Hey! So I wanted to share a bit on how I make stickers. I had the push to make some when I was talking to the great people who run a wildlife centre who sell my cards and wanted something to offer kids. Stickers were the answer!
My illustrations were easy to make into stickers and after some research I came across Awesome merchandise. You simply download a template and create a photoshp file, one layer with artwork and anothe for kisscut. Then you wait for them to arrive!
And when they do I just want to send them all out again for people to cover things in stickers.
Since I had two designs come through I thought it would be nice to do a give away. On my instagram find this post and tag a friend in the comment below by midnight on Sunday. On Monday I will announce the winner and post them a bird and a hedgehog sheet. One to keep and one to give, if you want 😉
I’m trying something new today with this abc stuff. My goal is to communicate through images and my last entries are so wordy! I’m going to work out a style to present these amazing facts in a more fun way. More like how I would have taken notes in University lectures (those were the days…)
So here is H… fo Hoatzin
I always had hoatzin pegged for H since I found out about the wing claws! It’s like seeing a dinosaur! And I know birds are descendants… but this is stuff that I thought as lost in the sands/fossil beds of time.
If you know of any good H animals that can compete with the hoatzin then comment below 🙂
Frigate birds are quite slender streamlined birds, like a giant swallow with a forked tail and pointy wings. In fact the wings are so long (up to 2.3 meters) they have the largest wing area to body weight ratio of any bird.
When the males are attracting females to their nests in breeding season however they transform into red balloons. They have one of the most dazzling courtship of the seabirds. The males inflate a throat pouch and call up to the females flying above. The red seems to glow surrounded by the glossy black feathers.
Other Fantastic Fs:
Frigate birds on things can be found on redbubble.
If you would like prints made available on etsy please comment below 🙂
I went to art school with a mission: to become a wildlife artist. After the first few projects my tutor gave a big sigh and said “Ceri, could you try to draw something that is not a bird?” Luckily the principle was a bit more understanding of my obsession and asked if I would like to meet a professional wildlife artist called John Busby. I am terrible at remembering names but that name rang bells. In fact I was pouring over his book and enchanted not just by his illustrations but the way he wrote about them to.
He was a lovely man and I think I could have watched the birds coming to the feeder with him for a long long time. John passed away last year, his family recently set up a website documenting his work.
Here are some of his sketches that have inspired me.
John Busby, Canada geese arriving on migration
John Busby, Kittywakes
John Busby, Starlings bathing
John Busby, A whinchat, pied wagtails and plovers embrace the wind
John Busby, redshank
He captured the movement and life of birds. Anybody who has attempted to draw birds from life have that crushing your pencil into ash as the pesky things dart about. You need to be quick, confident, or at least owning of your mistakes which I think is the first step!
To have a career in drawing what you love John Busby shows that is is down to dedication, a lifelong curiosity and never stop.
I came across a call for an exhibition on the Welsh Artists facebook page. I want to enter exhibitions and posters but usually find out when it’s too late! So I was chuffed when I cam across this with 4 days to go. Woooo!
Luckily it was a postcard exhibition so I could do something tiny and quick. Also it would to be put on sale with half the cost going to the organisers fundraising for local artists. So I would only get £5 for my work. Less than the minimum wage so better not get carried away… ah well it’s a donation and a chance to practice!
As it was a local exhibition I decided a local scene would mean a lot. The castle was my first thought, and then I thought of the mountains as seen from the beach near where I grew up and have so many memories of. I found this photo which summed up my feelings really well.
The colours were perfect. Warm and cold. It is ALWAYS windy down there and even on the hottest day you get a bit of a chill. Worth it when you get that view though huh?
Problem with cameras is that they do the maths too right. Yes the mountains are far away but when you’re there your eyes focus differently… and I wanted to concentrate on these three and in these proportions.
Also birds. There has to be some for it to be my painting. Obviously you get the herring gull floating by, and some sand martins which nest in the cliff face which are the remains of an iron age fort, and ringed plovers scurry about like moving pebbles so they got in.
So yeah. I tried to keep it simple, and failed. Tried to keep to those lovely colours in the photos but the mountains got too dark and too blue. That meant the sky wanted to be blue or the sky of a different planet. Like Venus. Not today!
I used salt get some texture in the sky and had fun splattering the rest of it.
SO yeah (I’ve said that a lot) I like it and letting it go was hard but off it popped. I didn’t mean to put so much effort in it but I learnt a bit more about colours and I also found that using my mech pencil to go over my soft pencil leaves an imprint so I can erase the pencil and still see my lines but is much cleaner when I ink 🙂
I couldn’t make the opening night so I went on Saturday.
I couldn’t find it! So it must have been sold. I hope wherever it goes it has a happy life 🙂
I hope this encourages some of you who are new to exhibiting to enter your work. It feels great to be part of something. I just hope I catch the next deadline in time!
Even though I had a lovely walk in the sunshine today and saw choughs and wheatears as well as a part of the unbeatable Anglesey coastline, I am STILL drawing New Zealand birds!
Australian magpies were always catching me out with their crazy warbles and cries. They hopped about in a jolly way in farmlands. Myna birds were similarly common, fluttering from the roadsides and perching on city sign posts.
Yellowhammers crying out for “a little bit of bread and no cheese” used to be a common part of the Britains soundscape. Sadly not so much any more. New Zealand has flocks of these little yellow finches bathing in the dusty roads.
I only saw one Shining Cuckoo, in Zealandia, Wellington. I was so excited I called out to a random guy with a big camera but he shrugged not understanding me. these are tiny sparrow sized cuckoos and indeed very shiny!
The Kingfisher would dash across the road in a flash of blue with it’s smart white collar standing out. As I drew this one it’s massive upturning beak looked plain weird and i had to fight myself not to give it a nose job!
Paradise shelducks, like most ducks, I mostly ignored (Shame! Shame on me!) but look how pretty they are! unusually the female has the more dapper appearance with her white head, though both hide beautiful hues of colours in their wings. Apparently the male is so devoted to his mate that the Maori would catch the female and just wait for the male to join her.
I hope to finish up my New Zealand project soon. As I’m back in the UK the market for these bird images is quite niche but if anyone would like a print please get in touch or check my Zazzle shop