Tag Archives: Sketch

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.


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


‘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!


Summer round up

It looks like Summer is officially over for yet another year, but that does mean that Autumn is just around the corner.

This Summer, I was lucky enough to spend a lot of time at home painting and enjoying the sunshine (and rain showers!).


I designed and printed 16 new cards for my etsy store (go on, have a browse!), I painted 8 christmas card designs that I’m no longer keen on (typical!) and I’ve finally found my own painting style.


Well, hello there, indeed! I’ve been trying to figure out for so long what kind of style I wanted for my illustrations and I am so glad I’ve found it at last!


As a lover of childrens’ books, fairy tales and animated films, it’s surprising that it took me so long to realise that this is what would capture my imagination and give me most inspiration.


So now my sketchbooks are slowly filling up with cute and colourful illustrations of little ones on adventures, playing dress up and making friends. I share most of my favs on instagram, so follow me there for the latest illustrations!



A little etsy shop update

When I decided I wanted to open an etsy shop, I really hadn’t realised quite how much work was involved!

I’ve spent the last six weeks going round and round in circles trying to get a selection of cards ready to go and finally yesterday, I think I may have pressed the order button on the first batch of shop ready designs.

Fingers crossed, I’m hoping that by the end of next week I will be able to cut the metaphorical ribbon and open my shop to the big wide world!

In between days spent looking at endless logos and print outs of previous card designs, I also managed to do a few handmade cards.

feb cards

Among others, I did a valentine’s card for my cousin to give to her fiancé, and two thank you cards and a sheepy mother’s day card for a friend. It was good to take a break from looking at the same card illustrations over and over again!

One card design that didn’t make the final cut was this one:

flower jug

My first illustrations were too pale when I tried to use them in the cards and even after re-painting this one with bolder colours, I realised it was more jug than flowers – not what I was aiming for! The new flower design is probably one of my favourite cards, so it was definitely the right choice to start again from scratch, even if it felt like another step backwards.

On another break from the cards I did some quick robin sketches.


I did consider using one of these as part of my logo, but I couldn’t decide which, if any, of these was the Bethany robin – get it… Robyn/Robin… oh dear, I’m sorry, that was terrible. I still think they are pretty cute though so I might keep them in reserve in case I change my mind!

You may remember at the start of the year I shared an illustration of a girl reaching for bubbles? Inspired by the terrible weather so far this year, I drew her again but with a little friend this time.

keeping dry

Someone definitely worth sharing her umbrella with!

I hope you’re all staying warm and dry and I can’t wait to let you all know when my shop opens and see what you all think!


Work hard, relax hard – wait, that doesn’t sound right…

March began with a two week project in Geneva and ended with two glorious weeks relaxing at home. This was the first time I’d been onsite for 15 days and it felt like such a long time – I am definitely a homebody at heart!

Once the project got going, the production team left for home and I stayed on with the group of martial artists and a physio. The martial artists were all lovely and very different people and the physio was brilliant, keeping my spirits up and keeping me sane! As quite a shy person, spending a fortnight with a group of strangers was quite intimidating, but luckily (this is not the right word), we were all in such a small cosy room, we got to know each other very quickly and it taught me a few things about myself:

1. I should be less vocal about my love of all things Disney – it makes people think your head is filled with fluffy kittens and rainbows…

2. I will never be comfortable in business clothes – jeans for the win

3. I have an entirely impractical selection of shoes – the comfy ones don’t quite have the grip for walking on wooden ramps and the smart ones leave me with no feeling in my toes!

4. I should spend more time with groups of people my age – it turns out they are lots of fun

5. I am awful at quick fire questions – when asked what is the thing I use too much of and should live without, most people answered ‘mobile phone’ or ‘the internet’… I said moisturiser… seriously, who says that, it doesn’t even make sense?!

Anyway, here is a little sketch of the performance, just as the heroine beckons the baddies towards her so she can take them down! We had two female ninjas throughout the performance run and they were both so impressive and fierce, it was amazing to watch!

geneva 2015

So after two weeks of going bright red when answering any quick fire questions and losing my patience a few times with bad time keeping, the boyf met me at the airport and brought me home.

