Art Journal: The Peony Collection, a little shed and a magical cat

Completing my collection of three hyper-realistic flowers, drawn between January and May 2021, is the delicate pink peony. The photographic reference was kindly given to me by my lovely friend Sally who has the most beautiful garden full of flowers. She has been so supportive all the way through the creation of this artwork; a constant source of daily encouragement and kindness.

Sally’s Peony, by Tiny Potager

With the launch of the Peony Collection, for the very first time my little art shop is selling notebooks …

… and large “beach bag” totes – which was an ask from my very talented photographer friend Anna, who already owns two of our smaller bag designs (and styles them very beautifully for us!). Thank you so much Anna x

One commission I have been really enjoying working on in the last few weeks is an artwork of a hand-built family shed. A wonderful lady named Julia was the winner of the “Best Shed” competition in the Tweeters Garden Show on Twitter. The prize was for me to draw the winning shed. I admit I was a little nervous about what I might be drawing, but this could not have worked out better for me. Julia created the shed with her family from reclaimed items. Isn’t it brilliant?

Initially, I made a sketch of the dimensions from a reference photo, but since then I have been working solely from my draft – to help create the pieced-together character of this charming little building. I think definite lines and precision would be all wrong here. The dark background may or may not stay – I tend to work on a black background because it helps me to prevent eye strain when working digitally. Julia kindly let me know the summer plants she intends to grow, so I am now adding sweetpeas to the trellis and tumbling tomatoes to the hanging baskets.

Finally, I would like to introduce you to Koshka the cat. She rules my two human friends Will and Kirsty and I have the joyful task of drawing her.

Since they both love myth, folklore and Dungeons & Dragons, I am making the portrait a little bit magical in their honour. Will does a lot of work online promoting kindness and compassion in the online DnD community and you can find him here.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. With several deadlines out of the way, I am looking forward to spending time in my tiny potager garden now that the sun is shining x

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Art Journal: The Victorian Halloween Stage by Stage

For this artwork, I first sketched out the rough shapes onto a piece of A3 (poster-sized) paper with a light 2B pencil, and then gradually added the finer features with a graphic pencil. One of the first items to be detailed-in was the marionette stall.

I had put out a request online for suggestions and one person had asked for a “dancing skeleton”; this gave me the idea of a puppet.

I have a mini-desk and tiny stool set up beside me and my daughter sits there beside me in the early morning whilst I work, with her own little art set. I keep a sheet of laminate close by that I can pop over my work-in-progress so that she can point out features she likes.

One request was for a “spooky merry-go-round with skeletal horses” and for this I referred to a veterinary anatomy book – even though the horse is actually only a centimetre in size.

A special friend, who is fighting a very brave health battle, requested a little girl with Star Wars buns in her hair, accompanied by her pet dog. I gave the girl the central position in the whole piece.

One suggestion was for “spiders with hats.” The town’s tavern therefore found its name: The Hatted Spider.

I was asked to include a “wizard with a huge beard that gets everywhere!” This developed into a mischievous character who used his beard to steal both hot chestnuts and a toffee apple. Local children can be found using it as a skipping rope.

“A mother witch with her children, all on broomsticks” was another suggestion. I imaged that this would probably require reigns of some sort to keep the little ones from flying off. The witch family can be found in front of the milliner’s, the mother witch balancing groceries on the back of her broomstick.

If you peek in the top window of Dr M. Shelley’s, you might spot Dr Frankenstein tinkering about with some cables that he should really leave alone. Both the Book Depository and the Physician’s have “established” dates that match the dates on which the famous books were published. B. Stoker’s book shop is “Open From Dusk.”

Gradually, it begins to take shape.

Here is the haunted mansion on the lower right corner being drawn in:

The outline finished. Time to add colour.

I wanted to create a sense of the orange-yellow glow that always accompanies a fairground at night. I focused on the areas of bright light first; the carnival rides, street lamps and windows.

The little dog here belongs to a lovely friend who gave me a photo of their pet in a woolly Christmas jumper. The witchy fortune teller was another brilliant request.

Nearly there.

The Ent-like tree, with his arm around the letterbox is one of my favourite parts of the poster.

Mrs Hudson hails a cab for Sherlock from a first floor window.

After everything is complete, we scan them and my husband turns them into digital artworks for

I want to thank the 130+ friends who took part in creating this artwork, with cheery company and fantastic suggestions.

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