Tag Archives: watercolor

Ski A-Z Cover Design

I’m delighted to share that I’ve completed the Ski A-Z book cover design which I’ve been developing over the past month.

The Cover Design

It’s a bright, bold design with three cover stars supporting the title letters in a mountain setting, The book will appeal to both those wanting to find out more about the sport, and to seasoned skiers.

Here’s the cover mocked up on a coffee table setting with ski themed props to bring the book concept to life. Notice the ceramic snowflake as a coaster for the edelweiss coffee cup.

The Book Concept

The Ski A-Z book concept – a practical, informative, fun, illustrated glossary of skiing with hints, tips and advice.

It’s the kind of book that you’d recommend to the friend that wants to get into skiing, it’s a gift for a ski lover, it’s a conversation starter for an evening in the chalet during your holiday.

The Design Process

I created the background and skiing characters in watercolours and ink, used a glue gun to give the letters texture and composed it digitally in Procreate.

My mini model Bruce posing for this character’s painting.

I had an idea to animate some of the book characters ‘excited to meet the readers’ to demonstrate the energy of the book.

Watch This Space…

Watch this website, my Instagram or Facebook page for updates on the project.

Here are posts about my latest work. Thanks so much for following my blog. Please feel free to share it with friends and colleagues who will enjoy it.

Enjoy!

Kim

Self Portrait Progession

As I needed a new profile image I painted a fresh self portrait. As an illustrator it doesn’t feel appropriate to use a photograph for professional social media profiles. It’s an opportunity to give a sense of myself and my work.

Watercolour on 100% paper February 2021

Lovely illustration agent, and teacher, Lilla Rogers reviewed my Instagram feed in November and seeing the following portrait gave some advice which I’ve now had the opportunity to put into practice.

Watercolour – November 2020

As I’m developing my illustration skills my self portrait timeline is a measure of ongoing artistic development. I’m sharing this as I’m pleased with the progression, and to bare my past work in the hope that this inspires people to keep practicing at whatever you wish to improve. The portraits below go gradually farther back in time.

Watercolour on canvas – September 2020

A self-portrait can possibly be seen as self-indulgence but a lot can be learned by learning to observe and portray the features. As it’s face one sees most often, although in reflection, and it’s always available as a subject it’s a helpful subject to draw or paint.

Ink on paper – December 2017

Learning the techniques, materials, surface, observation, brush dexterity and choice of hues all plays a part in this progression. I find myself using a range of brush sizes, tube and cake watercolours, and am very surprised that I am often holding a magnifying glass to paint tiny details.

Charcoal on A1 size paper (huge) – July 2016

I use the mantra – Practice Makes Better, as I don’t believe in perfect; and I think that the pressure of attaining perfection can stifle experimentation, and thus can also inhibit progress. So I practice, practice, practice…

Acrylic paints on Canvas – March 2016

I look forward, next, to simplifying my portrait and maybe using a concept to communicate more. Here’s to seeing where the future leads.

Watercolour on paper – February 2016

The below is a bit of an anomaly, I feel it’s quite good compared with some of what came after, but no path is ever completely straight.

Markers on Paper, Then Digital – February 2016

I’m sharing this because everyone has to start somewhere, and is a beginner at the start of a new endeavour.

Enjoying the journey, whilst developing is, in my opinion, a wonderful exploration. I wish you luck in your creative practice and those activities at which you’re determined to get better. What is it you want to develop skills at? I’m interested to know how you motivate yourself forwards?

Here’s to a creative 2021, hopefully one where we can all enjoy more freedom.

Bye and sincere thanks for being here.

Kim

Cosy Decor and Sweet Treats

I’m presently working on a number of concurrent projects, here are a few fun creations which I’ve instinctively wanted to create for my own enjoyment.

There is cosy decor and sweet treats in this post so I hope you enjoy it.

Belgian Waffle and Berries

The latest in my Pretty Puddings series of paintings. Since last summer I’ve been doing art chats with my friend, we create art whilst chatting on Zoom. It’s a lovely way to connect through these difficult times.

