Monday, 29 December 2014

New Digital Painting:Bright Pink Winter Cyclamen

Here's a little something to brighten up the gloom of winter-a new digital design of  bright, winter flowers (which will also be available on the app).

and looks good as a design...

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Free Happy Christmas & New Year Ecards

Merry Chistmas ecard-Poinsettia
Merry Chistmas ecard-Poinsettia
It's that time of year again, which can only mean sending you my best wishes, my thanks for reading this year, and a choice of free Christmas & New Year E-cards to enjoy and send as you wish...

Just pick which card or cards you'd like to download/enjoy/send. (The files are simply small jpgs, that you should be able to send or post online anywhere).


Squirrel Happy Christmas & New Year Ecard
Squirrel Happy Christmas & New Year Ecard
Sophisticated Happy Christmas Free Ecard from London, UK
More Sophisticated Happy Christmas Ecard Featuring London, UK
Small watercolour snowflake mandala Happy Christmas ecard
Small watercolour snowflake mandala Happy Christmas ecard with blank areas for your own message (alter the image as much as you wish).

And finally, a cutie you might have seen on Bounding Squirrel last year too...

Happy Holidays Painted Robin Ecard
Happy Holidays Painted Robin Ecard

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Digital Painting & Pattern: Bird of Paradise

Todays's post is just to show you  a new digital painting as it turned out-and the pattern it evolved into afterwards.

If you've read this blog for a while, you'll know that I like to do designs specifically for friends and family members (as many people do).

Anyway, there's this one person who sometimes misses out, having a birthday in January, just after all Christmas thoughts have obliterated digital painting from my mind.
So, I thought I'd get a head start, and make her one now, featuring a bird of paradise flower (which she loves).  
It began life with the background above.

Until something more mysterious felt better...
(still not sure which will make it onto her card, and don't have to decide yet). The Computer Man has one preference, I have the other. If you definitely prefer either the purple or pinky background, please do let me know in the comments.

Then, the "Birds of Paradise Pattern...

I'd already noticed that the inherent spikiness and angular geometry of these flows is quite different to anything I normally draw. What I hadn't realised is what good "natural chevrons" they make in a pattern.

Have you ever experimented with putting a painting or picture into a pattern, only to find that the motif takes on entirely different characteristics? If so, please let us know what happened. Or, if you're learned about such things and know why they happen, please let me know also.

In the meantime, I'll keep experimenting...

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Getting the Hang of A Floral Pattern...

Patterns have long made me nervous. So, when these flowers jumped out at me, patterns were the last thing on my mind.
(OK, they didn't jump, but they were so bright, despite what these rather blurry phone pics might have you believe).

So first of all, I did what I thought I was going to do with them, and made a digital painting...

And I liked it well enough (excuse the really low res of this picture). But it didn't feel like it was finished, somehow.

On a whim, I took the individual elements of that picture, and played around with them in Patternshop.

And on the whole, I'm liking what came out,

especially when it gets put to some practical use on a "real world" item, like an IPad case...

Bold Orange Dahlias iPad Mini Case
Bold Orange Dahlias iPad Mini Case by BoundingSquirrel

What about you? Do you have projects or techniques that you avoid, because they make you nervous? I dare you to give them a go...I'm willing to bet you'll surprise yourself, in a wholly good way. 

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Free Nature Art Wallpapers App
If you've checked in here recently. you may already have noticed a new "Free Wallpapers". Well, I think I've tested it enough to post generally about it.

The BoundingSquirrel Nature Art Wallpapers App allows you to set Bounding Squirrel digital paintings as wallpaper (ie the background on your Android phone or tablet) for free.

The paintings are lower resolution than the real things, but for reasons to do with screens, this makes no difference when you're displaying them digitally.

If you want to grab the wallpapers then click here, or on the Google Play icon, below.

If you're an Apple or Windows user, please bear with me.
It seemed easiest to start with the tech with which I'm most familiar...

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Confession Time: It's Going to Be a Cute Black Cat Halloween Here...

It's confession time. Originally, you weren't going to see any Halloween designs here this year. I loathe horror films, large spiders, and anything related to guts and gore. So why do any designs on those themes, right?

But then, this cute little cat came into my head...(he's hand-drawn, but  in digital oil pastels).

And I wondered whether anyone else out there might like a cute Halloween, with a little black cat, as well?

I know that local customs on this vary widely. But here in the UK, black cats are traditionally lucky. (And if YouTube is anything to go by, they're also loved elsewhere too).

Playing around a bit more, I was really surprised when something so simple looked good on a mug.

So he made his way onto a pumpkin-gold background...

Which works out well for items like cards...

And then, in different sizes, the cat and his clone morphed into a pattern...(More on patterns in another post. I've finally getting the hang of them, and can demonstrate a simple method if you're pattern-challenged too.

Anyway, the resulting pattern was here...

