Tag Archives: watercolour

Pretty Pudding Paintings

Food became a primary activity and the the highlight of the day during lockdown, both in terms of preparing it and enjoying eating.

In this personal project I’ve painted a series of pretty puddings.

A sunny, caramelly Portuguese tart (Pastéis de Nata) complemented with strawberries, raspberries and sprigs of fresh mint.
Reminiscent of lovely Lisbon.

By trying to make desserts photo worthy I found they could become delightful treats to add some joy to the days. Using images of our real puddings as the starting point I designed these sweet illustrations.

Painting feels meditative for me and it doesn’t get much better than painting a pudding, purely for pleasure. It can feel as indulgent as eating the thing,

Dairy-free ice cream with fresh strawberries, wafers and a sprig of mint leaves in my favourite wavy cornet style bowl.
Painted with a bun standing in for the ice cream, which would have melted too soon.

Sometimes I have the dessert in front of me so there’s the incentive to paint until the piece is completed in one sitting, then I can enjoy consuming the still life whilst it’s fresh.

Work in progress – the painting and the prize!

As ice-cream melts there’s a lot of observation whilst eating, and remembering involved in painting them.

Berry ice-cream boules atop a wafer cone with @hotelchocolat chocolates. New painting adapted from an ice-cream I enjoyed earlier this summer.

Thanks so much for being here. Feel free to take a look around. See my new work as it’s created on my Instagram feed. Get in touch for bespoke illustrations, email inspirebykim@outlook.com

These are related posts, and my latest posts follow those.

Enjoy.

Kim x

Ice-Cream Signs

Ice-Cream Van Bag Design

My Life in Paper

REACHING FOR THE STARS – CHILDREN’S BOOK ILLUSTRATION

Children’s book illustration for the culmination of Jelena’s journey through a winter wonderland, to reach the stars.

“Grandma said Mummy is polishing the stars, so that they shine on me.”

My character Jelena (meaning Bright) is helped by the mountain animals to go closer to the stars, where she believes her late mother to be.

I’m delighted with this latest work. I can feel the progress, enjoyed painting it and am pleasantly surprised with the final piece. It’s already framed and on our wall.

Illustrated children's book page. Little girl Jelena lifted up by alpine wildlife.

Having lived with the next generation effects of childhood bereavement I wanted to create a work that speaks to children, and the child inside the adult, who lost their parent.

Jelena realises through the narrative that she is not alone, and is reassured by the support and kindness from her new animal friends.

The stars are so bright and you can see multitudes of them above the mountains, as there isn’t the light pollution. It can be breathtaking to walk at midnight in the snow and gaze up in wonder.

I created this painting for the Make Art That Sells #matsprep assignment. The inspiration for the mountain setting is from the Ski A-Z book that I am presently working on.

How This Piece Was Created…

I painted the alpine wildlife that we see when we visit the French Alps, and the Vanoise National Park.

I have often seen deer, foxes and wild boar whilst driving the mountain roads at night. The marmots we see emerging from hibernation in the spring, enjoying eating crocus as the snow melts away. I once encountered an imposing bouquetin at high altitude by the glacier near Val Thorens. We would also see herds of bouquetin grazing and fighting on the slopes of Champagny Le Haut. Mountain hare tracks can be seen from the chairlifts indicating their nocturnal presence. Whilst driving by Lake Annecy a family of five wild boar crossed the road ahead of us, parent and their young, so cute.

I also painted a Eurasian brown bear which lives in the Caucasus mountains of Russia, where we skied over bear tracks in the snow. Next to our hotel was a woodcarver’s yard where he whittled life sized bears from huge tree trunks. I chose a small carved bear as a souvenir of the trip. To read about heli-skiing in Russia click here.

Collage of the animal paintings

My first composition (below) felt predatory, I needed a less confrontational arrangement of the elements.

Therefore I chose a tower of animals, united in assistance for the story’s main character, painting them in a less literal style for the final artwork.

A3 Painting in progress, using masking fluid, watercolour paints and acrylic gouache.

I’m determined to keep learning and growing my skills through study of theory and techniques, practical art and colourful exploration. You can follow my blog to see work as it develops and the projects progress.

My intention is editorial illustration work, ideally the cover of Flow magazine, and commercial artwork for ‘change for good’ marketing campaigns. The big dream is an interactive art TV programme.

Here are my latest blog posts…

If you would like artwork to support a positive project please email me at inspirebykim@outlook.com

Thanks so much for being here.

Signup to see new work as it is available. Please ‘Like’ if you do, and if there’s someone who you think would enjoy seeing the art and illustrations please share a link with them…

I think you’d really like to see this illustration. Take a look.

Many thanks

Kim

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

Love After Lockdown – Graphic Novel

I created this graphic novel page for ‘Make Art That Sells’ June Bootcamp Assignment.

As Lockdown restrictions are easing wedding planning can recommence for the couple’s big day. This opening image sets the context for the story.

I painted all of the elements in the story in Kuretaki watercolour paints and brought them together digitally for the A4 piece.

