Sunday, 17 September 2017

Squirrel sketching

I thought it might be interesting for blog readers if I were to share some of my process, so I will try to put up more of my sketchbook pages in future - starting with this squirrel. Enjoy!


Watercolour squirrel. © Michelle Beech. Please do not use without my permission

Materials

I painted this happy squirrel using mainly Winsor & Newton watercolours. At the moment I use a combination of Cotman and Professional colours (I try out a colour first using the cheaper Cotman tubes and then replace it with Professional once I've used it up). I also use Kusakabe watercolours that I bought when I was in Japan. I painted this on Bockingford HP watercolour paper.


Sketching squirrels for reference. © Michelle Beech. Please do not use without my permission


Research

Almost everything I paint requires me to do a bit of research. For this one I did a quick Google image search (there were no squirrels to hand in the garden!) and sketched a few to better understand their faces and posture. I find that the research kind of filters through later when I'm drawing from imagination and just helps to create more believable characters.

Painting

I used a fairly limited palette (mainly ultramarine and burnt sienna and umber) and probably spent four/five hours drawing and painting, I think... next time I will set a timer so I can tell you. That included a few paint-drying breaks. I added the rosy cheeks in colour pencil for this particular painting (I sometimes find that if I do it in watercolour it mixes into the washes below and loses some of its brightness - something I'm trying to get better at! Suggestions welcome!)

Finally...

I'm working on some woodland-related things at the moment, just for myself, for my portfolio. But I used the Colour Collective Twitter prompt and incorporated the chosen colour for this week, which was the bright green - I mixed permanent yellow, lemon yellow and cerulean, if you were wondering ;) I find that doing Colour Collective adds a bit of extra fun (and challenge!)



Saturday, 12 August 2017

Craft Fair News

Thanks to everyone who stopped by my stall at the Tavi Arts Market on Saturday 5th August. It was great to hear all of the kind comments about my work. It was my first craft fair and I sold a little and learnt a lot! I will be lining up a few more fairs over the coming months so watch this space for details...

Tiger stationery. This notepad was very popular at the fair! It is also available in my online shop.

In other news... 


From Wednesday 9th August until Tuesday 15th August I am running a 20% discount in my Etsy shop (no minimum spend!). Enter the code SUMMERHOL20 at the checkout. Click here to head over to my Etsy. I have been adding items to the shop, like my Alice in Wonderland illustration and some square greeting cards. I will try to add more soon but I desperately need to get back to working on some new art now before I forget how to draw!

Just added: Alice in Wonderland, available in two print sizes on Etsy

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Greeting cards

I've started making small print runs of greeting cards featuring my illustrations. I'll gradually be adding to the range but I would also love suggestions - if you think any of my previous illustrations would make a good card, let me know!

1920s Portrait greeting card £2.50, available here

I really enjoyed illustrating a 1920s girl, so I've made her a friend! This illustration is also drawn by hand and coloured digitally, like the previous portrait. Until about a year ago I had never made any art using digital media! I still feel like I have plenty to learn (especially about taking screen breaks - the eye strain..!) but I'm enjoying it. I will be adding this one to the greeting card range soon.

1920s girl with feather fan © Michelle Beech. Please do not use without my permission.


Saturday, 8 July 2017

Giclée Prints


From left to right: A4 Print, A5 Print, greeting card (with green backs!)

I've started producing giclée prints! These will replace the inkjet prints that were previously available in my shop. They are printed with UltraChrome HD pigment inks on 325gsm archival paper. The ink and paper produce a beautiful reproduction of the colours. They are also available in two sizes now! There is the standard A4 and a new A5 size, which is very cute. I have also had some greetings cards printed. Please do take a look at them in my Etsy.

Friday, 14 April 2017

Pattern!



I transformed a page of watercolour paintings into a pattern using a pattern swatch I created in Illustrator. You can see the original page in my sketchbook over on Instagram. I have only just learned how to do this and am very excited about the possibilities! I want to cover everything in patterns now. There's something very satisfying about drawing a big rectangle in Illustrator and seeing the pattern repeating for the first time.

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Etsy Shop Update!

I'm open for business (again!) A few years ago I opened an Etsy shop but soon left it neglected and unloved as I was selling my prints offline more. However, I want more people to have the opportunity to purchase my work and so I have finally dusted off my shop, made several improvements and started stocking more work. It's still a work in progress and probably always will be as I look for new ways to develop it.


These two are now available to buy for £10 each in my shop MichelleBeech. More coming soon!


Starry Cat Print A4

The Secret Garden Robin Print A4

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Bedtime


Every sick day needs a cosy bed, some sleeping cats, a big stack of reading material and a hot drink.  I'm now a member of the AOI, which I have found very informative.  I also have an AOI portfolio to showcase some of my favourite work - you can see it here.