Thursday, 30 December 2010

Vicki's painting

Just thought I would add a photo of a minature watercolour painting I did for my friend, Vicki, as a Christmas present.

Private Commission - Portrait in Elizabethan Style.

My friend, Rhian Doyle, asked me to paint a portrait of her husband, Alan, in Elizabethan costume.  It was for a Christmas present from her to him.  As I only had a couple of weeks to complete it, I painted it digitally and then sent it to my printers and had it printed as a giclee print.  Rhian's only request was that it should be black and white, the colours of Alan's favourite football team.  As I originally studied costume design, I have lots of books on the history of clothes as reference and I spent hours looking at the lovely clothes instead of working!  A painting of Sir Walter Raleigh also inspired me.  Here is the finished portrait anyway, and the preliminary sketch.   Alan was very pleased with it :)  I just wish I hadn't decided to paint a doublet with so many slashes!!!!

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Merry Christmas

This will be my last blog post before Christmas (probably) so I thought I would post my painting of a Christmas fairy carrying the gift of Christmas spirit (thanks Elise Hoogsteden-Roberts for that idea:). Merry Christmas everyone and hope you have a great holiday xx Ho ho ho! ;-) xx

Needle Felted Bunny

Just thought I'd add a new needle felted friend I made for my friend for Christmas.  It didn't turn out as well as I hoped... I think the eyes are in the wrong place... but considering she started off as a cat, this whole project hasn't gone to plan, lol.

Friday, 17 December 2010

A Christmas Drawing For a Friend

My friend doesn't know this yet (and I hope she doesn't look at my blog) but I did a little festive drawing of her dog 'Billy' for a handmade Christmas Card ;)  I'm posting it to her tomorrow, so I'll let you know what she thinks of it.  I was going to paint it but I've run out of time.  Christmas has just appeared out of nowhere! 

Monday, 13 December 2010

The Frog Prince

A little sketch from my sketchbook of 'The Frog Prince', which I want to develop into a painting in the future when I've finished my current projects :)

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Needle Felted Duck

I finally took a photo of the needle felted duck I made for my sister to give to her friend.  It isn't a very good photo but you can see what she looks like.  My sister's friend loved her, 'especially her chubby cheeks' she said.  I used wire in her legs so they can bend.

Monday, 15 November 2010

Little Sketch of a Duck

I just realised I haven't posted anything for ages so I thought I would post a little sketch of a duck I recently did.  I'm busy making needle felted friends for Christmas and my sister asked me to make a duck for her friend, so I sketched this little guy to give me an idea of the positioning of the eyes and the beak.  There's a lovely park in Stafford, which the River Sow runs through, and some picturesque canals to walk along, where there are always swans and ducks to sketch and photograph.

Monday, 25 October 2010

Dream House!

In the after school club recently, I thought it would be a lovely idea for the children to design their dream house.  I decided to join in too and I sketched my dream house, along with my dream pets.  One of my dogs, Dougal, stands sentry (the other two dogs are watching day time TV on the sofa inside the castle).  The dragon is too big to come into the castle, although he tries every day... You can't imagine how many drawbridges he's broken!  He's quite happy sleeping next to the moat, curled up around the castle though.  Note, the moat also has a little duck, as I've always wanted a white duck too (I'm not fussy what colour the dragon is, but the duck must be white!).  I might turn it into a painting one day :)

Saturday, 23 October 2010

One Lovely Blog Award! What A Lovely Surprise!

A big thank you to Marion Eldridge who gave me this lovely blog award.  It was waiting for me on her blog New Art News and I am delighted to have received it.  Thank you Marion.  Marion is such a talented illustrator and I really enjoy reading her blog and seeing the latest gorgeous Illustration Friday painting or sketch.

I promised to pass this award on to other lovely blogs too and I'm finally doing it, after about two weeks, lol.  I follow lots and lots of blogs and I know I've missed so many out. Here are some blogs I enjoy reading, a mixture of writing, illustration and fairies :) I enjoy reading Marion's too, but of course I can't give the award back to her, lol.

