sad fox (2)

This is how I’m feeling today. It’s a sad time for our family at the moment & I’m not quite sure what I can do to be useful..



I must be missing a few brain cells tonight because I suddenly seem to have become computer illiterate. Trying to finally get a few images into my sketchbook has taken a lot longer than it should have! Let me know what you think. woodlandScene1Thought I’d include some scans showing one of my current feature images..


Whippety Week

So my mini project of late has been to create a small illustration for someone’s birthday. My only instructions were that it had to contain a whippet (who’s apparently called Tom) and a small pizza – not the edible, cheesy variety, oh no.. Pizza is a very loved (soggy & chewed) soft rabbit toy that Tom carries around like a child’s comforter. So the process begins – I set about sketching whippets… sleeping whippets, playing whippets, running whippets, whippets, whippets, whippets! (the word ‘whippet’ is looking very strange to me right now) Anyway, I like to look at lots of photo’s and possibly even watch a youtube video or two, just so that I’m well aquainted with body shapes and behaviours. Then come the preparatory sketches (I’ll stick a few of these into my sketchbook page) of as many different poses as I can come up with.


Whippety prep whippetyTom3

After this comes the fun bit for me; letting the imagination run wild trying to imagine what my whippet might be getting up to in my picture. Cue more sketches! Quite often what appears in my head doesn’t look half as good on paper and I tend to find that the more simple ideas work well, especially in small pictures – as this one is. Once the theme has been decided, I often scribble a sentence in my sketchbook that sums up the picture. Otherwise I’ll find that I get carried away and stray from the central concept. Or having left the project for any length time, I’ll simply forget what I was doing.
Then comes the composition – not my favourite bit if I’m honest. I try the characters in several different positions and see what suits best. Once this has been achieved I’ll use my light box to quickly trace the scene in black ink onto good quality watercolour paper, making any final adjustments. And then paint! When it comes to watercolour I do find that less is more. Using a smaller amount, and fewer layers, preserves the natural marks that the paint and water make as they mingle and absorb into the paper. I like that.


Et voila! That’s what I’ve been up to this week. It’s not my favourite picture ever, but it’s been a pleasant distraction as we’ve had some sad news in the family recently.

In other news, I got a large order in for my Christmas cards from a local company – someone’s getting organised very early! I can’t think Christmas 2015 yet, it’s too soon! I’ve also  been keeping a close eye on the reports on the devastating floods in Malawi, it’s hard to imagine the devastation. Lastly, the Squirrel got frost-bitten today. Well that’s what he said… Admittedly he was working in very icy conditions on a cliff-top RSPB reserve today. So I do have sympathy for him, but there is definitely no frostbite. He was repairing newt fences from all the wind damage, which also robbed us of 2 fence panels and felled an old tree in the back garden. Really hope next week sees the last of the Arctic winds!

All for now. Mx

Getting Past The First Post

Hello, and welcome to my blog. This being my first ever post, I thought I’d keep it simple and introductory. I’m Michelle, I’m 26 and I spend my days drawing, painting and making all kinds of things. I’ve always had a sketchbook on the go, and I’m lucky to now have a room fully devoted to my creative urges. Actually, it’s more like a little wooden cabin at the bottom of my garden, well-lit and perfectly positioned for me to watch the dragonflies ‘do battle’ amidst the tall grasses surrounding the pond. A little place where I can lose myself in my paintings with nothing (bar the odd sleepy feline) to distract me. I haven’t always had the time or space to paint; the cabin is a recent addition and still needs a lot of organising! But not too much, I like messy, scruffy work areas! My health has deteriorated in recent years and I am rarely well enough to leave the house. Whilst this has unfortunately halted life in many respects, it has granted me with the time to do more artwork than just fitting in the odd commission once in a blue moon.

Writing a blog is always an idea that I’ve turned over and over in my head. And now seems like a good time to start one, so along with many other people beginning New Years’ resolutions, I too am giving it a go. Hopefully it’ll last longer than some of my resolutions of previous years! I’m quite a ‘people person’ and as I don’t get to see many people these days, writing a blog now seems like a good way to connect with an online community of fellow bloggers and creative alike. Most of my blogging will be on illustration; with lots of pictures I’ll keep you up to date with my projects and other activities. I’ll also probably include some more general interest posts on food, felting, knitting, crochet etc – I may even share a few tutorials and recipes.. But let’s not get too carried away with ourselves! I’ll aim to post around once a week, however, I’m new to the blogging world so it may be a bit of a stuttering start as I learn all things ‘bloggy’. So be kind to me! Hopefully by the end of the year I’ll be a pro, but for now… well let’s just see how it goes. I do hope you’ll find something of interest to you – please feel free to leave a comment, follow or just get in touch.