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Friday, 23 September 2011

Sweet Honeysuckle.

A quick post today folks. I have had a little idea brewing for a while, to paint some Honeysuckle.  I love this plant, it smells divine, when you catch a whiff of it while walking in woods, where it grows wild. I think there are many cultivated varieties, and I have the awfully naughty habit of, if I see one I like trailing over someones fence, breaking off a small piece and trying to get it to grow. I have had 4 successes with this now, all coming on nicely in my garden!  I took some photos of some growing outside the lovely Hobbs cafe at the top of Monsal head. Then a couple of days ago, I started to sketch up an idea. I'm only at the beginning with this, starting with a very sketchy sketch and then refining it as I go along. It's quite a complicated flower, when you look at it, and I know I won't be totally accurate, but hopefully it will be a nice impression of this sweet smelling flower. It has such wonderful bright berries too, like little gems. I'm just showing the sketches as this is as far as I got. I'm working to the size of a card I did a while back now, Alliums, see the artwork for this also. I worked quite big, it felt essential to do this as there was a lot of detail I wanted to get in. Hope you like them. I shall post further progress as I get there!  X

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Artists Ramblings

Hello Blog friends. The Autumn is approaching now, but there have been one or two lovely last flings of Summer sun just lately. Nature is so amazing, and although I am apprehensive about another bad winter, I must admit to liking the changing of the seasons. Last Thursday whilst walking the dog,( it was such a lovely day, made you feel good to be alive), I saw one of my favourite little birds. It came creeping round a tree close by and low down, so it caught my eye. It was a Nuthatch, and I remembered some Illustrations I did earlier this year around May, when I had some experimenting time. I came home and took a photo of the artwork, I also did a Bullfinch, as I was wonderfully surprised in the spring, when I opened the curtains, a male Bullfinch in the garden, so so splendid and bright!! I worked in a loose watercolour style for these, wet in wet, it's a lovely way to work. I was hoping to add to this collection, as I love the birds, but I've been really busy with commissions, so not had chance to get back to them. I have also been following an Illustrators blog,' Geninnes art blog' which is just so inspiring and full of the most wonderful Birdy Illustrations, I may have to buy something of hers, she has a very popular blog, check it out if you get chance, it's amazing!
I took a couple of photos of the flowers that day too, they may not last much longer. The Hollyhocks I grew from seed have at last flowered, I seemed  be waiting forever for them, I'm hoping they will keep coming back every year! The Fuchsia which I bought for a pound has been totally splendid all year, what a bargain! I loved the fact that lots of insects have been busy in my garden all year too, I try and plant things that will help them.
Today we walked in the woods and it had more of an Autumn feel. There were so many funghi, especially those wonderful (possibly very poisonous) fly algaric, ( I think that's what they're called?) which just look like they are waiting for some magical fairy type character to come out of the undergrowth and sit down on one??? My imagination hey?? Weird. I have never seen so many of these particular funghi though, the weather must have suited them this year.
It's late now, so I'll leave off. Out there in the woods, those fairies and elves will be partying around the magic mushrooms I am sure of it :D See you soon.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Fairies have flown

Hi there everyone. I was working on some new Christmas fairies last week. I love working on these, and I'm pleased with them. It always seems to flow so well when you're enjoying the work, and now they've flown away.... If you're wondering why I take the photos in this spot, it's because sometimes I need to put them away from me at a distance, then you can see if they are looking ok? It's best to leave them there and keep passing them to see if anything is amiss?..... Hope you like them anyway?

Onto my adventure this last weekend!

I went on a 'Sketchcrawl' at the Yorkshire sculpture park on Saturday, we were very lucky with the weather. It was so warm, if a little blustery in places...I came about this from following the WONDERFUL blog of Lynne Chapman 'An Illustrators life for me' she posted on her blog about this one and I went along, there were about 20 people there, a good turnout. All very nice people, it was a pleasure to meet. I did feel quite nervous though, being on my own, but Lynne and the staff at the Yorkshire Sculpture park were very good at accommodating us all. I will put a couple of my sketches on and corresponding photos, so you can see what I was sketching. Some of the exhibits are wonderful, particularly those of Jaume Plensa, which is a new exhibition this year. We had about an hour sketching at 4 different locations in the park, and then got together at the end to share our sketchbooks. There were some really good pieces. The people who incorporated some colour in their work stood out for me, it's amazing what a little colour zing can do for a sketch? I had a very good day in a beautiful setting. Cheers Lynne!!

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Woodland friends project

Hello again blog friends, welcome today. I hope you enjoy meeting the new friends I have been working on this past week. I am going to post some of the process of creating this work. It all started by a client liking some of my previous work.(see first photo).
I had a brief set, this is for a greeting card, with a front page design and 2 inside pages. I worked up a sketch initially and after this was approved, went on to start the background artwork. You can see my sketch above the drawing board. (photo 2)
It is all a steady build up when working with pastels, but the nice thing is that they do allow you to change colours to some extent. As long as you really don't overwork, it will cover over. The last 2 photos show pages 1 and 2 being finished, then everything finalised.

 I am quite pleased with how they have turned out. I would really love to do some children's book Illustration and in some ways this has that feel about it?? Do you think so? I don't know if  I will ever get to do any as it seems so difficult to get any interest going? But I will keep trying. Whilst doing these, my mind was thinking up some ideas. I would like to use these pastel techniques, and the softness they evoke, to create a bedtime story for little ones. It was one of my favourite things to do, reading stories to my son at bedtime.( I have an idea brewing on this).
Well I hope you like them?  I am now going back off to fairyland again, as I've been asked to create some new ideas. This is the part I love, sitting sketching and letting my mind drift and think up new ideas.
See you all again soon. X