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: Peony petals, the first flowers of spring and a teapot

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 screen this week has been filled with the blossoming petals of a peony. I try to concentrate on the clouds of colour, working in highly magnified detail, rather than trying to make the drawing look like a flower. I sometimes only zoom out to view the whole picture after a full hour of work.

I can see my little garden bursting into life from my desk by the window. The Elephant Ears were the first flowers to arrive this year.

I created a quick sketch to preserve the memory of the first flush of colour that celebrated the end of the colder months. Quick shading – not worrying if it was patchy here and there – just capturing the moment rather than aiming for a perfect representation. I save all these little sketches and they are really useful when I am drawing in the depths of winter.

Yesterday I took on a new commission to create a logo for a lovely client’s new community venture. For an early draft I created a fast sketch and used a light watercolour wash to suggest a colour palette. Below is a little detail from the centre of my picture.

We are now in one of my favourite stages of the project – where I get sent a lot of photos and pictures as inspiration, which I then get to interpret into the final design. I’ve been asked to add fairy lights and I’ll spend the next few enjoyable days playing with light and shade. I think perhaps early evening in a spring or summer cottage garden might be perfect.

I’d love to here your ideas for cottage garden plants to add to my commission. Please feel very welcome to leave me a comment below 🙂

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