A run of beautiful warm sunshine this week proved a big distraction - I didn't want to be indoors at all. We had a couple of barbecues, one evening we ate our evening meal as a picnic on the grass. The next evening we lit the barbecue again, but while we were cooking our marinated spatchcock chicken which I had prepared earlier in the day, the cold came back in and we retreated indoors to eat.
I did get my sketchbook and paints outdoors, though, and the pop-up tent went up as my 'outdoor studio' - which I am pleased to report I am getting quite proficient at folding up and putting away now. Last year there were a couple of hysterically hilarious antics, not aided by wine and B cracking jokes at my attempts. I bought the tent in 2016 and have used it every summer since, so 5 years practice is finally paying off!
The second painting in the series finished this week. I really do love working with texture! The lines drawn over the top are carbon copy paper, chosen not just for its delightful mark-making, but also because I can't see exactly where it's going because it's lying face down on the painting and I'm drawing through the back. The result has an innocence which brings a lot to this work.
These are quite small at 25x18cm, which gives the texture and marks a greater prominence.
... If not in the weather. If spring is going to be slow arriving this year I decided just to bring it on with flowery paintings this week. I like this kind of work to suggest tapestry or embroidery, so I used a heavy impasto consisting of acrylic gesso primer bulked out with whiting alongside gouache to create texture. I have tested it for stability and adherence as much as I can and it seems to be fine, it even has flexibility and will bend with the heavy Fabriano print paper I favour without cracking.
Adding some dots details finished this piece by the end of the day, when it looked lovely in the low sun.
The weather took another turn for the Baltic this week forcing me to move into a warmer room to work - it was productive, though, and very comfortable as my temporary HQs are on a lovely old brass bed. Very handy for hanging work in progress, it began to resemble the railings at Bayswater Road in London on a Sunday!
I was saddened to hear yesterday's news of the death of Prince Philip. He was 99 years old, a national institution. Farewell and rest in peace, our Duke of Edinburgh.
Thanks for visiting, see you next week!
I had the best fun making this pop-up birthday card for Beardo Benjo (emminent YouTuber)!
Last week I just happened to stumble across a Zoom make-along with two wonderful women I follow on Instagram. I had no idea how a pop-up card worked and became very interested, just in time to make this monster card for Ben. It was gloriously messy, sticky, painty and I loved it. My thanks to the generosity of:
We always made drawings of Easter eggs in primary school which were proudly mounted on sugar paper to display on the classroom walls before being taken home for the holidays and presented to doting parents.
I used to make so many Easter cards when I was a young girl for my parents, grandparents, my godmother and a couple of other special aunties. They have all passed on now and Easter cards aren't so much of a thing in my life any more, which is rather sad. So this year I decided to recreate those primary school gems from memory and post them on Instagram as Easter cards for everyone! I made three in total to post on Holy Saturday, Easter Day, and Easter Monday. I even made one with a dark brown background in memory of the sugar-paper - whenever it came to my turn for mounting my drawing at school, only the dark brown colour was left.
Welcome to my illustration blog, where I share what I have been up to during the week.
I illustrate under the pen-name of Binky McKee, McKee being my mother's maiden name. Binky was the name of every single cat my great-grandmother kept - about 40 of them during her 94 years of life. Given that, I have no idea how Doggie with his dead-pan expression became my avatar instead of a cat - something to do with popularity on Instagram and lots of jokes with him!
Currently I am working on illustrating a children's book, pattern making, and of course I can't resist a good Instagram challenge such as Folktale Week or Inktober.
I hope you enjoy your visit!
I keep lots of scrapbooks and sketchbooks where I develop ideas and design little creatures. Here's a peek inside one ...
As you may know, I am also known as Heather Eliza Walker.
Click the image if you would like to find out more and visit my other website.
This time, take a peek into my ceramic design sketchbook. I actually made some of the mugs, but I kind of prefer the drawings! The plate designs are painted on paper plates, a most liberating process.
These watercolours are from my pattern sketchbook. I used coloured wax crayons to resist the washes of watercolour, also home-made rubber stamps dipped in bleach then printed on crêpe paper - the bleach takes out the paper dyes.
A sketchbook I used for mark-making with unusual objects - corks, seed-heads, feathers, home-made rubber stamps, my fingers and lots of flicky things ...