The New ME

I have renamed myself, if you want to see more of my work and the progress I am making search mlwillustrationpdp click to view my new blog, see you there. Martin


Alister Winter Roberts 1941-2009

I was visiting our local library and noticed an exhibition of a local artist’s work. I wandered around the exhibition and was extremely impressed by what I saw. His water colours and the detail he included in them, the ink drawings and at the end of his time on this earth he took up oils which were excellent were all enough to make me envious of his skill as an artist.

The following write up is from a flyer I picked up from the library as I walked around

“Alister Winter Roberts was born on February 10th 1941, in Caerwys, Flintshire, North Wales. His artistic ability was evident at an early age and he was enrolled as a student at Liverpool College Of Art, at the age of sixteen. He won the John Moores prize for design at the end of his first year.

After successfully completing his college course, he was engaged as a graphic designer in London then Cardiff, Manchester and Liverpool, whilst continuing to produce paintings in water colours.

In the late 1980’s he returned to Wales, living in Caerwys and St Asaph. He decided to go freelance, painting landscapes, particularly with buildings of historic and architectural beauty. He worked in water colours and also in pen and ink, a medium in which he was particularly skilled. His clients were commercial institutions, country estates and private houses. He was often engaged in house portraiture, and produced many portraits of Erddig, the facades and gardens, some reprocuced as greeting cards.

The Grosvenor Museum Chester, commissioned four watercolour paintings, were reproduces in Peter Boughton’s book, ‘Picturesque Chester, The City in Art’. One painting was of the museum itself.

He was a committed member and one time chairman of North Wales Federation of Art Societies, and also active within the Clwydian Arts Society, he exhibited with the Society and was involvedin the organisation and hanging of their exhibitions.

Alister painted and exhibited in Canada, taking many paintings of Wales with him. He also had exhibitions in the North of England and Warwickshire.

After many visits to Spain, he moved there to live in a village house in the hills above Malaga. He was inspired by the rugged landscape, and produced striking pen and ink drawings. He also began working in oils, but sadly he became very ill and had to return to his family. He died on December 21st 2009.”

So this comes to prove that North Wales can supply the art world with some brilliant artists and Wales gives the artist some breath taking scenery to paint, which I must say is a spectacular gift from Mother Nature, well done girl and thank you.

One problem is that after viewing his work, I can not find anything on the internet about him, I’ll keep on looking……..

I found one.

and another,

Helping out a colleague

One of my magazine group members, Of which there are four of us sent me a copy of the front and back cover of our magazine. He was not sure whether he would have enough time to finish them so I asked him to send them to me via email and I would have a look at them.

The drawings that he sent me were:

I too these drawings first into Illustrator to use the live trace tool there which vectored the line into solid black line then saved them as Ai files then opened the files in Photoshop, removed all but the black line and using layers behind the drawings turned these into…

The text in the front cover is just my own hand writing which I did in the same was but instead if having black line I inverted the layer.

I got the impression that, even though we had not allocated a leader, I was the person who did all the organising, made the facebook group, so that we could correspond with each other because I had a feeling that getting together in a group was going to be a bit of a problem.

Anyway, although the magazine was not actually printed, we have all got our individual pages done. Here are what I ended up with:

I am reasonably pleased with the outcome of them, some more than others but it’s not what I think it is what you, the general public think.

What do you think? Feedback is alway welcome-good or bad, I can take it.

These pages will be on display in the Butchers Market tomorrow, (Friday 13th May 2011) for everyone to view, so if you are in the area why not go take a look at mine and the other students work.


We were introduced to Claire Fouquet today. A french animator who had taken the time to come over to Wales and give a talk.
She is, or has been an artist in residence at ‘La Maison Du Auteurs’ in france (somewhere) and had received a 2 year place with them.
I found the talk today most informative as I have always wanted to work with animation but the course I am on does not allow for that due to the quick turn around of work that I must submit, and not having years to produce a masterpiece, (one day, eh?)
She mainly spoke of ‘Adaptation’ which is to choose a graphic novel and adapt it to the screen using animation.
We learnt that to make a project work we had to follow certain guidelines.
*Make it feasable-write the script according to your production capabilities (It might mean that you may need to shorten or shrink)
*Outline the project throughout the pre-production work: prepare all the elements needed that are needed by the production team.
*Production: get funded or do it yourself/with friends-premier it, send it to festivals, travel and get famous (if it’s good and selected, of course).
Then she gave us some pre-production musts for any animation production team to follow:
*Script writing.
*Choice of animation techniques, tests.
*Graphic bible;global aesthetics, main background, characters viewed from different angles, expressions etc.
*Storyboarding according to your budget and technique chosen.
*Animatic (optional)

Also, a big tip is to remember where the camera is positioned as when the camera revolves 180 degrees then you will get a completely different view.

I think I will email Claire to ask for advice as I am on an illustration course but would love to move over and use animation to make my illustrations move, I have wanted to do this for years but have never had the opportunity until now.

Finding a niche

Takes a look at the launch of a new magazine by the London College of Fashion

Today’s media landscape is complex. Newspapers are becoming ever more magazine-like while so-called customer or contract magazines are competing with the efforts of traditional publishers. As a result, many larger magazine publishers are cutting budgets and consolidating and folding titles while audiences shrink. And then there’s the spectre of the internet, which has completely changed our media consumption habits and put publishers on the back-foot. Yet, there is no reason to think magazines are heading for the scrapheap of dead media. Despite the huge growth in web-based publishing, not to mention blogging, the independent magazine sector is stronger than ever. Editorial design, meanwhile, remains an important discipline. “Magazine design requires a slightly different approach because the words are so important. Your job is to keep the interest of the reader,” says design consultant Matthew Ball, who has worked on titles as diverse as Mixmag,Popular Science and Rolling Stone. Broadly speaking, magazines break down into four categories: newsstand, controlled-circulation, customer titles published under contract for a client and free-distribution titles such as event guides.

I thought the above paragraph from was very relevant to us as we design our magazine. Some more interesting reading…

Before you start your magazine, go to a newsstand and purchase a few magazines that catch your eye. Take them home and try to decide WHY they caught your eye…………


According to ‘Redwood’ a magazine publisher the average magazine is read for approximately 30 minutes, delivering time and engagement with your customers, high brand awareness and measurable incremental sales. click the link to watch their magazine showreel.

Magazines that Redwood work with include:

Magazine Showreel

 They are a well established magazine publishers, working with some extremely well known magazines and businesses.
As well as magazines they work with e-zines which are not printed magazines replicated online,  but a whole new interactive, video rich experience that delivers time and engagement with your brand, and measurable response from the customers.
Magazines have been around for a long time and have never been so popular, contrary to some polls. E-zines have only been around for a short time in comparison to their sister format but their popularity is growing all the time with the ease that consumers and readers can access the online version of their favourite magazine with out leaving the comfort of their home.