Tag Archives: Watercolour

Week 8 – girl in a blue dress

This Wednesday, I worked from home so that we could finally have the internet reconnected.

It was so lovely: I slept in until 8, I got to watch two epic games of curling (who doesn’t love a bit of curling?!) as I finished off a client proposal, I had the kitten with me all day, I got to see the boyf when he nipped home for lunch, I didn’t have to get on a train and, of course, we got the internet back.

Well, we had it back for the whole of 20 minutes before it disappeared without a trace. Long story short, it turned out the degus must have chewed through the cable months ago and the cable was now refusing to work, so we had to track down a new one.

Finally, even better than all of these things, I had time to pick up a pencil and do some sketching. As always, I used pinterest for some inspiration (see my inspiration boards here) and I spent an hour or so sketching after I’d finished all my worky things.

Today, I finished the sketch with a bit of watercolour and here is the final piece:

blue dress

It feels great to actually get my pencil and paints out and have the time to enjoy it, rather than a quick drawing before heading to bed. Fingers crossed I get a few more days working from home in the coming weeks/months!

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Week 7 – the commute

Week 7 of 2014 was my first full week of commuting from Ely to London. Turns out it’s quite a long commute…

I’m ok with the early starts, waking at 6am and heading to the station for the 80min train journey, although, I’ve already fallen asleep a couple of times on my way in. Turns out, this is pretty acceptable behaviour judging by the rest of my early morning commuters, there is always a few snoozing as we wind our way through the countryside.

I even like the walk to the station; I’ve seen the most amazing morning skies stained pink and orange by the rising sun and I’ve been wrapped up warm or huddled under my umbrella as I walk down the hill in the cold and rain.

Then at work things are still work-y, so no change there.

But then, it’s time to head home. I’m optimistically aiming to sneak out of the office door by 5.20pm (I’m meant to work til 5.30pm and really 6pm is the standard home time here), then I can hope to be home by just after 7pm. This still entails a speedy walk to the station and then a slightly panicked jog/trot between St Pancras and King’s Cross, fingers crossed everything’s running on time and I’m wearing comfy shoes.

However, if I mistime leaving the office slightly, the trains are running late between the office and St Pan or I get trapped answering a question before I can edge out of the office door, then the whole plan is ruined: I’m destined to spend 20ish mins loitering around King’s Cross as I wait for the next train.

I shouldn’t complain too much, after all, I’m only a week in! I’ve got plenty of good books to keep me entertained and I still enjoy looking out at the endless fields that roll along the countryside through my window, plus, the boyf is always there at the other end to take me home, so it’s all worth it really.

fields

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Week 3 – Country girl at heart

Week 3 of 2014 was mainly spent on the m11 – travelling back and forth between Kent, Ely, Norfolk and Suffolk and then heading back down the motorway to Kent again.

However, an illustration of the inside of my car (as lovely as it is), or the view out of the windscreen of endless roads, lorries and road signs wouldn’t be the most exciting thing to draw let alone look at.

So, instead I present to you… a mallard duck.

duck

Perhaps not an obvious choice, but this weekend I went to see my Gran and we went to a pub on the edge of her village for lunch.

The view from our little table by the window was so lovely. It was a clear, fresh and dry day, the sky was streaked with clouds, the river running past the pub was high but still and there was a small gathering of ducks doing their best to guilt slices of bread from passers by.

As we enjoyed our lunch the sun slowly set behind the fields on the other side of the river, spreading a peachy orange tint across the horizon. But even more than the beautiful setting, it was the soft quacking of the ducks as they waddled past and the urge to scoop up their round little bodies and stroke their soft looking feathers that reminded me I’m a country girl at heart (and I probably shouldn’t be left unsupervised with wildlife).

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It’s all about me!

When I first set up this blog I knew for sure that I didn’t want any photos of me splashed across the about page.

I felt that including a picture of me would take something away from the site – it would be less Bethany Robyn, and more, just me: Bethany, Beth, Betbet (take your pick, I answer to all three).

However, the more posts I add, the more I feel that I need to add a little more of me to the pages, after all, the first thing I look at when visiting a new site is their about page. I want to know who’s writing and why they are writing.

