Saturday, 17 December 2011

Animation Test

Today I tried animating my paper puppet! Here is the result..

Just a very quick test to see if this media would be appropriate for the animation I have planned and just to improve my animating skills. I found the puppet really easy to animate - much easier than I think it would be to animate a puppet with wire limbs. I like the jerky movements and the method of replacing the head for different angles. I might try altering the puppet by making the limbs skinnier - a bit more like the illustrations I've recently been producing - to see if it would work as well. 

Overall I am quite please with this quick test. It has given me more confidence to actually get stuck in and produce an animation for my uni project..rather than just have the idea lingering in my head for a billion years! It's also given me a rough idea of how long it might take to produce a 2 and half minute animation (which is roughly how long I want my proper one to be)...

To produce this I took the frames on my Nikon D40 and imported them into iStopmotion. I added a filter to the video in iMovie :)

Friday, 16 December 2011

Animation using simple shadow puppet techniques

I am thinking of producing an animation for my final major project at uni, so I thought over christmas I should start doing some experiments in pre-production. This is just to experiment with my character style and use of media to see whether it would be too ambitious or not...

I decided to create a pierrot character inspired by this little guy I found in my house...

I wanted to make the animation from collage and my initial thought was to make the puppet using a simple technique often used to make shadow puppets. I created the main body of the puppet and the limbs on Photoshop, printed them out and attached them together using split pins. This of course allows me to move the puppet into different poses easily..

I want the head to have a greater range of movement, so I decided not to fasten the head to the body. Instead I have created six different heads showing different angles which I hope will add more of a sort of 3D looks to it. Obviously by using a puppet like this, it won't be the most sophisticated animation in the world, but I sort of like that simpleness of it. I can remember making puppets like this at primary school and I really like the fact it looks playful, like a child can make it. It reminds me a lot of childhood and I hope it will evoke this same feeling or memory in the viewer once it's finished!

Friday, 2 December 2011

Last Editorials for Uni

Wooohooo! Here are my last final editorial pieces for my university project!

Looking back over this project, I can't believe how much I have learnt and how rapidly my work has developed. I've really enjoyed doing these last magazine editorials, and can really see myself doing this sort of work in the future. These last 4 finals, in my opinion, are the most professional looking illustrations I've done and probably the only ones from this project that I will put in my professional portfolio ready for when I leave uni.'s the end of a project, but I feel like it's just the start of my life as a professional illustrator! 


Thursday, 1 December 2011

Magazine Editorials

Here are my two latest editorials for magazines. I am really happy with the result of these! My style has developed dramatically since doing the newspaper editorials. 

I think my work definitely works better in this context rather than newspapers. I like the way the text is more free in magazines. There is still a neat layout, but the text curves around the image and sometimes the illustration can slightly overlap other aspects of the layout.

I am really happy with how my style is developing; it's looking more professional and I'm really enjoying working in this way. Looking back over my previous work from the pas few years, I realise I've finally found a way of combining it all.

 I started out with a very graphic, flat, digital way of working; I got bored of just sitting in front of the computer all day etc. So I moved onto working in 3D but I didn't think it looked professional enough. Somehow, I've developed into this..combining my love of 3D aspects and textures and my ability to use Photoshop. After all the years of experimenting, I feel my work is finally beginning to make sense!

Third Newspaper Editorial

Here is my third final for my current university project. The article questions the motives of the UK looters and reasons behind the riots

Second Newspaper Editorial

Here is my second final piece for my current university project on editorial illustration. This article was about art therapy in schools. 

I'm not sure I like the restriction of having to work inside a box! Newspapers have quite a strict layout; everything is very regulated and square, and it was hard to try and fit everything in! 

Friday, 25 November 2011

Harlequin - Art inspired by a paper bag!

Here is my latest illustration that started life as a paper bag :)

Available to purchase as a greetings card at 

Friday, 18 November 2011

First Editorial Piece for Negotiated Project

Here is the first final piece for my negotiated project specialising in editorial illustration. It really didn't take all that long to produce - coming up with the concept and developing it took the most time with this part of the project..

The illustration focuses on the part of the article that mentions the U.N's recommendations to go vegan for a month in support of wildlife. I'm quite happy with the final illustration, at first I wasn't sure about the highly contrasted areas, but seeing it in context really helps put it in perspective...

I created this layout using inspiration from an actual issue of The Guardian. I researched a lot into the style guide of this newspaper and this is the closest I could get to making it look like a page from The Guardian. I found from my research that a font was specially designed for the redesign of the newspaper called Guardian Egyptian. I'm a bit gutted I couldn't download the actual font without spending ridiculous amounts of money! However, I think the mixture of fonts I found come pretty close to looking like it.

