Monday, 31 December 2012

Fashion bloggers portraits v1

Hi Guys!

I've started a sketchbook page on my blog for images that aren't for a particular project. In there will be fashion bloggers portraits like this page spread below! I find the bloggers on Chictopia!

I'll also post other fashion sketches in there but will keep you guys updated when i do.

I hope you all have a happy New Year and ill see you tomorrow in 2013!

Monday, 17 December 2012

Helen Rose's Christmas Family Portrait

I'm getting into the festive spirit!
Here's a quick warm up portrait of the lovely family christmas photo of Helen Rose's family. She posted it up on facebook and i couldn't help but want to do a quick tribute artwork of it! They're such a cute family and i love the composition she's got for this photo! :)

The original photo is below if you would like to compare!

Helen Rose Lifestyle Photography

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Fashion illustration : Avery by Wang's Shirt Dress

Original fashion illustration for Avery by Wang.

I recently teamed up with Avery by Wang to do a series of illustrations depicting various ways of styling their wonderful shirtdress. Here is the first final illustration! This was the first illustration I finished for the series and it set the tone for the rest of the designs.

To give you an idea of how the process works when I create my fashion illustrations, below is the initial sketch that I showed Annching the founder and designer of the fashion collection.

Also a lot of the time you guys just get to see the final piece, but I know I always love to see peoples sketch books so over the next week or so i'll be going through my process of how I created these illustrations.

I hope it inspires some other budding fashion artists to pick up the paintbrush!

Initial concept sketch
Close up of her face


Monday, 19 November 2012

Jet Li - Hero Portrait

Todays warm up before portrait painting, Jet Li from the film Hero.
I think i'll move onto fashion warm ups next, any requests?

Sunday, 18 November 2012

The Princess Bride

The Princess Bride

Hands up if you love this film! Classic Sunday afternoon watching and was my inspiration for todays warm up.

On Monday one of my projects will finally see the light of day on the wonderful Annching Wang's site! More on that soon though, now it's time to prepare myself for Monday and what this week will bring.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Illustration warm up

Drawing from a reference

Currently I'm working on a project with the very talented Annching Wang from Avery by Wang. Here is a quick warm up illustration i did from a reference picture of Delmy Rivera. If people are interested in me talking a bit more about how I go about drawing from reference images for fashion illustrations, let me know and i'll try and put something together for you guys!

Life has whizzed by me this year, things have been very busy as I know they must be for you guys as well. However, as the season turns, I'm returning to one of my loves, drawing the beautiful fashion styles of bloggers.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Calke Abbey exhibition images.

Hello everyone, I hope you're keeping well!

Here is a few pictures from my final exhibition at Calke Abbey!
Many more exciting pictures to come that are more fashion based, so fear not beauty lovers! I just thought i'd share these images with you.

I've recently come back from my travels to China, so there will be a lot of new images that have been inspired by that trip!

Speak soon lovelies!

Laura x

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Calke Abbey Exhibition

Its been quite quiet here recently, I've been busy trying to learn how to create a website ( you can see my attempt here and creating work for a large exhibition i'm involved in at Calke abbey which is a gorgeous place to visit so much many taxidermied birds!
The house can be seen to be quite creepy as the Harpur-Crewes who owned and lived there for a good few hundred years were quite reclusive and had a interest in collecting unusual birds from around the world.

Whats left at Calke Abbey is what remains of their family house exactly as they left it once the last heir died. It's a time capsule that the National trust helps to keep.

Now, so not to give the game away too much, i'll post a few photos i've taken the the entrance and grounds of Calke...I'll be updating which sneak peeks of what i'll be showing with a full review of the show once we've begun on the first weekend of August!

For more information about the event at the moment, please check out our facebook event page here.

And this is inside the old riding school and is the space where we will be exhibiting our work!

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

3 Ideas For Taking a Better Portrait

Here a few very quick ideas of ways to make your portraits more dynamic and more captivating to the viewer.

Tell a story with the image.

Just who are you anyway? The best portraits show something of the person in the portrait other then just what their face looks like. Interesting backgrounds can be a big help...but remember that the face itself can be the best way to convey a feeling. So come on, pull an expression other then the distant, wistful gaze and see just how interesting your portraits can become! Eye contact can really give a massive impact with your viewer.

Find a point of focus. 

Is it the eyes, the hairstyle, the curve of the neck?
To make the picture more interesting, having something that captivates the eye will really help. Think of the image in stages. First you have the immediate impression, this is usually the strong main focus. Secondly the eye moves around the picture, taking in the other details and builds up the whole image. The atmosphere you give the picture will come into play here.
Thirdly, the eye gets used to looking at this image and can take in all the other small details, as its not trying to process the entire thing and can take note the smaller points of interest.
Depending on what impression you want your portrait to make, you can play around with these stages! Its always nice to discover something new within a picture that you didn't notice at first.

