pencil drawings of birds


birds sketchbook 1People ask if I draw a lot of birds and I say, ‘No, not really…’  Then I think back over the subject matters I’ve worked with and actually, there are a fair few birds in there.  So here is a lovely collection of my feathered friends, from sketchbook, to the final few I worked up into my birds series.

There’s something I like about their demeanor – short quick movements suit my short quick drawing style; the tilt of their head gives them a human-like quizzical expression.

So as I draw and draw, a few start making themselves known as the ones to paint.  It all started with this cardinal a long time ago…

cardinal bird a garden bird in america

To which I added four more… They’re all available to buy online in my redbubble shop, in various retail places in Bristol, and they’re currently in an exhibition at the Better Food cafe until Saturday 13th December.  I’m hoping to send them on a little tour around Bristol, so maybe you’ll see them up…

watercolour painting of Splendid Fairy Wrendiademed tanager redbubbleKing of saxony

There’s More To Carving A Pumpkin Than Carving

Scarved squash with seeds for teetho what do you do if you want to carve a squash but you’ve already eaten some of its delicious squashiness?  We’re well and truly into squash season and since discovering that there is so much more to squash than the pumpkin offering you get in your average supermarket, I’m trying to cram as much of the glorious food group into my diet as possible.  So upon deciding that I’d like to make a halloween blog post, I was confronted with my ‘Baby Bear’ squash with most of what would be its ‘face’, already sliced off…

Although to be honest the cavity looked like a gaping maw, so that gave me something to start with.  I still had the seeds so thought I’d smoosh them into the flesh to make teeth.  A word to the wise – it may be best to roast your squash seeds first.  Trying to wedge seeds into the flesh is a bit like washing your hands with an especially slippery, freedom-leaping, bar of soap.  Next, to the spices!  Good ol’ cloves… They make perfect little black eyes…  Et voila!  Using ‘props’, I present one ‘not-carved’ squash.


Monster Party Workshop

pencil drawing of a feathered monsterEveryone loves a good monster – especially as we enter autumn with the nights drawing ever closer in.  Soon we’ll be spending the last day of October trying to scare the pants off each other as monsters (and other creepy beasties).

One thing I love about monsters nowadays is that they’re so varied.  There are monsters of every size and description, from Frankenstein to the cast of Monsters Inc.  They’re big and scary or small and friendly and every iteration between.  Thanks to this quality, monsters are fantastically easy to draw.  Whatever you come up with, that’s a monster.  In my mind, there’s no such monster drawing as: ‘but that doesn’t look like a monster’.

Monsters are just so much fun too – which is why I’m running a Monster Party workshop as part of The Art Troupe.  As adults, we don’t get to spend much time playing and doodling for our own enjoyment.  I’m aiming to inject fun and spontaneity into monster drawing with a series of collaborative and solo drawing activities, where at the end of it all, you get your own monster book.  The activities are like ‘artistic sprints’ so as to get around any niggling thoughts of ‘Ok, this monster needs to be good, what shall I draw?  Do I give it three legs or four?  Should I start at the tail or the teeth?’ and you enter into it with more of a ‘Yaaaay!  Monsters!’ instead.

Now and Then drawing of a girl in the snow

Now and Then

drawing by Laura Elliott age 7Scribbling in my ‘Stories’ book, crayon clutched in fist, wonderful worlds appear where the sky doesn’t touch the horizon, dresses are simply triangles and snowflakes are the size of footballs.  Welcome to 7-year-old me.

Having been through art school, my current drawings don’t quite have the same care-free naivety where objects endearingly levitate.  This is why I was excited to discover the Now and Then project, where for one artwork only, I could re-live the suspension of all artistic and scientific rules.  No more perspective, or pesky gravity!  The project asked artists to find an artwork drawn by themselves aged 8 or younger and then re-create it in their current artistic style.

Fortunately for me, my Mum was sentimental enough to hang on to a couple of masterpieces from my youth.  I picked a ‘story’ from the 15th January 1992 about my favourite weather…  Unfortunately I’d not illustrated my poem about dinosaurs (my favourite line being ‘dinosaurs are naughty’).Laura Elliott 'Favourite Weather' Age 28

Doing an updated version of this artwork was a real pleasure, I like to think that I was pretty faithful to the original.

