Archive for the ‘illustration’ Category

My friend Cheryl mentioned that she wanted to paint a mural in her home.  She and her husband Andy have visited Africa and on one visit, they found a pretty little Hornbill.  She wants that to be in her mural, however she doesn’t feel confident enough to paint it.  I assured her that she could with a little practise.

I went round to her house, armed with watercolours, paper, paintbrushes and a few other bits and pieces, to try to teach her how to paint.

I started with a tonal exercise, asking her to make a series of tones, using one colour.  We started with red.  When she had achieved that, I provided various white objects to use as tonal studies.  Also on her dining table, where we worked, she has a darling little set of egg-shaped condiment vessels, including a pepper pot, which we used in this exercise.

Then Cheryl moved on to trying out her new learned technique to paint from her photo of the Hornbill.

This is her first attempt.  We then had a lovely lunch break and returned to work, this time using watercolour paper, with mind to making a better and more thorough version of the picture.

Beautiful isn’t it!  Considering that Cheryl hadn’t painted before, the progress she made in just one day was just brilliant! I am so proud! and when we put her first and second attempt together, the improvement was obvious!!


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She sits.  She waits.  She  waits an hour, a day, a month.  She passes his door and sees his silhouette.  He crouches over the work that looks like a sea of dark waves.  He stretches and she dips by the room, Making a full circle, like a seagull she swoops and dives, peeping.  Spying.  She waits.  Third time lucky.  She waits on her prey.  Stealing a cornered glimpse, her eyes blink and the keys jump and click with his gentle, rhythmic approach.

‘You’re hovering around as usual.’ he grins and flits away.  A sudden stop and he turns, an impulse to her waiting there.  Standing alone.  ‘How are you?’

She pulls back her hair and smiles, falsely shy. ‘I’m fine.  You?’  she laughs, ‘I sort of need your help.’  She leans against the wall.  The pictures tickle her  neck and she plays with the leaves of paper.  ‘I need your advice…are you busy…because all my friends seem to be busy and…’

‘I’m not.  I know.  Come with me.’

They walk back, tracing his previous steps.  His smell is of the sweetest breeze, of the fresh grass in summer.  She flies as high as the clouds.  She flies free with him.  Inside, she waits.  He smiles.  She smiles.  In his room, they speak of her life.   Secluded she would lay, with no sympathetic friend.  She decided he would be her friend.

‘A relationship must be based on honesty.  Not necessarily trust, but honesty.’  He flows with ease and their eyes meet.  She hardly thinks about how hard the cool wood of the table is.  Her elbow pains her, but pain is far away.

‘I get afraid’  she follows a design scratched into the wood dreamily with her finger, ‘I mean, is he thinking me…’

‘Or her?’  He taps his finger.  ‘Talk.  You can only talk.’

She nods.  She checks the time.  His perfect features dance as they watch.  She laughs.  The dark room echoes, empty, though full of them.  He leaves for lunch.  She thanks him…with they speak again?


The day starts .  A mermaid, she glides and with glittering tail, she thinks.  The wind blows her hair and kisses her skin gently.  A girl arrives.  Travelling by the lonely people, they stare.  Each face they see, they know.  They share harmless laughter.  Inside, she waits, remembering her friend.  Again.

An ocean of blue ripples over her.  She knows her time.  She lingers.  Restless.  Secluded she lies.  Where is her friend?

At screen she sits.  Reflection bored.  The embers of him in her heart are screaming he’ll be here, he’ll be here.  She feels that he is here, near.  Where?

They line up, three blind mice, three monkeys. wise.  Her in the middle.  They speak, they hear, they see.  See how they run.  Filing like a snake of spiritless colour, a walk they take every day falls before them at break time.  The middle one laughs.  Her friend has forgotten their time yesterday and she sighs with pain inside.

‘Boyfriend.’ the one on the left utters.

I’m not sure you’d understand the way I’m telling this, you see, the girl in the middle is the one on which I base my story.  Lets call her Anna, to make it easier on all of us.  I know when I say ‘she’ I mean Anna.  Her boyfriend is nothing.  He’s a minor character, but the friend…the sympathetic friend, he’s got to have a name.  I always liked Andrew.  Anyway, these two, she and the friend, Anna and Andrew have this thing.  They have a connection.  Something silent and unsaid.  Nothing physical, just a mutual respect.  I like them.  They are two beautiful but mixed up people.  This common ground is not a good thing. Hopefully by the end of all this though, you will see and know why they are so incompatible in any and every way. 

Anna sleepily grins at the boyfriend.  There isn’t much to say.  The other two mice chatter and squeak in girlie ways.   She can think of nothing but her friend.  The time plays on her mind like  deliberate torture and she looks back, waiting to leave – to return to her friend.

Back inside again, thank goodness.  She waits.  A second, a minute.  Her friend, his approach, like a familiar drumbeat deafens her.  She presses her hands onto her ears and can’t block it out.  She smiles at the pain.  She looks up.  The green-blue of his shirt flashes before her eyes.  She whispers hello and watches him fade away into the crowd.  It isn’t the way she wants it to be.  Will it ever be?


Today she tries to forget her friend.  For hours she splashes the blue with delicate strokes on the sheet before her.  Looking up, she meets his face.  A flustered smile.  He returns.  On every side he grows with curiosity.  He watches.  Approaching her, he raises his eyebrows, his beautiful eyebrows, with overwhelmed approval.  Her eyes avoid the background.  She sees nothing but him.   She tries to talk to him without speaking aloud.  If only he could hear her.  He is taken by force from her to his job.  She says goodbye without a word.  She looks forward to tomorrow.


Again she paints in misty blue.  Hours pass and she looks up every time a new face enters the room.  Never him.  She begins to give up, until suddenly, she hears his sound, smells his smell, feels the warmth melting her frosted heart.  His arrival – her deliverance.  Almost finished she can take the time to watch him.  She can hear him talk in her mind.  Concentration breaks.

‘Hello,’ his exquisite eyes say, and ask, ‘How are you?

‘Wonderful now!,’  she looks around. ‘Can no one else hear us?’

‘No one else knows us.’  He smiles.

‘No one else knows us.’  She repeats, ‘I’ve nearly finished.’

‘I know,’ he says with silent breath. ‘Its amazing.’


‘Ive got to go now.’

Another joins him.  She looks away, then back up at him.  He is watching her.  Could it be?

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Over the past few weeks, as I’ve blogged away, I’ve been discovering pictures and work I’ve catalogued in my computer.

I came across a pieces of art I made as gifts and experiments.  This is my more illustrative design and textile technique, which you can see more of at my family website.

I feel like it is immature in a way, as I only attended art college for a year all those years ago, I guess my style never really developed that much, however I like it and it has a unique quality.  Below is a painting called Birds of Paradise, from initial sketch, to finished piece.


Looking back now and considering the work I’ve been doing recently with the amazing glue gun, I might actually use it in this kind of painting…watch this space my little Yumsters! =)

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