Clare Willcocks

Clare Willcocks: August 2013

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Sketchnotes, watercolour paintings, bookbinding, realism, ATCs and more!

You may have noticed I've been a bit quiet on the blogging front for the past week. Well, it's because I've been busy drawing, painting and making! So this post is going to be a big visual picnic of everything I've been up to! Linking up to What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday (WOYWW)!

Recently on Pinterest I stumbled upon the concept of 'sketchnoting' which is a visual way of recording ideas and notes to make them easier to remember and share with others. I really wanted to have a go, so as I happened to be in a patch of little artistic inspiration I thought I'd make this my subject! I think the result is a little hard to follow and my technique could definitely be polished, but overall I'm fairly pleased with the result. Let me know what you think!

I did a diary entry in a similar style as it was late in the evening and I just wanted to get something down on paper to feel like I'd achieved something creative that day!

sketchnot diary
Sketchnote diary
This next sketch is about A6 size, painted from Teignmouth backbeach looking over towards Shaldon. The boys were fishing and I sat and painted. It was sunny at first but then it started getting a little cloudy and chilly!

watercolor painting
Shaldon Beach
I went painting again with my Dad last weekend in Cockington, Torquay. There are some beautiful old buildings and it was a lovely sunny (if a little windy) day! I didn't manage to finish this painting (and probably never will!) but it was fun doing it!

 This was just a quick sketch in pen and ink before we went back home.

pen and ink drawing

I found some great pins on Pinterest which inspired me to have a go at bookbinding. I discovered it's a very satisfying craft! I covered this little book with blue cotton embroidered with an owl that I designed. The little owl on the end of the bookmark ribbon is crocheted with a teeny weeny hook! The cover is a bit crinkled because of the thread behind, next time I'll sort that out!

My first bookbinding attempt
This realistic drawing of a cat's eye was inspired by another Pinterest trawl! I am really awe-inspired by artists who can paint and draw pictures which could be mistaken for photos. The trouble I have is that after I've finished the interesting bits, in this case the eye, I get bored and want to move onto the next project! This will probably remain unfinished!


And another quick seaside design for good measure!

watercolour lighthouse
Lighthouse watercolour
I'm planning on doing a range of little ATCs to sell on Etsy. This is the first one I've done, let me know your thoughts! If anyone has any favourite quotes that they think I should design a painting around, I'd love your suggestions!

as the ocean is never full of water, so is the heart never full of love.
As the ocean is never full of water, so is the heart never full of love
I'm sharing this post at the following parties! Manon Popjes Illustrations, Domesblissity and Paint Party Friday.

PS. Please follow my blog if you like what you see!

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Summer baking and lemon and ginger cordial

We're clinging onto summer at the moment as the nights are becoming darker earlier! The good thing about this time of year though is the abundance of fruit ready to pick. The garden is littered with apples and the hedges are full of blackberries. We've collected all the berries and frozen them ready to make some blackberry wine (or other alcoholic beverage!) later on in the year. As for the apples, I've been turning them into batches of chewy apple and nutmeg biscuits which are delicious, even though I say so myself!

apple and cinnamon biscuits

apple and cinnamon cookies

apple and cinnamon biscuits

If these photos have enticed you to have a go at making them yourself, here is the recipe:

150g flour
100g sugar
100g butter
2tsps honey
one apple, finely diced
sprinkling of cinnamon or nutmeg to taste

- Mix the sugar and butter in a bowl with the honey.
- Slowly add the flower and stir together. The mixture should be crumbly and dry but well mixed.
- Take small handfuls of the mixture and roll into balls.
- Place them on a greased baking tray, but don't squash them down.
- Cook in the centre of a moderate oven for about 15 minutes or until golden.

The cordial I made can be used like squash by adding a small amount to water or lemonade. For sitting out in the garden on a lovely sunny day, it can't be beaten - and so healthy too!

First of all boil about a pint of water in a saucepan with a couple of spoons of honey. Heat until the honey has completely melted. Bring off the heat and add the juice of one lemon and a decent amount of chopped ginger. Leave to steep for half an hour.

