Whatever The Weather

This article is a little look into how I develop a piece of artwork. From a simple sketch to a finished piece. I guess it all starts with an image in my head, or an idea from something someone might say and ‘Real Friends Whatever The Weather’ was an idea I had about our friends standing by us, whatever the situation.

In the two pencil sketches above you can see the first form is me trying to decide what Mavis’ body might move like when she is stretching to hang out the washing. I particularly like her rounded bottom cheeks, they just tickled me when I sketched them out. But without knowing what is underneath your clothing it is hard to make the clothing look like it fits.

The pencil sketch on the right hand side is the form developed in much more detail, down to the little mouse I always draw in every Mavis piece of artwork so the viewer can search it out. This is my small ode to ‘The Mouseman of Kilburn’. An amazing British furniture maker who always added a mouse to his work. I remember growing up in a little village in Yorkshire, called Aberford. And the church gates had a little mouse on them. I used to be fascinated by it and as I got older and wiser, became aware of its history and significance.

Anyway back to our Mavis…

Once the sketch is finished on my thin layout paper, I then transfer the image onto watercolour paper using a lightbox. Lightboxes are awesome and soooo simple. Its just a box that illuminates and you lay your layout paper over the top of it, and then place your watercolour paper over that to draw things through. That way you don’t waste expensive watercolour paper rubbing out a thousand times. That’s a tip I got from one of my illustrator heroes Sir Quentin Blake, from a little video he did on the web, not from when I was having afternoon tea with him or anything….which would be very awesome indeed!

Real Friends Whatever The Weather is a watercolour print of a characterful, rotund lady who loves dogs. As the wind blows the dogs ears around she tries to hang the washing out. Mavis hangs out the dog toys and her polka dot bloomers. The dogs sit in the wicker washing basket and the tiny mouse is in her apron. She wears an apron with cherries on and blue jeans and grey tshirt. A peg is in her mouth as she fights against the blowing wind.
Mavis in watercolours

Finally I build up the colours. With Mavis I have tried to stick to a similar colour palette for every piece. This is so they tie together visually and may encourage a customer to buy the pictures as a pair or a set of matching four. This was a tip from a lovely lady called Lesley I work with in Pomfret Art Gallery. Lesley is very clever and a talented seamstress.

Real Friends Whatever The Weather is a watercolour print of a characterful, rotund lady who loves dogs. As the wind blows the dogs ears around she tries to hang the washing out. Mavis hangs out the dog toys and her polka dot bloomers. The dogs sit in the wicker washing basket and the tiny mouse is in her apron. She wears an apron with cherries on and blue jeans and grey tshirt. A peg is in her mouth as she fights against the blowing wind.
Colour Wheel and colour palette notes for Mavis

I now make sure I write down the colour palettes for work I create as a collection as I can guarantee you will not remember them after one sleep. That’s a tip I learnt from me, after I slept and forgot! Doh!

I hope you have enjoyed this Sketch Book Article…you can subscribe to receive future articles too.

To buy Mavis and her Real Friends Whatever The Weather please visit here

To discover Mavis and her ‘Real Friends’ Click Here

If you want to have a look at some of my previous work Click Pet Portraits Here

Go to Facebook and message directly with any enquiries too or art advice. If I can help I certainly will.

Real Friends Whatever The Weather is a watercolour print of a characterful, rotund lady who loves dogs. As the wind blows the dogs ears around she tries to hang the washing out. Mavis hangs out the dog toys and her polka dot bloomers. The dogs sit in the wicker washing basket and the tiny mouse is in her apron. She wears an apron with cherries on and blue jeans and grey tshirt. A peg is in her mouth as she fights against the blowing wind.
Real Friends Whatever The Weather | Limited Edition Print

To buy Mavis and her Real Friends Whatever The Weather please visit here

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