Category: Art & Illustration

Kathryn Wilkins Illustration

Illustration of Bonny and Kiki

I’ve been following the LookBookIllust blog for some time, and its one of my favourites – each time illustrator Kathryn Wilkins adds a new illustration I am super excited!

I love how she takes inspiration from such a variety of stylish and quirky people and turns them into unique illustrations. When I saw she was accepting commissions, I knew I wanted to immortalise myself and my cat Kiki in a special picture for this blog, and for my front room.

I am so pleased with the illustration Kathryn has done for me based on several photos I sent her. You can see how she put together this picture based on the photos on this screencast she ran while producing the illustration on Livestream.

She is so sweet and professional, I cant recommend her highly enough. If you want to know more about her commissions you can see prices and examples on her portfolio site, Kitimation.

Analogue Digital Experiments

Photo of blurry Christmas lights

Before Christmas I ordered a Holga lens for my Canon 400D DSLR, eager to reinvigorate my passion for taking photographs. I have tried taking pictures using the Lomography Diana+ camera in the past, but found its unpredictable results frustratingly expensive. The cost and hassle of getting medium format film processed stopped me wanting to do it anymore. I considered getting a Holga 35mm camera to play with, but realised it made more sense to just order a lens from China and try it on my existing camera.

Photos of a Holga lens for Canon cameras

The lens was really cheap (for a lens) at about £12 including postage. It took about ten days to arrive, which wasn’t bad either especially as I ordered it well into December and I still received it the day after Boxing day. The lens is very small, and only has four ‘settings’ based on distance from their focal point. These require a fair amount of guess-work as you can’t see the difference they make through the viewfinder very easily due to the lack of light the lens lets through.

The lens is completely manual – so there is no auto-focus. Be prepared to take a lot of fuzzy shots! Like with the real Lomo cameras, they need a lot of light to work well without a flash. As you’ll see in the photos below, the lens has a lot of vignetting, making daytime shots appear darker than they are. That is partly to blame for the grey winter weather at the moment too though.

I have a feeling that I will pack this lens away until summer when it will be more fun to use. It’s too dark and grey at the moment.

Photo of oranges in a box

Photo of a garden duck ornament

Photo of a Christmas tree

Photo of a lily

Photo of flowers

If you’ve tried a lomo lens on a DSLR I would LOVE to hear how you’ve found it, and if you have any tips for how to take better pictures with it – so please share any links in the comments below!

Illustrated Me

Over the past week or so I have been getting back into playing with Adobe Illustrator. This is mainly because I am spending a lot of time in hotels for work, and I get lonely and bored, so it seams like a worth-while distraction. For those of you that are not familiar with this, Illustrator is a vector based drawing tool used by many designers to create things like logos, digital art and illustrations.

Illustrator is one of the most frustrating and liberating programmes I have ever used. When I first started using it several years ago, I thought it would be easy as I’m used to using Photoshop… I was very wrong! Illustrator is a completely different beast, and needs a completely different approach. I am by no means an expert or even very accomplished at using it, but I am gradually learning more from following tutorials and videos online.

Self portrait

I have long admired the blogger illustrations done by EssBeeVee however they are not really ‘me’. I’ve also just discovered the cute blogger portraits by Carly Watts, but again, still not me. So, like any sort of crafty-type, I decided to have a go myself…and here we are:

Illustration of Bonny Colville-Hyde

How I did it

In Illustrator, I traced my face from a photo using the pen tool.I then coloured in the face and hair, and added some minimal shading using transparency and gaussian blur. Areas like the blusher were done using a radial gradient fill, transparency and gaussian blur – this helps to keep the effect soft and light.

The photo I had traced was a portrait so it didn’t have a body to trace. I found a picture of a mannequin on Google images and traced the arms off that. I then drew a t-shirt to tie it all together. The photo in the background is one I Instagrammed at Longleat Center Parcs earlier this month.

Its not perfect, but I’m quite happy with how this turned out. I’m planning on doing more illustrations like this – I like the combination of the real background and the illustrated foreground. What do you think?