Monday, 31 October 2011

F-Block Portrait

After quite a hectic month I've managed to find some time to make in-roads on a private commission. Waaaaay back at the Sunday Times Watercolour Competition private view I met a very nice gentlemen named Wilson Cotton. A few days after our first meeting he got in touch with an offer for me to paint a portrait of his son Nick. Turns out Nick is a young DJ who has recently performed on the BBC introducing stage at Glastonbury Festival under the name F-Block and he is making quite a stir on the dance circuit. Click here for his video.

Below you can see my initial sketches based on photographs from his BBC set.

Selected Thumbnail

Detailed Rough

Perhaps you can see in Nick's shirt various bits of text. These are the song titles from his set list on the night.

Tomorrow I'll post the final pencil and the first stages of colour. Until then try and survive the night Muhahahahahahaaaaaaaaa!!!!!
Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Reviews Of The Bath Prize

Here are a couple of links for you. Both are reviews of the Bath Art Prize, one by Katherine Tyyrell on Making A Mark (click here), the other by Linda Kasmaty on Swindon Open Studios 2011 blog (click here). Linda's other half popped into the shop I work in part-time yesterday and I told him what had been happening. In almost no time Linda was on the phone asking me permission to do a write up.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Tonight the Bath Art Prize Winners Were Announced...

And I was the shocked to discover I received first prize!! Below is the winning piece. You can view my progress by visiting my previous post (click here).

May I say thank you to the organizers of the Bath Prize at Art Ventures and all the judges who had a tough time whittling the entries down. I've just got back from the private view which is a must for anybody who likes art and lives in the South West of England. For more details click here.

Monday, 17 October 2011

The Elephant & Castle

I have recently completed an unusual commission - artwork for a musical theatre poster. So far in my short career this type of thing hasn't been requested of me so I went into this all guns blazing which possibly explains why I became too excited and stretched an enormous piece of paper to work on. A week into the final painting and I was flagging. Apart from jumping between another project and this one, it was taking an age to get the rich dark tones I was after. When you have a deadline looming and watercolour is your choice of medium this can sometimes be a problem so any normal person would work smaller but not me, I like to make things difficult for myself it seems.

So after grumbling and losing sleep I decided to scan the unfinished painting and drop it into Photoshop for a bit of computer wizardry. I quickly had multiple layers of rich dark colours zapping from my wacom tablet. Something that would have taken days in watercolour was digitally knocked up in an afternoon thus saving me time and helping me reach the slightly (by then) extended deadline.

What have I learned? Plan painting timescales based on the size AND content of the projected artwork. It makes sense that large scale works which contain loose details or light pastel colours are generally less time consuming than those with rivers of dark hues and mountains of details. Also another lesson to keep in mind is Photoshop shop can cover up a multitude of sins, great for illustration, not so great for original art exhibitions.

Rant over, I'm still best friends with my watercolours but now more aware of my limitations when using them.

Regarding the musical, hopefully it will be on stage next year in London. When I get hold of dates I will post them up for all to see!

Monday, 10 October 2011

Children's Book Rally Update

Illustration Rally have posted my entry (above) into their Children's Book Rally Competition. You can view quite a few of the entries and mine in more detail by visiting Illustration Rally.

The finished artwork is watercolour wash on Bristol board then pencil crayon on top of that to flesh out the colours. I then scanned the originals into Photoshop and built up the shadows and highlights using a brush on multiply layers. When I completed the images I placed the speech bubbles using tracing paper and then inked in the text with a fine-liner pen. These were also scanned in, cleaned up in Photoshop and then added to the artwork as a separate layer.

The story is of my own creation based on a boy called Walt and a whale who visits Walt's town to try and get his bones back. You can see the bones in the top image.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Agnes Sloan Memorial Prizewinner!

This was a very nice surprise, I can tell you!!

I have won the opportunity to illustrate a new children's book titled 'Momo And The Totobrats' with Birkbeck Hauxwell Publishing. At the moment I'm waiting for the manuscript to come through and to start liaising with the author which is frustrating because I can't wait to get started.

Now, so far I have managed to avoid posting a photo of myself on the blog (you can see why) but a photo was requested for publicity so I thought I might as well add it here. Perhaps I should add a health warning - 'Beware! Viewers may unexpectedly turn to stone. Chris Dunn Illustration will not be held accountable for masonry side effects, gouging of eyes etc etc...'