Clare Willcocks

Clare Willcocks: June 2013

Sunday, 30 June 2013

Dad's Birthday - Pimm's watercolour birthday card

I've come to the realisation that I can't possibly keep up with my comic strip diary each day. It takes up valuable hours which could be used in many other creative ways! So, regrettably, I will be cutting back on the amount of diary pages I create, which will hopefully mean I'll have more art and crafts of other varieties to share with you.

It was my Dad's 50th birthday on Saturday so I wanted to make him a special card to celebrate! He loves Pimm's so it seemed like the ideal subject for a mini watercolour to mount on the front. I googled a photograph and shuffled the composition around a bit when I sketched it out to fit the card. I'm linking this one up to Paint Party Friday and Diana Evans' Sweet Saturdays.


Dad liked his card and we had a fantastic time celebrating his birthday in the garden. The weather couldn't have been better!
garden party

Dad organised lots of team games which involved using various different skills. The aim of this one was to be the quickest to roll up the string attached to your rat which in turn was attached to a piece of elastic.

party games

As we're not often together as a family we made the most of the opportunity to take lots of photos!

family photo
Dad and I in a rare moment when he wasn't busy being games master!
I haven't had a lot of time for art over the last few days, but I have started working on a few ideas for some more greetings cards. Here's a sneaky peek!

Seagull and a beach hut.


I also had in my mind a peacock illustration so I drew it out, it still needs a bit of colour!

After such a lovely busy weekend I'm exhausted, so I'm off to bed!

Today I'm linking up at the following parties: Handmade Harbour, Lamb Around, Manon Popje's Illustrations Raising Reagan, Cornerstone Confessions and Tatertots and Jello.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Lime Green and Purple - The Summer of Colour

I've been overwhelmed by the the amount of lovely comments left on my last post, so thank you! I love reading them and it's so nice to know that my artistic endeavours are being appreciated!

Sam and I are working over the summer as activity leaders at an English school for foreign teenagers. It's a fantastic job as it involves doing lots of different fun activities with the students!

Kaplan Junior School Torquay
A very hectic few days
I'll include a photo of our painted t-shirts in my next post as they're still at school. I must warn you though, mine isn't very inspired!

I came across the blog Twinkle, Twinkle a while ago and when I read about the Summer of Colour I thought it was a brilliant idea! This is the first time I've contributed, the colour scheme is lime green and purple - I love these colours! I'm really into watercolours at the moment so that's what I used. When it comes to ideas, I'm not particularly creative so I have to admit I googled 'green and purple' and found a photo of a bench here to use as a reference picture.

As usual I started with a line drawing in fine black pen.

line drawing
Pencil sketch with pen
 Then I painted a gradient green background.

how to paint watercolors
Filling in the gaps
 Then added a bit more texture with darker and lighter greens.

how to paint watercolors
Bit more detail
 Finally I painted the bench purple and used a tiny brush for the details.
The finished painting - lime green and purple
The outcome isn't quite as vibrant as I would have liked. I've seen many watercolours which seem better lit, if that makes sense. If anyone can give me any tips to achieve this I'd be most grateful!

It's my sister's birthday on Friday so I made her a hand-painted card. I'm pretty sure she won't see it on here, so voilà!

I'm a little annoyed I placed the word 'wine' slightly wonky, but apart from that I'm quite pleased!

hand painted watercolour card

It's getting late so I'll call it a day here. I'll leave you with this photo - now we're living with Sam's friend Dan we have some adopted pets! I'll leave you with a picture of them going about their daily business.

tropical fish
Just keep swimming....
 PS. If you have enjoyed this post, please follow me using one of the buttons on the right hand side :)

Today I'm linking up at A Creative Princess, Domesblissity, Savvy Southern Style, Hickory Trail and Cornerstone Confessions.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Painted greeting cards, moving house (Creative Tuesdays) and trip to Woolacombe

