illustration

100 days of British Flora and Fauna - Day 3

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.  

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100 days of British flora and fauna - Day 2

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!

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100 Days of British Flora and Fauna - Day 1

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. 

 

March Meet the Maker 2019

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. 

Day 1: the prompt for this day is ‘favourite to make’. My answer to this is a mess! I’m happy when I’ve got all my paints and pencils spread everywhere with lots of creating getting done. It would be great to do that all the time but it takes so much more than just painting to get things running in Sam HQ! I’m the receptionist, designer, webpage builder, accountant, post mistress, cleaner, marketer, and CEO of this Dolan art empire. Maybe as the boss I should allow myself extra painting time for working so hard!

Day 1: the prompt for this day is ‘favourite to make’. My answer to this is a mess! I’m happy when I’ve got all my paints and pencils spread everywhere with lots of creating getting done. It would be great to do that all the time but it takes so much more than just painting to get things running in Sam HQ! I’m the receptionist, designer, webpage builder, accountant, post mistress, cleaner, marketer, and CEO of this Dolan art empire. Maybe as the boss I should allow myself extra painting time for working so hard!

Another prompt was #flatlay. I think my instagram feed might be 95% flatlays as I’ve yet to invent a more genius and simple way for showing my drawings and illustrations!

Another prompt was #flatlay. I think my instagram feed might be 95% flatlays as I’ve yet to invent a more genius and simple way for showing my drawings and illustrations!

Day 4 of #marchmeetthemaker was all about your tools and materials. I could talk about the materials I use all day! In fact Ive wrote a bunch of blog articles on exactly what I use.

Day 4 of #marchmeetthemaker was all about your tools and materials. I could talk about the materials I use all day! In fact Ive wrote a bunch of blog articles on exactly what I use.

This prompt was ‘details and close ups’. My favourite part of drawing and painting is when i get to the really detailed parts of a project. I use tiny wee brushes to get the smallest little line. I’ll spend hours just getting all the little plant vines and stems all drawn out. It doesn’t matter what style I’m creating in I always add the littlest of details. Although sometimes I can obsess over the tiny bits to much and my wrist does protest! Look after your hands and wrist! Carpel tunnel issues are no fun at all!!

This prompt was ‘details and close ups’. My favourite part of drawing and painting is when i get to the really detailed parts of a project. I use tiny wee brushes to get the smallest little line. I’ll spend hours just getting all the little plant vines and stems all drawn out. It doesn’t matter what style I’m creating in I always add the littlest of details. Although sometimes I can obsess over the tiny bits to much and my wrist does protest! Look after your hands and wrist! Carpel tunnel issues are no fun at all!!

Talking of hands and wrists this prompt was ‘hands at work’. They are my main tools, partners in crime with my big old brain. They do the heavy lifting, drawing, painting, and creating the many ideas my busy brain comes up with

Talking of hands and wrists this prompt was ‘hands at work’. They are my main tools, partners in crime with my big old brain. They do the heavy lifting, drawing, painting, and creating the many ideas my busy brain comes up with

It wouldn’t be a maker challenge without a ‘workspace’ prompt. Behind the curtains are all the things I need to make my creations and run my wee shop. ⠀

It wouldn’t be a maker challenge without a ‘workspace’ prompt. Behind the curtains are all the things I need to make my creations and run my wee shop. ⠀

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!

 

 

British Bird Watercolour Illustrations

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?