Monthly Archives: December 2013

Jenna Whyte

A lot of Jenna Whyte’s drawings are based off fantasy characters/creatures. The subject of her work is usually always a female figure. She has done a series of each element on the periodic table personified as a victorian style woman.

 “The Illustrated Guide to the Elements: Volume I’ is a Sherlock Holmes “case book” style investigation that contains detailed description of the chemical elements personified as Victorian Women. Each has her own personal attributes drawn from the characteristics of the element she represents. Each element has an description based on the element’s history, characteristics, and uses, they also have a ink portrait. “

I like the way that she merges characters from Greek mythology with the Mucha style as it blends two different era’s but suits it well as she incorporates ancient Greek pattern styles into the pieces.

The muted colour schemes in her work are great and they give a kind of dark, gloomy undertone to the pieces. The more sepia toned ones give a victorian/steampunk edge. The way she uses watercolours make the colours appear soft and natural looking.


Philippa Rice

Philippa Rice has a cute cartoony style. Her work is mainly simple line drawings with block colours and minimal detail.

Her style is recognisable and consistent through different media. As well as 2D drawings and papercut/collage work she has made scenes of cut out characters and objects.

Colours vary from piece to piece, sometimes there is a pallette of two or three colours and sometimes there is a range of several bright contrasting colours.

“Beyond merely creating the successful webcomic MY CARDBOARD LIFE, Philippa is a multitalented craftswoman: her blog is littered with her hand made creations and oftentimes she constructs 3D counterparts for her comics that are equally hilarious as they are gut-wrenchingly cute. Using yarn and sometimes even products from everyday life, Philippia experiments beyond the bounds of paper limitation, using different materials as means to storytelling.”

Rice is well known for her webcomic ‘Soppy’ which follows Rice and the relationship with her boyfriend Luke Pearson, a fellow artist. The illustrations follow the selected true tales of their life together, and will feel familiar to anyone who’s ever been really into their beau. Follow along as the sappy couple cuddles together, cooks together, and refuses to make biscuits together.

“In her flat, fallible characters, we can recognise others we know, and perhaps also ourselves.”— Paul Gravett.  Particularly in ‘Soppy’ where the situations are very normal the characters are easily relatable to which is part of what makes it so fun to read.

Horror Movie Posters

“Karoly Grosz”…”Was responsible for the majority of the posters from this period. He worked mainly in oils and watercolours and a number of his posters are as legendary designs were usually constrained by the traditions and expectations of the studio, his artwork for the teaser posters for Frankenstein and the Invisible man are stunning featuring striking avant garde designs. Even by today’s standards, the posters are ultra modern and would be arresting pasted on any contemporary hoarding”

I agree that the imagery in this poster is very striking due to the high contrast in the colours used. The use of red and black, with dark shadows gives an ominous feeling to the image. I like the simplistic look of the poster. This kind of simplistic design is seen in other posters for Horror movies, including ‘An American Werewolf in London’ and ‘Halloween’

these kind of designs are said to be interesting and unusual as they ‘show no characters or scenes from the film’ which ‘keeps up the suspense and mystery of the plot’ This helps to promote the movie by not giving away any of the plot, so people are likely to see it.

The use of only a couple of colours help to make the posters look bold and striking. The dark/black backgrounds paired with reds retain dark/horror/scary themes within the poster but while also keeping it minimal.

Reference: Horror Poster Art – Graham Marsh, Tony Nourmand

‘Paper Child’

Paper Child is where a character (usually in an anime/manga style) is drawn (and cut out of paper or card) to appear to be interacting with a real person. Usually the person is lifting, pulling or prodding the character, so it is drawn to look as if they are reacting to this.

This cat is drawn to look as if it is being lifted up by the tail, so that when the person photographs themself holding it by the tail it’s expression and pose make sense.

I think these are cute and creative as they allow the characters to come to life by not just having them on a page but having them interact with real people.

Pippa Toole

I certainly enjoy the use of monsters in Pippa Toole’s work.

“She’s really inspired by music, subcultures and the occult, and a reoccurring theme of hers at the moment is gangs; specifically gang logos, patches and badges on leather jackets. Pippa loves leather jackets. Despite her best efforts, she says she’s not neat or tidy but she likes to convince herself that that works well with her work.”

The way this looks more like an emblem than a just a drawing I find pretty cool, it shows her inspiration from gangs as it does look like the kind of sign a gang would sport. I also like the use of humour with the words ‘if looks could kill’ paired with the imagery Medusa, if it had just been an image of a girl giving evil looks it may not be as funny.

Her style is simple, often just using thin lines and block colour. I think that this style works well for what she’s drawing. Particularly stuff inspired by gang emblems as they would be simple designs as well, any further detail might just end up ruining the piece.

