The Writing/ Drawing Process



This week I was invited by Jess Racklyeft to take part in a blog tour/ interview.

You can view Jess’s interview here. I just love her work and it was a compliment to be invited.

The blog tour topic is The Writing/ Drawing Process. Here is a little bit about my process ! 


1. What am I working on ? 

I have just been given access for 8 weeks to a suitable space to oil paint in. So I am about to set up a temporary oil painting studio where I can  produce some large scale landscapes. This will take up the majority of my time over the next couple of months. I might have a commission to paint a giant sheep for a friends foyer too.

Creating illustrations for my Birdrock Design label is an ongoing constant project, always bubbling away in the background, I have started on some Christmas designs for the end of year.

Recently I finished an illustration job for Cengage Learning, I always leave room open for freelance work or book commissions, that’s how I make my living!. When a big job comes along all my other projects get put on hold.

For fun I have been participating in the 52 Week Illustration challenge.

Aside from that, I am a busy Mum with my three young daughters and I have just taken on a new role as a Girl Guide Leader. The training and organising to take on this Leadership role has consumed me over the past few weeks. I am now known as 'Rosella' !.

Oh, and I am learning the guitar !, it really hurts your fingers.


2. How does my work differ from others of this genre/ style? 

I have a painterly and emotive style.

I like paying attention to detail without it becoming laborious, and I really enjoy using Photoshop. I prefer my art not to look like it's a digital artwork though, so I try to keep to my natural hand drawn, painterly style. I use Photoshop to touch up my artwork, resize, add textures, and adjust colour levels. 

My favourite illustrations are always the ones where I have had the opportunity to take my time, be in the creative zone, and have some freedom.


3. Why do I draw/ paint what I do ? 

I like to draw things of beauty and imagination, I feel empowered to be able to draw things that no camera can capture and no eyes can see, and hopefully no body else has imagined.

When I'm oil painting landscapes for example, I  enjoy taking the essence and key features that strike me most or resonate with me. I ignore the visual elements I don't need or which don't compliment the art work. I'm able to compose an artwork exactly the way that feels right for me.

My Birdrock Designs business is still in it's early stages, so I am constantly on the look out for ideas that I can incorporate into a suitable illustrations, designs and personalised prints to sell through my shop. It's great to come up with an illustration or design that's suitable to be used on a range of products, or can be adjusted for more than one purpose.


4. How does my drawing process work ? 

I always have a lot of projects on the go. Some are long term, I've got a picture book I've been working on for ten years !, and some get whipped up immediately. I tend to flit from one project to another depending on what I have a spark for that day. If I have a commissioned job with a deadline, all my personal projects get put on hold until the job at hand is done.

Ideas often come when I least expect them, I try to store them in sketch books, on my camera, and on my Pinterest site. It doesn't take much to spark off an idea.

When illustrating I start my rough with pencil on paper, I'll often put the rough sketch in Photoshop and play around with the composition and sizes until until I'm happy with it. Sometimes the finished artwork is completely hand painted, but often it is finished off in Photoshop.

As a busy working Mum my time is precious. I'm always looking for the fasted way to achieve the best results. I'm no longer interested in a romantic labour intensive, hand produced style. Most of the time my finished artwork is emailed to the editor as a digital file, so I have no qualms about using Photoshop to take shortcuts.

I create my illustrations knowing they will be printed and published. Whereas when I'm oil painting I am conscious the paintings will be viewed in real life and displayed on a wall.


Sharing the Love ! 

The best bit about this interview is sharing three of my favourite creative bloggers with you, who will hopefully find time to also complete the blog tour and share the love..

Here are my three favourites (not in any particular order of favouritism):

1. Judy Watson

by Judy Watson.

by Judy Watson.

Judy is an Australian award winning illustrator, writer and graphic designer, she runs a clever creative blog called Endpapers. Her style is loose, fun and energetic. She is terrific at capturing the character and quirkiness of animals. Viewing her blog is just as special as flipping through one of her sketchbooks.

2. Gennine


Gennine creates her art from a beautiful architecturally designed home in Mexico (designed by her talented husband). Everything Gennine crafts has a natural, delicate beauty about it. She is prolific and consistent with the artwork she produces, from stamps, watercolours, ceramics sewing, woodwork and prints. Gennine's blog is full of stunning photographs of  her workspace, environment and art. Images of birds, flowers, insects and nature fill her world. Here home is a creative, orderly haven full of detailed artworks and treasures, it is always a pleasure to visit her world via her blog.

3. Emily Winfield Martin

by Emily Winfield Martin

by Emily Winfield Martin

To visit the The Black Apple blog is to take a step back in time to the early 1950's in a fairytale book. Emily has such an admirable sense of style and obviously has a love for all things beautiful, hip, old worldly, and creative; not to mention cute and fluffy. She has created a fabulous and inspiring world to visit. All her children's illustrations are delightful, sweet and clever. I am a big fan of the books she has published too.  


p.s This blog post is not quite finished, I will be adding more images soon.