Rafe – Boy’s Birth Picture

I had done a birth illustration for a baby boy called Joshua back in April 2015 and his proud Grandmother, Angela, contacted me, a few months ago, to say that Joshua had recently received a baby brother, Rafe (the original spelling for the name Ralph) and that she would like to commission me to do a birth illustration for the newest member of her family.

After doing a spot of ‘homework’ about the name Rafe, I discovered that it is an old Norse/English word, which means ‘wolf counsellor’. Angela then asked me to come up with a theme for the birth illustration. I thought ‘Peter and the Wolf’ would be a nice theme for the commission and did some research about this ‘symphonic fairy tale for children’: which is a musical composition written by Sergei Prokofiev in 1936.
On his travels, young Peter (after leaving the safety of his grandfather’s house), encounters a small bird, a cat and a duck, which journey with him on his search for his adventure. Peter and the animals are all depicted by a particular instrument i.e. the cat is set to the clarinet, the duck to the oboe and Peter’s character is set to the string section of an orchestra. As the music unfolds, the different characters can be heard throughout the piece.

I wanted to create a different look for each of the characters and did a small scamp (Scamp – a first rough or mockup) before working on a more detailed sketch with characters in place. This is probably the hardest part of the whole process for me, as it’s drawing it all out and is fairly time-consuming. However, I love the process of creating the finished illustration, as all of the hours spent scamping and sketching finally start to take on a new dimension in colour, shape and texture before one’s eyes.

I was requested to keep the main character of Peter similar to the Disney cartoon, but I did suggest that we alter his hair and the colour of his clothes, as I never like to reproduce anything exactly. The small elephant on Peter’s clothes, relates to the motif on the birth announcement card that Angela received to inform her of his birth.

I am not sure when Angela is going to present her daughter with the new picture for the new arrival, but I do hope that they will like it and the thought and effort that has gone in to it from both the client and the artist…

Thoughts On – My Resolutions

This year, I have decided my New Year’s resolution will be not to have a New Year’s resolution. For the last few years I have always been full of good intentions: not to eat too much tapioca, try and do some exercise, wake up cheerfully to each and every new day…but this year, I am not going to set any goals that I know I will have failed at by the end of the month. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I’ve got no willpower, it’s more the fact that if something is important to me, I will make my mind up to ‘do it’ or ‘not to do it’ without an annual start date.  It’s easy to make resolutions, which will be forgotten by the end of the month, so this year, I am going to take a common sense approach to it and take each day as it comes: eat chocolate today, cut back on it tomorrow…Best wishes to you for 2015smaller
If there is one thing that I am going to set my mind to do this year, it’s to be more in-tune with myself to the best of my ability.  One aspect of New Year that affects me is the nostalgia that is created at this changing from one year to the next…thinking about people who are no longer in our lives, opportunities missed, times of pain and pleasure… One other thing, that is brought to mind, is that ‘time is fleeting’ and that one ‘new’ year very quickly becomes the ‘old’ one. It’s a stark reminder that time is not on our side and that the important things to us in our lives need to become our necessities not luxuries…