I’m Hip

Experimental illustrated 'poster' for jazz artist Blossom Dearie - by Holly Stroud of Witchcrafty Illustration

Every Saturday night
With my suit buttoned tight and my suedes on
I’m gettin’ my kicks
Watchin’ arty French flicks with my shades on

Last year I posted an ink sketch from a Skillshare project I was working on, to design a ‘band poster’. I chose to represent jazz artist Blossom Dearie. This is as far as I got with it – it was fun to play around with manipulating my ink sketches and marks in Photoshop. The piano keys were ink smeared on with a coffee stirring stick.

The class was ‘Posters with Le Doux‘, and is a good one for learning about how to create images suitable for screen printing.

To my knowledge, Blossom never had pink hair; which seems rather a missed opportunity. But she did sing this delightfully wry song.

Sketches from Cerne Abbas Open Gardens 2015

An iris (left); lavender (right); and some other flower-type thing (centre).

On Sunday I visited the little village of Cerne Abbas, in Dorset, for their annual Open Gardens weekend. Every year, the more horticulturally-minded of the village’s residents (who are probably in the majority) open their gardens to the public; and if I can, I go along and take my sketchbook. This year, I decided to try my hand at adding some watercolour to the mix.

Lupin; leaves with flowers; flower with leaves. There are gardens filled with fragrant roses in every shade you can think of; beautifully manicured lawns; tangly moss-covered fruit trees; and some interesting improvised water features.

A flower arrangement in the church hall. And a pink flower what I do not know what it is called.

There is also tea and cake, served in the village church, to revive you after the tiring work of looking at pretty flowers.

Rose that looks like it was spattered with paint. It wasn't my fault. The image above, on the far left, is a rose that looks like it has been spattered with bright pink paint. Of course I had to draw it. Even though the resulting sketch slightly resembles the kind of tissue you might have on hand during a mild nosebleed.

Book Illustration Short Course at Chelsea College of Art: Day One

Statue of a man surfing on a dragon

Here be dragons: a statue outside Tate Britain – right next door to where I’m studying

I have embarked on an interesting adventure of sorts – a trip to London, and a week-long course in Book Illustration (not just children’s books, mind, but any and all varieties). It’s at Chelsea College of Arts (now part of University of the Arts London), and I’m working right next door to Tate Britain – allowing for interesting lunch breaks spent exploring the galleries.

I have already succeeded in getting on the wrong underground train and going back to the station I started from; garbling my introduction to the rest of the class and basically telling them I am rubbish; and spending perhaps too long in the planning stage of my ‘first day’ quick project, leaving a lot of work to finish overnight. Time to get on with it!