The plan for being back at home was to get back into a routine of yoga, reading blogs, painting and building on contacts for future projects… Two out of four isn’t too bad…

One of my favourite blogs that I wanted to catch up on was the Skunkboy blog, my sketch below is inspired by one of the Autumn outfits Katie wore last year. It’s such a cute blog, with crafts, fashion and little updates on her family life, and not least her gorgeous hairstyles, which I’m sure many of you will have seen on pinterest!

skunkboy inspired

Also, as the boyf was banned from watching any of my (numerous) tv shows while I was away, our planner was stacked, so I’ve spent quite a few pyjama days indulging on everything I’ve missed! One that I’ve especially enjoyed is Indian Summers, about British rule in India in the 1930s. I’ve found the storyline pretty addictive and I love the 30s fashion. This sketch is inspired by one of the characters, Leena, and admittedly it looks a little like a passport photo, but I thought I’d share it anyway!

indian summers

Now that I’m fully recuperated after 2 weeks of (let’s be honest) laziness, I’m determined to be more productive with my days at home. I’m hopefully working on a project with another agency in the coming weeks, (which I am beyond excited about!) and I have projects pencilled in until the end of the year, so now that I don’t have to worry too much about finding work, I am going to fill my home-days with some painting projects to share on the blog!

So, hopefully we can expect some more regular illustration updates both here and on my Facebook page!

Finally, here is the painted version of a sketch I shared in the January post – I normally do sketching and painting in separate batches, so sketches can go naked for weeks before seeing any paint!


jan bench

A new year, a new approach to blogging

Last year I tried a 52 week challenge, blogging weekly about what I’d been up to – it was hard! It turns out that illustrations of me binge-watching Supernatural are both uninteresting and hard to draw, leading me to quietly give up around week 18.

I realised that I blog to share my illustrations (contact me if you like what you see and you want one of your own!), to connect with people that I don’t see regularly (hello long distance friends and family) and hopefully to connect with new people.

This year, I’m going to post monthly, around the last Wednesday of every month, sharing a bit more about myself and multiple illustrations and use my facebook page and instagram for smaller updates throughout the month. So, here we go…

Now that Christmas is a distant memory, I can share one of the illustrations I did as a present for my friend to give to her niece.

jan ella

This is the fifth name illustration I’ve done and it’s one of my favourites, just because of the cute toadstools! I love doing these name illustrations, I remember getting one from one of my mum’s friends when I was younger and it felt so special that it had my name on.

I’ve been drawing quite a few little animal illustrations over the last few months, although I’m not entirely sure what to do with them! I drew one the other week, inspired by the Roald Dahl Esio Trot film on the tv over Christmas.

jan tortoise

I hope you had the chance to see it (maybe it’s still on catch up?), it was such a lovely film! I watched it snuggled up on the sofa with the kittens (the boyf was at football) and it was one of those films that give you a warm happy feeling inside! I’m hoping that in true BBC fashion, they’ll have it on tv again next Christmas!

Over the last few months I’ve been trying to create a selection of post cards based on the Norfolk Broads and I have been hit with the most unhelpful painters block (I’m sure that’s totally a thing) and aIl I’ve managed to do so far is a little illustration of the cutest door stop I’ve ever seen.

jan duck

And as lovable as this little duck doorstop is, I’m not really sure what I can do with him (it’s wearing a bow tie thing, so obvs a boy) to make a postcard?! Every so often I sit down with my pencils and paints and try again to create something I can use for these postcards and more often than not, the page stays blank and I get extra wrinkles from frowning at the sketchbook.

If anyone has any ideas on solving painters block or what I can do with my duck, please get in touch!

As I’ve been focusing on Christmas requests, non-successful postcards and little animals in general, I seem to have drifted away from the girly illustrations that filled my first few sketchbooks when I got back into painting.

jan bench

They haven’t disappeared completely, but they are definitely less frequent in my latest sketchbooks. Perhaps I’m going through a small animal phase? or perhaps I’ve run out of interesting girls to sketch?

So this has been rather a long post, thank you if you made it this far! I promise they won’t always be quite so ramble-y once I get back into the swing of things!

I would love to hear what you think on my illustrations, cures for painters block, and on the new monthly plan, so please get in touch on my facebook page (comments sections on the blog attract way too much spam!).

