Tuesday, 10 December 2013


I have never illustrated anything for children before so when I decided to do this little painting for a private client, I was a bit out of my depth, especially that it was all hand painted with water based temperas (Plakkaatverf Gouaches from Talens are my favourite but difficult to obtain in Scotland so I am cherishing my old box full of these jars!) not to mention the subject matter.

I am really enjoying the responsibility that this kind of painting involves, I like that almost meditative process and inability of ctrl+Z, it really sends tingles down my spine when I am working on these little paintings (and yes, there are several others still to come!).

So the mouse has a new home now and has been even christened Jerry!

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Hat replacement

Before a client meeting in Glasgow today, I managed to get myself a new hat - a quirky, cat ear hat from Zara (aren't they nailing it this season?) so I am now almost a consoled girl!

Meanwhile, here is my another solution to the lost hat - a different hairstyle:

Friday, 22 November 2013

Lost my favourite winter hat today...

…so I've made a little shout out to help me find it:

Friday, 4 October 2013

Sketchbook from Ukraine part 2

I seem to have skipped another episode of my sketchbook adventures so here are two more pages of Russian culture themed watercolours that I did during my holidays:

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Let them eat cake! one the wall of Lovecrumbs cafe in Edinburgh

Enjoy the cakes, some artwork on the wall and (watercolour) cats in the window:

Let them eat cake! at Lovecrumbs

Throughout the Festival August, as we call that month in Edinburgh, I am invading the space of my favourite cafe in town: Lovecrumbs in 155 West Port. My French Revolution / Marie Antoinette inspired ladies are on display there until the end of the month!

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Lartigue in colour

The biggest surprise of the photogrpahy festival in Arles was seeing Henri Lartigue's work in colour! The exhibition of his work during Les Rencontres d'Arles followed his life with (and without after their separation) his muse and first love Bibi, featured some colour slides and also stereoscopic images that one had to view through special binoculars planted in the walls of the gallery.

It is fantastic when one's favourite artist, whose work one knows so well can still surprise and uplift. I have managed to sneakily take an image of his colour work on my phone, isn't it beautiful? Instagram was not first with crazy colours and people documenting their fabulous lifestyles in the south of France:

South of France

So from Ukraine we went to Arles - a little bit of a busman holiday if you'd ask me, as Simon and I we went there to participate in portfolio reviews that accompany the photography festival (Les Rencontres d'Arles) to show our personal photography work. It was very productive, we stayed in a lovely place, met old and new friends, scoffed huge amounts of baguettes, croissants and saucisson and almost saw a corrida!

A fellow illustrator working on a mural ^

All the cats were huuuuge and well fed, especially one in our street, which was the size of a baby tiger...

Friday, 12 July 2013

Ukrainian sketchbook: a sleeping Cat

Here is one of the two dacha's cats, a watercolour from my sketchbook from Ukraine:

Post holiday part 1 - a trip to Ukraine

I do not think I've had such a long time of non stop travelling before (ok, maybe about 8 years ago when we've used to own a sailing boat and we've sailed around Baltic to St Petersburg). I've had to refuse lots of interesting jobs (sorry clients! no internet connection where I was going + no access to the flatbed scanner either) and stress a lot about simple things (like toilets) but after about 8 weeks I am able to sum it all up: that was a great time! (Thank you husband for dragging me out! My poor stressed out head had such a fantastic time!) and my Russian has greatly improved from a leap from non existant to understanding a almost being able to communicate without introducing random words in Polish and English.

We've started our 3 weeks trip with a visit in Krakow and from there via train, to a longer stay in the south of Ukraine. I've had some blissful time of making apricot jams almost every day at our friend's dacha  by the Dnepr river, some kayaking and drawing in my sketchbook under a tree in the garden.

Have a look first at the images from my iPhone:
Art Nouveau in Odessa, cat at the dacha, hot, vast landscape (no wonder that the Ukrainian flag represents their blue skies and fields of grain producing plants stretching up to the horizon), famous Einseinstein's steps in Odessa, train station in Odessa

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Dear Santa, if you are listening...

... I would be very interested in this Leica X3 camera. I promise to be really good!


Seriously, what a cool piece of design this is! It is a concept of Vincent Säll

It even has my favourite focal length of 35 mm! Pity it is a bit improbable, but oh well, I bet that this is what people were talking about electricity ;)

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Back to the colour

And who can be even more colourful than David Bowie himself?

Today's post is inspired the interview with a lovely Belgian journalist (if you are reading this Liselot it was a real pleasure to meet you!) who interviewed me today about my work as an illustrator and my life in Scotland. 

One of the thoroughly researched questions was about my recent announcement about leaving the world of colour for the world of calligraphy and more muted tones. 

As you can see, I was not able to give up completely my usual bright colours so I combined the brights with some typography in a wee hommage to one of my favourite artists.

Friday, 8 March 2013

It is time to...

The thing that fascinates me the most about Scotland is how far, far long ago the history that we are still able to witness today still goes into the past. 

This feeling was an inspiration for this drawing (as usual the photo was taken by me):

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Playing with words

I would like to get away from pretty drawings of fashionable girls on World's Women Day and play more with illustrating concepts... like words. Somehow recently I am all about lettering, calligraphy and fonts so this post is no surprise.

Images used as a background were also taken by me, letters are calligraphed by me (using my favourite, splayed brush) and I am also modelling in the images with my own goosebumps :

Sunday, 10 February 2013

A wee private gift

I have decided to prepare a little New Year gift for our friends Craig and Eva (+ their daughter Lila) and use an image of them that I once took on Instagram (which I am NOT participating in any more btw, due to their dodgy business of image rights) as a base for a watercolour set of portraits.

I very seldom use watercolour technique. It requires a meticulous planning (no CmdZ option on the brush!) and a steady hand (three portraits in one! - so if I would happen to muff the third one there was no going back. Aaaaaaaaaa!!!!!) but as I was very determined to present them with something special. I think it worked very nicely and as far as I know C&E are putting it up on their walls! Result!