For anyone who likes to look at and read about pretty pieces of artwork

Featured artist: Marney Anderson

Marney Anderson is an artist who I stumbled across purely by chance on Instagram. Her work always strikes me as being quite sad and nostalgic. She manages to convey a lot of human emotion in her drawings, which are often quite tender and comforting as well as being quite strange.

If you are interested in buying any of her prints, check out her website here .















New illustration style

I’ve been messing around with my style a little in the past few weeks, and thought I’d share some of my latest drawings/paintings. I’m going to be honest, there aren’t really any deep and hidden meanings behind them, I just like them to be strange for the sake of being strange. It kind of annoys me how a lot of artists feel the need to think of over the top and confusing concepts to go with their art in order to make up for the fact that it’s often shit. I’m a firm believer in the art being judged by how technically and creatively imaginative/interesting/attractive it is, rather than how complex/deep the idea behind it is – anyone can think of that mumbo jumbo. Having said that, there are some really interesting pieces of work out there which also make you think which I totally appreciate, but I just can’t stand some of the minimalist contemporary art that is frankly just boring to look at.

Anyway back to the point – here are some of my latest little drawings:


Signs of the Zodiac – Taurus


Signs of the Zodiac – Gemini


Would you like some fish with your tea?




Men and apples


Which paint to use – acrylics or watercolour?

From personal experience, it can be a bit daunting experimenting with new media. This is because it can completely change your style and what works in one media may not work in another. I’ve tended to use watercolour up until now because I like the muted colours and personally I find it to be the easiest paint use. I remember not having much success with using oil paints when doing Art at school as I tend to work best with smaller, more detailed paintings, besides getting it absolutely everywhere because it is so messy..

But I’m at the stage now where I want to experiment with a lot of media and styles to see what I can come up with, so decided to give acrylics a go. Acrylics work very differently to watercolour and they both have good and bad qualities. So here’s a quick pros and cons list of both to help you out if you’re unsure of which to use.



  • When using watercolours, you never know what kind  of effect you are going to end up with. Depending on how much water you use, the paint tends to work of its own accord and dries leaving unique patterns every time if you don’t mess around with it too much once it’s on the paper. This is an effect that you can’t really get with any other paint and I personally think it is really beautiful.
  • Depending on the amount of water used, watercolours can create both a translucent and opaque effect. Add only a small drop of water and watercolour paints are similar to gouache, whereas if you add a lot of water they can be used to simply suggest the hint of a colour in the background. This versatility comes in very useful, but it is actually harder than it looks to judge the right amount of water to add to a painting to achieve the desired effect.
  • One of the best things about watercolour is that it doesn’t ever truly dry out on the paint pallet. This is SO useful, because it means you don’t waste loads of paint whenever you stop painting for a day or so. As soon as you add water to the swatches they can be used again. This can’t be said for acrylics which can dry out very quickly.

Watercolour painting by artist Jean Haines – visit her website at


  • Watercolours are very fiddly to paint with, so if you make a mistake it can sometimes be a nightmare trying to correct it. Because of their translucency, it can be hard to correct a dark colour so you have to be careful not to smudge anything whilst you’re painting.
  • It can be harder to build up vibrant colours when using watercolours because they are naturally quite delicate colours once water is added, whereas when using acrylics or oils you can create a much bolder range of colours with ease.
  • If you ever spill anything over a watercolour painting, it will be immediately ruined. I’ve done this a few times and it is very frustrating!

This video I found on YouTube gives some great instruction to using watercolour:



  • Because acrylics are a lot thicker in texture than watercolours, they are easier to paint with and are a lot less fiddly. This means they are great for painting larger areas of a painting such as a background or creating a more unified block of colour.
  • The range of colours that can be created with acrylics are very bright and vivid and only require one layer of paint to achieve this affect, whereas watercolours often need a few layers to build up colour.
  • Because acrylics are a thick paint, you can create a variety of textures with them when using different tools to scratch into the surface or mess around with the paint. They can be used to create a smooth and well-defined finish, as well as a rough, uneven surface with plenty of texture.

Illustrator KT Smail uses acrylics and gouache to create her prints and illustrations. Her use of colour is so gorgeous – visit her website at


  • I personally find it frustrating how acrylics dry out very quickly. Which is fine when you are painting the actual piece, but it also means you have to keep adding paint to your palette because the colours that you mix dry up in no time.
  • If you make a mistake with acrylics and need to go over it with more paint, it can create quite a thick layer on the page. This is fine if you want texture in your painting, but if you are aiming for a smoother finish, it can mess it up a bit.
  • Unlike watercolours, acrylics will not mix of their own accord – the job is all down to you. This isn’t really a con, because it should be the artist who creates the painting, but I thought I would add this in for everyone who only uses watercolour!