Well, that was another busy weekend! We've had a birthday, beer festival and barbecue combined with moving into our new home! I'm going to use today's comic strip diary for Creative Tuesdays as, coincidentally, the theme this week is 'moving'!

camping in Woolacombe
The day we moved out

We had a lovely day with my sister, Kerry and her boyfriend, Dan who were camping in Woolacombe in north Devon. It was so windy and cold that Sam and I chickened out of going in the sea, but Kerry and Dan were a lot braver and ventured in to try out bodyboarding. Getting Kerry out of the wetsuit required a little help on my part...

camping in Woolacombe

I made a card for a friend's birthday and thought that while I was doing one I may as well make a few more! Here I am painting them. 

line drawing of a fish
Once there was a fishy...

watercolour greeting cards

They're line drawings painted with watercolours, set on coloured card on a square, plain white greeting card.

bird watercolor
Seagull with a fish.

bird art
Seagull on a boat.

watercolor painting
Funny coloured mackerel!

watercolor painting
Starfish, mussels and barnacles.

bird watercolor
Seagull eating it's favourite food1

I was so pleased with how these have come out that I'm just about to start on some more! I'll leave you with this photo of chilly Woolacombe, not sure I like being back in this English weather!

Woolacombe beach
Woolacombe beach, North Devon

Today I'm linking to the following linky parties: Creative Tuesdays, Handmade Harbour, Balzer Designs, Tatertots and Jello and Manon Popje's Illustrations.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Watercolour sketches and the beginnings of a bag

Where have the last few days gone? I blinked and I missed them! Firstly I would like to welcome my new followers, it's a very nice feeling to see that little number rise by a few each time I log in! Also, thank you for all your lovely comments, I've really enjoyed reading them, it makes all the hard work worthwhile.

I've started combining a couple of days into each comic strip diary to cut back on the time it takes to draw!

Reunited with the sewing machine
In my last blog post I told you that I was off to the shops to restock my wardrobe. Well, I came back with a lovely daisy dress, a t-shirt, two tops and a cardigan. This definitely constitutes a successful trip in my book as I hate shopping and normally talk myself out of buying anything!

The 'mash' bag for beer brewing that I sewed for Sam was a bit trickier than I thought! It needed to hold up to 15kg so the seams had to be fairly strong. It is basically a cylindrical shape with a circular bottom which was really hard to sew, especially given that the voile fabric was slippery. He's started brewing some beer with his friends tonight so I'll keep you updated on how the bag fares!

Here's a photo of me making it. I told Sam not to get me in the picture because the faces I was pulling as I was trying to keep the seams together are probably not suitable for public viewing!

Tricky slippery seams
After finishing Sam's sewing I was finally able to start on a bag which I have been itching to make since I bought some corduroy fabric in Malaysia. I used a bag that I already have as a template. So far I have only finished the strap but I'm very pleased with it! I'm taking step by step photos which I hope to turn into a tutorial if when I finish it! This is all I have to show for my efforts at the moment!

how to make a messenger bag
Corduroy strap lined with pink cotton
Today has been an equally busy day! Sam and I are (finally) moving out on our own tomorrow ("yippee!" say our parents)! We've spent the last four years to-ing and fro-ing from each other's house so it'll be nice to finally live in the same place! Here's what we've been up to yesterday and today:

Painting, packing and beer brewing
I achieved my mission of buying a very fine, waterproof pen, so put it to the test on a couple of little watercolours. The first one was this flowery snail.

watercolour painting of a snail
I think I'll call her Celia...
I put the watercolours aside for this next one. I wanted to put the fine line pen to the test this time so drew this giraffe using hatching for his pattern. I love how tiny the lines are! Perfect for Diana Evans' 10 Minute Warm Up!

hatching with a black pen
I'll call this one Geoff...
It was an absolutely beautiful day yesterday so it was lovely to be able to get out to Babbacombe where Sam did a spot of fishing (is it still called fishing if you catch nothing?) and I did a watercolour sketch of the Cary Arms pub. I'm linking this up on Paint Party Friday.

