Saturday, 2 February 2019

Week 1 first brief and I loved it

Hello everyone, some of you may be aware I’ve started studying an MA in Illustration with Falmouth University which is totally taught online. Well my first week is completed and I love it. Having the whole teaching online really suits my style, we seem to have a wonderful cohort who already work in illustration in some way or have a degree so I have some very talented people to learn from.

Our first practice brief was to create an I (for illustration) which shows something of yourself as way of introducing yourself to the group and as I have now uploaded to my course I can share it with you here.

For anyone who really knows me it is self explanatory as I haven’t gone for anything cryptic

But those who done here goes.

The top is filled with mountains which I love, a nest with 3 birds represents my grandchildren and my daughter flying in to feed them.

The tree itself is a huge love of mine and the vine is for all the country side around me. The light,  my guiding light,  is my husband who is my biggest fan as well as my biggest critic lol. 

Then the tree is filled with some of the important things to me, my cat, books, pens, sheep, my iPad (lol) my home with its picket fence and my baby girl who lives in heaven. Then we have the deep roots which I feel I have already put down in my not so new home. (Almost a year when we moved)

And here is how I created it

Onto an A3 piece of mixed media paper I sketched my final draft. I had sketched it out several times in small scale to finalise my ideas. I then used making fluid on the leaves and small items on the tree. Once dry I added a water glaze to all the background and the dropped in purple and blue watercolour paint. (Danial Smiths) once that was dry I sprinkled brusho on top and activated it with water.

I finished painting my mountains and once dry rubbed off the masking fluid. This actually gave me a huge blister on my thumb. 

Then using watercolour I painted in the rest I added more details with pencils (polychromous by Fabre Castell) the mother bird I drew on a separate piece of card, cut it out and stuck it in place.

Let’s take another look

Hope you like as I had so much fun creating it

Hugs xxx


Friday, 1 February 2019

It’s black ... it’s white ... as the song goes but this portrait is both- new challenge for Country View Crafts

Hello everyone welcome to the February challenge for Country View Crafts which theme chosen for us by the super talented Sue is Black and white and a choice of 1 other colour. I decided to sketch a portrait as I just love drawing! Don’t forget to enter your creations to be in with a chance to enter the draw.

I started by mapping in the basic shapes ( I’ve recently started to use reference photos, as they are helping me with shading and proportions. I always refused to use them as I thought being able to draw out of my head was better. However I’ve realised that to improve and develop I need to have something to help me as I was really getting anywhere) I didn’t copy exactly just enough to help me with shadows and lights.

Building it up 

And more - I used a Derwent mechanical Pencil which is quite light in value.

And the final piece
I decided to switch to soft pastels at the end just to get some more contrasts in shadows and lights. 

I quite like how she came out and hope you do to.

Come back soon to see my piece I completed for the course I’m studying (MA in Illustration) with is to illustrate the the letter I
Take care xxx


Sunday, 27 January 2019

Polly the mouse with lavender

Hello everyone, today I have a little painting of Polly the Mouse to share with you all. 

She’s created on Bockingford watercolour paper which is 300 gsm. I love this paper as there is very little warping due to how heavy the paper is, it has some texture but not too much and the pigment is absorbed a little but doesn’t sink into the paper making it dull. You can add many layers of pigment and it stands up well to other mediums such as pencils, pastels etc.  I haven’t used it for acrylics but imagine it would handle the medium very well.

Next onto the paint I used, in this this case it was Sennelier watercolour tubes, which is one of my favourites along side Daniel Smiths. I bought a set of colours recommended by Billy Showell, a watercolour artist specialising in Botanical art. I also use brushes designed by her, my set consists of  a 2, 4, 6 in both sable and synthetic and I love them all. I use a ceramic pallet as I love how the colour mixes and is easily removed from it. 

So to start!

I first taped. My paper to my mat and sketched my composition.

I added a water glaze to the whole area of the background and started dropping in colour, blues, purples at the top and blues and greens at the bottom.
I mix my own greens (mixing video coming up soon)
Once the colour was added I then splashed on water to get the colour flowing. I dried and then repeated the process. The 3rd layer was also a repeat but more concentrated colour was used in blues and greens and then with a straw I blew the little puddles to form the branches of the trees. I love the unpredictability of this as you have to give up the control. Lastly I added the leaves with a no.4 synthetic brush.

Started to add more branches and leaves, as well as stems for the flowers. I was almost scared to touch Polly as I really liked the background and didn’t want to spoil it.

The lavender is painted loosely to fit in with the whole composition as I wanted Polly to be the focal point. 

Okay so now onto Polly, I had to be brave! I mixed up the colours using a small piece of paper to test I had the colours I wanted. And started building up the layers. I find that working on small objects is difficult due to my eyes, even with glasses the detail isn’t as sharp (so I have invested in a light/magnifying glass)

My painting skills are not as good as I would like so decided to move onto pencil for the detail. I used lightfast by Derwent. Starting on Polly I started to build up the texture of her fur, and the catkins.

Let’s look a bit closer

And here she is finished in close up

And the finished piece

If you have any questions please leave in the comments 



Monday, 21 January 2019

Mixed media Cityscape

Hello everyone, brrr it’s been a bit cold here lately (it’s winter I here you cry) I know! It’s just been so mild that the cold feels a bit of a shock, lol. Well it’s that time again for my inspiration for Country View Crafts current theme of city/landscapes. I cannot believe we are over half way through January already, time definitely flies.

