Category: Process

Golden Acre Tree

My wife and I have been going for evening walks over the past couple of weeks.

We spend a lot of time outdoors already but evening walks are a bit of a new thing and something we’re really enjoying; places are generally less busy, the light is different (that golden ‘magic hour’ much loved by photographers), and you can hear the owls and other nocturnal critters getting more active.

I’ve really enjoyed taking photos of weird shaped trees.

We came across a particular tree in Golden Acre Park, all covered in stumpy growths, with this very thick-lined bark pattern. Very gnarled up and characterful.

It got stuck in my head. I really wanted to draw it and realised I’d been thinking about this bloody tree off and on for the past few days before I finally sat down and sketched it out this morning.

You’ll notice if you look at the original photo, I haven’t drawn in the pine tree right behind. It’s quite dense with foliage and is competing with the focal point of my study – the texture of the bark in the subject tree.

I did want to add in a tonal background element, so some loose texturing with a Copic marker did the trick.

I often see people perhaps just starting out sketching feel the need to put everything into a scene, sometimes to the detriment of the overall composition. Remember, it’s fine to modify a scene to bring out the elements you want to be the focal points.

This isn’t perfect. Just a sketch. I’m already spotting a few areas where I feel the pull to add lines or thicken a shape but I’m trying to be less precious about things like that and, much like my evening walks themselves, just enjoy the process.

HP Lovecraft Literary Podcast – 10th Anniversary Merch – Pt.1

HP Lovecraft Literary Podcast 10th Anniversary merchandise

One of my favourite podcasts has been going for ten years. I’ve been a listener since the first episode and have got to know the hosts a little, having done some artwork for a ‘Live in Leeds’ show many moons ago.

To celebrate their 10th anniversary, I worked with Chad & Chris in creating some artwork and other fine wares: a limited-edition screenprinted poster, plus tshirt and tote bag designs, which are all available for purchase here.

As the pre-order window is about to close and these will soon be sent off to print (by the super handsome and talented Prints of Thieves), I’ve been getting the artwork print-ready and thought it might be nice to share some of that process.

Colour Separations

The artwork was done as a digital painting initially. It takes a little bit of work to convert the mess of a Photoshop file – with all it’s layers, and masks, and effects – into something that’s ready for screenprinting.

Here’s a little animation of the poster artwork now it’s been colour separated, showing how it will be printed in four layers of magical ink:

And as an added bonus, here’s the presentation of ideas which I sent the guys for their input, along with the original sketches from my trusty FIELD NOTES notebook.

I’ll update again with some images of the final products. Until then, stay safe and watch the stars…

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