Tag Archives: prawns

It’s been a while… a quick catch up.

I have just realised that it has been well over a year since i updated this blog. Things have been so busy since I finished my Masters. i have kept my website, facebook and twitter going but this has fallen behind. Hopefully now I will be able to get back to some research and I think I will use this blog for my sketchbook – ideas, failed drawings and discoveries.


Lots of good things have happened in the last year. I have made seven copies of The Golden Plaice (my hand made pop-up book) the sixth of which was commissioned by The Yale Center for British Art and will go into the summer 2014 exhibition “Of Green Leaf, Bird, and Flower”: Artists’ Books and the Natural World. I also have another three books on order which I will hopefully get round to making sooner rather than later. I have made three 24 hour comics which are going to be published as a box set by Atlantic Press, the first of which ‘The Leviathan’ is also currently being published in instalments by Snuff Comix in Italy. My work has also found it’s way into several issues of the incredible Tiny Pencil and I have recently starting helping out on the production and design side of things as well. Most recently I was delighted to be asked to do a picture for Mutation Zine. A brand new zine from Pete Murgatroyd ft. international artists celebrating “Amateurism” (creating for the love of the work) in illustration, music and digital art. I have also had several exhibitions including guest printmaker at the Print Shop Bristol, The Tobacco factory, Falmouth Poly (twice) and my own gallery & events space 64 Killigrew St. We have also curated several fantastic shows (`Foldzine, Homage..)with upcoming debuts by Irene Vidal and Ben Peers. 


Posters for Final Show

My final poster designs, one black and white showing how I separated some of the characters for printing and a colour one showing most of the printed fish.

Cover, Title Page and End Pages.

I have been looking into getting a block engraved with the intention to great gold embossing on the cover. After a lot of messing around I came up with this design. I like it because at first glance you might think it’s a traditional fish scale pattern but when you look closely you realise it has no pattern, it’s nonsense. I don’t really know much about hot foil blocking so this may not work but the man at Studio Tone told me it was the same price for any block within 25x25cm so I kind of went for it.I found some inspirational uses of foil online .











I am thinking of using the same pattern on the end papers but in a pale yellow on light blue. These colours seem quite old fashioned to me. The title pages were made using imagery that I had screen printed.


Typography as it stands.

I have completed most of the printing that is essential to creating my book. What has been so lovely about doing the printing is that I now have a large wealth of beautiful printed imagery to play around with and use if I want to. I have been working hard on the typography for the book and I have been including printed elements and printed punctuation. The type was always designed to be quite extravagant and wild but hopefully I have not sacrificed readability in favour of style. Here is the typography as it currently stands along with several compositions that I havent posted yet.

This is page 0, a new page that was not in my original rough. Every element on this page has been screen printed then scanned and assembled. 

This is page 1 which opens up from the centre to reveal a large pop up rockpool panorama. The circles are holes that show prawn and shrimp who move when the page is open. The imagery surrounding the circles may not be necessary I will see how it looks when assembled.

Another new page really, this page precedes the bottles and cans pop up page that no longer has any typography on it.

There are two pop ups on this page, the angler fish lifts up to show it eating blennie and the salmon fold out revealing the next part of the story.

This is inside the salmon fold out along with a pop up salmon or two.
The shark pops out and creates a shadow, at least that’s the idea.

The next bits all pop out on folds from the bait ball page and contain small pop up pieces.

Large Whales pop up vertically from this page.

The last bit of type, this page will feature a small tumbling pop up prawn.

The last page where the prawn is swallowed by the plaice leaving his bag and umbrella behind.

The Prawn Process

Prawn and Shrimp look back in anguish as Lobster is swallowed by the shark.

Observed drawings from real life or photograph.

Areas are removed digitally.

Casual Shrimps features are added to the image.

Now that I am making a new version of my pop up book The Golden Plaice I need lots more drawings of the fishy characters. Throughout the book the drawing range from ones which are quite accurate and adapted from realistic drawings and those which are much more cartoonish. When it has come to screen print them I have found I prefer the more realistic drawings. These drawing start with observing a prawn or shrimp closely either from real life or a photograph. I then draw them and scan in the drawn picture. I then digitally remove sections of the drawing where the characters clothes or features need to be and print out a copy of the resulting image.I then draw the extra features onto the print out and rescan the image.

Red separation layer.

Blue separation layer.

Black separation layer.

This image must then be split into 3 colour layers for making the transparencies needed to screen print.

Mat Johnstone Paper engineering workshop / Page O full 3 colour screen prints.

Mat Johnstone who is a paper engineer came in on Friday and together we looked at my book and tried to work out ways of making the pop ups more exciting. firstly we looked at some of his books and some great examples of other work. We talked about Robert Sabuda who is a kind of paper engineering genius and can get away with doing stuff that other engineers cant because of his reputation.

Mat helped me with some of the pops in my book, on page one we looked at creating more movement by adding paper at an angle instead of parallel  to the central crease. One very good tip was that to create a greater sense of movement you can have two things moving in opposite ways.

On the shark page we looked at the folds I had already made and Mat suggested a slightly better way which allowed the shark to be slightly bigger and come out at a slight angle so as to enhance the perspective.

Then we looked at one of Sabuda’s trademark folds and attempted to recreate it. We both tried but Mat made it slightly before me! still it is a very dynamic fold and I will use it for the angler fish in my book.

Usefully, Mat brought some paper with him that he would normally use for paper engineering and suggested a particular scalpel blade 10a . He also worked using double sided sticky tape which worked well and was less messy or prmanent as pva glue.

The first page in 3 colours, these have been screen printed then assembled in photoshop. i’m trying to get an old printed feel to the whole thing so I quite like it where it has started to yellow. Recently I’ve been marvelling at some old Orlando the marmalade cat books which Im sure will prove very inspirational as I carry on printing this book.


I have also been preparing the separates for the next page (it’s going to take ages!), so far I’ve done the characters but I need to do all the props and the background.