• March Update

    The "exhibtion" season is fast approaching and so a lot of painting / framing has been done.

    The Headway Gallery is still going, it's been almost 11 weeks and we've managed to raise over £1000 already. All the money raised will go towards the renovation of the Victorian walled garden which will become a kitchen vegetable garden once complete. Offering clients of the day centre horticultural therapy.

    I've been working on Saturdays there alongside my full time job so I feel my time is precious at the moment but I do try and paint whilst I'm at the gallery. I completed a small painting of the West Pier in Brighton last week which is now up on display.

    The date of my "How to Draw Animals" work shop has been set for the 4th of June. I am sharing the workshop with the very talented artist Melanie Hodge. She paints wonderful scenes / animals on glass. We're yet to puty a plan together, I'm thinking we should soon! No doubt it will approach us at speed. The year already feels like it's zooming by! I haven't had confirmation that I will be displaying my work at the Cherry Tree Centre again this year but hopefully this shall be confirmed later in the week.

    Plans for the June Shoreham Airport Artscape exhibition are also on the way. This year we will be having a press day on the Friday before we open to get us in the paper on time. Last year we got in the paper 2 days before we ended so we're going to avoid that this time.

    The Easter weekend is approaching and I would really like to go out and take some more animal pictures but I need some actual spring weather. It's not the same when the temperature is below freezing and most of the animals are hiding away to get warm. Come on sun! Where are you?!

  • Art for Headway and other news.



    The Art for Headway shop is now all set up in the Orchards in Haywards Heath. At number 23. It's a really nice shop now as it's been renovated and it has a prime location.15% of all of our sales will go to Headway. We are open Mon - Sat between 9:30 and 4:30.

    Headway is a charity supporting Acquired Brain Injuries and has a day centre in Newick, Sussex. They provide all types of support and rehab to people with ABIs and currently are raising money for their Victorian Walled Garden. To find out more information on Headway please visit

    I will be on duty most Saturdays due to working full time. Last Saturday we had 140 visitors! So it has been very busy. 


    We are all exhibiting together at the Headway shop at the moment and have the next exhibition in Shoreham Airport booked between the 1st and 16th of June 2013. It will coincide with the Adur Art Trail which should hopefully get us some more publicity. I'm looking forward to it. More so the fact that it will be warm then and sunny : D

    We have a meeting at Shoreham Airport this Saturday morning so will catch up then. I've heard there is some other good news about future showings so will find out then.


    I have started working on the large canvas. It is of a beach where the couple got married in Vancouver.

    I need to add in the headland and people still and will hopefully finish it by the end of the week.

    I still have the family portrait to do. I bought some graphite paper this week to make sure I get the faces to the right proprtions but I'm quite nervous about messing it up! There's more pressure involved in a portrait because I know if I get a feature out of place by even a fraction of a mm it could look wrong. But I think it's worth investing the time in getting better at portraits.

    Burgess Hill Open Studios and first workshop!

    The dates are booked for the first two weekends of June. It clashes with the Artscape exhibition in Shoreham but I'm hoping to divide my time between the two. I have volunteered to do a work shop. I've chosen to do it in "How To Draw Animals". I have ideas on what to do, but will my nerved get the better of me? It shall be an experience anyway! I'd like to get experience doing it as one day I'd like to do demonstrations. The BHOS coincides with the Burgess Hill Festival which is going to really make an effort this year to bring together the community with lots of events and activities.

    Lindfield Arts Festival 2013

    I'm hoping to take a part in this again. It's over the 11th and 12th of May. That was my first exhibition last year and where I made my most sales. I plan to just show animals this year as they did so well last year. I also want to reframe them all in paler frames as it might suit them better. Especially if they were bought for a kitchen or kids bedroom.I featured this year in the promo video for sponsors *cringes* it's great that I am but I can't stand hearing my voice and I was like a rabbit in head lights. The video in itself is really well made though to have a watch click here.

    Book Illustrations

    I've finished the drawings for my "A Very Muddy Day at Blackberry Farm" book and now want to go on to do a zoo animal set. Going through the photographs from the zoos I've visited over the years was lovely. I've seen so many amazing creatures even though I don't 100% agree with keeping animals locked up.

    Then I don't know where my animal drawing would go? A day at the aviary? lol

    I hope to get the farm book published on ibooks soon.

    So I'm busy at the moment. I am still doing my psychology degree and am halfway through my Autism course. On Monday the "Child Development" module starts and I'm not looking forward to managing the two. However most of my spare time at the moment is spent on my new PS3! I get the new Ghibli game on Friday I can't wait!

  • How to Draw an Alpaca

    This guide can be helpful to draw any type of animal. It gives the basics of drawing the shape of an animal and colouring.

    You will need:

    •  Pencil – I like to use a mechanical pencil but an HB is fine.
    • Eraser
    • Black Fine Liner – If you are using watercolours then make sure it is waterproof. Sharpies are my favourite.
    • Colours – I use watercolour but use whatever you feel comfortable with!
    • Paper – if you’re using watercolours make sure you use suitable paper.
    • Ruler

    The Image

    Find an animal image first. I use photographs I’ve taken from zoo visits or of my pets. The image needs to be clear and if the animal is standing still it will make the body easier to draw.

    Try to find an image where the personality of the animal really shines through. This is what I aim for in my drawings.


    Take a look at the image and the paper size you have. You need to make sure you will have enough room on the page to fit the animal in to avoid any missing limbs!

    I mark where the animal’s feet begin and then where the head ends and any other significant points of the body to keep the drawing in proportion. I sometimes use a ruler to measure the distance between

    Always try to be aware of spacing.


