Author: Ben Harley

  • How I Use Custom Brushes to Create Rich Textures in Photoshop

      I love simplicity in my work. I make it my goal to show what I need to as cleanly and precisely as I can. That being said, I feel something’s lost when you get too abstract. A lot of simple ‘vector’ style artwork looks lifeless to me. Functional, stylish, but lifeless. I try to get away […]

  • Illustration Friday – Wheels

    This week I took part in Illustration Friday – a weekly competition/practice session for illustrators. The challenge’s prompt was ‘wheels.’ Starting out, my mind went straight to the invention of the wheel – cavemen (not really) hammering away at stone to build the tool that’s taken us so far… I had thoughts of the rotating wheel […]

  • How I use Pinterest to Generate Inspiration

    Like most artists, my creative drive can fluctuate wildly. We all want to be productive, but not at the expense of doing good work. Inspiration tells us we’re onto something, but does inspiration have to be something we wait for? I’ve recently found Pinterest to be a great tool for making artwork. It allows me to […]

  • Landscape Art #4: refining the style

    I’ve been taking inspiration from old masters of ink painting, particularly Fu Baoshi. Fu Baoshi produced an incredible mass of work in his lifetime (1904-1965) and played a large role in crossing Chinese painting tradition with that of Japan. See some of his work here, and check mine out below.

  • Landscape Art #3 – Ink & Watercolour Paintings

    I’ve been taking inspiration from some incredible work from China and Japan. Ink is something I used heavily as a cartoonist, but I’d never gone into ink painting… This ink painting style’s looseness makes it very meditative. Details aren’t as important as flow, so painting feels less intentional and more impulsive.

  • The 4 Steps I Took to Build My First Website

    These days, every respectable business venture has its own website. Social media is an important tool, but the giants are always shifting. You need a stable base. This article offers guidance on making a completely customisable website with WordPress (free software).  Learning HTML & CSS There are plenty of options available for someone who wants […]

  • Landscape Art #2

    More scenes charted from the Moray countryside and an experiment with Chinese ink painting techniques.  

  • Landscape Art

    Capturing local scenes and experimenting with some more traditional watercolour techniques.

  • Editorials – Cromarty Oil Transfer

      A local issue, this time. Staying in Moray, I’m right on the doorstep of so many serene places. A lot of people move here just to neighbour the local dolphins. Unfortunately, permission is being sought to carry out ship-to-ship (STS) oil transfers in the waters nearby. STS transfers are particularly prone to spillage. If the […]

  • Editorial Illustrations

    What I love about good editorial illustrators is their ability to capture so much of a situation with so little – a single image. Over the past week, I’ve been testing my own simplification skills and building up a new portfolio. Coming at art from this angle is refreshing after so much landscape painting. The […]