BA (Hons) Illustration Year 1 – Unit 1 Professional Practice: Destination. Tell Me a Story Project

This project was based on Narrative Illustration, creating a story through use of visual imagery. Our end aim was to create a 5 frame narrative inspired by a given painting. We had 1 week to complete the project. I chose ‘Our Town’ by L S Lowry.

The painting I chose – ‘Our Town’ by L.S. Lowry

I started off by considering the questions on the brief, such as ‘who are the main characters’, ‘what is the landscape’ and ‘what might the personal histories of the characters be’. This helped me to gain a picture of what the work could be about and aided thought processes of how I can develop and extend the painting to create a narrative illustration.

Thumbnails came next; I created series of 5 on pages in my A5 sketchbook, as I have to create 5 frames for the final outcome. I used simple pencil line and added tone to convey energy into my sketches. I wrote little captions underneath each thumbnail to explain what was happening although we weren’t allowed to use text in our final illustrations.

I really enjoyed creating thumbnails, they are an important part of the development process and I liked working quickly to get my initial visual thoughts down on paper.

I went on to do some research into the actual meaning of the painting and looked into an artist who has a narrative illustration background. Carson Ellis is predominantly a children’s book illustrator from the USA. She sketches with mechanical pencils and creates finished artwork with gouache and ink on watercolour paper. She uses a very limited colour palette – often monochrome, this depends on the brief and what needs to be communicated through the image.

The Forgotten Place – by Carson Ellis

I felt inspired by her use of media, adding water to ink to create variations of tone. I also like her simple mark making, which she uses to add details and her drawing style that is slightly stylised which suits her child audience.

Workshop: A Story in Three

Taking a brief break from my 5 frames ideas development, I participated in a 1 day workshop based around taking a photograph and creating 3 frame narratives related to it, using the photograph as one of the frames. It was a helpful task because it encouraged us to simplify stories into less frames, so we would only communicate the visual imagery which is needed to convey the narrative successfully.

We did some quick exercises first involving using frames to portray imagery. One exercise was to drawn 5 sketches taking one object and forming it visually into another. I drew a water bottle into a crocodile clip. This was quite a challenge because they have completely different forms but I did manage it although my sketches are a little abstract. Another exercise was to draw 15 frames and then sketch a cup from various viewpoints, not one could be the same as another. I rotated and changed the scale of the cup and this created an interesting narrative. I felt I was really observing the cup in a different way.

Water bottle to crocodile clip sketches
Cup stills

The photograph I was given for the final task depicts an old lady eating a biscuit and standing just behind a counter in a charity or antiques shop. I felt this photograph would be a challenge to create 3 different narratives from because there is only so much that happens in a shop on a daily basis.

I started off of course with quick thumbnails in my A5 sketchbook and did manage to come up with 3 different stories. The photograph had to be placed either at the beginning, middle or end frame of the narrative.

The first story was based around the old lady as a young girl making pottery, to selling it as an old lady in the shop (photograph) and then the china being used as dinner plate, depicted with a knife and fork. The narrative was based around the life cycle of a china plate. I think this was my best narrative because it’s quite inventive.

The second story started with the old lady in the shop. She has put on a lot of weight and is surrounded by floating sweets. She appears to feel embarrassed and ashamed that she has got fat and overweight. The next frame is a close up of the shelf behind the counter in the shop, with some sweets floating above. The final frame is the photograph, the old lady has in fact been dreaming about eating sweets and getting fat. I don’t think this story was good, the second frame doesn’t fit with the narrative and it lacks realism.

The third story starts with the photograph; the clock behind the counter reads 9am. The next frame shows the old lady has moved behind the counter and is busy at work in the shop. The clock reads 3pm. There is a hand in the bottom left hand corner suggesting she has just had a customer. The final frame shows a nearly empty shop, most of the stock has been sold. It is 9pm and the old lady has locked up and gone home. I think this story works with the photograph; it is believable but not very interesting to look at.

I used pen and fine liner to quickly draw my frames and would have liked to have added tone if I had more time. My sketches are simple and a bit abstracted; they would look better more realistic so I need to work on drawing people in particular.

‘A Story in Three’ final illustrations

Final 5 Frame Illustrations

Going back to ‘Tell Me a Story’, I developed the project further by drawing out designs for props and practice final illustrations in my A5 sketchbook.

I decided to go with my 4th idea ‘War Truths’. Taking the old man and his dog delivering a letter into the post box in the painting, I made a story about his son who is a soldier in WW2 because the painting was created at this time. I used the lamppost, factory building and townhouse from the original painting combined with a soldier character, a war battle and trenches landscape.

