<![CDATA[Esther Kezia Harding - Blog]]>Fri, 12 Feb 2016 09:48:39 +0000Weebly<![CDATA[Second timelapse video is live!]]>Thu, 11 Feb 2016 21:42:29 GMThttp://www.estherkeziaharding.com/blog/second-timelapse-video-is-live
I loved making the first video, and was lucky enough to have it picked up by the team at BBC Sherlock! It was such fun to do, so I'm resolved now that I'll do a video for most of my 'just-for-fun' illustration pieces. You can follow my Youtube channel here to see more.

The subject for the second video was a no-brainer after seeing Star Wars over Christmas. Daisy Ridley was stunning as Rey, and I left the cinema thinking 'I've just got to draw her'.

This time, I kept more of a record of the process, and when I reached the point I wanted to chicken out of doing colour and just leaving her as a greyscale drawing, I had a break from drawing. Coming back to it, I realised the picture just had to have colour to really get the atmosphere and fierceness in her face.

Below are some part-way screenshots, with the full timelapse above.

<![CDATA[Techtonics launch]]>Wed, 28 Oct 2015 22:54:19 GMThttp://www.estherkeziaharding.com/blog/techtonics-launch
A while ago, I wrote about a sneak preview that popular a capella group The Techtonics were doing. 4 months, a tour across America and a launch party later, and all has been revealed. 

The clockwork design went across all their promotional material, from t-shirts to full album artwork. Check them out on Facebook for more details of how to get hold of their fantastic album, and listen to samples.

Below are some of the designs we developed together.​
<![CDATA[Benedict Cumberbatch Digital Art Timelapse]]>Sun, 23 Aug 2015 17:41:23 GMThttp://www.estherkeziaharding.com/blog/benedict-cumberbatch-digital-art-timelapseWhoops...it's been quite a while since I last posted on here! That reflects the amount of design work I've had through (not to mention the odd musical theatre show), so it's been good to finally get back on the tablet this week for a little leisure time.

I decided to tackle Benedict Cumberbatch for three reasons: firstly, the portrait gives lots of opportunity to work with darker shadows and background than I'm normally comfortable with. Secondly, his hair is a pain (thick, dark and curly) and is therefore an interesting challenge. Thirdly...he's got a place in the hearts of many a lady, and is somewhat absent from our screens this year as the brilliant Sherlock Holmes.

I've also attempted something new for this site: a timelapse video showing how all the layers are built up. It's important to note that this isn't the drawing completely from the beginning - there isn't enough space on my computer to record and edit that length of time! Plus it would be messy and would be hours to watch, even with the best speeding up in the world.

What I did was mask the individual layers, then record them being revealed. This still gives the effect of it building up, without the zooming in and out and having to sift through hours of footage. You might sometimes spot multiple layers being revealed at once - that's purely because some of the detail is so fine it doesn't show up on a screen, and to be honest, the full detail would bore people to tears.

So without further ado, here is the timelapse! Below are also two part-way screenshots of the portrait coming together.
Enjoy, Cumberfans!

P.S - please ask me if you want to use these images for anything - I'll probably say yes, but it's polite to get permission...
<![CDATA['Clockwork' for The Techtonics]]>Sat, 21 Feb 2015 13:22:12 GMThttp://www.estherkeziaharding.com/blog/clockwork-for-the-techtonicsI've just started a really exciting project for All-Male A Capella group The Techtonics. They're using Kickstarter to fundraise for their upcoming album 'Clockwork' (see www.thetechtonics.co.uk/kickstarter for more details).

They have released some of the initial concept work and design ideas as a little sneak preview (below), and also have snippets of some of the songs for the release on their website.

Watch this space for more details as it develops!
<![CDATA[Bach Motets for Jesus College Choir]]>Thu, 19 Feb 2015 13:36:43 GMThttp://www.estherkeziaharding.com/blog/bach-motets-for-jesus-college-choir
Designing for choral concerts is always brilliant as I'm usually allowed to start with a completely blank slate, so when Jesus College Choir asked if I would work with them on a poster for their performance of Bach's Motets in March, I jumped at the opportunity.

