Doodle Creature

moose snorting small_1_10 As part of a drawing exercise, I created some doodle creatures.  I thought it would be fun to animate my illustrations – and with help from some friends to get better quality animations from my past attempts, I’ve gotten this critter snorting, hooray!

A to Z of Burlesque Deaths – A is for Audacity

Some of you may know this about me already:

1. I love burlesque

2. I have a morbid sense of humour.

So to get a better grip with creating gifs, I’ve set myself the challenge of the ‘A to Z of Burlesque Deaths’.  I’ve written the complete poem, I now need to work my way through each letter which will be released as and when.  Ladies and gents, it is my pleasure to introduce to you, Audacity.  Perhaps not the best painting I’ve ever done but I’m pleased to get back into the gif making seat.

Painting of a cabaret singer running out of breath Painting of a cabaret singer running out of breath

Ghosty Gif

screaming ghost-ghosts animati2Ah Halloween… Oh how I missed you!  I am celebrating with sharing a gif I made of a floaty ghost.  This is my second ever gif and I’m quite pleased with it – it’s part of a something longer, with more ghosts which I hope to be able to share with you in the near future.  Meanwhile, have an awesome halloween!

watercolour painting of a fox fur stole biting its bum

Vintage Fox Fur Stole My Heart

I’ve met my fair share of vintage fur coats and I’ve seen a good few taxidermied animals, but it wasn’t until I found myself in a vintage shop in Lincoln the other weekend that I was confronted with racks of vintage fur stoles, scarves and hats.  The fur looked rich in colour, very enticing, so I went to stroke the soft looking fur.  At my touch, I saw little fox limbs sway like wind charms underneath.  As I investigated further, more limbs, frozen faces and limp tails became apparent, beautiful and sad at the same time.

Then as I saw more than one animal stitched together (my mind thinks of Human Centipede), designer labels sewn on their underbellies, heads split in half for decoration, it all seemed a bit ludicrous and dare I say it – funny.  If you’re familiar with my sense of humour, you’ll know it’s macabre.  The whole experience prompted me to create this little poem and accompanying artwork.

watercolour painting of a fox fur stole on a hanger

With gorgeous colours, oh what a sight,
And soft to touch, a real delight!
But Lifeless Fox got me thinking
As its glassy eyes watched unblinking,
Seemed odd when ladies must-have-a
Shiny, glorious fox cadaver.
Its spindly legs placed to dangle
With added poppers so as not to tangle;
In order to keep the wearer warm,
Designer made its shape conform
Now its peg-jaw can bite its own arse
– I wonder if death is naught but a farce.

The Fox With The Fire Tail

Meditation is a great idea, to find a peaceful place amongst our A.D.D society.  A great idea yes, and in practice, even better – however, I find it bloody hard.  So imagine my delight when I found a mediation exercise that allowed my brain to ramble, yet given clear direction.  After attending an inspirational writing workshop run by the fabulous Al Powell, I realised that this process could be used for imagery too.

 

As you find yourself becoming calmer and blocking the  outside world, you allow yourself to then ‘wake up’ into an imaginary world where your mind goes on a journey of it’s own making.  After exploring this imaginary world, you’re encouraged to write stream of consciousness onto your page – from this you can spring board into other writing ideas.  Personally, I found striking imagery come to mind.  One of which, was the fox with the fire tail.  You can meet him below:

watercolour painting of a fox with a fire tail in a forest by Laura Elliott

Lost Cat-o-matic Robot

laura elliott - pen, ink and watercolour illustration of a robot that collects lost cats

 

 

I confess, I have robots on the brain.  I don’t think it’s that dire a medical condition so I won’t be too worried at the moment.  It’s a bit like an ear-worm where the only way to get rid of the one lyric circling your brain and sanity like a vulture, is to listen and/or sing along to the entire song.  I’m currently working on a robot performance project so it’s been taking up a lot of my back burner brain, which means that little bits of robot related ideas and imagery tend to find their way onto the page.

