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1001 Reflections – A French Homestead Life

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Every year, just south of us in Crocq, an exhibition for art is run, featuring both professional or amateur painters, ceramics, sculptures. The exhibition is themed and your given space of upto 2 x 2.5×1.75 metres to display work and sell prints etc. It’s quite a big deal in such a rural area and thus will be my first year. I am excited and determined to do give it my best.

This years theme is 1001 Reflens (Reflections). A previous year was flights, or cows…. The first task is the exhibitions promotional poster. By end April we are asked to provide artwork, so here is my entry typically whimsical. I’m rather pleased with it and if it doesn’t make the cut, it will certainly go in the exhibition.

My little gang of runner ducks are celebrating down by the lake, showing off their new jumpers, spelling out 1001 Reflens for the exhibition…but with a twist…so you can see the words, the little ducks have reversed their letters!

My inspiration are my little runners Lottie and Lucie. I need to get some good photos, but these little guys are always moving so much from one foot to the other and busy, busy, not a moment to loose, unlike the wobbly, podgy, pekin ducks.

I wanted each duck to have a character and now I have seriously started on my path to be a children’s book illustrator in the main, I am trying to make every illustration count, to squeeze out something, for example the way feet or their hanging card is positioned to show a shy duck, a happy duck, loved up ducks. I am slowly using digital too. Illustrating in coloured pencil is my chosen route, but picture books are time consuming and the finished work needs to be digitally produced, so colours must be bright and clear. I haven’t photographed these correctly for print, but they have had a digital tweak on contrast. And I did work some magic for the reflections.

Photoshop is amazing. For this it was ideal. You still need to plan the original illustration to accommodate the digital work or it won’t be seemless or you will have far too much work to do and that defeats the object. There are many filters to add wobbles and I found a subtle one. I had to create the water overlay and add some hand drawn elements too. But very pleased with the result. I now have four more illustrations to do by end of June. They are already roughed out but need the details planned. Having fun. ♡

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