Finally, number four of the four illustrations I created for the Words to Live By exhibition ‘Get Home In Time For Tea’. The sentiment here being that after your day of adventuring, it’s important to wend your way back to your cosy Hobbit hole or campfire to enjoy a hot brew…and that it will taste all the more delicious after the fresh air and fun you’ve enjoyed on your escapades to the mountains, sea and forest.
It’s a concept I’d like to play around a bit more with in future illustrations. I really love the connection between nature and the outdoors and how it feels when you settle down to a cup of tea after being outside. Or indeed having a tea whilst out in nature. The comfort from the warmth of the cup and how it restores and revives you. Biscuits or cake to be included in this ritual whenever possible of course.
In the next post I’ll share the final, framed piece and a few snaps from the show itself before we move on to talk about some other things. In the meantime, get that kettle on! 🙂
I haven’t had too much forest time lately but will aim to put that right in February. There’s something very vital about getting out under the trees, jumping over logs and generally frolicking about like an excitable fool in the woods. This is the third of four illustrations I created for the Drawn Chorus ‘Words to Live By’ show (do check out my previous posts if you missed the first and second!).
I hadn’t left myself much time to create my submissions for the show and was worried that I wouldn’t be able to make something I was happy with before the deadline. I have a tendency to move very slowly and be a bit of a perfectionist when creating personal work if left to my own devices.
So this show actually proved to be a really good challenge for me as I had to just let go and keep moving in order to get the work done. And as it goes, I was pretty happy with what I produced. Sometimes ‘done’ is much better than ‘perfect’ and can get you further and more quickly than obsessing over details and re-hashing things that already work. Something for me to remember for the next show and coming projects anyway!
I had a lot of fun creating my new range of products for the Owlstation Store! I’ve always been captivated by fantasy, folklore and magical worlds, so taking the time to experiment, craft and animate my Castle in the Sky design was a really lovely experience.
This magic portal greetings card will come to life in your hands when viewed through your mobile (okay, so it works by augmented reality, not actual magic, but still!) giving you or your friends a momentary escape into an enchanted world…or if you prefer a bit of daydreaming as you fetch your afternoon snack, this design is also available as a bright, vinyl magnet for your fridge.
Creating this design also gave me a chance to work on my traditional, frame by frame animation skills to create the soaring dragon. Something that is quite new to me but definitely very satisfying after all the hard work is done. So if you’re looking for a present for a fantasy loving pal, a birthday card for your Dungeon Master or simply need a bit more magic in your life, please do drop by the Owlstation Store on Etsy, your support of my small business is always appreciated!
This morning, I took a little time out from my planned work to draw some owls in my sketchbook. I’d been feeling the need for a little creative playtime for a while and finally decided to give into the urge for a few hours. I put on a podcast, grabbed a cuppa and just allowed myself to play. It was honestly so restorative and I’ll definitely be carving out some more time for this soon!
In my pursuit for drawing reference material, I came across this BBC Earth video ‘How Does An Owl Fly So Silently?’ and thought I’d share it with you. Apparently it’s to do with their large wings and small body, but the clip explains much better than I can! Barn Owls are such elegant, ethereal creatures, enjoy!
What’s been capturing your imagination lately? If you’ve got any recommendations for me, I’d love to know in the comments below.
Note: For the keen eyed among you, the second drawing is actually of a Short Eared Owl…Just wanted to share him in this owl post too!
It’s been a long old journey getting everything set up and ready, so I’m super chuffed to be able to share this with you all! I just want to say a big thank you to my friends and family that have helped and supported me this year in this adventure. Your advice, time and hugs made all the difference, you are excellent human beans 🦉! Extra special thanks to the talented @alekadzie for his epic photography skills!
I am indeed counting down the days to the 10th of October when I’ll be launching the Owlstation Store on Etsy! It feels really good to be at this point and to finally have a home where I can share my products and illustrations with you all, such as my ‘Save Progress?’ greetings card.
Having grown up with retro PlayStation games like Final Fantasy 7 and Tomb Raider 3, I got used to saving my game’s progress by seeking out ethereal Save Crystals…I thought it would be fun to make a card that lets you and your friends save your life progress whenever you need to! Be sure to pop back in 8 days time when I’ll be sharing my store link, hooray! 😀
I’m getting ever so close to opening the Owlstation Store…in fact, I’m pleased to announce that I have set a date! As of the 10th of October you’ll be able to visit my Etsy shop! To begin with, I’ll be selling a curated collection of illustrated prints and greetings cards, inspired by my love of retro PlayStation games and fantasy adventures (sneak peak above!). Moving forwards, i’m excited to grow my store and create new collections in between my freelance design projects. So…pop the 10th of October in your diary and please do check back here for more updates through September!
Here’s a little glimpse of some adventure items for a new A3 print I’m working up. A rune covered Spellbooke shown above…It should be noted that true adventurers keep their sandwiches in ancient, Spanish treasure chests…
…And for those stubborn cauldron stains, only the strongest, fungus-based cleaner will do! More progress on my illustrated prints and the Owlstation Store coming over the Summer :).
I’ve been using watercolours in my work for some time now. I don’t remember ever being formally taught how to paint with them but have always enjoyed experimenting and using them in my own way to capture what I see. However, a recent project called for lots of watercolour work and I realised I was keen to learn more about the medium and how to use it ‘properly’.
For some reason I’d convinced myself that I wouldn’t be able to find the ‘right’ sort of watercolour tutorial for me, so had almost given up before trying. I wanted something that would show the paints being used in a more illustrative and unusual way. Then, one YouTube search for ‘watercolour illustration tutorial’ later, I discovered Kelogsloops videos…
Apart from being a crazily talented Illustrator, Kelogsloops aka Hieu Nguyen is a brilliant teacher. I started by watching his 6 minute introduction to watercolour and picked up several ideas and set-up techniques that had never occurred to me before! I then went on to watch one of his process videos (for his illustration below) and his techniques for ‘Wet on Dry’ painting (shown above). He teaches at a steady pace, carefully explaining what he is doing and why, with lots of useful summaries and tips.
It’s been humbling to watch these and remember that there is always more to learn and explore with any medium. Taking the time to look around for the right tutorial or ask for help and recommendations when you need them is really worth doing. And finally, that there isn’t really a ‘proper’ way to paint with watercolours – anything goes!
All artwork and videos created by Kelogsloops and used here without the artist’s permission.