Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Nadolig Llawen! / Merry Christmas! 
Hope everyone's had a lovely day and is stuffed with Christmas dinner and chocolates xx

Monday, 23 December 2013

Emily Carroll

Emily Carroll is a Canadian artist, she drew her first web comic in May 2010. Then a year later, she won the Joe Shuster Award for Outstanding Web Comics Creator.
She has been featured on The Comics Reporter, Robot 6, Scott McCloud’s Blog, Comics Alliance, and others.

She has a collection of short stories book coming out next July; THROUGH THE WOODS, being published by Margaret K. McElderry books.

She says on her website that she experiments with different mark making through ink spills and paper treatments etc then scans them in to overlay her digital work to give it a more "organic" feel.
Emily's story-telling through her web comics are captivating and thought-provoking and her artwork has a fairy tale charm about them despite the unsettling content - I could easily spend hours going through her work (in fact I did.) The hand drawn type really works well with her illustrations - there's a balance like they belong together (this is something I want to achieve in my own work.) I also love the fact that she utilizes the internet as a medium in part of her comics.

(His Face All Red has to be my favourite web comic of hers.)

You can find her work here:

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Interesting blog post I came across...'s "50 Covers of 2013" reinforces my conclusion that typography is the driving force of book cover illustration at the moment. The covers are either entirely typographical or the main focus of the illustration. I feel like my "Skin" cover is on track with contemporary illustration but needs more work.

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Been practising digital line work with my new wacom tablet... I'm getting there slowly - this is the first finished thing that I'm kinda happy with... If anyone has any ideas for colours or what to do next with her I'd much appreciate any input :)

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

90% of my time since coming home has been spent stuck like this...

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Book Cover Design: Development - Roald Dahl 'Skin'

 I had a paint page scrap (where there was too much paint so I squished two pages together to make an abstract paint thing?) that just so happened to make skin-like tones - perfect to go with the cut out text I was playing about with.
Here's the scan:

I like how minimal it is and think it would stand out well on a book shelf. It's very different to what I usually do but for the first time in a while I enjoyed what I was doing and just went with it.

Now I can't decide which font to go with ahhhhh

I'm such a perfectionist...

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Discovery Trail 

'A celebration of the very best in independent publishing, this event will include speakers, panel discussions, workshops and a fair. Volume is being produced in collaboration with a number of Birmingham arts organisations, showcasing the wealth and breadth of publishing expertise in the region. Each organisation will produce a panel, contributing to some of the debates currently critical in the fields of publishing, bookmaking and writing.' - Volume Fair -

Some peeps that interested me the most and I did not buy a load of stuff from...
*empty purse coughs in the distance*

Dan Berry  /   make it then tell everybody (one of my favourite websites now;))
Krystyna Baczynski totally not the source of my empty purse*cough*

I had so much fun and got so inspired to create more. It's a shame the 'make it then tell everybody' panel was on the Saturday and not the Friday we were there. It was great to see what contemporary illustrators were doing and how zines worked for them as a promotional/creative vehicle for their distribution. I'm definitely going to create lots of quality work in the hope of having a stall with some friends at a future event. :)

Book Cover Design: Initial ideas - Roald Dahl 'Skin'

I didn't think too much into what I was going to do for this cover because I wanted to just play with hand drawn type and see where it took me.

Book Cover Design: WIP - Italo Calvino 'The Distance of the Moon'

Book Cover Design: Inspiration strikes - Italo Calvino 'The Distance of the Moon'

Artist John Parot, winner of “The Book Challenge”, episode three of the Season 1 “Work of a Art: The Next Great Artist” had his illustration put into publication as part of the Penguin Books 75th Anniversary Celebration...

 Anyway, for some reason it came across my mind and I looked it up and realised how I could go about the sea in my illustration...

Friday, 29 November 2013

Yesterday, practising Illustrator and ex HCA student Jessica Johnson gave a talk on her work and career since leaving Kingston University then spent the day with our group. Her work was adorable and I had some good advice about the the book cover work. She pointed out the thumbnail sketch I did of the boat that had a lot of space around it and said that it would work nicely for a cover - so I'm taking her advice and going with that idea.

Book Cover Design: Experimenting with hand drawn type - Italo Calvino 'The Distance of the Moon'

Friday, 22 November 2013

Illustration Applications: Book Cover Design

The Brief:

Roald Dahl ‘Skin’

Italo Calvino ‘Distance to the Moon’

You must produce a front cover image for each of the TWO books from which the stories have been taken.

The cover should include the authors name and the title of the story including the spine where the text is of course repeated. You must your new In-Design skills to mock up the page with text and image in place.

Remember your job is to set the scene, create intrigue, and give a taste of the text, but never to give too much away.


According to The Fundamentals of Illustration (Lawrence Zeegen/Crush), 'some of the best work created combines techniques that encompass simple bold drawing and a system reduction - ensuring that simplicity communicates the narrative.'

How relevant  is the saying; 'don't judge a book by it's cover'?

There has to be a balance between the overall appeal of the design in relation to it's target audience and the visual communication of the text that doesn't give too much away. That's what makes someone pick up a book instead of another.
Successful book covers are simply a vital marketing tool.

Having looked through the AOI artist portfolios under 'book publishing', I have concluded that successful contemporary book illustration consists mainly of shapes and form and little use on line work. Illustrators that I feel stood out the most were Nick Morely, Darren hopes and Laura Barrett.

Saturday, 2 November 2013


HELLO! My name’s Rhi and I’m currently a month into the second year of studying Illustration at degree level and this is my blog that’s dedicated to my course work. I’m aiming to keep it updated weekly and include research, written summaries, progress work, and finished pieces on current project work.
'Rhitown' is inspired by Emi Lenox's 'Emitown: A Sketch Diary' (which I recommend you look up RIGHT NOW… in another tab of course) so throughout the course I'll be putting up some character doodles/short comics on life's little goings ons to lighten up the seriousness of coursework.
Hope you enjoy my ramblings and progress throughout the course :)