New Book - Keeping a Creative Sketchbook
Emma Block Illustration
by Emma Block
2M ago
I am so so excited to be able to share what I’ve been working on for the last two years! I have a brand-new book coming out in April and it’s called Keeping a Creative Sketchbook. It pretty much does what it says on the tin, and it’s all about keeping a sketchbook and how that can fuel your creativity. This book is all about using a sketchbook to find your style, loosen up, overcome fear of the blank page, experiment with colour and materials, and getting outside and drawing on location. The book is packed with practical exercises and ideas to get you working in your sketchbook. I also look b ..read more
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A Calamity of Mannerings - Illustrating a Book Cover
Emma Block Illustration
by Emma Block
4M ago
I just wanted to share one of my of my recent commissions, illustrating the cover and interior spots for A Calamity of Mannerings by Joanna Nadin, and share a little bit about that process.  A publisher got in contact with me asking me to illustrate a book cover and several black and white spot illustrations for a book they described as I Capture the Castle meets Bridgerton. I love this era of literature, so this was the perfect project for me! Initially they wanted the cover to show the three sisters. I used the WebCam on my computer to take reference photos of myself in different poses ..read more
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A Love Letter to my Garden
Emma Block Illustration
by Emma Block
9M ago
  This piece in my sketchbook is an ode to my love of gardening! For over 10 years I lived in London in a series of flats with absolutely zero outdoor space, and yet a strong desire to grow things. I dabbled with growing things in pots on windowsills or in the front garden, but invariably things got blown over by the wind or stolen by passers-by, so I gave up and waited until I had a garden of my own. All that pent-up gardening energy means that I have thrown myself into looking after my garden with full force. Most evenings I can be found outside pottering around with a watering can and ..read more
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Art Retreat in Portugal
Emma Block Illustration
by Emma Block
9M ago
  I am so excited to announce my next painting retreat! I will be teaching a Mixed Media Sketchbook Retreat at the beautiful Sofia in Monsaraz retreat centre in Portugal from 18 (Thursday) to 22 (Monday) April 2024. During this getaway you will learn to create loose, mixed paintings in your sketchbook, inspired by the beautiful surroundings of Sofia in Monsaraz. I will teach you how to combine different materials, like gouache, coloured pencil, and pastels, how to paint on location, overcome perfectionism and work in a loose expressive way, how to capture landscapes and still lives, as w ..read more
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Art Retreat in Valencia
Emma Block Illustration
by Emma Block
1y ago
  I’ve been back from my art retreat for just over a week and I’m still on a high from what an incredible experience it was, still busily working in my sketchbook recording my memories and making the most of all the inspiration. It’s hard to even know where to start. At the end of April I taught a week long art retreat with UpTrek just outside Valencia Spain with a wonderful group of women and we all had a magical time. During the week we focused on sketching and painting on location, using mixed media, developing a sketchbook practice, understanding colour theory, and capturing people ..read more
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Art with Toddlers
Emma Block Illustration
by Emma Block
1y ago
  Over the last year I’ve done a lot of painting with Herbie. He’s everything from painting on he floor wearing nothing but his nappy, to sitting at my desk and painting with watercolours in a sketchbook. I talk to a lot of parents who say they would love to do painting with their toddlers but they don’t know where to start, so I thought I would share some of my top tips. I am not an expert, but I’m an artist and mum and this is what has worked for us. Try paint One of the first art materials we normally give toddlers is chunky crayons because they are easy to hold and they don’t make too ..read more
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2022 Round up
Emma Block Illustration
by Emma Block
1y ago
  I’ve done a little recap of the year because I wanted to take a moment to look back on the projects I’ve completed. I often find that when I’m working on a project I can’t share it because it’s top-secret, and then by the time the work comes out I’m onto something else, so often I forget to even share the work that I’ve done! So it’s nice to look back and reflect on a year full of book covers, greetings cards, editorial illustration, books and online courses. I have decided to divide this round up into seasons, becuaes I honestly cannot remember what I did last year and month by mo ..read more
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Five Days in Norway
Emma Block Illustration
by Emma Block
1y ago
I’ve just got back from a little holiday in Norway. We booked flights very spontaneously and we had a wonderful five days staying with friends in Stavanger. We hiked in the woods, went to the beach, visited the city and I even have time to do a little bit of painting whilst Herbie napped. I bought my neocolor pastels with me which encouraged me to sketch in a quicker, looser way. Before I went I picked out 10 colours that I felt were best suited to the Norwegian landscape, lots of blues plus some creams and browns. The only thing is I wish I had more greens, but I made up for that by mixing ..read more
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Painting Retreat in Spain
Emma Block Illustration
by Emma Block
1y ago
  I am very very excited to invite you to join me on a week long luxury painting retreat in Valencia, Spain! If you’ve been following me for awhile you know how much I love painting, travel and painting on location, so hosting this retreat is an absolute dream for me. We will be focusing on painting and drawing in our sketchbooks whilst in Spain, using a mixed media approach with watercolour, gouache, coloured pencils and pastels. The retreat will include lots of drawing on location in Valencia old town, on the beach, and at the beautiful villa, as well as masterclasses from me coverin ..read more
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Exploring Neocolor Pastels
Emma Block Illustration
by Emma Block
1y ago
  A couple of weeks ago I bought a set of Neocolor wax pastels from Caran d'Ache after seeing lots of people use them on Instagram. I really enjoyed the consistency and feel of them, but the selection of colours definitely wasn’t doing it for me. I always find a rainbow selection of pencils or pastels really uninspiring and usually try to buy colours individually. There’s something about that standard rainbow selection that just doesn’t work for me, every colour is really bright, really intense and they’re all fighting with each other. To me a good colour palette should have subtleties ..read more
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