My invention for today is inspired by the fact that we tend to have robots working their way more and more into our lives.  Soon, we will have robots for every imaginable whim, perhaps even searching out lost cats…

The Lost Cat-o-matic is fed an image of your lost cat, it then heads out into the wild urban jungle to track down accidentally homeless kittes.  Once a lost cat is found, the robot will collect the cat via the scientific gift of a powerful tractor beam.  Once a cat (or cats, depending on how successful a trip out is) has been found, it will be returned to it’s rightful owner.

Carved Pumpkin Character Design

I love halloween, it’s definately my time of year – which is why I like to milk it as long as I can.  Whilst everyone else has callously abandoned their pumpkins at the side of the road or given it more pie-based demise, I thought pumpkin carving would be a good basis for working on a little character design exercise.

 

I may have to use these as a template for next year, if you attempt any of the faces, I’d love to see your efforts.

 

carved pumpkins halloween faces illustration

Nighttime Stories – Sketchbook Project

Wow, I signed up to The Sketchbook Project run by Brooklyn Arts Library last summer; 80 pages and 5 months later my sketchbook was a completed piece! The idea was to pick a theme from a list – I chose ‘Nighttime Stories’ – and they supplied you with a sketchbook. The theme was just a starting place, and the book was mostly a suggestion of the dimensions you needed to keep to. To begin, I rebound The Sketchbook with paper I like to work with and got stuck in.

As you will see, inspiration came from many different realms, some pages include zombies, others evil clowns, whilst for light relief you can play with the Random Dream Generator or enjoy The Sheep of Sleep. To aid the creative process, I took advantage of the many goings on offered by the city I live in to foster inspiration. Thus, as page 1 of the sketchbook asks you; which pages are based in reality and which are dream?

Now finished, The Sketchbook needs to return from whence it came so that it may go on a tour of the USA. Once the tour is finished, my sketchbook will reside in Brooklyn Arts Library with all the other entries for this project. After spending so much time forging a close relationship with my sketchbook, I’ll admit I’m a little sad to see it go. Like a parent watching a child leave home, I know not only that it’s time, but that it’s going to a good home too.

Front Cover for Nighttime Stories

The cover – This is where it all began, my first inspiration being the night sky.  Here you are first introduced to the moon, who turns up later in the book.  To show up against the black cover, I used oil pastels, not something I usually use but I felt this book was a good chance to experiment with technique and materials.

Title Page for Nighttime Stories

Title Page – I felt as I didn’t put the title on the cover, it should at least live here.  A short poem gives you an idea of the general thrust of the book as, explained earlier, inspiration came from many different areas.  As well as using the sketchbook to play with visual imagery, I enjoyed using it to work with creative writing too.

sunset and landscape

Page 2 and 3 – sunset over a rolling landscape, where chalk pastels blend into pencil.

The Sheep of Sleep

Page 4 and 5 – Pencil drawing of The Sheep of Sleep, who help a boy drift off.

Carneyville circus characters

Page 6 and 7 – A few characters from Carneyville.  The lady on the right was a ventriloquist called Eglantine, with her doll ‘Eglantiny’.  Here I used crayons and pencils.

Circus performers

Page 8 and 9 – More characters from Carneyville.  Quick pencil sketches of a man doing a performance with a suspended rope and a group of sailors watching another performance.

Fun House CLown Mouth

Page 10 and 11 – Ink and crayon image of a clown, die cut pages lead you through to another story in the book.

Maurice the Evil Clown

Page 12 and 13 – Maurice the Evil Clown.  An older children’s book about an evil clown who has a secret that may ruin his career as an evil clown if he were to be found out.  The whole narrative uses pen and ink and watercolour.

Maurice the evil clown

Page 14 and 15 – Maurice the Evil Clown.

Maurice the evil clown

Page 16 and 17 – Maurice the Evil Clown.

Maurice the evil clown

Page 18 and 19 – Maurice the Evil Clown.

