31 October 2011

Illustration Friday - Scary

  ©Caroline Soer 2011

 Scary (odd eyed!) ginger cat stalks poor little gecko!  A watercolour from the archives for this week's Illustration Friday.

By the way... there's still time to take part in my Giveaway!  I'm giving away a print of one of my two paintings of  Birds with Berries.  You can choose which you prefer. The deadline to enter the draw is tomorrow - 1st November!

For more details see the Giveaway  post below, but in a nutshell  I'm hoping to get a little more exposure for my Facebook art page, so if you'd like to be included in the draw to win a print of a Bird with Berries painting, just hop over there  and LIKE the page if you do!  Please also leave a comment in the Giveaway post below.  Thanks very much everyone who has taken part so far!!  And a big thank you too, to Kim Fleming   for publicizing the event on her new blog new blog for illustrators: Illustration Station  - do take a look - it's a super rescource for illustrators!

I'll be making the draw late tomorrow and will announce the winner here on Wednesday!  GOOD LUCK!

27 October 2011

Illustration Friday and GIVEAWAY

Fuel ©Caroline Soer

This week's Illustration Friday word is 'fuel'.  I decided on a bird and berries theme and actually painted two similar versions of the same illustration this week.  The one above started life as a watercolour on which I'd used quite a lot of masking fluid.  I was aiming to get a sort of outlined, batik/silkpainting look.  Well, needless to say it wasn't a successful experiment so I tweaked it back to life with with a good helping of acrylic, some gouache and watercolour pencils!

 After I finished that yesterday,  I started on a second painting.  I've taken photos of the work in progress.  This first shows the mountboard ground with torn paper and hole punched collage covered with gesso and the first brushstrokes.

A little more detail added.

 Some final details added with coloured pencils and a craft knife to (carefully) scratch out some highlights.

Fuel II ©Caroline Soer

The final piece - it has lots of texture.  I'm not sure which one I prefer, how about you?
Well, if you're better at making up your mind than I am, you could stand a chance of winning a print of your preferred illustration by taking part in my  GIVEAWAY!

How do you take part?   Anyone is welcome to join in - regular followers or visitors alike - I really do appreciate all those of you who follow my blog and take the time to leave me comments - but it's ok to be a quiet occasional visitor too!  All you have to do is first quickly hop over to Facebook - I've recently set up an art page there and would love it if you would  'LIKE' my  page  - the link is here in the sidebar on the right.   Yes, you're right - a little shameless self promotion !!!   To be included in the draw next TUESDAY NOVEMBER 1ST you'll also need to come back here to leave a comment on this post to say which of my two 'Fuels' you prefer.  Easy! Oh, and you could DOUBLE your chances by promoting my giveaway on your own blog or FB page,  and becoming a follower here (if you aren't already) if you like.  Just don't forget to mention that in the comments section here!  Thank you and good luck to everyone - I'll be back next week with the winner!

22 October 2011

Textiles blog update etc

Just popping in quickly to say that I've updated my other blog  Caroline's Stitched Textiles, with a couple more chapters of work from my Stitched Textiles course.


Cables - Stitched Textile Sample

PLUS  I wanted to thank all you lovely people who left a comment on /facebook 'liked'  my previous illustration of poppies - it's always so good to hear from you !! 

 ALSO  I'll be back soon with news of a   giveaway   here on this blog!! 

Have a great weekend!!

19 October 2011

Illustration Friday - Scattered

Scattered ©Caroline Soer 2011

A mixed media illustration of dried Poppies (including scattered real seeds), for this week's Illustration Friday theme.

17 October 2011

Garden visitors

 Ever get the feeling you're being watched?

These two playful young Macaques startled me  - they were on the roof peering in at me through the studio window!

And this is their chaperone, who was quite aggressive!

Later this shy Dusky Leaf monkey and his extended family came to visit -  amusing to watch as they cavort in the Mango tree!  


They come into the garden to feast on flowering trees like Bauhinia.

I'm not sure how they rate  Erythrina Fusca or Coral Bean tree flowers...

but I'm positive they relish Frangipani trees -  these poor specimens never stood a chance!

I've lost count of how many times we've replanted branches (fortunately they root easily enough) only to see them felled again a few months later!

Enjoying a juicy branch!

Sadly, we won't be seeing many of these beautiful blooms again for a while :(

12 October 2011

Illustration Friday - Contraption

Contraption ©Caroline Soer 2011

For this week's Illustration Friday theme of contraption, here is one of the most devious devices ever invented - the deckchair!

Plus a little bonus - this lovely old YouTube Heineken advert featuring Norman Wisdom doing battle with a deckchair.

7 October 2011

Illustration Friday -Hibernate

© Caroline Soer 2011

The days just fly by and here we are again, already at Friday and I'm scraping in at the last moment with my offering for Illustration Friday's 'hibernate'!  A page of little thumbnail sketches that I didn't have time to take further and add colour to this week.  No words as I hope the images tell the story of a this little bear trying to hibernate! Please click to enlarge!

3 October 2011

Macro and Magpie tendancies


Magpie ©Caroline Soer 2011
Charcoal and chalk on pastel paper

I love to collect and I've been cacheing stuff like a Magpie since I was little!  I remember now the pleasure of pocketing treasures such as discarded feathers, fallen acorns, hazel and horse chestnuts, or tufts of sheepswool and moss to take to school to display on the nature table in the classroom!

I also love using the macro setting on my camera! I am fascinated by the insects' view of the world and love to capture nature close up at every opportunity. I am always the one lagging behind taking photos on a country walk and if I'm not clicking (and the subject is for the taking), I'll be picking it up, turning it over in my hands to examine it and frequently popping it into the rucksack to study, photograph, paint or display later.

I find seedpods fascinating! They come in all different shapes and sizes - the slender ones in the picture above are over 50 cms long!   I like to see what's stored within.


  Poppies - I love the different colours they take on when dried.

The cone above is from a Malaysian rain forest tree - not sure which - but its interesting shape warranted it being dried off and carried home for further inspection and display

 in a lovely dish handmade by husband Jan, from Selangor pewter, at the School of Hard Knocks in KL!  This is something I have yet to try!

and this is a close up of the giant Spanish fir cone in the pic below.

I had gathered several on holiday in Spain, but sadly could only fit this one in the suitcase to take home!

I found this abandoned, intricately woven nest hanging in a tree in the garden.

I keep boxes and display bowls full of my finds on the shelves in the studio. The triangular dishes above are ideal for holding delicate wings and little beach treasures - they're made locally from slices of coconut.



 I love the patina of this little Indian copper dish that holds various treasures like an incredibly fragile skeletonised leaf and little blue birds' egg.  I found the egg floating in the swimming pool one day - perhaps tossed out of the nest and transported on a gust of wind!

  Exotic shells, many collected on beaches in Oman - I was delighted to find a small  Venus Comb Murex with all most of its spines intact!

Pheasant finery

Irridecence - peacock feather and my Thai silk dress!

The blue feather in the last pic is a Magpie's, I believe.

Do you have any Magpie tendancies? 
What do you collect?


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