Tiny Rebel illustrations

I have been working on a baby/children’s clothing range for Tiny Rebels. Alot of the characters were inspired by my 8 month old son and our family life. I wanted it to be an alternative to whats out there already. designs

Here is what my design look like on clothing. http://www.tinyrebels.co.uk

tiny rebels


…….that will change my life!

Here are some sketches from earlier in the day. I have just found the art of drawing straight onto a computer screen using a pen. My department at my new job all have tablet screened computers. We opperate them with pens tapping away at the screen instead of using a mouse. So yesterday I opened photoshop and relised that the pen and tablet will actually change my life.

scribble horse

Big red lips

The making of…..portraits

I love painting portraits and faces are such interesting subjects. Obviously the most challenging thing is to get a flat image to resemble an actual person.

In this blog I want to show you how I developed my latest painting, which happens to be a collective portrait of my sisters children.

1. The first step was to mark out the basic shape of the faces and to set the composition. I decided to have the two eldest on the outside framing the youngest placed in the middle. This part of the picture is never very accurate and is just a rough guide, as it will all be covered in paint anyway. To be honest a very few of my paintings are started in this way. Normally I cover all the white areas in colour first, then directly mark out the shapes with paint and brush on top. But for this painting I tried something different and felt that this was the right way to go about this portrait.

2. Secondly I start to add very basic colour and tones to face, hair and clothes. This isn’t neat or controlled. The paint is added with a large loose brush, with quick strokes. If a mistake is made in this stage it doesnt matter as the painting will be refined in a later stage.

3. Once basic colour has been added, now some level of detail can be applied to move the painting on to the next stage. To do this part I moved down to a medium paint brush. Again it doesnt matter if any mistakes are made as mistakes can always be painted over. Half way through the painting I realised that some of the proportions where out and that the faces didn’t look quite right. So I positioned the eyes slightly lower and changed the shape of them. After that repositioning the painting looked better and I was happier with it.

4. Next I add back ground colours, again going back to my large brush. The effect I was going for, I achieved with a drybrush and very little paint with no water mixed in. I like this affect as the brush goes over the canvas it picks up the texture underneath. I also like to dry brush a darker colour in from the corners to frame the faces.

After a bit more working on the details, colour and shape of the faces…..

5. The last thing I do is add a light highlight to the eyes to make the subjects come alive. Then add high and low lights on to the picture with pastels. Pastel on a painting adds texture. It is really good for hair and fur on animals.

And here is the finished painting.

Hope you have enjoyed reading my blog. if you would like more information please get in touch.

Syd 🙂



Illustration Friday….HIbernate

Hey this is my post for illustration friday…Hibernate

I havent done this for a while, but im glad to  be back. Autumn is coming so i wanted to portray this with all the autumnal paraphernalia ie. conkers crusty crunchy leaves and a sleeping hedgehog. hedgehogs are one of my favorite animals and it is such a shame that they are dying out, partly because people  are not leaving them places to sleep. Come on people think of the little hedgehog!

hope you enjoy my picture.


Wedding invites can be fun too!

On the 27th of November 2010 looking out over Wells cathedral my boyfriend proposed.  He pulled out the ring, through tears I managed to squawk out a YES!, and bang there you go, Engaged!

After the initial excitement and the family having been informed, thoughts turn to how things will look and what is required to put on this celebratory shindig.  Colours, dresses and cake become a high priority as never before.  Costs are spiraling out of all imagination and the family is already on the brink of bickering. I looked at my husband to be  and he knew, just knew what was coming next…. The wedding list. Now is the time to decide who will receive that special ticket for not just the reception but the chance to see the beautiful church and be included in the actual wedding also with the perks of free food and shhhh! *whisper* a free bar! Woo hoo you lucky devils.

So for our wedding this golden coupon of delight with its potential for a large free hangover had to be special, not an after thought and representational of the unique people we are.   The brief was for it to be memorable, personal, fun and something people may want to keep. We initially banded around some ideas, with tattoo inspired designs, (he loves his tattoos), but that  did not express both of our interests. So we decided to really keep it simple and have literally us on the invite. I had drawn up cartoon caricatures of us a while ago as part of  illustration practice and experiment and just for fun. So that was the idea. Cartoon Jim (fiance) and I.

Our wedding invite

You know what? Just because you are inviting people to a wedding which is essentially a serious thing and a huge commitment does not mean that it cannot hold a bit of humor and some fun. Our friends and family have recognised us completely from the invite and  felt included because it is uniquely personal to them and us. As well as laughing their socks off when they received it. They loved it and I’m very pleased we went down this route.

I ‘m not saying ignore the champagne flutes, cherubs and all the traditional icons of the average wedding, just there is a whole world of imagination to explore and so many things you can do to make your wedding invite exceptional and with out a doubt, stand out from the crowd and really the invites are the first things people will see in relation to you special day.  I just wanted to share mine and give people food for thought!!

enjoy 🙂



The making of shrimpton

Prawn star

Prawn star

Plucky crustacean of the deep blue sea. Shrimpton finds it hard to stay out of trouble. Ducking and diving through the shipping lanes and reefs. This is one tough prawn with his beady eye on the prize at all times. Lover of the lime light the red hot shrimp is the oceans natural prawn star!!

The making of…. Shrimpton

Shrimpton came to me as a natural progression from previous designs and characters. He was created as a type of henchman character for a mafia style boss of the sea called Strange little fish. Through creating stories and developing various plot lines involving some shady behaviour and a Clam Intelligence Agency. A shrimp with attitude was born.

The original concept was to have a regular prawn sitting in a dark and dingy bar, bent over a beer with nothing much to hope for and most of life gone by, the typical down and out. But Shrimpton grew younger as the character developed and the sketches got stronger. The final design is based on a doodle I drew at work. This in turn was coloured cleaned up and is the shrimp we all know and love today.

Shrimpton has his own range of t-shirts at http://www.bigeyestuff.co.uk.
As well as some of the other characters in the range. Go check them out and make shrimpton the prawn star he is.

There is something not quite right about the prawn!!!!!

Enjoy 🙂

Prawn star!

Prawn star!