Monday, 30 April 2012


And another of the tea wrappers :)

I like how this one sits on the tea wrapper, nice and sweeping, not too close to the edges!

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Pu-erh Tea Wrappings... Back from China!

I'm extremely excited today, as David & Kathy ("The Essence of Tea" owners) have sent me back images of the tea wrappers I designed! 
They look pretty cool when they're on the tea cakes (each cake is made of compressed tea leaves, so you break off a bit when you want to brew some tea.) 

They also found someone else who was interested it using some of my designs for their tea wrappers in China, so he used one of the ones I designed for David & Kathy, and I designed a new one for them :)
Just heard the lovely gentleman that used my design has given me a tea cake of my own :) what a lovely present! Very grateful for tasty teas, can't wait to try it!

So here they are, the lovelies!

Selection of the cakes- (The green fish are the ones for the other gentleman, he wanted to use it for 2 different teas, so he has a blue version, like the rest of the wrappers, and a green one like the photo.)

All Together!


 Peach Blossom


I can't say just how flattering it is to have your designs put onto something that will be sold, it really is an incredible feeling, and I've very pleased about how they came out. Especially the magnolias, lovely.

There are still 2 more to be printed (I think) one with mountains, and one with an orchid :) 

I look forward to seeing them in real life, and of course David & Kathy when they get back from their exciting trip!

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Murung Raya Mockups

Ok, 3am! 
Thats my limit for tonight, and thankfully the mockups are done.
Managed to make a surprising amount of progress today, along with getting ingredients for the bake sale, helping put together a zine that my fellow falmouth students have made, and helping Will decant and cap the ale he's brewed from scratch in the house! 
All in all, an exciting and spontaneous day.
Also, the boys have purchased a ping pong set and are using the dining table to play, so its quite nice to walk into the kitchen, get involved in a spur of the moment ping pong tournament and then return to work. Quite refreshing if you've been sat down all day drawing! 

So I've been working on mockups for The Heart of Borneo's annual report 2010-2011 

here they are

Just linework scanned in and then tone dropped onto it to figure out where I might put foliage etc. I quite like version 1 and its cleanliness, but it might be good to have something in situ in my portfolio... a good bit of foliage. Perhaps I might do a mish mash of the two, have the same amount of foliage that image 2 has, but the pose of image 1 or whatever. We'll see what the verdict is soon. I have to get painting. And fast!

Sunday, 22 April 2012


Just because I found it in an old sketchbook.
Looking over old work is satisfying sometimes

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Wedding, Tear Sheet & Old Work

My cousin Jane is getting married, and I was very honored to be asked to illustrate her wedding itinerary. It had to be done quickly, as I have a lot of work on, but I still wanted it to be good, because I sadly can't attend the actual wedding. 
I wish I could have spent longer on it, and planned it better, but there are parts that I like- the typography of the days mainly. I haven't done anything that was drawn first and then painted like this, so I'm still struggling uncomfortably with it. I would love to develop a reportage style that can incorporate my pencil mark making and spot colour. I think that I will most likely pursue this in the year after university. Something colourful and lively, not static and still, stagnant how I feel at the moment.
I'm hoping that the freedom of not adhering to university standards and not having to jump through hoops will allow me to loosen up and find my true visual language.

Anyway, here is the ininerary. I still have to put the header on it, but its pretty much done.

Today I designed one of the couple of tear sheets that I will be taking to New York on my industry visits. These are designed to be left with industry professionals and to give an 'at a glance' overview of your work and what you are about. 

So this one is for my high detailed natural history work, but as you can see at the top there are also sketches, and the vulture at the bottom is in a looser more painterly style. So it is showing that I can do looser work, as well as the very tightly rendered work. 

I was looking back over some project work from the 2nd year, and I found this piece which I quite like. It is the facing page that pairs with the elephant painting that you can see on my website, or in my online store. I quite like the quietness and the space in this image. Most likely, I'll put these images into my portfolio in context, as I feel that it deserves a bit more explanation. Plus it looks more professional!

Next up, project report for The Heart of Borneo Project
(How quickly (and skillfully) can it be done?)

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Lanternfly, Q&S Bake Sale, & Queenie

Alrighty, now that the first week of my last ever term is coming to a close, I can spend some time in updating you guys.

I've been working on a few projects at the moment,  including some more kids/character stuff!

I have new cards for sale, and they will go up on the Etsy store as soon as I have time to take some nice photos of them. As always, the proceeds will be going towards the Borneo trip, so if you like em', buy em! (£3 each or any 4 of your choice for £10)

I have been working on a leaflet for the heart of borneo project, and recently completed a couple of paintings for it. The leaflet is to inform people about what the heart of borneo project do. More updates on that later, but here are the progress shots of the lanternfly being painted. 
If the leaflet gets produced in time, the queen might see it in Exeter, as the Heart of Borneo has been selected to represent projects started at Exeter university. Fantastic. Cheers Queenie. 
Thats 2 Royals to in my collection now :D

initial line drawing 
( You draw one half, then fold it over and trace it so that it is exactly symmetrical )

The final cleaned up version. 