Diana Levin Illustration
Medeia Sharif
Written By Sime
Shirley Ng Benitez Illustration
Julissa Mora
J D Writers Blog
Jenny Wilson Artwork
Karin Won't Stop Talking
A Mouse In The House

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Watercolour of Tucker, the Pomeranian

I recently painted a little portrait of Tucker, a beautiful Pomeranian, for a lovely couple, illustrator and cartoonist Jack Foster and Aleithia Deaver-Foster.  It started off as a sketch, but his coat is such a gorgeous colour that I thought I would add a little watercolour and coloured pencil too.  I really appreciated Aleithia's words of thanks and it was a pleasure to draw little Tucker. Thanks for looking :) Woof!

Saturday, 16 October 2010


Introducing my new fairy painting, 'Will-o-the-wisp', inspired by Doxey marshes in Stafford, which are just behind my house.  As I've told my nieces, if you look hard enough from the window in the attic bedroom over at the marshes, you can sometimes see little fairies carrying balls of light...

Friday, 1 October 2010

Wonderful Hay-on-Wye!

This post isn't about illustration, although it's sort of about books... I want to post some photos of my wonderful weekend my husband and I had to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary.  We just returned from beautiful Hay-on-Wye in Powys, on the Welsh Marches, a place I visit frequently and somewhere I wish I could live because of the wonderful countryside, friendly people, the Hay festival and, of course, the book shops, of which there are approximately thirty in the small market town.

My husband and I stayed in a gorgeous bed and breakfast, called Lower House, in Cussop Dingle, a beautiful rural area of Hay. The hosts, Peter and Nikki, were extremely friendly and welcoming, and the house and garden were stunning (the garden appears in the book Discovering Welsh Gardens by Stephen Anderton).  The 18th century house (with some parts dating back further) is built on 7 acres of land; a mixture of pretty gardens, stream and pond, woodland, orchard and small fields (home to some lovely black sheep).  We stayed in 'The Rose Room', which had a charming window seat to sit and view the garden and the most comfortable bed! I found it hard to get up in the morning, but the delicious, organic breakfast soon coaxed me.  Here are some photos:

Different views of 'Lower House'


Above right, the cairn built by Nikki and below right, the mirror in our room, made by Peter from an old wardrobe door.

Below, my husband, Colin, trying to decide what to have for breakfast... there was an excellent choice for vegetarians, which makes a nice change :)

Me, in the window seat of our bedroom, reading 'Discovering Welsh Gardens'.

It was sad to leave...

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Illustration Friday - 'Dessert' No. 2

I decided to post a second illustration for this weeks IF.  This pig is a pen sketch, which I scanned into the computer then painted it digitally with Photoshop, giving it a watercolour effect.  He's blissfully happy after eating all the cake.

Monday, 6 September 2010

Illustration Friday - Dessert

This isn't a new illustration, but thought I would use this for my illustration Friday this week :)  It's one of my fairy cake designs.

Sunday, 5 September 2010

The Sketchbook Project.

The Sketchbook Project: 2011

I have decided to do The Sketchbook Project.  I don't know if you've heard of this but the website explains 'Thousands of sketchbooks will be exhibited at galleries and museums as they make their way on tour across the country.  After the tour, all sketchbooks will enter into the permanent collection of the Brooklyn art library, where they will be barcoded and available for the public to view.  Anyone - from anywhere in the world - can be a part of the project.  To participate and have us send you a sketchbook that will go on tour, start by choosing a theme'.

There are many themes to choose from and I chose 'storybook'.  I bought my sketchbook a while back and I didn't start sketching in it for ages, due to a mixture of work commitments, family commitments and fear of spoiling my beautiful sketchbook, haha (I'm a wuss).  However, I've decided I really must start now and I thought I would post my sketches on my blog as I do them.  Here is my first, a pencil sketch of 'Cinderella', with the words taken, or rather torn, from a tatty paperback and coloured with tea.  I don't usually rip up books... sacrilege!... but this one was falling apart and wasn't that old or worth anything.  I hope the god of books forgives me :)


Close up

Friday, 3 September 2010

Karin Cameron's interview.