The first frame portrays the old man delivering a letter to his son abroad, he has his dog with him, is holding a walking stick and the lamppost is in the background.

In the second scene, the soldier son is in the trenches with a spitfire plane flying above, his tent is in the background and he is holding his father’s letter.

The third frame involves the old man and his dog walking into the factory where the old man works.

In the fourth scene, the solder son is in battle on the frontline with a spitfire plane above him. There is a cloud of smoke evolving and another soldier in the foreground edging carefully closer to the battlefront.

Finally, the old man, his dog and his son are reunited in the painting setting and are about to move into the townhouse together as a celebration that the War is over.

I enjoyed creating this story, I have a keen interest in War history and it was fascinating to research WW2 related imagery such as fighter planes, soldiers uniform and the trenches.

‘Tell Me a Story’ final illustrations

I used pen, fine liner and ink on postcard sized watercolour paper for my final pieces. I think they went quite well, I like my use of repeated pattern design for the war location sets and the use of tonal variation created when adding water to the ink. I actually think my practice final pieces are better than the final pieces because they are loosely sketched and convey more emotion. I think I should have developed my visual ideas further in my final pieces so they aren’t like a copy of my practices, maybe introducing a background colour as they all have white backgrounds.

Frame 1
Frame 2
Frame 3
Frame 4
Frame 5

In conclusion, I enjoyed this project and narrative illustration is definitely an aspect of illustration I want to revisit in the future. I enjoy reading and writing which I felt helped me to use my visual imagination to create an engaging 5 frame illustration story inspired by a painting.

BA (Hons) Illustration Year 1 – Unit 1 Professional Practice: Destination. More than Words: Mural Project

I’ve decided to use my Blog to write about my university projects, reflection is an important part of my course and a blog is a good way to share my work and thoughts with others.

The first task for Unit 1 was a group project, we had 2 days to design and create a mural based on a word we were given. Our group got ‘Migration’. The first thought which came to mind was the meaning of the word; a movement from one part of something to another such as people migrating from one country to another.

Migration Stock Illustration

We created a large mind map of our initial ideas; exploring our thoughts and feelings, possible meanings and word associations, as well as imagining what it could be like to experience the word.

Research was an important part of this task; we each tried to find a book related to Migration or searched the web for hidden meanings and mural artists who create work on particular topics which affect everyday society. I had a brief look at Le Gun, a collective of 6 artists who create large scale group works which could be classed as murals. They are a good example of people who work well together collaboratively and who each bring their own ideas forward to create a truly unique artwork.

I also borrowed a book from the library; an illustrative narrative journal an artist made of their travels to many different countries around the world. I felt this was relevant because Migration can mean moving and travelling from one place to the next in which people may use various forms of transport such as boats and planes. Different cultures have varied ways of living, poorer undeveloped countries still live in mud huts, and rich developed countries live in large tower blocks and houses. This book illustrated the contrast of how people live.

The book I borrowed from the library

We came up with a visual idea and began to sketch it out onto the large piece of lining paper we were given. Due to the limited timescale, we didn’t have time to create a practice piece beforehand so just had to trust our instincts!

Everyone took on a task so we could work quickly and effectively. 2 people painted the mud huts and rural landscape using acrylic and chalk pastels. 1 person painted the migrating people, using a fingerprint to make abstracted figures in a wavy line and the background. I made cut outs of dove birds using paper and pens, which were then stuck onto the mural at the top to appear like they were flying in the sky. I also helped to build up the background colours, ensuring no white paper remained. The final person painted the city skyscrapers and a pointing finger which summarised migration as a movement of something.

Creation process – working collaboratively as a group to create the mural
Rich end of the mural – city buildings and pointing finger suggesting movement
Poor end of mural with mud huts, fingerprint migrating people and flying doves

Once it was finished, we hung it up on the wall outside the classroom and did group reviews of the rest of the class’s murals. This helped us to see what we had done well, what didn’t work so well and what we could do to develop our mural further.

Finished mural
Panoramic view of our mural on the wall

Overall, I was pleased with the outcome of our mural. I think we worked well as a team to get it done within the deadline and we achieved all that we wanted visually. I think our mural describes the word fairly well because of the movement from poor country to rich; using travelling people and birds.

Close up of poor country details and migrating figures

To develop our work further, we could add forms of transportation to make the message clearer. We could have also kept the medium used more consistent because I’m not sure block pen lines looked right combined with soft chalk pastels. It was an enjoyable project and I learnt that a lot can be achieved in a small space of time.


