are taking things a bit more slowly and/or are going on holidays things have slowed down a bit in the studio. This led to asking myself how I could make the best use of that time.

The answer came pretty quickly: learning! And experimenting. And working on those personal projects that pop into my mind when I’m busy and that I have to leave on the back burner for a while before I can finally get to them.

You know how some children go to summer camps? Well I decided to have my own creative summer camp.


What I’ve been up to in a nutshell

So far I have taken two different courses, have participated in one illustration competition, I have produced at least four new pieces for my portfolio and am in the process of working on another two, I am working on a new zine, have been using paint more, I have been practising freehand drawing (i.e. drawing without tracing the lines in pencil first) and I have been playing with linocut. Phew!

‘Tell me more, Tell me more’

Courses

I am exploring the Make Art That Sells courses at the moment. I took my first course with them in October last year after seeing how some of their students presented their artwork on Instagram and thinking ‘Wow! I want to be able to do that too!’ I loved Lilla Rogers’s teaching style and the online community so much that when their next sale came up I purchased a bundle of courses. Some of them are live (e.g. Illustrating Children’s Books), some of them are assignment-based (e.g. Bootcamp) and some of them are self-paced (e.g. Hot Market For Your Art – Part A and B). Most of the MATS courses are more art-based (understand: learn about the industry while you create art in your own style through assignments for specific markets) and now they also have a couple of more businessy ones like Portfolio Review Live and MBA (Money BadAss), which started on Monday (13/08/2018) and that I am also taking.

This is not an affiliated post by the way (I am not getting paid to talk about them) but since I love their courses I thought I would mention them in case you want to try them too. Since I took my first course with them about 9 months ago, I have seen my style grow tremendously together with my level of confidence, my presentation and generally, my knowledge of the industry.

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Examples of pieces I created as part of the MATS courses

Personal projects

I am currently working on a couple of new pieces for my portfolio and at the same time I’m working on a new zine, which I’m really excited about and can’t wait to share with you! The only thing is… I can’t tell you more about it for now (sorry!) but watch this space and if you don’t already, follow me on Instagram (@camillesland) as I might leak some sneak peeks in my stories.

Art experimentation

Analogue textures

I loooove using actual materials to make things and although I also love the flexibility of Photoshop I would like to keep bringing in analogue elements and textures into my artwork. It isn’t usually something I can do in five minutes in a corner of my desk. It takes time, and space, and it can get quite dirty so it requires dedicating proper time for it. But it’s also so much fun!

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The biscuit bases I painted for the ‘Winter Holidays’ piece shown above (yum!)

‘Brave drawing’

Usually, I first sketch my illustrations in pencil before tracing over them either directly or using my light table. This too takes time and sometimes I lose the spontaneity and ‘freshness’ of the lines in the tracing process. So I decided to experiment drawing directly in ballpoint pen for a bit and see what happened. When you draw with a medium you can’t erase you are bound to make mistakes, some of your lines are likely to come out wonky, but after a while you stop caring so much – or at least I did. I drew like that for about 3 hours, up to the point that I actually bruised my thumb nail. I had a lot of fun and by not being precious about my drawings I gained in confidence over the session. I will definitely try that again!

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One of six pages from my three-hour freehand drawing session

Linocut

In line with using more analogue elements and textures, and bringing more spontaneity to my artwork I decided to experiment with lino cutting. I had never done linocut before so I’m a total beginner. I think it’s the perfect response to my current need to work with my hands, sculpt and do illustration. I love the simplicity, roughness and very DIY aspect and I’d been wanting to try it for a while.

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My first homemade stamps,yay!

The more I play with it, the more ideas I have and it makes me feel excited and happy in ways that even I find weird. I would almost describe it as the same kind of excitement you get when you start dating someone you really like and with whom you click.

Strange.


How about you? How’s your summer so far? What are you up to? Do you have a hobby that gives you butterflies and makes you feel very excited whenever you do it?

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Things Change, And It’s Okay

Hi everyone!

Here is an early May update on my 100 day project.

All in all, things went okay-ish until roughly day 16. What happened is that little by little drawing for the challenge started to feel like a chore and it started feeling like a lot of the things I had been drawing were all over the place and like it was going nowhere (or at least not somewhere I want to take my art right now).