A delicious delightful sunlit dessert painted in watercolours. And yes that strawberry was immense.

Relaxing Reading Space

Home decor painting based on a space that I curated at home. Featuring my favourite furniture items the yellow Art Deco chair and my mid-century teak G-Plan Astro table.

Painted in watercolours on 100% cotton paper.

Gingerbread Gift Box Birthday Cake

My husband likes cake and also gingerbread so I brought the two together for his birthday. The chocolate and vanilla tiered cake was ‘bursting’ out of a gingerbread box with gift ribbon and bow.

I made cardboard templates for the gift box and lid, which I built using ceramics handbuilding techniques learned at The Art House in Sheffield.

I used the Mary Berry gingerbread house recipe and adjusted the quantities to suit my plan. Fizzy Rainbow Belts from M&S worked well as gift ribbon and present bow.

This latest gingerbread build follows the two storey ski chalet I made at Christmas.

Art for well-being

I thoroughly enjoyed creating these and to be distracted by creating is wonderful respite from all that us going on, painting presently feels very meditative. I find that my breathing slows, I relax and I know when I’ve found the sweet spot of art when I find myself singing. I’m grateful that despite being in lockdown there aren’t restrictions on creative materials or home based art activities.

I’ve been listening to the wonderful Creative Pep Talk podcast which is insightful and inspiring. It’s great to listen to when making, it can help distract the conscious mind, so I can create with my subconscious mind instead. I’m interested in hearing other people’s experience of where mentally they find they make their best work and/or feel most in flow with the creative process. Feel free to comment below about your experiences.

If you’re interested in see my previous gingerbread builds and sweet pudding paintings they are at these links…

Chalet in Gingerbread

Gingerbread Adventures

Pretty Pudding Paintings

Here’s my review of 2020

2020 Review

And here are my latest posts.

Thanks so much. Enjoy whatever makes your heart sing.

Kim

2020 Review

I had a wonderful start to 2020 with skiing in France and Bulgaria, and little did I know when watching Cirque du Soleil at the Royal Albert Hall in March that it would be the last theatre visit of the year. Since we first went into lockdown in March my creative work has been enjoyable distraction and focus. As a result it’s been a productive year for my art and illustration work.

I have explored editorial illustration, children’s picture book work, and the themes of food and travel. Enjoyed the wonderful Make Art That Sells global community, and also the UK/US illustrator group that I’m blessed to be part of.

Ski Illustrations

After a day skiing in Les 3 Vallees, France I relaxed by painting ski related equipment.

This initiated the Ski A-Z book project which I have worked on throughout the year and will be in book form in early 2021.

Sharing these ski illustrations on social media led to an exciting client commission, which I will be able to reveal in the coming weeks – watch this space.

Here are my favourite ski illustrations of 2020 (that aren’t embargoed). I find that often the favourite pieces are breakthroughs in terms of the detail, materials, and/or techniques.

My intention with the project has been to demonstrate the joy and emotions of skiing and related activities in a way that is often less apparent in photographic images.

There are people who are at their happiest when skiing, unfortunately many of them aren’t able to ski at present, I hope they can feel some comfort by seeing the work and vicariously having some ski escapism.

More about this work at this link Night Skiing and TOP 9

Ski Prints

I’ve had a number of people requests prints of the ski work, so I’m pleased to reveal that I’ll be producing limited edition prints in 2021. Follow my blog for more details when they’re available. If there are ski illustrations that you’d like to be included in the selection made into prints please email me inspirebykim@outlook.com

Top 9 of 2020

Here are my overall favourite 9 pieces of 2020 across ski, travel, food and character design…

I worked hard on the first to show an expression of joy in this freestyle skiing pose. The second was a children’s book character I created for the Make Art That Sells Illustrating Children’s Books briefs. The third was a painting of juxtaposed elements of our biking holiday in Flamborough, the stunning scenery and incredible bird life.