Charity Poster Art Project

Last Sunday, I was asked to create a poster to advertise a ‘Guide Dogs for the Blind’ Charity coffee morning. The criteria was as follows:-

  • About A5 size
  • Ideally monochrome colours (black and white) to reduce printing costs
  • Advertises the new ‘Vintage Garden Room’ (Eden Room) at the Eyre Court Hotel. Through use of relevant imagery e.g. roses, tea cups and saucers, cakes, bunting, polka dots…
  • Include text information stating the date, time, location and what would be available to purchase
  • The Guide Dogs for the Blind official logo

I only had a couple of hours to complete it, ready for Monday morning. I began by sketching out some rough initial ideas in my sketchbook using a biro pen. I paid particular attention to my subject matter and theme, to portray the new Vintage Garden Tearoom in the most effective way possible. I also looked back on some previous artwork I have created which relates to the theme such as rose and teacup illustrations, and collected some photography to help aid my inspiration.

Initial biro pen drawings in sketchbook – quick ideas
Ceramic Rose – vintage flower inspiration
‘Time for Tea’ feather design teacup and saucer illustration – pencil and watercolour on paper, tearoom inspiration
English Rose Illustration – pen and watercolour on paper, vintage flower inspiration
Love Roses Heart illustration – pencil and watercolour on paper, vintage flowers inspiration


Then I sketched out my final design onto a piece of A5 paper. I started with a light pencil drawing so I could use an eraser if I made any mistakes. Once I was happy with how it looked, I outlined the original pencil drawing with a black fineliner pen. I decided to include mini illustrations of roses from different viewpoints, a cupcake on a plate and a pretty vintage design tea cup and saucer. I drew some cute bunting at the top of the page to draw the viewer into reading the poster from top to bottom.

Original poster design

I originally drew the Guide Dogs logo myself but decided for the actual finalised design poster, I would use a Google image of the logo to make it official. I scanned my poster as a JPEG image onto my computer using a printer and Windows fax and scan. I opened the poster document in paint and copied and pasted the official Guide Dogs logo onto the top of my hand drawn logo. I actually think this makes my poster look more professional because the logo is of a blue colour and this fully indicates what the charity coffee morning is all about.

I wrote the text in my ordinary neat handwriting, making the layout clear and easy to understand. The final touch was my signature in the bottom right hand corner as a copyright symbol.

Final ‘Guide Dogs for the Blind’ Charity Coffee Morning Vintage Poster – fineliner pen on paper, mounted on pink wall

I am pleased with how my poster has turned out. It clearly shows the reader the purpose of the event, gives details and has a personal touch with my use of mini quirky illustrations drawn in my own unique style. I particularly like the bunting at the top of the page which helps to give the poster true vintage feel. To improve, I could practice drawing the teacup and saucer to make it more accurate however I think it looks more individual when drawn slightly inaccurately.

I could have also added some tone to the roses to make the natural form of the flowers stand out more but I did want to keep the drawings as simple as possible to keep printing costs down and to make the true purpose of the event stand out as it is the most important factor.

I hope to create more posters of this nature in the future. I enjoy designing and the creative process, it is also a way for members of the public to see examples of the artwork and graphic design I can produce and provide them with an outlook of my practical skills. I’d like to buy a graphics drawing tablet soon so that I can create hand drawn images straight onto my macbook which will make the creation process quicker and more professional looking.

Thank you for reading this Blog post, I hope you enjoyed reading about how I like to create posters for events. I wish you all a lovely summer and make sure to look out for more art and craft projects I have been working on recently. I now have a Facebook page for my online art portfolio, feel free to visit and like my page! :

Best Wishes


Illustrating ‘My Favourite Things’ Poem

When I was 12, I wrote a poem for a Children’s poetry competition which was printed in a published book. I didn’t win but I enjoyed taking part; creative writing is a passion of mine. Here is my poem:

Going out shopping with my friends from school

Having fun in the sun and going in the pool

Listening to my iPod and how Duffy sings

These are a few of my favourite things

Watching EastEnders and reading good books

Eating delicious food that my mum cooks

Going to the beach and drawing animals with wings

These are a few of my favourite things

Holidays and teddies and playing Sims 2

Swimming and strawberries and going to the zoo

Buying accessories and bags and wearing cute rings

These are a few of my favourite things

Playing DS games and spending time with my pet

Going to theme parks and zooming abroad in a jet

Waiting for Santa to see what he brings

These are a few of my favourite things

As part of my Portfolio preparation for University interviews, I decided to create a series of illustrations to accompany my poem.