Drawesome Illustrations Now Available on Redbubble

illustration of a dead blue titWahoo!  I now have an online shop!  You can find me nestled in amongst the other artists on Redbubble – which, if you’ve never heard of it before, is an online market space full of talented artists.  My shop is under the name ‘Drawesomeillus‘, as yep, you’ve guessed it, it’s short for Drawesome Illustration.  In my shop you will find a collection of my uniquely illustrated words and pictures which have all been inspired under the theme ‘Twisted Love Stories’.  If slightly odd humour is your thing, then you’ll definitely get a kick out of these.

And the best bit, is that if there’s a fabulous illustration that you like, it’s available on a variety of products, meaning you can adorn everything from your walls to your wardrobe.

Go have a visit and a look around, I’d like to know what you think…


Dancing Robot Busting Moves

Have you been awesome today?  If so, this robot is dedicated to you.  If you’ve not been awesome, feel free to look at this page on a day when you are.


watercolour painting of a dancing robot

Watercolour painting of 2 decorated skulls

The Ultimate Device In Fortune Telling Technology

Hello everyone!  I know, I know, it’s been a while since I last wrote but it’s been one of those times when life just goes a little bit crazy.  Who knew eh?  If only I had some kind of device that could give me the heads up when sh*t’s about to get real.

If only… *cue daydream sequence of me creating a super high-tech fortune telling gizmo for all modern lifestyles*

Yes!  That’s it!  After a montage of thinking and tinkering, I have fashioned the ultimate in fortune telling technology.  Drum roll please… With my mighty skills of paper-craft, illustration, and, erm,  ‘foresight’, I have birthed into existence the must-have device for clarifying the murky waters of: The Future.

Now, I have for you 2 fortune teller devices that you can print out and try for yourself.  One is about that most fickle of subjects: Love.  The other is for the more dark humored of you, in which you find out which bad fortune will befall you. It’s not all sweetness and roses, but neither is life.  Forewarned is forearmed, I say.

Once you’ve constructed the fortune teller, you can use it not only for yourself but you can amaze your colleagues, neighbours, friends, family, people on the street, or whoever you so choose.

Each image below will have a grey line around the fortune teller for easy cutting after printing.  Once you click an image to open the gallery, right click to ‘view image’.  That way you will print only your fortune teller and not the whole blog post.  Instructions for folding and using are underneath the images.  I’d love to hear your feedback to see what you make of them.

Making Your Fortune Teller

1. Print and cut out fortune teller following the grey line around the outside of the image.
2. Place fortune teller face up and fold the bottom corners to the top and unfold. Repeat with left corners folded to the right and unfold.
3. Turn the fortune teller over, so it is face down.
4. Fold each of the 4 corners in to the centre, so the pictures and numbers are showing.
5. Turn fortune teller over, so it shows the fortunes facing up.
6. Fold each of the 4 corners to the centre so only the numbers show.
7. Fold the square shape in half so the numbers face in to each other – you’ll be left with a rectangle with 2 pictures facing out on each side.
8. Press fortune teller into shape by placing first thumb and then forefingers of each hand to nest into the space  under the raw corners.  Allow the paper to bend as you bring each of the 4 points (where your fingers and thumbs are nesting) to meet in the centre.
9. Operate the fortune teller by pinching fingers and thumb of each hand and twisting away from each other, to reveal one set of numbers.  Then alternatively pinch fingers of both hands and thumbs of both hands to pull and reveal the next set of numbers.

Telling Fortunes

1. Hold fortune teller so that the centre corners are together and no numbers are visible.  Ask your participant to pick a colour denoted by one of the 4 pictures. Alternate the flexing/opening of the fortune teller to coincide with the same amount of letters in the colour your participant picked.
2. Ask your participant to pick a number from the now visible set of numbers.  Flex open the fortune teller the corresponding amount of times.
3. Ask your participant to pick another number.
4. Unfold the paper to read the fortune underneath the number your participant picked.

Kraken Rum’s Escaped Kraken

I’m a fan of rum.  Especially dark rum.  Narrow it down again and you’ll find I love dark, spiced rum.  Cor blimey, now there’s a flavour.  I can feel my mouth watering just thinking about it.  After a splash of inspiration, I thought perhaps it’s not just me that likes rum, perhaps the kraken on the labeling of kraken rum is tired of sitting on the label, clutching it’s wooden ship.  If I were that kraken, I’d toss the ship and get me some rum.  Much like below…

kracken rum

Handwritten Lovely Words

After the last post, using brush and ink for the handwritten quote, I decided that I quite liked using a brush to write.  Most often I use pen, or even sometimes twigs to draw and write.  This time though, I just wrote all the lovely words that came to mind and fit them together for a happy Monday post.


hand written brush typography