I was clear from the start that the challenge wasn’t so much about what I drew or how well I drew than it was about pushing through and moving forward.

But when you feel unhappy, stressed, frustrated and you’re not enjoying what you’re doing anymore then it’s not really good, is it?

So I reassessed what I wanted to get out of this challenge and the best way to get there.

I’m not quitting the 100 day project just yet. But I would rather take my time and come up with a hundred illustrations that I like rather than ending up with a hundred illustrations that make me feel bitter.

Things change, and it’s okay.

These first 18 illustrations weren’t all bad though. They helped me figure some things out, like the style I am going to work in for my next ‘big’ personal project (it’s still a secret for now) for example. I also really enjoyed working with Posca pens and adding pencil texture to some of my illustrations. So probably things that we will see again at some point in future illustrations.

While I slowly get back to it, here are illustration 7 to 18!

Posca Faces

Hi everyone!

Here is the first recap of the 2018 edition of the 100 Day Project (you can read more about the 100 Day Project and my plans for it in my previous post).

 

 

 

Mad Tea Party

Hi everyone!

This month MATS Bootcamp is all about tea.

The Mini

First, for the mini assignment we had to do some research on tea and draw anything and everything we liked about it. Not set rules. We could draw absolutely anything we wanted as long as it was tea-related.

I started by working on a piece about what tea means to me. Before we were given the mini assignment I had been working digitally and with textures so I decided to stay in the same vein of work.

Tea_Favourite-moment_Camille-Medina

While I was working on the piece above I got slightly carried away when I did my hand lettering and started another piece (below). The “minis” are all about experimenting and having fun so I didn’t mind too much starting and trying different things.

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I love these green colours mixed with the white and the black of the hand lettering. After I finished it I realised that it reminded me a bit of Clipper‘s tea packaging (although I didn’t use them as reference).

I couldn’t stop there however, and had to move from digital to analogue.

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I worked freehand with felt tip pens and a limited palette (above), and I worked with Posca pens and colouring pencils to add some texture (below).

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I love the piece above so much! Not only did I have a lot of fun making it but I absolutely love the bright colour combinations. I feel that this illustration is very like me and looking at it makes me feel happy and excited.

The Main Assignment – WIP

At the beginning of this week the main assignment – still tea-related – was revealed. This time we are creating a journal cover for the gifts industry and the focus is on tea leaf reading.

How unusual and exciting!

I have to confess that I have become quite obsessed with the theme.

After filling many sketchbook pages I started dreaming about what my journal cover would look like.

At the moment it’s all work in progress.

 

Some of the artwork that I will be using in the final piece.

I also bought a proper tea cup (we only had mugs at home) to give tea leaf reading – or tasseomancy as it is also known – a try.

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My new V&A tea set for one I bought in a sale. The design by Anna Maria Garthwaite (1690-1763) was originally for a woven silk.

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First ever tea leaf reading.

I have one more week to work on my assignment and submit it to the class gallery and then I am off to a big holiday that my boyfriend and I have been planning for a year.

But that’s another story for another day!

See ya!

Doodle Week

Hi everyone!

I hadn’t done one of these catch-up video in a little while and I was starting to miss them.

This week in the studio: sketchbook doodles, summer and product photo shoot!

Have a great week!

8 Lessons I Learnt From Keeping A Travel Sketchbook

Hi everyone!

I just came back from a trip to Austria where I went to visit some friends of mine. It was a great holiday and one of the things that I am super happy about is that I kept a travel sketchbook!

A lot of the time when I travel I take a sketchbook and some pens and pencils with me and I end up not drawing at all.

However, just before I went on holidays I got inspired by the fantastic Christine Nishiyama (also check her Skillshare classes, they’re great!) who had just completed a road trip and had kept a travel sketchbook which she shared on Instagram. Her illustrations were so simple, beautiful and fun at the same time that they made me want to give it a go.

So I decided that I too would draw my adventures!… And the thought totally terrified me!

I mean, there is so much great stuff on Instagram and the likes that I felt very pressured to produce something that looked awesome, even though the whole point of going away for a few days was to relax and have fun.

And then I remembered how Christine’s account of her road trip and experience of drawing in her travel sketchbook made it sound approachable and laid back.

I wasn’t too sure how and where to start but I decided to be brave, forget about the idea of making something perfect and I gave travel sketching a go – my way! And I learnt a lot in the process!