cary arms pub Babbacombe
The painting and the pub for comparison

Cary Arms Babbacombe
The Cary Arms, Babbacombe
Cary Arms Babbacombe
The finished sketch
fishing at Babbacombe
Sam 'fishing'
While we were away there was a landslide which resulted in half an uninhabited house slipping down the side of the cliff. It was rather shocking to see!

house falls into the sea in Babbacombe
Landslide in Babbacombe
The weather has been rather grey today so it was a good job we had packing and furniture shopping to keep us busy. I've spent this evening on a new project I'll blog about it in my next post, but for now I'll leave you with this little teaser...

painting of a seagull
Fine feathered friend
Today I've joined the following linky parties: Snappee Turtle, The Shabby Creek Cottage, I Gotta Create and A Creative Princess.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Creative Tuesdays - Alphabet

I've left it a bit late to submit my contribution for Creative Tuesdays, mainly because I was planning to rework it, but never got around to it! The theme this week is 'Alphabet', so here it is, some of you will have seen it already, my 3D ABC. It's drawn on a flat piece of paper in black ink with a zentangle background.

This is what it looks like when viewed from an angle (hopefully 3D?!).

3d lettering

From straight on it looks a lot different!

3d lettering

Hope you like it, looking forward to looking around everybody else's submissions!

Monday, 17 June 2013

Comic Strip Journal Weekend Edition: Return home and trip to Newquay

What a fantastic (and busy!) weekend! We've just arrived home after spending 8 months travelling in Australia, New Zealand and Asia so we were really looking forward to seeing all of our family and friends. After a whole day of waiting around and flying on Thursday, we arrived at Heathrow at 4am on Friday and haven't stopped since. This was Thursday:

Jakarta to Singapore
Homeward bound!
The drawing I did on the plane to Singapore was meant to be for Illustration Friday, but I didn't finish the picture and missed the deadline! The topic was 'children', what do you think?

drawing of children
My head was still at the seaside when I drew this!
Despite arriving at 4am, we weren't able to leave Heathrow until 8.30 when the first National Express bus to Newton Abbot left. Friday was a very long day!

drive to Newquay
A very long Friday
It was so good to see all of our friends, it seems like we've never been away! It was quite a struggle to stay awake until bedtime though. It was a gloriously sunny day on Saturday, but a bit chillier than where we've been used to!

Weekend in Newquay
Weekend edition, house in Newquay
I found this little egg when we went for a walk on Saturday morning. The chick must have been tiny to fit through that small hole! I was happy to be able to put nail varnish on for the first time in 8 months!

hatched egg
What a lovely coloured egg too!
This weekend reminded me how beautiful our part of the world is too. This is Newquay seafront in Cornwall, it was breezy and the air was crisp and cold, makes you feel good to be alive!

Weekend in Newquay

Weekend in Newquay

The whole point of the weekend was to celebrate the joint 30th birthdays of Sam's brother and a friend. This was the birthday cake. Yummy chocolate cake surrounded by white chocolate straws and chocolate dipped strawberries. Needless to say it didn't stay looking like this for long!

30th birthday cake

I'm off to do some shopping to (hopefully) totally revamp my wardrobe. When I got back I realised that I really have nothing decent to wear! I'm also going to buy a new sketch pad dedicated to my comic strip journal so that I have all my entries in one nice neat book. 

I wanted to share with you some wonderful artists that I stumbled across the other day. I found Kate Creates on Facebook. Her beautiful watercolours with layers of raised paper (you have to see it) are so unique! Then from her page I clicked through to Little Black Heart whose pen drawings are absolutely amazing! After looking through her photos I decided that I have to get a very fine pen, which is my other mission for today!