My thanks to Karin Cameron for interviewing me.  I really enjoyed answering her questions and found her blog very interesting to read.  Please click here to read my interview and to visit Karin's wonderful blog :

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Illustration Friday - 'Immovable'

I haven't finished this yet, I was going to paint it with watercolour  but I ran out of time for Illustration Friday this week.  As soon as I read this weeks topic 'immovable', I immediately thought of my brother-in-law's dog, Smudge, a Great Dane, who is absolutely HUGE! The little dog in the sketch is inspired by my dog, Dougal (in fact, I sketched him while he was standing on his back legs, looking out of the window the other day).  I've been meaning to paint this all week, but other things and work got in the way, unfortunately.  However, here is the sketch.

Here are photos of Smudge and Dougal :)

This is Smudge.

These little monsters are Dougal, Millie and Daisy :)

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Emily Gravett on YouTube

I really like Emily Gravett's illustrations, particularly her rabbits, so I was really interested when I came across a couple of videos on YouTube.  The first video I've posted shows Emily in her studio, drawing the character for the new book 'Cave Baby', written by Julia Donaldson (author of The Gruffulo). The second video shows Emily characters from her book The Rabbit Problem.  It's interesting to see how she works both traditionally and digitally on it.  I really want a Cintiq now! These videos were posted by MacmillanPublishers  :)

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Angharad's Bunny

Just a quick post to show a watercolour sketch that I painted for my friend's new baby girl, Angharad :)

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Illustration Friday - 'Star Gazing'

This week's 'Illustration Friday' is a painting I did of a fairy for a competition, back in January (it didn't win boo-hoo).  The title of the painting is 'Dancing in the moonlight' and I thought it was apt for this weeks topic 'star gazing'.

My Tag Art

I'm pleased to say that my fairies are now available on


Thursday, 12 August 2010

Mr. Perkins

It's a while since I have done any water colour painting, probably not since I was in art college, as I have been either painting digitally or with acrylics.  About a month ago I had the urge to get out my watercolour paints and as soon as I dipped my paintbrush in the water and ran it across the paint pan, I remembered the joy of painting with watercolour.  Here's my first attempt (I should have stretched the paper first I realised afterwards).  I decided to paint a sketch that I did back in February, a doodle of a dog I named 'Mr. Perkins' (please click here to see the earlier post).  It's just a small painting, about 6 inches by 4 inches :)

The doodle of Mr. Perkins: 

And the painting: 

Friday, 6 August 2010

More Needle Felted Friends

Some more needle felted friends I made, plus the kitten that I previously posted, with his smart new bow (here).



Scottish Terrier 

New Fairy - The Painting Fairy

This fairy came to life originally as a design for a promotional postcard, which I never used in the end, favouring a different design instead. Finding an old photo of me, sketching on holiday in Majorca, was the inspiration for the illustration.  The fairy is drawing a fairy cake :) (She might look a little like me - only a little though as I don't have wings, mores the pity).

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Emma Williams's Painting 2

Back in June, I posted a painting by talented artist, Emma Williams (please click here to view it again).  Here is another photo of her gorgeous artwork.  Unfortunately, it's not a good photo as I took it in a rush and my camera is rather rubbish and won't work without a flash (hence the flash on the photo); plus photography isn't one of my strong points, which is why I paint instead of take photos, lol.  Anyway, I digress... Emma painted it in her usual colourful style, using gouache paint, for a mutual friend's wedding present.  If you look carefully, you can see the bride and groom in the bottom left hand corner.  This depicts the photo shoot the bride and groom had a few days after the wedding, where they walked into the sea in full wedding attire, something called 'trash the wedding dress' (the wedding dress, thankfully, wasn't trashed and the photos were beautiful and original).  I will post more of Emma's lovely paintings soon, hopefully without a flash spoiling it this time!