Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Radio Times // Natural Histories Live: The Big Story

Radio Times magazine recently asked me to create another spot illustration for their radio listings. This time it was for BBC Radio 4's "Natural Histories Live: The Big Story".

"Lions, sharks, whales and apes are four well-known A-list groups of animals that have got under our skin, enthralled us with their wildness and inspired literature, film, myth and legend. But so have cockroaches and fleas and the much lesser-known burbot and mandrakes. Radio 4’s Natural Histories series has brought 25 groups of animals and plants together across 25 episodes to tell the stories of nature’s influences on human culture from across the globe.  The Big Story, a special live event presented by satirical comedian Rory Bremner and Natural Histories presenter Brett Westwood tells a story of the earth from dinosaurs to people.  With comedy, music, readings and discussion all recorded live in the spectacular Hinze Hall of the Natural History Museum, this programme tells a uniquely Big Story of 100 million years’ worth of natural history."

Being a huge lover of nature and natural history in general, as well as being a big fan of the Natural History Museum in London, I was obviously very pleased to work on this one. I was full of ideas but also had the challenge of fitting it all into small, narrow dimensions, (and a tight deadline)! After narrowing the ideas down, here were my final sketches and the finished piece.

The Radio Times Christmas Issue is now on sale around the UK.

"Natural Histories Live: The Big Story" will air on December 23rd, 8.00-9:00 pm on BBC Radio 4.
You can also listen to all 25 episodes of the "Natural Histories" radio show on the BBC iPlayer Radio website.

Artwork and Photography (C) Amy Holliday 2015

Sassenach's Honey // Logo Design

A simple logo design for a new small business in Denton, Texas, called "Sassenach's Honey". Made using my existing honey bee illustration with a delicious honey-effect font.

Image (C) Amy Holliday 2015

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Angus Lord Snizzort of Trotternish // Madoli Design Costume

I was very surprised and excited to hear that Angus, the Lord Snizzort of Trotternish himself has his first fan-creation! This incredible costume was created by Olivia Laking of Madoli Design. The details are spot-on! 

Angus is the main character in a book I illustrated last year for children's author Kelly McGill.

Artwork (C) Amy Holliday 2015 

Angus Lord Snizzort of Trotternish (C) Kelly McGill 2015

Angus stage costume by Olivia Laking. For more info visit www.madolidesign.co.uk

Saturday, 31 October 2015

Batty Halloween // Starry night bat

A quick painting of a seasonal critter... hope everyone has a great Halloween!

Artwork (C) Amy Holliday 2015 

Friday, 16 October 2015

California Fruit Wine Co. // Pumpkin & Cranberry Fall Wines

Shortly after I created some fruity illustrations for California Fruit Wine Co.'s labels, a second batch was needed. This time it was "Pumpkin Spice" and Cranberry, whose flavours have just been released for the Fall/Autumn season. Yum!

My portfolio website: www.amyholliday.co.uk

California Fruit Wine Co. website: www.californiafruitwine.com

California Fruit Wine Co. on Instagram: https://instagram.com/cfwco/

Artwork (C) Amy Holliday 2015
Photos (C) California Fruit Wine Co. 2015

California Fruit Wine Co. // Illustrations for Wine Bottle Labels

Way back at the start of the year, I was asked to create some fruity label illustrations for the fabulous California Fruit Wine Co.  The San Diego winery is the pioneer producer of all natural wines handcrafted from fruits other than grapes.

I illustrated each fruit separately and then placed pairs together where needed, working within the format of the labels. The style of the series is based on my own pineapple illustration (you might recognise!) from last year.

My portfolio website: www.amyholliday.co.uk

California Fruit Wine Co. website: www.californiafruitwine.com

California Fruit Wine Co. on Instagram: https://instagram.com/cfwco/

Artwork (C) Amy Holliday 2015

Photos (C) California Fruit Wine Co. 2015

Friday, 21 August 2015

Avocado Studies // Watercolour + Graphite VS Watercolour + Ink

A little experiment with a simple subject matter, the humble but super healthy avocado fruit. A lot of people believe the majority of my work is made with watercolour and ink, yet this is not the case as I usually don't use any ink. So! I thought I would give ink a go - here is a comparison showing the two techniques on different illustrations of the same subject. 

Here is my regular go-to technique, simply graphite and watercolour:

More avocado studies, this time using watercolour and ink:

I really enjoyed using the ink with my watercolour - surprisingly it is also a little quicker to complete than my usual graphite and watercolour technique. It does seem to create a different overall look to the illustration, perhaps a more fun, sketchy vibe than the traditional, more polished feel the graphite exudes. I will definitely continue to experiment with the watercolour + ink more.

Do you have a favourite out of the two styles? Let me know your preference in the comments! :)

Artwork (C) Amy Holliday 2015. Please do not use without permission. 

