Category Archives: Uncategorized

Hedgehogs and English Robins

Peter Caldwell in his work, “Pen and Ink Sketching“, states, “learning to leave out as much detail as possible, without depriving the picture too much, is to be applauded. Rather than draw every little detail which would decidedly overdo rather than enhance the drawing. It is better to suggest the appropriate gesture: a few bricks in a wall, a mere indication of slates on a roof and only the minimum amount of leaves on the tree or foliage. The imagination is far more capable of filling in the remaining spaces and indeed needs to exercise itself in this way, thereby giving the artist and the viewer far greater satisfaction. The “golden rule” then, is simply to indicate in the white spaces in the drawing what these spaces represent or contain overall.  Where then does this ‘suggestion’ go in order to gain the maximum effect? Concentrate the suggested textures around the edges of the object. This helps focus the eye more on the shape of the object rather than the centre of it – the shape is more interesting than the middle.”

I am attempting to practice this “suggestion” drawing with the hedgehog quills.


Quilt squares avaliable in shop


Adult coloring pages

Coloring is not just for kids any more. Adult coloring is a popular way to have a little “art therapy” at home. Not officially therapy, but just a way to possible reduce anxiety and help bring focus to the mind. And it’ s fun!

There are many pages available to download – I have added a few of my own creation –


Illustration Topic “shoes”

I illustrated for an author a while back who needed a graphic of a pair of shoes. After the first rough draft she wanted to change the shoes to look used and worn out. She also wanted the buckles to be replaced with ties. This is a good example of the illustration process I use when working with an author on their book project to reach the graphic they are envisioning.

Dott’s shoes rough draft #1

Dott’s shoes rough draft #2

Dot’s shoes Final drawing in pen and ink

Quiet Book with Bible Theme

Now available in my Etsy store, a hand made busy book to use with young children when quiet play is desired. The theme is God is the creator of all we see around us – using flowers, birds, insects in different activities to increase logic and fine motor skills. Fabric, felt, zipper, buttons, beads and sequins along with hand and machine stitching make a colorful and attractive soft toy book.


Illustration Friday topic “spiral”

The prompt ‘spiral’ of course makes one think of a snail or the golden ratio or Fibonacci’s Spiral, of which by the way, I have some amazing pins:

But I thought the candy cane also has a spiral as its trademark and is in keeping with the season:



Illustration Friday topic “soup”

My contribution this week for the “Soup” topic is the Bird’s Nest Soup.

“Bird’s nest soup is a soup made from the nest of a kind of cave dwelling swift.

The nests used for the soup are made by the edible-nest swiftlet. These birds live primarily in large limestone caves on islands . . . in Southeast Asia.

The nests are about the size and hardness of teacups; are essentially made from hardened saliva mixed with feathers, grass and twigs; and look like congealed strands of vermicelli.

Bird’s nests are a multi-billion dollar business in Asia.

The edible-nest swiftlet often build their nest in the most inaccessible of places: on the roofs and upper walls of high caves and even overhangs. These are harvested by men that sometimes climb hundreds of feet up to roofs of flimsy bamboo and rattan ropes and scaffolding. The men use special knives and three-pronged tweezers to cut and pull the nests off the cave walls. To get to some caves they have to swim through underwater tunnels, shimmy down vines from cliff tops.”       Swiftlet and Bird’s Nest Soup



Illustrations featured at a cultural institute in Germany

Couple of years ago I illustrated a book called ‘Rennefarre’ for Malve von Hassell who had translated this previously successful work from her homeland of Germany into English. My brother, Charles, helped me greatly by doing some photography with his daughter, Brianna, modeling for this project.
Recently, I received word from Reinhart Richter from Germany who set up a small cultural institute in the town of Havelberg. He held an event featuring this book originally written by Tamara Ramsay, since portions of it took place in Havelberg. After receiving permission from Malve and myself he included samples of my drawings at the event displayed together with a copy of the newly translated book. Here are some photos of that event:

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