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I like to think that I’m quite good at finding the positives in life and any situation, but sometimes we all need a little reminder! As it gets ever closer to my next trade show, I’m working through my design to-do list. This one has been a rough sketch for quite a while so I’m happy to finally illustrate it. I had originally planned to paint it but when the urge and motivation to create it came, I wasn’t in a position to get the paints out and sit for a dedicated amount of time, so I reached for my iPad instead and Procreate.

I already had in mind the colour scheme and style I wanted to create, so it was quite smooth sailing up until I hit the lettering. Since the new Procreate update launched the morning I finished the illustration, I thought I would use the new text feature for the bottom quote, but I wasn’t achieving the look and feel I wanted, so I went back to illustrating the lettering by hand.

In order to get the layout of the letters in the space working well, I first sketched the words, tweaked the layout by moving and rescaling the odd word as needed before finally drawing them all back in. Then it was just a case of fleshing out and refining the letterforms from there.  

I also had a play with the new gif function, the result of which you can see in the highlights on my Instagram page . I’ve been asked by a few people to do a demo of how it works so, I’ll get to that asap.

Have a great week!

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In May I’ll be heading back to New York to exhibit in my fith NYC surface design/art sale and licensing trade show. Over the past year I have been honing my new style and allowing myself to create more freely with a shift in my focus and approach. Here’s why. So often when we create art that we want to sell or license, we as designers can get sidetracked or distracted by all the possibilities and lose focus on the art we want to create and what will ultimately be our best and most unique work. Instead of creating and finding the best clients to fit our work, we see clients and think I could make something that fits them. See the difference? While it is usually true, we can make something to suit, it isn’t necessary something authentically “us”.

 

I’ve made the conscious decision and effort to keep working on my art in a way that I enjoy and to embrace the challenges that come with that. 

As I work to repopulate my portfolio I’m constantly checking in with myself. Is this “me”, am I enjoying working this way? What’s next?

 

So far I know I still love illustrating flowers and portraits and recently I’ve found a love for illustrating animals in a semi realistic style. 

 

Here’s a time lapse video showing my process illustrating the above design in Procreate in the iPad Pro.  

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I’m back from my blogging hiatus! It’s been such an incredibly long time since I’ve posted here but I’m looking forward to sharing more of my process, news and behind the scenes moving forward, starting with my latest creative purchase.

In my quest to try and make my practice my portable and mess-free since the arrival of our youngest little lady, I treated myself to a new watercolour tin set. I opted for Pastel Dreams by Prima Marketing Inc, which I found for £22.40 on eBay here in the UK, and I have to say I’m quite excited about them!

 Here’s a quick vid of me unboxing and testing them out.

Though the colours are pretty rich and seem more opaque on the tester card than I had anticipated (which I was pleasantly surprised about), they do also work well when watered down further, as you can see on the back of this scrap envelope where I cleaned off the brush after each colour.

A few people have asked about the brush I used in the video. This one is part of a 4 piece set of water brush pens by Stationery Island. I’ve tried a a fair few differ version of these brush pens at different price points and these are definitely the best for price and quality combined. They’re readily available on Amazon and don’t leak or drip water uncontrollably. The bristle keep their shape well and clean off easily too.



The other brush pen I also recommend is the Pentel Arts Aquash Water Brush. I actually use mine filled with black ink as a handy ink well and brush combo in one, which is perfect for me to pop in my bag - like all the time. I’m never without it. It’s a little fatter than the above brushes and easy to fill with ink, but most importantly the flow of the pen isn’t impacted by the fact I have ink in it rather than water. It never gets blocked and as long as I remember to put the lid back on (I’ve been know to lose them… a lot) they brush tip remains i good order and ready to go at each use.

I’ll be back at some point with more tips, hack and reviews as I continue to experiment. Let me know if there’s anything in particular you want to know or see.

See you soon!

Nat x

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