I was asked to create a mural for the Sheffield Farm to welcome school children visiting on educational trips. Luckily for me bright, bold, quirky and playful are totally my style and all very appealing to kids so it felt the perfect project to be my first large public painted piece. I would love it if more schools or businesses in Sheffield commissioned me to do mural work like this. It’s big and messy and makes me feel like a kid again!
The base layer was black paint. I started with a very basic pencil layer to indicate composition. Next I painted the piece with emulsion paint using a digital drawing I had created as a guide. I found it important to step back every now again and check the proportions of my work. This is a necessary step in big pictures, the bigger they are the more difficult it is to control distortion.
It took several layers of white before the piece started to look anything other than a bit of a mess. It’s important never to get disheartened if your piece looks bad at the beginning because they most often do! The benefit to the emulsion was that it dries pretty quickly so I could continously work on the piece. For the most part whilst waiting for a section to dry I could work on another, and by the time I’d finished the original section would be pretty much ready to start on again.
To finish the piece I used posca markers. These pens are like magic and work on pretty much anything. They aren’t the cheapest but there is no comparison between official Posca pens and other more inexpensive products masquerading as similar to Poscas. Nothing I have found has come close (although please comment on this post if you wish to challenge me on this!)
If you want to know anything more about the process, leave me a comment or get in touch!
I absolutely adore designing film and event posters. I’d say it is one of my top things as an illustrator I love to do. Ask me to provide an illustration for a horror film event and you may even hear me attempt to suppress a squeal of joy. So it was pretty awesome when I got the opportunity to design two posters for some Halloween film screenings at Whirlow Hall Farm in Sheffield.
Now, I am not talking about enjoying designing a poster that is scary. Just a poster for a genre that features all the things I love to draw. Dark woods, nefarious characters, spirits, ghosts, monsters, ghouls and goblins, yetis, vampires…. I’m guessing you’ve got the point.
But why not scary?
It’s a deliberate choice not to draw them scary, even for adults only events. Firstly, a practical one. Is it ever really a good idea to draw a poster that is genuinely scary? Think about who will see it and where it goes. If you know it’s going to be printed onto a flyer that could potentially end up in cafes, shops and libraries then I’d say absolutely not. Yes we are in the business of representing something through our art, but would any of us feel very good about spooking out some poor kiddywinks who stumble up on our designs and nightmares ensue? It’s not just kids either. It runs the risk of putting people off your event and just a few comments to the event organiser from people who really don’t like being freaked out and there’s a good chance they won’t ask for your help again.
The main reason though is that it just isn’t me. I love the supernatural, dark and creepy but everything I do has a bright and playful happy edge to it too. It might sound contradictory but I’d like to think that those who look at my designs, and particular the posters I have done here for Whirlow Hall Farm’s upcoming immersive woodland cinema events, will agree that my work exhibits both of these things. I think it just goes to show that having your event scare people’s socks off is enough in itself without your marketing trying to do the same too.