Artwork in India (5) – Jaisalmar Workaway

jaisalmar, rajasthan, India, travel blog, travel solo, travel, workaway, jaisalmer fort, haveli, scooter, door, dog
I chose to do a Workaway at a hostel in Jaisalmar because I wanted to go on a desert safari and the hostel owner said he wanted some help to decorate the rooftop terrace (along with some basic IT tasks).

When I got here it was apparent that many people had already contributed to the roof terrace decoration…some in a lovely way, some in quite a haphazard way!

jaisalmar, fort, rajasthan, india, workaway, rooftop, wonbin safari hostel, pen and wash, watercolour, watercolor, painting, sketching, sketchbook, travel illustration, travel blog, illustration, landscape, painting, drawing

So, my exclusive rights to the wall space scuppered I set about capturing the beautiful view (above) of the fort while planning my strategy for mural painting in limited areas amongst a hotch-potch of other images.

camel, stencil, cutting, drawing, craft knife

I decided on a stencil with the .most obvious theme for a desert safari hostel – the camel.

camel, stencil, cutting, drawing, cardboard

I found a craft knife and the lid of a photocopy paper box in the market by the fort and set about preparing my template.

camel, stencil, painting, mural, illustration, repeat, acrylic paint

Having painted several camels along with a bit of red shading and yellow highlights  I added a border inspired by a Rajasthan folk art design.

wonbin safari hostel, roof terrace, jaisalmar, rajasthan, India, camel, decorative painting, mural, wall art, wall painting, folk art, acrylic paint, illustration, stencil, camels

wonbin safari hostel, roof terrace, jaisalmar, rajasthan, India, camel, decorative painting, mural, wall art, wall painting, folk art, acrylic paint, illustration, stencil, camels

wonbin safari hostel, roof terrace, fort, jaisalmar, rajasthan, India, camel, decorative painting, mural, wall art, wall painting, folk art, acrylic paint, illustration, stencil, camels

I did go on a camel safari, it was tremendous fun if a little hard on the thighs. Even though we didn’t venture very deep into the Thar desert the peace and vastness of the landscape were still impressive. We had chai on the dunes while watching the sunset, then ate dinner around a campfire before settling down to sleep under the stars. Gorgeous.

camel, camels, desert, dunes, safari, desert safari, Jaisalmar, wonbin safari hostel, rajasthan, India, travel, adventure, camping, sand, trek

While wandering around Jaisalmar old town I was struck by the number of Ganeshes painted on the houses.

jaisalmar, Ganesh, wall painting, elephant, elephants, god, hindu, marriage, rajasthan, india

Then someone told me that since Ganesh is the Hindu god of celebration (elephants are lucky) the people get him painted on their houses every time there’s a wedding.  In fact the paintings serve as a kind of invitation since they contain the names, date and location of the union. Ah-ha!

And talking of weddings, I just got invited to one! I went up to the fort for a massage, my second in a week since hard beds, overnight travel and painting have taken their toll on my middleaged bones. There’s a team of sisters who offer Ayurvedic loveliness in their home but the house was very busy when I got there so I expected to be turned away. One of the sisters explained that they were preparing for her neice’s nuptials and I got my massage and an invitation to the wedding in two days.

Excited. There is definitely an advantage to sticking around in one place for a bit longer than is usual on the backpacker trail.

jaisalmar, rajasthan, fort, India, thar desert, travel blog, workaway


Artwork in India (1) – Udaipur

new delhi, railway, station, train, overnight, journey, sketch, sketching, sketchbook, illustration, travel, figures, platform

I got to the train station in New Delhi early with the intention to draw. It was a little overwhelming but a kind man insisted that I sit on his blanket with him and his son which made drawing more comfortable. My train to Udaipur left bang on time at 7pm and I had a good 12 hour journey in a bunked sleeping compartment.

udaipur, lakeside, lake pichola, rajasthan, India, pen and watercolour, painting, sketching, sketch, sketchbook, rooftop, moustache hostel, hanuman gat

This is the view across Lake Pichola from the roof of the Moustache Hostel in Udaipur. Rajasthanis have famously luxurious facial hair, hence the name of the hostel. 

wall painting, artist at work, stencil, cockerel, rooster, mural, acrylic paint, surface decoration, illustration, decoration, birds

The hostel had lots of wallpaintings left by many guests so I offered them some cockerels…

wall painting, artist at work, stencil, cockerel, rooster, mural, acrylic paint, surface decoration, illustration, decoration, birds

They then asked me to paint something in the space above the birds so I drew a design in my sketchbook inspired by a beautiful cow I’d seen on my first morning walk through the city.

