Sunday, 20 February 2011

New Portfolio Website Up & Running

I just dusted off the old portfolio website of mine, and gave it a good overhaul. Current sketchbook work, some old nuggets of gold, and a lot of finals! Hope you enjoy! 
Check it out over here:

Thursday, 17 February 2011


This blog is NOT switching over to just being about food n stuff. Illustration will be the main focus... when I do some. Which should be soon!
Over and out!

Cooking, Cooking & The Chickpeas Never End

I shall now dub this side of my blog... what an illustration student eats... however, I'm the only person that eats these kinda things... well, these exact things at least. I assure you I eat a good amount of heinz baked beans, and every good student. 
Last night's spicy chickpea burgers seemed to go down well with some lime mayonnaise, and I think everyone liked them. 
To make Lime mayonnaise, you guessed it.. get a tablespoon of mayo, and half a lime, squeeze and mix together. Should be fairly runny, that means you'll have a good amount of lime flavour.
note- if you're picky with your taste in mayonnaise, but would like to eat lower fat mayonnaise, this is a great way to disguise the 'not so great' taste of the lower fat mayonnaises. But if you don't like lime... well, thats that out of the window.

Today's delight for my dinner has been a take on fajitas. Without the flour tortilla. 
How? How?! I hear you say! 
Well, I used nori (toasted seaweed sheets) instead! 
So tonights wraps were packed with salad, sweet pepper, spring onions, 3 falafels per wrap, and a good smattering of lime mayonnaise. Nice and cleansing for the palette, and better for you!

Here's how to do it

place nori sheets, non shiny side up, and arrange your salad. *heavier items in the middle, it rolls easier

Then add your falafel, leaving a big big of bare nori at the bottom of the roll. (falafels should be in a vertical line, picture taken from the wrong angle) big space at the bottom of the wrap.

Smother in lime mayonnaise, or any other dressing you would like... thai sweet chili sauce is another of my faves.

Then wrap it all up! 
Fold the bottom up (thats why you left the big gap at the bottom of the nori)
then fold in one side, tuck in and fold the other side over it. 
Then seal with some more lime mayo, or just run the lime segment along the edge. (water will do exactly the same job at sealing it)

 I'm not going to do the pun.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Fringe Trim, Wheat-Free Vegan Cookies & Tea

I've lopped off some more hair today, or more like the hairdresser did, and I made some scrummy wheat-free vegan cookies! 
I made them using a recipe for vegan raw cookie dough over here:

Evan's Cookie Dough HummusEvan's Cookie Dough Hummus

 I substituted peanut butter for 'rainforest nut butter' basically like peanut butter but made with brazil, macadamia and cashew nuts. Can you guess why I bought that instead of plain old cashew butter, as suggested in the blog of this lovely lady-

That's right... because it says 'rainforest' on it.

Anyway, after all that, I decided I didn't like raw dough mix, and I added in a bit of soy milk, or rice milk, whichever substitute you like more.
And I dolloped the mix onto a baking tray, (foil lined and greased...(unsure of any vegan product for that), or just get a non stick baking tray?))
 Then popped them in the oven for about 20mins, checking throughout.
and voilá!

Ta Da! 
I'm thoroughly surprised!

I had my assessment for the past half a year, and I've been getting high 2:1's throughout, and firsts, I'm particularly pleased with getting 75% on my latest project  (the frog one), that means I got a very good first indeed! 
Life drawing and visual studies all good, and HACS is a 2:1 across the board, I think maybe a 2:2 for one, but meh, its HACS.  (History and Contextual Studies)

Thats all for now! Some photos of Sketchbook work and other lovely things to come.

