Leaves Mural

leaves, pattern, surface decoration, illustration, emulsion paint, mud wall, straw bale house



I recently finished painting one of my plane tree patterns on a wall plastered with mud in my friends’ straw bale house.




leaves, plane tree, mural, emulsion paint, mud wall, surface decoration, illustration, pattern

plane tree, leaves, pattern, illustration, digital collage


Simple lines in white emulsion paint are very effective on the beautifully coloured and textured mud, which still has straw poking through it in some places





This is the digital version of the design, you can see its evolution here in one of my previous posts





About seven years ago I painted the mural below in the same house, also on a wall plastered with mud, it was then visible in the main living space.

mural, mud wall, emulsion paint

They’ve since built the new internal mud plastered wall to create another room for their expanded family so the first mural is hidden inside the new bedroom.

I enjoyed the whole experience of painting in white on mud so much (and I’m also a bit vain and missed seeing my art work from the living room) so it was lucky that my friends happily agreed to my proposal to paint a mural on the new wall and we settled on a theme of leaves.

This is the bare mud wall

mud wall, straw bale house

I made this plan for the mural in Photoshop, using the cut out, inverted line work of my original pattern

mural, plan, leaves, pattern, surface illustration, plane trees

I then ‘Photoshopped’ it to the photograph of the bare wall  to check on the layout before transferring the design to the wall

mural plan, plane tree, leaves, surface illustration

I started by projecting the image onto the wall and drawing the outline in white pencil but ran into technical difficulties with the electrical equipment. I had to resort to plan B which meant tracing the pattern using chalk on the reverse surface of a printed template and then penciling over the chalk lines, which was far more messy and time consuming but ultimately effective.

This is a detail of the pencil drawing

leaves, sketch, pencil, mural, plane trees

Here is the partially completed mural

leaves, mural, plane tree, mud wall, emulsion paint, pencil

and a head on view of the completed mural without the added domestic decoration

leaves, mural, plane tree, pattern, surface decoration, illustration, emulsion paint, mud wall

This was a really enjoyable project, completed in many short sessions over a period of several months, combined with delicious lunch visits to my lovely friends.

It also fulfilled my ambition to complete a painted version of one of my digitally designed patterns on a real life wall.

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….

Light Hearted


About a week after my Dad had a mild heart attack in the spring of 2014 he had an angiogram to find out which of his coronary arteries might need stents to open them up and improve the blood flow to his heart muscle.  He asked the cardiologist if the stents would stop his supraventricular tachycardia – also known as SVT, a sudden acceleration of the heart rate which usually resolves without treatment and causes no harm.


The cardiologist replied “No, this is plumbing and that’s wiring”.

When my Dad told me the story this picture sprang to my mind, almost fully formed.

I started by researching related images and sticking them in my sketchbook and then set about making some sketches.


The power switch and plug represent the sinoatrial node, or pacemaker, which is the area of heart tissue that generates the electrical impulses which cause the heart to beat. My Mum has had a pacemaker fitted so this part also refers to her.

The fairy lights are a celebratory representation of the electrical impulses which drive the heart, they are also inspired by the ring of flowers or thorns which typically adorn a sacred heart and by the nostlgia for the childhood Christmas times when my Dad would take the lights down from the loft, untangle them and replace the dud bulbs ready for my Mum and me to decorate the tree.

Once I was happy with the basic layout I enlarged the rough drawing,


traced it onto my working surface and began to collage.

I used sheet music for the lungs/wings because music, lungs and wings all need air to work properly.

The map which forms the background for the heart and blood vessels is of the Brecon Beacons, my Dad used to lead trekking holidays there for apprentices of the engineering company where he worked as a training instructor. He told me that he’d had a clear out of his old maps and I said “I’ll have them!” but he’d already taken them to the charity shop so I went straight there and bought them back.

Once the lungs/wings were collaged I added charcoal outlines and stuck on the map pieces.


I then applied a wash of acryilc paint and more charcoal outlines and shading


All the plumbing and electrical components were made in the same way:

I drew them onto thick paper,

applied a wash of acrylic paint and reinforced the outlines and shading with charcoal,


cut them out,


and stuck them on.


The electrical flex and glow from the fairy lights are painted with acrylic.


Working  with collage, drawn collage, acrlyic paint and charcoal in this way was really fun and liberating.

Details: 36 x 41 cm, mixed media comprising collage, painted collage, acrylic paint and charcoal on paper and card.

2 Tone 2CV

Here’s an update of the 2CV pattern I made earlier in the year, it’s inspired by classic Citroën colour combinations

2CV, car, pattern, repeat, illustration

Cockerel Patterns

I´ve been having fun making some new patterns from my cockerel design:

rooster, cockerel, circle, repeat, pattern, illustration Rooster, cockerel, pattern, repeat, illustration rooster, cockerel, pattern, repeat, ilustrationI’ve just ordered a printed fabric sample of this last one….exciting!