Sketchbook Stuff vol 7

I’ve been neglecting my sketchbooks a bit lately as my iPad and Apple Pencil combo has become more convenient for rough work.

My sketchbooks haven’t disappeared from my workflow though and I’m still using them for playing with traditional media and enjoying time away from my screens. 

Here are a few favourites since my last post.

Happy New Year!

Just a quick post to wish you all a Happy New Year and all the best for the year ahead. Here’s to making 2017 an awesome one!

I’ve got a lot of plans in the works for this year – more creating, learning, and generally aiming to make this year bigger and better than the last! I’m also booking in new commissions for the coming months, so if you’d like to work with me get in touch.

Free Festive Colouring Sheet

Happy (nearly) Christmas, everyone! I’m giving away a festive colouring sheet as a holiday gift.

Download the high res artwork using the link below and print it out onto some card stock, or import it into your favourite colouring app.

I’d love to see your creations so do tweet me your photos when you’re done!

Download here!

Please note: This download is meant for personal use only. Please don’t distribute, resell, or use any elements of it commercially. Contact me if you’d like to do so as we may be able to come to an agreement on licensing. 

Festive #ArtDrop 2016

I’ve been putting up little festive illustrations around Manchester city centre today, for a one-off holiday #ArtDrop run.

The series has been created using a combination of digital lines, with details and colours added by hand, along with some sparkly layering and a silver frame to finish. No 2 pieces in the series are alike and they won’t be available anywhere else.

See my Twitter @stina_jones for clues on the locations. Find one and it’s yours!

Layering Sparkles with Kuratake Wink of Stella brush pen

Festive #ArtDrop by Stina Jones

Review: BenQ BL3201PT Monitor

As most of my work is created digitally, I’m always up for testing out new design tech – this month, I’ve been checking out the BenQ BL3201PT Monitor.

The specs boast a 32 inch 4K2K display built with BenQ’s advanced IPS technology, providing ultra-precise colour rendition (100% sRGB colour) and over 300% working space. Full specs here.

I was surprised by the heavy weight of the monitor when it first arrived, but this proved to be indicative of good build quality. The base is particularly robust and stays stable at every angle. There are a lot of adjustment options, including a 90 degree rotation to portrait mode which I’ve been finding useful for web design work.

The connectivity options are generous and even include 2 x USB 3.0 ports, a headphone jack and an SD card reader. There are 2 x built in 5W speakers too with fairly decent sound.

The on screen display controller is a nice touch, as it allows me to assign my favourite modes and quickly switch between them. The controller sits neatly in a recess under the monitor but it’s also attached via a 0.5m cable so you don’t necessarily need to reach across the desk to switch modes.

I was initially skeptical about the 32inch display and expected the size to be a little overkill for design work compared with the 24inch set up I’m more accustomed to. On a busy day I’ll have Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign running simultaneously alongside various admin and social media apps, so I found that gaining that extra screen space increased my productivity as it’s saved me from minimising and shifting app windows around so much.

The screen surface has a very light matte coating, which provides a good level of anti-glare without compromising the vibrancy. I often find screens with matte coatings appear a bit dull and grainy but this monitor is the exception. Images are displayed beautifully and the screen maintains clarity well at different viewing angles – any colour shift is barely noticeable. The back light is distributed evenly and I only noticed a very slight drop-off in the corners, which is minimal and nothing that would be distracting.

I found the default display settings worked well out of the box and only needed a little tinkering to set it up for design work. The monitor is missing a wide-gamut (Adobe RGB) colour space though, which some designers may find to be a let down.

The ‘low blue light’ feature has made working long hours easy on the eyes, particularly in the evening when I’d usually start getting a headache.

Overall, the BenQ BL3201PT Monitor offers excellent value for money.