For my second piece I chose to paint a cityscape, now be gentle with me as this is very much a first. I don’t own any city/landscapes stamps so my choices were very limited, and as neither are a particular interest to me, a very big challenge. (One of the reasons I love this theme so much is that it really challenged me) nothing like a good challenge to get you creative muscles working. 
There really are so many faults with this piece but I’m pleased with it!

So I started by roughly sketching my buildings and street. I lost perspective along the way,
 I didn’t use a reference photo as I wasn’t going for realism, and quite like the whimsy feel.

I then added a water glaze all over my page and let it soak in while I mixed my paints. I used Sennelier watercolour tubes but you could use
either Prima watercolour pans or Jane Davenports. Any watercolours would do!
The colours I used for the sky were: Quinacridone Gold - a very warm yellow Sennelier yellow deep - cooler but still warm Sennelier red. For the buildings I mixed various blues greys and purples, using a mix of the primary colours varying the amounts of each to hues and values I was after. The blues I used where Pthalo and ultramarine. 

I plan to do a video on mixing greys and browns so watch this space!

Anyway now my colours are mixed I start adding the colour to the wet glaze, dropping in the different colours to the sky area. Once dry I start to block in the buildings, using lighter values at the back and darkening them as I come forward. 

I want a very loose paintily style so after adding a glaze of colour I add lots of clean and splashes to add texture.

Building up more layers

And more
Once it was completely dry I added some oil pastels in areas to added depth and the figures walking. I then used a black ink with a dip pen to add details to my buildings etc. 

Another way you could add buildings is to cut them out of magazines and collage them onto your piece or even cut them out from coloured card/paper, cut the shapes stick them in place and the windows doors with a pen.

I hope you have been inspired to take part
Hugs xxx


Tuesday, 1 January 2019

Hi everyone it’s that time for a new challenge from Country View Craft  but first I would like to wish everyone a wonderfully happy New Year, and a big thank you for all the support you have shown me this year. I really appreciate all your comments and encouragement you have shown me here and on  social media, places like Facebook, instagram etc. You really are the best.

Now over to the challenge, as always there is a £20 voucher to be won to spend in the shop but you have to be in it to win, and here is my inspiration which was inspired by a fabulous print exhibition at Rheged  near where I live. 

So I started by blending several blues and green from the Distress Oxides range. I then flicked water over the page. I mopped the water then sparingly sprinkled Brusho in Ultramarine at the top and leaf green at the bottom with another spritz of water to activate. 

Once dry I used the leaf foam set and set from ranger and black ink all over creating a landscape. I heat set the ink and then with delusion paint pens I doodled over the leaves.

I then added a sentiment from Tim Holtz and there we have it. A really enjoyable piece to create. I hope it inspires you to have a go.



Friday, 28 December 2018

A little steam punky for Chocolate Baroque

Hello everyone, we half way through the holiday and I hope those that celebrate had a nice Christmas. It’s been very quite and relaxed here, just how I like it. Today I have a little card using the wonderful stamps from Chocolate Baroque.

I’ll talk through the process 

I have some burlap which has a paper backing so used this as a mat for this card. Then onto watercolour card I applied Distress Oxides. I stamped this fabulous hat and cogs from a stamp plate called Steampunky, (I love this set) and painted it with watercolour paints. I added some gold paint to complete the look. I then stuck it onto my card. A very quick and simple card but very effective. 

Take care



Sunday, 23 December 2018

Last minute wrapping

Hi everyone, I have a quick post today as I know you will all be busy with your last minute preparations and I don’t want to keep you. This quick and simple wrapping will help out for those ‘oops I forgot and need something quick’ moments

So any pillow box will do, shop bought or die cut. Apply a  random layer of crackle Gel, quick zap with the heat gun (not too much heat or else it won’t crackle) and then a layer of acrylic paint. Dry and watch those cracks appears.
Use a printed tissue paper I used this one from Tim Holtz, apply again randomly back and front. 

Die cut some leaves and stems, give them some colour and stick on the front of your pillow.  Add some fancy string/ribbon around the pillow several times and secure. Add a trinket or two, I used some little bells, a tiny rag or a sticker and you are done.

A perfect wrapping for those little presents, or you can make several and use them as tree ornaments or how about fill it up with a trinket, a hat and a joke and you have an alternative to the Christmas cracker with your dinner. 

Anyway I’ll let you crack on!

Have a wonderful Christmas to those who celebrate and I’ll see you in the New Year



Friday, 21 December 2018

Guest designer for Chocolate Baroque

Hello everyone, we are almost there, 3 more days and then the big day will be with us, exciting isn’t it? I’ve asked the big man for lots of arty stuff so hopefully as I’ve been good all year(well almost) I’ll be rewarded.
Moving on...
I have my 2nd post for the lovely Chocolate Baroque and this week I’ve been tagged.

I used this pretty tag and holder die from Tonic

I used Distress Oxide to decorate and Baked Texture to edge.

All inks were Archival from Ranger

I made some washi tape to decorate 1 of the tags 

And the other I stamped straight on the tag

These would look lovely attached to your presents.

That’s it for now, I’ll be back again with another post on Sunday with some ideas for last minute present but it’s goodbye for now.

Take care
Hugs xxx