Which translates itself onto items like this...
Painted Black Cats on Halloween Golden Background iPad Mini Case
Painted Black Cats on Halloween Golden Background iPad Mini Case by BoundingSquirrel
Check out other Cat Cases at

And so, just like that, I ended up deciding to "do" Halloween 2014 after all.
So, what about you? Do you love cute designs for Halloween too? Or, are you a stickler for traditional gore? Leave a comment and let me know what you think.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Digital Painting: Painted Rudbeckia, or "Black-Eyed Susans"

Black-eyed Susan, or Rudbeckia flowers, are a sign of early autumn here in London.

I started this digital painting (done in Pixarra Twisted brush digital oil pastels, stroke by stroke) painting some time ago. But finally, I get to keep my promise to post an autumanl painting, and at the right time of year :-). Enjoy!

Monday, 1 September 2014

Poinsettia Digital Painting

Yes, poinsettias are another Christmas flower/plant. But I hope this one, when it's finished, will be able to stand up for itself on its own merits at any time of year.

Stay tuned-there are autumnal paintings coming too!

Friday, 1 August 2014

Christmas in July and August...

I'm up to my old seasonally-inappropriate tricks again. Yes, in the warm and welcome heat of this July (and now August) in London,  I've given in to the gentle nags in Zazzle's newsletter...and have been producing Christmas designs!

Digital watercolour and glitter "Merry Christmas," bauble and fir branch (painted in Artrage 4)
So, I thought I'd post them as some work-in-process (not all are finished or uploaded yet).

All were made in Artrage 4 first.

This "Noel" repeating pattern started in ArtRage 4.

I used the "stencil" tool to create a "Noel" in "Brock Script" font, and then added red digital glitter to one of them. (I'm still getting over how wonderful even the idea of mess-free digital glitter can be).

Then, in Patternshop, having rotated the images, I first of all thought the glitter edges looked too messy. So I got rid of them. And then, they looked too "neat".

So the glitter edges, that make it look that bit more hand-printed have stayed in this version of the far. (Update: This design will stay as it is. It was my first Christmas 2014 sale on Zazzle-in August :-) Many thanks to the buyer!)

Portable mistletoe

At the moment, the idea I've had most fun with is portable mistletoe. By adding a watercolour sprig of it to various items, there'll always be mistletoe around when you need it this Christmas, on designs like this one...

"Kiss Me, It's Christmas" Mistletoe Tees
"Kiss Me, It's Christmas" Mistletoe Tees by BoundingSquirrel
Find other Christmas T-Shirts at

Don't know about you, but that's enough Christmassy stuff for now. I'm off to enjoy some sunshine! 

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Digital Painting Process Overview *Video*: Clematis

Time for something a bit different today. Quite a few people have asked me what digital painting is about, or how they might begin it.

In an attempt to start answering these questions, I've made a process video (a new, new, and slightly scary idea for me!) of the latest digital painting.

Please bear in mind that this is a "1000ft overview", and that if you like and ask for more of this kind of thing, I can go into more detail in other videos.
Also please bear in mind, this is meant for people who haven't encountered digital painting before.

And with all that said, I present...the video. Enjoy!

PS. You can find the necklace highlighted in the video here.

Friday, 11 July 2014

Meet "Harvest Mouse"

 Yes, it's another day, and another digital painting with the fabulous Artrage 4 software.

This time though, I used both the "digital pastel" and "digital watercolour" settings at different points, as this little cutie came to life.

He's based on the weenie little harvest mice who you might just be lucky enough to spot in a cornfield at this time of year. I've never seen one in the wild, but when we saw (and photographed) a tiny little one at a New Forest wildlife centre, I couldn't believe how small they were.

Seriously, if anything, this little guy is about 4 x life-size. (It stands to reason really, given that they can balance on corn and barley stalks).

Anyway, be all that as it may, I have a question for you. Which of these versions of "Harvest Mouse" do you prefer?As he is, or...drum roll please...against a blue sky?

The Computer Man has a preference for one, and me, the other. So, I thought I'd let you decide...(Please leave a comment below, saying whether you prefer "with sky," or "without"...Many thanks!)

Have a lovely weekend-and remember to look for harvest mice if you're lucky enough to be near some summer crops.

PS. Update 16/7/2014: It turns out that *both* with and without the background have an important function in the right context. "Without" works on this bumper sticker (as a short person, I couldn't resist it...)

But the sky suits somethign like this keyring (keychain if you're from the US :-)

You live and learn...

Monday, 7 July 2014

New Fuschia Digital *Watercolour* Painting

Hurrah for new things! This digital watercolour is possible because of new software.

The Computer Man bought me ArtRage 4 (not an affiliate link, I just love the product) for my birthday. And with it, a whole slew of new techniques has opened up.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go and play with my (very wonderful) new toy just a bit more...

P.S. Update on July 9th: You can now bring nature into your life with this design on a whole range of gifts and products. As a tea-lover, I've particularly got my eye on this one...

Friday, 4 July 2014

Sunflowers: New Digital Painting, and Some News...

 Sunflowers. They may not be original, but oh, so beguiling, and cheerful. (And OK, just a bit dramatic, on a dark background.

I've needed a bit of cheer, having busted my ankle pretty comprehensively.

You might think this would lead to more digital painting. Which it did. Sort of. Eventually.

First there was sorting it out. So my apologies for the very long hiatus here.

