Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Colour from the Season - unknown shrub green

As this was the second time I had purloined a cutting of this beautiful shrub (from a certain car park in Exeter), it would have felt criminal not to post it's colours here, just because I didn't know its name!

Perhaps it's fitting on the eve of a new year to post the colours and form of a plant I don't recognise and haven't been able to identify - though I'd love to find out if someone knows?

So here's to unknown horizons...
...and nature's evocative colours!

UPDATE 2/1/14 - Many thanks to Lesley, Joy and Mary for getting in touch while I was away for New Year to tell me that it's a Callistemon - more commonly known as Bottlebrush. See it in flower here and you can understand why!

The ink drawings. I drew each branch separately in my A3 'Moleskine' sketchbook, then scanned and pieced the branches back together digitally.

Photo detail for ID purposes...

...and VERY Happy New Year!

(drawn listening to the album 'Reflektor' by Arcade Fire)

...from my seasonal colour sample notebook.

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Colour from the Season - Walnut shell brown

I've been totally flattened by a flu-bug this week. The up-side of feeling so rough is that I have at least been spared much of the joy(!) of last minute Christmas shopping.

Ranking above all other nuts, Walnuts are one of natures top super-foods (more here), give the most sublime (and fast) natural dye colours (this and so much more on Jenny Dean's "Wild Colour" blog here) and, I've just discovered, a fabulous ink for using in dip pens (this is a lovely blog post on making it! here).

The top brown is the familiar colour of the outer shell, next the deep warm brown of the inner husk (and most like the dye-colour), third and fourth are the two-tone ochre yellows of the kernel. As a natural dye/ink it's the outer green husk which is used (not shown here).

So there you have it! in a nut shell...
Seasonally good wishes one and all...from my seasonal colour sample notebook.

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Tray bien!

A preview peek at my Moorland Tray collection which will be launched in January by the Swedish company Ary Trays. Rabbits and Pheasants galore :)

This week I've been taking tray photos - I'd forgotten that taking photos of trays isn't that easy! If the light hits the trays at the wrong angle, they can look strangely inside out.

I don't have studio lights but I do have four large Velux skylights in my studio and a wall of north facing windows. The sky however has insistently stayed a dense grey for most of the week so at even the slightest hint of blue sky, I've downed tools on the illustration work I've been finishing off for Buckfast Abbey and leapt into action up and down a ladder, as the camera was suspended 8ft from the floor above our dining table from a Manfrotto tri-pod (no dining table in the house all week to boot) - the things we do for love!

Speaking of which, I'm heading off to Bristol shortly for a friend's birthday - we've known each other nearly 40 years!! Happy Birthday Marion X

Monday, 9 December 2013

Posy - Olive, Tulip, Hawthorn

I was a bit fed up when 'Feedburner' sent out an old post yesterday (all by itself) from July! I suspect that it was mischievous blogger goblins, teed off with all the jargon they have to deal with (if you write a blog yourself you'll know what I mean). Apologies for that.

So I thought I'd cheer myself up with a posy as it's been a while since my last - A flowery way to say love and peace with a little bit of hope thrown in for good measure...

...from my seasonal colour sample notebook