Saturday, April 25, 2009

Studio Finds

It's ALL happening this week...

Not only do I have the most epic job on with NMS, but the builders are about to move in to the house to do a mighty bit of renovation work. So, we are moving OUT!
I am currently meant to be boxing things up in my studio ready for the big move, but of course I get distracted when I find wee sketchbooks that have fallen down the back of my desk, or have just been wedged between something bigger.
Here are a couple of pages - one random wee doodle in a lovely Muji notebook and the other a bit of visual notetaking from the Night Safari at Singapore Zoo.
Right, back to boxing, tidying, chucking and dust.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Massive garden illustration for NMS

Now, this is a work in progress and is still being added to, tweaked and bits deleted, so if you come along to the museum for the Garden Detectives opening in June, you probably won't see this version.
This is the big 'ol illustration that will cover up to 8 metres by 2.6 metres (yes, 8 metres) of wall as you enter the Garden Detectives exhibition. I admit it has caused me problems in the making, as I am putting it together on Photoshop CS4 at a smaller scale, but superhigh resoltion (1200dpi). I was saving a version the other day and didn't Photoshop go and tell me that it didn't save files higher than 2GB? I'll not repeat what I said to Photoshop...
I can't wait to see this super-sized, as it is so inky and colourful. The designers at NMS did a test print of another big image and it looks amazing at room height, I have to say.
There are going to be a few other massive illustrations for other zones in the show, aswell as smaller images such as my toad (see previous post)
Deadline-wise I have just over a week to get it all done, so it's time for a mug of tea, a biscuit and on with iTunes (Beethoven's 5th Piano Concerto, "the Emperor" to kick me off today then perhaps a bit of Leftfield)

Monday, April 20, 2009

A fine looking Toad

Working very hard on the National Museums of Scotland job - I literally have hundreds of animals, birds, insects, fish and flowers to draw.
As part of one of the interactive exhibits in the show, I have drawn 15 animals that all have to be sorted out (by the visitors)as to where they live (or not) in a hedgerow.
These drawings have to be accurate, as they are educational, but still done in my style.
I am rather fond of this lowly and rather warty common toad. Yes - as part of the same exhibit I have also drawn a badger (currently re-doing the badger, as my first version was deemed a bit "weird, possibly too hairy" by the folk at the museum!) and a weasel so all I need to complete a cast call for Wind in the Willows is a water rat - but there isn't one in this show!
I'll get some of the big showstopper garden scenes up soon - just as soon as they are ready. In the meantime - enjoy the toad.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

National Museum of Scotland

Finally! I am able to write a bit about this absolute PEACH of a job!
The last couple of months have seen me to-ing and fro-ing to the wonderful, award winning National Museum of Scotland to meet with their very cheerful design team to discuss doing some work for their big summer exhibition, entitled Garden Detectives, which is part of the Darwin200 series of events celebrating all things Charles Darwin.

It was Stuart Kerr who contacted me - he is a D&AD award winning 3D designer and mad keen cyclist by the way - and asked if I had ever done work for interactive, large scale exhibits. Nope...but I'd like to.

Basically the exhibition is aimed at children and will encourage them to discover what lurks, lives and burrows in their own backyard, through the medium of large, custom built interactive garden sheds, flowerbeds and hedgerows...oh and a garden pond too.
There will be plenty of specimens and things to poke at too.

Where does my work fit in? Well,I get to draw and paint lovely, loose garden scenes and hedge rows with bird's nests,curled up cats and pond-dwellers, which will be supersized and applied to walls and to the interactive exhibits aswell. I am also doing a hefty amount of quite technical illustration of the creatures who inhabit our gardens too too. Now, for those of you who know my work, you would be forgiven for thinking "Jill? technical? Neat and tidy?" I did think the same thing myself. However, after doing some drawings of Dragonfly larvae and ladybirds for the Museum's resident entymologist, my style got the stamp of approval!
The brief was to draw accurately, but still be inky - these illustrations are to be educational afterall.

Needless to say, I am very excited about this job - which does mean scanning everything at 1200dpi, as it is going to be BIG!
There will be plenty more updates about this, so watch this space for any more snippets.

Above illustration is a garden cat and also another of part of a dragonfly life cycle. You knew that though, didn't you?
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