This design brings in the 'heavenly' element of the music themes, but without resorting to cliched abstract bursts of light. Apart from the title, the rest of the copy is understated, allowing the elegance of Motets to shine through.

One of the two concerts will also be performed by candlelight. Visit Jesus College Choir's website for more details of how to book!

<![CDATA[Page Lizard adverts and flyers]]>Fri, 21 Nov 2014 12:43:22 GMThttp://www.estherkeziaharding.com/blog/page-lizard-adverts-and-flyers
This is just a quick squeak of excitement at seeing Page Lizard's advert in the PPA's 2014 Digital Awards booklet. 

Our flyers also arrived this week and were handed out at the event, alongside a special competition to promote the Page Lizard brand. 

A full brand profile for Page Lizard will appear soon under the 'Portfolio' tab, so keep an eye out for that!

In the meantime, keep up with me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for sneak previews, drawings in development and other work.

Learn more about the competition and the Digital Awards
<![CDATA[The Apprentice competition]]>Wed, 05 Nov 2014 22:52:02 GMThttp://www.estherkeziaharding.com/blog/the-apprentice-competitionCongratulations to Garry Hartley for winning this week's mini competition! 

The competition was themed around tonight's episode of The Apprentice, with fans having to 'like' the illustration of Lord Sugar before he fired the candidate.

Fortunately, there weren't any surprise early firings...

Head over to Facebook to be the first to hear about the next one!

See snapshots of the illustration process below.

All illustrations © Esther Kezia Harding. Please obtain permission before reusing, and credit back to this site if reposting. 
<![CDATA[The Swordsman of Calais - Part II]]>Wed, 25 Jun 2014 19:15:18 GMThttp://www.estherkeziaharding.com/blog/the-swordsman-of-calais-part-iiPicture
Just finished - the book cover for Part II of the 'Swordsman of Calais' series by Joe Harding. 

The (soon to be) trilogy tells the story of Jean Rombaud, a swordsman and executioner who receives a desperate commission from disgraced Anne Boleyn. Set against the backdrop of the Reformation, with the spread of the printed word, and the challenges it presented to the centuries-old Establishment, the story tells of the lengths men and women would go to in order to acquire the book that would rock the Church to its foundation - the Bible in English.

Read more about Part I on Amazon, and follow @JoeHardingBooks on Twitter to keep up with further updates from the trilogy.

<![CDATA[Music for a Summer's Evening]]>Fri, 23 May 2014 18:13:15 GMThttp://www.estherkeziaharding.com/blog/music-for-a-summers-eveningCrack out the Pimms and the picnic blankets...summer seems to finally be on its way! Designing this poster for Jesus College Choir really set the mood for me as I got to experiment with some glorious colours and styles. 

The purpose of this is to give the feeling of one of those gloriously warm evenings, when the sun still has an hour or two left in the sky but bathes everything in a flawless summer glow. It looks set to be a fantastic concert, so if you're around Cambridge, drop by the Chapel and book a ticket or two. We can all hope the weather will stay long enough to make the 12th July one of those stunning summer evenings...
<![CDATA[Game of Thrones excitement]]>Sun, 20 Apr 2014 21:30:58 GMThttp://www.estherkeziaharding.com/blog/game-of-thrones-excitementI'm sure I'm not the only one eagerly waiting each week for the new Game of Thrones episodes to come out, and reading the books last Autumn has only made the show better (yes, I'm one of those annoying people who knows what happens next...)!

Anyway, I did a piece of fan art while waiting for this week's episode, so here in all her glory is Daenerys Targaryen, Mother of Dragons, and a woman on a mission to reclaim the Iron Throne...

