New website

Pink 70s phone

I painted this bright pink/red 1970s style phone in ArtRage 4 which has an excellent new painting mode called ‘workbench’. Workbench puts all the tools you need into a strip at the top of the screen. I took the idea for this piece from my sketch book, traced the outline and have been painting it up using the ink and oil brush.

I love last centuries old landline phones, each design speaks volumes about it’s time. This is a ‘futuristic’ 1970’s style phone. So expect more in the coming weeks.

This is to be the last post at after some years I’ve decided to shift my blog and create a portfolio illustration site at…

I’ve owned this URL for a while and decided it was time to push forward make a better promotional platform and outlet for my illustration work.

It uses a custom self hosted setup of WordPress which means I can more easily update the main web site and manage the blog in a familiar environment. Which should mean more time for image making. It also means that the website and blog are configured for viewing on phones, tablets and laptops without lots of extra shenanigans and publicising new work is a breeze.


Sketchbook Project 2012

Tea disaster

Tea Disaster

I learnt a lot from the process of producing this years Sketchbook Project work. For those not aware the Brooklyn Art Library in the US runs the project every year. The basic idea is to fill up an empty sketchbook with creative energy. You can see other examples in the digital library.



I’ve put the favourites from my sketchbook on Flickr.

That essential studio space

Sketches to inspire me to find that perfect studio space…

Steaming rocket launch

This one I started to work into a proper Photoshop painted image as I just love the bulky steaminess of it.

Unlike many of my fellow illustrators I find it almost impossible to work at home and not just because I’ve no space.

Bricks, water and sky

Making drawings and paintings with a mixture of digital and traditional methods means I need somewhere I can sprawl and leave it set up.

Stacked spires and brick

These are just a few of the recent roughs I’ve been sketching up – mostly in cafes, on the bus or anywhere other than in the house.


They are a joy but I find the distractions of home too much so here’s to finding an affordable work space for my art.

Emily Barker and Jo at Guildhall June 2011

Emily Barker and the Red Clay Halo sketched at Guildhall as part of the City of London Festival  last week, more brilliant Australians.

Sketching people is great and but it was quite a challenge as they swayed and played so it took a lot longer than other public sketchyness does.


Technological entanglement hand swipe

Not exclusively created for Illustration Friday this recent work seemed appropriate to this weeks theme. People and technology are entangled, how far are we willing to go. A swipe payment system integrated into ones arm certainly has a certain yuk factor!

Starting life as a pen and ink drawing in my sketch book I lifted it into Corel Painter and worked up this full colour rendering. Painter 11 has a more responsive feel and I’m looking forward to exploring more of the tools.

My project for my MA has become about exploring the issues of technology and biology.¬† Everyday scene’s with ever more encroaching technology. Surely living in London with all it’s creepy camera’s and surveillance machinery has had an effect.

It works as a topic for illustrations!


Strong for Illustration Friday

Illustration Friday piece this week it’s strong and stinky cheese themed entry. More pen, ink and acrylic style.

The cheap scanner has got the colour quite wrong the orange is meant to be much yellower and the whole piece shades lighter.

I’ve some new dip pen nibs courtesy of a certain crafty fox and they are giving me even more control over the process.

After spending all day in the digital world of Photoshop and Illustrator it’s nice to get dirty and messy with some old school art tools.

Ink mmm… extra messy.


Wrapped zombie banker

Another Illustration Friday post, it’s quite a good challenge even when I miss the deadline but not this week! ;p

Somehow I started with objects and kiddies with toilet paper playing in a garden but ended with the beastie that is the Zombie Banker, out moaning about his need for, you guessed it, “Pounds, more pounds!!”

I love zombie films and who could resist Zombie bankers. So many of my characters seem to end up in smart suits so it was only logical. This creatures of the undead even has a hanky to remind him of his pre-zombie existence!

Very much enjoying the calligraphy pen, paint brush, water coloured paper and the odd bit of acrylic! The pen makes such great scratchy noises on watercolour paper.



Another classic theme from Illustration Friday. Sadly missed the deadline but thought it needed posting.

This one is straight pen and ink with only a minor correction to some of the blacks which didn’t scan up correctly in Photoshop.

So straight onto the next challenge.

I think the rawness works in some ways but I’m not sure that I don’t prefer the more worked over style.

I wanted to do more here but was trying to have it finished in time. I think I have enough of a process going now to start working again on my own pieces and my MA project in particular!