Ugly Duckling: Jayne Steiger

ImageJayne Steiger

Steiger has a cute/creepy style specialising in anthropomorphised monsters/creatures.

The pastel colours she uses in her work I find eyecatching. She uses contasting colours to distinguish/separate different elements of the image. (E.g. in the above image the characters are in lighter tones, grey, blue, turquoise etc but the background and scenery is mainly shades of purple and dark blue so the characters stand out). I really like the colour schemes that she uses, they look fairly unnatural. It suits the style for she draws unnatural things.

Steiger is interested in/inspired by gothic lolita fashion, this also features a mixture of pastel colours and can include gothic/spooky/victorian imagery as pattern.

392978_10151201267902874_724886692_n jayn

These two pieces are fairly busy and full of colour but I love the energy it gives the work. Within these pieces the composition draws the viewers eye through the picture, so all of the elements can be seen and not lost in the image. For example the length of the hair of the space princess draws you down the picture and to the other character and scenery. I would like to use similar compositional techniques in works of mine that contain a lot of imagery.

One of my favourite things about Steigers work is her use of digital media to create her work. I love smoothness of the colour and lines, her work makes me want to do more digital work myself.

Symbols Have Meaning: Egyptian Hieroglyphics

The ancient Egyptians called their script mdju netjer, or “words of the gods.” Hieroglyphs were the earliest form of Egyptian script, and also the longest-lived. It is the most familiar to the modern observer, when staring in awe at the columned halls at Karnak, the beautiful tomb paintings in the Valley of the Kings and Queens, and on sarcophagi and coffins.

Hieroglyphs are a very pictorial ‘text’. Though there are different versions, the more pictorial hieroglyphs were used mainly for ‘decorating the walls of temples’  an ‘shorthand’ version was used for day to say trade. I think it would have been good to use an abbreviated version as using the full decorative version would have taken time, and thus been impractical.

Hieroglyphs are comparable to the more modern symbol language used by homeless people to communicate with each other. Both are like a code, known to those who write and read them but in need of deciphering by those not in the know. That is pretty cool.

Musical Implements: Vegetable Instruments


A few people, not just this man have made instruments out of vegetables. They use existing instruments as a basis for their new unique instruments, good designing, seeing what is successful in existing things/ remaking/re-doing using different media to see what works best.

There is a band called the Wyld Men that perform to audiences using their fruit and veg instruments.

“For the Wyld Men, it all started with the carrot flute.  Later, after I had already branched out into all kinds of vegetables,  I came across references to the First Vienna Vegetable Orchestra and then Flute n Veg

People who make vegetable instruments have to be experimental to find which vegetable would be best to make each instrument out of  as “different vegetables have different scales and are therefore suited to different melodies: a sweet potato makes an ocarina, a bamboo shoot becomes a flute, a yam, a whistle.” 

This is true of any material/medium within most practices. Experimentation is a key part of any design process.

The Vegetable Orchestra is another group who play vegetable instruments.


Musical Implements: Foley Artists

A Foley Artist ‘recreates’ sound effects for film, television and radio productions on a Foley Stage. Using many different kinds of shoes and lots of props – car fenders, plates, glasses, chairs, and just about anything I find at the side of the road – the Foley Artist can replace original sound completely or augment existing sounds to create a richer track.

I like the way that foley artists will use anything they can to create the right sound. It must take a lot of expetimentation with different materials to find what item and action will create the right sound. I think that this is a good way for all artists to work, not just foley artists as experimentation with different media aids the design process. (I will try to keep this practice in mind when creating the art myself).

Because of all the experimentation the outcome/implements used are pretty inventive, I especially like the glove with paper clips attached to mimic the sound of a dog walking as it is so different to the sound it is making.

Collaboratype: Retrofuturs – Space Relationship/Elements

ImageThese pieces are created by ‘Retrofuturs’ by ‘mixing old photographs with typographical inlays’.  The artist seems to splice two or more photographs together making the imagery look disjointed, the typography adds to this effect as although it is filled with an image that camoflauges it within the piece, it does not match up with the background of it.

I like the way that the imagery within the typography has something to do with the word; ‘wood’ having mainly trees and ‘earth’ being bits of ground. There are several images. Some of the words also used in ‘Elements’ are ‘Water’, ‘Air’. In ‘Space Relationship’ there is no imagery within the text, as the title suggests the pieces are more about the text and imagery in relationship to each other than just on a thing like an element.

Retrofuturs ‘wants to be expressed through his creation of the linkages between “online” and “In Real Life”. He develops an iconography that at once touches on the digital environment while simultaneously paying homage to the past.’ 

By using ‘retro’ photographs but a bold typeface the artists creates the link between the futuristic/present day digital world and the past.

The composition of ‘Elements’ ties it together as a series; in each piece there is a vertical rectangle of a different image that still appears to match up with the rest of the piece.