Saturday, April 12, 2014

Who Stole my Ladder
12x12 inches
Coloured Pencil, Inktense pencil, black Promarker and
White ink highlights on Wooden Art Panel

Make a Wish
8x10 inches
Coloured pencil and Faber Castell Pitt Pens on
Watercolour canvas

A couple of more Trompe L'Oeil pieces and some big learning curves. After attempting and discarding Make a Wish 7 times, using a range of mediums, I finally decided that I had better complete at least one and move on. As you can see the black background is blotchy and whilst I had hoped that an application of varnish might resolve this issue, it actually made it worse. So what did I learn from all this trial and error and exasperation? I need to take a different approach and avoid doing large areas with black background, and this lead me to working on the wooden art panels, and this proved so much more satisfying and less frustrating, so I think this might be the start of a series. Hope these put a smile on your face :)

Thursday, March 27, 2014

A little bit of Trompe L'oeil

The Scribe
8x10 inches
ballpoint pen, Faber Castell Pitt Pens and Promarkers
on Ampersand Claybord. 

I have always had a fascination for Trompe L'Oeil artworks and thought I would revisit this genre, by redoing an older piece of mine. I am loving working on the Claybord, but unfortunately the coloured pencils do not come out with level of vibrancy that I'm after when working on this surface and so it feels a bit strange for me to be completing artworks without even reaching for a coloured pencil. The background was underpainted using the Black Promarker and I then went over this with the black ballpoint pen for a nice consistent black. The rest of the squirrel was done combining the ballpoint pen with the Faber Castell Pitt pens and also using a blade and fibre glass brush and blade to scratch into the Claybord surface for more realistic fur. 
Reference photo for the squirrel provided with kind permission by The format for this artworks was inspired by the beautiful artworks of Marina Dieul:)

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Falling in love with the humble ballpoint pen

8x10 inches
Coloured Ballpoint pen on Ampersand Claybord
I was doing some research the other day in preparation for a new artwork and stumbled across some ballpoint pen drawings which really inspired me to pick up the ballpoint pens and attempt another drawing using this medium. I attempted one a few years ago, but combined it with ink and inktense pencils so it couldn't really be called a ballpoint pen drawing. This time, after trying the pens on an assortment of papers, I tried them out on the Ampersand Claybord, which really helped with some of the problems you can come across when using pens. At least if you make a mistake or get one of those unsightly blobs of ink, you can very gently scratch off the surface and resume your drawing and this is a huge plus. There are some concerns about whether drawings done with ballpoint pens could fade over time. I have sprayed this one with 7 generous coats of varnish and am going to hang onto it for 6-12 months and then rescan it to see whether there actually is any fading. You can view a speed drawing of this artwork on YouTube. The reference photo for this gorgeous tiger was provided with kind permission of DigitalART2 on Flickr.  I found this piece really exciting to work on, and will be experimenting with a few more pieces - so watch this space :)

Monday, March 17, 2014

Having fun with Markers and Coloured Pencils

Here's Looking at You Kid
8x10 inches
Coloured Pencil and Markers on
Fabriano Artistico Paper

This tutorial was created in response to a special request from an artist wanting to know how I use markers and coloured pencils together in the one artwork. You can also watch a speed drawing of this process on YouTube at The markers are used first to underpaint the entire area, which I find speeds up the drawing process and also gives extra depth and vibrancy to your artworks. This beautiful Rainbow Lorikeet is one of a pair that come and visit Mum several times a day and often bring their young ones along as well. The 19 page tutorial is available from either my Website or Etsy Store

Monday, February 24, 2014

Latest Artwork, Speed drawing and Tutorial

Emerald Eyes in Scratch Art
5x7 inches
Scratch Art, ink, inktense pencils and coloured pencil on
 Ampersand Scratchbord

This latest artwork and tutorial was created in response to a client who asked to see a speed drawing and tutorial on scratch art. This artwork is available as a speed drawing on YouTube and as a 24 page step by step tutorial on my website at either my website or my Etsy Store. The reference photo for this gorgeous kitty was provided with kind permission by Whiskymac on Flickr at

Friday, February 21, 2014

Signed Hard Cover Copies of Let's Count Kisses now available

Hachette are no longer going to be doing reprints of Let's Count Kisses in the Hard Cover version, only as a soft cover, so I have stocked up and bought the last 100 copies still available. You can get your very own signed and personalised copy of Let's Count Kisses on Ebay This 32 page flap book is geared for the 0-2 year age group and is perfect for bed time reading. It would make a fabulous gift for a child or grandchild and is a celebration of native Australian animals and butterflies.
Let's Count Kisses even has its own dedicated website with more information about the book and the species names of all butterflies illustrated within the book.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Latest Drawing Tutorial - Nature's Gifts

Here is my latest step by step drawing tutorial and for those of you who also like to see the process of creating an artwork, you can also view the Speed Drawing of this at I hope to have a speed drawing to accompany most of the tutorials I create from this point forward. This tutorial is available from either my Website or in USD as an instant download from my Etsy Store.
You might also notice that I have now added a Subscribe button to the side bar for anyone who would like to receive my monthly newsletter which is full of drawing hints and tips and often has discount codes as well.