Tuesday, 29 March 2011

The Museum of British Folklore

Have a gander at these for some drawing inspiration! I found this site a while ago and started thinking recently of using it as the basis for some personal work.
I've got all excited and started thumbnailing ... watch this space!
To top it off Jonny Hannah's done the identity and logo. Win!

Have a look at www.museumofbritishfolklore.com

Monday, 28 March 2011

Angelas Ashes (modern take) final illustrations

Angry Aunt Aggie (p133) - "It's bad when Grandma can't talk to us because we can't run to her when we need to borrow sugar or tea or milk. There's no use going to Aunt Aggie . She'll only bite your head off. Go home, she'll say, and tell your father to get off his northern arse and get a job like the decent men of Limerick. They say she's always angry because she has red hair or she has red hair because she's angry."

The Sacred Heart (p57) - "There is a picture on the wall by the range of a man with long brown hair and sad eyes. He is pointing to his chest where there is a big heart with flames coming out of it. Mam tells us, That's the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and I want to know why the man's heart is on fire and why doesn't he throw water on it?."

The Staff of Life (p75) - "There are men sitting in this pub with great glasses of black stuff before them. Uncle Pa Keating and Dad have the black stuff, too. They lift their glasses carefully and slowly drink. There is creamy white stuff on their lips, which they lick with little sighs. Uncle Pa gets me a bottle of lemonade and Dad gives me a piece of bread and I don't feel hungry anymore. Still, I wonder how long we'll sit here with Malachy and Eugene hungry at home, hours from porridge, which Eugene didn't eat anyway. Dad and Uncle Pa drink thier glass of black stuff and have another. Uncle Pa says, Frankie, this is the pint. This is the staff of life. This is the best thing for nursing mothers and for those who are long weaned."

The Luxury of the Fire (a double page spread illustration) (p70) - " She puts the pot down, rocks him till he's asleep, lays him on the bed and tells the rest of us be quiet or she'll demolsih us. She slices other half of the onion and fries it in the butter with slices of bread. She lets us sit on the floor around the fire where we eat the fried bread and sip at the scalding sweet tea in jam jars. She says, That fire is good and bright so we can turn off that gaslight till we get money for the meter. The fire makes us good and warm and with the flames dancing in the coal you can see faces and mountains and valleys and animals leaping."

The Promise of a Rare Good Meal (p23-24) - "When Dad brings home the first week's wages on a Friday night we know the weekend will be wonderful.... On nights like that we can drift off to sleep knowing there will be a breakfast of eggs, fried tomatoes and fried bread, tea with lashings of sugar and milk and, later in the day, a big dinner of mashed potatoes peas and ham, and a trifle Mam makes, layers of fruit and warm delicious custard on a cake soaked in sherry."

For this brief we were instructed to create five illustrations for a "desirable, collectors item" edition of a novel of our choice (a favourite). The finished item would be aimed at book collectors and the design aware.

The tutors asked that the illustrations reflect main themes in the book. Quotes and paragraphs were carefully chosen after a quick re-read of the novel and the above are the results, illustrating the final five chosen extracts. All text included is taken from relevent parts of the original text.

Complete work and build up sheets featured on www.grillust.blogspot.com

Friday, 25 March 2011

I really should grow one...

As you can tell me and my good friend Claire here had photoshop lessons this morning. Today was beards and smoke and fire, not sure how often I will use these exact skills.. but who knows! The beards were particularly enjoyable...

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Angelas Ashes (modern take) illustrations

These are the current stages of the work for this project. They're not finished yet but I'm moving on and wanted to get some comments to come back to. Please bear in mind these will be full bleed and 152x254mm (I've added bleed).
It's been pretty tricky trying to bend my style to the mood of the book so any comments would be great.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Cheers Jeffery Fisher

I have this cut out from a Jeffery Fisher illustration and blu-tacked to my desk. When I feel like giving up on a project (like now) it reminds me of all those rubbish jobs I've had in the past and how flippin lucky I am to have this chance to do something I really enjoy. (Even if it drives me insane, it's worth it).

Jeff, you probably never meant for it to be used like this and I'm sorry for cutting into a copy of one of your lovely illustrations. Please accept my heartfelt thankyou as a form of apology. Perhaps I will even owe some of my (possible) future illustration career to you!

To view the original illustration and many more glorious creations go to
www.rileyillustration.com and click on Jeffery Fisher. Cheers Jeff

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Illustration Friday - Cultivate

Tomatoes instantly sprang to mind with this one, and it turns out they are one of the most widely cultivated crops in the world. Makes me miss the smell of the leaves in the greenhouse back home....

The moustache glasses

These were made last year for a 'moustache and glasses' party we went to last year. Chris made 'moustache-glasses' and I made moosetache-glasses (My moose had a furry nose but it went missing at the party), tsk!

Glorious Gary...an angel? Surely not

For those of you who know Gary of 2nd year graphics, you will know he is no angel. He is king of the dirty joke and inappropriate remark (in a good way).
Happy accident with a tube of paper and a basic digital camera last year. Absolutely no lighting tricks or photoshop tweaks.

Well hey there, twiglet

The 'unbearable reality' fish

On a recent visit to the freezing cold land of Maryport we visited the aquarium (which was pretty brilliant really). In an almost empty tank we spotted this little fella, he looked terrified! The realisation at being an exhibit perhaps? ohhh MY GAWD.....
Take a chill pill, little fish.

Thursday, 17 March 2011


Today is fellow illustrator Claire Wood's birthday. She's a bit of a soup fanatic so I thought this could be appropriate! (Her favourites are lentily and tomatoey)

Monday, 14 March 2011

Illustration Friday - Stir

In my family these sorts of people are 'stirrers', I don't know if that applies to anyone else (I'd go ask my housemates but I think they're all asleep like sensible people). Stirrers are people who 'stir up' gossip when there isn't any really. Not a joyous subject but it sprang to mind!

Bike-kitchen editorials Final (improvements, take 1)

The 1st re-jig of the bike finals, still not 100% happy with it, but this is how it is so far. A definite improvement at least!
(For original work please see previous posts below)

Teapot tuesday menu (part three THE FINAL)

Meant to post about these the week before, when they were finished. Coming to a Carlisle club near you.... Here are the finished beauts! Hours of work but worth it. Had loads of fun with this one, more similar commissions please! Ta

Drop cocktail fills are originals from new menus for the same club,
by the suberbly cheeky Lee Freeman


Saturday, 5 March 2011

Illustration Friday - Warning

This weeks illustration friday. 'Warning' was a disappointing word at first, until I remembered our insect books!

Friday, 4 March 2011

Ohh la la, C'est GRANDE!

For Claire, who loves a nice big crunchy baguette on a friday...
(shame I can't spell baguette)

Kitchen-bike workshop editorials

2 new pieces created using observational drawings (the bastards didn't let us have the brief until after we'd done most of the drawing.) This resulted in a day or two with me owning one frustrated red face. Yet, here we are and I know it was for my own good. Although it kills me to say it they were right and it feels like I've genuinely learnt lots. Damn it

Almost forgot! These would be used alongside articles in a sunday supplement. The article they accompany is discussing the movement of the family kitchen/dining room into possible rooms for bicycle workshops!

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Illustration Friday - swarm

A quick break from observational drawing today. Needed to NOT look at a bike for half an hour!
Feel better now....ahhhh