I recently started getting into drawing architecture and scenes of my fave places, and I’m surprised I’ve never done it before given that I have and interior architecture and design degree, but I think my sketching has been an escape and tended to lead me away from my day job. That said, I absolutely love looking at architectural drawings and illustrations so when I stumbled upon these custom house portraits by Mary Frances Smith on Etsy I just had to share them:
1. It’s great to find fellow interior designers who have followed a path into illustration like myself, even if I only do it as a sideline
2. I am in a comfort zone with my biro and sketchbook but struggle to translate my ideas into different media, and cannot master watercolours so it’s great to see Mary creating a different atmosphere with a variety of materials
3. Our homes are so personal to us and to see Mary capture a sense of place, and give each scene a personality is great, after all that’s what architecture and design is about
I found it very difficult to pick my favourite 3 pieces of artwork, so I urge you to check out Mary’s website for lots more goodness.
For any regular followers you will know that I visited RHS Harlow Carr last weekend with my hubby to make the most of the fine bank holiday weather and get some fresh air as we were both feeling ill. Apart from the gorgeous gardens we went to the Just Makers Spring Craft Fair, which is there until 9 June so pop down if you’re in the area, and discovered some great creators/makers as well as some that I was already familiar with, so today I’m going to share just 3, and the first of several over the next few weeks, many of whom will also be stocking the Just Makers shop in Harrogate with me from July:
Riddles Crafts – Helen has some gorgeous hand felted, and embroidered pieces (which are my faves of her range) but also jewellery, I bought some earrings for a friend, and cards – I found the perfect one for me, something to do with a fabric habit!! I was already familiar with Helen’s fab creations as apart from being a fellow Craft Soup member she was opposite me at a craft fair I did at Headingley, where I will also be this weekend if you’re in the area.
Myroo Skincare – Rachael’s bath truffles really did look good enough to eat, and seeing them on a day when I wasn’t feeling well they looked perfect for a relaxing bath! Again, I had met Rachael before at Country Living when I went to catch up with some fellow Craft Soupers, and also in passing when visiting the soon to be Just Makers shop in Harrogate (opening in July so watch this space)
Tilly Pepper Art – Giles will also be stocking the new Just Makers shop in Harrogate, and has a gorgeous illustration of the front of the shop which caught my eye, but it was the Dj illustration that caught my husband’s attention! I love the quirky and fun style that Giles has, with a touch of colour to set it off.
Right, better get back to making more stock for Harrogate now and my Heart and Craft Fair in Headingley tomorrow.
After a bit of a crisis of confidence at the weekend, my sketching hand seemed to come back to life yesterday when I decided to pick an old and battered sketchbook off the shelf, change my pen and sit in the glorious bank holiday sunshine. This means that today was a sketching day to continue the momentum and to make the most of the sun whilst it lasts, with some new Molly and Charlie ideas I want to work on for a gocco print, so I thought these cute illustrations by Simply Me and Her were perfect for sharing today:
1. The colour combinations are sophisticated and understated for children’s illustrations and I love the fact that they’re not too bright
2. How can these cute characters not make you smile, even their names are adorable!
3. The simple block colour with the detailed line work to create detail and texture is a great combination
So, if you haven’t already then why not check out the cute and quirky illustrations of Nichola on Etsy.
Well I started my new Paperblanks sketchbook this week, and to be honest I felt a lot of pressure to get the first couple of pages filled with ‘good sketches’, otherwise I would have convinced myself it was only my combination of pen and sketchbook that allowed me to freely draw some of my fave sketches in my old one over the last year. So, I decided it had to start with something completely different and out of my comfort zone or I would be comparing it to my other sketchbook and I don’t need any hurdles at the moment. Therefore I started with some flowers as I want to design a gardening themed pattern for the Tigerprint competition I’m working on. Page number one was not so bad, so I then turned to some illustrations that were more fashion themed, and although not my best I soon realised that I was beginning to get used to the company of my new sketchbook (Tiffany) and was actually quite at ease with it as I now have a couple of ‘study’ pages rather than finished designs.
All was going well until we got back from Harlow Carr yesterday and I was trying to sketch some ideas for my latest pattern in a style different to my usual one, and all went wrong – I had lost the ability to sketch!! So, I walked away, took the evening off and came back to it this morning, but things got worse… my sketches were worse than last night, and no matter how much I tried I couldn’t get my pen to do what I wanted! Panic, what has happened?? Is it because I’m feeling ill, a lack of sleep? Is it a mental block? Am I overwhelmed with inspiration? Was Harlow Carr a mistake because I am now comparing myself to the depth of talent there? Is it just a bad day? Am I trying too hard to find a ‘style’ when I already have one? Or have I really lost the ability to sketch? Now, I’m not claiming I am or ever will be the best illustrator but I need to believe that I can draw to a certain level, and that level has just plummeted severely! I’m not a trained illustrator, I have an interior design degree – am I just too out of my depth? What to do now? I can’t see the wood for the trees. Does anyone else get like this? I imagine how frustrated my hubby would feel if he suddenly thought he couldn’t DJ, but I can’t imagine that ever happening!
Time to walk away, get out of the house and come back later or tomorrow with an open mind to try again – wish me luck! Any suggestions of what I could try to get my confidence back would be greatly welcomed.
