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Creating the Geometric Birds

Creating the geometric birds takes hours of planning, and even more hours of drawing. I'm often asked about the process of drawing them so I thought I'd write a quick post about the process and their evolution.

The came at the end of a series of 12 'bird mugshot' illustrations, which dominated my creative time for around 18 months. When that series was finished I felt a bit lost for what to do. So I just started drawing things, not really knowing where it was going.

I remembered back to one of my first teachers (Mr Thomas - the guy was a legend). At A level I was having a total creative block, couldn't come up with a concept for my final piece and he just told me to draw, and If I didn't know what, draw what I find easy. Overlap shapes, smilie faces, whatever, but just create and be free with it.

And that's a hard skill, to 'free draw'. But that's how these birds started.

This is the very first, the nebula of the idea....

This took me a total of around 60 seconds to draw, I had a whole series of around 30 birds (some drawn at Glastonbury) in this quick rough style. Throughout I didn't really know where I was going with it, but I was forcing myself to create without direction.

Somewhere along the line I started seeing circles and nice straight lines in these birds, so experimented by dissecting my illustrations....

Then added some colours in....

So that's how they started.

I lose myself in them for hours, both when i'm creating them and once their finished. I love almost examining the dissections and seeing how these little birds can be build up.

Throughout the process you can see me evolving the birds, some are drawn with real simplicity, others with intricate detail.

An example of the difference is the Kingfisher illustration, compared to the Blue Tit, he's extremely simple in design, but still fits in the the series and actually ads depth to it.

Series two has started, which will include another 10 birds, and it has started with the Great Spotted Woodpecker. In this design I wanted to give myself more freedom with curves lines to contrast with the sharp, cutting lines and circles...

Here's a little graphic of how he was put together.

I'm looking for suggestions for birds to add to my collection, and I'd love to head what your favourite bird is, let me know here:

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