Friday, 3 July 2009


Hey everyone. Hope you're all having a good heatwave/thunderstorm. Here are some new pieces for Rick Ragabash I've just coloured on Photoshop and I need some feedback! Any comments appreciated :)


  1. I love the subtle colour palette. The background texture is a nice touch too. On the second one to lead the eye a bit, maybe add a bit more definition to the squidgy thing if that's meant to be the focus. It doesn't stand out against the background very much compared to the rest. They are overall very beautiful though :) and professional looking.

  2. Also, I like the composition of the first piece, the clear space makes you focus in on the boy more.

  3. I really like the drawing quality, but I feel the first image is too cropped, don't like the way the door is cut off at the corner? I do really like the colour palette and the texture is a nice touch, but I do feel there should be a bit more room, to give the characters more space to breathe unless you want the composition to be that focused?

  4. okay Nay! as I'm always the one to rock the boat, I'll come out with it:
    I don't think you need the textures - I think it's your easy solution to your problems with dealing with backgrounds, and that I think your work would look even more stunning if you dealt with the real issue of "how do you draw backgrounds?", "How much, how little detail?"; "How do I keep the focus where I want it?";"How will the position of text help me make these decisions?"

    In that way, you will have the power to draw spot characters and complete images when you desire.


  5. p.s. Being a great admirer of your work, I beg your forgiveness for saying that that boys arms look slightly broken

  6. p.s.p.s. On the super positive - your characters are very very suited to picture books (more so than lisa evans who's in the top ten, and I dare say even more suited and unique than Alexis)

  7. yeah like murray said that slight cropping of the door looks a little awkward but this can easily be changed by scaling it out so the whole door is in or trim more of the top off to like an inch above the boys head if that makes sense.
    and yeah im with rosemary on the good use of detail and negative space.
    i think you could have maye a little of both, maybe be less dependant on purely using texture as background and draw sme faint detail in to contextualise the subjects into some kind of scenario or diorama, and have the textures as an additional bit of detail beneath that background.
    really beautiful though i dont think those two pieces need much work, their already pretty resolved. hope some of this has been useful to u :) x

  8. Aaaa so many comments. Thankyou all, you've given me lots to think about.

    I think I should maybe specify that they are meant to be sort of 'spot' illustrations for text to wrap around (especially the top one) which is why there is a lot of space hanging around.

    Chiu you are right of course :( I guess I am avoiding backgrounds. I'm yet to find a way to draw a character within a scene that I am truly happy with. I have no idea where to start with backgrounds. They always look kinda dumb and forced when I try. Can anyone suggest any tips on this subject? I'm pretty much at my wits end..

    Okay the door - the only reason it's like that is because I was drawing on A4 and I ran out of room :D but thanks for pointing out that it looks kinda weird! Shall be more careful in future.

    Can anyone give me a background masterclass please ha...


  9. Heya, lovely drawing as always -

    I like the colours but I think that the backgrounds of some of your images may look really effective darker rather than a similar colour to the foreground. It would give it sense of depth if that's what your after, and the contrast would make it look more striking.
    You could try building up from black or brown a la Alexis Deacon (I will stop obsessing over his work soon, promise)
    And if it doesn't work then hey, at least you tried it! Hope your having a gd summer.


  10. might be as simple as doing photographic research just to get a feel of depth and perspective. i like the style u do ur backgrounds. its like a bunch of spot drawings put together but they kind of work the way u already do it. but yeah thats how i try and work out backgrounds. go out and take piccies and see how other illustrators similar to you do it. deacon, ceccoli, browne maybe. and yeah what katie said, either darken the backgrtound t ocreate contrast and depth or go the other way and do almost watermarked backgrounds so u can see the character in context but still focuses on the character.

  11. task 02:

    research into interesting foreground and background relationships from the huge visual resource that we have called art history, but try to avoid contemporary picture book illustration:

  12. the paper architecture of brodsky & utkin