Monday, May 22, 2017

Sweet Dreams

I've been very busy lately, but I try to snatch a little time for quick sketches before bed. And I try to snatch just a little extra time for Colour Collective. The result is a bunch of very sketchy Colour Collectives, but at least I get something done!

This one was for the 'Kingfisher' prompt. I'd seen some light-up star cushions in my reference-searches around the internet, and they were just crying out to be put in an illustration, so I used them as my base and threw this together in rather less than two hours. Overall, I quite like it as a concept (although it's scarily full of mistakes)!

Adobe Photoshop CC2017 on a Wacom Cintiq Companion 2. Under two hours in total.

Saturday, May 20, 2017


I was in a big hurry for Colour Collective's 'Coamaru' prompt, so I did a quick colour job on a sketch I did during the week. It went down well, this has the distinction of being the Colour Collective that has garnered the most likes on both Twitter and Instagram in the several years I've been taking part (good heavens, is it nearly two and a half years already?!)

Here's the original quick digital sketch. As you can see, I added more leaves.

Really very fond of this one!

Adobe Photoshop CC2017 on a Wacom Cintiq Companion 2.
About 1 to 2 hours, tops.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Alastair: 12-month Portrait

I keep thinking I have blogged this, and it appears I haven't, so I must rectify that! If you follow me on social media you will have seen snippets of this piece some months back; it's a piece I did for a friend's birthday in July. Her son, Alastair, was also born in July, just a week after her birthday, so it seemed like an excellent time to give her a 12-month portrait of his first 12 months of life. I was inspired by her remarking that he changed so much from day to day. I enlisted the help of her mother, who made sure I had a selection of nice photos for every month. Babies are so expressive, I had fun choosing lots of different moods! 

The painting is just under A3 in size, so each individual portrait is quite small:

I took a number of timelapse videos while I was working. All of them were shared after I had finished the painting and given it away, so that it was a complete surprise.

These last two timelapses are two parts of the same painting. The limit for a timelapse is 10 minutes, so I couldn't fit a whole painting into one. As it was, I always started with the base skin tones already down and dry - no one wants to watch a timelapse of paint drying!

Each individual portrait took in the region of 40 to 60 minutes to sketch and paint, so we're looking at somewhere in the region of 8 to 12 hours for the whole piece. I sketched each portrait out in pencil first, and then it's almost entirely watercolour, apart from a few coloured pencil touches, mainly in the background. I'm really a mixed-media girl. 
I decided to keep the focus on the face by making all of his clothes white - in reality he has a varied wardrobe, but that made everything rather messy when 12 pictures and placed side-by-side.

Winsor and Newton watercolours and series 7 brushes, with Prismacolor pencils, on Moleskine watercolour paper.

This makes a great gift for a mother in your life (or for yourself), so if you'd like to commission something similar, please contact me via my website - I'd love to discuss it with you!


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