Emma Russell

Emma Russell's illustration blog

Tag: collage

IF Silent

Two doodles this week for Illustration Friday

Silent. What else but a giraffe playing charades?  Someone once told me that giraffes are silent.  Mute.  I’ve since found out that this isn’t true, but it seems it’s a fairly widespread belief.  I used to enjoy visiting the giraffe house at my local zoo when i was a child, when they did seem silent brushing back and forth between their paddock and the warm, hay smelling hush of their inside quarters.

I figured if they are silent then I bet they’re demons at charades.  No temptation to speak, they’d be master mimes!   I have a toy giraffe who rejoices in the name of Godfrey and sits around on a shelf in my house so he started out as my muse.  there’s some sketchbook down the bottom of this.

Another thing that floated into my brain was “silent as the grave”.   I imagined the Count lying back in his coffin for a day’s rest, keeping the grave silent by using headphones while he rocks out.

Both of these are ink line drawing with collage.  There’s things i’d change if they were going to be “finished” drawings, and there’s something decidedly unnerving about Godfrey getting his mime on. but they’ve raised a smile for me.  and how often do you get to say “i’m in a rush, sorry about the paper everywhere and there’s a vampire in the scanner”

some sketchbook


IF Contraption

Here’s the contraption that I live my life in, the body that carries me around.  I’m not sure it’s really biologically accurate.

There’s a Mirah song I’m very fond of called ‘Engine Heart’.  I’ve wilfully taken her entirely literally!  Although, saying that, here I have more of a pump heart.

IF Ferocious

The topic for Illustration Friday this week is Ferocious.  Grrrrr.  So here’s a self portrait (if only I were that cute!)

Ink and paint on acetate with collage


One of the workshop briefs that I thought I’d do at a later date and have just completed now.  It’s an illustration of a quote “Sometimes it’s good to lie” 

Line drawing and painting on acetate and collage

Sometimes its good to lie

I liked using two different fonts to represent two unseen characters, a child and an adult.


More from the workshop, I had a great morning on the Southbank drawing, followed by an afternoon working up the drawings into complete illustrations.

Line drawing and collage

Here’s a couple of the very quick sketches from the morning.  In trying to not make anyone feel awkward I found I’d mostly drawn people from behind or the side!

[nggallery id=3]


I went to an illustration workshop at St Martins a week or so ago.  It was a fantastically intensive run of briefs, deadlines and drawing exercises all flying at a huge rate of knots.  I loved every second!  So some work from it follows.

Brief to illustrate a quote  “the fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing”

Line drawing and collage

The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing

Some development doodles from my sketchbook, below.

I often find it interesting to draw from imagination first then look to reference material.  The way your brain tells you something looks is kind of strange!  I preferred my imagined, exaggeratedly pointy fox to those I drew from photos or watching my local ones play in the street, even though they were less accurate they felt really foxy to me.  The hedgehog improved with a good look through some reference material. The lower two sketches are from when I centred on the idea i wanted to use to illustrate the quote (the hedgepig with a class of foxes) and the final composition after some experiments changing scale and viewpoint.

foxier than fox