I have just finished 5 months of portfolio boosting learning with the Make Art that Sells Art Bootcamp, which I was lucky enough to win a free place on! Each month the course presented a new creative theme broken down into bite sized pieces so you can create your best art work for the main assignment possible. It was such fun to do and certainly gave me some challenges...From an abstract backpack, a rose covered gardening journal, mugs with a theme of immigration, travel and hope to the more tricky self reflecting mind map and a full children's book spread (text and all!) which had to include a hummingbird in shoes and a mouse with wings...Funnily enough the children's book spread was the one I was most intimidated by, maybe because I have always felt like I have a kids book in me somewhere and this was the one I should really get right, but once I had my text thought up it flowed and I was really pleased with the outcome...new avenue perhaps?!
I can't recommend this annual course enough for those wishing to further their portfolio development or try a new avenue for the work. As well as the art development there were bonus trend boards each month and live chats with experienced art agent Lilla Rogers and her team.
I am taking another of their classes this summer, I loved it that much! If you want to find out more I encourage you to head to the Make Art that Sells website...
If you follow me on Instagram and/ or Facebook (where I am a few days behind my posts on Instagram on this project...) you will have seen that this year for the 100 Day Project I have just completed #100daysofcelebimals !
At Christmas time when we had lots of family gatherings my cousin came to visit and she had just been to a fancy dress party where the theme was to dress as a celebrity/animal...Naturally we started to think up lots more of them and in fact, the conversation carried on for months via text between us and my husband, each time one of us thought of another silly one I put them on a list. They would pop into my head at the most random times...I thought of RENEE GAZELLWEGER just after spotting a picture of a gazelle in town, and BEATRIX OTTER while watching Peter Rabbit with my kiddos!
I just had to do something with them all and so my next 100 days theme was born...
100 days later I have just completed the project on Instagram! 100 Celebimals all drawn with marker pen in my sketchbooks (well, 99 of them...I used myself for the last one and I'm hardly of celebrity status) Some of the drawings are better than others as I had more time to do them each day or got my hand lettering lined up properly! They were so fun to do though and I (think...) my hand lettering skills have improved slightly because of it. Of course there is the bonus that I have drawn so many animals I wouldn't even have thought to draw, or that I even knew about before (who knew about the Cuscus or the Fossa?!)
If you want to see the whole project on Instagram you can do so HERE!! (you will have to be logged in to see them all) Or you can see the "not quite finished yet" album of them over on FacebookHERE!!
I am currently thinking what to do with them...some cards or postcards perhaps. Does that sound good to you? Which ones are your favourites? Let me know!
I am very pleased and VERY excited to write this post as it is about my first book!!
I have been working on it since September last year and it is finally due for publication on September 7th this year...It is called Creative Marker Art and Beyond and is a how to guide for creative artwork and gifts using the humble marker pen.
I have been using markers as a drawing medium seriously for about 18 months now and they have revolutionised my working practise. While I have a gorgeous studio for packing orders, making jewellery and screen printing in, my workspace at home (which is where I usually get to do my drawing when the children are tucked up asleep) is less than desirable. I found it such a faff to put my laptop away to make room for all of my paints and pencils that I just wasn't bothering very often and my artwork was suffering. I do design digitally quite a lot but I missed the analogue of paper and colour and the challenge of making something right when it's not gone to plan and you can't press 'undo'. So when a half price Sharpie offer caught my eye in WHSmith's, my life changed...
Scroll back through this blog and you will find 2016's 100 day Challenge that I did via Instagram. I wanted to do a drawing a day using the markers I had bought and #100daysofrandomcolours was me blindly selecting 5 pens from my pencil case and seeing where the colours took me (each day for 100 days!)
Because I was drawing with markers in a hard bound sketchbook I could draw anywhere...no messy paint and water, no pencil shavings, no stylus or screens. My lap and the sofa became my happy art place and everything changed. Since markers came into my life I have been non stop drawing just about every single day, ideas have flowed, way more new stuff has actually been seen through from idea to finished piece and I got a book deal.
So back to that: The book is choc full of stuff you can do with different types of marker pens and I had such fun writing it. It has creative prompts for when you just don't know what to draw, marker pen exercises to teach you how to get the most out of your markers and step-by-step projects on how to make some pretty useful stuff using your pens...as well as an ideas gallery at the back for when you've got the hang of your pens and want to take it further!