Pour through a sieve to remove lemon pips and ginger chunks and decant into a bottle. Pop it in the fridge for when you need it!

Serve it in a glass with ice. Add lemonade and water to taste (I find about one quarter cordial, three quarters lemonade or water is about right!). Take it out into the sunshine and enjoy!

Today I'm sharing this post at the following parties: Cornerstone Confessions, Sumo's Sweet Stuff and Sugar Bee Crafts.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Paper cutting: 'clockwork' ATC and a few seagulls thrown in for good measure

Today I'm sharing an Artist Trading Card which I made for Wicked Wednesday ATC challenge. The theme is 'like clockwork'. I enjoyed paper cutting last time so I thought I'd try my hand at it again. This time it was really fiddly, all those little cog teeth are a nightmare to cut out!


Here are the step by step photos. I have to admit that the cog in the middle wasn't meant to be completely blank, but I accidentally cut it out without leaving any bits attached!

I drew around coins for the circles, then copied some details from cogs I found on Google images before painstakingly cut them out with a knife.



I thought about sticking a background behind but I quite like it left transparent.


I also made another ATC, though this one was just for fun. It's a cluster of cheeky seagulls drawn in waterproof ink and painted with watercolours.


The front seagull is raised up on a sticky bud.


I'm linking this post up at the following parties: 

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Step by step watercolour portrait

Hi everyone, I can't believe it's been nearly a week since I last posted! I've been working on a painting after doing a bit of research online about how to paint realistic watercolour portraits. I chose a good quality photo from google images of a little girl wearing a chunky knitted hat and a felt coat.

I'm linking this post up to What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday (WOYWW) and Paint Party Friday :)

First of all I started by sketching the girl in pencil on watercolour paper. The background was the first bit to be painted. I applied a wash of clear water to wet the paper first, then added greens, yellows, blacks and purples to achieve a mottled effect. Then I painted the face and waited for it to dry before adding more layers of shadow.

how to paint portraits

how to paint portraits

Next came the hair and eyes...

...and a little more colour on the hat.

how to paint a portrait

I used a very fine brush to add detail to the eye and nose and began painting a little more texture in the hair.

watercolour portrait

I put another wash of red over the whole hat and that's about as far as I got! There's a lot more detail to add yet and more shading to give it some depth.

watercolour portrait

I'll hopefully have time this week to finish it!

Lastly, just a reminder that my facebook giveaway is still running, see the link for details on how to be in with a chance of owning this 'Crafty Seagull' painting. I set myself a target of 500 likers on my facebook page. It may have been a little ambitious as I'm a long way off at the moment so any new 'likerers' and followers would be warmly welcomed! You can find my page here.

watercolour giveaway

Today I'm linking up over at the following parties... Be Different, Act Normal.

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Fairy cakes, a watercolour wedding card and seagulls.

This is a very quick post today folks, we've been busy bees this weekend so not much crafting has been going on. I did, however, do a bit of baking! These aren't the best looking fairy cakes in the world, but they taste pretty good!

If anyone is interested in the recipe, it's very simple, just 6oz butter, 6oz sugar and 3 eggs creamed together, then 6oz self-raising flour mixed in at the end. 

fairy cake recipe
Before cooking.
fairy cake recipe
After cooking.
fairy cake recipe
With icing.
It was getting late by the time I iced them so I went for the quick 'splodge it on' approach so that we could eat them quicker!

Sam and I went to a friend's wedding reception on Saturday so I decided to make a watercolour card to congratulate them. I wanted a very simple card, so I quickly painted a pink heart with two purple blobs above it. When it had dried I outlined the blobs in pen and turned them into little lovebirds. The font on the front of the card is from the internet; I drew it out in pencil first then went over it in pen when I was happy it was well spaced.

wedding card

wedding card

.....And I finally got around to framing the seagull paintings from my last post ready to sell. What do you think? I decided to go with a seaside-y blue mount. (Please excuse the photo, it was a little dark when I took it!)

I'm currently working on some more to expand the collection - watch this space!

Today I'm linking up to Sumo's Sweet Stuff, Handmade Harbour, Paint Party Friday and Manon Popje's Illustrations.