Here are 8 lessons I learnt from this experience:

  1. Drawing when you are away is not like drawing at home: some of the materials I brought with me were different from what I normally use which means that I had to adapt my drawing a little.
  2. Sketching the illustrations in pencil first made it feel too ‘controlled’. I was spending way too long trying to get things perfect so after 30 minutes of not being happy with my drawings on day 1 I erased everything and went ‘freehand’.
  3. Going straight into painting without sketching my illustrations first forced me to think differently about what I was painting/drawing, loosen up and not ‘care so much’ (it brought back memories from the last Inktober challenge!).
  4. I gave up on perfection… and it felt good! At first I was really disappointed with some of my illustrations that looked inferior to what I normally draw at home. As soon as I reminded myself that it was okay for things not to look exactly like my photos, I started to enjoy myself a lot more and funnily enough the illustrations got better!
  5. Drawing complicated stuff (like people kayaking) freehand when you are hungover is very difficult. Actually drawing anything when you are hungover is more difficult!
  6. Wait for the ink to dry! I really should have remembered this one since I work a lot with Indian ink. Except that since I used an artist brush pen instead of my usual brush and bottle of ink I didn’t quite think it through which resulted in small smudges here and there – lesson learnt!
  7. I added some text to my pages but I didn’t have a particular plan when I started writing. Like the rest, I decided not to overthink it and I just wrote whatever came to my mind. I might not win the Pulitzer Prize for it but it worked just fine for me.
  8. As the days passed and I started to let go some interesting things started to happen. I became more confident and it was reflected in every aspect of what I drew (use of space, colour, subject matter, etc.). Sure, it was maybe not the illustration project of the year, but it was mine, and I owned it!

In hindsight there’s a bunch of stuff that I would now do differently.

But you know what? It actually doesn’t matter so much. Yes, there were a few bumps but there were some really cool things too!

As imperfect as they are, not only do those illustrations tell the story of what I did during this trip but they also show how I grew in just 6 days and that, in itself, is amazing!

And I am so proud that I committed to drawing every day and that in addition to the photos I took I also have illustrations of my holiday!

May(hem)

Hi everyone!

I can’t believe it’s nearly been a month already since the last time I wrote! Where has the time gone?

I wanted to make a video but I wasn’t sure how exactly I would manage to keep it short. I mean where would I even begin? Would I make a video just about last week? Try to sum up the month?

When in doubt I tend to opt for keeping things simple.

So here it is, a good ol’ post to update you on what I’ve been up to this month!

Admin

HMRC-3

A business wouldn’t be a business without its fair share of administrative tasks. I know, “Boriiing!” you may think. But necessary!

This month I set up to closing my accounts for the past tax year and filing in my tax return so that I wouldn’t have to stress later during the year.

See, that’s not exactly something that I could have shown in a video or… well, I could have but that wouldn’t have been very interesting!

Arty Stuff

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The big thing after my burnout experience last month was to loosen up and try my best not to care so much about what I draw – in short: have fun!

I did a lot of that in my sketchbook and in my personal work in general this month. I drew silly things…

… and things that I felt genuinely interested in and excited about – a lot of that was sciency stuff!

It’s also this time of the year again and another task I worked on in the background was a double spread for my agent’s catalogue.

It seems simple in appearance but if you’re like me and you like to see as many options as you can because you NEED TO compare or you won’t be satisfied, then you undertsand why it took me a while.

The whole thing involved redoing my space illustration as a digital illustration…

… Starting  laying out the images that I wanted to use on the page, realising that the space illustration didn’t quite fit the rest of the page (I think it was too dark in comparison with the brighter/lighter colours from the other images), drawing a whole new large illustration (see below), and trying about 30 different layouts before I finally settled for one.

Below you can see the progress on the new large illustration:

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It all started with this very rough sketch

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And the final illustration!

Day trip to the National Space Centre

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As a way to relax a bit after all the admin and layout work I did this month I treated myself to a trip to the National Space Centre (I told you, May was very sciency!).

I had wanted to go there to do some reference sketching for a while so that was the perfect occasion!

It was a day full of fun, rough sketches – there was too much to see to stay too long on any one thing – and discovery!

 

And that’s what I did in May!