From the stages shown above, you do a rough underpainting of colour and block everything in to begin with, and then section by section ( Insects are nice to do because you can work on one part of a wing and then call it a day) you add in the details, going over parts again, and making sure that things are looking right, the range of tone etc. You can see that when I was painting the head I realised that it was too small, and so revised it with a bigger, more natural sized head. In some respects, if you're going to get it wrong, it is better to do things too small. 

Today me and my team of amazing bakers raised £130 for the Quotes & Sayings book by putting on a cracking bake sale. The chilli cheese straws were on fire, the carrot cake the juiciest out there, and the brownies so intense that you need only have one the size of a postage stamp. 

Phew I'm knackered! Thats all for now,
see you soon!

Saturday, 7 April 2012

A New Friend, Clean Room & Prints

Today, I was leaped upon by my new friend
I was helping my friend get her child into the car, when I looked down, and saw on my sandal this small stick-like green thing.
That green sticky thing is Bert. He's a stick insect, and now he lives in my glass teapot with all the bramble leaves his heart desires. He's only a baby, and I'll see him through to when he's big and strong.
The teapot is only a temporary home for Bert, and I've given him lots of air holes to breathe from.

Here's the stick of the hour!

I hope he is happy to stay with me for a little while

In other news... I cleaned my room! Shock Horror. It feels lovely and peaceful now. 
I just need to do another clear out of books etc for the book/bake sale, and all other extraneous junk that I don't want/don't need or use. I'm getting into this throwing things away lark, or at least donating them. 

I sent off the print order to the printers today, so hopefully I will have them by Thursday this week, so keep your eyes peeled for the prints becoming available on etsy!

Over & Out!

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Espressini Sketches, Botanical Art & Grants

Recently I've been spending some time sketching in Espressini, a beautiful coffee (and hot chocolate!) shop in Falmouth. The owner Rupert has an amazing relationship with the Illustration course, putting on the Falphabet exhibition, and supporting the quotes book. 
Not to mention, the hot chocolates are delicious (from single estate cacao) and I'm told the coffees are pretty special (shame I don't drink coffee.)

And here is some other sketchbook work

I have a very talented friend who is a fantastic botanical artist (Jessica Rosemary Shepherd), she just passed her course with a credit! And she is now going to be featured in a new publication! Go and check out her work, its really something.

Sadly I'm going to end on a down note. I applied to the Ferdynand Zweig Memorial Grant, and got a letter in the post today saying that I was unsuccessful in my application.
This means more trawling for grants and more applications, this is all time taken away from actually doing more artwork, so its really not great. 
If you could spare even a little bit of money towards the cause I would be amazingly appreciative, as it goes towards getting me out to Borneo to do some vital training as a natural history illustrator in field. 
You can donate here:

or you can but a print of my work here (proceeds will be put into the donations page)

I'll be doing some more bake sales and also book/print sales at university so keep an eye out for them, but if you could afford a print or a smaller donation, I would be so so so appreciative I might just write you a card with a little drawing in it. 

Thanks to anyone that donates, I know most of us are all hard up students in the same situation!

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Tea Designs Round 2!

I was recently commissioned again by 'The Essence of Tea' to create some more designs for the wrappers of their Pu-erh tea cakes. 
They also found another person in China who was interested in having my designs on their wrappers for their Pu-erh tea cakes! How exciting!

So here they are


Peach blossom
 the other way up
rings around them denote shape of the pu-erh cake

! All done in 1 afternoon/eve! 


Sunday, 1 April 2012

Pangolin Jazz

Because it is 1.30am, and I could.

Cercosaura, Business & Cakes

I started another painting!

Cercosaura argulus (underpainting in watercolour, to be worked over in detail in gouache.)

I finished reading 'Walden or Life in the Woods' by Henry David Thoreau, a very very good book, many ideas that really ring true, and are still applicable today, if not more so today than back when he wrote it in the 1800s. Give it a read, its worth the £2.50 it costs on Amazon.

And some pictures of the cakes we sell at Woodlane/Tremough when we do our bake sales... Next one is the either the first or second week of term. So bring in your money! I'll also be selling prints and books again. 

Flavours are...

Lime & Elderflower

Piña Colada

Caramelized Pecan & Almond

Raspberry & Apple

Cappucino & Stroopwafel Deluxe

AND my business cards arrived! All on 100% recycled paper stock!
 Thats all for now m'lovelies