I started off by creating a mind map of initial ideas. I find this a useful process for any new art project I am working on – a neat way of writing down my thoughts and feelings on the theme including the type of imagery I want to create and the mediums I intend to use.


I decided to use an A3 scale for my Illustrations as I enjoy working quite small and I had an A3 mount board to hand which I could use to present my final outcome in a professional way.

I created rough sketches in pencil on an A3 piece of sketching paper. I made simple line drawings to depict imagery based on the verses of my poem. I wanted to keep my illustrations simple as they are intended for a children’s audience and they reflect the interests I had when I was 12 years old.


I then began to create my final illustration board. I covered the A3 board with brown wrapping paper that is commonly used to post parcels – I wanted a neutral background and I think the link to post symbolises how memories can be preserved through use of letter writing and sending postcards.


I started by using my backstitch sewing skills to create a mini shopper bag using floral fabric and ribbon to depict my love of shopping. I found an old photo of myself and two school friends and decided to create a decorative border around it using fine liner so it looked like a snapshot. I drew a quirky, paper textured sun with sunglasses to portray the fun that can be had and a colourful beach ball as a fun summer sporting activity.


I painted a figure of eight swimming pool using watercolour paper and ink tense watercolour pencils. I don’t think this drawing went very well, there isn’t enough variation of tone and the cutting out around the edge gives it a raw appearance which doesn’t suit my joyful theme. I painted an iPod using watercolour and wrote ‘Duffy’ in the same font that was used for her first album cover, surrounded by musical notes to represent listening to music. I referenced an internet image of the EastEnders logo and added the River Thames river underneath to add my own touch.

I created a mini paper book which I stapled together and took aspects of the poetry book front cover as an example of a good book to read! I illustrated a roast dinner as a delicious meal that my mum cooks – her roasts are gorgeous! I drew my mum referenced from an old favourite photo using pencil and a simple sketch style. I made a bucket and spade out of yellow and white card to portray my love of going to the beach. I think I could have presented these visual images better, the white backgrounds stand out too much against the brown paper.


I thought it would be clever to create a drawing with a pencil to showcase my enjoyment of drawing animals with wings such as butterflies. To improve I think I should have only drawn half the butterfly to show part of the drawing process. The watercolour palm tree represents holidays, I have been on many tropical holidays and I love palm trees because they have an exotic form. I kept a chocolate lindt teddy bear wrapper as I thought the teddy design was very cute and it also represents my love of chocolate!

I depicted the ‘Sims 2’ logo using coloured fine liners and gel pens, I spent hours playing the video game as a child. I painted a rubber ring to represent swimming and pretty strawberries which are still my favourite fruit. I created a zoo sign and added a zebra print pattern as a representation of an animal which can be found at the zoo. I kept a tag from an item I bought from Accessorize which I found an image of in a magazine and a pound sign to show I like to spend! The cute ring was given to me by my old best friend as a friendship gift.

I attached a hand sewn stocking at the bottom right hand side of my board to represent the verse ‘Waiting for Santa to see what he brings’. I attached this on before completing the last few illustrations to make sure they would fit on the page.


I drew the Nintendo DS logo in fine liner, I used to love playing DS games. I used coloured pens to draw a simple sketch of a rollercoaster as I enjoy going to theme parks. The rabbit pencil drawing depicts my old pet rabbit Fluffy. This is my favourite illustration on my board because it is particularly personal to me and I think I drew her realistically.

The jet fine liner drawing was my final illustration to attach to my board. I also added the text ‘My Favourite Things’ in the top right hand corner of the board. I referenced an internet image and added tone to accentuate the plane features. The final touch was to add the repeated verse in my poem: ‘These are a few of my favourite things…’

My favourite illustration – Fluffy the Rabbit pencil drawing

Overall, I am pleased with my Illustration board. The use of mixed media and textures gives a sensory effect and adds interest for the viewer. I think some aspects of the board are better than others such as my pencil drawings and sewn shopper bag and stocking. To improve I would practice my watercolour skills to make those images better as they don’t stand out enough compared to imagery created in different media.

I enjoyed creating these illustrations and am looking forward to creating more artwork for books and magazines in the future.

Thanks for reading and hope you enjoyed my post.

