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 Kate Dahlia

Welcome to my art journal, where I write about my drawings and how my little garden, the fields and woodlands close to my home and the seasons influence my art practice.

My art time in March was spent immersed in the intensive drawing of a Cafe au Lait Dahlia. My friend Kate very kindly gave me permission to use one of her photographs as a reference and the depth of colour I was able to perceive within each petal is testament to her incredible talent, both in the growing and photography of dahlias. You can see more of her work here.

Each petal took approximately an hour to create and I found it very different to the shaping of my previous rose design. The rose has gentle swirls, whereas the dahlia seemed to form spikes of colour, like flickering ivory flames.

Below is the day-by-day creation of the full flower. Choosing where to start is difficult and I ended up treating the dahlia like a clock face and slowly working my way around.

The finished design has now been added to my little art shop and below is the wall canvas, on a forest green background.

I am currently working on a Peony, which I am finding so very different again! Drawing flowers in such detail has given me a chance to appreciate them in a way I could never do in a glance or from a distance.

Visit the Dahlia Collection at Tiny Potager Shop

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