A fair few years ago (too far back I can’t remember) I purchased a print of a famous (well known)painting called ‘The Three Kings’ which shows three famous race horses. The original painting was done by Susan Crawford, a well known horse artist.
Having not picked up a pencil and drawn for a few years I decided to do a pencil sketch, as a gift for my girlfriend, Donna, and also to get back into doing some drawing. It’s important to keep drawing skills and also to revert back to the fundamentals, even when everything can be done on a computer these days. I’m a firm believer in that all ideas should start with a pencil and a piece of paper, before even turning the computer on.
I then went on to use the sketch as a template to create an Illustrator image, and more importantly learn how to create curves in Illustrator. I photographed the sketch, and uploaded to Illustrator, using it as a background image. By turning the opacity down I had a faint outline for which I was able to then trace over using the necessary pencil/pen tools, resulting, in a finished Illustration.
This exercise was really helpful in learning how to trace my drawings with the different tools, experiment with creating curves, dissecting paths and also testing out line widths. So if you have a sketched out idea on paper, why not photograph or scan it, and use it to trace over. It’s really helpful for visualizing your idea onscreen, and of course you can switch off, or hide, that background layer once you’re done.
Another exercise in Illustrator, and idea of a HTML5 tutorial website/banner, led me to create this.
The idea bringing together the learning of HTML5, the same way a child learns their ABC, and also the building blocks connection to HTML5, with code being the underlying building blocks of a website.
The idea could be taken even further and created with HTML5 canvas maybe. I’ve also thought of using this design to create a child’s Birthday cake, with their name as the letters…..Ah yes, I forgot to mention….I make cakes
Having used Photoshop for a fair few years now it got to a point when I needed to learn Illustrator. So where better to get started than by following one of Chris Spooner’s brilliant tutorials – ‘Create A Simple Mechanic Character in Illustrator‘. Following his instructions, I went on to learn the basic functions of Illustrator, created my own Mechanic Character, but also went on to create a couple more of my own.
Well here we are…..my first blog post.
Having dabbled in WordPress for a while, started a number of blogs but never brought anything into fruition, and things in life getting to a crossroads, I’ve decided to make some positive progression with my own blog, and more importantly my career plans.
Thinking back to 2011 I made a list of Goals, things to achieve. Yesterday I dug out that list to see what was on there and what I’d actually achieved, or failed to achieve. I think I only spent 6 months of 2011 actually concentrating on the list, which was a fail in itself.
On the list were a number of web design and development ‘projects’ and a number of book lists. However, there weren’t many ticks. And so, although we’re actually half way through the year I’ve decided to create a new list, which we’ll call ‘Goals – 2012 & 2013′. And here is said list:
- Create own website – Well as you’re reading this you can see this project has at least started. It’ll always be a work in progress, and will probably grow as I learn more, and spend time on it. However, simply having a webpage, on the internet, is the starting point.
- Design & Build Own WordPress Theme – As you can see, my blog actually utilizes the bog standard TwentyEleven theme packaged within WordPress. I’m not sure whether my design will be start as a developed version of this theme, or start from scratch, but let me make it clear – things are due to change.
- Complete Codecademy HTML/CSS Online Course – For a number of weeks now I’ve been working my way through Codecademy’s HTML/CSS online course, and I aim to complete it 100%.
- Re-read Rob Hawkes HTML5 Canvas book – Foundation HTML5 Canvas: For Games and Entertainment - I’ve read this already, followed the book practice exercises, but following the Codecademy Courses I would like to re-read this to get an even better understanding. This then leads onto my next Goal.
- Build My 1st HTML5 Canvas Game – I’ve got an idea, which came about whilst reading Rob’s book, but I’d like to create it as a fully working game.
- Build 1x Website – Other than my own. I’ve already got a couple ideas on what to base this on, but it’s primarily to put skills to use, and create content for my portfolio.
- Write Up my ‘CSS-only Collapsible Menu’ – Following another project on a blog I created, I needed to create a CSS-only collapsible menu, for WordPress. I achieved this, but it’s by no means clean CSS, and it certainly needs tidying up. I’d also like to build this into a tutorial, and make it available for other WordPress users to use.
- Write 10 posts/articles for ‘Airsoft’ website – A while back I worked on creating an Airsoft based theme & WordPress blog (AirsoftCentral.co.uk). It’s a child theme built on TwentyEleven, which incorporates the collapsible CSS menu, but I’ve yet to add content. I’m aiming to get some content on the site.
- Create 1x Illustration Using Adobe Illustrator – I’ve done a small number of designs now, to learn Illustrator, mainly following the tutorials by Chris Spooner, but would like to do more. Subject matter has yet to be decided.
- Watch 1x Live Professional Snooker Tournament – Over the last couple months I’ve been getting back into Snooker, mainly kicked off by watching the last televised World Championship on the telly. I’m aiming to go and see a live professional match.
- Score A Break Of 30, In Snooker Practice – Following a couple of snooker 1-2-1 coaching sessions I’ve some regular practice routines which I run through. I aim to get a break of 30. Currently highest break has been 24 (at time of writing this).
- Score A Break Of 30, In Snooker Match – Also involved in the snooker training are some friendly snooker tournaments. I’m planning on attending a number of these, and I aim to achieve a break of 30 in one of these matches.
So that’s my ‘Goals – 2012 & 2013‘. I’m sure the list will grow, and as I work on the projects and make achievements I’ll be updating these very pages.
Do you have your Goals for 2012, or 2013? How are you doing so far?
Please let me know if you’d like to see something else added to my list? Do you think the list is too long, too short, or just right? It would be great to get some comments.