Ugh! So I have got a bit behind on my Insta round ups lately...for good reason though: I have been busy getting lots of new products together and the first of these are now available in the shop!
'The Time is Now' is an idea I had a while ago and have turned it into a pin badge and poster...it's an intriguing, motivating phrase urging to seize the day! The bright blue of the poster will add a hit of colour to your room and the pin is a little reminder just to get stuff done...
I have also had another poster of my Night Bouquet drawing made up. I have been using paint markers on coloured paper a lot recently and this is one of those pieces. I love the vibrant colours on the dark background with the little stars circling around.
Both posters are sized at A3 for easy framing and the little pin is 35mm. See the posters HERE and the pin HERE!
I try and draw every day if I can. Even if its just a quick sketch or a little bit of work towards a larger project I will draw something. It keeps the ideas flowing and my hand in tune with my eyes...It's kind of like a muscle that needs to be kept exercised for optimum results!
I have had quite the productive week this last week with lots of successful drawing being done for the new collection as well as a few other fun pieces I made in my sketchbook! I shared a few of them over on Instagram as well as a digital snippet of some work in progress for the new collection and a little stone I made...
I hate it when things are spelled wrong and after drawing this piece late at night and then posting it the following morning, I was mortified to have it pointed out to me that I had only put one 'o' on the first 'too' I thought it looked wrong but had that blindness you get when you have looked at something for a long time! A quick patch later and here is the result. I kind of like that it isn't perfect now, because lets face it, in art it doesn't go totally right all of the time, especially with non erasable pens!
The digital work in progress snippet!
I also took my paint markers to a piece of coloured paper and I REALLY like how it came out! I'll be doing more work in this line for sure.
Lastly, of course it was Valentines Day too and a happy customer shared this sweet image from my now discontinued Lovebirds Card range. I really need to make more cards for the shop, they have always been so popular!
What is it about summer that makes life suddenly get so very BUSY BUSY BUSY!!!
I’m a bit behind updating this project on the blog, it’s day 77 in real time but here are weeks 5 & 6 for you to peruse. Some of my favourite images of the whole project so far are in these weeks…the flamingos and the sleepy deer are two!
So, on we go:
Day 29: Neon yellow, purple, peachy pink sharpie with a dark green felt pen and blue biro…Slightly jarring fruit bowl, anyone?
Day 30: Jewel toned pink and blue, a brown and a light green with black biro and we’ve got a hanging planter…I really like drawing foliage!
Day 31: A pretty combo for this one: Pink, royal blue, dark grey and golden yellow with a blue biro. I kind of like it when the biro matches a colour in the pen selection, it means I can play around with depth and detail within a colour which is always fun!
Day 32: Neon pink, Granny Smith green and dark orange sharpie, tan felt pen and black biro…I’ve been working on a commission and drawing lots of birds, I have birds on the brain, so why not another?!
Day 33: I love a bit of orange and Aqua, it’s a pretty magic combination! I made a note to myself not to try and draw tiny eyelashes with a big old Sharpie ever again…
Day 34: We are a third of the way through (or near enough)!! Such lovely orange, peach, berry pink and greens for today’s garden pattern…
Day 35: Red, dark pink, teal and green with blue biro, not the most horse coloured colours but I’ve never been one to worry about such matters as that!
Day 36: I was a bit worried when two purples and a blue appeared out if the pencil case but the tan felt pen lifted the combo and I had a bit of blue biro for details. Voila! A beach scene inspired by exploring we’d done the day before…
Day 37: This day heralded the first use of one of my new birthday sharpies (I received a new limited edition pack with several colours I don’t yet have ) a lovely grass green! Teamed with neon orange, purple, blue felt pen and red biro I drew a little golden hour sleeping deer…
Day 38: Darkest blue, brown and pink sharpie with a golden yellow felt pen and blue biro…I haven’t drawn a bouquet hand for ages so here you go!
Day 39: Neon yellow, sky blue and gold sharpies with a green felt pen and black biro, thought I’d try something a bit different for me…Still floral though, of course!
