I recently found this in a sketchbook from back when I set myself a personal project of drawing 100 animals in 100 days, and 4 years later, I have finally scanned it in. It was an experiment with black Indian ink on top of my usual watercolour paints.
Earlier this year I was asked to provide some conceptual illustrations suitable for a guide to baby massage. The style direction was influenced by simple lines and subtle touches of colour. This was a very different subject for me to work with, but I enjoyed the challenge of something new.
The first piece was quite close to my usual way of working or 'style', with most of the image having some colour as well as paint splats. In the following pieces, the colours became increasingly subtle, with most of the illustration becoming line drawing - much more suited to simple and elegant step-by-step instructions.
Following the first design, I was asked to show more detail in the baby's face, and reduce the saturation:
The first part of the book touches on how the very first bees evolved, from early pollinators to how we know them today. The first pollinators were prehistoric beetles and wasps.
I leapt at the opportunity to illustrate the lumbering legs of a stegosaurus alongside one of the very first bees, who is busily pollinating early species of flowers. Illustrating the 'first' bee was a challenge as there is very limited images available of them. I used images of early wasps and photos of early bees trapped in amber for reference. This one would become one of the larger illustrations in the book, spread over two pages.
The first flowering plants included species of waterlilies and magnolia.
Bee-friendly flowers: cosmos, Californian poppies, sunflowers, blue borage, squash blossoms, certain species of orchid (Myrmecophila Tibicinis), dandelions, foxgloves, blueberry, cherry and tomato plant blossoms.
The Little Book of Bees is published by Harpercollins and Abrams
I was recently contacted by a lady who has a tattoo inspired by my artwork - one of my little bumblebees on her collar bone. She asked to commission a little green grasshopper to go with the bee she already had. I thought this was a lovely idea and I jumped at the opportunity to draw more bugs! It was a fairly quick and simple commission, with one sketch and no revisions - it really felt like my own artwork from beginning to end with no outside influence/direction for a change, only that it matched the style of my previous bee illustration.
After confirming that the customer was happy with the sketch - I went ahead with some vivid colour. She also asked to purchase the original artwork from me, so I had to be extra
Earlier this year I was asked to illustrate a pair of Bald Eagles for Jekyll Island magazine, 31-81's upcoming fall/winter 2019 issue. It was lovely to learn that bald eagles mate for life, and that they have a breeding pair on the island itself. After looking at a number of photo references, I ended up with two possible sketches for the illustration.
The second sketch was chosen to take to completion - and here it is, this one was a treat to work on.