The fourth was for an illustrated travel memoir of heli-skiing in Russia. The fifth is a conceptual illustration for Apres-Ski fun, my entry for the AOI World Illustration Awards. Sixth was my favourite piece from a number of dessert illustrations.

Seventh – the delightful feeling of calm and seclusion when enjoying some quiet time after skiing, warm and snuggly as the temperatures drop outside. I contacted Eddie (the Eagle) Edwards for a quote about the feeling of flying, and created this illustration from images that at Eddie provided. The ninth was a festive illustration/animation of steel deliveries at Santa’s Metal Workshop, commissioned by steel stockholder K Steels for their social media channels.

A particular highlight of lockdown, and since, were regular ‘Art Chats’ with my friend. We simultaneously worked on our individual creative projects on video calls. Being able to see the development of each other’s work, and to get ‘work in progress’ feedback, was helpful, I have found that chatting can help to divert the conscious mind and allow the subconscious to create in flow; the art nirvana that one can experience in particular circumstances and creative activities.

In the course of the chats my friend created an entire 2021 calendar of bird watercolours. You can see his work at

@dgrealise

For me personally good has to come out if a challenging situation, and thus I’ve made it a productive year with development of my skills and evolution of my illustration work. Here’s to a good 2021. Enjoy this short illustrated gif…

Thank you for each view, like, comment and all the support in 2020. Sharing my work gives me the impetus to continue to create, and to push myself to be able to more and more effectively express concepts visually.

It is always my mission to spread joy and inspiration so I hope that it contributes to the positive vibes going out into the world consciousness.

Read more about the key 2020 projects

Apres-Ski Illustration

Christmas 2020 Steel Illustrations

Pretty Pudding Paintings

Love After Lockdown – Graphic Novel

Bob The Balloon – Children’s Book Illustrations

Thanks so much for being here. Feel free to ‘Like’ the post if you do; and if you’ve friends who’d also be interested please share it with them.

Here’s to a great 2021. Hoping you have freedom to enjoy everything you wish for.

Find your joy

Love and luck

Kim x

Here’s are my latest posts:

Night Skiing and TOP 9

Here are the newest illustrations for my Ski A-Z Book are for the letter ‘N’ along with my Top 9 ski illustrations from 2020.

I started painting ski icons after a great day skiing on January 2nd 2020, in Les 3 Vallees, France. I continued to create the work through the season and when it started to gain momentum I decided that the word would form an illustrated glossary of skiing The Ski A-Z. I hope to make the book a reality in 2021.

Here’s are the latest illustrations…

Night Skiing – slight play on words for this illustration. I thought about floodlit night skiing but skiing by torchlight is truly exhilarating.

Inspired by the amazing armour at Warwick Castle. Remembering a New Year’s Eve torchlight ski in Austria. Painted in watercolour and metallic inks.

Skiing by Torchlight – I created this digital piece whilst exploring the colours and light of torchlight skiing.

Nordic Skiing by Moonlight – Bringing together floodlight and Nordic skiing I imagine the crunch of the snow under the skis and the nocturnal wildlife visible in the moonlight.

2020 – It’s been a momentous year for my ski work, and it culminated in an exciting project that I have to keep under wraps for the time being. Follow my website to see the work.

Top 9 Ski – In the meantime here are the Top 9 Ski themed illustrations that I created in 2020.

There are many of us who aren’t able to get out on skis at present, hopefully the ski illustrations can help spark some good memories. Thanks for being here. To see all my ski illustrations pop ‘Ski’ in the search box on my website.

Thanks so much for being here. My latest posts follow.

Kim

Here are my latest Instagram posts…

Painting on Location – Renishaw Hall

This beautiful view on my visit to Renishaw inspired me to paint.

I wanted to give a sense of the house and garden without being too literal.

I love to paint in the gardens but this is the first time it’s been dry enough to sit since lockdown restrictions lifted and the gardens reopened.

Here’s my watercolour, mostly painted on site and then completed in our garden.

See photos of my visit to beautiful Renishaw Hall Gardens on my Instagram. Blooms, boomerang videos and pollinators.

It’s a stunning place to visit in North-East Derbyshire.

