Wedding Card Portraits

Two of my lovliest friends tied the knot in London earlier this summer, so I made them a wedding card featuring a joint portrait.wedding, card, portrait, gay wedding, celebration, heart, rainbow, digital, illsutration

First I trawled through their Facebook albums for a suitable photo from which I drew a simple outline of each of them in pencil (below).

I made two separate drawings so that I could experiment with the joint portrait composition.wedding, card, portrait, couple, gay, marriage, greetings card, congratulations, rainbow, joint portrait, couple, happy couple, wedding day, celebration, nuptuals, digital, illustration, pencil, drawing, outline, photoshop, layers, highlights, sunglasses wedding, card, portrait, couple, gay, marriage, greetings card, congratulations, rainbow, joint portrait, couple, happy couple, wedding day, celebration, nuptuals, digital, illustration, pencil, drawing, outline, photoshop, layers, highlights, sunglasses

Having photographed my pencil outlines and uploaded them into Photoshop there was a space where an ear should’ve been so I went back to the drawing board and invented one.

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Having settled on the composition I ‘cut out’ and tidied up the line work in Photoshop (above).

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Working in layers I collaged the coloured elements, starting with the rainbow sunglasses (above). I found the generic rainbow and heart images from a google image search.

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I block coloured the skin, hair and background with the paint brush / bucket tool. 

To add a little shaddow and depth I duplicated the line work layer twice, off-setting each new layer very slightly in different directions and setting the blending mode to overlay.

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On separate layers I used the brush tool at 0% hardness to add the skin highlights (white, 100% opacity, blending mode soft light), hair sheen (flesh tone, 100% opacity, blending mode normal) and darker skin tone (pink, 18% opacity, blending mode normal).

I used the star pattern in the brush tool (white, size 600 approx, blending mode screen) to add the glint on the sunglasses in two layers.

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The final touches were the extra heart layer to pep up the background (white, 100% opacity, soft light blending mode); the text (white, 100% opacity, blending mode normal) with an offset layer behind it (white, 70% opacity, blending mode overlay) and the white glints on the text (same as for the glasses).

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I was chuffed to bits when the grooms told me that they loved the image so much that they wanted to use it as their post-wedding thank you card.
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I sent them a couple of alternative colourways and their printer did the honours!

And here they are, the gorgeous couple (above) and surrounded by their friends and family on the glorious day (below).

View from the Castle – Sketch

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I made this little pen and watercolour sketch of the view through the castle ramparts at a recent meeting of the Vejer Sketchers.

Signwriting – Mary’s Living and Giving Shop

I recently did a bit of signwriting to update the sandwich board for the Mary’s Living and Giving Shop in Bermondsey Street.

bermondsey street, marys living and giving shop, save the children, ethical fashion, vintage, secondhand, volunteer, sandwich board, freehand, sign-writing, text, illustration, blackboard, chalk, pens, drawing, design, london, donate, reuse, recycleI liked the Save the Children symbols (the little red figures) that the previous Volunteer had drawn so I rubbed out around them and incorporated them into the new design.

Lucky those chalk pens are weather resistant!

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It’s a lovely place to volunteeer and it really is full of treasures! (No staff discounts!!)

Dragonfly Dress Mark 2

To accommodate my physical expansion since last year I recently made myself another summer dress from my grey dragonfly fabric.

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My finishing skills are improving! This time I followed my mum´s advice about French seams so the interior of the dress is much neater. dragonfly, fabric, surface design, illustration, textile design, woven monkey, dress making, dress, sewing, homemade, home sewing, made to measure

The arm holes are edged with grey bias binding with contrasting white and yellow top stitching while the neckline is finished with yellow bias binding with contrasting white and grey top stitches.

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It’s a comfy one and stylish too! 

Sketches of Vejer

Here are a couple of pen and watercolour sketches I made on a recent trip to Vejer. plaza de espana, vejer, vejer de la frontera, vejer sketchers, pen and watercolour, watercolour, water color, acuarela, sketch, illustration, torre del mayorazgoplaza de espana, vejer, vejer de la frontera, vejer sketchers, pen and watercolour, watercolour, water color, acuarela, sketch, illustration, kathryn hockey, artist, illustrator

 

That’s me, right, in the Plaza de España trying to capture a quick likeness of la Torre del Mayorazgo (above) before the morning sun burnt my shoulders.

 

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Drawing the beautiful view from the living room in my friends’ house on Calle Levante (left) was a more leisurely affair; just as well as it took a few corrections to get the angles of the buildings right.

Corredera 55 – Business Cards

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I had a lovely surprise during my recent visit to Vejer (after an absence of several months) – the fabulous people at the delightful Corredera 55 restaurant had updated their business card to include the pen and watercolour sketch I made of the restaurant facade back in 2016 (below).

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I knew they were planning to change their business card, in fact I prepared the file for the printer some time ago, but seeing the dinky little versions of the original painting sitting there in the restaurant made me smile.

If you’re lucky enough to visit Corredera 55 this summer I can highly recommend the baked sardines with sumac, damascan lemon, black olives and cherry tomatoes; a luscious oily concoction which melts in the mouth and goes down particularly well after the green gazpacho; a pea, mint, avocado and cucumber variation of the traditional Spanish cold summer soup.

Yum.

Cockerel Dress

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For my latest foray into textile design and home sewing I  made myself a cotton dress to wear to my dear friends’ June wedding in London.

As usual I had the fabric digitally printed by Woven Monkey in the UK having made a white, red and pale green version of one of my cockerel variations; as my dad once said I’ve certainly got a lot of mileage out of that cockerel! 

Click here to see how the original cockerel came to be…

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I decided to finish the hems with red bias binding to match the cockscombs….

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…and luckily enough found a pair of my favourite Fly London sandals in the exact same shade…

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…and finished the ‘look’ with white nails and sunglasses…cockerel, fabric design, textile design, surface pattern, digital printing, woven monkey, illustration, dress making, home sewing, made to measure, cotton, rooster, bias binding, home made, dress

 

The dress stood up well to the festivities – just a couple of armhole stitches popped during the disco phase!

 

And the wedding was absolutley wonderful.

Freddie – Portrait of a Baby

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My friends recently celebrated the first birthday of their delightful grandson Fred and very kindly invited me to the party. I decided to make a portrait to commemorate the event.

Freddie is already a star on Instagram so I chose my favourite photo of him from his mum’s gallery – it has something of the sage about it – and made a series of simple pencil drawings until I was happy that the outline did the handsome little chap justice.

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I then uploaded a photograph of the drawing into Photoshop, cleaned up the linework and started playing about with classic pop art parodies.
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The first version was an Andy Warhol style set of four coloured squares, but I found it too busy….

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so I simplified it and made the colours more muted

 

 

Then I thought I’d have a go at a version of the Obama Hope poster by Shepard Fairey

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I got both versions (above and top) printed, popped them into frames and gift wrapped them; they seemed to be received rather well.

Happy birthday Freddie – you lovely boy! xx

Blossom Sketch

Inspired by the beautiful spring blossom which floats like confetti in the London breeze and a collection of gorgeous printed papers (right) gifted to me by a friend recently returned from Japan, I made this little pen a watercolour sketch.
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