So I give in, I’m adding a bit more of me to my about page and adding a picture (it’s there now if you want to have a peek at the updated page). But, I haven’t abandoned my original plan completely; this is still a photo-free zone.

So… this is me:

about me

Obviously, I’ve taken a bit of artistic licence… I can only dream that one day my hair will take on the colours of autumn leaves and I will spend my days reading books as I lean casually against a tree! And, I am still a little hopeless at capturing people’s facial features, but let’s just gloss over that slightly!

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Week 2 – events life

This week held my first event of 2014. I spent most of the week onsite at glamorous Birmingham, where we had a conference and gala dinner for 700ish people.

As well as my usual role of supporting the production and logistics team, I coordinated the gala dinner – a task I found a little scary to say the least! We had set and staging, sound checks and rehearsals, ice sculpture table centres and various performers.

The technical and catering teams were amazing and so experienced, so the evening pretty much ran itself, but it didn’t stop me being incredibly nervous that something might go wrong! I mainly spent the day double checking that everything was in place and on time, and the evening enjoying the entertainment!

The room looked great, especially the ice table centres. I can’t share a photo (due to client logos everywhere you look), but here is a little sketch to show how they looked.

Table centres

(Apologies for the dodgy quality of my images – my scanner and camera seem to be conspiring against me!)

We had a wreath of lovely flowers (no idea what kind!) to girly up the table a little bit, branded menus and some sparkly red stars scattered across the tables to pick up on the lighting around the room. The table centres, themselves, had lighting that was all linked together, meaning all sixty tables were in sync as the lighting changed.

All in all, the evening was a success and the clients were super happy. The band that closed the night with a two hour set were brilliant, nothing beats a live band!

The only thing I would do differently next time, is perhaps wear different shoes… I was in agony by the time I was walking back to the hotel, but I suppose that is the punishment for wearing shoes stolen from my Mum!

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Week 1 – a little house hunting

Week 1 of 2014 was rather more stressful than I was expecting – I’m hoping this isn’t a sign of the year to come!

After roughy 6 months of checking rightmove religiously and waiting for the start date for the boyf’s new job, yesterday we started our house hunt in earnest.

We went to have a look at one of the cutest little houses, but despite having been through this process before, we appeared to forget how competitive the rental market is! We were one of 6 couples to view in the last two days and half had already put in their application forms before we’d even set foot inside. So although this little house is in the perfect location and ticks almost all of our must-haves, we are now at the mercy of of the rental gods.

On top of this, we got a call Friday afternoon to let us know that viewings for our flat had been booked in for yesterday, which meant that kitten had to join us on our little house hunt. So at 3pm yesterday, me, the boyf, kitten and her litter tray bundled into the car and headed to the motorway. It was a 90min drive in endless rain and drizzle and at the other end, I spent 10minutes trying to convince the kitten to use said litter tray. She however, decided she would much rather snuggle up with the boyf’s work coat in the boot.

Following the viewing and another attempt with the litter tray, we headed back on the return journey, where kitten meowed until I let her onto my lap. When we finally got back home, we realised that the litter tray was the wrong provision to bring – turns out kitten had the munchies.

All in all, house hunting day 1 was a long day with a hungry kitten and we still have no where to live after January! Time to send the boyf out on his own to hunt us down a little house to call home. Wish him luck!

So for week 1 of my 52 week project, here is my illustration of our possible little house.

little house

Click here for the start of my 52 week project!

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’twas the season to be jolly

After days, weeks and/or months of preparation, Christmas Day has now been and gone!

Presents have been given to all the good boys and girls, cookies and carrots left for Santa and his reindeer have been eaten and an excessive Christmas feast has been consumed.

For most of us, today is the day for unpacking travel bags and presents now that we’re back home or maybe sneaking to the sales in the hope of picking up a few things spotted whilst buying presents.

On a much sadder note, for some of my family and friends this has been a really difficult time following the loss of people close to them. I hope they can focus on all of the wonderful memories they shared and know that we are thinking of them.