This first layout took flippin' ages! Hopefully the next two won't be so difficult as I now have this one to work from and can just re-shuffle the sections of the article about.

Mr. Willy Wonka

A personal illustration and yet another distraction from my dreaded dissertation! I've been looking for an excuse to use my collection of vintage sweet wrappers for ages; who better to illustrate than Mr. Willy Wonka :)

Finished Christmas Cards

As promised here are my final christmas designs for this year. All three are available to purchase at! Order now in time for christmas! :)

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

New Puppet Style and Christmassy Distraction..

Today I decided to finish off my christmas card designs by creating the characters. Here are the puppets so far (rubbish photo quality!):

I started off trying to make the puppets the same way I've made them previously but after a problem arose while thinking about making the body, I decided to try something new and use different types of card and paper instead of sewn fabric. I never imagined they would look the way they do! I'm so happy with the results; I think the characters look much more neater which will really make a difference when I photograph them properly.

 I've really enjoyed the assemblage aspect - I love the method of finding the perfect materials to use...My favourite has to be the angel; this one took the longest as there is much more detail to the character. The use of vintage photographs is something new that I've been meaning to try out for ages and I think it brings an eerie beauty to the pieces. 

I've enjoyed this way of working so much that I don't think I can go back to my old ways! I've decided to bring this character style into the editorial work I'm doing for my uni project as I think it's a very different style that will set apart my work from most other editorial illustrators...

The christmas designs will hopefully be finished on Friday and available to purchase on :)

Friday, 4 November 2011

A Fish..

Next step in the development of my illustration about the BP oil spill..

Today I've just been experimenting with media. I sculpted this incredibly basic fish out of Das clay..The final will of course be much more detailed, this is just a practice piece :)

Using my dummy fish, I photographed and have experimented with photoshopping the texture of the scales and the tail on..

This is a rough experiment, and I think doesn't look great because of the quality of my original sculpture...I like the idea of photoshopping the tail on as it makes it look a bit more realistic..I also love the texture of the tail..

I tried painting the sculpture and I imagine this would also look better with a much larger model as I'd be able to paint more detail onto it..

The main part of this is of course, the oil..

I placed the sculpture onto a piece of cling film, then mixed PVA glue and black paint so I could pour it over the fish and achieve a really gloopy looking texture.. 

When this dries, hopefully I will be able to peel it off the cling film and the blob of "oil" will keep its shape..


Wednesday, 2 November 2011

3rd Year Project: Editorial Illustration

Not posted about my uni work in a while so I thought I'd share my current project..

At the moment I'm working on my negotiated project, exploring editorial illustration. For this project I chose to look at three issue based articles that I feel strongly about; environmental issues, optimistic art, and consumerism.

At this stage, I have chosen three previously published articles from The Guardian which I am working on illustrations for:

* The first is an article about the BP oil spill in the gulf of Mexico, and it's damage to surrounding wildlife:

* The second is an article about the benefits of using art therapy in schools:

* The third is an article about the recent UK riots and questions the psychology behind the looting:

My main aim in this project is to show that I can apply my own visual style to editorial context. I want the final outcomes to have the same style even though they are written in very different tones of voice. This will be done through choice of media.

Anyway, I am currently developing my idea for the environmental article...

The article talks about the effects the BP oil spill had on wildlife, and the main point is to tell people how they can help make a stand against the cruelty by changing attitudes as consumers. One of the ways recommended by the U.N. was to "go vegan for a month"

So this is the initial idea I had for "go vegan" and some of the development:

The initial idea is a plate of fish and chips..the fish is dead and oil-drenched..and there is a bottle of "BP Sauce" on the side..

I'm really happy with this idea as it is quite humorous as well as stating the point of the article. I'm thinking of experimenting more with collage for this project for a few reasons; I think collaging photographs of my 3D sculpture and using lots of found materials will look really good and perhaps a bit different in the context of a newspaper article, and also with editorial illustration, you are often required to produce an illustration in a very short amount of time and this is a really quick way of working.

The first part of my development has been the sauce bottle. I knew straight away this will have to b photoshopped and I am very confident in doing this. Here was my first attempt at transforming the product:

As you can see I've altered the logo and replaced the parliament image with a map of the gulf of mexico, however I'm going to experiment a bit more with using different images instead of this to see what works better. I'm also going to try using different colours instead of the blue background. This is just a rough experiment - for the final illustration I will most probably use my own photograph of the product as I'll be able to get the right angle in relation to the rest of the objects..

