New Year Adventures


Hi all,

In this post I mentioned that I’d been on a recent ADVENTURE (read: princess holiday) with my boyfriend and his family.

We went to Hong Kong (and flew on Christmas Day, no less) and we were there for New Years Eve.


Then we flew to Sydney for a wedding. It was BEAUTIFUL and we got so lucky with the weather! Warm but still cool enough to do some serious touristing.


Our final stop was in Bangkok, this time just my boyfriend and myself. We were only there for a couple of days but it was a great taster. You’ll notice that we have a real thing about visiting Aquariums. The one in Sydney had two Dugongs, Pig and Wuru!


The whole trip was just the best thing ever. I always love travelling, but I’ve never seen much outside of Europe. Each year I’ve been trying to visit new places, especially in terms of different climates. Who knows what the rest of this year will bring?

Has anyone else visited anywhere exciting? I’d love to hear all about it!

Inktober 2017

Chatty, inktober

I started this blog last year at the end of October. I haven’t posted every week, or even every month, but I consider it a success. I wanted to maintain motivation in art, to see myself improve, and to use and improve in a variety of media. I feel like I’ve definitely achieved those last three.

Between August and September I had a crazy time with work. I was promoted (yay!) and I’m definitely still finding my feet with the role. Is it just a universal truth that you overwork when you get into a new role? I want things to settle down a little now, so I’m refocusing on the things I want to achieve outside of work, which brings us nicely back to this blog. 

To celebrate the anniversary of this blog, I’m going to attempt inktober this year. The aim was to produce art regularly, so this is the perfect challenge. A couple of things to mention:

1) over the past year, I’ve really focused on improving my painting and pencil drawings because I wanted to become more confident in the basics. I’ve never really invested much time in ink, or at least not since I was about 16. I’ll be using inktober as an opportunity to improve with pen/ink.

2) I’m going to use the official prompt list for the days, but I’m going to be generous with interpretation. Mostly, I’d like to stick to a nature theme, because that’s what I love and there are so many things I can improve on within that, especially with a new medium. I’m also going to allow myself to create abstract pieces. I haven’t pursued much abstract work because, as stated above, I really wanted to work on competency of the basics, which I think is easiest to achieve through realistic studies. When I was studying art at school, abstract as my jam! So with that in mind, I’m going to be generous with how I get to a final piece. Below is the official prompt list, and here is a bit of info and background about the challenge generally.

3) I’ll try to post every day (assuming I manage a drawing every day) but I think that might be a stretch.

4) I’ve decided to restrict myself to only 3 colours, and 3 pen thicknesses. I’m using copic markers because they’re the thing everyone goes on about. Are they really lots better or is it just, branding of the art world? By limiting my options my hope is I can just get on with drawing, and have an easy way to compare the drawings at the beginning and the end of the challenge. Here are the Resources I’ll be using (snapped awkwardly on the train):

As ever, I hope by posting on here it’ll hold me accountable, and keep me inspired to continue. 

Happy autumn!

Christmas Beardie #2

Acrylic, Chatty, Painting, Step-by-Step

You know what’s a lot of work? Puppies are a lot of work. Especially brainy ones who like to explore with their mouth.

Our new Beardie puppy Molly is well and truly settled. Josh, our older Beardie rescue, is mostly indifferent to her. They get on just fine, and it’s nice to see them mimicking one another, but mostly Joshkins is set in his ways.

I wanted to follow up on my previous post about this  Bearded Collie painting.

Here’s the finished result. Josh is in the background ready to go and pick up Molly.

I’m fairly pleased with the result. I like the hat more than I thought I would, and there are parts of the background, like the bark of the tree in the centre, that I really like.

There are also places where I know I cut corners, especially the fur around the nose and the tones in the beard. But I did get it to our friend on time and now she has something to give in charity Christmas raffles.

I’ve been thinking about my painting practice recently. I’m really glad to have done some more realistic pieces, I definitely needed to, but I wonder if I should try some more abstract work? That’s what I always used to do, but I know you need to have a really solid grasp of the fundamentals before you can start extracting ideas and shapes. I suppose you should go with the practice that works for you and just produce something, right?

Any thoughts appreciated!

This is why you should use an easel

Chatty, Drawing

I was really unsure about whether to post this.

I was on a plane last week, and to pass the time I decided to do a little drawing practice.

I know that ideally you would draw from observation, but the back of the chair in front wasn’t all that interesting.

Instead, I decided to sketch the model from this perfume ad in the back of the airline magazine:

Glossy magazine photos aren’t the best if you’re looking to get accurate insight into the form of the human face or body – Photoshop editing doesn’t really lend itself to that. But since there wasn’t much else that I could comfortably use, we went with this pretty lady.

Now, I’m not the best at drawing. I tend to smudge as I go with my left hand, and I get a little bored of it after a while. But I know that I can produce better than this.

I was relatively happy with it as I was doing it. But when I lifted it up at the end, I realsied that the table tray I’d been resting on had completely skewed my perspective. The result is a slightly mangled fish eye effect.

Like I said above, I wasn’t going to post this. But when I thought about it, the whole point of starting this blog was to have a place to record my progress, and my mistakes. That way I (and anyone else) can learn from them.

The plane journey was to Granada in Spain to go and see my family. I’ve got a painting I’ve been working on out there and I was really excited to get stuck in and update you on here. It’s a Chico Montilla inspired painting of the Alhambra Palace. Unfortunately, over my brief stay I got heat stroke (heights of 47°C!) which knocked me out for half the time.

Next time I’m out there hopefully I’ll have made so much progress  that I can totally transform it.

I have a few other things I’ve been working on to update you on, so they’ll be coming soon too.

Hope you’re all enjoying your Monday!

Lack of motivation

Chatty, Drawing

I’ve been finding recently that I don’t have the same patience/attention span for art.
When I was younger I could work on something for HOURS and for days on end. I think a big difference is that as an adult there are always other things I feel I need to be getting done. I know the advice is “do what makes you happy, make time for it” etc. but I’m still working on convincing myself it is important to me. (By this I mean I know it’s important to me, but with work, and seeing my partner and making time for friends, it’s easy to think it’s not a priority.)

I’m working on finding a balance still. That is why I started posting on here after all. While I figure it all out here are some unfinished posts. I hate posting anything that I’m not sure I’ll finish, but to do so is definitely in keeping with the spirit of this blog.

And as a final attempt to remotivate mysrlf – here are those finished art deco gals: