Category Archives: Uncategorized

Sunrises and starry skies

For the last few months, I’ve been starting my week by posting golden sunrises and starry skies on my instagram.

I love being able to be free and loose with my paintings which is something I can’t do when I’m illustrating characters!

lake forest sunset

Through these landscapes I’ve also been looking for inspiration for travel. Me and the boyf are hoping to go on our first holiday in over 4 years (4 YEARS, so long!) next year and we cannot decide where to go.

mountains sunrise

Do we go for a big holiday, one of the ones we’ve always dreamed of? Or is that too much pressure for the first holiday in years? Should we do a warm-up-holiday, that gets us ready for the big holiday a year (or a few years…) later?

ely sunrise

Do we stay in Europe? Do we go further afield? Do we go lazy beach days or cultural exploration? Ahh so many decisions… I think by the time we finally decide, we’ll definitely be in need of a decent holiday, wherever we end up going!

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Yeay, new cards!

Woo hoo, finally, I’ve added some new cards in my etsy shop!

This week, I’m adding 9 new cards to the shop, with another 12 to be added next week!

On top of that, in order to make room for all this new stock, I’ve put some older cards on sale, as well as adding some multi buy options to the shop, all of which can be found in my special offers section!

Ooooh, and I redid all of my product photography – it’s all change!

So, without further ado, here are the new cards launching this week:

cheers1

Cheers! 

fungi1

Thanks for being such a fungi!

tee-rrific1

Tee-rrific Dad

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Wonderful Mum, penguins

mum ring1

Wonderful Mum, flowers

otters1

Updated otterly adorable card – will be in the shop on Friday!

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Elephant cuddles – will be in the shop on Friday!

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Panda snuggles – will be in the shop on Friday!

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Party sheep – will be in the shop on Friday!

Woo! I’m so excited to get these all in the shop this week! I’d love to hear which one is your favourite! Mine has got to be the party sheep, it’s been in my sketchbook for years, I’m so glad it finally gets to strut it’s stuff in the real world!

Tune in next week for the next etsy update :)

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Mermaid mural

Earlier this month, following the fun of MerMay, I found myself being volunteered to paint a mermaid mural!

I was nervous, to say the least.

Firstly, I’m very much a watercolour artist. A dabble or two with gouache is about as adventurous as my paintings get, and this was going to require never-used-before acrylics!

Secondly, I’m very self conscious about my artwork. You may have noticed a lack of videos or photos of my works in progress, I just know I would mess it up if I have a camera on me, and this was going to be in a hallway with people constantly walking past! On top of that, I would be with my Mum, who taught me everything I know about art and is an amazing artist – no pressure…

Thirdly, my art is all quite small, normally A4 is about as large as it gets, so a wall is a pretty huge canvas!

Fourthly, it was for my lovely Gran, I did not want to mess it up!

So, me and Mum arrived with shiny new brushes and paints on one of the hottest days of the year to paint a little mermaid themed wall mural. We decided that Mum would do a bright, bold and beautiful sun and I would do the mermaid.

As I stood there with my pencil in hand, I had absolutely no idea where to start, not a clue. I was so nervous about getting it wrong, that I couldn’t figure out where to begin.

Luckily, Mum came to the rescue! She sketched out a shape for a rock for the mermaid to sit on and started to outline the mermaid tail. Once Mum had made those first few marks, I could finally see how it would and should look. I put my pencil to the wall and got sketching.

Mum, the fearless artist that she is, went straight in with the acrylics for the sun.

Gran wall 1

As Mum happily added yellows, oranges, reds and whites to the sun, I finished the sketch and finally moved on to the paints.

Honestly, I think it would have been easier to sketch over the whole wall rather than try to wrangle these acrylics into place – my gosh I found them so hard to use! Give me lovely watercolours any day! Then again, it’s not often you can draw and paint on walls without being told off by your Mum.

Gran wall 3

As we carried on painting, passers by stopped to have a look, offer us much-needed ice lollies and I’m happy/relieved to say, they all said nice things while we were in earshot!

By the time Mum had finished the sun and added three cute little white seagull v’s to the right hand side of the sky (which are weirdly, my favourite bit of the mural!), I was still mid-mermaid, so Mum made a start on the final part, our seaweed covered rock.

Gran wall 4

It took Mum as much time to do the rock as it did for me to finish the mermaid, and with that, we were finally done!

Gran wall 2

It was so lovely to spend the afternoon painting with Mum and although the mermaid isn’t perfect, she’s pretty cute! Mum’s sun is so bright and cheerful, and the subtle seagulls really make me smile! It was definitely worth being pushed out of my comfort zone to do it.

Although, I must confess, I made sure the acrylics went home with Mum rather than me!

