Saturday, 18 November 2017

Travel commissions

Hello there,

I hope you're having a good weekend.  It's been a very dark and rainy day here in London in contrast with yesterday which was cold but bright :).  I decided to treat myself yesterday and headed off to the Barbican to see the Basquiat exhibition which was fantastic, (I've been really looking forward to this so it was great to finally go and well worth it!)  As I was early I also popped in to see the John Akomfrah installation which was both thought provoking and mesmerising, well worth a look I would say.  I always wish I had more time to go to more exhibitions, it's so important to see things and I am determined to find more time in future!
On another note I wanted to share some recent work I've completed for Cox and Kings Compass magazine.  I created two illustrations, one for their letters page which was about an evening cruise on the Huangpu river, and the other is for an article about travelling with a huge supply of books.  I really enjoyed drawing the Shanghai skyline, I hope you can recognise it! and I'm really happy with how the books illustration turned out.  I loved drawing the old fashioned suitcase and I'm especially happy with the shoes (based on a pair of mine :)).  The magazine is out soon and should be available on their website if you want to take a look and our not a member.



That's it for now.  I'm back to working on a Christmas illustration whilst being all wrapped up with some huge woolly socks!
Hope you have a great weekend!

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Walking and mapping at Ickworth

Hello there,

I hope you're having a lovely weekend.  This week I've been working on another lovely commission for Women's Health magazine which I'll share once it's published.  In the meantime I thought I'd share this Ickworth Park walking map that I created purely because I wanted to.
A couple of posts ago I talked about a visit I took to Ickworth Park whilst I was at home visiting family.  It was a gorgeous sunny day and I loved wandering around.  I really enjoy visiting properties like this and spending time in the gardens.  The map is created based on the walk around it that I did. There were some beautiful Dahlias in flower when I went and I'd like to see the wildflower garden when it's in full bloom in the summer.
As it's autumn I really wanted an autumnal palette, and I have been really inspired by the colours I've been seeing out and about on and off the trees.  I adore those gorgeous rich colours and they are gone so soon!


I really enjoy making work like this, figuring out the most important aspects and working out how to combine them all to make sense as an image, but also as a walk that you can follow with a bit of imagination.  If you've been I hope you recognise some of the sights here.
Right, back to work, I need to start sketching for this years Christmas card (I'll say that very quietly!) Ta ra!
 

Saturday, 4 November 2017

November 5th

Hello!

Tomorrow is Guy Fawkes here in the UK.  When I was a child this was one of the highlights of the year!  Often we would go to see a big display somewhere which was very exciting and then at the end have a sparkler.......sparklers are the best!  I still find fireworks hugely exciting and luckily from my flat I get a really good view of lots of displays :).  Although admittedly it's not the same without a sparkler.
So, I was commissioned by The Simple Things magazine to illustrate their November identifier page and it was for, fireworks!  I had a lot of fun playing around with different media to get what I wanted.  Maybe this guide is helpful if you're watching tonight, as I think the majority of the displays will be this evening :).


Here's a few of my favourites in close up.




I hope you're having a lovely weekend and if you're watching fireworks tonight, enjoy!  I'm off to have a cup of tea and start on some roughs for a new commission :), yay! bye

Sunday, 15 October 2017

A weekend away

Hello!

I've spent the last few weeks working away on some lovely editorial commissions hence why I haven't posted here for a bit.  They're not published yet so I can't share them with you but I will as soon I can.
Besides that I also spent a weekend away visiting family and during that trip we went to Ickworth House.  I love visiting properties like this, getting a glimpse of the past and strolling around gardens.  The gardens here included a stumpery, I'd never heard of it before, but it's like a secret little garden made up of upturned tree stumps that have then been left dotted around so other plants can grow up around them.  Sometimes the stumps are shaped into animals and so on as was the case with some here.  It was beautiful day when we visited which was very lucky indeed.  There may well be some work inspired by this trip!



I also loved this inventive scarecrow.


There were also some rather beautiful Dahlias in the garden, look at the perfection!


I hope you've had a lovely weekend.  The days are getting shorter but I do love this time of year, it's still not too cold and the trees look so beautiful with all the leaves changing colour.  
I'll be back soon :).

