"It's the little things in life which make it magical..."

Monday, 20 February 2012

Salmon Taco's With Avocado Smash

Sometimes you just want an easy dinner, but are completely over beans/eggs/cheese on toast...so what better time to try something both easy and new than on a Monday night? 

These are quick and filling taco's, which are relatively healthy without compromising on scrumptious flavour. Hot-smoked salmon portions are much yummier than traditional smoked salmon, but to reduce your sodium intake, you could even cook up a piece of fresh salmon from the deli. Pairing this with a delish' avocado and feta spread, a little caramelised onion and some nutritious salad items achieves balance for both your tummy and taste-buds!

Cheers to curing Monday-itis!

Ingredients - Serves 3

6 or 9 small Flatbreads (or make your own, see recipe below)
Hot Smoked Salmon Portion (150g)
1 Brown Onion
Baby Spinach (three large handfuls)
Mung Bean Sprouts
1 Ripe Avocado
50g Feta Cheese
1 Lime


Make/warm flatbreads and set aside, covered, to keep warm.

Finely chop onion, and then cook in a pan with a little oil on a medium heat, until soft and caramelised.

Whilst onion is cooking, using a stick blender, combine avocado, feta, lime rind and juice. Add pepper to taste.

To assemble, spread a layer of avocado smash on each flatbread, then top with spinach, mung beans, onions and salmon.

Ingredients - Flatbreads

2 cups Plain Wholemeal Flour
20g Butter
2 tsp ground Sea Salt
320ml Boiling Water


Place flour and salt in a heat safe jug. Add the butter and mix with fingertips, until flour is the consistency of breadcrumbs.

Add the boiling water, and mix in well with a spoon.

Place mix onto a well-floured surface, and knead until it forms a dough.

Cut into 9 even segments, and roll into 20cm diameter rounds.

On medium-high heat cook each round separately in a non-stick pan, for approximately 2 minutes a side, until browned.

Cover breads with a tea towel to keep warm.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Mermaid Princess 'Atlantisa'

In the past few months, I have made three attempts at a mermaid illustration using this particular pose. I was just unable to make it work...but since diving into the watercolour and ink style I have been using of late, I had another go and the results are quite pleasing : )

Creating an asymmetrically balanced design, and adding the washes of colour really take this piece to the next level, compared to a previous post; Mermaid Princess 'Azalea'.

So when creating a figure, think about whether adding a basic or detailed background would complement your illustration, and give it that extra visual boost : )

Happing Drawing.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Princess Series - Ariel

So here's the basic process of how I create the lovely illustrated ladies I've been posting recently...

First, I sketch a few basic ideas for the general pose, dress design, hair and accessories.

Then, using these basic ideas I sketch a rough draft of the final design layout.

I create a cleaned-up copy of the design on tracing paper, before making a light transfer of this onto the good watercolour paper.

I then re-draw the design on the watercolour paper, ironing out any odd lines and angles, using the light transfer as a basic guide.

Then, I go over the final design in superfine Indian ink, before erasing the pencil markings.

After choosing the colour scheme, I do a light wash of the base colours.

Then, I slowly build up the pigments, adding layer after layer of washes and blending to achieve a graduated shading, leaving base colours exposed where I want the 'light' to be hitting the object.

I then add the finishing touches of pencil pigment to the eyelids, cheeks, and eyebrows, before re-outlining the design which gets faded during the painting process.

And voila! The completed illustration is achieved! The process of idea conception to the finished product takes me about two days, so give yourself plenty of time!

I hope that you enjoyed this tutorial, and found it both useful and insightful.

Happy Drawing.

Princess Series - Jasmine

Princess Series - Snow White

Princess Series - Rapunzel

Princess Series - Mulan

Princess Series - Belle

I did promise that I would post what I've been up to, so here they are...enjoy!

Monday, 6 February 2012

Curiouser and Curiouser

If you know me, you know that I threw a 'Mad Hatter's Tea Party' to celebrate my 21st Birthday. You would also be aware that I love planning parties...this however all eventually leads to one experiencing post-party blues where one is lost with what to do, now that your cake taste-testing and teacup collecting days are behind you...

Thus, I threw myself into illustration, a pastime which has found itself neglected until recent months!

Over the past few weeks I have been doing a fair bit of illustration, and this Alice in Wonderland inspired piece sets the tone for the style I have been experimenting with. Using animated characters as a point of reference, I have been modernising them by making them glamourous and grown-up.

I'm quite happy with how Alice turned out, cartoon-esque, without being little-girly. I was trying to capture the mood of Alice running from the garden, the point where she realises that things are not always what they seem, and thus the piece is entitled 'Curiouser and Curiouser.' She was created using A3 300gsm watercolour paper, with a 2B pacer and Derwent watercolour pencils.

I hope that you like this style of illustration and that you are inspired to try and revamp your own favourite film or book character!

Let me know whether you, or anyone you know may be interested in participating in an 'Art Club'. Whereby, each month a theme is chosen, and at the end of the month all participants submit the work they have produced which reflects their interpretation of the theme to me. I would then publish the submission of the month :) Media used is up to the artist, photography, watercolour, pencil, the options are only limited by your creativity!

Happy Drawing.