Here is a response from Pete Adlington, ex Stockport graduate currently working in
I wanted to ask him specifically for feedback on my use of colour as it has cropped up a few times in tutorials
as not being as controlled as it could be.
To Chloe Jones
Thanks for getting in touch and sending me your stuff, it looks great.
Nice to see someone who uses paints still, can I take it that you've resisted the computer and will continue to do so?
You say that you're having trouble with your colour, I wouldn't say it was all over the place at all, but whatever the medium, be it acrylic or pencil, you are always at its mercy with the colour. The strongest colour-wise is the fish, which is purely because it's a limited palette and that's something which will hold you in good stead throughout your work. Limiting yourself to only a few colours forces restraint and that is absolutely essential when dealing with wet media. There's no CMD-Z with a paint brush obviously.
We've just published a kids book called Wildwood and the illustrator for that (Carson Ellis) uses a really beautiful colour palette which is well considered and stripped back. I understand that her target audience may be a bit older than yours for these pieces but I can promise you that if you tried using a more muted palette with colours that are complimetary then your work will be transformed. Also check out Nobrow magazine for amazing colour palettes.
As to other advice, I guess it would have to be to do as much work as possible. You obviously have a talent in traditional art skills, and a playful sense of imagination so embrace it. Also, explore other ways of working, I'm not saying jump on a computer, I'm saying follow the route of hand making your illustrations. I remember a girl called Nina in my year who found a love of lino print and made some unbelievable stuff that came about purely from play and experimentation. I bet you've you're really comfortable using paints, but what have you got to lose by trying something else?
I'd love to see how your work develops over the coming year, make sure you keep in touch and get in contact about anything to do with a brief that's bothering you. I agreed with Ian that I'd be here should you guys need me and I will be.
Pete is clearly a fan of the wet media and I am glad that somebody recognises my determination to stay away from digital media.
I agree with his comment on my fish being the strongest element in my portfolio so far. For me this image is strongest because of its consistent use of colour and its symmetrical structure. Moving forward with my painting it is becoming clear that I need to limit myself to a palette and be disciplined not to waver from it. I will certainly be researching
I am completely open to the comment about playing with other media, however, I feel that I am starting to form a consistent pattern in my work and I’m not sure if I want to disturb that progress just yet, maybe after the Christmas break this is something to have a go at. I will definitely be making use of Pete as a contact again his feedback was very encouraging and the critical comments were constructive in a way I can move my work forward.
PS. I added the smiley face from his website Bio myself, I think he's quite cute!