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Mermay 2017

Now that we are well into June, here’s a round up of my Mermay 2017 posts.

Starting with an oldie, my mermaid and squishy jellyfish friend! I really need to come up with a better name for this illustration, please any suggestions are welcome!

mermaid and jellyfish1

I have this design printed on a little tote bag, and it’s so adorable, I think it’s my favourite! If you’re curious, you can find the tote bag here along with prints, stickers, cards and travel mugs.

The below sketch of a shower mermaid style is probably my least favourite one, but I couldn’t leave her out!

showering mermaid style

So far, I haven’t added her to my redbubble shop, but if she’s lucky, she might sneak into my next batch of uploads!

Next, we have otter snuggles!

mermaid and otter

This one will definitely be added to my redbubble shop soon!

Now, we have a sweet sea horse friend!

mermaid and seahorse

I really enjoyed getting carried away with her watery hair, but my favourite bit has to be that pink cutie! They’ll be added to redbubble soon with the otter snuggles.

Finally, my first and original mermaid!

mermaid monday

You may have seen her on one of my mugs, which you can find here along with all the usual paper-y suspects!

It’s been great having my instagram feed filled with mermaids, but I’m quite happy to wait until next May for it to happen again!

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May days

May is my favourite month of the year.

Obviously, I am a little bit biased, seeing as it’s my birthday month, and I did have a very lovely birthday!

balloon girl

No parties this year (phew), but I did have two massages in 2 days and along with some lovely presents, I bought myself a super cute pair of sparkly trainers!

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Anyway, May is my favourite month as Spring is in full swing and Summer is on it’s way, and to take full advantage of that, at the start of the month we finally got our garden sorted!

This was the garden on the day we got the keys, 30th September:

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The garden* hadn’t been touched since April, when the house went on the market (*at this point, I think calling it a garden is a bit generous).

Luckily, knowing our lack of garden skills, my mum and stepdad helped tackle all of the bushes and the lawn* (again, I think using the word lawn is a bit generous), and so this was our glorious garden in April, after 6months of doing nothing:

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(bonus points if you can spot both cats)

A few highlights to note:

1. The falling down fence on the righthand side, 2. The hideous pale brown mess that used to be a lawn, 3. The weird central flowerbed, 4. The ugly and slippery sleepers, 5. The tiny, weirdly shaped patio, with equally tiny, pointless wall, 6.The strange piles of rubble dotted around the garden

Me and the boyf had spent an entire weekend on just that silly, central flowerbed by this point and we realised that we would need a bit of help if we wanted to use the garden this year.

Cue a very green fingered and patient gardener and two quick and skilled carpenters and in just over two weeks, it became:

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A real garden!

Look! It’s green! It’s healthy! It’s stripy!

It’s now 3 weeks later, and it’s still green and healthy, no plant deaths yet and the sun has come out in force! We can’t wait to finally be able to have people round to enjoy the Summer in our cute (and importantly, easy to maintain!) garden.

Right, the sun is still shining, so if you need me, I’ll be in the garden.

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The month of nothing going to plan!

I had so many plans for April!

I would develop some new card designs, I’d start selling art prints and I’d update the whole of my etsy shop with new, bright and colourful photography.

As I’m sure you have guessed by now, as always, nothing has quite gone to plan!

It wasn’t a total loss, I did manage to experiment a little bit more with some digital art, which I am really enjoying:

flower girl

and I did manage to scoff lots of delicious chocolates, thanks to the generosity of the Easter bunny (and family and friends)!

digi easter bunny

On the theme of chocolatey delicious-ness, I came across the most adorable photo on Instagram and had to capture it in my sketchbook:

milkshake

However, this doesn’t make up for the fact I missed out on all my etsy April goals!

My new card designs are still just rough sketchy scribbles in my sketchbook, I only managed to collect my art prints from the printers yesterday, and finally, I’m not convinced that my new etsy photos (which took me a whole day to photograph and edit) are actually better than my current ones!

comparison2  OR  comparison1

comparison4  OR  comparison3

I really can’t decide, so please let me know what you think!

And as many of you know, it just so happens to be my birthday this week, so enjoy 29% off in my etsy store until midnight on Sunday with the code: BIRTHDAY29

Here’s to a more productive May!

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March sketches

Another month down and I’m still writing 2016 everywhere!

This month seems to have flown by without me spending much time with my watercolours. Instead, I’ve been sketching and using the computer to edit photos and experiment with some digital art.

Here’s a few of the sketches from the last few months.

paddington

‘I’ll never be like other people, but that’s alright, because I’m a bear.’ Paddington Bear

Queenie

‘But I made ‘em cocoa.’ Queenie Goldstein from Fantastic beasts and where to find them

zoe and shadow

This is a sketch for a story idea I have been thinking about, with a girl called Zoe and her puss cat Shadow.

best friends sketch

and this is one of my favourite sketches, a Fox and the Hound style boy and his best friend!

Now to dig out the watercolours!

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One year on etsy

My etsy shop turns one today! Happy etsy-birthday to me!

In celebration of my first year, use discount code BRturns1 for 15% off my etsy shop until 14th April!

Now that we’ve celebrated, on to an honest look at my first year on etsy…

Sales: 61

If I’m completely truthful, I was hoping for more sales in my first year. I’m really pleased to be getting a steady order per week, but at this rate, it’ll never really be a success. I’m hoping that adding art prints to my shop will increase sales next year and I’m planning on redoing my product photography in the next few weeks to freshen up the shop!

If you have any suggestions for items you’d like to see in my shop, please let me know!

shop banner 2017 3360 x 840

Views: 1,431 item views 

This sounds like quite a lot, but averages out to less than 4 of my shop items being viewed a day! I really need to work on advertising and marketing my shop. I feel like I’m constantly talking about my shop, but looking at my social media, I don’t seem to mention it very much!

Would it annoy you to see more marketing from me about my shop?

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Best seller: Christmas card pack

Without a doubt, my Christmas card pack has been my top seller. I tried to get ahead of the game and started to design them in Summer, only to decide I didn’t really like them in Autumn, and then had to start from scratch (whilst moving house!). This year I’m hoping to be more organised, but no promises!

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Next best seller: Otterly adorable card

After the Christmas cards, my otterly adorable card has proved most popular. I think it’s been a keen boyfriend/girlfriend favourite!

otters square

Worst seller: Cakeday cards

I love my Happy Cakeday birthday cards, but it seems I’m in a party of one! Oh well, you can’t win them all!

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All in all, I’m so pleased I opened my etsy shop. I was so naive to begin with, thinking that all I would need to do is pop a few cards in the shop and then the sales would come rolling in – I was so wrong! It’s an endless process of self promotion, tweaking, creating new ideas and this is on top of the illustration, editing and artworking…

So, my first year has not quite gone as well as I had hoped, but I’ve learned a lot and now I know how much work it’ll take to build on these sales. On the bright side, 61 sales is far better than 6, so it’s a great starting point for year 2!

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ps. don’t forget, use code BRturns1 for 15% my shop until 14th April!

 

February update

February feels like it has gone in a flash!

At the start of the month, I was at home, really trying to focus on how to grow Bethany Robyn. I was prepping illustrations for redbubble, I was exploring options for art prints, and most importantly, I was spending my days with this impromptu set up, sprawled across the living room:

on my desk

However, for the last few weeks, I’ve been spending every day in a london office, wishing I’d made the most of those days from home and had started thinking about the redbubble and prints process a little earlier!

at the window

Thank you so much for all of  your suggestions for prints via facebook and instagram. Next week, I’ll narrow the choices down to the first 5 prints to order!

This one seems to be a popular choice:

winter mum and baby

I was really hoping the below illustration would be a contender, but it hasn’t even made the suggestion list – it just goes to show how the artists favourite is almost never the popular choice!

the spy

From next week onwards, I’ve got time again to focus on my art, so I’ll get stuck in to arranging these first prints, adding them to my etsy shop and increasing the designs available in my redbubble store! And even better than that, I’ll be able to get my paints out again!

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The art of procrastination

Sometimes, the more I try to focus on doing something worthwhile, the more I get distracted and end up doing something completely unproductive – but I’m sure this happens to most people, at least, I hope it does!

On one such unproductive afternoon, whilst avoiding doing anything useful and wanting to try something different, I sploshed lovely blue watercolour onto some log slices, added some cute twinkly stars, and ta dah, my starry nights trio!

starry slices 2

Ok, so there is a little more to it than sploshing the colours on – to start with, so so so many layers to get the lovely deep blues! But there isn’t too much more to it, which makes it so much fun :)

As a morning person (sort of), I wanted to try a few sunrises too, just to keep me on my toes!

sunrise slices

I don’t think these are quite as effective as the night sky, but I think with some more practice, these could look quite cute!

As I had so much fun with my night skies, I wanted to try some galaxy inspired pieces sneaking in some pink and purple splodges and I think these might be my favourites yet.

galaxy slices

I love these little starscapes! So pretty!

Next on my hit list are some constellation illustrations of the 12 star signs – starting with Taurus, of course!

I’m not quite sure what to do with these yet, possibly add them to my etsy shop, but for now I think they look pretty cute on my shelves. I’ve got a couple of logs drying in our kitchen almost ready to be sliced, so let me know if you think you’d be interested in buying some and I’ll get painting!

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