Add texture and colour.

Clothing, hair, jewellery, tattoos even make-up and skin can give create textures and give the portrait a burst of interest. Ways to get the most out of these is strong contrast ( i.e textured hair again very smooth skin)  or using negative space to your advantage. Negative space is the area surrounding the main image. Playing with this can emphasize different aspects of your portrait so fill it with colour, pattern or texture. Just remember to keep things balanced otherwise your image will begin to be chaotic and the eye won't know where the focus on first!

There are plenty of other things to bare in mind when taking a portrait, but these are the things that I always think of and I thought I'd share.

Let me know if you give any of these a try, I'd love to see any unique portraits you've taken that you're really chuffed with! 

Here are a few awesome self portraits to get the ideas flowing!

This is such a great portrait! It has  a lot of expression and right away you get an understanding of who this guy is and what he's like. The main focus for this one has to be the glasses with the flash of colour they give the picture. Plus the use of negative space and a simple pattern for the background means there's still interest throughout the image. Very nice!

 Emma Watson -  Photographer unknown (if you know them, let me know! )

This is a really simple portrait but the neutral colours and plain background means that all the focus is drawn to Emma and the quirky pose. Plus eye contact with the view...Makes a great portrait! Plus Emma's quite lovely and it lets her fun personality come through.

Cate Blanchett

Mmm Colours! I love mustard yellow and teal at the best of times but i think this portrait really makes them work wonderfully! Also the posing of Cate adds to the balance of the image and the warmth from the yellow stops the image becoming too cold. The texture from her hair and fabric of her clothes add smaller bits of interest that your eye finds once it's gotten its full of the colours. I realise that Cates got that wistful faraway gaze in this one, but sometimes you've just got to go with it.

The Afghan Mona Lisa - Photographer Steve McCurry.

You may recognise this one, another portrait of this girl was featured on the cover of the June 1985 issue of National Geographic Magazine. It's become very recognisable and has gained the title the Afghan Mona Lisa. I love the famous picture, but I also like this one. It's a much softer version, the gaze isn't nearly so powerful but I think the photo and her eyes are still captivating. The focus goes directly to them and you can see a lot of the girls emotion in them and in the way her hands have come up to partially hide her face. It's part of their culture that girls hide their faces, so part of me thinks this particular portrait is a truer version as this would be what the majority of people around her see. 

Monday, 7 May 2012

Vintage Illustrations

Vintage models

Hi Everyone!
It's been quiet for a while but i've been busy working! Here's a some idea sketches I did for the very talented Bee Smith for her invitation designs.

Bee knew exactly what she wanted for her invites and I was so happy when she told me her idea. Vintage style illustrations (  Mad Men style ) with influences from David Downton and RenĂ© Gruau
Well, who am i to decline such an offer?! 
I had so much fun and these two artists inspire my work anyway s it was such a joy to do this project!

She'll be throwing a evening Hat Party where you can view her hats, sip some bubbles and generally have a great evening out! 
I would love to attend but alas i'm a bit too far away but if anyones in the Kingston area and you happen to love hats and all things vintage, be sure to check it out! Your sure to have a great time and meet some fantastic people! You can follow Bee on her blog as well.

Also! Check out how two of these sketches look all finished and taking pride of place on Bees invites!!

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Black Bee Smith

Another one of Bee Smiths collection.
I can't help myself, the looks are timeless and I can't help but want to try and capture the feeling. Flashing camera blubs, headlights, the dazzling lights of the theatre!

I believe in fairies!

Here is one of my latest portraits of the very lovely Lisa and Stella.
It was a utter joy to create this as I got to indulge in my love of whimsy and fairies. It was an extra special treat as well as i got to meet them both before i created the portrait, they really have a great mother/daughter bond!

Let me know what you think as i'll be creating templates similar to this style to use for future portraits! 
If anyone's interested in getting one done, let me know! This one was commissioned by Lisa's parents as a Easter gift!


Saturday, 7 April 2012

Bee Smiths Green Hat.

Now, i've been in a bit of a creative rut recently. it happens to the best of us but i'm getting a bit sick of it. So, to try and bump myself out of it, i've been looking for inspiration. And i found...
Bee Smith.

She creates some of the most beautiful and chic hats i've had the fortune to find. 
I had to draw one of them!

 Visit her site at
 You won't be disappointed! Her models are beautifully styled as well, its all a treat for the eyes!

Here's the original hat I found -I wanted to try something simple before attempting some of the more complicated designs. :)

Also, if you know of a fashion blogger whose style you think is amazing, let me know! 
I need to find some bloggers to draw!

Also, many thanks to Mik who commented on my last blog post with some very good advice. 
Thanks lovely! Sometimes I need a reminder! :)