Making a start

Making a start is always the hardest part..... I have been wondering how or where to start this blog - and have decided perhaps the easiest way is with the artwork created for the blog itself!

This is the finished artwork. I often paint at my kitchen table - it is a great 1950's-ish table (just look at the fantastic surface pattern!) I have lots of natural light flooding in through the kitchen window and the table offers a great height for painting (it also helps enormously that I am inches away from the kettle and tea-bags!)

The artwork was painted in a quick washy style using black quink ink, and then bleaching back into the ink to create the subtle detail. I love the fluidity of painting with ink, especially the movement you get as the colour bleeds into the watery surface. There is something I like about the loss of control - and how the image slowly transforms whilst the ink continues to move and bleed until dried.

I also like working with black quink ink because unlike the name suggests there is actually a surprising amount of colour in it when allowed to bleed out - look at the above detail and along with the delicate washes of grey you can also see blues and orangy-yellows emerging.


  1. Hi Lucy
    I have really enjoyed reading your blog as your mum sent me the link. Your work is terrific...refreshing and spontaneous and you are obviously successful as I've seen your many commissioned pieces.

    Our eldest daughter, Lauren, is just about to start her Illustration course at Brighton having gained a Distinction on her Foundation course (what is it about artist dad's and their daughter's??!!)She is far more driven than me and spends most of her time on her artwork.

    You may know that since we returned from our brief 'sojurn' in the US, I am lecturing at the University of Northampton (teacher training) and have got more into differnt printmaking forms...gum arabic transfer/drypoint and collagraphs and teach this as well as general education matters to students.

    Rose and I would like to spend some time in the SW of France and I contacted your parents for advice. I have just looked at your dad's book again and it makes us want to visit even more!

    Take care and speak soon.

  2. Wow Luce, this is really amazing & I love the story about the Bowerbird. I had forgotten about the Kate Greenaway book until I saw your blog ....I take it that you still have the original copy. Actually, now I think about it wasn't that mine !!! (only joking). I would love to see this picture turned into a card ..hint, hint. Actually I think it would make a lovely Wedding card ..ha, ha.

    Speak soon, Love Sophie x

  3. Hey Luc, love your bowerbird illustration. Well done on finally getting your glob (ha...that was a typo) up and running! x Mauz

  4. oh wow! that picture is just beautiful! i love the ink :)

  5. Hi Kate,
    Thanks so much for popping over to the blog -and for you lovely comment! It's always great to get positive feedback - thanks! :-)

  6. Do you find the quink ink fades after a few years? If so how do you prevent that?
    Any tips? What type of paper do you use.?
    Love your work!

  7. Hi Terrie,
    I haven't ever noticed the quink ink fading - although most of my work is done for commerical design projects, so after scanning any designs or illustrations the work just gets hidden away in a portfolio! Often though it is the levels of sunlight which causes things to fade, so maybe if you are hanging work on a wall have it out of direct sunlight to help prevent fading.
    The papers I use are either Arches Watercolour, Saunders Waterford Series or Bockingford. I tend to work with a CP/Not (or cold-pressed) paper which is a medium textured surface to work with - I personally prefer working on a textured ground, rather than a smooth (hot-pressed) surface. Best thing though is to experiment and find which paper suits your style and what you feel comfortable working with. I hope this helps! Thanks for your comment :-)

  8. Thank you Lucy. I look forward to trying it out.
    Terrie, Whitstable UK