holy, cow, sacred cow, holy cow, pen, watercolour, drawing, painting, watercolor, sketchbook, travel, India, rajasthan, udaipur, marigoldsAnd then transferred it to the wall (below) 

holy cow, cow, mural, wall painting, wall art, detail, nose, acrylic paint, emulsion paint, decoration, illustration, surface decoration, decorative painting, artwork, india, rajasthan, udaipur, moustache hostel, travel

Painting in the reception area was a great way to meet people, and the cow and cockerels got a very warm welcome.

hanuman, monkey, god, temple, udaipur, rajasthan, hindu, india, pen, watercolour, sketch, sketchbook, painting, travel, illustration, drawing

Here’s a pen and watercolour sketch I made at a little Hanuman temple in the street. The lady selling flowers next door kindly lent me a stool to sit on while I drew.

portrait, pencil, graphite, drawing, Indian, man, moustache, beard, rajasthani, moustache hostel, udaipur, India, travel, illustration

This is Yogesh, one of the Moustache Hostel team. He asked me to draw his portrait so I worked in pencil from a photo.

udaipur, rajasthan, india, pen, sketch, lady, sari, cafe, illustration, travel

And here’s a quick pen sketch I made of a lady wearing a sari while she sat in a lakeside café. I’m sure she twigged that I was drawing her, she didn’t seem to mind but she did leave before I had a chance to add colour.

All in all a very enjoyable and creative first week here in India. I’m leaving the Moustache Hostel today to go and spend a few days with an Indian family here in Udaipur. 

Cockerels for Terry

cockerel, mural, stencil, rooster, acrylic paint

Having recently refurbished the chimney pipes for his wood burner in preparation for winter, Terry asked me if I’d paint some cockerels for him in the alcove behind the stove.

cockerel, mural, stencil, rooster, acrylic paint

Stenciling in there was a bit of a tight squeeze but they turned out rather well.

cockerel, mural, stencil, rooster, acrylic paint

…roast chicken all winter!

Click here to see photos of my cockerels stenciled in other locations in my Signs and Murals gallery

Baby Cockerel Cushion

cockerels, pattern, textile, baby, cushion, illustration


This little cockerel cushion is the latest addition to my ‘textile range‘, made from a fabric sample printed with one of my cockerel designs.


I made the baby cushion as a gift for the recent arrival who lives in the house where I sketched the original cockerel, which turned into a stencil

cockerel, rooster, cock, stencil, acrylic paint, reclaimed wood

which has since adorned many walls….

Cockerel, mural, stencil

cockerel, mural, casa del arco, stencil, illustration

cockerel, mural, stencil

and even a few items of clothing……

cockerel, t-shirts, screen printing

cockerel, screen print, denim jacket

I was a bit sad to find out recently that despite his regal appearance the cockerel I drew was firing blanks and was put up for adoption, but he died of shock just before his new owner turned up to claim him….just shows, a cocky exterior hides a multitude of insecurities….

Cockerels for Kelly

Cockerel -mural-stencil-kathryn-hockey-artist-illustratorKelly1-web

Another outing for my strutting friends, in another beautiful Vejer town house…lucky chaps.

Two Cockerels

Here´s a repeat of the cockerel image.

This time I applied the stencil twice to a door (acrylic paint)

Susan's Roosters


This piece evolved from a little pencil sketch I made of a neighbour’s cockerel during an exercise for a distance learning illustration course.

cockerel, pencil, sketch, rooster

I scaled up the sketch and used it to cut a stencil through which I applied acrylic paint to reclaimed wood. It still serves as a house sign for the home of the cockerel and his human companions.Rooster-postcard-web


This image is now available on postcards and as digital prints (A3 and A4) and I can stencil him onto almost any surface.


Yet more Discord Nancy

Having made a stencil type image of the Discord Nancy portrait I tried it out with some spray paint:

on wood

Stencil art, spray paint, wood, street art

and on walls

Stencil art, spray paint, street art

Stencil art, spray paint, street art



More Discord Nancy

Charcoal, portrait, shouting woman

Discord Nancy Charcoal

I gradually darkened this drawing with layers of charcoal, accentuating the planes and regions of the face. I developed it to make a stencil type portrait which I manipulated digitally and used as a template for a screen print (see below).

Digital portrait, shouting woman, stencil

Discord Nancy Stencil

Digital portrait, shouting woman, stencil

Discord Nancy Roses

Digital portrait, shouting woman, stencil

Discord Nancy Roses-multiples

Digital portrait, shouting woman, stencil

Discord Nancy Pink Roses

Digital portrait, stencil, screen print, shouting woman

Discord Nancy Screen Print