I painted this floral watercolour at Renishaw Hall last summer.
This was the same day but a much softer piece. I like them both.

Which gardens do you love to visit, and why? Please comment, I’d love to know.

Here are my latest posts. Thanks for being here. Please ‘Like’ if you do and share with friends who may enjoy my work.

On the roof at Renishaw Hall

Art and Illustrations To Inspire And Uplift

It’s been a tumultuous and busy past couple of weeks for most of the planet. I’m determined to keep sharing uplifting work, both new illustrations and ones from my back catalogue when they are relevant.

The situation has moved fast and already has provided reflections on gratitude, for what may have previously have been undervalued, and the situation its is a reset of perspective of who is, and what is important.

Sending heaps of kindness and wellness to all those who are unwell or suffering.

I’ve been busy adapting our home for lockdown, had to make heart wrenching strategic business decisions, as well as finding tech solutions to replace face to face demonstrations. I’ve managed so squeeze some time in for illustration, which is therapeutic and can hopefully brighten someone’s day. This art from my heart follows…

I’ve been finding the terms used such as self-isolating and social distancing as having very negative connotations, and wondered whether putting a more positive slant on staying at home might make this feel more enjoyable and therefore sustainable. Here’s an example of this work, I’ll be developing these ideas and responding the World Health Organisation (@who) Creative Brief to communicate the key messages.

Wear Your Wings – Copyright Kim

Home and family are everything. Despite the restrictions we must nurture our minds, bodies and relationships all from within our home. Thankfully technology can bridge between those we love but do not live with. Our families have come together for some great multi-generation live video calls which have been a great distraction and really made us laugh.

It’s snowing here. But it’s cosy, safe and warm in our home. Enjoy the home comforts. #stayhomesavelives

Here are a round up of the posts from my Instagram, to uplift and reassure.

This is for all those suffering with fear and anxiety. You are not alone. These feelings are understandable in this situation, so try to go easy on yourself. Comfort yourself with reassurance that you are safe and you are loved.

If there is someone that you feel would also like to see this please share. Spread the love. 💕 #stayhomestaysafe

There can be great joy in nature and this lovely season. Flashback to this watercolour painting from last year created as a book cover design.

The bright flowers are blooming to herald Spring, the birds are singing, daffodils shine bright. The sun radiates low into the rooms to warm away winter. Beautiful weather last week made the first days of lockdown easier as the garden is springing to life and the birds are full of energy and song.

Stunning spectrums that I spotted in our kitchen, cast by a refractive book cover being hit by the sun’s rays.

Have Courage, Hold On. We are stronger than this thing. #alonetogether

I sprayed this positive quote from Audrey Hepburn in our garden, as a reminder, and for a little spray painting therapy.

Relaxing retreating in reading at the end of the day.

Watercolour and digital. You might recognise this scene from my chalet picture. Worked with a work in progress scan digitally to create this piece with a work in progress scan digitally to create this piece. #stayhomesavelives

Enjoy the Great Indoors. Whether you choose to scale your stairs for a work out, adventure to far flung places on Netflix or enjoy some Eastern philosophy on your yoga mat, wishing you a lovely day. #stayhomestaysafe

Created this house in watercolours on wet then developed this further to create the composition at the top of this post…

And finally: Only Tweet the good. Trying to only share positive and factual content. The birds are so active around our home, their beautiful song so clear in the stillness.

Thanks for being here. Stay safe, stay home and if there’s somebody who you feel would like to see my work please share the blog with them.

Here are my my most recent posts…

Thanks so much for being here. See my Facebook Page and Instagram for more frequent updates and work.

#staysafestayhome

Kim

#washyourhands

A-Z Ski Glossary

I can now reveal my new project, the A-Z Ski Glossary illustration project. This will become an illustrated book, you can follow along as the work develops over the coming months. Here’s my creations for A-C.

A is for Apres-Ski and Alps

Intending to capture the atmosphere after a day on the slopes and feeling everything from euphoria of achievement, to relaxing relief, I painted this conceptual illustration in honey based watercolour paints.

