Archive for June, 2013

It’s been a very productive week in the studio, and I’ve got loads done… but it’s turning out to be a ridiculously busy weekend so I don’t have much time to show and tell!  Here are a few little peeks for now, and I’ll go into more detail soon.  For more regular updates when I’m working in the studio, check out my Facebook page.

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Wednesday Work in Progress


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This week was a week of tidying up loose ends.  First of all I finished an illustration I started quite some time ago

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When I last left it I had inked in the outlines and intended to add the colour with ink, but when I sat down and looked at it again (it resurfaced during the great studio tidy last week) I didn’t think that ink was the way to go.  What to do, then?  One of the other things which turned up while I was tidying was a tin of Caran d’Ache pencils, so I figured I might as well have a play with them.

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I started off by adding the background with brown and purple, blended together and then worked with a wet brush, then started adding colour to the books.  I’ve never used Caran d’Ache before so it was a whole new experience for me and I was surprised at how light the colours come out once you add water.

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The photo above was taken after two layers of colour had been added to everything.  Quite vibrant, but it didn’t feel quite right so I carried on…

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I started deepening the shadows behind the books, and adding shade to the books themselves to stop them looking so flat.

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Eventually I was happy with the books, but the white lettering seemed too stark, so I worked on that for a while to bring it down to a creamier shade.

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…and voila!  I’m really pleased with this, although it did take ages.  Really, if I’d known how long it would take, and how many layers of colour I’d have to add, I probably wouldn’t have started it in the first place.  Still, all’s well that ends well and I will be looking at having some prints or cards made with this illlustration, so watch this space for updates!

Jenna over at Timballoo has been very productive in her sketchbook since she got back from her honeymoon, pop along and see what delights she’s got this week.

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Wednesday Work in Progress


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Allium (schubertii?), in Noodler’s ink (Black Swan in English Roses).

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The weather has been pretty glorious this week: British summertime has finally arrived!  As a result of the clement weather I’ve spent most of the time working, either in my garden or those belonging to clients.  My studio is currently a messy, deserted place, which is a little sad but pretty much par for the course in the warmer months.

I haven’t had much time for sketching this week, and the only vaguely creative thing I’ve put on paper is some rough ideas for redecorating/redesigning our kitchen.  It’s a bit of a chore, at the moment a lot of space is wasted and whilst in theory redesigning it is straightforward, it’s actually more complicated than it needs to be because of my mother.  She’s ridiculously attached to one of the ugliest cupboards I’ve ever seen, and also seems to rebel against logical changes just for the sheer hell of it.

Redesigning the kitchen might, therefore, be one of the hardest challenges ever.

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I don’t expect to make much progress with the kitchen for quite some time…

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First of all, many apologies for the unscheduled break last month – I’m afraid I was very poorly organised and didn’t get around to sorting out any topics.  Still, hopefully you’ll all be back this month feeling refreshed after the little hiatus!  We did have one participant: Serotiny over at Hundred Acre Farm decided to use the topics from last May (I’m really impressed, I don’t think I’d have thought to do that!) and I must admit to being somewhat jealous of her photos from Dublin (I’ve never been, but it’s on my list!).  I’ve been really lax at getting round to commenting on other blogs properly, so this is a very belated but warm welcome from me.  Hello! 🙂

I’m running a few days late already so, without further ado, here are the topics for June:



The Rules:

On the 1st of each month the host will post 5 categories.

Two categories will be the same every month: ‘Something you made’ and ‘inspiration’. The other three will change each time. You have the rest of the month to take a photo for each category.

By the last day of the month you should post your photos in a blog post and let the host know by either e-mailing them or posting a comment on their blog – make sure you give them the url of your blog so that they know where to link to.  The host will link to every participant’s photos and will also choose a favourite for each category and post them on their blog a few days into the new month.


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A very late post today, with some fairly random sketches done in my garden this week.

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