Monthly Archives: July 2016

The Art of Botanical Illustration

This weekend I undertook a masterclass in botanical illustration that looked specifically at peaches, plums, pomegranates, figs and cherries.


The tutor showed us example works of artists such as Maria van Huysum, William Hooker and Redoute for inspiration. As well as giving demonstrations and scientific information.

A few bits of information regarding botanical art:

  • There are four basic shapes in botanical illustration: sphere, cone, cup and tube/cylinder.
  • Botanical illustration is mainly drawn on either white paper, ivory paper or vellum. The type of paper that we were using is called hot press watercolour paper 300gsm.
  • There should be a constant light source.


Here is the colour palette we were working from. We were painting the outside of the fruit. However, the fruit is cut open as it is the colour on the inside that actually helps to inform what the first base layer of paint should be. Then the colours our layered up from the lightest to the darkest hue.


I was concentrating on drawing and painting the peach. Starting with a base layer of yellow, then orange, red, purple.


The whole class displayed their work to discuss and see what one another had achieved in the lesson.


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Thomas Hawkins at South Kensington

My noose illustration from The Last Confessions of Thomas Hawkins hardback jacket design is used for the paperback poster. (The paperback cover is not my design.) I spotted this at South Kensington station on my way home from the Natural History Museum.


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Rowan Hisayo Buchanan Reads Harmless Like You!

We were lucky enough to have Rowan Hisayo Buchanan come to read Harmless Like You in the office a few weeks ago.

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Plus an added bonus to this, there was a Q&A session with the editor Francine Toon too. It was really interesting to get a further insight into the characters and themes. Also it reminded me just how much I LOVED reading this amazing book all over again!

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It was lovely to have a chat with Rowan and she also signed a copy of my proof.

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Series Redesign of Joyce Meyer’s Most Popular Collection

I recently redesigned five of Joyce Meyer’s most popular books and worked with Jessie Ford who has done a brilliant job illustrating these. The aim was to create covers with simple, bold, graphic shapes/objects (fairly abstract) with interesting textures applied. Jessie’s illustrations give the kind of bright, warm and positive feeling I wanted to convey.

All of the covers can be viewed on my website. But just thought I’d share a photo of four of the books lined up on my shelf. (Most of these books publish in June but one is in August hence the missing book.)


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Bookshop in July 2016

I spotted my design and illustration for the The High Places hardback edition in the shops. I’m particularly proud of this one, so it was a joy to see it out in the big bad world…And orange is so the colour right now!

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Creative Camping

I recently went on a trip to Kent for a weekend described as ‘half adventure camp, half music festival’. There were lots of practical activities to participate in such as sport, science, engineering…There was even time to get artistic. This is my first ever attempt at creating a piece of handmade acrylic jewellery.


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