Best Wishes
Ellie x

Fourth Craft Project : Handmade Christmas Tree Decorations

This blog post is extremely overdue! Sorry for the lack of posts in the last few months, I have had a lack of inspiration – a bit of artists block 😦

I’ve been busy working, earning as much as I can and applying to study Illustration at University. I will be starting my Illustration degree at University for the Creative Arts in September, how exciting!

Sewing is a hobby I rediscovered last year whilst I was working at a Teddy Bear Shop and Repair Hospital. I decided to use my improved handicraft skills to create handmade Christmas presents for friends and family.

I made Christmas tree decorations using christmas printed fabric sewn together, stuffed with poly fibre and made able to hang with gold ribbon. To add a personal touch, I sewed a glittery gold letter of the person’s first initial onto the front of each decoration.

I started off by creating patterns for each design, I drew christmassy shapes onto white card and cut them out. The shapes I chose were heart, star, stocking and christmas tree.

I chose a piece of christmas patterned fabric and pinned a pattern down on the non-printed side of the fabric. For each shape I needed to cut out two pieces of shaped fabric. I turned the second stocking shape round the other way so the sides would match together when sewn.
I used a black pen to draw around the card pattern and removed the pins so I could cut the shape out using fabric scissors.

Drawing out the pattern onto fabric
Cutting the shapes out using fabric scissors

I began by sewing a gold letter depicting the person’s initial to a piece of patterned fabric.

Sewing gold glittery letters onto the front of the fabric to give a personal touch

I turned each piece of cut fabric so the two right sides were facing each other and the reverse sides were facing outwards. I could then sew the pieces together inside out ensuring the stitching can’t be seen on the outside once it is turned the right way round. I used backstitch to make my sewing neat and even. I chose threads which matched the colours of the patterned fabrics.

Pinning the fabric
Sewing the fabric pieces together

I left a hole at the top of each decoration so I could add poly fibre stuffing to give shape and depth. I sewed up the hole carefully to ensure the stuffing was secure.

I left a hole at the top of the decoration so I could add stuffing

Finally, I pinned a piece of gold ribbon to each decoration and sewed it on using gold thread so the decorations could be hung proudly on a Christmas tree!

I really enjoyed sewing these Christmas tree decorations and giving them to workmates, friends and family as special little gifts. I hung an example of each decoration on my owl jewellery hanger and on a wire beaded christmas tree to see how they look when displayed.

I hope you have enjoyed reading this blog post. I have missed blogging and am very much looking forward to sharing my art and craft activities on a regular basis again – I’m gradually getting my mojo back!

Best Wishes

Ellie x


Creating Christmas Cards

Christmas always inspires me as a time to do more Arts & Crafts. I like to create my own Christmas cards to add a personal touch when sharing festive greetings with family and friends.

Last year, I created two illustrative designs, for both I used pen and watercolour on card for the originals. The first design is a sprig of holly and berries and the second is a traditional star-printed bow. I started with a pen drawing of each design and used watercolour to bring the images to life. I wrote ‘Merry Christmas’ at the bottom of each card, filling the lettering in with pink glitter gel.

I enjoyed making these cards and I think they turned out quite well, I photocopied each design to create copies of each to give to my family and friends. I feel I should have used paper designed for watercolour rather than card for the original designs to make the quality of each image better and perhaps have used glitter gels on the images to make them more festive and sparkly.

Scan 2
Holly and Berries Christmas Card Design
Scan 1
Traditional Star-Printed Bow Christmas Card Design

This year, I decided to create a wintry scene using pencil, watercolour and glitter gels on watercolour paper of A6 size. I focused on one design which I have used before in two previous studies of the same scene using ink & wash for one and mixed media for the other.

Ink & Wash Study
Mixed Media Abstract Study

The scene is of 2 trees close together against a fence and field backdrop with part of another tree positioned on the right side. I made them berry trees for my Christmas Card to add a festive touch and decided to use glitter gels to make the scene sparkly.

I started with a light pencil sketch of the scene, adding areas of colour using ink tense watercolour pencils. I added water to blend the colours and fineliner to create areas of shadow combined with white gel pen for highlights. Glitter gels added a pretty finishing touch and made the berries stand out more on the trees and in the field below. I wrote ‘Merry Christmas’ in red gel pen in the bottom right hand corner.

I photocopied the original onto card and added glitter gels individually to each card to make them truly sparkle!

Initial Pencil Sketch of Wintry Scene
Beginning to add colour with Ink Tense Watercolour Pencils

I enjoyed making this card so much that I decided to take photos every few minutes so I could create a stop-motion animation of the creation process. I used these photos to create the animation, I have an app on my iPhone called ‘Stop Motion’.

