Feeling inspired after Stylist Live yesterday where I stumbled across the work of Ros Shier, I decided to practice sketching dogs today.

Having not drawn properly in ages there was a point where I wondered if I could actually draw life like animals. I tend to mainly draw cartoon creatures and the last time I drew anything at all was at a life drawing class over summer.

The first below picture is the point at which I got over my moment of panic. Before that, the drawing was merely lines and started to take on a ‘cartoon-like’ shape. I stared at the page for a while doubting if I could even finish it.

I began to draw more freely and stoped trying to be so sharp with features (especially eyes). After a few minutes of sketching fur things looked a lot better. 



I decided to put the little drawing in a frame and hopefully it will encourage me to sketch more.



I went to the Stylist Live event in Islington yesterday and bought this beautiful greyhound print by Ros Shiers.

Her stand had an amazing collection of dog prints (amongst other things!) and I probably stood there for about 15 minutes trying to decide which one to get. 

I chose this print because I have a real soft spot for greyhounds and whippets. Ever since I saw a beautiful greyhound cross called Mollie at Battersea I have wanted to adopt one of these delicate creatures. They just have the saddest eyes and I want to wrap them up in blankets to stop them shivering!

As I can’t have a dog right now, I have decided to fill my room with as many dog related pieces as possible.

This new print is placed right above my bed 💛

I bought two colouring books the other day.     
There’s just something about colouring and drawing that I find really relaxing and therapeutic. All your daily thoughts about work and life seem to float away as you decide what a shade of red an owl’s plumage should be!

  
I picked up Tropical Wonderland, which is full of designs of leaves, flowers, plants and animals. I also got a little handbag sized book called The Mindfulness Coluring Book.

I have seen such a vast selection of colouring books in bookstores lately – from those about nature and animals to Harry Potter colouring books and The Hipster Colouring Book.

Colouring books have featured heavily in the top 10 non fiction charts this year tapping into the ‘Peter Pan’ market for nostalgia.
Animal Kingdom, has sold more than 320,000 copies in the UK alone this year making it the fourth best-selling book of the year and No 1 for 2015 at Amazon… where four of the top 10 titles are adult colouring books!
There’s also some Christmas themed colouring books which I really want to get my mitt(en)s on. Mulled wine optional.

  
What do you think? Have you bought any colouring books or have any to recommend?

 

I recently went to a writers event hosted by Grazia and Baileys. The lovely Emma Healey, author of Elizabeth is Missing, was there to give advice on writing a novel and her own experiences.

I bought a copy of her book at the event (and got it signed – yay!). I am currently on page 68 and can’t put it down. The novel is beautifully written and I have been captivated since page one.

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Aside from the enthralling writing, I adore the book cover and art work for this novel.

London based artist/illustrator Steph von Reiswitz is responsible for the wonderful imagery. I have checked out her website since and love her style. I know they say ‘never judge a book by its cover’ but if I was judging the below then I would give it all my stars!

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Just as an FYI, ELLE Book Club’s next event features Emma as their author of the month. I went to their last event and highly recommend it!

You can read more about book clubs over on my other blog, Blink and You’ll Miss.

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The creator of Spot the Dog, Eric Hill (pictured right), died this week aged 86. Growing up I remember loving his books and Spot’s adventures. I would relish the chance to see what this little puppy got up to. I was a huge fan of pop-up books, books with texture… pretty much anything that had something I could engage with aside from text/pictures! Even now, I sometimes wish their were more (any?) pop-up books for grown-ups…

“Eric’s ingenious lift-the-flap device turned the reading of a Spot book into a glorious game of hide and seek, enjoyed by children and adults alike,” said his publisher Puffin Books.

While working in London as a freelance graphic designer, one of Eric’s jobs involved an advertising ‘flyer’ design, which had a flap covering part of a funny picture. He showed the design to his two year old son Christopher who loved seeing the flap lift up to disclose the funny picture underneath. He fulfilled his nightly task of bedtime reading by making up stories to amuse him which spurred him on to do a book, this of course turned out to be ‘Where’s Spot?’. Spot was an instant hit and the series of books has now been translated into more than 60 languages and made into films and a TV show.

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Eric’s publisher, Puffin, described him as “a master of simple design. He created one of the world’s most loveable children’s book characters – Spot, the charming, naughty, playful puppy, loved and appreciated across the world”.

You can read an interview with Eric HERE.

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I came across this pic of amazing Meg and Mog nail art recently and it brought back memories of reading the books as a child!

The books written by Helen Nicoll and illustrated by Jan Pienkowski. They were first published back in the 1970s and are about Meg, a witch whose spells always seem to go wrong, her striped cat Mog, and their friend Owl.

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I loved Mog!

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Oh what have we got here? Yet another cat sketch. I guess I like cats…

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Sorry this poor little blog has been a bit neglected of late! I will be back to regular posting very soon! All has been a bit manic and I haven’t found enough time to draw… going to take up some more classes soon to get me back on track!

In the meantime, I have recently discovered Pusheen the Cat – check out how cute this illustrations are!

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Love a good cat illustration! Pusheen also has a book coming out soon too… so Santa take note!

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dogsad

So… It has been a few weeks (!) since my last blogpost. I am a bad blogger. I actually haven’t been drawing as much as I’d like lately… hence the lack of posting.

I have a new summer resolution to get back into blogging – what used to be a twice weekly thing for me has gotten neglected due to work and general life!

Today was a dull, cloudy day in London (unlike back home in Ireland where a mini heatwave seems to be happening!) so I decided to draw a sad cartoon dog.

Here is a three stage breakdown:

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Inspiration from the sketch came from Cartoon Cool by Christopher Hart.

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So I have been a little MIA for the last while… but I am back! Here is my SOTW for this week. Just fancied drawing a cute cartoon-y cat!

Meow – have a cat-tastic weekend.

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