Time for a makeover

My online profile picture has been the same since 2013! It really was time for a change…

The original illustration was drawn in 2010 in the comic book style made famous by American pop artist Roy Lichtenstein:

Pop art self-portrait, vector illustration, 2010

In 2012, I replaced the dots with plain colours, added a background pattern and used it for the first and last pages of my Design & Arts College Diary:

It has been my profile pic ever since (with the occasional tweak now and then). And in case you’re wondering… yes, the new look was inspired by a recent real-life makeover : )

Our 2020 makeover

Sweet as Honey

‘Sweet as Honey’ in the Drawing Room

If you missed it, you can read the story behind this design in my previous post.

‘Sweet as Honey’ art print

Love Birds

‘Love Birds’ art print in the Drawing Room

This ‘Love Birds’ design was originally created for a student project in 2011. It was part of a boutique brewery branding campaign (yes, really) and was inspired by the textiles of William Morris. With a few minor tweaks and new text, it is now a quirky little art print.

‘Love Birds’ art print

Below are some of the original images that I created for the completely fictional Old Mill Brewers. The idea behind the campaign was that the brewery was located in a converted textile mill, a sophisticated venue where boutique beer is savoured like good wine.  As well as coming up with the name of the brewery and designing the logo and bottle labels…

Boutique beer branding campaign (student project, 2011, Design & Arts College)

…I also invented the six flavours: Red House (pilsner), Honey (lager), Vanilla (pale ale), Spice (witbier), Black Cherry (porter) and Chocolate (stout). Yum!

Boutique brewery logos (student project, 2011, Design & Arts College)

I even added the bird logo to the barcode on the back of the labels : ) It really was one of my favourite projects (as you can probably tell).

Barcode design (student project, 2011, Design & Arts College)

 

Happy Mother’s Day

From me, from the art cave, from miles away…

(A drawing from a few years ago when I was experimenting with illustration styles and digital colour. The studio looks much the same today as it did then, as does the plum tree.)

Instructions

“Instructions for living a life:
Pay attention.
Be astonished.
Tell about it.”

Mary Oliver

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Another little slideshow, this time showing the progress of my ‘Akaroa’ illustration/colouring page, painted by hand on the computer. Yes, it took ages.

Both the coloured version and the colouring page are available as printable instant downloads on Etsy (as is ‘Port Chalmers’). And… on to the next one…

Another week…

‘Akaroa’ colouring pages

…another colouring page (or three)…

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…and another slideshow showing the progression from reference photograph (taken oh so long ago in 2009) through to the final line drawing. Available on Etsy as a printable instant download for your colouring pleasure : )

Lost in the trees… a.k.a. Good reasons to nurture your inner artist

Here is my finished ‘Port Chalmers, Dunedin’ colouring page (WIP slideshow below).

I did a little research online and, as well as being an easy way to relax and have fun, colouring pages ~ especially intricate designs ~ can help to:
* reduce anxiety and relieve stress
* encourage positive thoughts and feelings
* improve mindfulness, connecting us with the here and now
* improve focus and concentration, and help with problem solving

I coloured this on my computer using a crayon-style brush to give it a subtle texture…

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The best thing about doing it digitally was that I could change my mind about what colours went where; the worst thing about doing it digitally was that I could change my mind about what colours went where : ) I’m really happy with the end result and I’m now wondering if it might inspire some canvas paintings later in the year. We shall see.

Who loves a challenge?

‘Port Chalmers, Dunedin’ colouring pages

Colouring pages for the virtual traveller, for the stuck-at-home self-isolator, and for those of you who love a challenge… It has taken me over a week to draw this Port Chalmers scene. What was meant to be a single, printable, A4 page has ended up being so detailed (what was I thinking?) that I have created a two-pager as well, to make it a little easier to colour in (all three are shown above). I’ve just started colouring the single-page version ~ I’ll post it here when it’s finished.

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The slideshow shows my progress ~ from the reference photograph (taken in 2017), through the stages of drawing the church, the buildings and the many plants and trees, to the final colouring page. Available (without the annoying © info and watermarks) on Etsy as an instant download for printing and colouring in or to use on computers/devices with art apps. Enjoy : )

Drawn to drawing

As New Zealand prepares to enter a four-week nationwide lockdown (thanks, COVID-19), I have been wondering if there might be some little thing that I could do to make life a little lighter and brighter for those in isolation from their normal lives. And so the first of my colouring pages is being born. Of course I have picked THE most complicated scene to start with… and it’s taking ages to draw… but I figure that if I’m not bored, anyone colouring it in might be not bored too.

Port Chalmers colouring page ~ a work in progress

I’m planning to do at least three New Zealand landscapes as colouring pages. My first page is based on a photograph of Port Chalmers with the historic Iona Church in the foreground and a large congregation of houses and trees in the surrounding neighbourhood. It may take a day or two (or three) to finish… and then it will be available via Etsy as a printable instant download.