I opened the app and created a new stop-motion animation.

I clicked on the Pink + symbol to create a new stop-motion animation
I clicked on the + symbol and selected the top option ‘Add Images’ so I could select the photos from my camera roll
The photos appeared at the bottom of the page. I selected the circular symbol to create a Movie Speed of 0.05 seconds for each frame making the overall duration 5 seconds
I could then play my stop-motion animation from start to finish

You can view my stop-motion animation on my Instagram:

Below is my final Christmas Card Design. I am really pleased with how it has turned out and feel inspired to create more painted scenes of postcard size as it effectively creates an atmospheric landscape.

Final Christmas Card Design 2015

Thank you for reading. I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Best Wishes,

Ellie x

Third Craft Project – Sewing a Teddy Bear!

Recently, I have become increasingly interested in Teddy Bears and thought it would be a lovely craft project to create my own.
The Kit was bought for me by a friend, it is from Wilkinson so isn’t of the best quality but perfect to practice back-stitch sewing technique and make a Beginner’s Bear!
If you want to purchase the Kit and try making your own Plush Teddy Bear, click on the link below:-

I started off by identifying the fabric pieces already cut for the face of the Bear. I sewed them reversed using back-stitch, the sewing stitch I used throughout the creation process. I then sewed the face piece onto the head piece. I used my own needle and sandy brown thread as the thread provided was too thick.

Once complete, I turned the fabric the right way round. I inserted the eyes by making two small holes where I wanted to place them using the point of the needle. The eyes are safety eyes, they have clips on the back so are easy to insert. Once they were sewed in, I filled the head with stuffing.

Next, I sewed each of the two ear pieces together, turned them inside out so the plush surface of the fabric was on the outside and filled them with stuffing. I identified the mouth piece and sewed the four small slits positioned evenly around the edge to close the mouth piece.

I attached the plastic nose to the mouth piece, like the eyes it has a clip on the back so can be easily fastened to the fabric. I sewed the mouth onto the face, positioned evenly under the eyes and left a small gap so I could fill it with stuffing before sewing it up. I attached the ears evenly onto the sides of the head.
I did have difficulty with this part of my Bear-Making, the back of the head split as I added the facial features and I didn’t have any spare fur to patch it up. Instead, I used pieces of pretty floral fabric to create a unique patchwork back and added a pink fabric heart as a feminine touch.

The Head with the Eyes, Nose and Mouth inserted
The head with the eyes, nose and mouth inserted

Then I went on to sew the body, starting with sewing the two oval body pieces together leaving a gap at the top so I would be able to fill it with stuffing once turned the right way round and sew on the head. I put more stuffing in the tummy than any other area so my Teddy Bear would be soft and squishy, perfect for Bear Hugs!

The Body, filled with stuffing
The body, filled with stuffing

I attached the head to the body by tightly sewing around the top of the body at the bottom of the head to create a neck. I had then completed the areas of the Teddy Bear with the most weight and stuffing.

I sewed each of the arm pieces together in reverse, leaving a gap at the top so I could turn the fabric the right way round and fill with stuffing. I attached each of the arms onto the sides of the body, using pins to make sure I got each arm in an equal position on each side.

Sewing an arm, placed on my cute owl sewing box!
Sewing an arm, placed on my cute owl sewing box!
Bear's Head, Body and Arms sewed together
Bear’s head, body and arms sewn together

I folded each reversed leg piece in half and sewed along the edge leaving a gap at the top. The leg pieces also had a gap at the bottom where the sole was to be inserted to create paw pads. The brown felt creates an interesting contrast against the golden sandy coloured fur. I turned each leg inside out, filled them with stuffing and sewed them onto the body using pins to keep them in a straight position.

Sewing the Arms and Legs
Sewing the arms and legs
Bear from behind with floral fabric and pink heart
Bear from behind with floral fabric patchwork and pink heart

The sewing of my Bear was then complete.

As a finishing touch, I tied a pink and red heart printed satin ribbon around the Bear’s neck and stuck a daisy accessory on her right ear which adds to her cuteness and handmade style. I called her ‘Ellie Bear’ as a reminder that she is the first Teddy Bear I have ever made!

My Teddy Bear with her finishing touches
My Teddy Bear with her finishing touches

I really enjoyed creating this Teddy Bear in my spare time as a relaxing craft project. I hope you enjoyed reading my blog post and hopefully it has inspired you to sew your very own cute Teddy Bear!

My adorable completed Teddy Bear 'Ellie Bear'!
My adorable completed teddy bear ‘Ellie Bear’!

