Alfie-James – Boy’s 1st birthday illustration

I was very pleased when my friend, Marie, requested me to do a commission for her little boy. Alfie-James, who was celebrating his first birthday.  Marie and Alfie’s dad, Mark, wanted a dinosaur illustration to mark the occasion. I can hardly believe it’s been over a year since this adorable little chap was born, but time does have a habit of flying…(but only when you are having fun, I am reliably told).
Alfie-James illustration by Michael Quinlyn-Nixon for blogI always enjoy drawing the dinosaur characters, as these prehistoric creatures fascinated me when I was a child. I have recently become familiar with the parasaurolophus (I couldn’t spell that without checking it first in my dictionary!), which has a bone-shaped extension on the back of its head. It appealed to me and it was a herbivore too, so not one of them flesh-eating terrifying ones that chase all the humans in Jurassic Park!

I always like to include a stegosaurus and a triceratops, as I do have a ‘soft-spot’ for these two four-legged dinosaurs…  They always are the ones that seem to go about, minding their own business, when a hungry tyrannosaurus rex just happens to espy them!

Marie and Mark were delighted with the commission and it was a good opportunity to have a catch up with Marie when I handed the commission over to her; we enjoyed a cup of tea and a jolly good natter! What more could you ask for?

Highland Cow (an exercise in colour)…

oeIt was one of those days when you just feel inspired to draw something, but you don’t know what and then your eye rests upon something that sparks your creativity.  I was just returning from a shopping trip in Newcastle upon Tyne, when I spied some Highland cattle from the lofty heights of the double-decker bus I was travelling on.
The colour of the cattle, a rusty orange, captured my imagination and I sourced some images online on my return home.  I found an excellent picture of a Highland cow and decided to reproduce it using a limited colour palette of coloured pencils: French Grey, Indigo, Raw Sienna, Chocolate, Venetian Red and Terra Cotta.  I didn’t allow myself to use Black pencils.  As well as working with a limited palette, I only allowed myself three-hours to create the drawing and the colouring.  In hindsight it could have done with some extra work, but I was determined not to go over the time allocation I had set myself from the outset.  In many ways this colour and time exercise reminded me of when I was a student at Cumbria Institute of the Arts in Carlisle.

I have a friend who is very fond of Highland cattle and this illustration just might find its way to her some day in the, hopefully, not-too-distant future…