Clare Willcocks

Clare Willcocks: July 2013

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

What's on my workdesk? What's not on my workdesk!

I have a lot of things on the go at the moment! This is what my workdesk floor, looks like right now:


In this photo I've smudged out what I'm working on as it will hopefully (if I finish it!) be a present for a friend. I've not got much further than cutting out the seagull paintings I did last week, so framing them is another thing on my list of things to do. On the right of the photo is a quick ink pen sketch I did today in my lunchbreak.

I did manage to finish one thing! A seaside inspired coaster which I hope to make some more of over the next few weeks.


As I haven't got too much to share with you today I thought I'd dig out some of my old work. This is a painting I did 6 years ago (wow, that long ago?) of a fishing boat in Teignmouth. It's acrylic paint on acrylic paper.

Looking at this has made me want to get my acrylics out again!

I painted this little crab in Costa Rica in 2011. We were intrigued by them as they're so feisty! Instead of running away when you walk up to them they'll confront you snapping their pincers. In one forest we walked through there were literally hundreds of them!

watercolour crab

I'm linking this post to Paint Party Friday and WOYWW.

Sunday, 28 July 2013

ATCs galore! - Christmas in July watercolour robin and Fimo models

After my surprise success last week linking up my first Artist Trading Card to Wicked Wednesday ATC Challenge I decided to try my luck again this week! The theme was 'Christmas in July'. I wanted to get across the summer feeling of July with a hint of Christmas, so I chose to paint a robin on the beach!

Christmas in July
The Christmas in July lettering and bucket and spade are raised up slightly with sticky buds.

ATC Challenge

The second challenge I decided to take part in this week is over at Haunted Design House. Inspired by Ike's wonderfully macabre 'chunky ATC' I set about creating my own. The theme is dark, gothic or halloween. I decided to use Fimo to create a grave scene. It took me ages but I think the bright colours have made it end up looking a little too cheery!

atc challenge
Front view
 The unfortunate grave occupant looks like he's been using a little too much fake tan!

atc challenge
Back view

atc challenge

Here's how I made it:

 I modeled all of the pieces out of Fimo and baked them in the oven to harden.

atc challenge

The box was the hardest bit! I measured it all out, cut it out with a craft knife then assembled it using PVA glue.

atc challenge

Then I put everything together. To my surprise the 'grass' slotted perfectly into the bottom of the frame, I thought it would need at least a little bit of adjustment!

I've really enjoyed these challenges and look forward to what next week will bring!

I'm linking these up to the following blogs: Stamping for Pleasure, Jelly Park Challenges, Polkadoodle, Crafting by Designs and Pinspirational Challenges.

Journal Pages: Kaplan school trip to Plymouth - very quick sketches at the Barbican

Yesterday we took a group of foreign students to Plymouth for the day. Most of the time was spent shopping but I grabbed an hour or so over lunchtime to do some journal sketches at the Barbican.

My little sketchbook journal.
There was a big, old sailing boat in the harbour next to the café where we ate breakfast.

Quick watercolour sketch.
While we were waiting for the students at the meeting point I drew the famous Mayflower Steps where the pilgrim fathers set sail for America. It was interesting to learn a bit about the history of Plymouth to tell the students! Plymouth Hoe is where Sir Francis Drake was famously playing bowls when the Spanish Armada begun. Unfazed, however, by the threatening spanish ships looming on the horizon, he played on! Amazingly, they still went on to victory, aided a little by the stormy weather in the bay. The students came back before I could finish this one!

mayflower steps
Mayflower Steps, Plymouth Barbican

After a spot of lunch we sat dangling our legs over the harbour wall where I did a quick sketch of The Three Crowns pub opposite.

painting journal
The Three Crowns, Plymouth Barbican

Later I'll upload another post about some paintings and models I've been making today for some blog challenges!

If you'd like to become a follower of my blog, there are a couple of ways to choose from on the top right-hand side of this page!

I'm linking this post up to Balzer Designs and Blue Chair Diary.

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Watercolour painting in Dartmouth and Babbacombe and some more cheeky seagulls (WOYWW and PPF)

I'll start this post by telling you how excited I was on Wednesday to learn that I had been randomly selected to win the Wicked Wednesday ATC Challenge! You can see my entry here. Thank you very much to the blog's author Jenn and to Funky Hand for the prize from their downloadable collection! I'm working on some ideas for next week's theme 'Christmas in July' already!

