Blocking and shadow

A bit of work-in-progress this time.
I recently did a few workshops with Joby Carter – of vintage steam fair fame – looking at fairground lettering and sign writing. One of the fonts he taught was Playbill, and old-school font popular on the bills that were handed out advertising plays. It is reminiscent of cowboys and the wild west.

I’m working on a book cover and thought this would be an appropriate style. So this is it so far. Ink with graphite shading. The word ‘shadows’ is shown but, when complete, the title will be ‘Book of Shadows’.

On a technical note ‘blocking’ is the part of the design that gives the letters depth or thickness, ‘shadow’ is what is cast by a theoretical light source. Let me know what you think.

You have to laugh

Last year I was fortunate to be asked to illustrate a book of humorous poetry, so I did.
As an illustrator my job is fairly straightforward – read the poem, draw the picture. The difficult bit is with the writer.

The author of these chuckle-worthy gems is Dianne Phillips-Zito, she lives in a rather bleak and remote part of Western Australia, so she needs a sense of humour to start with. She then has to produce the poetry – not the rambling formless excuse for bad prose – but proper poetry, that rhymes and has metre. And she has to produce sufficient to fill a book – and it has to make the reader smile.

For those who have never tried, laying out the pages of a book to look attractive, as well as being the well ordered vehicle for the poems, is another work of art. And getting the whole shebang through the printing and publishing system needs the patience of Job.

It was a long time from idea to book shelf, but she has done it and “From Bad to Verse” is available from various publishers as well as Amazon Books. It is too late for Christmas, but buy a copy anyway, because you deserve to have your spirits lifted – and 2021 is the time to do it – because the cartoons are brill, even if I say so myself! A triumph of trans-global corroboration.

Dianne also writes horror/dark short stories, published in the UK and USA, under the pen name Anna Harris.

Commissions continue – Black Friday

Black Rose Commission for Black Friday
Black Rose for Black Friday

I am pleased with progress for November. Commissions continue to come in. Three have been completed so far, and another has just been started.

Featured image is a previous commission, Black Rose. Well it is Black Friday.

There are other tasks which I hope to get time to work on – a new web page for Pen and Lens Artwork (we already have the domain name), a publicity sample for my rubber stamps (available through Chocolate Baroque), and start work on designs for cards.

The release of a second set of stamps gets ever closer!

Julie is working on cards for her colour therapy healing, and colour healing journals, as well as her flatlay photos. So there is plenty to do.

In the mean time check out Julie’s Instagram page @juliemoo1960 and my Instagram page @kpm.illustration (and @the_scratchypen for coloured works).

And if you would like to discuss a commission please contact me at info@penandlensartwork.comĀ 

Pen and Lens Artwork Ltd

Pen and Lens Artwork Ltd Logo
With the success of the first set of crafting stamps, we realised it was time to make things official. So we set up our business – Pen and Lens Artwork Ltd. I’m the pen, Julie is the lens.

What we do is simple enough. Julie is a dab hand with the camera and captures images wherever she goes. These images are used either for her flowers, flatlays, or affirmation cards, or her colour therapy / psychology requirements, or by me to create the quirky houses seen on this web site.

She will also visit the site of commissioned work to record the detail for me to create a caricature of a house – so I can expose the inner character of what is sometimes a bland piece of architecture.

I hope you like what we do – email to info@penandlensartwork.com for more details.

June 2018

Summer seems to have arrived now, and it is good to work in the studio with loads of natural light.

Interest in my artwork is increasing. There are one-off commissioned pieces, and interest by a decorative rubber stamp manufacturer, and this week I have been asked to provide illustrations for a poetry anthology being written in Australia.

So, not only is the weather looking bright, but also – as the very old TV advert said – is the future.

I am always open to offers, and if you want a picture of your house, or shed, or whatever, that is not quite true to life, but conveys the soul within, please get in touch. kpm.writer@gmail.com will do it.