To celebrate a new year and new blog approach, I’d like to leave you with my final illustration: party sheep.


jan sheep

ps. apologies if there are any typos, I’ve been dancing to the new Fall Out Boy album as I type 🙂

Photos to make you go awwww

The whole point of this post is just to make you go awww, and possibly, make you all a little jealous of my beautiful little kittens.

I know I did a series of posts focused on different ideas of happiness, but I think I’ve found the true root of happiness, and it comes in the form of adorable bundles of mini cats with wide blue eyes, pointy little tails and chubby tummies and legs.

I won’t hold you in suspense for too long, I’m just not that cruel. So without further ado, some awwwww-inducing photos, one from the day after they were born and a couple from this week – look how they’ve grown!

kittens 3wks

Look at their little faces!

So for me, this week everything is just coming up kittens, even in my sketchbook!

kitten sketch

Right, well I’d better go save the kittens from launching themselves off the sofa 🙂

Hope you’ve all had a great, if wet, bank holiday!


New arrivals

This week we welcomed 4 adorable new arrivals to our home!

After weeks of watching the kitten (or should that be cat now?) get bigger and bigger and more and more uncomfortable, in the wee hours of Wednesday morning, the mini kittens finally arrived!

I was so excited! I still am now 🙂

It’s so typical that she waited until we were back at work to have the kittens, if it wasn’t so busy at work, I’d’ve tried to work from home!

So every evening so far has been spent watching the mini kittens, as they scrabble around in their box and this weekend I thought I’d see whether I could capture their cuteness in pencil… turns out, the wriggling is not helpful and tiny kittens look a lot like hamsters…

kitten sketches

These were a few practice sketches (you can see where they moved before I got a chance to finish the sketch!) and below is the final inked version.

kittens inkCats and kittens are hard to draw, but I’m super pleased that have weeks and weeks ahead of me to keep practicing!

Hope you’re having a great weekend.




Playing to your strengths

Everybody has things they are good at, things they hope they can get better at and things that just quite simply aren’t their thing.

Music definitely falls into that third category for me. I have about the same musical skill as the kitten – I can do noisy wailing, but that’s about it. I’m banned from singing in the car if the boyf is with me, I was held back a year for recorder (I’m not even joking) and I struggle to air drum in time to the beat.

If I did have any musical talent at all, then I think I would have liked to play a string instrument, such as the violin or the cello, they make such beautiful music, and look so graceful and elegant.


However, I’m happy to admit that this is the closest I will get to being able to create anything lovely with a violin and just because I’m banned from singing in the car when the boyf is around, it doesn’t mean I don’t sing my heart out as soon as I’m on my own!

Sometimes it just doesn’t matter whether you’re good at something, as long as you’re enjoying it!


A little thank you on Father’s Day

This Father’s Day I want to start by saying that I am very lucky to have two wonderful father figures in my life.

You would be hard pressed to find two more dissimilar men than my Dad and Stepdad, but they have both been there for me throughout my life, making me feel very loved and supported on every step of my journey so far.

They have taught me about some of the important things in life, such as the value of money and the importance of going out there and living your life, as well as the little things that end up just as vital, such as how to put up a shelf or a tent.One thing that they both brought into my life is a love of football! I grew up watching it on the TV, watching my dad play and coach on a Saturday and my stepdad referee every weekend, so it has always been a part of my life!

So for my Dad and Stepdad, I’ve done this little sketch to celebrate not just the everyday dad stuff that they do, but all the little things as well.

beautiful game

Happily, this is brilliantly timed for the World Cup, and although I’m not sure who originally referred to it as the beautiful game, I can’t help but agree when some of those teams walk onto the pitch and the lovely Thierry Henry is in the pundits box!

I hope you’re all enjoying the football, even if we did get off to a bad start last night and you haven’t been stuck with a rubbish team in the office sweepstakes!


A Cinderella life lesson

I’m going to keep this post quite short and sweet, as I think it pretty much speaks for itself!

Along with many girls my age, I was brought up enjoying both the classic Disney films, such as Snow White, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty, as well as the new releases that came out throughout the nineties, such as the Little Mermaid, Pocahontas and Mulan.

All of these films contained different portrayals of life, love and women and some valuable life lessons such as:



However, it is entirely possible that I didn’t quite get the right take out from that film…