Highland Coo Charcoal Sketch

Hellooooo....
This week I tried drawing with charcoal, which is something that I haven't done since my school days. It was so much fun that I'll definitely have another play soon.
As my regular arty followers know... I'm always trying to loosen my work.
I like everything to be as is and strive for perfection... which can be limiting and always makes for an ultimate let down with finished work.
Sometimes, I'm so tight I'm near to snapping, but working with charcoal was like diving into a warm calm pool totally butt naked!
(cough) 

Sorry getting a little carried away there, but it really was a revelation.
I kept laughing as I become increasingly blacker! 
Smudges appearing everywhere, but slowly his Highland Coo appeared.
He/She looks quite a character don't you think?

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Do you think it's a He or a She.... and what about a name... any ideas? :D

Sketchy Faces... in more ways than one!

Hello everyone... I'm here today to give you a little laugh.
I thought I'd share some of my sketches from my @makeartthatsells practice assignment - Faces!
I, like many other artists grow pale at the thought of sketching a portrait be it fictional or real life, but I took a deep breath and decided to jump right in and have fun with it!
I was going to give you three guesses as to who I had drawn, but I think that's a little tough.
I should give you 33 guesses and then you might actually get there.
But it was fun and I really enjoyed it.

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One of the many pearls of wisedom that @Lillarogers suggests to overcome the fear of portraits is to draw people as you watch tv. 
With that in mind, last week was a really sporty weekend in this household, so as one after another of the rugby and football matches played out on tv, I sketched away.
I couldn't believe what fun it was to just sketch without thinking. 
Here's some of the results...

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... I was so surprised that with each face the fear seemed to disappear a little more.
So I'm holding on to that saying "Feel the fear, but do it anyway"
Lastly, I decided that I couldn't resist sketching our lovely, amazingly, talented Lilla.
I hope she won't be too offended!

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Have fun everyone and I'll see you again soon :D

Tasseography... Tea Leaf Reading

Hello Everyone
I've been missing in action lately on the blog front, as I just haven't seemed to find the time for blogging, favouring a quick line or two with a photograph into my Instagram account.
I've often thought...ooh that would be great for a blog post, but then move on quickly.
One of the things that has been keeping me busy over the last few months, has been my artist Bootcamp assignments from the makeartthatsells online course.
February's assignment was 'Tea'
Anyone that knows me knows I'm a huge teapot!
I drink copious amounts of tea per day, so this assignment was just my cup of tea (Aghh...sorry)
Anyway, for the main assignment it was to paint an illustration for 'Tea Leaf Reading'.
Fond memories of my favourite Aunt came flooding back to me.
My Aunt was quite a fun loving character and always up for a laugh.
Now I'm not saying that tea leaf reading isn't serious for some, but the vision of my Aunt bent over a china teacup with her face so serious, relaying someones future tickled me, but her readings were very popular.
I personally believed every single word she said!
I was probably under the age of 10 at the time.
Here's my design...
Did you know that the art of tea leaf reading is called 'Tasseography,' because I certainly didn't.

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(This is my mock up practice ... with the help of my son)
Right... I'm off to make a cuppa with loose tea leaves.
Who knows, I may have the gift of fortune telling?
I'll have to see if I can see anything in my future.
Have a great weekend.

A Hug in a Mug

There's something very reassuring about having a cup of hot tea.
Maybe it's my British upbringing or maybe it stems back to my Grandmother introducing me to tea from an early age. I remember how thrilled I was one day, when she poured a little of her tea from her china cup, into her saucer to let me take a sip.
I knew it was frowned upon and maybe that's why it tasted all the more sweeter.
I've never lost that love of tea, from my first cup in a morning brought to me by my hubby, copious amounts during the day, to my last one of the evening.
I even copied my father and put three spoonfuls of sugar in my cup in my teenage years.
Obviously, the calorie intake wasn't given a thought back then... if Dad did it... it must be right! 
I now happy to say I have no sugar... (I'm sweet enough without...haha) and haven't taken any for years.
We've travelled extensively and when living in the tropics, one of my top priorities was to take my own tea bags in my luggage.
Even though I'm a huge tea drinker, I can't seem to take to herbal or flavoured tea for some reason. I wish I could because I feel I'm missing out!
I did drink black coffee in my early working career... perhaps I needed the full hit of caffeine back then, but as soon as I became pregnant with my daughter, I had to stop... I tried to drink it after, but when pregnant with my son I had to gave it up again.
I really haven't started again since, preferring my cuppa instead.

When the #MakeArtThatSells mini assignment for last week's Bootcamp was to draw/paint anything to do with tea... I was thrilled.
The only trouble with having a topic that is a favourite, means you can be overwhelmed with all of the prospects and it took me a few days to actually start to put something down on paper.
I thought with being here in Scotland, I'd tip my cap to Scottish Blend and create a Hug in a Mug design.
I hope you like it.

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I painted the design in watercolours and then tried to use Photoshop once again to create the shadow, background, title and signature. 
Oh boy... I have such a lot to learn.
To say I'm on a steep learning curve is a slight understatement... but I'm determined to keep working in Photoshop, so that it will become second nature and not like flying an A380!
If you have any tips or helpful advice I'd be interested in hearing from you.

I hope you are having a fun weekend with plenty of tea drinking!
Thanks for visiting :D