It’s never a good sign to be woken up by too much coughing, especially as my hubby has been ill all week. I’m not good at being ill, and am a terrible patient so there was only one thing for it, time to get out of the house. I decided to drag poor Dan to RHS Harlow Carr, near Harrogate, for some sights of spring. To be honest, the fresh air was just an excuse to pop by and see the Just Makers Craft Shop, which is there for 5 weeks, (I will be sharing some of the creators and makers over the next few weeks) conveniently near the Betty’s cafe at the bottom of the gardens. I am also working on another pattern design for the latest TigerPrint Female Surface Pattern competition (two down, three to go) and gardens are today’s inspiration.
Time to do some sketching now, have a great weekend.
This time last year we had just got back from Montreal to celebrate my 30th birthday, and I have to admit it was a city I immediately fell in love with and dream of going back. So, as I sit here daydreaming of my fave city I thought it would be a good theme for this week’s Friday Faves, and some potential prints to remind me of a fab week:
Loose petals – Montreal Skyline (Montreal is such a diverse city and this captures it perfectly)
Jenna Sue Maps - Montreal City Map Print (Love the colour and simplicity of this print)
House of Mr Bond – 24 hours in Montreal print (I’d quite happily accept 24 hours in Montreal right now, and the rest!)
Better try and get my feet firmly back on British soil now and get on with some creating, have a great Bank Holiday weekend.
I’m surrounded by strong colours and fabrics at the moment as I prepare my stock for a new shop, Just Makers, opening up in Harrogate soon but the gorgeously bright and quirky designs of Twenty Fingers is enough to distract me from my studio and make me smile:
1. I love the vast range of designs from intricate patterns to bright honey jars that sit under a collective style unique to Yurly and Katerina
2. There is a childlike innocence to a majority of Yurly and Katerina‘s style and bold colour
3. I am a big fan of wooden jewellery, but these have a whole new level of cuteness!
So take a moment to brighten your day and browse Twenty Fingers Etsy shop.
At the moment I seem to have a fascination with pattern and surface design, and although I’m used to travelling everywhere with my sketchbook and pen I have found that recently I seem to be doodling patterns a lot more than just my ‘realistic’ and pre thought out compositions. I have been working on some patterns for a new Tigerprint competition which has taken me away from my usual sketches and I have been working on new designs with more intricate patterns and line work with repeating patterns. Then I discovered the intricate yet bold illustration style of Green Girl Canvas and thought I have to share it:
1. Michele‘s free flowing lines, swirls and rich detail are mesmerising
2. The ornate details are brought to life with vibrant colour that you can’t help but smile at
3. I love drawing ‘realistic’ animals but it’s great to see a different take on nature, and the giraffe in particular makes me smile every time
Off to the hospital now, so will be sat drawing in my sketchbook whilst I no doubt wait for the long delays but I’d love to hear about any new drawing styles that you have discovered or been working on.
I was in a panic this morning when I realised I only have 7 pages left of my all time fave sketchbook, but luckily after some help from a friend locating another one from paperblanks which actually has unlined pages (the problem seemed to be that they were all lined) I am happy in the knowledge that it will hopefully arrive before I finish this one. I find it quite funny that my fave sketchbook is on the expensive side for me but I draw with a bog standard biro pen! Anyway, it got me thinking that I genuinely believe that it makes me sketch better and I have produced some of my favourite sketches in it, including the first ever animal drawing of Nelson the elephant which kick-started my craze for drawing animals, my first scenic sketch of Haworth, which again has turned into a new and popular range and my gocco prints have all started life as a sketch in this little book. My sketchbook is like my bible, I carry it everywhere with me, but this particular one has been keeping me company since July 2012 and taken a while to fill because I save it for my ‘important’ and meaningful sketches, no scribbles in this one. So why do I love it so much?
1. The hand stitched binding means that when I open a page it actually stays open and I don’t have to keep flicking the pages out of the way, a bit like when you get a hair in your face and it just keeps falling in the wrong place
2. The quality and colour of the paper is perfect and my pen just glides over it and the slight off white colour makes everything seem a bit less harsh, especially as I tend to draw in black pen
3. It’s the perfect size for me to sketch in as it’s not too small but I don’t have a big scary A4 bit of paper to fill with my detailed drawings, and is easy to use as a landscape or portrait book
4. The hardback cover means that it can travel in my bag and stand up for itself agains the other contents, and admittedly it’s looking a bit battered at the moment but the pages inside are in immaculate condition (apart from my sketches obviously)
5. I love the design on the front, and it’s great to be inspired before I even open the cover
On that note, I’m off to go and work on some new sketches. Would love to hear if you have a favourite sketchbook or item that makes you more creative.
What a fab idea that I’ve not seen before – accessories for your portfolio! Why not show off all your hard work, and if anything deserves a treat it’s your work so go on treat your portfolio to a great portfolio bag. I’ve just made a bag for my sketchbooks as my portfolio is digital and on my ipad so I take my sketchbooks along for a bit of an’insight into the workings of my creative brain’ – maybe I should print that onto the ipad cover I am in the process of sewing! Without getting too carried away with my excitement I will direct you to the Wobbly Jobbly Etsy shop:
1. They are bound to raise a few smiles even on the way to interviews which will put you in a good mood before you even get there
2. It’s all about how you present yourself and your portfolio is about you after all and you will definitely stand out and be noticed with these!
3. We all want our portfolios to be remembered so this added touch might just get you that job!
Off to work on my portfolio of sketchbooks now, why not start thinking about how you present yours.