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Drawing out and about

Hello,

This week I've been busy working on my latest promotional mail out.  That means lots of envelope writing and stuffing, sorting and organising.  This always is a time consuming job, so besides drinking lots of coffee and tea (always essential for such tasks,)  I also took some time to go out drawing.  I've been wanting to go Museum drawing again for ages.  It's something I'd love to do more of but struggle to find the time to do at the moment.  This time I went to the British Museum.  I had hoped to make it to the V&A also, but in the end ran out of time.  I really enjoy wandering around the collections and then picking out what I feel like drawing.  My plan was to do as much as possible at the Museum and then finish off at home.  What I like about this is I'm limited in just how much I can lug around with me, and what is practical, so I take a selection of pencils and pens and then when I arrive I have to work with what I've got.  Obviously there's so much to draw it's hard to know what to pick first but I knew I wanted to draw in the Mexico room where the wonderful pottery vessel was.  There's so much I wanted to draw there so I'm definitely going back.  The image at the bottom is from the Clock gallery.  Again there were lots of beautiful objects in there.  Both of these I then worked into when I got home.



I have more sketches that I still want to work up and lots more I'd like to draw so I will be going back!  
Ok I'm getting back to it, there's still some more envelopes to stuff.  Have a lovely week and I'll be back soon :)



Sunday, 27 August 2017

Sunshine and Website update

Hello there,

It's a beautiful sunny day here in London today hooray!  There's definitely been a lack of those just recently so it's fantastic to have such beautiful weather :).
I've been busy over the last week or so with amongst other things completely re-designing and relocating my website.  This is something I'd been wanting to do for a long time.  I was never entirely happy with how my previous site looked, but was quite nervous about undertaking a big re-design because I was worried just how long it would take, and whether I would be able to create what I was after.  In the end I had about a week of downtime and I'm so happy that I decided to do it.  I'm now with Squarespace following a recommendation, thank you! and I've been so happy both with the level of support they give and all the guidance they have available.  For someone with very little knowledge of website creation they have fantastic templates and how to guides.  I'm pretty much done for now so if you'd like to check it out take a look here sharonfarrow.com and let me know what you think!

Besides that I thought I'd share some recent work especially as it seems a fitting day for strawberries! These are strawberry shortcakes (my Mums are delicious :)).  I really enjoyed doing all the plate decoration and detail.


Yesterday I also popped into the Roundhouse to see the immersive installation +/- Human.  I loved it. I found both the orbs and the music totally mesmerising and hypnotic.  I'd just been to the gym so I settled down on the floor all relaxed and just watched them whirring all around me.  It finishes tomorrow so if you're in the area I'd really recommend popping in.  



Ok that's it for now.  I hope you're having a lovely weekend.  It's bank holiday here in the UK so that combined with such gorgeous weather is a real treat!




Sunday, 20 August 2017

Sunny days

Hello there,

I've had a busy few days of organising and planning as I am re-designing my website.  This is a pretty big job for me but something I've wanted to do for a while so I thought I'd better get on with it.  I didn't realise quite how long it takes to transfer everything over or how much downtime there would be so I'm currently without a website!  I'm hoping it won't take too long until it's up and running and hopefully looking more organised, fingers crossed!
In the meantime here's an illustration I completed on a lovely sunny day but I never blogged about.  A lovely pot of iced tea.  I'm still convincing myself that we're just having a late summer here and it is on its way!
I hope you've had a good week.  Right back to sorting out my images! :)
Bye for now


Friday, 11 August 2017

Flamingo

Hello,

I had a lovely walk today out in the sunshine.  It was so nice to feel it on my skin and see a lovely blue sky, it's been lacking here!
I just wanted to post this illustration that I completed a few weeks back.  I wanted it to be quite decorative but simple and really reduce my palette, always a challenge!  I'm thinking to experiment with it and turn it into a pattern although I think it could work well as a card.  What do you think?


Right, I think it's time for a cuppa and then back to work.  I just made myself a delicious dinner of smoky beans (my own made up recipe which was a success! I do love it when my food experiments come off!) with baked sweet potato.  I've got some new work to start sketching for tonight, then tomorrow the gym, and lots of drawing.  Have a good weekend whatever you get up to :).

Monday, 7 August 2017

Two Versions

Hello there,

Below are two food Illustrations of the same recipe!  I don't often redo work although I make a lot of rough versions testing out colours, marks and composition, but I tend to move on once I've completed something.  With the first image I was never entirely happy with the composition, there are bits of it I like but as a whole I just don't think it works and the bowl was really bothering me!  I put it away for a couple of days and then decided to do another version.  I'm happier with the second one, it feels lighter more like the salady look I wanted.  I thought I'd post both for you to take a look.  Which do you prefer?

