Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Wicker Hut Watch - Week 2

Return of The Shedi

Day 14

Q: Is the Wicker Hut still there?

A: Yes it is and it's found some new friends...

A long time ago on a campus far, far away...

Sorry Pete we lied...

drawing the fizzog

Yr Zero will be drawing each others mugs for a morning. Here’s some pointers for ‘em,
Don’t aim for this
and NO 

(there’s nothing wrong with these drawings, they’re just not what we’re looking for from you)
Have fun with drawing, explore mark making and materials. Don’t confuse ‘photo realism’ with good drawing. A drawing doesn’t have to look like it’s subject. A drawing can ‘feel’ like it’s subject. It might just be a really juicy drawing. Is it possible that if an artist has fun working on something then a sense of fun can be passed on to the viewer?
This is more like it…

Franklin McMahon
Ben Shahn
Sara Ogilvie

Lucy MacLeod

Mats Gustafson
globalchildrensartgalleryJAmie D. K. (Age 10)

If it helps to get you in the mood, think this…
Keith-Flintnot this

drawing the Fizzog 2

Tim Benson

Philip Tyler

For more of Philip's drawing films, go here. There's also more on painting here.

Sebastian Kruger

Anna Stump

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Year 3 Students Implicated in Shock Bullying Case!

Caught late one night, under cover of the studio gaslight, a group of mysterious figures are pictured (below) sliding printed material along a high-tension wire (no, don't even bother to ask).

What were they up to you might well ask? 

Exploring a new way of creatively displaying printed material? 

Well, yes, in a way I suppose they were, but much more shockingly they were also indulging in a spot of brazen 'analogue' bullying. 

As you will be well aware from recent cases in the news, the digital paper-trail left by the cyber bully has made them easy to track and expose. Consequently on-line bullying is virtually a thing of the past.

So has bullying ended for good?

Sadly, no. Bullies are resourceful, persistent scoundrels and have simply moved on to pastures new, embracing the rich possibilities of threat, ridicule and mental torture afforded by the 'analogue' world.

Recently,  the amount of hate mail delivered by The Royal Mail has exploded exponentially (some say it's the hate mail that is keeping them in profit), small children have been placing post-it notes with 'kick me' on the back of their classmates and Dymo Tape messages saying things like 'you stink' and 'big bum' seem to be on every lamp post.

It often seems that this kind of anti-social behaviour is only found in rough, inner-city neighbourhoods like Highgate, Jesmond, Alderley Edge and Chipping Norton so it's a real 'wake up' call when it actually happens on your doorstep.

So what were these Grillust bullies up to I hear you ask? 

Pretty much what they're always up to, making Year 3 student Lewis Gray's life a living hell, in this case via the medium of A4 colour copies.

Please see the examples below (since removed by the police as evidence) to see the full extent of their heinous activities...

 It might be fun for the bullies but every action has an equal and opposite reaction as can be clearly seen in this recent photograph of the 'victim'.

Victim, Lewis Gray (21) 'The horror, the horror...'

REWARD: If anyone has any information on what typeface the bullies used for the 'Get Hench' poster please let us know.

First Years, Second Project - Old School

It's been a very busy last couple of weeks for our first year students as they completed the visual and technical 'assault course' that we call Old School...

Manual skills still underpin much of any working Graphic Designers life. Think of all that packaging that needs to be mocked-up or presentation boards that need to be professionally assembled. 

Great Illustration is not only underpinned by an ability to draw well but also by great technical skills. The reality here is there are no 'quick fixes'. It takes years to become a really good painter, or pen & ink artist, or printmaker or...

'Old School' is our opportunity to allow the students to find out how good, bad or ugly their making/drawing/gluing/painting skills actually are right at the start of their course. It helps them identify what they're good at and much more importantly focusses their attention and concentration on working hard to develop those areas that they're not so good at. 

Happily, we can report that the overall standard was very good. For a generation who hasn't done any technical drawing or that much painting, we were particularly impressed with their ability to handle constructed letters, draw straight lines, wield a compass accurately, understand the complexities of oblique, isometric and orthographic projection and produce fairly faithful copies of great illustrator's work.

Here are lots of lovely photos from the last two weeks...

Danielle (21) demonstrates the correct use of masking tape

Here's a big constructed letter M freshly inked in with a brush

 Sun and Sebrina (both 21) share a palette while copying a Brad Holland illustration.

 Marisa's (21) 'Brad Holland' in progress...

