Northern Lights


It’s getting cold!

Philip Pullman’s Northern Lights is full of fierce characters, travel and adventures, and some excellently chilly (and chilling) scenes and imagery – a great winter (re)read!









northern-lights-watercolour-blizzard-lowresI had a strong urge to draw some favourite iciness-associated characters, and to do some watercolour book character art again, and realised I’d never really drawn Lyra, Pantalaimon and Iorek before.

There’re two different versions because I couldn’t decide between the dark background and the blizzard background (below)…  And some watercolour sketches, straight to ink as a warm up before the bigger painting.


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Inktober Tree Dwellers 3

A last few inktober tree dwellers (yikes, posting these late!):

Taking shelter;

Losing the squirrel stare off contest;

A portrait of a forest critter (species kind of ambiguous, was going for squirrel but he turned out a bit foxy) (fuirrel?) ;

And holding onto leaves for clambering support.

These ink  critters and tree dwellers really were fun to do – it’s always exciting seeing the image blossom on the page when it’s straight to ink, and I enjoy working with a combination of dip pen and brush… there will probably be more at some point.

Hope your week is a good one!


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Feast of St Martin’s


Yesterday was the Feast of Saint Martin’s, which in my Dutch sort of hometown means the great tower / church opens its doors to everyone, the organ plays out across the painted ceilings, small children run around and trip over the old stonework, and, after traditional  dancing and traditional soups, an actual horse trots into the church so that its mount, the saint, can reenact the cleaving in half of his cloak with his sword in order to share it with those in need of warmth. A procession then follows him around the old city centre, the streets now lined with small fires, the windows filled with candles. Children clutching their lanterns (often homemade and featuring dinosaurs or spidermen) go up to houses and sing songs about lights shining brightly, their eyes fixed on the bowls of sweets held by those answering the door, which their song will give them access to. I’ve been feeling pretty gloomy these past few days, but seeing so many families of all kinds celebrating brightness and sharing (and candy) made me smile, and so I did this quick pen and watercolour drawing.

Hope your weekend is one with warmth, light and good people.

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Inktober Tree Dwellers 2


Back to catching up on inktober drawings!

I really enjoy drawing these tree dwellers and seeing where, by going straight to ink with dip pen and brush, they lead me.

Here they can be seen checking things out, chasing off villainous trespassers, and staying up for late night talks on high up branches.




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Bats, cats and pumpkins


Happy Halloween!

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Double-sided sparkling


 A card I made for my sister’s birthday a week ago : )

Maker of pots, swimmer of lakes and pools, expert of style, grower of plants, planner extraordinaire – she’s the sparkliest!

This left portrait was on the front of the card, while the back featured the image below: the ceramics witch from the short story / comic Moon Pots I made as a gift last year.

You can see Sara’s beautiful pots and photos on her Instagram here ✨

Moon Pots can be read online, the story is collected together here : > Part  1  /  2  /  3  / 4 /  5  / extras

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Inktober Tree Dwellers

tree-dweller-a-sketchtree-dweller-b-sketchI like taking part in Inktober (drawing something with ink and putting it up every day of the month October). I draw almost every day of the year in any case, but this is an incentive to finish something every day, however small.

However, I keep doing my drawings late at night & posting them on my Instagram, and then not getting round to putting them up here, grah..! Catching up now, starting off with these first sketches of a pair of tree dwellers (their designs changed a little later on).

I’ve been thinking about them for some time, ever since painting this first tree dweller illustration, imagining their homes and figuring out their stories. Using Inktober as a way of getting to know them better has been really fun!

Inktober is also a good way to get myself to be quicker and try to do things a little differently.  I’ve been challenging myself to put my pencil aside and do these straight to ink. After quite some digital work it feels so great to be playing with where to ink lines in dip pen, what to let the brush give shape to, and what to leave the ink to do on its own when meeting sudden watery leaves on the paper.



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