On a separate note, I love this amazing summer we're having down here in South Devon. Apart from a thunder-stormy blip a couple of nights ago, the sun has been shining every day! It's great to be able to get out and about to do a few paintings 'al fresco'. Here are some of my recent ones. They're about A6 size, no special paper or anything - just for fun!

This is Kingswear painted from Dartmouth. It took about an hour - of course, I had to treat myself to a portion of chips to keep my painting energy levels up! I'm linking this one up to Paint Party Friday.

watercolour painting

I really struggle with painting water. I'm in awe of artists who manage to create beautiful, realistic paintings of sparkly, sunlit seas. If anyone out there has any tips on how to paint water with watercolours, they would be greatly appreciated! In this next painting I tried to add a little more texture with some grey wiggly brush strokes in the sea, but I'm still not completely happy with it. It's Babbacombe beach painted from the harbour wall.

watercolor painting

The greenery is a little more vibrant in this one as I was sitting in the full sunshine and wearing sunglasses! Notice the house (well, half a house) in the top right of the painting? Earlier this year the cliff dropped away, taking half of the house with it!

What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday

Here's what's on my workdesk at the moment for WOYWW! I've had a little bit of time to work on a few paintings which I hope to start selling in the very near future. If anyone is interested in putting in an order in advance, please let me know!

watercolor painting

This little guy is nearly finished, just needs a bit of tidying up and a frame and he'll be ready to go. I hope these will 'fly' off the shelves!

watercolour painting

I'm thinking of ideas for a few other challenge entries too. Haunted Design House are running a challenge to create a chunky ATC that fits a dark, gothic or halloween theme. I have in mind to use fimo or porcelain clay in some way. So much to do, so little time...

Today I'm linking up to A Creative Princess and Domessblissity.

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Sunday, 21 July 2013

Facebook giveaway - original 'Crafty Seagull' watercolour painting

The time has come for me to do my first giveaway! This 'Crafty Seagull', an original, framed watercolour painting could be yours...


So, "how can I win?" I hear you cry! Well, it's simple!:
  1. 'Like' my shiny new Facebook page:
  2. 'Share' it on Facebook
  3. Follow my blog:
When the page reaches 500 likerers, one will be selected at random to receive the painting.

Please note: If the winner is from a country other than the UK the painting will be sent unframed.

Thanks for your support and good luck! 

Paper cutting experiments - Wicked Wednesday ATC Challenge and Creative Tuesday paper crafts

Hi everyone! On Friday I had a rare evening in alone which has given me the chance to play with paper! For a while now I have been meaning to explore a bit more into the world of Artist Trading Cards (ATC's), which, for those of you who don't know (like I didn't!), are 2.5 inch by 3.5 inch mini, collectable works of art. I asked Ike from 'Ike's World' for a few recommendations on where to start with ATCs and she pointed me in the direction of Wicked Wednesday ATC Challenge. This week the theme is 'tree houses' so I thought I'd have a go!

I wanted to create a 3D piece and I had originally thought to build up a layered watercolour painting. However, my plans were scuppered when I couldn't find my paintbrushes! I searched high and low but to no avail, the only place I thought they might be was the car, but Sam had gone out in it so I had to resort to coloured pencils. As it happens it turned out just fine!

paper crafts
View from the front...

paper crafts
...and view from the side.
Here's how it was made:

First I drew the layers out on separate ATC size pieces. Then I coloured them in and cut them out with a craft knife. The leaves turned out so much better than I thought they would while I was cutting them! The deer was a bit of an afterthought as the foreground would have looked a bit bare without something to fill it!

paper crafts

Once all the layers were cut out, I assembled them using sticky pads to separate them. The top needed two layers of sticky pads as it was double the height of the second layer (hope that makes sense!).

paper crafts

I was on a paper cutting roll after this so my contribution to Creative Tuesdays also involves sticky pads and little bits of paper! The theme this week was 'ships'. I looked up some photos on Google and decided to go for a tall ship. With its billowing white sails it really lent itself to being made out of white card. For a first attempt at something like this I don't think it turned out too bad!

paper cutting
Tall ship - white card

For those of you who want to know, here's how it was made:

I drew out all the pieces separately, which was a little tricky as in the photo I had all the sails overlapped so I had to guess at the 'behind bits'. Once I was happy I cut them out with a craft knife.

The sails had to be stuck down, back ones first.

paper crafts

Last to be stuck down were the sails near the bow (I have absolutely no idea what they're actually called!).

