Monday, 22 December 2014

Rickety House - Expressive Line Work

The system of loose, scribbly drawing is really growing on me with this new image embracing the system.

It enables a pure expressive line to glide across the page with untamed progress.

I've used this system of drawing over the last eight years but I just seem to be enjoying it's unpredictability even more so in these recent months.

In this drawing I've used both loose and controlled line work.

Loose and explorative pencil work


The ink is laid in using the pencil lines beneath as mere guidelines


Monday, 15 December 2014

Christmas Alpacas - Sepia Nighmare!

Working on a Christmas alpaca painting.

After the initial pencil layout I made a dangerous move by outlining the picture in a sepia toned medium. This is because this medium smudges a lot!

Even with a coating of fixative spray the sepia tends to smudge. So if I apply watercolour and the painting result is a muddied mess of sepia then this may be the last you ever see of it...

I love a challenge!


Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Artworks for Bridgetown Show Exhibition

Last minute decision to display two artworks in the Bridgetown Ag Show. I didn't have time to get these works properly framed so recycled two frames....this meant the 'Magical Tree' drawing is severely cropped (as I had limited frame choice).

These works are both available for purchase either framed or unframed. Please PM me or email for further information.



Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Meet the Talent

Up and back to Perth yesterday to take part in Meet the Talent, an annual event where children's book illustrators and authors give a brief presentation to the librarians about their workshops and latest projects.

This gives libraries a chance to select presenters for Children's Book Week 2015.

Book Week 2015 for me is already booked out and slowly being booked up on the week leading up and after CBW.

If you want to see me at your local library for an energetic, informative and interactive presentation then please pass my name on :)


Wednesday, 12 November 2014

The Magical Tree B&W

I only work on this drawing when I'm at festivals. Hence it's taking several months to complete. Haven't even started considering colour! At the moment it's a flowing mass of lines that slowly forms new shapes and sews them all together...


Thursday, 6 November 2014

Cheesy Blues

The Bridgetown Blues Festival is happening this weekend in my home town.

This painting, 'Cheesy Blues', was painted during the festival a few years ago. I wish now I'd taken more time too actually create a tune instead of randomly placing music notes to look good. For anyone that can read music please don't try and decipher this....it's not worth your time!

Watercolour and ink.


Monday, 27 October 2014

Man at Work - Drawing

A new 'Man at Work' drawing to add to my 'Men at Work' series I'm developing.

This will soon be followed by a 'Women at Work' series that will see the multitasking feats only women are able to achieve!





Sunday, 19 October 2014

Hair of the Dog - Pencil

Another greeting card I'm working on - 'Hair of the Dog'.

This strongly demonstrates the after effects of too much....lemonade...!


Cat Nip

Updating my greeting card range with some new designs concentrating on the theme of farm animals - especially dogs and cats.

This is one of the first - 'Cat Nip', still in early stages. Obviously the cats are drinking non alcoholic beverages....lemonade perhaps?!



Saturday, 11 October 2014

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Finished Artwork For New Book!

Nothing beats posting the final artwork off for a new book!

The months of intense painting, revising, problem solving and deadlines are packaged up and posted off with a sigh of relief.

I love the journey but reaching the destination enables me to catch my breath.

So reminder for 2015 - look out for a new Woodland Whiskers title!






Creating Colour Harmony in Artwork

I want to share an element of painting I find so crucial to the success of an artwork. It's establishing the base colour.

This is nothing ground breaking. It's promoted in most art technique books. Yet for some reason many beginner painters often ignore this very important step. Maybe because it's not as interesting as painting the hair on a character or adding flowers in the grass. But without establishing the base palette the artwork can take on a disjointed appearance.



For an example I thought I would use 'Fox Shop' - a painting I created a couple of years ago. This demonstrates a very strong contrast in a warm/cool relationship.





Initially I painted a warm base in Winsor and Newton Light Red (this would be the glow from the fire and possibly an overhead lamp).





While the paint was still wet I brought in Winsor and Newton Light Turquoise for the cool areas (the morning light from the door). Painting wet into wet helped the two colours to merge.


That's it! Simple!



Above I've laid these two base colours on top of the original artwork to demonstrate the effect more dramatically.



After that no matter what colour I applied, the base coat would shines through maintaining the harmony of the image.

This same technique can be seen in many of my paintings such as 'Midnight Cat', 'Dream Flying' and 'Medieval Arist.'


Monday, 28 July 2014

Action Photo!