The MATS bootcamp brief gave photo portraits and a selection of items to spark a story. I’ve used these characters and woven the items together in a simple narrative with destination wedding and travel themes.

Here’s the final piece, intended as an A4 page. Zoom in to follow the narrative and see the detail of each of the artworks…

The rose farm poster is a small detail in the finished graphic novel but the A4 painting was one of my favourite pieces from the project, and the painted roses were then used throughout the final page.

These close up profile portraits were challenging but enjoyable to paint. I wanted to capture the joy of the wedding, and the relief and positivity after the uncertainty of lockdown.

MATS course leader Lilla Rogers gave an image of Issa Rae. I looked online for a joyful looking male to be her groom and chose an image which I later determined to be Jay Ellis. When I researched Jay Ellis I couldn’t believe it when I read that he co-stars with Issa Rae in a popular HBO TV programme ‘Insecure’. How bizarre a coincidence is that choosing them, when they are cast together romantically on TV!

This is my padlock inspired by the work of Alphonse Mucha, and also Hector Guimard’s Paris Metro designs. Playing with the idea of lockdown, and being locked together in love.

Catalina Island was prompted by a postcard in the initial brief. I enjoyed exploring the island virtually thanks to YouTube videos, and painted this scene for the location of the wedding.

I then developed the work into an animated video. Follow this link to see an animation of my graphic novel, which is over on my YouTube channel. Watch it here.

Thanks for being here. I’m developing my portfolio but presently have some availability for commercial and editorial illustration, and promotional work.

See my recent posts at these links.

Bye for now.

Kim

Letter G in the Ski A-Z

G is for Gloves – an essential piece of ski kit as cold hands cam spoil the day. I love it when fresh snowflakes fall on my gloves and remain there whilst their intricacy can be observed. I’ve noticed this most often when on a chairlift in snowy conditions.

I created these snowflakes using free motion embroidery and secondly with icing sugar.

Mittens are great alternatives to gloves for children, and for extremely cold conditions. Good quality ski mittens have separate fingers spaces inside, to add to their warmth.

Key ski items also starting with the letter G are Gondola, for non skiers, this is not the Venetian boat but one of the popular ski lift types, and also Goggles.

Goggles are as fundamental as gloves for well-being and comfort for cold temperatures and snowy days on the mountains.

This illustration is for Gondola, Goggles and Gloves. There’s also one other thing that starts with a G, to be spotted.

Watch this space for the letter H illustrations and if you’ve not seen them previously you can see the previous illustrations at these links….

Apres-Ski Illustration

F for Flying, Freedom and Flow

Technical Ski Illustrations

and more ski posts are on my blog.

Thanks so much for being here. Letter H will be coming up next…

Have a great weekend.

Kim

Ski A-Z – F for Flying, Freedom and Flow…

The latest instalment of my Ski A-Z for the letter ‘F’

There is flow and freedom in skiing which can feel like you’re flying. I love it when gliding along on skis on the mountain tops can feel like flying. Often birds can be seen flying in the valleys below.

I wanted to capture this feeling in this artwork. A sunny day is a must to conjure this magic feeling.

I feel this sensation of flight most in Les 3 Vallees above St Martin de Belleville and Meribel, when heading in the direction of Val Thorens.

The feeling of flying got me thinking about how Olympian Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards must be the British person who has most experienced a feeling of flying on skis. Unusually Eddie, originally a downhill racer, first ski jumped as an adult. In a feat of courage and resolve he created a new British ski jumping record of 73.5 metres, the equivalent of jumping over 6 double decker buses.

I contacted Eddie (his given name is Michael), now inspiring people as a motivational speaker. I asked him about how skiing can feel like flying.

Eddie Edwards, said, “To fly……. is to be free!!”

I wanted to create an illustration which captured the freedom of flight mentioned in Eddie’s quote, along with the joy he demonstrated to the crowds after his Olympic ski jumps.

I don’t usually have a person in mind when painting faces for the Ski A-Z characters, I’m more trying to demonstrate joy and emotion in the expressions of the skiers.

A big thank you to Eddie for the quote, and the inspiration for the illustration.

Finally here’s a very short animation of the Fly, Freedom, Flow painting with a delicate ethereal stitched wing, to bridge between reality and imagination.

So, next up is the letter ‘G’ watch this space and follow to be sure to see the new work as it’s created.

Many people missed out on skiing this winter or had their seasons cut short. I hope that my artworks can give a positive vibe, to spark feel good memories.

If you’ve not seen the previous ski illustrations I’ve been working on you can see them at these links.

Technical Ski Illustrations

Ski A-Z ‘E’ for Extreme, Enjoy and Exhilaration

My favourite – Apres-Ski Illustration

Heli-Skiing in Russia – Illustrated Travel Memoir

Ski Illustrations

A-Z Ski Glossary

Here are my latest posts…

Thanks so much for being here. Please ‘Like’ if you do, and share with others who’ll also enjoy.

