Revolver Rum – Colombia V Cornwall

RevolverRum-Header-ImageAs I’ve probably mentioned before, I do enjoy a good spiced rum.  So I was pretty chuffed when one of the creators of Revolver Rum contacted me to ask if I could bring their new rum to life, via the gift of illustration.  The idea was to bring out the inspiration and ingredients that went into crafting the rum, having had influences from Colombia and Cornwall (where the creators come from).

I took elements from both locations; you’ll see parts of the landscape and landmarks of Bogota, Colombia, along the left side of the picture, balanced with Cornish locations on the right – you may spot Restormel Castle and St Michael’s Mount.  IMG_0092

Despite the left and right sides of the picture having a Colombia V Cornwall divide, I wanted to make the image flow as well.  The ingredients were an important aspect of the image, which I spaced out according to how the flavours hit the palate when you drink it.  I also included the copper still used to concoct the rum in the first place.  I’ve got to say – there’s something really appealing to me about the shape of the copper still they used.  It’s all round and wiggly – I love it!

I used a limited colour palette, taken from the colours Revolver Rum was already using.  At first I tried to have the colours balance out more evenly but as the painting took a life of its own, there was a real sense of day and night, giving both a sense of separation as well as a natural flow of one running into the other.

It was a challenge fitting in so many elements but it I’m really pleased with how it came together – I hope you enjoy it too.  If you’re a fan of rum yourself, you can try or buy, just check their stockists on the Revolver Rum website.

Watercolour painting of Revolver Rum, with inspiration from Columbia, Cornwall and ingredients; including the Bogota landscape, vanilla, cocktail umbrella, spider, chocolate, rum barrel, crow wing, copper still, st michael's mount, Restormel castle

Commission for Revolver Rum, to create a painting inspired by the elements that went into creating the rum.

 

Advertisements
Watercolour painting of a grey rainbow breathing unicorn by Laura Elliott of Drawesome Illustration

Unicorn Make Over

Unicorns have had a long history in mythology; with what started out as attempting to catalogue creatures from far off distant lands, later turning to something with a more magical quality.  Notoriously difficult to catch, they could once only be lured in by virgins; now they’re everywhere and everyone’s friend.  It’s a great thing to know that unicorns have finally decided to share their magical qualities with the rest of us, even becoming vengeful when called upon.

So yes, unicorns have been around a long ol’ while.  And as with any story, like Chinese Whispers, the details get warped from time to time.  I like to question and play with what is understood about this creature: why is it still white if its qualities are not so pure anymore?  What would happen if rainbows came out of its mouth instead of its butt?

sketchbook drawings of horses by Laura Elliott of Drawesome IlllustrationAs I form ideas about what I want my unicorn to look like, I start practising drawing horses.  Horses are notoriously difficult and after the first few wonky horses, I’d wonder why this was a good idea…  Despite this, my way of tackling challenging shapes is to draw them over and over and over again, so that each time, my hand to eye co-ordination comes to understand the shape and weight of a horse; the power, the gesture, the lines I need to communicate ‘horse’ to any viewer.

Once I eventually find the shape I like, I’ll trace it onto my watercolour paper, ink it up and head on in with paint.  Before I even touch the main image with paint, I’ll always have a test sheet nearby or use the corner to make sure I’m mixing my colours correctly.  You can see some of my tests with the rainbow effect for a rainbow breathing unicorn.watercolour painting tests on paper by Laura Elliott of Drawesome Illustration

Once I’m ready to go, I usually try to paint it in one sitting.  Watercolours can be quite unforgiving and personally, I find it works best if I work quickly, to make sure I’m happy with laying my paint down with different tones and blends before everything gets a chance to dry out.  I know other painters have a slower approach but this is the one that I find suits me.

There’s a lot of grey in the final unicorn, as you’ll see below.  One of the things I love about paint is that it allows me to only work with three paint colours: red, yellow and blue (in warm or cool palettes).  The grey, believe it or not, is made by just the right blend of red, yellow and blue.  No black, no grey, no white.  Amazing huh?

Maybe in a future blog post, I’ll talk about the magic of grey…

But for now, here is a bad-ass rainbow breathing unicorn:

Watercolour painting of a grey rainbow breathing unicorn by Laura Elliott of Drawesome Illustration

 

Portfolio

I create artwork that’s intended to inspire, whether making you smile, or making you think.  My style of drawing is playful; my light quick lines are created with pen and ink – which are my weapons of choice.  Depending on the project, or the feel of a piece, artwork is painted or coloured digitally.  Simply scroll down to view my portfolio.

If you like what you see and want something made for yourself, you can work with me too.

Embrace Your Whimsy

I like to think I know about ‘whimsy’ with my quirky sense of humour and drawing style; however ‘whimsy’ is not always specified in a brief when I’m commissioned so it’s nice when someone comes along and asks you to use your expertise specifically for whimsical subject matters.

I have recently had the pleasure to work with Jessica, who has set up a website dedicated entirely to her sense of whimsy.  I was asked to illustrate a header for her website entitled ‘Embrace Your Whimsy, A Tribute to The Beauty of Chaos’.  Perfect!  After discussing her particular interests, the draft came together:

Pencil draft of galeforcewhims.rocks website header by Drawesome illustration

I felt that the way a person grows and follows their interests can be very organic, following a weaving path like a plant.  Although the winding stems of a sweet pea look a little chaotic, the end result is still beautiful.  The feel of the piece was intended to be feminine too, so I decided greens, pinks and purples would set the tone just right.

Illustrated Website header for galeforcewhims.rocks Embrace Your Whimsy by Drawesome

On her website, you’ll find Jessica discussing thoughts on parenting, teaching. books, life, love and more, definitely worth a read: have a look at www.galeforcewhims.rocks  You can also have a look at the lovely things she said about me and the artwork too – thanks Jessica!

Screenshot of galeforcewhims.rocks website with header illustrated by Drawesome Illustration

How to Say I Love You

Valentine’s is a tricky road of cliches and panic.  And love.  Yes, there’s some of that too.

If you’re looking for a slightly more creative way of showing some adoration, here’s a tip that I like to work with:

Do you have a favourite hobby/food/place/activity?  It’s a little unconventional for sure, but telling someone that you love/like/fancy them more than a particularly prized object or activity gives a tangible comparison.

For example, I LOVE granola.  So much so that I took to eating it for breakfast every morning.  Then I started lovingly baking my own.  Sometimes I’ll even eat it for not-breakfast.  Now and then, for a treat I’ll keep a shot glass of granola to hand so I can nibble on it whilst I’m working…

Anyway, if I’m to tell my partner that I love him more than I love granola, then BOOM: that’s a mighty comparison right there.

I also like this technique from other perspectives too.  This was the line of thought behind these pictures:

If I Was…

Something I like about the words ‘I love you’, is that they are so universal in concept that there are lots of ways of expressing them.  My personal iterations tend to be quite off-beat, which helps me come up with some incredibly quirky ways of saying ‘I love you’.  I like to think that I’m not the only person in this world that has a quirky interpretation of love, and that my professions of affection are romantic and not… Just plain ol’ weird.  I’ll let you decide for yourself…pen and watercolour painting of people running from a dinosaur