Now I'm back home and back into 'normal' every day life I won't have as much time as I would like to write my blog, therefore I am going to cut back to posting every few days to give me time for crafting and drawing too! Please follow my blog using one on the buttons on the top right-hand-side so that you can pop back when I've added new posts :)

Today I'm linking up at the following lovely linky parties: Knotted Cotton, Sumo's Sweet Stuff, Craft-O-Maniac, Manon Popje's Illustrations, Sunny Simple Life, Sugar Bee Crafts and Handmade Harbour.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

A fantastic flight with Susi Air from Batu Karas to Jakarta (and an aeronautical drawing!)

I have so much to share with you from the last couple of days! Here are my comic strip diaries to bring you up to date.

Yesterday we flew from Batu Karas (Cijulan) to Jakarta with Susi Air which was an awesome experience. The plane was only a 12 seater Cessna so I was a bit apprehensive about it, especially as we kept hearing about their poor safety record (after we'd booked!). I needn't have worried though, the flight was smoother than many I've taken in big aeroplanes!

Susi air batu karas to jakarta
A fantastic flight to Jakarta
The kittens in the departure lounge were tiny and very shy!

Cijulan airport
Not sure how to get rid of kitten 'blue-eye'!
The departure lounge was unlike any we've been in before, not least because there were only 3 of us in it for most of the time! I somehow managed to break the chair I'm sitting on in this picture...shhhh.

Cijulan airport

Here's the little plane. Even though there were only 12 of us, we still had to wait for our baggage to be transported to the baggage collection conveyer belt when we could have quite easily carried it off ourselves. 

Susi Air batu karas to jakarta

We sat right behind the pilot and co-pilot. It was really interesting seeing them pressing all the buttons and moving all the levers ready for take-off.

Susi Air Cijulan to Jakarta

The view was pretty amazing too, it was great being able to see out the windows on either side.

Susi Air Cijulan to Jakarta

When we got to Jakarta I decided to draw the plane, just because it looks so cute! Here's the drawing progressing. Note the very cool (fake) Louis Vuitton bed sheets in this hostel!

Susi Air airplane
As always, I started off by sketching an outline in pencil.

Then went over in black ink.

Susi air airplane
Lines all drawn out.

Susi air airplane
Then I added hatched areas for shading.

susi air airplane
Finished hatching

susi air airplane
Then I blended the hatched areas with water.
(That list in the background is of all the blogs I want to start follwing! I was so excited to have proper internet back that I went flitting around the web searching out all the drawing blogs I could find!)

Susi Air airplane
This is as far as I got, I'll work on it more another day.
Ok, that's yesterday over, now onto today!

tanah abang jakarta
We shopped 'til we dropped!
I have to say that Jakarta is not my favourite city in the world. In fact, it probably is one of my least favourite. It's busy, dirty, loud and it takes half an hour just to 'pop' to Carrefour supermarket on the other side of the road. We needed to come here though as it's a good transport hub to fly home from so we thought we'd make the most of it by spending our time shopping for clothes and presents.

The wholesale centre at Tanah Abang, the first place we visited today, was incredible. It was a hive of activity, people lugging huge bags of clothes around, wheeling boxes through the crowds, shouting and jostling doing business. I just couldn't hack it for more than 10 minutes! Having said that, once outside, the traffic wasn't much better!

Shoppers and business people in Tanah Abang retail centre
This photo was taken from the bus, it doesn't quite capture the sheer volume of traffic but gives you an idea of the pollution!

traffic in Jakarta
Traffic in Jakarta
That brings me to the end of this post and also to the end of our 8 month trip! Tomorrow we are flying back to the UK via Singapore. We're very much looking forward to seeing all our friends and family but also a little sad to be finishing our trip! I may not have time to write much (if at all!) over the next few days as we'll be catching up with family and friends, but I'll be back after the weekend with some new, England based comic strip diary entries!

Today I've been partying at the following linky parties! Savvy Southern Style, Hickory Trail, Thriving on Thursdays (Domesblissity) and Titus 2 Tuesdays (Cornerstone Confessions).