Sunday, 24 August 2014

A couple of beginnings and no ends

Just a quick one today as we've had a busy day today with a barbecue and are off to a wedding tomorrow - love bank holidays!

I haven't got a lot to show this week and certainly nothing finished! To be honest, I've been a bit lazy after finishing a couple of commissions and it's been nice to work on a few projects of my own.

I've started a new doodle, drawn everything out and am working on the fun bit of filling in all the details.

doodle artist

You can still see the pencil lines I've used as a guide.

doodle artist

In this photo I was in the process of going over the outlines of the individual elements to make the lines bolder.

doodle art

I've also been working on a realistic drawing of an interesting old tap this week. I've actually made more progress than this but haven't got around to taking photos yet.

realistic pencil drawing

I'm not going to reveal exactly what I've got planned for the rest of this piece, just in case it doesn't turn out quite right!

realistic pencil drawing

I had a bit of fun in the early stages by posting the following picture on my Facebook page and asking people to guess what they thought it was. Guesses ranged from duck-billed platypus to the underside of a big coat hanger!

realistic pencil drawing

That's all for today! Back next week :)

I'm sharing this post on the following blogs:  Handmade Harbour, Manon Popje's Illustrations, Nifty Thrifty Things, Be Different Act Normal and Tatertots and Jello.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Coloured pencil drawing tutorial - Molly the cat

It's Sunday afternoon (again! How does it come around so fast?), I'm armed with a cup of tea and ready to share what I've been up to this week.

I've got to admit, that when I started writing this blog, I had no idea how time consuming it would be! I find I have to be really disciplined to get the post written and shared each Sunday. It does force me to find time for art though, as without the deadline of a blog post I think a lot of things I've done would have ended up unfinished. This is one of them: a coloured pencil drawing of our gorgeous, dearly departed family cat Molly.


For those of you who are interested, I thought I'd make this post into a mini tutorial on drawing animals with coloured pencil.

You can draw the outline freehand to start with, but if you want to get the proportions exactly right, using a grid technique to translate the photo into a drawing is the easiest method.

On the computer, overlay your photo with a grid of squares. Measure out and draw the grid onto your blank drawing paper. Working methodically, transfer all the outlines you can see square by square. Think about where the lines intersect the grid, for example in this drawing, the bridge of Molly's nose intersects the horizontal line of the square about two thirds of the way across.


When you've got the outline down on paper, decide on where you're going to start adding colour. In the above photo, I began with the eye. In my case, starting with the eye is risky as it's my favourite bit and once it's done, I'm tempted just to put it to one side and never pick it up again!

I posted a progress photo on my Facebook page though, to try and motivate me to carry on - it worked!

Keep your pencils nice and sharp to make sure that detail is crisp. Begin by lightly shading and building it up, rather than laying down colour heavily to start with which can damage the surface of the paper. Drawing on coloured paper is good because highlights show up beautifully and the dark base gives depth to the finished piece. Pick out the shiny parts of your subject's eyes, and make sure that the dark sections are dark enough to contrast with, and bring out, pale areas.


When you come to adding the fur, look carefully at which direction the hairs are growing in, whether they're long or short and how densely packed they are. Around Molly's eye and her nose for example, the hairs are very short and fuzzy, so require tiny strokes of the pencil.

Build up the hairs, one colour at a time. Again, work methodically out from one place, this will help keep your drawing uniform.

Take your time and make sure you're happy with each area before you move onto the next.

When you've finished, you can add extra highlights with pastel pencils or even acrylic paint as I have done in this drawing to bring out Molly's whiskers.

This is another drawing I've just started. I'll put progress photos up on my Facebook page, so please do pop by if you're interested!


I'm sharing this post on the following blogs:  Handmade Harbour, Manon Popje's Illustrations, Nifty Thrifty Things, Be Different Act Normal and Tatertots and Jello.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

3D paper cut kirigami cityscape

I've just noticed that this is my 101st post! Good excuse for celebrating with a nice cup of tea I think, especially after a busy weekend of camping in Cornwall and going to the Boardmasters festival!

I finished this paper cut cityscape this week. It's made using a technique called 'kirigami', a japanese word describing the art of cutting and paper folding to make 3D sculptures. I had a go at it before, but my measurements were a bit off on my last attempt and it turned out wonky!


To my relief, this one came out fine! There's a yellow piece of paper behind, held up to the window to let the light through.


If I did it again, I would break the skyscraper down into sections, rather than long panels as it is now because they bow and bend too easily.


The forward facing steps (above) were really hard to fold! I did it by gently pressing along the edge of the knife from the back.



I quite like how it looks backed with white paper too.


But my favourite view of it is with a strong light shining directly behind, casting shadows from all the doorways and windows. It would make a great feature light!


Because it's paper, it can't really support itself and it was really tricky to hold it in the right place while taking a photo with the other hand!


This is how it started life. I measured out the buildings and cut out all the windows with a craft knife. Then came the fiddly business of folding!

Not sure I'll be attempting one of these again in a hurry!

Those of you who've popped over from my Facebook page will probably know that I've also been working on a doodle this week. I can now reveal that it is lined up to feature in Doodle Arts Magazine, which I am SO excited about!

 And that's all for today!

I'm sharing this post on the following blogs:  Handmade Harbour, Manon Popje's Illustrations, Nifty Thrifty Things, Be Different Act Normal and Tatertots and Jello.

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Acrylic Dog Portrait: A million tiny hairs

Over the past month or so I've been working on an acrylic portrait of a dog, picking it up on and off when I've had time.

