Here's a wee slide-show showing how I work my illustrations in Adobe Photoshop.
This illustration is from the book 'Grandma's Christmas Wish' written by Helen Foster James. I use Picasa as a mode to refer to my reference material. (Google have retired dear old Picasa, which is a real shame, it's a great tool to have. But luckily it still does what I need it to.) I vary my techniques from project to project, but this is more or less what I do. A few textures on layers and texture brushes. Heavily reliant upon line for detail... I've always felt happier drawing rather than painting. I tend to draw in detail and then 'colour in'.
I hope this slide-show is of interest to at least one person!
I have some rather cool news. After a lifetime of dreaming, I'm illustrating a book that I've written myself. Yes, me! So, 'written and illustrated by Petra Brown' is soon to be a reality, thanks to the wondrous, fantabulous 'Sleeping Bear Press'!
Thrilled, excited, vaulting over la lune!
I've finished the text, I've finished the visuals, I'm working on the suggested amendments for the drawings, and very soon I'll be starting my favourite part... the colour work!
ps. THE HARE DO'S A DIDN'T DO
Well, we all knew it was inevitable. Hare is stuck in a drawer, unloved, ignored... unfinished. Another item on the very lengthy list of things I might do one day. Here he is, reclining on a pile of merino wool tops I bought to needle-felt with and never used. But we none of us care, so let's move on.
I'm a cyclist... I don't very often ride my bike, but I cycle all the time. What on earth am I talking about? What I mean to say is... I have bouts of wanting to do this and bouts of wanting to that, and then- those, then- these, then something else completely different. A lot of the time I get the urge to be creative in some way or other and I ignore it because I'm up to my eyes in work, or I'm too weary. I guess most people are like that.
I have a largeish canvas with a sketch on it which I started about 14 months ago. It leans against the wall, behind a door and occasionally flops to the floor with an alarming BANG! As if to remind me... come on, get those acrylics out and get daubbing! And I think- 'Yes, yes... one day, my dear canvas, one fine day!'
Well, the other day I was looking for a teazle brush, to fluff up a tired and bedraggle furry cuff (as you do), and I remembered there was one in my needle-felting box- you know... that box, the one hidden beneath a pile of things I don't use but don't want to throw away inside my wooden chest of half remembered plans.
And there I discovered the felted head of the Mad March Hare which I had started in a previous life. And then it gripped me- I must finish this chap!
A long time ago I made the White Rabbit from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. I haven't got him any more, I sold him, but I took some photos at the time...
So, here are some photos of the Mad March Hare thus far. As you can see, he is far from finished, but I thought I'd share my progress. I decided he wasn't looking mad enough, so I scooped out his felted eyes and made sockets. Then I made two crazy eye balls out of Milliput, painted them with gouache and gloss varnish and stuck them in place with glue. I'll add some lids and lashes at some point, but I think you'll agree he's looking a little mad already. I fancy giving his coat stripes so that'll be a challenge.
I really hope that my enthusiasm lasts the course! And I'll be able to share the finished character at some point very soon, and not in three years hence!
A warm hello to whoever is reading this. Welcome to Petra's blog. I'm an illustrator and writer of children's books and keen amateur photographer. I enjoy living in North Wales with my wonderful partner and fellow adventurer, Iain.
This blog is a place where I share my creativity and thoughts.
If you enjoy my various online creative sharing then please consider showing support by buying me a coffee.
You can also show support by buying Petra art- originals, prints, cards... all kinds of merchandise. Check out my shop :o)
Wandering Around Wales in Search of Celtic Magic