Monday, 14 February 2011

Healthy, Healthy and Not So Healthy Barcelona

Alright! So I've decided that after a week in Barcelona eating pastries, chocolate and other unhealthy things, that I should probably get with the program and start eating healthy...properly. As much as I loathe calorie counting diets, I'm attempting to stick to a recommended intake for each meal. In the morning I'll be starting off with a breakfast smoothie of yummy fruit with a dash of milk, water and agave nectar (a sugar replacement, low GI, a lot healthier.) But all in moderation! 200cal for the breakfast smoothie. I'll be trying out a green tea breakfast smoothie once I can get the hang of it.
I've stocked up on seeds, nuts, and dried fruit or ryvita breads for snacks. I prefer to pick at food, so nuts and seeds are ok, I just have to keep an eye on my intake because of the high fat content. 
So I packed a little tin (the size of a graze box punnet thing) with all the above for mid morning/afternoon craving combatant. 

Then lunch... shall be 'be good to yourself soup' and a salad with apple cider vinaigrette, olives, pickled mini gherkins etc and a sprinkling of seeds and cress. 300cal maximum

Dinner... to be decided. Possibly soup and salad again, with yoghurt for pudding. 
Or a low fat pasta/rice dish of some kind. I'll think about that later! 400 cal maximum

I'm so happy to have a new blender... never owned a proper fancy one, so its a revelation. I bought myself a fruit rack so as I can see all the delicious food, and I'm starting to sprout my own salads again! Since my room tends to be quite cold, I'm not too worried about food spoiling fast. 
What else... back to the tea drinking, as I have been somewhat lax at sitting down for a nice cuppa green tea lately. Still can't find the 2 bags of green tea and jasmine from Ecuador... I'm sure it will turn up somewhere :S. 
And superfoods... I went to the Natural Store in Falmouth, and bought myself some Maca and Lucuma powder. Superfoods of the Incas. Maca tastes rubbish, and I can't stomach it to be honest, but Lucuma was thankfully more agreeable. I've ordered some Mesquite from them, so that should be in at the end of the week, in time to make healthier toffee popcorn! 

I'm waiting on 'The Happy Herbivore' book to arrive, a great vegetarian (not that I am one) cookbook full of delicious low fat vegetarian dishes with no insane ingredients that you have to search all over the world for. So I'm looking forward to cookin' up a storm and enjoying a more vibrant diet... full of beautiful green salad, fruits and veg! 

I'll be making more soup this week, I'm teaching a few friends how to make it, and trying to incorporate more veg into one of my friends diets. 

Thats all for now, pictures of delicious food to come, and Barcelona Study Trip Sketches to be uploaded soon!

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Agitated, Kings Speech & Frog Finale

So today I'm feeling rather agitated. Its raining in Falmouth, everyone is going away before we do, so there aren't many people to see, or the ones that I can see are doing other things. So I'm stuck inside on a horrible rainy day. But I had to go and get travel things from boots, so I had to venture out in the bleak weather. On the way to boots I discover that my headphones have finally broken. Now of all times. Though I have to be thankful that they didn't break just before I got on the coach on Monday.
And I spent too much, all on essential things, but I still feel pretty pants about it. 
I tried to replace my ipod headphones, but they wanted £25 for a new pair of the same ones... ridiculous. So I had to get a £7 just doesn't feel the same. Ipod headphones have to be the most comfortable ones I've ever received. 
Anyway. So I decided to treat myself and go and sit in Provedore cafe today... but when I got there, it was closed. So that put a damper on that plan. And there wasn't really anywhere else I was in the mood for. Although the tea place is lovely, I just wanted to sit on my own, draw and not have someone interrupting my thoughts every 10mins. 

And I went to the cinema to check when the kings speech will be in there until. He said definitely this thursday, but he doesn't know after that. Fat lot of good that is! 

Geez I'm in a bad mood. I always get agitated after a project deadline, because I then have nothing to draw, or nothing to concentrate on... but really thats a blessing because I can then draw whatever I want. Trouble is choosing, and I'm just depressed about my sketchbook in general. I look back at the sketchbooks from first year and wonder how the hell I completed 3 in a year... This year I'll be lucky to complete 1, and we technically have less work on. Being IN Falmouth is definitely more of a distraction than I thought. 

