Some inky sketches

Monday, November 9, 2015

I've been really busy for the past few weeks taking part in MATS (Make Art That Sells) course run by Lilla Rogers! I'm doing MATS A which covers creating artwork for Bolt Fabric, Home Decor, children's books, wall art and gift. It's really intensive, we don't have much time to complete the weekly assignments but I'm learning a lot. I haven't had time for much else! Last month I took part in Inktober, where you create an inky sketch everyday for the month of October. I really loved it and surprised myself how much I enjoy sketching directly with pen now. Before I always would have sketched with pencil first but there's something freeing about just going for it with black pen. I highly recommend it, it took time but I'm definitely over my fear of the pen! Here's a quick look at a few of my sketches from Inktober, you can check out the rest over on Instagram.

Of course I drew lots of birds and wildflowers, my favourite subjects to sketch! The flowers were easier to start with though because of their organic shapes, mistakes were less obvious!

Feathers are really great to draw in pen, they just work really well because of the directional lines, this was a really quick sketch, less than 10 minutes.

Moving on from the wildflowers I attempted some more complex shapes, I love full roses with lots of petals. This was more of a challenge!

Dogroses were interesting to sketch too, I like their centres, they make a nice contrast detail. I'm thinking some of these sketches might look good on fabric.

More birds, Magpie, House Sparrow and Goldfinch surrounded by wildflowers, very quick and sketchy.

Lastly a Tawny Owl, I spent a little longer on this one because of the shading and texture of the tree bark but I like how it turned out! That's all for now, it's wall art week in MATS and we're having fun with abstract art, uncharted territory for me! : )

A little embroidery!

Saturday, October 17, 2015

I think I mentioned in a previous post I was learning embroidery. I haven't done any since I was in school where we learned some basic stitches but I'm always keen to add to my skills so I found a couple of online classes to improve my abilities!

The classes I took were on CreativeBug, which I already have a monthly subscription to because they have such a great variety of classes! I did the embroidery sampler and embroidery sampler advanced classes there. I didn't make the actual sampler being demonstrated I just wanted to learn all the stitches so I could create my own designs.

Blitsy had a great deal on hoops, embroidery threads and the special marker that disappears with water. So I snapped those up and waited for them to arrive! The butterfly I appliqued from some white felt and embroidered over.

I have been doing a lot of sketching of wildflowers recently and that inspired the design. Although initially I only sketched part of the design, I added more as I went along!

I tried to include a variety of stitches I learned in the class, like the satin, chain, straight, back-stitch, some couching with wool and french-knots.

The project I had in mind for this whole embroidered piece is for a cover of a sampler notebook of all different types of stitches. I think it'll make a nice keepsake to hand-down to Isabelle.

I'm really happy with how it turned out! So the next challenge is to make it into the cover for the sampler notebook! I have found a youtube video on how to make a fabric covered notebook so I'm hoping that will help!

Here's the entire piece, the butterfly will be on the front of the cover and the other side will be on the back. I'm going to add some interlining to add some body to it, thanks to my mom, she has lots of supplies!

The butterfly is my favourite butterfly, the orange-tip butterfly, we always see them in the garden in the summertime!

I did work on this over a few weeks, doing a little bit here and there, but it was wonderful to see it growing and I just love all the textures!

I did learn a lot as I went along, experimenting with the number of threads I used and adding shading with different coloured thread. The only thing I'd like to do differently for my next project is use a linen instead of a cotton to make it a bit more durable. But I'm definitely hooked on embroidery, it's like drawing with thread! : ) Enjoy the rest of the weekend and I hope you make some time to be creative!

Owl Illustrations

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

So I finally got around to illustrating some of the owls that I saw at the Scottish Owl Centre for my bird illustration challenge. First up is the Eurasian Eagle Owl.

I'm still trying to get comfortable with my style, I think it's evolving, I'm never sure where it's going to take me next! I used a mix of acrylic paints, white pigment pen and black ink pen. Here's the Snowy Owl, like the one Harry Potter had! : )

And finally my favourite owl, the Barn Owl (the european one, I only recently found out there are different types of Barn Owl around the world!).

I've lots more owl photos that I took at the Scottish Owl Centre to work from, so I'm sure you'll be seeing a few more owls popping in from time to time! : )

That's all for now, I hope you like my owls! Have a creative week! : )