It's finally finished and will be given as a surprise for its new owner on their birthday this week.


The background was the first thing I painted, leaving the dog shape in the middle white. In hindsight I should have painted the whole background, then sketched out the dog afterwards.


I ended up having to repaint the background because there were some little white gaps around the dog and I couldn't match the colour perfectly to fill them in.


Anyway, we learn from our mistakes and, even though it took a little longer than it probably should have, I'm pleased with the outcome.


For anyone interested, I used Daler Rowney acrylic paints on acid free 240g acrylic paper. It's got a nice texture which is visible in the photo above.


While working on this pet portrait I did a bit of research into acrylic techniques and discovered the wonderful artist Marcel Witte. For my next project I'm going to try his technique of painting the background and blocking all shapes out first.

To deliver the painting, Sam and I took a trip to South Devon this weekend. It was a great chance to meet up with all our friends and we even got out on the water on Saturday in a friend's boat.

I was disappointed not to have brought my wetsuit as the guys were wakeboarding and it looked like so much fun!

Here are a couple of snaps from the wakeboarding session near Torquay.



Don't forget to follow me on Facebook if you haven't already! Ciao for now :)

I'm sharing this post on the following blogs:  Handmade Harbour, Paint Party Friday Manon Popje's Illustrations, Nifty Thrifty Things, Be Different Act Normal and Tatertots and Jello.

Sunday, 27 July 2014

A new scanner and a doodle marathon!

Happy Sunday everyone!

I came home the other day to find that my boyfriend Sam had bought me a new scanner as a surprise. We had been talking about getting one since the last one bit the dust after falling off a chest of drawers - they don't bounce!

Anyway, I needed one to scan artwork and designs ready for printing and I'm very happy with the quality of the scan. For those who are interested, it's an Epson Perfection V370 Photo and seems good at colour and black and white scanning, as well as photocopying text.

I finished off a few doodles this week so put the scanner to the test!

pen and ink doodle

I've been interested in the artwork of doodle artist Kerby Rosanes and Lei Melendres recently - their clean lines, detail and style of shading have really inspired me.

pen and ink doodle

This was started sat on the beach, watching Sam fishing. I included everything I could think of at the time, from mussels and birds to cupcakes and puppies!

pen and ink doodle

This next doodle was introduced in last week's blog post but with one thing and another I took a while to finish it.

clare willcocks doodle artist

Both doodles contain many of the same elements.

clare willcocks doodle artist

I can't help including the chunky little octopus, he's so much fun to draw!

clare willcocks doodle artist

A few people have suggested that I colour them in, but I'm not sure if that will take away from the lines and detail. I think I'll give it a go with my next one.

clare willcocks doodle artist

If you are interested in commissioning any artwork, including portraits, doodles or paper cuts, please don't hesitate to get in touch via the 'contact me' section (tab at the top).

I also have a giveaway running pinned to my Facebook page, don't forget to enter!

I'll leave you with a few photos from my weekend, it's been glorious here in North Devon!

old ship wreck on the sand

sunset at Instow, North Devon

sunset at Instow, North Devon

I'm sharing today's post on the following blogs: Handmade Harbour, Manon Popje's Illustrations, Nifty Thrifty Things, Be Different Act Normal and Tatertots and Jello.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Indian paper cut update - it's FINISHED!

After hours of sitting hunched up, toiling over the cutting mat, I have finally finished this Indian-style paper cut and I couldn't be happier with the way it's turned out.

It's cut out of 'normal' thickness paper with a size 11 scalpel blade.


I think I'm going to stick with the yellow background, but as it's for my sister, I'd better give her the final say! I love the way the contrast is so vibrant when it's held up to the light like in the photo below.


Although I'm glad it's finished, I really enjoyed cutting out all those tiny patterns!


Here's how it started life, hand drawn on a piece of plain A4 paper.


It casts beautiful shadows in the sunshine.


One last photo!


This weekend I've also been working on the dog portrait commission I began a few weeks ago. His nose was the focus today! The fur still needs toning down so it's not so pale.


Finally, I've almost finished this doodle, but you're only getting a sneak peek for now!


That's all for today, thanks for stopping by! I'll leave you with this photo taken at Westward Ho! while Sam was land boarding this evening.


PS. Please pop by my Facebook page if you'd like to see more of my work :)

I'm sharing today's post on the following blogs: Handmade Harbour, Nifty Thrifty Things, Be Different Act Normal, Sunny Simple Life and Manon Popje's Illustrations.

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Indian-style paper cut

Hello! Last week I was painting a dog portrait which I still haven't had chance to finish! Instead I've been working on a couple of other commissions, which has also been fun.

I can share this work in progress with you as it's for my sister who has asked me to design a piece for an Indian Summer marketing campaign she'll be running for her business later this year. After doing a bit of research on Indian designs, I decided that the beautiful patterns lent themselves to being transformed into an intricate paper cut.

This is it so far, held up to the window with yellow paper behind.


I think I'll back it with a mix of colours though, to reflect the Indian Summer theme.



I loved drawing out the pattern, filling out an A4 piece of paper with raindrop shapes, loops, flowers, fans and circles. It was like doodling!



Cutting it has been really good fun too, I love all the little curves and intricate shapes. The fish scale pattern shown in the picture above is one of my favourites!


There's still quite a way to go, so I better get back to cutting! I'll leave you with this photo of Sam and other kitesurfers at Westward Ho! today. :)



I'm sharing this post on the following blogs: Nifty Thrifty Things, Handmade Harbour, Manon Popje's Illustrations, Be Different Act Normal and Tatertots and Jello.