Actual work... yes I managed to paint a frog for my project, 1/11 and scenery/foliage still to come.

 progress pic (halfway)

 whole poster

 close up finished frog (Phyllomedusa vaillanti)

Finished (to dummy standard) poster... I'm going to endeavor to finish the entire thing at some point so as I can have this for myself! Haha, so selfish.

anyway, thats it! 
I'm off to Barcelona.
See you guys later (hopefully with some super-wicked sketchbook work!)

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Coffee Beans, Frogs & Sneak Peek

Second night on coffee beans. Its cold here. 
However, here is a sneak peek of the layout for the final poster...

I've just noticed a minor error. But I'm not telling.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Frogs, Frogs & Coffee Beans

I'm rather hyper on chocolate covered coffee beans...
Which is good for my project, as I have now finished another illustration, have cleaned up another one, traced down another one, and am about to start painting that one. I've also put some of the illustrations into indesign in the ongoing poster template for this project, and it seems to be starting to come together! Thank god. 
Here's some of the illustrations

This piece took me all morning to first draw all the frogs, and then took me all night to scan, alter, get sizing just right, then select the outlines of the drawings I'd done, and then fill them in in block colour. I then proceeded to faff about with too many layers, got confused several times, numbered it wrong, before getting it right in accordance with a key on the poster. It is FINALLY done. I'm pleased with it... but that really was too much effort for something so seemingly simple. I have great respect for anyone who does this work.

Underside, birdseye and view of the nictitating membrane (a.k.a. third eyelid) with vein like pattern.
This shows the camouflage of Agalychnis callidryas (Red-Eyed Treefrog)

ok! two posts in one night, brilliant! 
I'm off to paint that other illustration! Praying mantis about to nab a Clown Frog! Woop!

Graze, Dancing & Onwards...Into the Land of Frogs!

Alrighty! I've been super busy... well, almost. What I should say, is that I've been unproductive and lazy boring slob. I can't wait to have a whole week in Barcelona dedicated to sketchbooking and wandering aimlessly around an unknown town! I've been a bit down lately, too much frog research to wade through and no play. I'll be glad once I can get onto the final and just crack on with a whole painting business! Here's some photos of the work I've already done for the project!

 oh, and this is some fabulous sushi I ate at the beloved tea shop!
sweet sushi tent wins!

 A very tired me! I'll start looking like a frog soon.

Agalychnis callidryas- Red Eyed Treefrog
underside view, top view and eye with 3rd eyelid (camouflaged position) Note all colourful parts of the frog are hidden under itself, and its red eye is covered by a vein patterned eyelid to keep itself from being noticed by hungry predators!

 Forest Bromeliad Frog and its eggs and tadpoles in a bromeliad cup!

And what better way to cheer yourself up by buying yourself flowers? I know its pretty sad that I have to buy flowers for myself, but seeing as I have no handsome man to buy them for me just yet, its either I buy them myself, or I just don't have flowers...and that is not an option! They cheer me up no end, and they bring my room to life. So I'll stick with being sad ol' me and carry on buying beautiful bouquets for myself :) This time its red and white tulips, lovely! 

Graze boxes are amazing I recently started getting them, they contain healthy nutritious snacks that are probably far better for you than that muffin you ate this afternoon! I got my first box free, and my second one half price, if you want to try it out, go and sign up on with this code Y7NHRH83.
There's no obligation to buy any boxes after the free one, and you can cancel really easily, so give it a go, you might find you love it! This week I got some beautiful olives, chocolate covered coffee bean mix, and some other goodies! 

On a side note, I should be going to see 'The King's Speech' soon, looking forward to it, looks like a very promising performance from Helena Bonham-Carter and that guy thats in it (whose name I can never remember.) 
Chiropractor has been clicking my back and neck and twisting and jolting different parts of my body... looks like I signed up to be beaten up! But I think its doing some good.... Apparently I was 2 inches longer in one leg than the other...thats no good is it! So she evened me out...thankfully not with a hacksaw... I seem to have wonky hips thats all.

Andreya Triana, Emancipator, Elvis Crespo and Zumba classes, all make me want to dance at the minute. I'm looking forward to a bit of cheeky dancing in Barcelona.
I must go now... for the land of frogs awaits me! Fare ye well!