A few weeks before Christmas I learned about the term Friluftslive. Apparently the expression literally translates as “open-air living” and was popularised in the 1850s by the Norwegian playwright and poet, Henrik Ibsen, who used the term to describe the value of spending time in remote locations for spiritual and physical wellbeing.
So, as we were (and still are) in 'lockdown' during the cold winter months and with only one session of daily exercise allowed, I wanted my illustrations to be about getting outside and enjoying nature no matter what the weather. Otherwise winter is really going to take its toll on people's mental health.
The images that I loved the most were the wellington boots (although I tend to wear hiking boots most of the time, but the wellingtons were much more stylish), the flask (I always like to take a flask of Bailey's coffee if I'm going out for more than an hour), a woolly hat (I honestly don't know how people go outside in winter without a hat) and the camera. Photography was my main hobby until the pandemic started and I only got into illustration since I decided to buy an iPad in July 2020 and sign up to Skillshare. But my camera still comes out with me on occasion.
So here are the first set of spot illustrations:
Then on to the second set.
Here are my sketches:
You can see that I ran out of ideas, but I had a few that I really liked.
Then I abandoned a few of them as I found them difficult to draw. So I drew the man running in the rain and the clothes drying on the radiator first.
Then Christmas happened and a few weeks later I came back and started the girl relaxing under the tree BUT I don't like the style that I've gone with. I don't think it fits in with the other too. I also CANNOT for the life of me remember what brushes I used for the textures in the first two. So, I think I'm going to have to start from scratch again.
The main lesson I learnt is 'make a note of the brushes you use for each illustration'.
I think I still need to spend some more time trying to find my style as I'm still very new to this illustration malarkey. Fortunately it looks like Tom has a Skillshare class on exactly that thing. So I may come back to this in the coming months and try to finish it, but we'll have to wait and see.