Thursday, 31 December 2015

Summer in December?


Maybe it's a reaction to the time of year, but here are three spring-and-summer based, digitally-painted collections for you from BoundingSquirrel. First the household and picnic-set goodness of "Ditsy-Dragonflies"...




Next, the vibrant-but-versatile "Kingfishers" collection:




And last but not least, a blast of summer that looks especially great on office stuff and phonecases: Tropical Waterlilies...




Enjoy!






















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Monday, 21 December 2015

Free Christmas Robin Ecard



 In what has become something of a tradition, it's the time of year to wish you a happy holiday season (however you celebrate it) with an ecard...that you're absolutely welcome to use as your own.

May 2016 bring you all you wish-and I'll see you again then.



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Thursday, 3 December 2015

A Meditation Cartoon




 Feels like the world could do with some fun. (Also posted this to my meditation blog, if that kind of thing floats your boat).

Either way-enjoy, share if you want to, and leave a comment if you'd like. Thanks!

Update: You can now buy a copy of this image for your own personal or small business use. Click here, or on the button below, to find out more.

Buy Now

Friday, 6 November 2015

Christmas Cartoon Clip Art


Christmas Cartoon Clipart Image
This image shows all 15 Christmas clipart items at once at a small size and in web resolution. Images for sale are at 300dpi, and obviously don't include a watermark!
 If you're wanting to get ahead with Christmas preparations at home or at work, chances are you'll need some clip art. My Christmas Clipart collection could be just what you need to illustrate emails, cards, gift tags or invitations, newsletters, blog posts and anything else that's going to need a light-hearted, "Christmassy" touch.

This clipart is now on sale (including a  small-scale commercial license that's great for most website owners)




 Thanks for dropping by-and have a great day.



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Wednesday, 21 October 2015

A Halloween Cartoon to Share...


With Halloween coming up, this seems like a good cartoon to share. It's in the newer, "digital ink and wash" style I've been experimenting with. But most of all, it's for fun and to brighten your day.

Feel free to pass it along to anyone else who might enjoy it too, and have a great day.

Update: This proved popular, so it's now available as a card on Zazzle, (and customisable too, so not just for Halloween)

Monday, 12 October 2015

The Early Years Teacher's Toolkit Is Out (With My Illustrations)



Early Years Teacher's Toolkit Cover

Yay! At last, the ebook I've just illustrated for Leonie Abrahamson is for sale on Amazon. So if you know any Early Years teacher trainees (or anyone who works with them) please point them in the direction of , "The Early Years Teacher Toolkit Series: Preparing for Your Early Years Initial Teacher Training."

Many thanks!

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Sneak Peek at a New Project...

What's this illustration all about? None other than a new collaboration, and a new way of working.

Working with the fabulous  author Leonie Abrahamson to illustrate the first in her new "Early Years Teacher Toolkit" series...I've discovered that I can cartoon in (digital) ink and wash. And that I love it...

This illustration is just one of the various icons and pictures in the new guide.

Watch this space for more when the eguide is out...

Update: You can now buy the guide here.

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Flamenco Painting & 100th Post

According to Google, this  painting is the 100th post. Appropriate then, that a blog which began with my trying to work out why I'd fallen into digital art at all should mark the milestone with a first painting in motion.

It's also the first that's portrait, one of the first featuring a person, and one of the first in which words popped into my head that just had to be included.

Firsts in a group like that usually lead somewhere significant, and I know they will. Looking forward to finding that path, because the urge to follow it-even to an unknown destination-is building...

Friday, 3 July 2015

New Digital Painting: Wisteria Waterfall

Apologies that it's been a few week (a stange and bizarre few weeks, but that's another story). Here's the latest digital painting. It's the best attempt I can make so far to capture the "waterfall effect" of wisteria in blosson, with it's lovely gradients of indigo-purple blue to lilac white.
 
Here, it's against maybe a Cotswold stone wall, but let it take you into the bee-buzzed drowsiness of an English summer afternoon, wherever you happen to be as you read this. Enjoy!

Friday, 29 May 2015

Dolphin Digital Painting:Work in Progress

If you love dolphins (and who doesn't?) take a look at this work-in- progress digital painting of a dolphin.

He or she is based on the bottle-nosed dolphins we saw on one of the best days ever a few years ago, dolphin watching in a boat off the Portuguese coast. This dolphin is "in progress" because he's destined to be part of a larger project I hope to be able to tell you more about in a few weeks.

Until then (and after!)...enjoy.

PS. Seems I still prefer to paint and draw slowly. Much as all that "fast and loose idea" is appealing, it seems things still work best when something happens over at least a couple of days.

Which do you prefer in general: painting/seeing paintings produced slowly or quickly? Do leave a comment and let us know. Thanks!

Friday, 22 May 2015

New Digital Painting: Poppies by the Stream

At last, another digital painting: Poppies by the Stream.

It's in my favourite digital oil pastels (by Pixarra Twisted Brush) but  also something new: an 8" by 8" landscape, deliberately quicker, looser, and more abstract.

The question I'm asking myself is: why do I leave it so long between paintings. I *love* to paint, but stop myself with all the things I feel I have to do.

To get around this, am attempting more paintings, but with shorter time limits, and a more "broad brush" approach, as you see here.

(This picture is based on some beautiful poppies-and pretty purple flowers-in my inlaws' garden in Devon).


Will "being more casual, more often" this work? Time will tell.

Do you find yourself putting off doing things you love? And/or have you found a way around it? Please comment if you can relate, and/or to say "hi"...and have a great day!

P.S. I posted the original design  to give you the idea. But I'm really excited about how it came out on household goodies like this...

