Today’s painting is some Wood Violets. They are also known as Common Dog Violets and are common in woodlands especially around this time of year. I find purple tones difficult to paint with but these little floral gems are hard to resist painting.
Today I’m back to painting some flora. As much as I’m using the 100 day project to develop my animal drawing skills, I’m also using it to have a chance to draw more plants. Below is are some primrose also know as Primula vulgaris. They are just started to emerge from the ground as the temperature warms here. They are the lemony yellow ancestors to all the brightly coloured ones you see in gardens these days.
Day 2 of my 100 day project has me painting butterflies. I decided to paint a peacock butterfly. When researching these creatures I learnt that they are supposedly quite uncommon in Scotland. I say supposedly because I saw one in my garden a few days ago and i happen to be situated just about in the middle of Scotland!
This April I have set myself a challenge! To paint an image everyday for 100 days using British flora and fauna as inspiration.
You might be familiar with the 100 day project but if not here’s a quick summery. You pick a task to do every day for 100 days. It can be anything. Running, cooking, drawing, knitting. Then you document it and post it to your instagram with the hashtag #the100daysproject. You can also create an independent hashtag to catalogue your personal project. I’ll be using #100daysofbritshfloraandfauna to track my paintings.
I’m quite excited to attempt this. I’m going to paint for 30 to 45 minutes a day, developing my illustration style and creating a nature based folio. I also hope to learn a lot along the way.
For the first day I’ve pick a wee red fox. I’ll be using watercolour and gouache paint along with water soluble pencils and crayons throughout this challenge. It’s nice to get back to paper after quite a few months working purely digitally.
This March I participated in the #marchmeetthemaker challenge on instagram. It’s a great instagram challenge encouraging makers and small business owners to share lots of different aspects of their story with their audience. Created by Joanne Hawker this challenge give you a different prompt everyday to create an image on instagram. Although I struggled a little to post every single day it still gave more a push to create some great images for my instagram and find some great creatives to follow. It’s also a gave me a good chance to reflect on my creative practice and business.
Here’s a roundup of my favourite prompts of the month.
Finally a prompt about ‘design process’. Ive got lots of different ways I make/draw things but generally they start with a quick pencil thumb nail. They are simple little drawings that get all my thoughts on paper. Click on the above image to see all the stages of this gardening illustration. Then I’ll quickly flesh out the thumbnail a little larger to use as a guide. I also practice the bits i find tricky drawing at this stage in my sketchbook.
The next stage is to start working on the final piece either on paper with paint or digitally. This garden image was created in procreate with my ipad. Then the image is done ready to be made into prints, patterns and lots of other fun things!
Recently I launched a Birds and Botany 2019 Calendar in my shop. I illustrated 12 British Birds mostly found in the gardens and hedgerow in the areas surrounding where I live. I thought I’d show you some of my favourites from the calendar.
First up is my favourite bird to paint, the goldfinch. Perched upon a branch of teasel and surrounded by dog roses, this brightly coloured bird is one of my favourites to spot when Im out running.
Next we have the brightly yellow Linnet. I’ve caught sight of these little birds in the trees and hedgerow between fields in the countryside. Their brightly coloured chests standout in the winter once the leaves have fallen away.
Below is the wren also known as a house wren or if you remember some of the nursery rhymes as a child a Jenny wren. Even though they're a small size and have duller brown colouring compared to the brighter hedgerow birds I enjoy painting them. There is a surprising complexity to the pattern of their feathers which is enjoyable to investigate with watercolour paint. Also if you have one in your garden you will also know they can be incredibly loud for such a tiny creature.
Finally we have a European robin. I couldn’t miss this bird out in a british bird calendar. Its a perfect bird representative for the festive season and the month of December.
My 2019 Calendar is available in my shop in the lead up to the new year. I will also be selling the Original paintings in my shop. They would make a perfect gift for an art loving bird enthusiast. Hopefully in the future I will also be releasing a series of prints.
Now I have to decide what series of animals and birds to paint next!? Any suggestions?
As winter creeps in I start to an itch to get really organised. I’m a person who has diaries, to do list and any thing else that can keep me on track with my plans. As a planning obsessed person my main method is to break the year into quarters, then each quarter gets its own notebook and Trello board. From there each month in the quarter gets its own to do list. Now if that’s starting to sound a little complicated that’s because sometimes it feels like it is. So I decided to design something for my wall so I could see what was happening on that day right away! Made especially for the days I want to keep things simple and just get on with the task at hand.
The first wall planner I designed is a monochrome blank calendar. If like me you separate your year into segments then these quarterly grouped columns will be perfect. It is also blank so you can start your plans at anytime without having to wait for a new year to get started on those big plans. The botanical design can also double as a colouring sheet so you can have some fun customising your planner. It is A1 size and available for immediate download on etsy. If you haven’t printed something large at home before I’ve also included a print guide to the download to make it as simple and easy as possible to create at home.
The second wall planner I’ve designed is a bright floral 2019 calendar. It’s also a1 size. If you think that sounds a little large for an at home wall planner know that you don’t have to print it full size. The thing I love about at home Printables is you can change the sizes to suit you. I use the poster setting in adobe acrobat and if I want it smaller I just set it to 75% instead of 100%. This planner has plenty of space to write out the important things in 2019 and will brighten up an office space with its bright illustrated border. It’s also available for download in my shop.
The days are getting darker here in Scotland but the trees all around me are turning to bright shades of orange, red and yellows! Feeling inspired by natures ever changing colour spectrum I decide to make a pattern that celebrates the season of autumn. Its leafy, pumpkin filled glory can also decorate your device screens with this free wall paper.
Just click this link to download to your screen.