La Chambre Rouge

This weeks kick about over on Red’s Kingdom is Henry Matisse – The Dessert: Harmony in Red (1908)

All I really want to do right now is draw. I latched onto the royal reds of Matisse painting and the quirky perspective. At first I was a bit intimated by the brightness and saturation of the red, I didn’t want to burn anyones eyeballs with these illustrations and with the first illustration of the bunch I had the back walls a much darker maroon but then with the second illustration I jumped in with the same Matisse Red determined to make its high saturation work.

After adding in the details such as the swirly designs, the gold rimmed edges and vaulted high ceilings I was able to make the vibrant red work and decided to switch the first illustration to match! I am glad I did as I usually don’t do a lot of interior illustrations but this bunch quickly become one of my favourite paintings thus far.

Folk Art

This weeks kick about over on Reds Kingdom is the work of celebrated Ukrainian Artist – Maria Prymachenko. I wanted to focus on Primachenko’s bold use of vivid colour from her powerful folk art and painted an abundance of flora with some creatures in situ. I’ve been meaning to give a whirl of painting digitally and resemble watercolour and ink, Primachenko’s imaginative and colourful illustrations were the perfect prompt to give it a go.

The Handmaid’s Tale – Illustrations

This weeks kick about over on Red’s Kingdom is the colourful compositions, shapely design and bold typography of Saul Bass. Bass’s graphically designed posters and iconic title sequences are utterly transfixing and I wanted to create illustrations in relation to a series that grasps me just as much. The Handsmaid’s Tale is a dystopian series revolving around the roles of woman in a new male dominated world order. The series is directed by Liz Garbus and is based on the 1985 novel of the same name by Margaret Atwood. The series uses colour and composition in such a visceral way to represent the emotions of the characters, cooling teals and burning reds make up a lot of the series compositions and are splashed alongside more sterile colours, always making for such a striking difference and oozing with ominosity. I made some illustrations revolving around that colour palette and adding some of the phrases frequently used. I think illustrations can be very intriguing when you try take away all the unnecessary stuff and boil the composition down to its core so that it is still completely understandable. Doing illustrations like Saul Bass is tricky as although Bass’s impressive catalogue might look simple, it is hard to know how to get something up to the point so that it looks “right” and although I think my efforts could be better, it was still enjoyable – especially when something clicked and brought it closer to the desired result.••

The Night Before Christmas

He Sees You When You’re Sleeping…

This weeks kick about over on Red’s Kingdom is the illustration “The Night Before Christmas” by Arthur Rachham. I found the illustration by Arthur Rachham horrifying, in the best way. To me his art always veers on that polarising view of charming but in an uncanny not quite right way. Something about the blackness of the line work, particularly with the scratchy shadows and the way the sickly stained walls progressively get more bruised towards the top makes me think that old Saint Nick isn’t as jolly as it’s told and could be hiding in those shadows, ready to unhinge his bearded jaw and gobble up those kids as they run right up to him. So keeping in theme to that here’s a couple illustrations.