Final Piece – Know The Rules


Hello all! Above is the outcome of “Know The Rules”, a final piece dedicated to a rather funky robin. My apologies for the horrible photo… I know It doesn’t do anything any justice.

Completed on Bristol Board paper in mixed media, this is one of two artworks to be complete for an exhibition in early November, the other being “Suburban Spirit” which isn’t finished yet.

Know The Rules framed

And this is the finished work in it’s frame. I must say I got pretty lucky with the frame… I brought my frames before completing work and this frame in my humble opinion suits the blue sky in the artwork beautifully. Prior to framing, I was very aprehensive because the sky looked too milky to me… Lucky me that the frame takes this away.

I’m quite happy overall (besides the photos) about this work, as it conveys my idea within it rather well. I would have repositioned the traced text a bit more to the right, but other than that? I feel that this is a successful piece.

But that’s my foolish opinion. What about yours, people? Feel free to leave me some comments!

That’s all for now. Have a wonderful relaxing Sunday everyone!

Disclaimer: The text was traced from a printout and slightly modified in this final piece. I downloaded two fonts from These fonts can be used freely even for commercial projects. I did not make nor do I own these fonts. Credits below.

Arizonia- regular: Copyright 2011 TypeSETit SIL Open Font Licence.

Jellybeans: Andreas Hotels. Free for commercial and personal use.

Planned Exhibition Pieces: Stage 1

Hello everyone! Tonight, I am uploading the bare bones of the two pieces I plan to submit for exhibition next month. I’ve been really busy polishing my concepts. They may not be done as finals quite yet, but as you may see below, I have a strong sense about what I am going to do.

I hope you enjoy as I guide you through my ideas.

Title 1: Know The Rules

Know the rules comp

Above is the planned composition for a piece I’ve called Know The Rules. The very basic concept is to have a few robin birds on a branch. One of these robins is the star of the show so to speak (look at the 4th one in). I’ve left a lot of negative space at the bottom left for some text. The text is going to read:

“You need to know the rules before you can break them”.

Got no clue what I’m on about? Read on because I haven’t finished yet ;).

Funky bird

Yes, this is a sketch of the star of the show. For this piece, I’ve taken two parts of inspiration and played with them in my own way. The “rules” is one part, being the proverb “the early bird gets the worm”. This proverb stays true… for now.

Whilst doing some research, I found that there is no clear indication of the identity of that bird in the proverb, so I chose the robin… It’s not far from winter after all and robins are winter birds. All relevant enough.

The star robin above has broken the early bird rule in a way, and breaking the rules after being familiar with them is the 2nd part of my inspiration. Instead of being a plain ordinary early bird, its a funky early bird with some serious 70’s attitude, (mainly, the colar and afro). Groovy.



First image: basic sketches of different birds at the research stage.

Last image: basic sketches of typical British red robins after I had chose to focus on them.

Note: these were sketched from videos and images online. The robin sketch below this sentence was also sketched from online reference.


This is a full colour sketch of a robin on a branch. This is an experimental mood board so to speak to help me get things going in the right perspective. I now know how I will draw the robins.

The phrase, “You need to know the rules before you can break them”, is written here as a small guide for the text.

All in all, I aim to spread the message that it is better to know how something works before you do your own thing with it. Know how to be an early bird and catch the worm before you don that 70’s afro. This is how I’m going to do it. What do you all think, people?

Title 2: Suburban Spirit

Suburban Spirit Board

The composition for this has yet to be fully completed as there is going to be some depth to this…and also, this will be on A2 sized paper (the same size as “Dragon and Carp”, the last piece I did.)

However, the idea is conclusive. This piece is more personal to me. It’s about being proud of my old skool suburban roots, the feeling of community, and going back to the past.

The main focus will be a man sat in view, surrounded by an old suburban setting. Black as well as very dull shading, and bold light sources, will be dominant effects here. Other characters may or may not be put into this as well.

There will be a message here as well…something along the lines of:

“Once upon a time, things were derelict. Back then, I felt safe. If you see nothing here but darkness and decay, you will never understand”.

This is a proud message to those who are unfamiliar with my old ways…that real beauty can come from battered bricks. In other words, unless you understand why a book is torn and withered, don’t judge it by it’s cover alone. Read it first.

Burnt car sketch

Burnt and broken car anyone? This is what might be in the main piece, though it would be far less colourful if it will be. As a child, there was always a broken or abandoned car somewhere around…this pays homage to that. I sketched this quickly from reference image then coloured it in.

Cat on roof

A cat on the roof…now this is more inspired by general ideas rather than my childhood, (As well as being a fan of Corrie 😉 ), but I reckon that this is a possibility that could work very well in my design. I have other ideas, as well as a good idea of how the piece will look, I just need to put it all together!

Piecing together those things effectively will be challenging. Here’s hoping I can do my precious past justice, ay?

Well, that’s the end of all that for now. Sorry for being long with this post. Enjoy! Bye for now!

Dragon and Carp (finally done!)

Dragon and Carp – Watercolours and Chinese sumi ink on Sugar paper.

Bottom right it reads (in simplified Chinese): “As water turns to mist, so you will work hard to become the dragon”.

This quote I made up as well as the whole piece is inspired by Chinese mythology, specifically the story of the “Carp leaping over Dragon’s gate”.

For the story, check this out:

I’ll admit I slightly rushed this because I felt guilty being ill and not doing anything. I made a huge mistake in the beginning with the colours of the two creatures… I wanted to use bright reds and purples, but this soon went disastrous, so I turned it into burgendy and added green.

I learned how to do clouds from watching a few tutorials on Chinese landscape painting and painted clouds in this piece to represent mist for the dragon and for overall atmosphere. This went rather well, but it dried a bit too subtle, so I increased its intensity…(unintentionally, a bit too much) and I spoiled the host cloud on the bottom…now it kind of competes with the dragon and fish, which is bad.

I added the Carp to the piece and some water behind it to represent the hard working carp and water aspect respectively. The water is fine, it does it’s job well enough. I’m just about happy with the fish.

Overall, I’m slightly happy with it, but wished I hadn’t broken what wasn’t required to be fixed. I reckon this concludes the oriental theme. I’ve learned quite a bit and I’ve had fun playing with other concepts, but now? It’s time to return to my own again. 🙂

That’s all for today my friends. I wish you the best, a nice relaxing Sunday, and a good week ahead. Cheers!

Recovering Still

 Make do n mend poster-01

Alright. Cards on the table. The bad news is that I’ve had a few ups and downs with my recovery, the good news is, I’m confident now that I’m improving and getting better!

I’m well enough to get on with my work. Furthermore, I’m planning to exhibit work in an exhibition in November alongside the local art society I am with. (I have yet to make the artwork, but it will be done!)

In the meantime…Thank goodness I have the poster design above that I never uploaded.

Cheers mates! Sorry for the slightly late post. Have a wonderful up coming week!