We’re back for another painting workshop at the Blokhut in Eindhoven, after the success of the first one! Saturday 24th September 10.00-12.00 with the theme ‘Late-Summer Botanicals’.
This one will be an actual lesson with tips and guidance on how I paint my botanical sketches in watercolours. Again suitable for both beginners and advanced watercolourists (in which case, feel free to do your own technique and just enjoy the company and creativity), all are welcome. We speak both English and Dutch.
We have 10 sets of materials available for use, so get there quick to grab one. First come, first served. Coffee and tea available. Come on down for a casual creative morning.
It’s a free session, but donations for materials will be greatly appreciated. I’ll bring a tip jar ❤
I’m pleased to announce that you can join me for a watercolor painting event in Eindhoven! Myself and a couple of folks thought it a lovely idea to get together for a casual painting session, on location inspired by the lovely Blokhut garden, in the Irisbuurt.
Come join us for a fun painting session in the Irisbuurt Blokhut!
Open for beginners and experienced artists. This will be a casual session with no set instructions to follow, but tips and guidance will be available for beginners and anyone who asks. I speak both Dutch and English. Everyone is welcome!
Use our watercolour materials (10 sets available, first come first served) to make a couple of paintings of the lovely garden, or bring your own painting equipment and inspiration pictures. Materials for tonal sketching will also be available.
We’ll go ahead even if it’s raining, we can sit further under cover and arrange for botanical material on the tables to paint.
Having missed painting in person with people over the last few years, I’m very much looking forward to this get together!
If you’d like to RSVP to the Facebook event, you can do that here.
I’m going to be sharing more of my art-making and design process here, as well as my tips for anyone who’s interested.
My Patrons get full details on the process as it happens, as well as invitations for their input, and my newsletter gives a monthly run-down of the best bits as well as a heads-up on when things will be available to purchase in my shop.
I’ll be using this space to curate the processes of my most interesting and juiciest projects, and sharing any experience that I think may come in handy to anyone else. I know I’m always eager to see the design process of other illustrators, out of curiosity and to see if I can pick up any useful tips.
I’ll start with my pocket Garden Journal. This was a self-initiated project that I made basically because I wanted to use it myself!
Run-down of Development Steps
Pencil thumbnails and brainstorming ideas
Watercolour spot illustrations, then scanned and digitally cleaned up
Each page made up and imported into a digital page template
Mini thumbnails of all finished pages, placed in a layout overview document
All pages assembled in a multi-page PDF template, then sent to the printers
Tips / Notes to Self
// A thumbnail overview is useful~ Even a ‘blank’ journal has a sequential layout that requires pacing. A zoomed-out overview lets you check out that colour-schemes and page layouts all have room to breath and are varied enough to be interesting. Especially with so many pages (mine has 44); that’s a lot of room for error!
// Leave lots of time for a multi-page project~ Give yourself a roomy deadline. I knew what I wanted for the finished journal from the start, as gardening is also my hobby, but if it had been an unfamiliar subject I’d have needed a way longer planning and research stage. I’m also naturally bad at time-management so I had to have a lot of patience when things took longer than I initially anticipated. On top of that it was also a new document format, being so many pages, in a publishing program that I have barely used. Patience!
// Ask for a proof version if you have time~I DID actually go for a proof this time, and in the end it wasn’t needed. I ended up making no changes. I think this was down to luck though, and the fact I was making up a booklet to my own requirements. If it had been a commission, or anything with any word count at all (I think this journal has maybe 60 words in it, mostly on the back), then I’d definitely double check before approving the full run. These things cost money, especially with the cost of paper these days, and it’s just not worth throwing your money away. Enquire with your printers, if your print run is large enough then they may be willing to throw in a physical proof print for free.
This journal was certainly a challenge, and if you’re thinking of making up your first illustrated book I’d definitely recommend starting with a familiar subject matter as an anchor to grow your skills around.
If you have any questions, or there’s an aspect you’d like further explanation of, then feel free to comment below!
Sometimes custom projects come along that are so satisfying to work on from start to finish. Lauren and Stephen very kindly asked me for some illustrated North American animals for their wedding, which they then worked into their table names and seating plans.
The results were a mix of brush pen and ink, plus watercolours. Simple, quick and loose (read: fun to do!) but still cohesive as a set. This was the first time I’d done a series in a while, but I think it gelled well.
Illustrations printed and ready to ship
I was happy with my drawings once I’d passed them on, but boy did they come together with the gorgeous styling of the wedding! The photography by Georgi Mabee also showcased the event to stunning effect, so thank you to her for letting show off my illustrations with her photos.
In the last couple of months I’ve found that if I can work, I MUST work, for my sanity!
A series of one of my favourite subjects, doors and windows, has been the result of some snatched sketches and painting. The reference photos were taken by me over a couple of years with the theme in mind, so I have a couple of good ‘uns. I’m just finishing up the last one this week, and am pretty pleased with the paintings and also noticed an improvement in my technique. I was certainly quicker, after painting all those bricks and sandstones! Once it’s wrapped up I’ll clean them up and have a limited amount of 2019 calendars made, so do let me know if you’d like one reserved.
Here’s a quick glimpse of a couple (you can see more on my Instagram @illustratorlaura )-
It’s been very quiet around here, but I’ve been busy. We welcomed our little baby boy, Baby Q, in July!
A common scene at my desk
Over a few months of adjustment I’ve managed to sneak in some illustration work time, and you can see what I’ve been up to over on my Instagram @illustratorlaura.
It’s been tough, having to work around the schedule of a completely new human, who has no clue what a schedule even is. I’m constantly tired, and you can throw any expectation of plans right out the window. Any work is nibbled at in tiny ten minute bites, mostly with an ear out whilst I hold my breath and hope the wee man doesn’t wake up. Luckily there are a couple of hours of babysitting time a week, which is heaven. And yeah: mini human. Super cute.
Having so little ‘me’ time has made me realise that illustrating is such a necessary part of my life, and it’s renewed my drive to fit it in, no matter how drained I feel. I’ve been working on a new series, which you can get a peak at over on Instagram (and I’ll share here shortly).
I’m also a bit nervous about this but I’m doing it anyway: another market! It’s been a couple of years since I was doing them regularly, and it’s a bit of pressure to prepare for it at such a busy time. Markets are always fun though, great to get yourself and your work out there, and I do love a challenge.
If you’re in the Eindhoven area on the weekend 24/25th November (I’ll only be there Sunday 25th) get yourself down to Etsy Made in Eindhoven pop-up market and show some love for local makers and sellers!
I’m back in ‘work mode’ after the holidays, finally.
Can’t wait to get stuck in with my ongoing and new creative projects, I’ve so many plans!
I’m trying to share my work more with the world this year, so that people can see what it is I actually do! Some projects are too personal to share, or I can’t share them yet, but here are a few pet portraits I was lucky enough to be commissioned for before Christmas-
Cat portrait, Laura Carter Illustration
watercolour WIP, Laura Carter Illustration
Puppy plaque, illustratorlaura
Dog portrait, Laura Carter Illustration
All watercolour, and the little wooden plaque was gouache.
Do contact me if you’d like me to do something personal for you, human or furbaby!