Friday
Jun012012

Kittysaysmiaow Website and Jewellery photography

Gold filled and titanium chainmail necklace with garnetsI've recently finished creating a new website for Kittysaysmiaow Jewellery. They make beautiful handmade jewellery from a number of different materials including their own 'chainmail'. Each ring is made individually from sawn wire that is then butt joined and based on both Japanese and Byzantine designs amongst others. By using different metals, they're able to get some amazing looking pieces.
So apart from the website, which was built using Squarespace
I've taken most of the photos on the site. This has been something of a learning curve for me, and my respect goes out to those who do it for a living! Product photography is one of those things that's all around us, but we don't necessarily notice it when it's done well, but it definitely helps to sell the object. I'm no expert, but I'm quite pleased with some of the results, so go to their website and have a look!Silver chainmail bracelet

Thursday
May172012

Peter Connolly Passes Away

Peter ConnollyI've only just heard the sad news of Peter Connolly's passing on the 2nd May 2012.
Peter was a superb illustrator, scholar and experimental archaeologist. For me, his illustrations have always been an inspiration since first seeing them as a child and continue to be as an adult.
His book, Greece and Rome at War, sits on my bookshelf, and is often picked up and flicked through. Much of the content of the book and its presentation has been a major influence on me. Not only is the text highly informative, but the illustrations are just as important, featuring reproductions of original artefacts and reconstructions of those items as schematic drawings and in use.
Along with reconstructions of cities, harbours, ships and hand painted maps, his books are beautiful and hugely interesting to look at.
I'm a strong believer that it's our job as illustrators to not only inform the reader, but excite and entertain them as well.
There are a number of tributes from other writers on the web to Peter, many of whom point out his role as an inspirational figure in their youth. Many now pursue careers in the same field as Peter, and I know his influence had a great part in my decision to become an illustrator.
Peter Dennis, another superb illustrator, has written a tribute to Peter on the Osprey Publishing website, you can read it here

Tuesday
Apr172012

Schools Leaflet for Rockbourne Roman Villa

I've just produced a leaflet advertising the package of activities (and facilities) that Rockbourne Roman Villa (in Hampshire, near Fordingbridge) offers to schools. As with all these things, it was fun to do, and gave me the opportunity to use Photoshop for a bit of creative compositing.
The title for Rockbourne was created from a stock image of a Roman inscribed tablet. I then used existing letters and modified others to create the full text.
I had also originally daubed some grafitti on the tablet, with the quote of "Romanes Eunt Domus" made to look like paint dripping down the surface. Sadly it didn't make it on to the final version (and one very good reason for having different elements on layers in Photoshop), but maybe next time?
The website for Rockbourne can be found here

Monday
Feb202012

New images posted up on Flickr

I've just uploaded a whole bunch of other illustrative material onto my Flickr page that's not featured in the portfolio on this site. There's a mix of finds drawings, publication drawings and outreach material from over the years. It's good fun going through the archives and digging out stuff, and I'll add to it when I get the time! You can see the Flickr page here

Thursday
Sep292011

An Illustrators trip to the ruins of Ostia Antica

View towards the Capitolium from the Via Diana, Ostia

I've recently returned from a trip to the ruins of the Roman port at Ostia, near Rome. I was there providing archaeological illustration of small finds discovered during excavations carried out by teams from Kent and Humboldt Universities. I've uploaded more of my photos, usually taken during very pleasant wanderings after lunch, which can be seen here

There is a blog for the dig providing more detailed information that can be found here

The objects I ended up drawing were quite a mix, but included a number of bone hair pins, ceramic gaming counters and dice. Pictured here below are some of the more elaborate finds.

Decorated Roman tile fragment
Inscribed slate. If you know what's written on here, please get in touch!
Roman dice. All sides added up to seven.

I ended up choosing to produce final drawings in pencil, finished in Adobe Illustrator with outlines and sections.

One little tip for producing relatively quick hatching as seen on the slate drawing is to use the line patterns from the other library swatches, Window\Swatch Libraries\Other Library\Swatches\Patterns\Basic Graphics.
Draw the section outline first, copy it and paste in front, Ctrl-F (Cmd-F) and move to a new layer, perhaps called 'Hatch'. Then apply the line swatch as a fill for the hatch shape. I then tend to rotate it, using the Rotate tool (deselecting the object in the dialog) to 135 degrees and then Scale it (Scale tool, with the pattern as the only selection in the dialog) by about 75%. This gave me a hatch pattern about 1.5mm apart.



I've recently returned from a trip to the ruins of the Roman port at Ostia, near Rome. I was there providing

archaeological illustration of small finds discovered during excavations carried out by teams from Kent and

Humboldt Universities.
There is a blog for the dig providing more detailed information that can be found here
The objects I ended up drawing were quite a mix, but included a number of bone hair pins, ceramic gaming counters and dice. Pictured here below are some of the more elaborate finds.
I ended up choosing to produce final drawings in pencil, finished in Adobe Illustrator with outlines and

sections.
One little tip for producing relatively quick hatching is to use the line patterns from the other library

swatches, Window\Swatch Libraries\Other Library\Swatches\Patterns\Basic Graphics.
Draw the section outline first, copy it and paste in front, Ctrl-F (Cmd-F) and move to a new layer, perhaps called 'Hatch'. Then apply the line swatch as a fill for the hatch shape. I then tend to rotate it, using the Rotate tool (deselecting the object in the dialog) to 135 degrees and then Scale it (Scale tool, with the pattern as the only selection in the dialog) by about 75%. This gave me a hatch pattern about 1.5mm apart.