Sunday, 26 April 2015

New Digital Painting: A Face, A Breakthrough, & A Recommendation...

So, it's like this. I've been doing digital paintings of flowers and nature for ages now. And I love doing that. But deep down inside, there was a nagging belief in me that said, "You can't really draw, because you're useless at faces..."

Today, that belief received a thwack. Whatever the merits of this picture, it represents huge progress for me, just in challenging that belief, if nothing else. And I did it quickly, with the help of two tuorials that take only 25 minutes to watch *between them*.

The tutorials are by Dina Wakley for the Artists Network, on You Tube, and you can find them here and here.

They're in acrylics in the tutorial, but seem pretty adaptable (the pic above is in digital watercolours in ArtRage4). Have fun, because those tutorials are awesome, and truly easy, even if you've always believed that you're "can't draw faces"...

Friday, 17 April 2015

My Pixlr Editing Tutorial: Hilarious for the Wrong Reasons?



Usually I add text to graphics like this one on a program on my machine. But someone asked how to put graphics on a picture, and she owns a Mac. (For reasons to do with inheriting machines free from my husband, I tend to use PCs).

So the hunt was on for a platform-independent solution.

Which led me to www.pixlr.com.

And then to my first ever (probably hilariously bad) attempt at describing a process via screen capture. (Eg, next time, I'll minimize that Huuuuge Google ad on the screen...)

Have a laugh, anyway...


Friday, 10 April 2015

New Digital Painting: Evolution of a Digital Watercolour

I'm loving playing with Artrage 4 again, especially its watercolour settings. (I'm not an Artrage affiliate, by the way, I just love its ease of use). Here are the several stages of a watercolour featuring the purpley-blue flowers from our window box, given lots of artistic licence.

I think they're "pincushion flowers", or have the less-than-lovely name of "Scabious", but they have their own determined beauty, and the bees love them.


Anyway, first of all, I started with the flowers, using Artrage. I chose a watercolour paper setting, and increased the grain slightly, using low-blend and a small brush size for the stems, and the "just a spot" watercolout brush for the petals.

I might yet pop these into a pattern, but as they are, I felt they needed some fixing into the ground.

So Stage Two involved "just a spot" brush leaves...

Again, they might yet have a purpose all their own. But it still felt like they needed fixing into some earth.

So it was onto some flecks, again with the "just a spot" brush....

















 Very definitely, this design on the right would make a card.

But then, using a combination of "low blend" watercolour paint blobs in new Artrage layer, and the spreading around of those blobs with the "Just Water" setting, the final version of this digital painting (for now!) turned into the picture you see below.













Would you have left this here, or earlier? Or would you have added more? Please do leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks!

Saturday, 4 April 2015

New Digital Painting: A Cute Rabbit for Spring

Right-click and save this bunny if you'd like to send him as an ecard
At last, a new digital painting. I've had to throw off a cold, and as soon as I did, this cute bunny appeared (based on one I saw and photoed in Epping Forest, with The Computer Man last year).

Once again, I've done this rabbit in digital oil pastels, stroke by stroke, with a tablet and pen.

But this time, I changed the background paper colour first and then erased around it. Please do shout if you'd like a video of this process. (I've just bought a new program for explaining and videoing what's going on my screen and am *really* keen to test drive it ;-)

If you're looking for an Easter e-card, do right click and save him, sending him (or her, it might be a her!) wherever you want.

But this rabbit is for any time of year, and also features on a card and other goodies here.

And in any event, happy spring, Easter or whatever else is happening in your part of the world as you read this.

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Fresh, Fun and Funky Mother's Day Card & Gifts

If you're in the UK and reading this when I'm posting, you're seriously late to get your Mother's Day card in the post...


But help is at hand, because you're welcome to send this one as an e-card (just right-click, save target as" and attach or embed in an email as you wish).

On the other hand... if you're in the USA or elsewhere, you're in plenty of time to get hold of this and let your Mum know how you feel with this design on cards *and* gifts.

It came out of a discussion with my hubby the other day about how there weren't many fresh designs for mother's day cards and gifts. So if you are looking for something bright and floral, but a bit more fun, this is for you...



Mixed-media effect Mother's day card in spring green and pink

Click here to get this card

And if you're not into buying cards, but would like to make one in this style, check out CraftArtist. I used the pro version as is (without any of the add-ons you can buy for it), and love how you can get a mixed media art-effect from it without any mess.

There's a free version too, here. (And no, this isn't an affiliate link, I'm just really impressed with the program).

More soon-and let's celebrate spring, whether ort not it's Mother's Day yet where you are.

Monday, 2 March 2015

Spring Birds Digital Painting

I couldn't post this painting before the recipients had had their card this morning, but these birds (we call them blue tits in the UK-I think maybe they're similar to "chickadees" in the US?) are doing their best to usher in spring in this digital painting, "By the Feeder".



As ever, use this as an ecard as much as you'd like, or get the paper-based version (and other goodies) here.

Saturday, 28 February 2015

Happy Birthday Labrador (& Yes, He's a Free E-Card Too...)

It's been forever since I posted, so by way of apology, here's a frisky little golden labrador puppy to send as a free ecard to any dog lover with a birthday coming up soon...

 Just right click and "save as" the image to your device, then attach or embed him within any message to send him to anyone who loves animals. (Or anyone with a birthday, really).

Of course, if you'd prefer to send  him on a nice solid birthday card, in high resolution (with an envelope and no watermark), he's also available here.

I'm off to put the finishing touches to another Spring-based design now, working on the basis that if I focus on Spring long enough, it might actually turn up and stick around...;-)

In the meantime, enjoy!