I wanted to try drawing animals in a more stylised way. I have a tendency to draw as I see, yet a desire to create something more relaxed and abstract.
My first choice of animal was a Fox. A little while ago I rescued one that had been hit by a car. It was wandering aimlessly in and out of the traffic and I was worried it would either get hit again or cause an accident. Placing him in the passenger seat of my car wrapped in my sweatshirt I drove him back to my home. Where the RSPCA collected him and he thankfully made a full recovery. I’m presuming it was a male fox of course. I didn’t get that up close and personal with it.
I started with some sketchbook drawings. Using different photo references I drew several poses. Simplifying the fox anatomy into basic shapes, then creating a silhouette outline of its main characteristics. Then I used photoshop to digitally paint each one, arranging them into a repeat pattern using the Textile Designer feature.
I was pleased with the results and had a go at a few more woodland animals.
The one thing I do every single day is listen to music. It brings me so much joy. Tapping my foot, singing or dancing along elevates my disposition instantly. It also helps my concentration and keeps me in the moment. Often inspiring the recall of a fond memory or pleasant moment in time, and particular melodies remind me of people I’ve met or cared for. I couldn’t live without it, I am a massive music fan.
The radio has played a huge part in my musical history and was the inspiration behind this print design. As a teenager I would listen enthusiastically to the chart show every Sunday for two hours. Shutting myself alone in the bedroom recording my favourites on cassette tape, which I would then play over and over again, until the following Sunday. It used to drive my little brother crazy. He was a jazz fan and detested popular music.
Today I have more of a penchant for variety and my musical tastes venture way beyond chart hits, but the radio is still the perfect receptacle for discovering new music. And a great source of recollection. If only I could remember all the names of all the songs I’ve ever heard.
Last week autumn was on its way, this week the sunshine is back. Wanting something cooler to wear I reached for an old favourite from the back of my wardrobe. A lightweight cotton dress that is comfy to wear and easy to style up with accessories. To my horror it was full of tiny moth holes.
This illustrated print design and accompanying repeat pattern was inspired by my discovery. Whilst researching a natural moth repellent online, I got distracted by the pretty moth pictures. Totally seduced by their phenomenal beauty, I just had to draw them.
Using a fine black liner I drew the moths on paper first. Then working with Illustrator’s ‘image trace’ tool, I created vectors from the scanned-in drawings. And finally I added colour using the ‘live paint’ tool.
There are over 140,000 species of mushrooms in the world. 50,000 of them are edible, 2% of them are deadly poisonous. Unlike plants they don’t need sunlight to grow. Around 30 species actually glow in the dark. You can eat them, treat illnesses with them and even dye fabric with them.
A wondrous gift from nature that everybody can enjoy….apart from me, as I have a fungi allergy. Penicillin is out of bounds too. When I mention it, people tend to snigger in disbelief. Many of them my own friends.
No more so, than on a weekend girls trip a few years back. We were camping by the coast, celebrating the impending nuptials of a group member, in a popular site not too far from our home town in Essex.
I am not the biggest fan of camping. It is great in warmer climates. However, in the UK it get so cold at night you are forced to wear a hundred and one layers. Then the morning sun rises and you are so hot you are literally….‘Boil-in-a-bag’.
Putting my adversity aside, I revelled with my fellow hens until the early hours on the first night. Serving tequila cocktails like a Mexican flare bartender, dancing round the fire pit like a tribal warrior and skinny dipping like an excitable teen.
Unfortunately the second night was not as much fun. I was inadvertently poisoned by a Quorn burger. The camp BBQ chef had used the same grill area to cook both the meat and veggie supper.
Not wanting to spoil the proceedings, I played down the uncontrollable vomiting and sky high temperature. Presuming the symptoms would not worsen as it was only transference and not consumption, I took myself off to bed. Ice pack and sick bucket in hand.
Later that night as the whole campsite slept, I struggled to keep cool. In an attempt to reduce my temperature and avoid the risk of fitting, I resorted to leaving the tent. Big mistake, especially considering I was wearing only my briefs. Everything else had ben stripped earlier in a desperate bid to cool down.
Just as I inhaled my first deep breath of crisp fresh night air, legs astride and arms outstretched, campsite security flood lit our area with their van headlamps.
‘Night time patrols?’ I heard one chuckle to the other. ‘More like…Right time patrols’
I felt like an extra from ‘Carry on Camping’ . Not my finest moment.
Although I can not medicate with or eat mushrooms, I can enjoy drawing them. They make a great subject, so many individual shapes, colours and markings. I found it difficult to stop.
This design was inspired by a movie my twins and I recently watched. The Mummy, starring Tom Cruise. We had enjoyed the originals together when they were kids and recalled the scarab beetles.
Watching films together was a past time we favoured most weekends when they were children. Friday nights in particular we would have dinner on our laps in front of a movie of their choice. We visited the local DVD hire shop so regularly they knew our first names.
It was a great way to connect with one another and encourage conversation. And meant I could sensor what they watched. Sanctioning age appropriate genre when they were young and introducing cult classics and my own favourites as they grew.
I often design licensed artwork for clients on a work for hire basis. Contributing to a variety of collective projects, creating surface prints and patterns for an assortment of different products and apparel. However recently I have been pondering on the idea of creating my own print collections.
Using Adobe Illustrator I rendered my watercolour sacred hearts into vectors and created this mini collection. With a valentine themed greeting card as the hero design and three supporting repeat patterns.