The first two drawings, in charcoal, are from a workshop on an artists’ retreat back in February. It was (just) warm enough to sit outside, though I remember my hands freezing. Both charcoal sketches were drawn half looking at the paper, half looking only at the object. The top one has several under-drawings that have been rubbed back. I wouldn’t normally draw in this way but it was a good exercise.

The final sketch I drew in my garden yesterday, in glorious sunshine.

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Here are some quick pen studies of the views from the train today – mist in front of trees, stubble in the snow, hedges, ploughed fields, footprints, snow melting.

There’s a little maple tree outside my window in the new house. At the beginning of the year when we had quite a lot of snow I did a quick study of it because I loved the way the snow blobbed around the branches. A couple of weeks ago, I did another study. It’s fun to compare them (I didn’t refer back to the snowy one at all) and see the differences, particularly in the way I’ve painted the branches.

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A little over a year ago I set myself the challenge of illustrating a short story I’d written. I’ve posted some concepts and development of these illustrations before, but now I’d like to share a few of the finished drawings.

Most of the drawings below are spreads, and are viewed over two pages when printed. Odd blank spaces are normally where there’s some text! I had a few copies printed as presents for family and friends this Christmas. I’d like to illustrate some more stories and perhaps create a collection, or maybe tackle something larger, to be published.

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My grandparents are moving and leaving behind the house that my mum grew up in. It’s a huge change for all of us as it’s been such a big part of our lives. Behind their house is a large field filled with beech trees where my mum, and then my sister and I, grew up climbing trees and jumping into leaf piles and throwing sticks for dogs.

Yesterday my mum and I went out there to draw for the day. (My mother’s also an artist! You can see her work here.) We had the most wonderful weather. Though I did some sketches, some of which you can see below, I also took the time to wander around all my old haunts. It was lovely, but bittersweet.02

I drew the sketch above from the old treehouse! The squiggle in the middle is my dog, who was at that time attacking a stick.

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This stile leads from the tree field into farmland, which I took a nice long walk in.

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The beech trees that surround the tree field were, once upon a time, a beech hedge. It’s created a one-sided avenue of sorts.

Making birthday cards for people is something I really like to do. Here’s one I made for my sister a few days ago. I’ve created paper cut-out cards before, but this is the first time I’ve played with depth. It was fun! I should make more.

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I’m illustrating a short story of mine, something I’ve wanted to do for a while! Here are some of the concept sketches. I’ll use a similar style for the finished pieces; I didn’t initially plan for them to be black and white but I love how these have turned out.

Roughs

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