Anyway that's as far as I've got! More updates soon :)

Friday, 28 October 2011

Monster Bride - Happy Halloween!

Here's the puppet I've been working on for the past week! I'm a rubbish photographer, I need to learn some more skillz..

And here's a little illustration I made - Happy Halloween! :[

Friday, 30 September 2011

Style experimentation

Some experimentation with superimposing human eyes onto a puppet. This was inspired by the award winning animated short, Madame Tutli Putli.

I loved experimenting with this idea. It's a much better way of showing emotion through the puppet; I'm not the best at sculpting faces and by doing it this way I can give the puppet more emotion and character. I think it would be worthwhile to continue practising this process as it could work really well for the projects I'm working on at the moment..

Friday, 23 September 2011

Silent Screams - Revised

Silent Screams - 2011

A development of a previous illustration about hidden phobias. I much prefer this version; The hands and face are more subtle, and the whole thing seems to blend together better. I wanted it to be quite chilling and haunting and for it to seem as though the figure is lifting out of the textures, rather than it popping out at you instantly and looking "stuck on" over the top. I love layering a billion textures together to form a completely new one.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

A Completed Puppet and Illustration

Here's an attempt at creating an illustration with my most recent puppet. I tried to really concentrate on lighting in this piece; I think it's a lot better than some of my previous illustrations but it could probably be a lot better!

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

New Puppet; Working Progress

 A new puppet! Headless, handless and footless at the moment...

Inside the body is a simple wire armature to allow the limbs to bend, in case I decide to try and animate the puppet.

I hope to add a lot more detail to the body, like a pocket watch to make it more interesting!

The body turned out to be a bit of an odd shape; from the side view it's a bit like Lurch from the Addams family! But I think it adds more character! :D

Also the shirt collar is really high so it's head is going to be really weird looking!!


I was originally going to make a new head for this puppet but I've decided to re-use one I already have...who was never given a body!

I think the expression works really well with the sort of personality I want the puppet to have.

Next steps: Attach the head and give him some hands an feet the poor sod..

I'm going to come up with some concept sketches for an illustration; I really want to create a small set to photograph him in made from old, found objects so will look into that.

After that I might try a bit of animation :)

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Animation Experiment

Here is a quick animation experiment I did this afternoon using one of my own puppets! It's not the best, I'm not really an animator, just wanted to make my work come to life :) 

It was interesting to learn how different materials would need to be used in order to make a puppet for animation. This puppet was made of quite sturdy wire so was fairly difficult to move the way I wanted it to. Also I had to tie a piece of string to his head to help him walk as he is too top heavy and wouldn't stand alone!

I used iStopmotion to produce this, which I'm loving at the's so easy to use and great to make smoother animation as you can select the frame rate.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

A Lonely Bear


An illustration from memory, of a teddy bear that I always used to visit in my grandad's house :)

More Experimentation

Above is a fairly quick experiment with my new puppet. I wanted to really show emotion in this piece and I'm really pleased with how the layers have worked together to create quite an abstract and perhaps unsettling emotion in the image. However, the puppet sort of goes to waste a bit as you can't fully see him..perhaps I'll continue experimenting with another composition or full body photograph.

When creating this image, I had a lot of inspiration from my grandad's work which I recently looked through..unfortunately he isn't here to ask what the majority of it is about! But I really like the abstract element in his work and a lot of his stuff was inspired by constructivism.
I tried to bring this element into this piece, by using lots of digital collage and building the composition up with shapes.

When taking a second look at the piece, I decided to make the colour scheme more vibrant. It is based on the Man in the Moon, so I changed the black and white background to a deep blue like the night's sky. I made the red part - which is actually a heart shape - more vibrant. I wanted to show the man's longing to visit the world below, and loneliness.

I'm really happy with all the textures coming through in this image and the distorted/abstracted content. I think there is just enough information (the face, heart etc.) to be able to look at it and be able to guess what it might be about. In other words, it isn't so abstracted that it means nothing - which is a bonus!

Please let me know what you think if you read any of these posts lol it's always nice to get feedback! And don't forget to follow me on Facebook, Twitter etc!

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Finished Puppet and Illustration Experiment

Random experimenting with the finished puppet...
It's rubbish!! Haha need to try photographing him better..once I've mastered that I might turn in into a sort of storybook/graphic novel so I can do close ups and things, as the facial expression isn't very clear on this one...

Friday, 15 July 2011

Clown Puppet Update

Attached head and collar thing..This is the largest puppet I've made so far, measuring roughly 14 inches from head to toe :)


About Me

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Hi my name is Chloe, 21, currently based in Birmingham and studying Illustration at Birmingham Institute of Art and Design.