Version 1

Version 2

I have to say the dish itself is delicious and very filling, it's like eating a bowl of health, you just know its super good for you!  
I hope you've had a good weekend and Monday!  Time for bed for me, it's been a long day and I need some zzz's.....
I'll be back soon with some more foodie treats.  Have a good week :).


Friday, 21 July 2017

Summer food and drink

Hello,

It's been a few weeks since I last was here.  I thought I'd do a quick post with some of the work I've created during that time, (I've got a bit of scanning to do!)  I've been drawing food and drink mostly.  I think both of these illustrations were created on lovely sunny days.
The first is a tomato plant.  I do enjoy playing with ways to depict leaves and combining different mediums, (I have a lot of random drawn leaves littered around my desk!)  For this I used quite a bit of ink.  I use different brands but I particularly like Dr Ph Martin's as they have some fantastic rich colours.
I always think I should attempt to grow tomatoes but I'm not very green fingered.....maybe this is something to attempt in future!


Next a refreshing glass of orange juice.  There's been a lot of orange use just lately in my work, although today has been a pink day as I've been drawing flamingos.  I'll be back with that soon.  
Whatever you're up to this weekend have a good one! :)





Friday, 30 June 2017

Buildings and gardens

Hello!

I thought I'd share something I finished working on this week.  I been wanting to challenge myself to draw more buildings.  I often draw specific buildings for maps and so on, but they're always small in scale, so I've been wanting to make some work that was just a building at a larger scale for a while now.  I've also been keen to draw the Liberty building for ages.  I think it's beautiful, and I also pass it a lot.  Twice a week I go to a gym close by in the early morning, and I've been doing this for quite a long time now.  The Liberty building is the first thing I notice as I come out from the tube station and I've seen it in the dark, in the light, sunshine, rain, fog pretty much any weather!  It's just a lovely thing to see especially at a quieter time of the day.


Today I visited the Geffrye Museum somewhere I've wanted to go for a while.  It's a small museum of the home and has recreations of room and garden layouts from the last 400 years, set in old almshouse buildings.  I've been living in London for many years now and I still find places I've never been this was one of those.  Pictures below.




That's it for now, back to work drawing green veggies, yum!  Have a great weekend :)

Saturday, 17 June 2017

A day at the beach

Hello,

A few weeks back I took a little trip back to Norfolk and visited what is possibly my favourite beach there.  As a child I used to go regularly to Wells-next-the-sea so I have a lot of happy memories from that time.  It's great to go when the it's a lovely hot day and you can paddle.  The tide goes out a long way but leaves little pools behind so you have warmish water to swim and paddle in, I love it!  The beach is huge so even if it's busy you can walk and walk and get away from it all.  There's a pine forest behind the beach huts which you can also wander through.  I've been when it's hot, when it's cold and windy too, it's just a lovely place to go to whatever the weather.
So after that little visit I made a piece of work based on it.  I spent ages working on the colours for the huts.  In reality they're all a variety of colours but I wanted them all to relate to each other and share the colouring.
Here's the finished piece


Here's some of the work in progress colour sketches.  I tend to make a lot so I can really sort colours and have all sorts of scraps with marks and textures which I then keep as they are so helpful for future work.  Then I piece it all together before working on the final.


Here's some photos of the beach, ahh it's a lovely hot day today and it would be great to be there!



I hope you're having a lovely weekend, I'm gazing out at a lovely blue sky and looking forward to another sunny day tomorrow :)

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Editorial Illustrations

Hello,

I thought I'd share with you some recent work I completed for Cox and Kings Compass Magazine.  These illustrations were for their spring/summer issue which will be out soon.  Both of them were lovely briefs.  One was for the letters paged inspired by Greece, and the other was based around an article about literature and the Thames.  I had a great time drawing these.  Thinking of Greece really took me back to holidays there (I must go back soon!) It also meant I got to draw a goat which can only be a good thing!  I loved working through ideas for the for the Thames piece, it was a beautiful article.  I always enjoy drawing London landmarks and I'm really happy with the colours I choose for this one and how it turned out.