Many thanks

Kim

Ski A-Z ‘E’ for Extreme, Enjoy and Exhilaration…

I wasn’t sure as to whether there is relevance to continuing on with my ski A-Z project in the present global climate. But time is spent in lockdown should be time made better by finding the joy, and I get a lot of joy from making this work, and so I found that it felt best to continue. There’s a lot of people who enjoy skiing and mountain sports and so maybe share in the work can share some joy too.

If you’ve not seen my artworks for the letters from A to D then check out the links at the bottom of this blog post to catch up there.

Next up is the letter ‘E’ there are a lot of words that came to mind for E and I have incorporated this into a large artwork which illustrates some of my favourite ski feelings.

These are:

Enjoyment of the soaring peaks and stunning views of the mountain environment.

Exhilaration of skiing strong and fast, putting myself against the challenge of the mountain slopes. I always enjoyed giant slalom, over slalom courses, when we were ski racing.

Experiences – Skiing is a great switch off as it’s so engrossing physically and mentally that it’s hard to think of anything else meaning it’s a magic kind of mountain meditation.

One of the ways I love to experience and soak up the mountain atmosphere is to get off the piste and find somewhere to just sit, and be in an entirely natural environment, ideally with a semmel sandwich and a refreshing drink. To sit awhile and take it all in. For the non skiers, if you can get your skis into the snow you can use your ski poles between them to make a seat. Alternatively you can sit on the snow, ideally on a rucksack or plastic bag to avoid getting a soggy ski pants.

Extreme skiing needs you to have your wits about you and is so satisfying when you look back up a slope that you’ve achieved. Often having experienced a range of emotions on the way from doubt and fear to joy and euphoria.

My most extreme ski experience was Heli-skiing in the Caucasus mountains of Russia and Georgia. I illustrated an account of this trip which you can read and see at this link.

Here are the links to the Ski A-Z work already created…

Apres-Ski Illustration

A-Z of Ski Glossary

Technical Ski Illustrations

Watch this space for the ski paintings for the letter F…

Thanks so much for being here. If you’ve enjoyed this post please like it and if you know someone who’d enjoy it please share it with them. Let’s spread the joy of skiing.

Kim

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

Breakfast Cereal Design Concept

Great days start with great mornings so I wanted to create a positive, inspiring breakfast cereal in response to the brief: Create a fun sized design concept and packaging for a new cereal product.

I wanted to inspire and uplift women through a positive, confident image of a female pilot. She already has three stripes so she’s doing well; metaphorically and literally she is flying high.

Here are my rough drawings whilst brainstorming ideas for the box creative…

Pilot eating breakfast, sketch
My favourite concept from all the ideas (below)

The character was further inspired by the aviation PR work I’ve been busy enjoying in recent weeks, thanks to my client in Florida.

Female pilot

I thought that aeroplane shaped breakfast cereal would be fun and novel. This idea was warmly received in consumer testing, with enthusiastic feedback.

I later added the fruit, and additional cereal aircraft, into the bowl for the final iteration.

Once I had the character idea I felt the breakfast cereal design concept formed around her.

In order to create the entire packaging concept it was necessary to define the target market, and what would appeal to them, to decide the ingredients, flavours, also to create a cereal brand, logo and product name.

I had all this in mind when choosing the colour palette of gold, red wine and cobalt blue. These were colours I could use throughout to represent the morning sun, and the colourful sunrise sky.

I chose ‘Inspired Mornings’ for the cereal company brand, and after painting a sun in watercolours I recreated the round window effect of my ‘Inspire by Kim’ logo and added the new brand name.

Nutrition and natural ingredients are key to wellbeing, which is fuel for a positive frame of mind, so I wanted the flavours and sweetness to be natural, therefore I chose fruit flavours on a Tropical theme, This flavour choice was to evoke the idea that the pilot is flying to a tropical island destination.

Travel, new experiences and the relaxation enjoyed on holiday/ vacation are fundamental to enjoyment of life, so by bringing flavours that are associated with holidays into the cereal concept the consumer would start the day enjoying a breakfast that the brain can associate with positive, pleasant experiences and help the person benefit from the associated holiday feelgood factor.

Watercolour painted pineapple, oranges and coconut
Watercolour painted pineapple, oranges and coconut

By illustrating the ingredients it was possible to give the consumer quick visual references and these were to denote the fresh, healthy, natural qualities of the product and brand values.

The reverse side of the cereal box was a great fun opportunity to further inspire the consumer and providing positive affirmations to start the day, in the form of a circular word search.

The wordsearch was placed over the watercolour sun using my favourite digital application of present, Procreate.

I created a template to fit the sizes in the brief, 4×3 inches, and arranged the completed panels within this.

The cereal box design before assembly
The cereal box design before assembly

This was the completed concept.

I was delighted that as I completed the design I saw the Virgin Atlantic campaign to inspire young women with a day of activity using the hasttag #seeherfly Wonderful that this timing coincided with my design.

Have a flying start to a great day. 🛫

Here’s my recent work along similar lines…

Bali Parasol – Instructional Illustration Work

Tennis Club Promotional Work Highlights

Bottle Brand Design

Brand Art – Steel Company

Get in touch for inspiring communications for your project.