Graphic Design Students Artwork

On my travels sorting out admin in the student area I stumbled across a student who is currently studying the Graphic Design Diploma, who has submitted their work for submission. All of the images drew me in and following the progression and the creative thought behind it was just wonderful. I really had to post them here from the initial concept at the bottom of the post – the photo, to the sketches and studies, to working out how the collage was going to work, following through to the finished result. This student should be really pleased with her work, the time and thought behind it – just excellent. I hope that everyone here feels very inspired!

David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation

David Shepherds Wildlife foundation team have emailed us the press release below for our college news blog. I hope it is of some interest to some of our younger readers!


Press Release: Animal Friends Insurance teams up with the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation to nurture young artistic talent

The David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation (DSWF) is delighted to announce that Animal Friends Insurance will be sponsoring the ‘Young & Wild’ category in the charity’s annual Wildlife Artist of the Year Competition.

The Young & Wild category was the idea of David Shepherd’s artist granddaughter and competition judge, Emily Lamb; in 2012 it attracted a strong field of entries from talented young artists. It is hoped that the additional incentives that Animal Friends’ support brings to the competition will help engage an even wider and equally strong field of promising young talent.

“Animal Friends Insurance is offering two £500 prizes in the Young & Wild category plus an additional £5,000 to each winner to donate to the DSWF conservation project of their choice. This additional incentive further strengthens the reward and recognition that the Wildlife Artist of the Year competition offers young artists,” explains charity founder and wildlife artist, David Shepherd CBE.

The category winners will also be in contention for the competition’s top prize of £10,000 and the coveted overall title ‘Wildlife Artist of the Year’.

Chris Newnham, Marketing Manager at Animal Friends Insurance, said: “We’re really excited to be involved with the David Shepherd Wildlife Artist of the Year Competition, it truly is a great way for young artists to showcase their artwork to the world and support the wonderful animal conservation projects that the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation supports in Africa and Asia.”

The winner of the category in 2012 was Scottish art graduate Madeline Mackay. Thrilled to be short-listed for the competition and to have her work displayed at the Mall Galleries in London, Madeline was delighted not only to win the category but also to sell both of her selected pieces on the opening night. “The whole experience was completely fantastic and I will definitely be entering again,” she said.

Entries are now welcome for the 2013 competition. For full details please see

About Wildlife Artist of the Year

Since its launch in 2008 the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation’s Wildlife Artist of the Year has helped to raise over £180,000 for conservation projects in Africa and Asia to help save endangered wildlife.  In 2013 the short-listed entries will once again be on display and for sale at London’s prestigious Mall Galleries 3-8 June.

About DSWF

The David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation was founded in 1984 by wildlife artist and conservationist, David Shepherd CBE to help save the wildlife that had brought him renown as an artist. It now supports vital projects throughout Africa and Asia working to save elephants, rhino, tigers, painted dogs and snow leopards from extinction. Find out more about the projects at

About Animal Friends

Animal Friends Insurance is a leading UK specialist pet insurance provider giving cover for dogs, cats and horses. Founded in 1999 Animal Friends has seen exceptional growth in recent years Pet Insurer. Datamonitor in 2011 placed Animal Friends as one of the UK’s top 10 pet insurers. Since launching, Animal Friends has stayed true to their aims by providing pet insurance to raise awareness and much needed funds to support animal welfare all over the world. Animal Friends is the trading name of Animal Friends Insurance Services Limited, company number 3630812, registered office Animal Friends House, Sunrise Way, Solstice Park, Wiltshire, SP4 7QA. Animal Friends is regulated by the Financial Services Authority, FSA Registration Number: 307858

For more details please contact:

Vicky Flynn at DSWF on 01483 272323 – 07980 135909
Johanna Paget at Animal Friends – 01980 66603

Vicky Flynn
PR and Communications
Monday – Thursday 9am – 3pm
The David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation
Saba House, 7 Kings Road, Shalford, Guildford, Surrey GU4 8JU
Tel: 01483 272323 Mobile: 07980 135909
Websites: &

Join us for some great events for wildlife this autumn!
Tiger Day in Shalford on Sunday 30th September , the  DSWF annual RGS lecture ‘Healing Without Harm’ on October 18th and our fabulous ‘Night Safari’ Black Tie Dinner at the Dorchester on November 23rd See our full list of events by clicking here

Illustrating Children’s Books – Students story….

