Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Since my last post all I can think about at the moment is mice. Maybe I bit too much cheese off when I entered the 100dayproject and opted for 100 mice nevertheless I am enjoying the challenge. I have lots of new inspiration.

Some questions answered my mice are about 6inch and I am working on some smaller ones right now. You can follow me on Instagram and see them all together. They are up for adoption at the end of the challenge but if you see one that you really want let me know and I will put you name on it. Most are taken but remember lots are still to come.

Friday, 17 April 2015


A little while back I was asked by a friend to make some mice for a special occasion but had no idea what she wanted or where to start so when I saw the The 100dayproject advertised I decided to join in and make either a mouse a day or something related to the mouse but this soon turned into a mouse a day. My friend will have plenty of choice. You can follow my progress on instagram or facebook.

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Free printable paper rabbit puppet.

As Easter is just round the corner and because my house is already invaded by lots of  Easter bunnies I thought I may share with you one of my paper puppet creations. Don't you think he is the cutest rabbit of them all? 

You can save the image by right clicking it and then you are free to print him as many times as you like just for personal use. If images of the rabbit are used anywhere on the net please credit 'manonpopjes' thanks!

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

In search of quirky stuff.

Shops Antonia and de Weldaad in the Jordaan

Every year I go home about two to three times and in February was my first visit of the year. I stayed in the Jordaan, an old part of Amsterdam where my dad used to have a house for many years. There are many fond memories of me being there. I share my dad's love of quirky shops and markets so we used to do lots of searching of unusual objects. I imagine he was looking down and smiling when he saw me seeking new treasures for my fast growing collection of odd bits. 

I always feel refreshed and full of inspiration when I get back but my brain needed to process all emotions and experiences being with my lovely family before I could even imagine taking my pencil back to the paper though today I feel I am ready to get back to my easel. I will leave you with a tour of a fabulous shop my sister found in the Jordaan and they sell online so you don't have to feel left out. The video is in Dutch but just seeing what is on the shelves will get you taking a very big suitcase as in that department we may all speak the same language.


Tuesday, 17 February 2015

How to use line in your art to create better composition.

Do you sometimes have that feeling that your painting or drawing doesn't feel balanced and you wonder what to do next?

A simple way of bringing harmony to your work is by using lines. Look at the two pictures above. How do they make you feel? 

The painting on the right is much more balanced don't you think? Notice how the leading lines in the bottom corners in the second painting draw your eye in and then around the face. The clever use of a curved line of the shoulder, neck and head area in this painting have a pleasing and softening effect on the composition. Curved lines remind us of the curves of the human body and they communicate energy. 

So you see by just adding a few simple lines you really draw the viewer in and build a better composition.

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

How To Quickly Develop your Characters for Illustration.

Have you ever wondered how you could possibly develop the characters for your illustrations swiftly?

Well its easy and it won't need to cost you a fortune. My advice to you is  'