February Art Challenge

During February I gave myself another challenge, similar to that of November. Each day I was given a different animal to paint onto a pre-painted watercolour background. Same rules as previously but this time my younger daughter, Cherry was choosing the animals. I can’t say that my watercolour skills have improved any, so I might have to leave that particular medium alone! Some of the animals, again mostly painted in gouache over pen and ink, were ok though. There are a few creatures that were a different style such as the Valentine lobster and the Chinese New Year Ox both created in a more graphic stylised manner on a plain coloured background. Also the bat was drawn in pencil crayon on a black background. Again, not my best work but the point being to create a piece of artwork every day.

The images were shared daily on Twitter and Instagram and also Instagram Stories which I was pleased to be able to work out how to do! Eventually I might even be able to work out how to share them on here! Thank you for looking and hope you enjoy them!

Recycled Christmas Cards

Some of my Christmas cards were too lovely to just throw away so I thought I’d have a go at recycling a few by adding my own artwork to them. I choose to paint foxes as they’re colourful and interesting creatures with lots of character. This project was quite a challenge for me as the cards were small and my eyes aren’t what they used to be! But also fun to do! I painted an acrylic base onto the card in a rough shape of the fox, then drew the image in pen, finally adding gouache. I think the combination of acrylic and gouache has helped to add a bit of texture to the painting. What do you think? I hope you like them!

Seasonal Images

These are some gouache paintings I did before Christmas to explore the origins and traditions of the season.

St Nicholas arrives on the eve of the Feast of St Nicholas, 6th December, with his trusty donkey and his basket laden with delightful gifts for all good children. Naughty children better beware, otherwise they’ll get a visit from the bad anti-Santa character, Krampus instead. Who knows what evil punishments he’ll give out!

The Pagan Green Man sits on his Yule Log keeping warm against the Yule Fire during the long Winter Solstice. Traditionally, Yuletide lasted throughout the long winter months when it was impossible to farm the land due to short days and long nights. What else was there to do but have a long party? Hence, the 12 days of Christmas, commencing on 25th December and finishing on Twelfth Night, 5th January. Much feasting, drinking and merriment.

The Roman festival of Saturnalia, honouring the Roman God of Agriculture, Saturn, was probably an origin of the Christmas festivities that we know today. Lots of feasting, drinking, dancing, merriment and role reversal games. Originally just celebrated on one day, 17th December or thereabouts, Saturnalia developed into a week long festival. Again, a bit like today with our Christmas and New Year’s Eve celebrations.

November Animal Art Challenge

In November I gave myself the challenge of painting a different animal on a different background each day for the whole month. I’d created the backgrounds previously, completely randomly, as watercolour painting exercises. I thought I’d try and improve my skills as a watercolourist, but they’re not really up to much. I admire anybody who can paint well in this difficult medium! So, my elder daughter, Georgia was given the task of selecting an animal each day for me to paint on the background of her choice. The animals are created in pen and ink with gouache, which is an opaque type of watercolour. The rules were that I didn’t know previously what she was going to come up with (except for the Alpaca, her favourite animal, being her birthday painting) and I had to paint them on the day in question, not before or after. Also I wasn’t allowed to change the animal or complain it was too difficult or too weird. That’s why it’s such a strange and diverse range of creatures. I’m aware they’re not my best work but the point of the challenge was that I created a piece of artwork every day, no matter how rubbish it was! I do hope you like them! The images below are in alphabetical order rather than date. You might have seen the daily postings if you follow me on Twitter or Instagram – thank you, if you do! I really value everybody’s support. If anybody out there is interested in purchasing some affordable original artwork, most of the images are for sale and details will be put on my online shops shortly (or please do message me directly). Thank you as ever for looking and hope you enjoy!

12 Days of Christmas

Happy New Year to you all!

I wanted to share with you my recent 12 Days of Christmas series – if you follow me on Instagram and/or Twitter you may have already seen these as I’ve been posting them daily. Thank you for following me – it is much appreciated! The story behind the images is loosely based on the Elf on a Shelf rhyming concept. My daughter gave me the first animal – a Skunk (that had to be wearing a Santa Hat!), and after giving it some thought as to how this could be portrayed in a unique way I came up with the idea of rhyming animals with a scenario. It has been challenging and fun trying to come up with a variety of interesting images! Also, my style seems to have morphed from fairly realistic to full on cartoon during the course of the 12 days! Thank you for looking and I hope you enjoy them!

Green Door 25th Anniversary

To celebrate Green Door Artists 25th Anniversary this year, I took part in their 25 sketches in August drawing exercise.

As part of Green Door Artists anniversary celebrations, members were invited to create a sketch each day from 1 – 25 August 2020 and post them on social media.  There was no theme – artists drew anything they liked using any drawing medium. The rule that I gave myself was that the sketch shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes and should be done from life wherever possible. They were posted to my Instagram and Twitter accounts daily and Facebook page as a body of work and the subjects were completely random, from life study to landscape. But if you missed them, here they are for you to enjoy! Hope you like them! Any feedback is always welcome!