Friday, 3 July 2020

Cheetah // Watercolour and Black Indian Ink

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.

 Artwork (C) Amy Holliday 2020

Do not use without permission

Tuesday, 31 March 2020

Planet Earth Studies // Watercolour Illustrations

Self initiated studies of our Planet Earth / Planet Home / Earth Mother - hopefully there will be more to come in the future.





Artwork (C) Amy Holliday 2020

Friday, 20 March 2020

"The Little Book of Bees" // Pt Two: Tools and Honey

Beekeeping equipment - to keep things simple, I illustrated a traditional beekeeping suit hood, (instead of a full suit) as well as two hive tools, a smoker and a honey extractor. 



Honey, in its various forms. Capped honey, as it looks as soon as it is removed from a traditional beehive, raw honeycomb, a honey dipper and glass jars.






 The Little Book of Bees is published by HarperCollins and Abrams

Artwork © Amy Holliday 2019

Sunday, 22 December 2019

Baby Massage // Concept Illustrations in Line & Watercolour

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:





Artwork (C) Amy Holliday 2019

Friday, 20 December 2019

"The Little Book of Bees" // Pt One: The First Bees and Bee-friendly Flowers

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.




A few 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

Artwork (C) Amy Holliday 2019

Little Grasshopper // Insect Bug Tattoo Design

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 
careful not to make any mistakes.


The two together: 



Artwork (C) Amy Holliday 2019

Editorial Illustration // Bald Eagle Couple in Watercolour

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.


Artwork (C) Amy Holliday 2019