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WELCOME TO MY BLOG!

In this space you will find the general ramblings of a sketchbook artist, complete with free tutorials, watercolour tips and drawing techniques. I'm never content without a creative project on the go so there is always some kind of experimental problem to work through. Be it fabric design or a new oil painting I look forward to sharing my latest project with you.

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Designing jam labels

DESIGNING JAM LABELS

For this activity you will need:

One pound of creativity
2oz Autumnal appreciation
Several jars of homemade jam
Copious cups of tea
...and a good dollop of art supplie...

Price of a pencil project

PRICE OF A PENCIL PROJECT

PART 1

I'm delighted to announce this one-month drawing challenge, celebrating the humble pencil and focusing on the roots of traditional drawing. When I discovered the #PriceofaPencil Ca...

Garden Journaling Part 1

GARDEN JOURNALING PART 1

Edit: As I was writing this blog post, I realised that I couldn't put a years worth of sketching and gardening into one month. There is so much that I'm inspired to draw and paint every season and ...

Sketchbook tour

SKETCHBOOK TOUR

Something a little bit different this month: take a look through this sketchbook from winter 2021 and listen to me talk about all things sketchbookery! This little book is a mishmash of shopping li...

PEOPLE SKETCHING - HOW AND WHY YOU SHOULD TAKE IT UP

PEOPLE SKETCHING - HOW AND WHY YOU SHOULD TAKE IT UP

Artists are often lumped in to two categories: portrait artists and landscape artists, (although there are all manor of subjects to specialise in) and I am firmly settled in the portraits section. ...

Should You Throw Your Work Away?

SHOULD YOU THROW YOUR WORK AWAY?

Tips for the beginner.

Many artists say you should never throw your work away, and there is good reasoning behind this ideology, but I am a firm believer that this doesn't have to be a...

EXPLORERS' SKETCHBOOKS: THE ART OF DISCOVERY AND ADVENTURE.

EXPLORERS' SKETCHBOOKS: THE ART OF DISCOVERY AND ADVENTURE.

I am a bookish sort; an appreciation for beautiful illustrations and stories means that I almost absentmindedly gather books to my collection and borrow from friends, family and libraries to fill t...

Keeping a Tea Diary

KEEPING A TEA DIARY

Diaries can have all sorts of purposes and, with the growing popularity of bullet journals, sketchbooks and gratitude diaries, their positive effects on mindfulness and mental health are widely pro...

An Overview of Watercolour Materials

AN OVERVIEW OF WATERCOLOUR MATERIALS

As a beginner in the world of watercolours, the various different papers, paints and brushes can be a bit daunting. I get asked a lot about the materials I use and what watercolours are good for st...

Decorated Letters

DECORATED LETTERS

The art of correspondence.

My love affair with illustrated letters began as correspondence between myself and my grandmother, varying between humorous cartoons and colourful illustratio...

Using Anatomy in Portraiture

USING ANATOMY IN PORTRAITURE

Why are we, Humans, drawn to represent ourselves in image?

David Robinson states in his article: Why humans need stories, 'that narrative is essential to society' and linked to evolutionary...

Nature Walks and Art

NATURE WALKS AND ART

Autumn is here, full of conkers, Jam making and long nights drawing in. The hedgerows are full of their bounty; the trees turning gold to drop their leaves, but most of us no longer rely on the aut...

How to Draw Hands

HOW TO DRAW HANDS

Hands are considered by many artists to be one of the most difficult things to draw, with various techniques employed to hide them. When mastered they can add another level of dynamism to a portrai...

Ms Emma Leyfield currently trading as 'Valerian'. The copyright to all images and graphics used within this website are owned by Valerian, or Valerian has sought the appropriate permissions to use them.

Trademark number: UK00003464494

April Cottage, Kilcott Road, Hillesley, Wotton-Under-Edge, Gloucestershire, United Kingdom, GL12 7RJ