(Plus a step-by-step of how she comes together. You lucky people...)
(All images © Esther Kezia Harding 2014, which means no re-blogging unless you fully credit back to the artist/this page please!)  
<![CDATA[Happy Easter!]]>Thu, 17 Apr 2014 19:34:26 GMThttp://www.estherkeziaharding.com/blog/happy-easter
I hope you all enjoy the break (and the impeding awesome weather...)!
<![CDATA[Wedding invitations]]>Tue, 15 Apr 2014 21:48:16 GMThttp://www.estherkeziaharding.com/blog/wedding-invitationsPicture
When my friend Flick came asking if I could do her wedding invitations, I accepted with the enthusiasm of someone who has just been given a genuine excuse to pin wedding-related pictures on Pinterest for hours.

One over-full Pin-spiration board later, and Flick had been presented with some design ideas to begin the development process.

The initial ideas focused on lace as a design feature, as Flick had said she wanted a traditional invitation. However, when shown the designs, she preferred the more simple design with the elegant headers, and we developed the final designs from there.

The collection below showcases the finished result; a delicate pink and grey theme highlighted by silky blush ribbons and grey swirling borders to top and tail the text.

The Order of Service also features a bespoke drawing of St John's College Chapel in Cambridge, as this is where the ceremony will be held and is a place of personal significance to Flick.

The set includes an order of service, RSVP cards, a menu (yum!) and both daytime and evening invitations.

St John's College Chapel, Cambridge © Esther Kezia Harding 2014
<![CDATA[Illustrative interviews]]>Tue, 11 Feb 2014 21:14:29 GMThttp://www.estherkeziaharding.com/blog/illustrative-interviewsPicture
So I got interviewed by the lovely team at Cambridge Creatives; a society for creativity in all its forms. As they're a group with a number of budding designers and illustrators, they picked my brains about starting out as a freelancer, what plans I had for the future, and what advice I could give on the design world.

Read the full interview here.

<![CDATA[New poster - Science and Scripture]]>Mon, 27 Jan 2014 22:14:18 GMThttp://www.estherkeziaharding.com/blog/new-poster-science-and-scripturePicture
Told you I'd been busy last week! 

The idea for this poster came about as I was desperately trying to avoid the clichéd 'glowing DNA' type image that so often frequents posters of this kind. After admiring a particularly clear starry sky some weeks back, I decided to base the poster on man's awe at the world around him, conveying that through the small figure and the dominating but inspiring central composition. 

The idea behind the Earth/Moon/text/hypotrochoid was that of elements coming together to make a whole - elegant puzzle pieces, if you will. Regardless of religious inclination, I want this to be one of those posters that conveys that deep sense of wonder at the stars and the universe beyond us.

<![CDATA[St Matthew Passion]]>Tue, 21 Jan 2014 14:00:22 GMThttp://www.estherkeziaharding.com/blog/st-matthew-passionPicture
Happy New Year! It's been a crazy start to the year as I got a new job near London so had to pack up and move, but now the last box has been flattened, the last design deadline has passed and BT have finally activated my internet connection, I thought it's about time I blogged about some of the work I've been doing since Christmas.

This poster is another one for The Choir of Jesus College in Cambridge, in partnership with Britten Sinfonia. I'd previously designed their 'Handel Messiah' poster, so needed a unique design that still conveyed the raw depth and passion of Bach's music without crossing over with the Messiah poster. 

Although this one shares similar features - the subtle crown of thorns and a deep stained background, the sharp angles and contrasting colours combine both the modern and the traditional in a design that will stand out once it's printed and hung on Cambridge's railings.

I've got another few pieces of work that are almost ready to be made public, so keep an eye out over the next week or so for posts about them.

<![CDATA[Snuggling up for winter]]>Sun, 10 Nov 2013 15:01:32 GMThttp://www.estherkeziaharding.com/blog/snuggling-up-for-winterPicture
I've been practising drawing hair a lot recently, partly because I have a mass of my own that falls in all sorts of interesting ways and partly because it's always been the weakest part of my drawing - having the patience to work out the body and structure and draw in so many hairs doesn't come easily! Anyway, when I tied it up yesterday and threw on my new Christmas jumper, I decided it would be worth spending a few hours drawing a tumbling mass of ponytail rather than some of the more carefully coiffed styles I've drawn in the past.

