You’re The Swan That I Want

Hey Sam, a distance voice cries, will you ever just quit it already with the bad animal puns? To which I lovingly whisper my reply: absolutely not.

I know, I know, it’s still January but Valentines Day isn’t that far off, and that’s as good an excuse as any for yet more heinous incredible puns! So here’s this year’s collection of animals, which you can check out in my Redbubble Store, and purchase to inflict upon your loved ones this year. That being said, if anyone has any evil pun ideas they’d like me to inflict upon the world, then hit me the hell up because I am down. Also because every time I do one of these I get to experience the pain of learning to draw yet another animal, and if there’s one thing artists love, it’s constantly trying to draw things they have no idea how to draw.



Christmas Cards!

Woah, it’s been a while! I have been making things, just not really posting about them at the moment. That and I don’t have an awful lot of free time anymore, but there we go. At any rate, I’m posting now because I have a very festive announcement.

I officially have Christmas cards for sale! If you go to this link here you can see all the designs I have up at the moment. They are of course all based on awful Christmas puns, because who would I be otherwise?

Here are a few of the designs for you to look at before you go over there, though, and if you want a particular pun that I haven’t disgraced the holiday season by making yet, then shoot me a message and I will almost certainly comply with your Festive Frivolity Needs.



Mythical Creatures



It’s been a while! But I’ve been making work, just as usual it takes me a lot of prep and build up to get to a finished product. Streamlined process? What’s that? At any rate, this is the project I’ve actually (mostly) finished so far this semester. There’s one more image to go back and re-do, as the painting died on me so I’m taking a break from it for now.

These are a set of  creatures designed and painted to go with entries from The Element Encylopedia of Magical Creatures by John and Caitlin Matthews. Not officially, of course, just as a fun project, and the text and outlines for these images belong to them. Painting monsters is super fun though, especially ones that you’ve never heard of.

There’ll be a bonus sketch post for these going up on my sketchblog some time today as well, so check that out if you’re interested in such things. With any luck there’ll be things up on there every week for the most part, and I’m going to make an effort to have this blog running with bi-monthly posts to keep things rolling.

Modernised Nursery Rhymes

Click the images to view a larger version

My final project from the first semester of third year. I chose to create some nursery rhymes with a twist, and man were they fun to make. The concepts were fun, sketching was fun, writing the new rhymes was fun and painting was super fun! As always I improved as I went through the making, which only makes me want to go back and re-make some of them but ah well. I have some more ideas for this project idling away, so if I find the time I’d love to revisit a couple of these, make the new ones and produce a whole book of modernised nursery rhymes.

I love doing juxtaposed concepts like this – classic nursery rhymes, painted in watercolours but with a modern twist to them. I’m torn between Bo Peep and Monday’s Child for my favourites, I think.

All are painted in watercolour on hot press watercolour paper, and tweaked in photoshop.

The Erl King

Click the images to see a larger version. 

These are the end result of my first 3rd year university brief – a series of four illustrations based around the myth of the ‘Erl King’, a ghostly figure who steals the souls of children (among other things). These illustrations are actually my second pass, as the first ones I created I was really not happy with. But these revisits are much better, and much more suited to the mood I wanted to convey.

All are done with ink washes on hot press watercolour paper, touched up a little in photoshop to better match the colours of the real-life paintings.

Geek Love Illustrations (SPOILER WARNING)


A watercolour painting of a white, blonde woman, with an exaggeratedly large pregnant stomach. She wears a red, star spotted leotard and holds her hands protectively over the top of her belly. Only the lower portion of her face is visible. The title of Geek Love is written in stylised letters across the belly, with the name Katherine Dunn below it in a handwritten style font. in the top left corner is a hand written portion of a review of the book, reading: 'Outrageous, horribly funny and has moments of unexpected poignancy' from the Literary Review.

Geek Love #1 – Cover

Here they finally are! All the finished Geek Love illustrations. Later than I planned, but that’s the way it goes. I only had a few of them finished last Tuesday, but I wanted to post them all together. I’m happy with them for now, and it’s on to the next project. It’s worth mentioning that they’re in a specific order for a reason, and it’s not the order they were created in. They go in the order I’ve arranged them in because it sort of follows the narrative of the book, from cover and intriguing beginning, to dark and bloody ending.

Also I didn’t want the fantastically spoilery fifth image to appear first.

As always, a lot was learned from these, not least about my process and how I can potentially streamline it a bit more. That and the fact that my illustration style is very much wildly different from my painting style. Not sure yet if I want to try and merge the two, or keep them seperate and distinct.

No Time

watercolour painting of a red-haired, white woman on her back, reaching up a hand with blood stained fingers to touch one of many watch-like clocks hanging from chains in a dark void


Just a quick watercolour this week, since I’m trying a more sensible method than usual for making my Geek Love pieces. My default process seems to be to work one piece at a time and work through with thumbnails, refining and then making – rinse repeat for each piece in a set. But that’s not a great way to get coherency, and having built up enormous thumbnail and development muscles from the hundred or more I made for my illustrated book from the end of second year, I think this time working all the pieces up at the same time will be a much better process. As such, everything is in development/sketch stage.

Also this piece will hopefully mark the beginning of a habit of making one small painting every week or so, just for fun and to practice with various materials. And as a way to prove that I don’t always have to plan out every piece in huge detail to have fun making something. It’s worth noting that this is a remake of a piece I made a long time ago, back when I actually used deviantArt, and the ‘100 prompts challenge’ was a thing. Is it still a thing? Who knows, but anyway if you don’t know about it, it was basically a list of short prompts to draw to, and this prompt was ‘No Time’, so of course I drew a vampire-y lady.

If you’re an artist and you’ve never looked at old work to re-draw it then do it because not only is it fun to laugh at yourself, it’s also fun to show off to your past self with how much better you’ve gotten.