... and finished. 

Even the Graphic Designers had to paint. Here's Sarah (21) at work on an E McKnight Kauffer poster. 

 A perfectly constructed 3D letter R. Well done, have 100 house points.

 Hayleigh (21) doing a Scraperboard illustration in her special Scraperboard hat.

 James and Will (both 21) proudly display their constructed letter Ms. But which one is best I wonder?

Here's a small collection of perfect(ish) white(ish) cubes.

 A pyramid of 3D Rs. Becki (left, 21) impressed, Issie (right, 21) nonchalant... 

Three McKnight Kauffer posters.

 What by any other name would smell as sweet?

It wasn't all perfection. Here's some particularly 'rough' colour work. So rough in fact that we've hidden the student's faces to preserve their total anonymity.

Sebrina (21) shows Tom Selwood (21) and Lewis White (21) how the colour exercises should be done.

 Here's some exceptionally good freehand brush drawing.

Two copies of a Peter Blake watercolour illustration for 'alice'.

Some particularly 'crisp' freehand embossing.

Finally, two dip pen and brush copies of an original W. Heath Robinson illustration.

Friday, 24 October 2014


When he's not turning up to premiers wearing a paper bag or wafting his tadger about for Sigur Rós, this is what Shia LaBeouf get's up to.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

The Secret of Drawing

The BBC's 'The Secret of Drawing' series from 2005. (Not sure if this will stay on youtube so watch it, it's worth it.

50 Years of Illustration

Lawrence Zeeagan's new book is out. We've got a copy on order and will be allowing timed viewings from behind glass once it arrives.

Rather than explain what the book's about (though the title should give you your first clue), I'll just point you toward this informative and educational interview on 'It's Nice That'. Opinion and eye candy, hand in hand for a change. We recommend a read.

Monday, 20 October 2014

First Years, First Project

Working in teams of two, we asked the students to produce a digital magazine that attempted to capture something of the essence of a location of their choice.

The idea here is to point out from the start (N.B. we would never use the phrase 'get go' because we hate it...) that design and illustration are not impersonal, neutral activities. 

Having passion and something to say are central to the production of memorable work.

Here's some of what they produced:

James and Sarah (both 21) explored one of Carlile's finest eateries, The Shabby Scholar...

Isabel and Harriet (also 21) sat on a bench and things happened...

Zach and Bronte (also, also 21) observed a bus stop (WARNING: contains rude words and peanuts!)

Will and Rebecca (also, also, also 21) went to Cafe Nero...

Ed and Abigail (also, also, also, also 21) spent time at the railway station...

James and Lucy (no idea how old they are) disagreed on how to depict 'Eaten by Monsters'...

PS. You can see many more here

Langholm Man and Grillust's chief of Crayons Makes Good

Illustration lecturer and Grillust's token Scotsman, Dwayne Bell (33) recently had a piece of work selected for exhibition at this years Cheltenham Illustration Awards.

Here he is, awkwardly trying to look casual whilst standing next to his work on show at the awards opening held at The Wilson Gallery.

The theme for the 2014 submission was 'Being Human'. Luckily Dwayne spends his daily commute drawing the other passengers on the First Buses X95, meaning he had a catalogue of possible submissions. Ironically, he travelled to the show by train.

Dwayne is now on an extensive world tour to promote his inclusion in the show and was too busy to offer comment. He will be next seen on 'This Morning with Richard and Judy' or that's what he's been telling folk.

For further examples of Dwayne's bus drawings head to his blog

Make It Then Tell Everybody

In his own words, "Dan Berry is an illustrator, designer, cartoonist and lecturer based somewhere around the middle of the UK. He teaches comics at the North Wales School of Art & Design at Glyndwr University. The act of drawing pleases him. He travels a lot giving lectures and workshops on comics all over the place".

Here's a wee sample of his work...

For more examples head over to his site here

I was fortunate enough to meet Dan at this years 'Lakes International Comic Art Festival', where I looked over some of his stunning work and chatted for five minutes. In short, nice bloke!

Dan Berry (left), Warwick Johnson Cadwell (right), their comics (front) and bloody terrible curtains (back).

Dan mentioned his podcasts which are titled 'Make it Then Tell Everybody', so when I got home I tuned in. Brilliant!!! If you're an illustrator, either established professional or hope-filled student, then you'll pick up a myriad of tips, tricks and tales from these podcasts. I can't recommend them enough.