watercolour painting

100 Days of British Flora and Fauna - Day 33

Ringlet butterfly by samantha dolan

No.33 of #100daysofbritishfloraandfauna. A dark, neutral toned ringlet for todays painting. You can find these in the woods during the summer bouncing about high grass and branches when they are not brilliantly camouflaged. That’s 8 British butterflies in my little painting project so far and i’ve got many more on my list ready for painting!


Seaside Adventure


I’ve been working on ways to spark new creativity recently. It can be difficult to feel excited about making new things when you are constantly designing and working away at collections of illustrations. Sometimes the monotony of completion can make my brain forget that illustrating and drawing is supposed to be fun. So Ive been setting myself little artist dates with myself inspired by the book ‘The Artist’s Way’ by Julia Cameron . The idea of committing time and making space to get out of your comfort zone for the sake of creating is something that works well for me.

My first little trip was to Elie beach. Ive been following a hashtag on instagram called #walktosee created by the illustrator Helen Stephens. The aim is to get outside and draw or paint what you see. I liked the idea of making my creative pursuit into an adventure so I packed up my watercolours, stopped by a farmers market for snacks and supplies and hit the beach.


Its bit scary painting in public but I tried to ignore the inner critic and get to work. Luckily it was bitterly windy which took my mind off it’s selfconciousness. I just got paint to paper before my fingers froze off! Its been a long time since Ive attempted landscape painting but I was quite happy with the results and it definitely blew away the creative cobwebs.


Ive already picked out the next spot below for when I get back to the coast. Next time I’ll be taking some extra layers, hats and gloves so I can camp out a bit longer with my paints and see if I can build on my landscape skills.


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.