Maurice the evil clown

Page 20 and 21 – Maurice the Evil Clown.

Maurice the evil clown

Page 22 and 23 – Maurice the Evil Clown.

Maurice the evil clown

Page 24 and 25 – Maurice the Evil Clown.

Maurice the evil clown

Page 26 and 27 – Maurice the Evil Clown.

Maurice the Evil Clown

Page 28 and 29 – Maurice the Evil Clown.  Conclusion.

halloween costume

Page 30 and 31 – A ‘How To’ to make a Halloween costume for ‘The Vamp’.

halloween costume

Page 32 and 33 – A ‘How To’ to make a Halloween costume for ‘The Bat’.

halloween fancy dress costume

Page 34 and 35 – A ‘How To’ to make a Halloween costume for ‘The Voodoo Doll’

Gabby Young

Page 36 and 37 – Pencil sketch using crayons and gold leaf for a portrait of the singer Gabby Young.

moon and rocket

Page 38 and 39 – Moon and Rocket narrative.  Using ink and watercolour, the moon and rocket from the front cover appear in their own story!

moon and rocket

Page 40 and 41 – Moon and Rocket.

moon and rocket

Page 42 and 43 – Moon and Rocket.

moon and rocket

Page 44 and 45 – Moon and Rocket

moon and rocket narrative

Page 46 and 47 – Moon and Rocket.

the agitator

Page 48 and 49 – Pencil sketch portrait of The Agitator.

zombies

Page 50 and 51 – I used pen and ink and pencil for a landscape setting the scene for a zombie narrative.

zombie narrative

Page 52 and 53 – Zombie narrative told using a graphic novel style.

pencil sketches of people

Page 54 and 55 – Pencil sketches of people drawn whilst waiting in a cafe bar.  There is one guy I drew who looked like he was doing the same and when I left we gave each other a sort of knowing nod which was a lovely moment to share.

flaming skull and poppy von tarte

Page 56 and 57 – Left page: watercolour painting of a flaming skull inspired by the song ‘Vasilis Carries A Flaming Skull Through The Forest’ by A Hawk And A Hacksaw.  Worked with hand rendered font here too.  Right page: pencil and crayon portrait of the burlesque dancer Poppy von Tarte.

pencil sketch of Vicky Butterfly

Page 58 and 59 – Pencil, watercolour and embossed powder.  Portrait of the burlesque dancer Vicky Butterfly.

dream origami fortune teller

Page 60 and 61 – The Random Dream Generator.  Origami fortune teller to suggest what you may dream about tonight.  Print out and make one yourself!  Hand rendered font.

origami construction instructions for fortune teller

Page 62 and 63 – Instructions for the construction of your Random Dream Generator.  Hand rendered font.

flying jellyfish

Page 64 and 65 – Pen and ink illustrations as suggested by the Random Dream Generator.

medusa fez

Page 66 and 67 – Pen and ink illustrations as suggested by the Random Dream Generator.

french horn bees

Page 68 and 69 – Pen and ink illustration as suggested by the Random Dream Generator.

musical bees music note

Page 70 and 71 – Pen and ink illustration as suggested by the Random Dream Generator.

musical bees music notes

Page  72 and 73 –  Pen and ink illustration as suggested by the Random Dream Generator.

painted moon behind clouds

Page 74 and 75 – Pencil drawing returning us to the painted moon from an earlier story.

moon playing with clouds

Page 76 and 77 – Pencil drawing of the moon playing with clouds as if they were different hairstyles.  The Sheep of Sleep are reintroduced.

the sheep of sleep

Page 78 and 79 – The Sheep of Sleep return to wake the sleeping boy we met at the beginning of the sketchbook.  All drawn with pencil.

sunrise

Page 80 – A pencil and chalk pastel sunrise bring morning and the conclusion of Nighttime Stories.

 

I hope you’ve enjoyed looking through!  Feel free to comment, I’d love to know what you think.