However, the jumper pattern ended up stealing the show on this one. I wasn't intending to draw it, then when experimenting, it just seemed to really balance the picture and add a real pop of colour. Not to mention that drawing knitted patterns is great when you can experiment with Photoshop layers and don't have to worry about precision! I added the background texture at the last minute to give the picture some warmth. Enjoy - and if you have anything/anyone you'd like me to draw, get in touch via the 'Contact' tab!

<![CDATA[Handel's Messiah]]>Tue, 22 Oct 2013 21:20:44 GMThttp://www.estherkeziaharding.com/blog/handels-messiahPicture
Here's the latest poster hot off the press for the Choir of Jesus College, Cambridge. I had worked with their Development Assistant Natasha for the 'Songbound' poster (click here for the blog post) and was pleased to be able to design for the choir again, especially with the challenge of reinventing the poster for what is undoubtedly the most famous choral work in the world. 

Ideas of stained glass windows and chipped statues of Jesus were thrown straight out the window - we wanted something fresh and evocative but still strongly linked with 'Messiah'. After exploring some candle imagery, we settled on the crown of thorns, regal typography and a holy glow - whether you see it as passionate, sacred or dramatic is for you to decide. 

'Messiah' will be performed in Cambridge on Tuesday 10th December, and will no doubt be the perfect start to the Christmas season (for those of us who like Christmas to start in December rather than September...)

<![CDATA[Self-portrait practice]]>Wed, 18 Sep 2013 14:51:51 GMThttp://www.estherkeziaharding.com/blog/self-portrait-practiceMy greatest weakness with drawing has undoubtedly been hair. Curls aren't too tricky as they flow with the pen or pencil, but the patience required to get strands looking realistic rather than over or underdone is often too much for me! Still, in my pursuit to learn how to do it properly, I turned to self-portraiture today in the hope that my own messy mop would prove challenging enough to teach me something. 

The composition was inspired by the sudden turn in weather - pretty much everyone's snuggled up in woolly jumpers and scarves right now, sipping hot tea in an attempt to get warm. Snuggly jumpers are definitely the best part of the colder weather, but it's definitely better in front of a fire, which sadly it's not quite cold enough to light yet. This piece was done on the tablet, so I've included a mid-way screenshot so you can see how the layers have built up. Click each image below to enlarge it.
<![CDATA[Back to the drawing board - Owls owls owls]]>Tue, 10 Sep 2013 16:50:30 GMThttp://www.estherkeziaharding.com/blog/back-to-the-drawing-board-owls-owls-owlsPictureThe drawing in progress
After some much-needed time off over the last week or so to catch up on design commissions, I finally got round to doing a digital sketch of my favourite creature: the owl. There's something about these creatures that is just fascinating - whether it's their large, wise eyes or their ability to turn their head around at odd angles, those that know me well know that they have a firm place in my heart. This sketch was drawn using my well-loved tablet, and is a careful combination of many different layers of shadows, lines and textures. 

In terms of design, should you want anything doing, now is the time to ask as I'm finishing the last few commissions. My summer was spent in educational publishing, hence the silence on the blog front, but there should be some progress updates shortly. Don't forget, you can also follow me on Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram for sneak peeks, news and updates about the site.

The finished piece
<![CDATA[Ready to roll!]]>Sun, 02 Jun 2013 20:42:53 GMThttp://www.estherkeziaharding.com/blog/ready-to-rollPicture
Having been away from the design board for just over a month now, I'm pleased to announce things are back up and ready to go with a new lot of commissions (get them in while I've still got space!) having survived exam term (hopefully) unscathed. The prospect of being able to read what I want, paint for fun and generally expand my design skills a bit is an excellent prospect for the next few months. Coming up, of course, is Homerton's May Ball, and I'll be showcasing some of the graphic design work for that on here towards the end of June. 
In the meantime, here's an image I created for a poster which sadly didn't make the final cut, but which is nonetheless somehow intriguing. Enjoy, and don't worry - I'll tell you what it was for when the poster is finished! Things here are rolling along nicely, so there should be some more updates in the next week or so, including that long-awaited mystery commission from Marketing Chap.