I rarely take photos while illustrating but I couldn't help snapping this one. Its from one of my favourite scenes in 'Roses are Blue'.



Saturday, 26 July 2014

'Roses are Blue' Blog Tour Continues...

Sally Murphy's Blog tour continues.

An interesting interview can be seen on Diva Booknerd where author, Sally Murphy, discusses inspiration for the book, creating characters and the process for illustrating the book.

Well worth checking out!


Monday, 21 July 2014

Sally Murphy - Blog Tour

Author, Sally Murphy, is off on a virtual tour as she talks about our latest book 'Roses are Blue' as well as discusses poetry, the writer's life and more.

To see the blogs she'll be covering and join her in conversation check out her website.


Monday, 30 June 2014

Roses are Blue - Release

'Roses are Blue' is officially released today!

This beautiful book is now available in most bookstores.

For reviews please visit Goodreads.


SCBWI Portfolio Showcase

Busy prepping my portfolio for the Portfolio Showcase at the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators Conference.

Below is the character page I've compiled demonstrating my figure drawing ability, a skill ALL publishers and agents look for in an illustrator!







Friday, 27 June 2014

Stretching Creative Wings

Over the past few years I've been told to be loyal to one art style only. To much variation and you won't be considered seriously as an 'artist'.

But all creative people know you have to stretch the artistic wings and explore!

This painting is part of the 'Journey' series I was developing last year in watercolour.


Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Woodland Whiskers - Speed Sketch

Working on a small introductory video for my new book series, Woodland Whiskers, to be released with the books on July 1st.

I never realised how difficult it is to make a short movie! So not planning to make many in the near future...

This is a poor-quality clip from the video showing an increased sped drawing depicting one of the book characters.


Monday, 23 June 2014

Roses Are Blue - Spread

The launch date of 'Roses are Blue' by Sally Murphy is fast approaching!

This spread from the book is a poignant scene where Amber paints  her mother....as how she used to be.

Bookshops have already ordered their copies and the official release date is July 1st. For more info visit Walker Books Australia.


Friday, 2 May 2014

Unicorn's Garden

A recent commissioned painting. Painted in watercolour and gouache over ink.


Saturday, 26 April 2014

The Magical Tree

This drawing was created during the Small Farm Field Day in Balingup.

A young boy stumbles across a magical tree....




Sunday, 20 April 2014

Treehouse on Peak

Happy Easter to all!

Back from a couple of days at the Denmark (Australia) Markets....a day of meeting great people and listening to fantastic indie music!

Keeping in the hippy mood I got stuck into creating another treehouse painting. Defining the laws of gravity this house would be living life on the edge!


Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Bridgetown Launch - Tomorrow!

The Bridgetown book launch for 'Annie's Snails' and 'Operation Paradise' is almost upon us! Tomorrow evening from 5.30 - 7pm at the Bridgetown will be a place of thriving activity!

The poor library staff have their hands full moving furniture to accommodate us....thanks guys!!

This incomplete painting - I created at the Nannup Music Festival the other day - sums up the evening of action (mainly because it includes a snail! Can you spot it...?).

If you want to attend please RSVP to the Bridgetown Library at library@bridgetown.wa.gov.au or 9761 2503.


Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Two Book Launches 'Annie's Snails'

The two book launches for Annie's Snails are fast approaching.

First launch at the Bridgetown Library on Thursday, April 3rd 5:30 - 7pm. RSVP to the Bridgetown Library at library.bridgetown.wa.gov.au or 9761 2503.

Second launch at the Fremantle Literature Centre on Monday, April 7th 5:30 - 7pm. RSVP info@thelitcentre.org.au or 9430 6869.

Both events are going to be a laugh so good to see you there :)

Sunday, 23 March 2014

New Book Projects

Final artwork sent off today to Walker Books for the poignant story, 'Roses are Blue' by Sally Murphy.

This beautifully book will be out in the next few months....keep updated here and/or at Walker Books Aus .

Meanwhile I'll be illustrating two exciting new books, one with Walker (swashbuckling tale!) and a second with Five Mile Press (sweet, nostalgic story)... Keep an eye out for these new titles!

Friday, 21 March 2014

'The Children's Garden' - Final Drawing

The bunch of random scribbles I made in 'The Children's Garden' (see previous post) takes a dramatic turn at the final drawing stage. The artistic scribbles are refined to give clearer interpretation of the picture.

At this point in time I add the little 'stories' within the picture....Characters within the drawing that are moving through their everyday activities.


