1: Practice

This first part of the course starts to establish and extend my sense of ‘Voice’ as an illustrator – to take stock of where my main interests and current strengths and weaknesses lie. It also reviews the key elements in illustration practice: drawing, illustration tools, colour and perspective.

Project 1.1: Developing your Drawing

Exercise 1.1 draw, draw and draw again

See also:

Pencil drawing

Glue drawing

Mesh drawing

Charcoal drawing

Project 1.2 Your Toolbox

Exercise 1.2 Hybrids

 Exercise 1.3 Colour: less is more

See also:

Colour Theory (to be completed)

Project 1.3 Visual Space

Exercise 1.4 Visual depth

See also

Linear perspective (to be done)

Isometric perspective (to be done)

Working flat: Research point 4 (post)

Assignment 1: Invisible Cities

Research points

What is illustration: my thoughts

Note: this page will be progressively developed as I work through the course with links to the different areas of illustration I become interested in.

1: Who’s out there and what are they doing?

I am interested in a range of different styles from abstract expressionism and the anger of Basquiat and Tracey Emin, to graphic narrative styles of Hieronymous Bosch, Dave McKean and Shaun Tan to Japanese and African cultural styles.

For Part 1 the relevant links are in the various posts and pages.

For Part 2 I intend to look in more detail at people who have worked with digital/analogue combinations:

Tim Marrs

Graham Dean

Sally Pring


Tom Burns

2: Developing your Voice

Developing a personal voice within my work is about developing and authoring my own content to communicate how I see and feel about the world I live in – its light and dark, and complex messes between. It is partly a political voice aiming to raise questions about inequalities, prejudices and the way we live our lives, often creating senseless limitations and unhappiness for ourselves and others. It is also an aesthetic and spiritual vision that aims to see beyond the surface and open up imaginative possibilities in the everyday environment that surrounds us.

Zemni Illustration: artist’s statement  

Zemni portfolios 2009-2015

The pieces I enjoy most are those that start from chance accidents – textures, patterns and splodges, and explore their imaginative potential for narrative or dramatic expression.

I like working with a range of media – pencil, charcoal,  ink, soft and oil pastels, watercolour, printmaking and digital technologies. I also like experimenting with unusual media like glue drawing and mesh drawing.

3: Visual diaries: My blog and Sketchbooks

In addition to this blog I have started 4 sketchbooks that I use regularly for this course:

  1. Nature and Unnature that bring together my work on natural forms and ‘imaginings’
  2. Perspectives: medium square notebook for explorations in perspective
  3. From life: small square notebook for sketching

These will be added to and collated as appropriate as I progress with the rest of the course.

4: Working flat

Flat design