It's a bank holiday weekend in the UK this weekend and for once I am actually escaping the capital and going to spend a few days away in the countryside, I can't wait!  I realised I haven't left London since Christmas! so it really is about time.  
I hope you have a lovely weekend whatever you do x

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Crystals

Hello,

I writing this from a very rainy London, but thankfully I'm home and in the warm :).  I actually do like the rain, when I'm not in it!
I thought I'd update with some Illustrations I did for the latest edition Women's Health magazine.  This was a lovely commission all about crystals and their healing potential.  I had a lot of fun combining varying media to create the textures.  After reading the article I'm thinking it would be pretty beneficial to have them around.







I'm really happy with how they turned out and I think they make a nice set.  I hope you're having a good week and I'll be back soon.  Now time for a cuppa I think :) x

Sunday, 30 April 2017

Exhibitions and birds


Hello again,

It's been a lovely weekend and tomorrow is bank holiday, hooray!  I'm looking forward to a day full of drawing and painting which makes me very happy indeed.
Just lately I've been continuing drawing birds, particularly the ones I see regularly where I live, so lots of Crows and Magpies.  I've been pulling out all my supplies (I end up working on a tiny area of my desk surrounded by lots of art materials!) and mixing up all the media which I love doing.  I've also brought out pastels which I haven't used for a long time, it's been great fun working with them (and making a lot of mess of course).  I'm working on another one now but below are a couple I completed.


I've also been to some wonderful exhibitions.  Two of the highlights were Lisa Brice's wonderful blue gouache paintings at the Stephen Friedman Gallery which has now closed, and today I went to see Josef Frank at the Fashion and Textile Museum.  I'd been wanting to see this for ages and it was a wonderful colourful treat, it closes next weekend I think so I'd recommend visiting if you can.  Here's some of my favourites from both exhibitions.

Lisa Brice

Josef Frank

How gorgeous are they?  Just lovely.  I hope you have a great week, I'm off to continue painting into the night yay!

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Hello there,

The weather here this weekend has been absolutely gorgeous and I have taken some time to walk about a bit, it feels so good to feel the sunshine!  I've also been working on a personal piece that I started a while back inspired by things I see everyday.  I'm very lucky in that where I live I overlook the lovely garden which I share with the other flats.  Pretty much anytime I look out of the window I see crows going about their business and they fascinate me, so I really wanted to draw some.  I also haven't made any larger scale work for some time now and I've been itching to do something.  This isn't that large really, between A1 and A0, but it's bigger than I've done for a while.  So, I've been getting stuck into making large marks with lovely big brushes and scraping around with my palette knives, lovely!  It's also a great excuse to spread out all over the floor and make a mess, (I am incapable of being neat and tidy as I work, today I ended up with paint on my leg.....I still don't know how that happened!)
Below is how it looks now, I want it to feel very rhythmic and I'm working with a reduced palette.  I'll post the finished piece when I'm done.


I've also recently completed some editorial commissions which I'll post once they've been published.  They've been lovely jobs :).
I'll be back soon.  I hope the weather is as lovely where you are, I really love this time of year.
Here's some sunbathing daisies from the weekend.  Now I'm off to have a cuppa and do some scanning :).  Have a great week!


Friday, 17 March 2017

Hello,

So I thought I'd share some pics from my visit to the Eduardo Paolozzi exhibition I went to last week at The Whitechapel Gallery.  There was such a variety of colour and line and I'd been having a testing time working with colour on that day so it was the perfect time to visit!  Sometimes having a little breather can just sort things out in your head I find.




I hope you've had a good week :)

Sunday, 12 February 2017


Hello again,

It's been a few cold days here in London but I've braced myself and I finally made it to some exhibitions before they closed today! Hooray!  
Friday I went to see Zaha Hadid: Early paintings and drawings at The Serpentine.  I really wanted to see this as I became fascinated by her paintings after watching a documentary on her a while back.  To get there I had a long walk in Hyde park and by the lake (it was pretty cold!).  I definitely don't allow myself enough time to go walking out and about so I really appreciated it and the odd snowflakes that were falling! 
Saturday afternoon I went to see Anselm Kiefer - Walhalla at the White Cube Bermondsey.  There was a big queue but it moved pretty fast and I'm really happy I went.  I'd read varying reviews of the exhibition but I really loved it.  Especially the huge paintings.  Such fantastic colours and textures.  I've often missed exhibitions in the past because I haven't made time to go and I'm determined not to let that happen anymore!

 By the Serpentine.  I didn't envy them!

Zaha Hadid



Anselm Kiefer
Have a lovely week, I'll be back soon :)