Food Illustration // Organic Chestnut Mushrooms

A little "still-life" chestnut mushroom study. 

(C) Amy Holliday 2015 please do not use without permission.

Monday, 27 July 2015

Radio Times // BBC Proms 2015: The First Night of the Proms

I was very excited to be asked by Radio Times magazine to illustrate "the first night of the Proms" which was due to air on BBC Radio 3 on Friday. I came up with a number of various designs, compositions and colour schemes before a favourite was selected. I drew inspiration from the page's purple colour scheme and incorporated this into illustration. Drawing the Royal Albert Hall and classical instruments provided an interesting change to the norm. :)  This work was commissioned via my agent, Lemonade, who very kindly sent me a copy of the issue featuring my work.


Artwork is (C) Amy Holliday 2015 please do not use without permission.

Monday, 13 July 2015

Sketchbook // Watercolour Succulents

Personal rough work of an experiment in combining/blending completely different colours within the same object.


Cancer Treatment Centres of America // Cancer Fighters Thrive Magazine: A Place to Call Home

My work is featured in this month's "Cancer Fighters Thrive" magazine! A quarterly magazine distributed by Cancer Treatment Centres of America. The magazine is designed to inform and empower cancer patients, their friends and families.

I was asked to illustrate the article "A Place to Call Home" which discusses ways in which patients make their stay at the centres more homely. After reading the article I submitted lots of idea sketches. The favourites were then selected and painted for the final illustrations. This was a very lovely and enjoyable commission.

Read the article online here.

Monday, 29 June 2015

Sketchbook // Garden Bird Nest with Eggs

I revisited a favourite subject...bird's nests. They're so fascinating, I've loved them since I was a kid! Can't wait to paint this one.


Artwork (C) Amy Holliday 2015. Do not use without permission.

Super Vegetables // Broccoli and Sugar Snap Peas

I've been so busy lately working on quite a few projects, but unfortunately I'm not able to share any of the work just yet - but that's no excuse to neglect my blog. As always I'm still working on few personal projects when I have time to spare. One of them being new vegetable studies. Here is broccoli and sugar snap peas. Both absolutely delicious and superheroes when it comes to nutrition. Let me know what you think!


Artwork (C) Amy Holliday 2015. Do not use without permission.

Friday, 3 April 2015

Personal // Grand National Steeplechase

I finally finished this sketch from 2013! I used a couple slightly different techniques when painting this one too.

Artwork is (C) Amy Holliday 2015 do not use without permission. 

Friday, 20 March 2015

Sketchbook :: Groot Sketch

I've been neglecting my blog lately! I've had lots to keep me busy! I'll have new work to share soon smile emoticon 

Meanwhile here is a sketch I did a few weeks back. I was poorly and feeling sorry for myself, but doodling just for fun made me feel much better! "I am Groot"!

Friday, 27 February 2015

Happy New Year of the....Sheep! (or Ram or Goat!)

Two very sheepish pieces I had an urge to finish last week. The first being quite realistic in its colour palatte, with the second being more experimental - possibly influenced just a smidge by old Chinese art. Either way, I had fun with both of them!

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Q&A // Fruit Illustrations

A brief little Q&A I answered this morning in reference to my fruit illustrations.

1. What inspired you?
Lots of things seem to come together to influence and inspire me to create artwork for different reasons. One such thing is the stunning intricacy of botanical art and how the artists can capture the beauty (and sometimes weirdness) of nature. With my fruit illustrations, botanical art has influenced me but I find that I am inspired by the fruits themselves - so colourful, juicy and delicious! I try to capture this in my artwork.

2. What materials do you use?
To make my drawings, I use a mixture of pencils. I change between a broader, softer lead weight for softer or fluffier textures and a very fine lead for the detail. To add colour, I love to use watercolour paints. I mainly use brushes but sometimes if something needs a certain texture I will try painting with different tools to obtain it, eg, sponge, tissue, leaves, feathers. 

3. How long have you been doing art?
I've been drawing, painting and crafting since I can remember! I think I showed a keen interest and my parents have always really encouraged it by teaching me new things and suggesting new ideas to try. 

4. How do you get the best images (do you use a pen to outline)?
To get the most out of my illustrations, I do like to highlight special details with small amounts of mixed media such as darker pencils, acrylic paint, fine-liner pens and ink.

5. What do you most enjoy doing in art?
I enjoy drawing animals the most! They have so much character and each animal has a different personality. Like people, but more interesting (haha)! 

Thursday, 15 January 2015

New Year. New Website!

Hello everyone! I'm very excited to announce that I have a new website! Hopefully the new layout will now be much easier for you all to navigate whilst having a gander at all of my up-to-date doodles. 

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Etsy // New Signed Prints

I hope you everyone had a sparkling Christmas and a dazzling new year...

As promised there are now lots of new signed giclee prints available in my online Etsy shop. Please take a peek at my new listings here, and let me know what you think!