The Friday Heron

More from The Ballad of Old Goat and Heron.
“In a flap the Heron went,
Up the river with grim intent,
To find out why (if he could),
The water wasn??t flowing quite like it should.”
I’ll have to break my rule of not spending more than a day painting these,
as I need to darken the wall a bit at the edges. I did it quickly in
Photoshop just before I sent this post, but it will have to be translated
onto the original with a tad more care.



In Conversation

Last week I took part in a round-the-table discussion with the creators of
the ‘John Barleycorn Must Die’ Blog. They are investigating their own
creative process as they write and illustrate a graphic novel, but every
month they press-gang a passing artist into sharing some insights into
individual experiences regarding the making of art, etc.
They have already interviewed Billy (film director) and Didier (Illustrator)
which are well worth a read, and there’s a long list of interesting folk
coming up, so keep checking their Blog:


What we do on our day off

This is a quick one for the ‘Local Characters’ folder.
On completing a fast turnaround picture, there are always things that could
have been better, but that seems to be balanced by the random magic that
occurs where the watercolour settles in a pleasing manner of its own
This features the light of late November, 2010, and Kes Tor.


Depressed Heron

I originally saw this spread from ‘The Ballad of Old Goat and Heron’ as
being water-soaked and misty; a bit like a traditional Chinese landscape
painting. As the rest of the illustrations in this book have been done on a
very smooth board, I thought it best to stick with the same medium, which
meant I had to get the mist effect by continually applying paint and dabbing
it off with toilet roll. The surface doesn’t absorb water much, so the
graduated blobs of colour I had in mind were impossible to achieve. Maybe
I’ll try it again on a more sensible paper…
Also included here are the various stages, from very first sketches, to
tonal and colour roughs.


Training Day

I finally got round to finishing this, having originally sketched the idea
after a walk in late November. The light was particularly awesome up on the
moor, and inspired a number of potential paintings. Here we see a couple of
local characters and their flock of Greyface Dartmoors, an amusing species
of sheep often seen in these parts. The various stages of development are
here, too… from scribble to ink to watercolour and pencil finishes.