Best Wishes

Ellie x

The Art of Representing Architecture

I have always been intrigued by Buildings; form, colour, texture and shape are a few visual elements which stand out to me. I like to take photos of Buildings, considering composition to include interesting aspects in the shot which I can then interpret into my paintings.

As part of my ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears’ Illustration project I did at college, I created a series of experimental drawings and paintings of buildings as ideas for the representation of the Three Bears city townhouse where they live. I decided to modernise the fairytale to make my illustrations unique. I spent a Sunday afternoon walking around the city of Exeter with my Canon camera, taking photographs of townhouses which appealed to me. When I arrived home, I printed out my favourite photos and used them to reference my artworks.

I found this townhouse in a posh square near the town centre just off Queen Street. I depicted it quickly in four experimental pieces using pen, pencil, acrylic and watercolour. I completed these studies in my sketchbook with the photograph placed next to them. I went on to create a raised model out of air-dry clay of the townhouse to gain a better understanding of shape and form on a slightly raised but not accurate 3D scale.

Photo I took of a quirky Exeter townhouse
Photo I took of a quirky Exeter townhouse
Sketchbook page of quick studies of townhouse in various media
Sketchbook page of quick studies of townhouse in various media
Clay model of townhouse
Clay model of townhouse

I also created an A3 mixed media illustration of the townhouse using pen, pencil, watercolour, collage, charcoal, chalk and fineliner. I painted watercolour washes of pink and yellow in the background to represent the adjacent houses. I made the house blue rather than white like it is originally because I wanted my illustrations to be bright and colourful for my young book audience. I think this piece went particularly well because it has a quirky, characteristic style, I was inspired by the artwork of Tim Burton.

Mixed media illustration of the Three Bears townhouse
Mixed media illustration of the Three Bears townhouse

Later on in the project, I worked on the Illustration for the Three Bears adventure along Gandy Street in the city centre whilst Goldilocks breaks into their house. I chose Gandy Street rather than a walk in the woods to modernise my illustration and it is a lovely quirky street which J.K Rowling based Diagon Alley on from the Harry Potter books!

For this illustration, I used gel pen and watercolour on a yellow paper to create an interesting surface texture. I think it has gone quite well, I like the loose mark making and squiggly lines however I didn’t think it worked as an illustration for a children’s book so I did not use it in my final piece illustration.

Gel pen and watercolour illustration of Gandy Street
Gel pen and watercolour illustration of Gandy Street

I also enjoy drawing buildings in my spare time. I created a postcard of the Hotel my parents run in Seaton called ‘The Eyre Court Hotel’. I have always been interested in the building because it is old so has character and it has three floors which adds depth to the overall appearance of the building from the outside. Again, I based my drawing on a photo. I created a pencil drawing on good quality paper and then outlined it with fineliner to give it a professional finish.

Postcard of the Eyre Court
Postcard of the Eyre Court

I am very pleased with how it has turned out, it is an accurate interpretation in terms of perspective and shape but it also has a quirky style. I think it would make a nice souvenir for any guests who stay at the Hotel! I have currently sold 2, which obviously isn’t many but I’m just pleased that someone liked them enough to buy them.

I intend to create many more sketches and paintings of interesting architecture as my interest develops further. City buildings particularly interest me especially in places such as London. I also hope to create drawings which can be sold as postcards if they represent an iconic building because it is a nice way to showcase my love of art and the subject matter of architecture.

I hope you enjoyed reading this post and it has inspired you to appreciate the beautiful buildings you see everyday!

Best Wishes

Ellie x

Appreciating others Art – the Works of Peter Ernest and Liudmila Tamkovich

I enjoy reading analysis of other artist’s work as well as analysing other’s artists work myself, a regular task as part of my Art and Design course.

This blog post is about the artwork of my great-uncle Peter and his wife Liudmila. It is an unbiased view and I propose to write about my first impressions and natural opinions.

Liudmila’s Artwork

Liudmila is a talented colourist and loves to use texture in her paintings. Her painting (pictured) is called ‘Night City – 2’. She gave it to me to keep which was lovely.

Night City - 2
Night City – 2

My first reactions are that I find the work interesting, the use of line draws me in and I think the colours work well together. It reminds me of the work I studied as part of the Cubism movement.