Wednesday, 19 March 2014

First Sketch 'The Children's Garden'

A recent commissioned painting for an Albany family. This was the first rough sketch....a gentle garden scene with three young children playing. Of course that's what I see in my mind's eye....maybe here it looks like a bunch of random scribbles!


Thursday, 6 March 2014

The Muso

This poor quality photo was taken at the Nannup Music Fest before I slapped some paint on the paper.

I always find it tempting to leave it B&W at this stage, something raw about the look I love....!


Monday, 3 March 2014

When a 'Doodle' Becomes a Picture

Had an enjoyable weekend at the Nannup Music Festival. Although  confined to my stall for all three days I was able to escape in the evenings to listen to the talent brought to Nannup!

As the festival began I prepared for my painting demonstration. I couldn't think of a good idea so solved the problem by just doodling with the hope something would emerge...

This photo taken by a customer shows the great moment when a 'doodle' becoming a picture!


Sunday, 16 February 2014

Perth International Arts Festival 2014

Great to see the turn out at the Perth International Arts Festival last Friday. It's a shame that I only had a flying visit and couldn't enjoy the many creative opportunities on offer.

But at least in some small way I will be a part of it at my book launch this coming Sunday....haven't pencilled this event in your diary?? Please do!


Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Annie's Snails - Launch Venues

The two book launches for chapter book 'Annie's Snails' are approaching faster than a snail (or I) can run!

Written by popular author, Dianne Wolfer, and illustrated by yours truly, this book is my first with Walker Books Australia.

Definitely take time out to come to one or both of these launches. The first will be part of the Perth Writers Festival on Feb 23rd - more info here.

This will be followed closely by a launch in Albany on Feb 27th. This more intimate launch will be held at the Albany library 5:30 - 6:30pm. More information here.

Both launches are free, family events so head down for a few fun activities and an enjoyable chill out! :)



The Medieval Artist Mouse

As the last wash of paint is applied to the 'Medieval Artist' I can contentedly lay down the brush and proclaim it finished!

It's a painting that has taken a while to understand itself .  I originally aimed for the warmness of a sitting room before veering towards the coolness of a conservatory.

Created in watercolour, gouache, coloured inks and colour pencils over ink. The original painting is available for purchase. For queries please contact me directly.

Greeting cards and archival prints (29.7 x 21cm) are available at Creations in a Teapot.


Saturday, 1 February 2014

Holiday Illustration Workshops WA

Thanks to a number of libraries from Perth and the South West for hosting me for illustration workshops over the the Christmas school holidays.

A great number of young artists tackled a range of activities with fun, fantastic and occasionally surprising results. Well done to the parents and grandparents for bringing them!

Thanks to Collie Library for their feedback:

"....Gabriel was punctual, well prepared, entertaining and engaging with both the children and their parents. We had about 15 children ranging in ages from 6 - 10 and you could have heard a pin drop when it was their turn to draw as they were so motivated by Gabriel's explanations and examples. I highly recommend Gabriel as a presenter."





Thursday, 23 January 2014

Book Launch - 'Annie's Snails'

Author, Dianne Wolfer and I will be releasing our book Annie's Snails at the Perth Writers Festival Sunday, Feb 23rd.

This is a free family event and will include fun activities for the kids.

"Annie loves her pet snails. They have lots of adventures together. She even makes them a special home in an ice-cream container. She thinks they'll be very happy. But will they?" - Walker Books Australia.

For venue location, time and other information please visit the Perth Writers Festival.


Sunday, 19 January 2014

Bunbury and Collie Library Workshop January 2014

Running two art/illustration workshops in Bunbury and Collie this Thursday, January 23rd.

The Collie workshop runs from 9:30 - 10:30am at the Collie Library. All children are welcome. Please book by 5:00pm Tuesday at 9734 9042.

The Bunbury workshop runs from 1 - 4pm at the City of Bunbury Library. Aimed at children aged 10 - 13. For more information contact the library here.

Both workshops will be full of fun and informative activities. Demonstrations and brief individual tuition will be provided during the sessions.


Friday, 17 January 2014

Painting at Denmark Markets

Heading down to Denmark next week for their Saturday market.

This'll be a good chance to finalise this 'Tree Faces' painting.

I was initially tempted to leave this piece B&W as I liked the flowing patterns of the ink. However, I compromised by adding colour but keeping the pallet restricted to let the lines still dominate.

As with most of my work this artwork will be for sale. If you make the effort to come down to Denmark markets next week then the painting can be yours at a sharp price! ;)