The painting in progress

Because Apres-Ski is reputed to be a party straight from slopes, whilst still wearing ski boots, it’s all happening in a ski boot.

The artwork features a live music band entertaining skiers and snowboarders, some are dancing on tables, two are relaxing in deck chairs, there’s a little romance on the balcony whilst a discussion of the day’s route tales place over a piste map, and a light hearted snowball fight is underway.

There’s a bar and snacks for refreshment and an open fire to take the chill off as the sun sets and the party goes on into the evening.

This will be applied as editorial illustration and wall art for limited edition prints email me for an order form at inspirebykim@outlook.com

B is for Basher, Piste-Basher

Predominantly nocturnal machines they are responsible for grooming the pistes. I love to feel the corduroy they create.

They make the glide magical and the speed exhilarating. It’s a treat to see them in the daytime and enjoy their fresh track with short swings turns. Also referred to by the brand Pisten-Bully.

This piece was inspired by when I was lucky enough to drive a piste-basher. It was challenging and fun.

C is for Chalet

Chalet – a wooden house with overhanging eaves, common in alpine regions.

Copyright Kim 2020

After a satisfying day on the slopes in the fresh air and cold it’s lovely to snuggle up and get warm. In the mountains it feels easier to disconnect and go offline with a good book or watch a movie undisturbed. Get comfy and unwind. There are a number of things which begin with ‘C’ in this illustration.

Here’s a little chalet video..

Posts which relate to this are:

You can follow my website to see the next instalments of the A-Z Glossary of Skiing and my other visual communications projects. Just pop your email address into the subscribe box.

if you like instagram you can see my work as its created at https://www.instagram.com/inspirebykim/

Thanks for being here. Stay safe on the slopes and enjoy!

Kim

Apres-Ski Illustration

My latest ski illustration is:

Apres-Ski – Party In Ski Boots

Ares-Ski – Party In Your Ski Boots – Copyright Kim

Intending to capture the atmosphere after a day on the slopes and feeling everything from euphoria of achievement, to relaxing relief, I painted this conceptual illustration in honey based watercolour paints. This will be applied as editorial illustration and wall art for limited edition prints.

The artwork features a live music band entertaining skiers and snowboarders, some are dancing on tables, two are relaxing in deck chairs, there’s a little romance on the balcony whilst a discussion of the day’s route tales place over a piste map, and a light hearted snowball fight is underway.

Apres-Ski – detail

And because Apres-Ski is reputed to be a party straight from slopes, whilst still wearing ski boots, it’s all happening in a ski boot. A nod to the children’s rhyme about the old lady who lives in a shoe, “had so many children she didn’t know what to do”.

Apres-Ski – detail

I’m intending this piece as the first in an Illustrated A-Z of skiing. I’ll be sharing the work as I continue to create it so please follow along here and on my Instagram or Facebook.

Apres-Ski – detail. Copyright Kim

I’ll be putting words with the illustrations so I’m interested to hear how Apres-Ski is across the globe so please share this project with your ski friends, and tell me about Apres-Ski in your favourite resorts.

Here are my other recent ski illustrations.

Ski Illustrations

Heli-skiing in Russia – Illustrated travel memoir

Here is some more related work

Christmas Commercial Illustrations

Best 9s of 2019

Thanks so much for being here. If you know someone who’d enjoy seeing my work please share www.inspirebykim.com or if it sparks an idea of how my illustration can promote your brand or service then please get in touch. To discuss licensing and commissions contact me at inspirebykim@outlook.com

Bye for now and happy skiing. Have fun and stay safe. Don’t be the one who takes it too far, like the guy in the Apres-Ski illustration who’s balancing precariously one the high balcony 😊.

May all your nights have fresh snowfall and your days be blue sky ones, with the magic of sunshine. I love it most when the sun causes a myriad of tiny colours to refract in the snow crystals.

The mountains are a wonderful place for a perspective reset. They are eternal whereas problems are more transient and will pass in time. Have a good day.

Kim