Saturday, 13 January 2018

Inspired by nature


I hope you're all doing well.  I'm feeling really settled into 2018, the end of year break seems well behind me.  So far January has been pretty good for me.  I've been busy creating new work and organising myself for the months ahead.
As I said in my previous blog, my little Christmas trip back to the countryside has inspired some new work.  I'm determined to try and travel a bit more this year, (I think I say this every year though!) it's so good for me, it always gives me new ideas and just clears my head.  The illustration below was inspired by a country walk and also a book I started reading, there was mention of a hare and I knew immediately I wanted to bring one into my work, sometimes that's all it takes.  I wanted this illustration to have a decorative aspect also.  I love to take plants and make some sort of pattern with them and it was really enjoyable to just sit and build up the pattern using a mix of media, I was in my element!  I also love challenging myself with restricting my colour palette, colour is hard!  I'm really pleased with how this turned out though.  I worked on an A3 paper size for this, I've been working at A4 or smaller just recently so this made a nice change.

I hope you've had a good week.  I'm sketching for some new work this evening and tomorrow will be (hopefully) a painting day :).  Bye for now 

Sunday, 7 January 2018

New Year, home and away


Happy New Year!  I hope 2018 will be a great one for all of us, personally I'm pretty excited to see what it will bring.  I hope if you had a break over Christmas and New Year it was a lovely one and you're all feeling well fed and happy! (I was sent back with a food parcel and I still have some left!)
I had a lovely break, I went to see my family and it was good to have a few days off, I think I needed to wind down a bit.  I got back before New Year and have been working hard since then.  When I do have a break, I find I always come back full of energy and ready to get on.  I also find a change of scene really helps my work and gives me inspiration for some new creations.  I was particularly looking forward to walking out in the countryside and by the coast.  Living in London I really appreciate being able to do this whenever I go home.  I often visit places I went to when I was a child so they feel very familiar.  This time I went walking near Cromer and then went onto the beach (I am sea obsessed, I always need to get close to it).  When I got back here I created some work inspired by the famous Cromer crab.

Here's a couple of photos from the beach, it's quite rocky but the colours of the stones are so pretty and there was some beautifully coloured seaweed.  Nature has such amazing colours.  It was pretty cold by the way, but I am a weed in the cold!

I hope you had a lovely start to the year and here's hoping 2018 will be a great one for us all! :)

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Christmastime is here.......almost


It's almost time for a few days of Christmas break and I'm really excited about it.  I actually (for once) feel pretty organised about Christmas, (my presents are wrapped already, normally this happens much closer to the date!) and I'm already packing ready for a few days with the family.  I am really looking forward to some lovely country walks and to just slowing down and having a break from all the rushing around of life here.   I have had a busy year and I know a bit of time to relax is just what is needed....for a few days at least ;).
Here's a couple of Christmas food themed illustrations I completed recently.  I tend to make a lot of lovely roasted vegetables all throughout the year and I love simply cooked sprouts with some nice crunchy walnuts.

If you're having a break over the Christmas period I hope you get to enjoy it with family and friends and eat lots of yummy food.  I'll be back very soon :)

Sunday, 10 December 2017

All in the eyes


Here's some work I created recently for the January edition of Women's Health magazine out now.  It was great to work with them again.  The article is all about eye types, I'm a hooded eye which can be quite problematic I find when using eye make up, it always ends up on the hooded bit!  This has some helpful tips to avoid this.  I had a lot of drawn, inked and painted eyes all over the place when I was working on these trying to get the colouring as I wanted, and I still find eyes all over the place.  I'm really happy with how they turned out though.

This afternoon I'm back at the desk drawing some more wintery vegetables (yes this is a bit of an obsession of mine).  It's been a snowy day here in London, which for me was pretty exciting as it's the first time since I've lived in this flat that I have seen the lovely garden covered in snow, so pretty!  I did go out in the morning and came back with very wet feet, (trainers and snow are not a good idea!)  Still, now I'm at home all warm and toasty and can appreciate the snow from the inside :), and I did have fun walking in lovely crunchy fresh snow.
Have a great week!

Sunday, 26 November 2017

Feeling chilly


It may seem a bit early but I've been getting organised for Christmas this week.  I've started my shopping and finished off the image for my Christmas card.  I always feel once December gets here the month races by and before you know it it's Christmas already so I wanted to feel a bit on top of things.
This is the image for this years card.  Some happy singing Robins.

It is a beautiful day here, a real crisp but bright day.  I've got an amazing view of the sun low in the sky behind some almost leafless treetops!  I'm about to start work on some food illustrations with a lovely hot cup of tea to hand :), nice and cosy.  Have a great week!

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!