But when I did get to being able to focus on the stretch of time it gave me to play around with designs like this, to turn them into patterns...

and much else besides... I got to thinking. And asked,"How can all this digital painting, which is fun, also be much, much more useful?" And I came up with several answers to that.

So, in the next few weeks, I'll be concentrating on the first of these.The aim is to enable you to customise (or customize !) Bounding Squirrel designs as much as you like, and then put the results on your own items.

Watch this space, as they say. (And thank you for your patience!).

PS. This design itself looks great on a range of customisable gifts too, like this one:

Friday, 25 April 2014

New Digital Painting: Love Your True Colours

And somehow, words have crept in as well... (which makes it "Digital Mixed Media", I guess...). Anyway, hope you like it, and please do share it along if you find it inspiring.


PS. The customisable version of this design is available ready for you to add your own text instead, onto items like this one:

Friday, 18 April 2014

Digital Art Journaling

Long time no post, because I've been exploring something completely new to me... art journaling.

I'm loving the way it allows me to explore issues by drawing, scribbling, and writing positive messages back to myself. It *feels* less deep than writing a journal (which I also do). And yet somehow, it seems to create more change.

 In a way, this starts to bring BoundingSquirrel spiralling back to where it began: I was a coach and writer, proving to myself that anyone who wanted to learn to draw badly enough (ie me) really could.

Now, I'm learning a whole new way to approach my first stamping ground-through digital art journaling.

The inspiration: Tamara Laporte
I have to mention Tamara Laporte here, because her inspirational, (and free!) "Art, Heart and Healing," course inspired me to have a go at art journaling. The course demonstrates hands-on art, but Tam offers a digital art course on her own site too, and makes it wonderfully and supportively clear that everyone should just choose whatever medium works for them.

So I took it digitally instead...And at the very least (and believe me, there's much more there, check it out) it's got me over my fear of painting people instead of always choosing aspects of nature.

Don't know where this will lead next, but watch this space...

Friday, 14 March 2014

Getting the Fun Back into Digital Painting

This was a quick 20 minute digital pastal painting of a daisy. I deliberately gave myself only 20 minutes to see how much I could draw in the time, and how much fun I could have, without "taking it seriously," or "trying" to do things correctly".

And it was huge fun.

Would I spend 20 minutes this way again? Absolutely-and especially when the "fun factor" needs to reappear in my life. Give it a go yourself if you feel the same way (and I dare you to post the results...I promise I'll support you in your pursuit of this kind of fun!).

Friday, 28 February 2014

New Digital Painting: Red Carnations

The Computer Man gave me Valentine red carnations two weeks ago. I started it this digital painting based on some of them on Monday, and I've still only just finished this... As usual, it's digital oil pastels, from scratch in Pixarra Twisted Brush. Enjoy, anyway.

PS> This design is now available on customisable gifts and cards like this one:

Friday, 14 February 2014

New Digital Painting: Bougainvillea (And a Happy Accident)

Here's the latest: a decidely unbotanical bougainvillea to counteract London's leaden skies. The place my Dad had in Portugal used to have beautiful one, and I spent some time looking through the photos of all that sun this week...

Anyway, this is also a happy accident because, things have felt a little flat. So I started playing. The original painting is in digital oil pastels, from scratch. But this time, it has textures overlaid in Photoshop above it.

I loved the look, and am thinking of going back over everything with similar ideas...

Have a great day.
PS. This design is now available on a whole selection of beautiful gifts, like this one:

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

For Valentine's Day-And a Long Way Beyond

I'm squealing with excitement!  Please listen up if you want to be in a happy or happier relationship (or know someone who does)...

My I present my new ebook (which I wrote and-thanks to all the BoundingSquirrel practice) illustrated for your delight...

For the last 20 years, I've wanted to capture the essence of what makes people happy in relationships and share it. For the last 3 years, I've wanted to find a way to combine all the coaching andwriting I used to do with the art I've loved learning to create at Bounding Squirrel...

Right now, it feels like by focussing on helping everything come together for you (or someone you know) I've accidentally started bring things together for me. Win-win!

Enjoy-and let me know what you think!

Thursday, 16 January 2014

The Mystery of the Morphing Snowdrops...

It's a mystery. Or rather, partly a mystery.

There I was, craving signs of spring. And in the absence of same, I put pen to tablet and created these snowdrops on the left.

So far, so well-behaved.

But I follow my instincts. So I went with it when the snowdrops morphed into this...

And somehow, I still went with it as it inspired me through re-building and re-launching the Selfworks.Net site...

It doesn't mean I'm going back to the way I was before BoundingSquirrel. Or that this blog will stop. (I need a place to share pictures!).

But it's interesting (and mysterious) just how far one teeny-tiny inspiration can take you.

Digital painting has taught me to be in the moment, and to "go with it". And that is a habit I'll not be morphing out of in a hurry.

Monday, 6 January 2014

Digital Painting for an Elephant Lover

It's my stepmum's birthday at the end of the week. I've done this digital painting because she loves elephants...Hope she likes it...

PS. Update on Feb 4th...Yay! She loved it. Phew!
PPS. And now you can enjoy (and customise) this design on cards and gifts as well, like this postcard: