Thursday, 28 April 2011

All things London

Yesterday, my mum and I went down to London to visit the V&A, meet up with my sister and do a little light shopping! :)

The main reason for the visit was to view Yohji Yamamoto's exhibition. I'm doing a little (I say little, it's my first proper commission and I couldn't be more excited!) illustration and it was so wonderful to be able to see the clothes up close for once. They were stunning and I love being able to see that incredible detail! I will tell you more about the commission soon! Here are some photos of the pieces I was allowed to photograph :)

Here is my mum - we were messing about in the V&A cafe! Also a photo of some of the incredible Lion King costumes!
Next week I will be starting to send out the Tea & Crayons' packages which are now being put together and addressed! Working with these girls and getting to know them so well has been one of the best things I have ever done. These girls are so supportive and have been a massive help throughout these last months!

One last thing! Tomorrow is the royal wedding and I am suddenly overcome with excitement about the wedding dress! I've heard many rumours on twitter that Sarah Burton, creative director at Alexander McQueen may have designed the dress! I hope this is true, that would be incredible! I'm sure whoever it's by, however, it will be amazing. I will leave you with this picture of my mum and dad on their wedding day.. ah, perfect!


Monday, 25 April 2011

New illustrations..

Hello! I've been very hard at work with fashion illustrations this week. I can't show any final illustrations (and the fact I have four unfinished ones on the go means I physically can't either) but here are some more sneak peaks! You can see my previous ones here and here :) these previous illustrations are beauty shots, so I have focused greatly on their faces and the jewelery. With these next illustrations, I want the clothes to be the main focal point. I will tell you more bout the designers behind the clothes when I can!

I hope you like them. They're turning out to be quite intricate pieces and my hands keep cramping.. I will push through the pain and hopefully the results will be worth it! I hope you've all had a fabulous weekend! :)

Friday, 22 April 2011

More beauty shot fashion illustration sneak peaks!

I have started working on the second illustration of the set, as mentioned in my previous post.This one is for the same designer as before, but this time concentrating on a bracelet. Thank you for the lovely feedback on the previous post, it really means a lot!


Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Beauty shot fashion illustration - sneak peaks!

I'm working on some new ethical fashion illustrations at the moment, to be published in an ethical fashion book. Here are some progress shots I though I would share! :)

I'll keep you updated! :)

EDIT! More progress! 

Monday, 18 April 2011


Before I get on to the exciting giveaway, I'd like to say a little about Tea & Crayons. With an interview in a monthly arts magazine being published soon (that's right, we'll be in actual print!) and our promotion packs about to be sent out (we are now finalising the 500 lucky recipients of our little gifts), things really are getting exciting. These girls are really keeping me optimistic and excited about life as an illustrator too. Be sure to follow us on either (or both!) our twitter or blog. We will be doing giveaways soon too, so definitely worth following! :)

Now, I've been meaning to do a giveaway since reaching the INCREDIBLE 1000 followers mark on twitter! (Im now at almost 1,00, which makes me a little speechless!) I wanted to do something as a little thank you to those who have supported, helped and made me smile throughout my months on twitter. 

So, to enter my giveaway and the chance of winning three framed prints, a lot of sweeties, two original illustrations, some postcards and many other bits and pieces. Simply leave a comment under this post or/and tweet the following:

'To win prints, original illustrations, sweets and more, enter @abbyillustrator's giveaway, here:'

A tweet will count as an extra entry, so feel free to enter twice! The giveaway will run until midnight on Saturday 30th April. The winner will be drawn via a random number generator on the Sunday. Good luck and please spread the word! :)

Abby xx

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Portfolio (for the time being...)

I put together my most up-to-date portfolio this week. I wanted to produce a mock up for my uni presentation but I haven't had it printed yet because it will be changing again soon as I have lots of work on the go! At the moment it is mainly fashion based (I will have a mixed one but also pages ready for a more fashion focused and a more editorial focused portfolio depending on the work I am going for). I just thought I'd share these pages with you! Enjoy!

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Working Practice

As part of my professional practice unit at uni, I have to show my working practice and discuss how I go about creating my illustrations. I have put together some stages for this so thought I'd show them here too! :) this illustration was for a competition to have your image accompany an article by Lady Gaga. I wanted to use a head-shot image and have her looking smart in her role as a writer.

To begin with I draw a simple outline picture, allowing me to see all parts of the illustration come together and imagine the final outcome. I find I work most comfortably using photographs, which I try to take myself where possible (obviously, with someone like Gaga this is unlikely!)
The next stage is adding in finer detail. I enjoy zooming in to put these details together. After some of the detail has been refined, I will wok out the background.
Once the background texture is in place I can add even more detail and bring in those highlights and whites of the eyes that I think bring my illustrations alive and make them what they are. I loved adding in the glasses detail here as it made the image a lot more powerful.
Colour experimentation. I decided with this illustration that I wanted to use more colour in the background. Usually I stay with my style of using neutral tomes and textural backgrounds. This time around I wanted to add more colour but continue using the textures.
After adding the colour, I placed the original textured background over the colours and was happy with this compromise between my usual style and trying to experiment! Also in this stage I added colour and texture (texture from a tweed jacket scan) to her jacket, as well as colouring of the lips.
Again, I tried something new with the cheeks. Rather than my usual subtle and tonal colouring, I choose to use obvious and bright colours. I'm really happy with how it's turned out! These are my two final illustrations. 

I hope you enjoyed this little run through! :)

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Lady Gaga: Final Images

Ok, I'm totally indecisive and even though many followers on twitter offered their opinions, they were pretty divided. So I decided to send both versions and if they like the image they can choose the background colour they'd prefer.

I love how the pink tones stand out against the grey in the first image. With the second image I tried something a little different with the colouring. I'm really happy with how these illustrations have worked out. My favourite part is the glasses and I'm also glad I decided to try something new with the cheeks, I think they work well! I hope you like them too :)

Lady Gaga

So, a yesterday I found out about a competition to illustrate Lady Gaga. Basically, she is now a V Magazine columnist and rather than a photograph she wanted an illustrated image of herself to accompany her words. I thought it was worth a shot! I decided not only would she be fun to illustrate (crazy outfits, eyes etc!) but it would be great to have my work published again.

I'll show you the finished illustration later but here are some working images I thought I'd share with you! Hope you like them :)

Friday, 1 April 2011

The Lying Tongue - work in progress

Last week I was given an article titled The Lying Tongue to illustrate by my tutor Domanic Li. He removed the accompanying illustration so I wouldn't be influenced (I'm glad about this. Once I see the original illustration I always find it hard to find fresh ideas..) Here are so progress shots of my illustration so far. The story extract is very descriptive and sets beautiful scenes. The part I chose to illustrate read:

"Using a rickety set of stepladders that I had found in a cupboard in the kitchen, I climbed to the top of the windows, took hold of my cloth and cleaning spray and started to attack the grime. Although my cloth got darker and darker, nothing seemed to be coming off the the surface of the glass. But finally a small, coin-shaped pocket of light shone through the window, growing and growing until the glass had cleaned and I could see outside."

It goes on to describe a narrow stretch of water, a bridge and gondolas. Although it does not say, I assume it is set in Italy, most probably Venice, due to words, buildings and features described. At first I was going to illustrate the dirty window with the scene outside shown centrally. I have kept to this plan, but added in the cleaners hand cleaning the window to really illustrate the scene. Let me know what you think so far!