So that's that, a lovely evening indulging in paper crafts! There's a giveaway in my next post, be sure to check it out!

Today I'm linking up to Handmade Harbour, Cornerstone Confessions, Savvy Southern Style and Manon Popje's Illustrations.

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Tuesday, 16 July 2013

A lovely day painting with Dad - watercolour landscapes, seascapes and boats (including mini watercolour tutorial and WOYWW)

I had a fantastic day painting in Lympstone and Topsham with my dad on Sunday! I inherited my love of drawing and painting from him so it is nice to spend some time together doing what we both enjoy.

So, armed with sketchpads of varying sizes and paper, pens, pencils, paints and fold up chairs we took to the beach to do our first paintings overlooking the river in Lympstone.

My dad sketching away.
I took photos as I painted so I've decided to make this into a mini tutorial about how to paint in watercolours (or rather how I paint in watercolours!)

How to Watercolour

First of all I sketch out the view in pencil and make any adjustments before painting. Then I pick out the areas such as the sky and sea which will need a wash of colour and dampen them with a wet paintbrush. They should be a little shiny when tilted to the light. Then, as can be seen in this photo, I add a gentle wash of colour using wide, fluid brush strokes horizontally from the top to the bottom.

how to watercolor
Watercolour washes for the sky and sea.
Next I repeat the same process of dampening and applying paint evenly for the other block areas of the picture such as the trees and fields.

how to watercolor
Trees and fields painted in.

how to watercolor
I decided to zoom in one one section of the view to make the painting more interesting.
It is important to wait for each area to dry before painting the part adjacent to it as two wet areas together causes the paint to run and lines become blurred (which is great if this is the effect you're after!). I paint in all of the little details last and always work from light colours to dark colours. This is because watercolours are so translucent that putting light colours on dark colours can just result in a muddy mess.

Almost finished!
I didn't use masking fluid here but it can be handy to block out areas such as the boats which allows you to get a nice smooth wash without having to paint around obstacles! I didn't actually finish the painting as we decided to move on, but I'll add some finishing touches at home as the colours look a little weak at the moment.

We had cake and tea for elevenses at a lovely little café opposite the Swan Inn pub.

The Swan Inn, Lympstone
The Swan Inn, Lympstone
We sat there sketching the pub for a while and had two huge slices of cake between us!

Shears Lympstone
It's making my mouth water just looking at the photo again!

Shears cafe Lympstone
Shears Cafe, Lympstone
Once full of cake and tea, we drove on to Topsham for a change of scenery. We gravitated towards the first pub we saw and spent a few hours painting and eating lunch (as if we hadn't eaten enough already!). I'm linking this photo up to What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday. As I wrote in my last post, my workdesk location is always changing and this time it was a in a very nice spot!

pubs in Topsham
A table next to the river would have been better, but beggars can't be choosers!
Here is the painting halfway through. I sketched it out in pencil first, then added the pen roughly and used the same watercolour techniques as above to paint it.

how to watercolor
Painting from Topsham

how to paint in watercolor
Having painted a couple of landscapes I then turned my attention to something a bit smaller. I drew this lamp with ink pen, hatched in the shadowed areas and then 'painted' it with water.

pen and ink drawing
Before painting
pen and ink how to
After painting
When we could finally move after our burgers for lunch, we walked a little further downstream (or upstream, who knows?) and sat in the sun to draw. We could only stand the heat for 20 minutes, so here's the result.

pencil drawing
A teeny sketch of a sailing boat.
Our final sketching spot was by an old church in the shade of a tree. This one I did on watercolour board. It needs a lot more work (and obviously some colour)!

Topsham church

Topsham church

You may have noticed I turned the ramp into steps to make it more rustic!

So that was the end of our day, phew! Here are a few of Dad's drawing and paintings. I love that we've both interpreted things slightly differently - Dad was a lot quicker than me and ended up waiting for me to finish!

pen and ink drawingpen and ink drawing

pen and ink drawing

pencil sketch

watercolor painting

Well, after this whopper of a post I think I need a lie down! I'm working on some new seagull drawings to feature next time so keep an eye out. Please follow my blog if you'd like to keep updated with my creative endeavours! Thanks for popping by!

I'm partying at the following link up parties! Manon Popjes Illustrations, Hickory Trail and Savvy Southern Style, Cornerstone Confessions. Technorati Claim Code G4HY5XW7GAG4

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