Visual elements form an important part of the work. The quality of line is strong, bold and confident; lines flow, are straight, have an equal thickness and are both horizontal and vertical.
The tone is predominantly warm with hints of cooler purple. The overall tonal effect is bright and impure.
The colours are blended and polychromatic. I can identify primary red and yellow, secondary purple and orange and tertiary brown. Shades have been added to purer colours. The yellow and purple shades are complementary. The overall palette is opaque, shimmering and atmospheric.
The form is 2D but 3D elements are added with use of texture. The shapes are inorganic, rectilinear, geometrical and straight.
The overall surface texture is rough, hard, glossy with a metallic finish and impasto is a heavily used painterly technique.
The composition is imbalanced, asymmetrical and repetitive. A dynamic rhythm has been set, the painting is based on the idea of movement and energy. It holds the interest and eye of the viewer. Other visual terms I can identify are linear, dynamic and abstract.

I think there is an emphasis on the biggest square positioned on the right in the middle as the area of dominance because to me it stands out the most and is the brightest shape.
Lines in particular, attract attention because they lead the eye around the painting from the top to the bottom. There is a clear contrast of light and dark colours, flat and raised surfaces.
I believe the work is visceral, it gives an immediate impact and the use of line entertains the viewer.

I think the work in inventive and evocative; the tube lines appear like a map of the tracks, it is iconic in a representational, abstracted way.

The materials used were acrylic paint on canvas. The paint was pasted thickly onto the canvas, impasto style. The marks appear imprinted and expressive. The scale is large and square. There are areas of negative space in the middles of each square.

The painting is abstract but does tell a story expressively. Liudmila was “inspired by the lights and atmosphere of the busy city during the night. By all those lit up windows and straight roads, tube lines and so on…”
She uses geometric shapes and positions them in a way to portray symbols of city scenery.

I think the painting is successful because it tells a personal story, her feelings towards the city of London where she lives. She has used her chosen medium well in a way that reflects what she is representing as well as her personality.

Peter’s Artwork

I have chosen my favourite of the four works by Peter I was introduced to. It is called ‘Spectrum’ and has a geometric abstracted theme. Peter has painted 9 or 10 similar design canvases which were quite successful.

Peter is ‘very skilful in geometrical designs and has a very innovative colour combination”.

Untitled - Geometric Work
Spectrum – Geometric Work

My first reactions are that I find the work visually pleasing, the palette create a pop of colour like a firework exploding. I like the use of geometric shapes and clever positioning. It reminds me of the work of the Minimalism movement.

Peter has also carefully considered visual elements in his artwork. The use of line is flowing, multi directional, of equal thickness and diagonal. The lines overlap and form an organic circular shape.
The tone is a fair balance of warm and cool combined with monochrome. It is bright and impure.
The colours are polychromatic clashing, red and black are intense whilst peach, browns and yellows are softer. The primary colours of red, yellow and blue have been blended with hints of secondary green and orange and tertiary brown. I can also identify coloured greys and monochrome shades.
Tint is used to increase light, complementary colours are opposite each other not next to each other. The overall palette is bold, opaque and glowing.
The shapes are long thin triangles of inorganic simple but exaggerated forms in a stylised way. The painting has a 2D form.
The surface texture is smooth, soft, glossy, flat, almost reflective and tactile.
The composition is predominantly balanced and nearly symmetrical, repetitive and a dynamic rhythm has been set. The overall positioning of the painting is static because there are many diagonals.

The general appearance has harmony and is rather understated. The focal point for me is the centre, I am drawn in because it is the narrowest point. The brighter colours attract the most attention and there is a contrast between light and dark, bright and dull, short and long shapes.
The marks are distinctive, scale is of a medium size, there is negative space in between shapes. The media used was acrylic paint on canvas. The size is 850x850mm, so it is rather large.

The painting is abstract, it could however represent a feeling or emotion towards a particular subject matter such as the colours of the natural world.

I think it is a successful painting because the colours pop out of the canvas and the eye is drawn in by the fluency of colour and shape choice.
Liudmila believes that “when you have got artistic nature, you can’t help to see a potential in every object, scenery, colour or shape!” I certainly agree with this statement, I am always inspired by what I am surrounded by whether it is natural or          man-made.

Peter and Liudmila are currently busy with their new passion for renovation of old and unloved furniture. They think that like painting, it is very rewarding to turn something undesirable to something that is wanted again. They sell their furniture on eBay:

I have enjoyed analysing Peter and Luidmila’s artwork and learning more about their artistic abilities. I hope to create my own work inspired by their artwork and will use the geometric shape of triangles as my theme. I will update my final work to my blog at a later date!

Thank you for reading, hope you enjoy admiring these interesting geometric works.

Best Wishes

Ellie x