Evening evidence

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An evening game of cards, plus investigating canine, was quickly documented as digital drawing practice. There are so many colour and texture options to explore on this programme..!

Flinky made sure he was involved.

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Kappa cucumber celebration

kappa cardKappa (河童, literally ‘river child[ren]’) are small Japanese water demons with bowl-like, water-filled dents for crowns and a love for cucumber. 

I made this as a card for a friend who I travelled to Kyoto with, and who, after we discovered all kinds of kappa toys, purses, keychains, statuettes etc. became a fan of kappa too.

Later, while wandering through Tokyo’s Asakusa area, I came across the stand featured below, with a cucumber hanging off a fishing pole as kappa bait and beautifully cooled, bonito or umeboshi-plum flavoured cucumbers on sticks for sale. I love the crazy sour umeboshi, but bought the other kind upon the stall assistant’s recommendation. The best hot weather snack!

IMG_5697 kappa bait stand

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The Wild Wilde Webster Wedding

Over the last few months it has been a big honour and an amazing amount of paper-filling, time-devouring fun to work on this fantastic commission for a wedding! I had previously painted a Star Wars card for the excellent and lovely Ben and Christine, and what started out as a talk about making favours for the party took flight and became a whole flock of illustrations: the invitation, table plan and marker paintings, menu and the order of service booklet cover, as well as individual favours for each of the 100+ guests.

The bride and groom are Popular Culture buffs and wanted to have a movie inspired theme to the images. Swapping ideas and scribbling down example sketches was really great! For the invitation they liked the idea of an old fashioned movie theatre image, which we picked up again for the image on the front of the order of service booklet. Wedding invitation blogorder of service blog

(The back image was a reference to a scene in the graphic novel series / film Scott Pilgrim, of the main characters leaping into a starry new dimension together : > )

For the menu we started out discussing one or two illustrations, but the film-informed-food-titles Ben and Christine had come up with were so magnificent my pen took off (much like the ‘great escallop’, top right). I’m a sucker for puns, and these were a joyous challenge for me to reference visually!

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Unfortunately I don’t have a picture of the table plan, which was beautifully put together by Christine using the drawings below and some of the flowers from the menu borders. Guests had their names listed under the illustrations, a brilliant selection of characters based on the bride and groom’s favourite fictional couples, and could then find their tables by the drawings marking  them. A flower theme surrounding all these heroes blossomed quite naturally onto the page and ended up fitting in really well.

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Last but not least: the wedding favours! This was such a cool idea. Having found their table, every guest sat down by their name card to find a small, silver-framed portrait of themselves waiting on the table. Christine did a truly heroic amount of uploading of photos so that I had around 3 or 4 reference pictures of all the guests, and from there I used a fine Chinese brush to paint these tiny watercolour portraits, each one only a few cm in size. Here is a small selection:

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Here they are as they were being packed up & readied for sending

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Portraits, puns, and favourite fictional couples – it truly felt like the ultimate wedding illustrations for me to make! Thank you so much again, Ben and Christine, for letting me share this; it’s been the most amazing commission! I have loved working on it and with you, and once again, a huge congratulations!❤

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The silver favour frames with two little Star Wars flavoured extras I did as my gift to the great Ben and Christine :>

 

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Recharge!

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Here is a gentle reminder from a glowing, light-eating cat that every now and then it’s absolutely vital to pause and give yourself the time and space and snacks and stars you need to shine again.

 

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Dewar Family Portraits

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A family portrait I made as a paper anniversary gift commission for Nicky Dewar, in ink and watercolour. The photos Nicky sent me as references, as well as the ones on her Instagram, were so playful and fun that I felt like there just had to be two parts – the first with everyone grouped more traditionally and then one full of movement.

I’ve also put up some of the rough sketches and colour tries I made before starting on the final works.

Nicky’s website features beautiful quilts that she makes, and she wrote a lovely blog post about these portraits – so nice to see the drawings happy in their rightful setting😀

Thanks so much again for this great & greatly enjoyable commission!colour sketches

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Grand new visitor

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Woodpeckers are notoriously vain

and who can blame them.

 

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Swooping birds, glowing flowers

A card I made for my mum’s birthday, in ink and watercolour. She’s always telling me to be spontaneous with drawing and go straight for ink, so I followed her sage advice for her card, which is why some of the birds below have flowers sprouting from their heads and others are wearing impromptu animal hats. This is what happens when you cut out the pencil middleman.

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Here’s a closeup – hope to put up a better scan soon : )

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Happy birthday again a week later, mam!😀

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