So as not to leave this post on such a sombre note, here are a few snapshots of some of the cards I sent out this year. I think I sent around 15 in total, which is almost double the usual amount, so I had my first mass produced card, because the design was too cute for just one!

 christmas car card 2013

Hopefully you will recognise one of the designs below as the 2013 update of my girl wrapped up for winter. It’s still not quite there but it’s definitely an improvement! Hope you all had a lovely Christmas,

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christmas cards 2013

Decisions, decisions!

One thing I can never decide on is whether to pen the outlines of my paintings.

To start with, I loved adding the pen; it would hide all the edges that had smudged across or bled into the neighbouring colours. I could add a strong bold edge and exaggerate the shadows. With the pen I could also add fine details and definition that I couldn’t seem to achieve with just the watercolours.

Now though, I’m less keen to add the pen. As I keep my colours quite pale (more out of habit than a conscious choice!), I quite like the smudged lines and subtle changes between the different parts of the painting. The look that little bit dreamier (more dreamy/more like a dream?) and softer, which I really like.

More often than not, I’m adding in a pencil line afterwards for any extra definition. Which hopefully stops me from trying to hide my watercolour mistakes with the outlines. Also, once the pen is there, it’s not going anywhere, it’s irreversible… this makes me nervous!

Here is one of the first times I added pen to my painting and over a year later, I still can’t decide which one I prefer!

What do you think – strong definition with pen or sketchy and light with a pencil? Let me know in the comments box below.

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walking pencil

(apologies for the dodgy shadows on the photo!)

walking pen

Festive times

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, everywhere you go…

I love Christmas, it’s my absolute favourite time of year!

All the sparkly lights, the hope of snow, the evenings by the fire or snuggled in a blanket, the present hunting, the jolly Christmas tunes, the whisky and cookies by the fireplace (our Father Christmas wasn’t a big fan of milk – how’s that meant to keep him warm in his sleigh?), the carrots and polish for Rudolf (gotta keep his nose bright and shiny) and then the day itself: family time and an epic feast.

Yesterday we got Christmas preparations underway; starting with Love, Actually to set the scene, followed by some Christmas tunes while we dug out the decs. As I assembled our little tree we realised one fatal flaw… we’d left most of our decs at Mum’s as we had no room to store it! So now, we have a little tree with no lights, no star, just the few ornaments we could fit in our little cupboard. Poor little tree.

Luckily (unluckily) for us, kitten has taken it upon herself to be the only decoration we need. I’ve spent all morning chasing her out of the tree, where she has been hitting the few decorations we have on her way to the top and trying to eat the branches – not ideal but at least she’s in the spirit.

Happily, I’ve still got another couple of Christmassy films left over for when I track down the rest of our decs and I’m always happy to break out the Christmas tunes.

I’ve just made a start on my Christmas cards, so I can spread the Christmas mode throughout the festive season. Below are the cards I did last year, so I’m going to have to start thinking of some new designs… Pinterest here I come!

christmas cards 2012

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Starting again

suitcases

After roughly 18months of life as a (very well looked after) nomad, I finally got a place of my own in May 2012. The year and a half leading up to this point had me living in five locations (one twice) as a house guest in various locations to various degrees of success.

Each time I moved I would pack my little Peugeot (RIP) to the brim with most of my worldly belongings and trundle along the motorways to the next stop. Each weekend, no matter the location, I would try to get back to East Anglia to see the boyf and every few months I would travel to a far flung exotic location for work (ok, mainly to Birmingham).

In short, my life was dominated by suitcases and unfortunately none of them looked as stylish as the above.

The glorious and amazing day that we finally got our little flat and I was able to put away those ever-present cases was just perfect; no more weekend bags, no more Friday/Sunday night traffic, no more weekend rail replacements, no more cold Sunday evenings on the platform and no more wondering where and when I would next be moving.

Like I said, amazing! In the grand scheme of things, I know these are trivial issues, but it was huge for me.

And the whole point of telling you this is that finally settled, I had time again to think about what I wanted to do with all this new found freedom and the answer was art.

Painting, sketching, cutting and sticking, glittering, colouring and creating: starting again.

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