Thursday, 20 December 2012

Badger Family in the Snow // Merry Christmas!

One thing that has occurred in my drawing and sketching lately (somewhere in the midst of my experimentation with new subjects/themes) are woodland animals. Badgers are gorgeous little things, they remind me of dogs or little bears. is very wintery illustration, inspired by Britain's beautiful badgers and the wonderful news that they have been reprieved from their cull here in the UK, hurray! Now lets see if we can use this extra time to put a stop to it happening completely. I wish you a very merry Christmas and hope you are having very happy holidays!

Close ups:

Images are (C) Amy Holliday and are not to be used without permission.

Monday, 17 December 2012

Starsigns 2012: Libra Scales

This is my second post about this series, (see the first post about Cancer here)

Next up: Libra! I saw a challenge in depicting the only "inanimate" sign, which is what drew me to tackle this one next. I wanted to include some more celestial influences in this one, and also became inspired to include a nod to the zodiac's ancient Greek origins! Here is my finished design, alongside my previous Cancer illustration.

I have been trying out some very painterly-styled fonts with these, trying a normal vs a reversed/inverted style before picking my favourite to use within the final design. Here they are together.

Images are (C) Amy Holliday and are not to be used without permission, thank you!

Monday, 3 December 2012

Sketchbook: Smiley Cats

The limited number of daylight hours here in the north of England are limiting the time I can spend painting - and when the weather is bad it can seem like nighttime, all the time! I have lamps but nothing beats bright daylight for getting colours right. Drawing on the other hand is fine, as any light will do for that! And this I am very thankful for. Here is one of the subjects I have been sketching lately: new cats. With these I have been really aiming to capture very sweet feline faces. (Click for a larger view)


Saturday, 1 December 2012

UrbanPup Ad Concepts - Update!

I recently posted about some mock advertisement illustrations I'd been working on. Well, here is an update on them! The four designs I have been concentrating on now look more complete and cohesive as a set. There are still a few tweaks that need to be made, plus I feel a bit more experimenting with textures may be in order! Your comments and opinions/feedback are very welcome.

You can go here to see my previous post about them which includes more info about the idea behind them. You can also find my initial drawings and concepts for them here.

All images are (C) Amy Holliday, please do not use without permission.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

New Bird Nests Illustrations // A Sneak-Peak at some details...

I can't share the full illustration with you all just yet - so for now, here are some crops of a bird-nest-related project I have just finished...

Sunday, 11 November 2012

More Dairy Cow Illustrations! Jersey heads and Bursting Udders

I recently completed three more illustrations for the same client who commissioned the five during the summer. (Go here to see the previous five) There is now a total of eight(!) in the series.

I always end up learning about the subjects I draw, (apart from generally being interested I also find it helps when I understand the subject better) - but during this project I have quite simply learned that I LOVE Jersey cows, they are so beautiful!!

 Two of these three are slightly more educational  illustrations, but are still in-keeping with the same style of the others. One includes a vet checking the cow over with a stethoscope, and another shows a detailed view of the Dairy cow's udder full of milk.

Images are (C) Amy Holliday, you may not use without permission.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Starsigns 2012: Cancer Crab (Red Rock Crab)

Another personal project: Star signs for horoscopes...(something which I take an interest in since they are directly related to the true constellations, and I find all of that fascinating) The first one has turned out to be Cancer, because crabs are amazing creatures and so fun to draw. I chose the Red Rock Crab, as it is one of the few species whose latin name includes "cancer". These are an edible kind too - so they are loved around the world for more than just being cute.

I have also tried some new type with this using watercolour. I experimented with reversed colour (see below) but felt that this style suited this particular image better and was clearer to read. I may add the corresponding symbols to these perhaps the dates and/or the current horoscope.

Works in progress: the reversed type design:

Images are (C) Amy Holliday and are not to be used without permission.

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Happy Halloween! Old Art: Pretty Pumpkins

I hope you had a wonderful Halloween! I was just browsing through some old work and I came across this old pumpkin study. It's rough, loose, sketchy and...whimsical.

Urban Pup: Mock Advertisement illustrations

This is a follow-up from my last post about my personal, pretend "" advertisement illustrations. The reason for choosing such a modern, fresh brand was so I could set myself the challenge of creating something a bit more contemporary and bold than my usual style. With these I aimed to step out of my comfort zone a little and I really aimed to be more bold, brash and strong with the brush strokes and colour.

I experimented with creating mock advertisements such as the full-page ones seen in magazines. The "bold" brush strokes are a subtle nod to very urgently done graffiti tags, showing how creative you can get when you personalise your own pet hoody/t-shirt/accessory. I also included some real paw-prints which I scanned in and layered onto my paintings digitally.

(I used a different/new kind of paper for these, which has appeared to make the paint appear more smooth in some areas - something I am not happy with, as fur NEEDS texture!! However it has given me more to think about for future paintings)

These are still a bit of a work in progress, but this is what I have so far. 

Comments/opinions/feedback are very much welcome! I would love to hear your thoughts.

All images are (C) Amy Holliday and are not to be used without permission.

Sketchbook: Dogs! Breed heads/drawings/sketches

Firstly, apologies! For I have been very quiet (again)! I realised today that lately, I have been very lazy with updating my blog, making very irregular and few updates...I have actually forgotten all about it at times. I have been updating my facebook page with works in progress, however I think it is time I returned to creating full, slightly more interesting posts here once again.

I am quite a quiet and reserved person and it takes a lot for me to speak out and be open about things including my work, so a lot of the time I do find it quite difficult to keep up with my blogs and networking sites because it is not something that comes naturally to me! Although, if I do it more often, perhaps it can help me become better at talking about my work?

I have some bits of news, some thoughts, and some new projects to share, so hopefully all of this will help keep me from being too quiet for a while!


Sketchbook: Dogs! 

As I might have explained in previous posts, I have been working on expanding my portfolio with new and quite different work. I have lists of ideas and subjects that I would like to illustrate, one of which is dogs! So loveable and expressive; every dog I have met has had such a wonderfully distinctive personality. Also, dogs are everywhere!

To give my illustrations context, I decided to aim to create images for a clothing brand - a dog clothing brand that is - an online store called Urban Pup. (I love that you can have things personalised!) Here are some of my initial drawings of studies for head and shoulder illusts of the individual but equally lovable dog breeds, modelling some (urban) fashion styles inspired by the Urban Pup range.

A first idea for a possible layout for a mock print-advertisement:

After these initial drawings, it was clear the dog models needed to be much more "cute" and so this time I draw a lot more whilst really trying to emphasise the cute and loveable-ness but still keep a realistic style.


More progression on the Urban Pup project to follow very soon :)

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

More Fruits: Lemons and Blackberries

I set myself a challenge to re-illustrate the graphic for the Twinings' tea "Green tea with lemon". I also wanted to experiment with various styles and approaches to a subject, and lemons seemed like a good, simple subject to do.

As well as some quite detailed and highly textured studies, I also tried some simpler versions, using less colours and for others, minimal brush strokes.

 My final design:

I also painted some juicy and very ripe blackberries. They were fun to do but it was difficult to select the best colours to use, as I found that I wanted to highlight the rich shades in order to really emphasise their juicyness, but I had to do so without making them appear unnaturally colourful!