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.

Rating

Work in Progress: Critter Series

Sometimes I like to go back through my old sketchbooks and pick out odd doodles to develop into something more. I’m quite fond of the little robot squirrel which popped up a few times in my sketchbooks last year, so I’ve been playing around with the design and making plans to develop it into a new character series.

I could see room for improvement and ways to make it more expressive and versatile. I took a copy of the original doodle and sketched over the top, reworking the shape, features and expressions. Once I was happy with it (and after changing my mind on the most minor details more times than I care to count) I exported it to Adobe Illustrator and inked it up in vector format so it’d be nice and scalable across a range of media.

Sketches by Stina Jones

Vectoring Progress by Stina Jones

This is really just a starting point and I’ve got more plans in the works for this little critter – including a limited edition sticker pack launching in 2017. I’ll be posting developments to my Instagram as I go, so follow my feed for more updates.

#ArtDrop Manchester

Over the past few months I’ve been leaving Free Art packs in various locations in Central Manchester for people to find and keep. Each pack contains a limited edition (1/10) art print, stickers, and a handwritten note to the recipient.

It’s always a fun excursion finding spots for these little art packs. I sometimes leave clues on my Instagram and Twitter for anyone who wants to track one down – but more often than not I leave it up to chance. It’s nice to hear from the folks who randomly come across them!

I have a few more of these packs at the ready to leave out in the run up to the holidays, so keep an eye out if you’re in Manchester. I’ll be following up with a new series in 2017 too.

#ArtDrop Manchester Northern Quarter

#ArtDrop Manchester Oxford Road