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Unexpected

It's been a long time with no updates on this blog but I've come out of hiding briefly to write a catch-up post and make a little announcement.
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A little something I've been working on...

Lemon Fresh

Long time no see... again! I've had an extended break from painting or drawing, and my skills (such as they are) were getting a little rusty. So, to ease myself back into it I thought I'd have a go at a little practice illustration for this week's Illustration Friday theme of 'Fresh'.
I thought about the topic and remembered that I had half a lemon in the fridge, so it's half a still-life! Not too bad for a first go. Actually, the lemon I used wasn't particularly 'fresh' but hopefully I've managed to make it look as if it was...!

Mamas and Papas

A lot of family birthdays and various celebrations came up recently, and I managed to make a few cards to give. Here are two of them - a Father's Day card featuring a little rabbit in a balloon...

...and a Mother's Day card with some flowers (I haven't decided whether they're poppys or roses!)

I made these for my partner's parents who are Spanish and therefore celebrate the occasions on different days than we do here in the UK. With both cards, I used some cutouts from magazines as part of the image - the balloon is actually a photo of an old bronze plaque, and the centres of the flowers are silver door handles. The basket below the balloon is also made from a small piece of fabric swatch which I had lying around. Looking for images in old magazines is a great way of getting inspiration for your cards or art, and incorporating them into the work can be really good for adding some depth and texture.

Tag!

Happy new year to my reading few! I hope you all had a good break, wherever you are in the world.

So, the question everyone's surely asking is what to do with all those Christmas cards cluttering up the place? Well, they needn't be sent for recycling just yet. They can be used again in the spirit of Christmas cheer - for next year! I took some of the cards I'd received and made them into gift tags for next year's presents.
It's so easy to do and the great thing is that you can make any size or shape tags you like. I made a template in the size I wanted so that mine were all the same, but you could just cut random shapes, or use a shape cutter if you like. Pick areas of the card which you think are best and try it out.
I'd really recommend it as a fun and thrifty way to re-use your cards. (You just have to remember where you put them for next year...)

Tree-mendous!

Yes, it's that time of year again, and I'm again sorry for the lack of updates! I've been busy with other things, but I have found time recently to do some crafting for Christmas. I used this brilliant tutorial by Sara Adams over at Happyfolding to make an origami Christmas tree.
I practised on a small one first and then increased the paper size to get the larger one (and I did need a lot of paper!) The large tree is about 46cm (18in) tall, so it works as a table-top tree quite nicely. The star on top is also origami, and I used this tutorial to make it. The baubles and tinsel are just cut from pearlescent paper.

I also made some paper garlands to hang up, which Domokun was particularly excited about...

I hope you all have a great Christmas and New Year. 2013 awaits!

Tall

The lesser-spotted Squibble. He's not a wading bird, he's just afraid of water...!
Long time no post, but I thought I'd pop back with another offering for Illustration Friday, with the theme "Tall". This is a small painting I did a while ago when I was fiddling about with some black acrylic. I used a grey wash, let it dry and then painted over it with undiluted paint on a dry brush. This gives the nice "scratchy" quality to the lines.

Round objects

Sheep

This Christmas I received a wonderful book of illustrations by the famous British artist Henry Moore. He's more well-known for his very large and distinctive sculptures, but he was a very good draughtsman as well. As a gift for his young daughter, who loved sheep, he filled a special sketchbook full of wonderful pen and ink drawings of them.




















The best thing about the book is that all the backs of the pages have been reproduced faithfully as well, where the ink bled through the paper or rubbed off onto the opposite page, so it's almost like having the real thing! Brilliant!

It's Yule!

Hello to all those still checking in on this blog and apologies for the lack of updates. Hopefully I'll have some more to show you in the new year. Anyway, here's wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! See you in 2012!