I asked one of our students who has just completed the Illustrating Children’s Books Diploma (D6) and received a distinction for his work, if he would write a little about his work and experiences through the course. It has been an extremely interesting read and I hope al budding illustrators out there, find it as interesting as i have. Thank you Rob for doing this for us and good luck in your follow on course with us.
Hi, my name is Rob Wilkinson, and I have just finished the ‘Illustrating Childrens books Diploma’, and am thrilled to have recieved a distinction for the course. I thought I would talk about a couple of the briefs, and how I approached them, and better still, what I learned about my artwork via the process.


For the third assignment, ‘Fiery Fred’, I had looked at many submissions on the forum from other students, and I wanted to be original in my efforts. I used a Rotring 0.35 Technical drawing pen to achieve a range of shading effects with cross-hatching and dot-stippling. This is quite painstaking, but I do like using pen & ink, so it gave a satisfying result. The drawing was done in a vignette style, and showed the young dragon looking guilty after setting fire to all and sundry. I like humour, and my cartoony style fitted this well. The problem of then taking a well-executed black & white drawing and colouring it is a common one I face. Learning to paint in  built up layers of watercolour or any painted medium is and has been a challenge. I opted for watercolour pencils and water wash, and the final result was very pleasing. The point to note here, is that in my quest to be imaginative AND as original as I could, I lost sight of the brief. In publishing, this is very significant, and I did not represent the thatched cottage as requested. The lesson was a hard one, as I feel very close to my ‘Fiery Fred’, but I allowed too much deviation from the brief.
The next three assignments came thick and fast, and I stuck much more closely to the brief. The spooky brief was relatively straightforward as I am used to using Ink, but in ‘Cow & Bird’ and ‘Freds happy ending’, I tried to challenge myself, painting with arylic paint and taking much more care over finishing touches. I often posted work on the forum, and tried to use suggestions and comments as a constructive boost to help with my work. I include the first sketch, done in pencil, then painted usinf a No 2, and 4 sable brush with black acrylic. Again, adding colour was a challenge, and I opted for a more limited pallete for my night time view of the Moose and companion at the end of their magical day. I changed the use of colour to show reflections, and added a corona to the moon (all things suggested by other students).

The course has been a real boost to my confidence. I am a Science Teacher and parent, with no real training in Art. I have simply carried on painting and drawing and reading for many years. I look towards writing and illustrating books, and if any were ever considered for publication, that would be very cool indeed and would answer a real lifetime dream. I encourage everyone to draw and paint what you love, but also to be open to criticism and reflection. This course has been a confidence builder for me, and I have enrolled upon the follow on course to continue my journey. Thanks for being a hoot.Rob Wilkinson. Illustrating Children’s Books Diploma (D6)

Coloured pencil dog portrait…

This is a wonderful coloured pencil portrait from one of my own students. The time taken over this drawing can definitely be seen here and it has really paid off. Coloured pencil is a time consuming medium, it cant be hurried. My usual advice for students is to have one on the go at all times and work with other things in between. It keeps things fresh and less hurried if you don’t pressure yourself with time-scales. Congratulations to my student Louise for a wonderful drawing.

Portraiture student…..

Our Portraiture tutor Julie Dougglas has emailed me a wonderful piece of students work which she received for critique this week. Its beautifully laid out and annotated. More and more students are using the computer to collate their work which is great for our tutors, the more information we receive, the more we can help the individual.

Drawing and Painting Diploma Student

This piece of artwork caught my eye today, a Drawing and Painting Diploma student created this lovely watercolour rural scene. The student has used some wonderfully soft, wet in wet washes for the sky, allowing the colours to blend. They haven’t been tempted to play with the colour on the paper which is great, a good tip – laying down soft washes, lay them down and leave them! The crisp greens and detail of the flowers work really well to help tell this story of the chap walking back to his tractor. This student should be very pleased with their results!