I’ve not decided which paint is my favourite yet, having only started using acrylics recently.. What’s your favourite to use?

Latest paintings

There’s been a bit of a gap between my last post and this one, which I’m blaming entirely on university work. Third year is genuinely the hardest I’ve ever worked in education. I actually became fond of the uni library because of how much time I was spending there.. But now I have all the time in the world, between searching for a job, to dedicate to painting, so here are some of my latest pieces:


‘Dinner time’

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‘Posh flamingo’


‘Now’s not the time to party’


My Dad


‘Clever cat’


The beauty of Art Nouveau

I have known this piece of art pretty much since I can remember.. It’s by Belgian artist Henri Privat-Livemont (when I googled him it seems the guy has about four aliases so I picked that one) – and it’s called Absinthe Robette (fairly obvious – it’s on the painting). It’s one of those paintings that brings back so many memories because it has always been in my home and we still have it to this day.

The reason I’ve mentioned Absinthe Robette is because it was my first glimpse into the world of Art Nouveau, which is what I wanted to talk about today. Art Nouveau is one of those styles of paintings that I think just has the power to immediately take you back to a different era – a sort of fantasy world where everything is elegant and pastel and fairly surreal. I LOVE it. Which is why I want everyone else to love it too – it’s just too pretty.

For those who are unfamiliar with Art Nouveau, it tends to take inspiration from the colours and forms of natural subjects – hence why Art Nouveau tends to look ‘flowery’. I’ve done a bit of research and apparently Art Nouveau is also referred to as ‘The Whiplash’ because of the ‘curvy style’ that was typically employed by Art Nouveau artists (I found this interesting). The general theme running through Art Nouveau artwork is also one of harmonisation – which is why the work tends to be so fluid and easy on the eye.


rajah cafe girl98

Art Nouveau by Privat Livemont 2


Another Art Nouveau artist that I am very fond of is Mucha – one of the most famous artists of this period. I actually ended up bringing a whole selection of Mucha souvenirs back from Europe last summer when I was travelling because I just adored it – posters/bookmarks/postcards… I really like Mucha..





So anyway, I’m looking to these artists for inspiration at the moment because I’ve been struggling with ideas recently and needed to free the old noodle up a little.. Hopefully I’ll be inspired!

Featured artist: Tracey Long

I’d like to make it a regular part of this blog to feature the work of other artists, because I think it’s important to get inspiration from other people’s work. And also because I haven’t got an art degree and after failing hideously in Year 12 – because I was ‘slightly’ on the lazy side -I feel my technical skills aren’t as great as I’d like them to be, so I personally find it really helpful to look at other artists’ work and try and figure out how they achieved certain styles.

SO, back to the point. As part of my final year university project last week I interviewed illustrator Tracey Long and I wanted to feature her as the first artist on here because I am in LOVE with her paintings. But a bit of background first. Tracey’s stories all tell a story, which is what I personally love about them. They’re a bit weird and wacky and there are even one or two that are a bit creepy but I think that’s what makes her work so original. She typically is inspired by stories or poems and from that she creates her weird little pictures.

They might not be everyone’s cup of tea but these are literally what I wish I could paint like. They remind me of something you might find in a coffee shop or even a nursery and what’s great about them is they really work your imagination.

For a  link to Tracey’s website click here.

How cute do you get. Seriously I adore this

How cute do you get.. Seriously, I adore this


Donkey on a space hopper


Dog holding a bird


Doesn’t get much cooler than this


AHH I can’t take how cute these are

The importance of doodling

So I was at a bit of a loss with what to write in my first post on this blog and I am VERY aware of how awkward I may sound… So please bear with me for the first couple of posts while I try and figure out how I am going to do this.

I figured I would start with something simple that I have enjoyed doing recently – doodling. So I know everyone who is old enough to hold a pen doodles, but in an artsy context, I’ve found doodling is a really great way to find new styles of drawing. I’m a bit of a perfectionist and tend to throw something away if it’s got a stray bit of paint on it or just doesn’t look right – this applies to my university notes as well as my art – and it’s SO ANNOYING! When really I should keep working on it even if it doesn’t look right. So this is where the doodling comes in – I’ve found that my paintings tend to be SO much better when I have been doodling a lot beforehand, because I’m less scared that I’ll mess up the final piece somehow and I’m more adventurous with the painting.

So I reckon what I’ve gathered from this is that the key is to not be scared to mess it up and use literally the back of a newspaper or some old letters to scribble on – don’t waste your good paper.

Here’s some of my latest doodling exercises.. I haven’t developed them any further because I quite liked how simple they were, but I’m thinking about making them into a larger piece..



This is meant to be my mum. She was a bit apprehensive of the ‘large jaw’


This one creeps me out but I think his eyebrow is looking great


Isn’t he dashing


My friend Ben