    Before drawing the animal, look for shapes. This will make it a lot easier to sketch. As you can see the alpaca is made up of several shapes; oblongs, triangles and ovals. Using your pencil start to draw the shapes you see. Try not to spend too long worrying about getting them perfect. They are purely a guide.


    Drawing the Animal

    Once you have drawn your shapes sketch the animal around them and add features such as eyes, fur, nostrils, hooves etc.

    To draw fur you only need to do a few lines. I prefer to keep the lines minimal to stop it becoming messy.

    Feel free to make adjustments as you go along. Especially before you put the ink down!

    This isn’t meant to be a copy of the photograph but your interpretation. Have fun with it!

    Once you are happy with the pencil outline it’s time to get the fine liner out. Carefully go over the pencil line and once you have finished erase the pencil line out. It’s not necessary to outline every detail. I find it is more natural with fewer lines.


    Pick out the main colours of the animal. For the alpaca I chose: Burnt Umber, Sienna, Yellow, Ultramarine Blue and Orange.

    See where there are highlights and shadows. It is easier to start with the lighter shades and then add the darker shades as you go along.

    Try to do the brushstrokes in the direction of the animals fur and keep it simple. The colour doesn’t have to be neat as long as you keep within the main outline.

    I often make the colours brighter than they are in the photograph to make it stand out.

    And there you have it a lovely alpaca : )

  • My promarker obsession and How To Guide


    So again another intermittent blog!

    Shoreham Airport

    Over the last few months I've been busy. In September there was the Art Scape Exhibition at Shoreham Airport. It was really good and as a group we sold lots of paintings. I was there every weekend and I was surprised at how busy it was with families. I recommend going there, especially for the food! We are going to try and get the same space again next year for the Adur Art Trail.


    I have developed and obsession for Letraset Promarkers. I got a set for my birthday. There are 148 main colours plus other special editions and I now own 65 different colours. You would think having 10 different shades of blue would do, but no, I'm desperate to complete each colour set. Time has been spent scouring ebay for sets where I wouldn't have duplicates but it's proving hard.

    For more information on Letraset Promarkers visit:

     There is the chance to become a letraset featured artist. I'm going to do some animal sketches with pro markers and if they're good enough submit them. That would be awesome!

    Here is a tribute poster to all my favourite Ghibli films using my new bleed proof a3 and promarkers.

    How To Guide and Burgess Hill Help Point Demo.

    On Friday (12th October) I did my first demonstration in aid of the Weald of Sussex Art Club Exhibition. I got to meet some really lovely people and drew my first elephant. I used a photograph I took in 2008 when I visited Auckland Zoo. I decided to use yellow tones for the elephant, straying away from greys and blues. The painting was done on a3 paper using watercolour and a black sharpie pen.

    I did a "How To" guide to accompany my demo on a Llama from London Zoo. I am however slightly concerned it is in fact an alpaca after closer inspection (after writing and printing out the guide). The alpacas and llamas were in the same enclosure and due to the frizzy helmet of hair on the animal I have deduced it is in fact, not a llama.

    I will post up the guide on a seperate blog entry. When writing that one though I had ideas for other guides. If I did a collection I could publish an e book? I am full of ideas but whether I actually get the time to do them is another thing!

    Weald Exhibition

    Starts today at the Martletts Hall in Burgess Hill until Saturday. Fingers crossed I sell something! Tonight is the private view and well known artist Phillip Dunn is opening. Famously known for his Brighton Deckchair and amazing pier scenes.

    Other bits and bobs

    I have joined another art club, called the Adventurers based in Cuckfield. People in my Artscape group are members and the programme looked fun. Hopefully it will provide me with more opportunities to meet people and display my work locally.

    I'm working on illustrations for a friends book. Childrens illustration is new to me but I have really enjoyed doing my preliminery sketches. I would love to find  more contacts who need illustrations done so I am keeping my eye out.

    Christmas Card designs! I attempted a rather pitiful donkey last night. Back to the drawing board....there is 15% off of on cards so I best get a move on!

    Bye for now,


  • Time to post something!

    I always mean to keep an up to date blog but with everything being so hectic I end up forgetting to! But as my art is starting to pick up pace and things are actually worth writing about here we go....

    I had my first meeting for the Art Scape group a few weeks ago. I was glad to go as I was a bit unsure about some of the details before and had heard it might have been cancelled BUT all is good, it's all going ahead and we are in the Shoreham Airports calendar:

    I have a lot of painting to do for it. I have over 6 metres of space to fill! I do want to try and do completely new paintings but if I don't get a chance then I still have paintings in stock to fill. The paintings at the Burgess Hill Help Point will be down at the end of July.

    This is the first painting I am working on for September. I recently visited Kefalonia, Greece for a week and the island was coated in the most vibrantly pink flowers. I recently got my first set of Gouache paints so this is what I am experimenting with. I like the brightness and strength of them so far but I've already had to go and buy more white! The piece is 40x50cm and it's taking me an hour for each flower at the moment so I'm reckoning I have a long way to go!

    Gah so I just wrote about another 500 words and published the post but when I checked half of it didn't publish so I'll have to summarise what I just wrote up.......

    I've been doing some portrait drawings recently, practicing from images I find in Q magazine. Here are two examples. One of Kevin Rowland (Dexy's Midnight Runners) and the other of Robert Plant:

    I've been "drawing" a lot of inspiration from this facebook group:

    Seriously it's unbelieveable how amazing the drawings on there are.

    And last but not least I had a meeting for the Weald Art Club exhibition this evening and it's not far away now. We're holding it on the 16th to the 20th October 2012 at the Martletts Hall in Burgess Hill. Please check out the website as I have uploaded a new banner:

    So in the hope that this actually saves and I don't have to type it out all over again......I'll be back to update on painting progress : )

    H x