Day 40: Another golden hour scene I’m thinking this one is more of a sunrise golden hour than a sunset The horse isn’t positioned exactly where I wanted it but once I’d committed that biro there was no going back!
Day 41: Flamingos! I mean, what else could I draw with this pen selection?!
Day 42: A good clashy colour combo for this one: purple, green and neon orange sharpie, yellow felt pen and green biro… A bit at a loss of what to draw I had a go at copying the floral pattern on my pyjama bottoms!
Phew! More week and colour combos coming soon, in the meantime you can catch up with the rest on my Instagram: @bonbiforest ! It’s going well, I’ve only missed one day so far…amazing!
I’ve got a bit behind in posting these updates haven’t I? I’ve been busy working on a couple of commissions lately which I am so excited to share but I can’t yet!
Here’s week 4 of this project. It’s going well, just one colour howler in there of too many dark colours mixed with too many greens…that one was really hard!
Day 22: A colourful selection called for a rainbow of course…This one is reflected in a lake of lily pads, though I realised afterwards I should have put a frog in there! Day 23: Another colourful selection, weirdly similar to yesterday’s but with slightly different pens…I’ve never done parrots before but these colours spoke to me of their tropical vibes.Day 24: Golden pony in the sunshine! Despite the brown felt pen, the combination of neon yellow and pink with green biro gave this a surprisingly pastel look…Day 25: This one was HARD! Hence the slightly homework still life vibe it’s got going on…I mean what to do with black, darkest blue, brown and neon green with more green in the biro?!Day 26: So I know strawberries aren’t in anyway in a similar fruit vein to oranges and lemons but that’s what i thought of when I saw these colours so that’s what I drew…Day 27: Two purples, blue and and a tan felt pen with black biro…I thought I’d draw a sleepy cat squashing some flowers.Day 28: Pink, blue and gold sharpie with brown felt pen and red biro were plucked from the pencil case and inspired by a ride to the beach the day before, so emerged this cliff top scene.I’ll catch up with weeks 5 and 6 very soon! In the meantime if you’d like to see more search for me (@bonbiforest) over on Instagram where I am keeping up with these daily!
Those of you who follow me on Instagram may have seen that I am taking part in this years 100 Day Project (#the100dayproject) which is a project where you are invited to think of a theme and create something along that theme every day for 100 days…I almost didn’t take part as I couldn’t think of a theme that I would want to stick with for that long, 100 days is a looong time and a lot of elaborations on one subject! Then about 10 days ago I was about to embark on one of my (almost) daily sketchbook scribbles and I decided to pick three colours at random from my pencil case, the resulting image was made with colours I wouldn’t normally choose and I really liked the challenge and process. So my idea for my own 100 day theme was decided upon right then!
Each day I am choosing three sharpies (I have a lot…), one fine point felt pen and flicking down a colour on my 4 colour bic biro and seeing where they take me…
Here are the first seven days:
Day 1: Easing in gently with some florals of course.Day 2: So not my usual colour choice (no pink! No orange!) but it worked well with this little horse…Day 3: Colours chosen by Ruby, which is as good as random considering she is three…can you guess what her favourite colour is?!Day 4: A heavy orange and purple bias but with a touch of black biro it came good!Day 5: Trying something a little darker…Day 6: Though it was a beautiful sunny day these colours compelled a stormy scene…Day 7: Pink and purple made for another floral number!It’s not been too hard so far, the choices have been kind, but I am kind of looking forward to the sludgy colour day…Follow me on Instagram (@bonbiforest) to keep up with the daily challenge or check back here next week for the next instalment!
It’s not really a secret that I like horses. They’ve been a big part of my life since I was very small and even now, when riding time is at it’s most precious and not very often, they are on my mind a great deal so it’s inevitable that they find their way into my drawings a lot…
I am working on some new drawings and paintings for a range of new prints, cards and screen printed goodies at the moment and there is lots of experimenting with mediums, colours and ideas going on. It’s some fun! I’ve been sharing peeks over on Instagram, here’s a few…
Got me some new pens, broke out the gouache and got some things down on paper…
I like using mixed media: Biro, gouache, sharpie marker, felt tip and a touch of pencil are my tools of choice for drawing at present…not the most conventional combo but it seems to be working for me right now.
Lots of flowers are happening, new things are one the way!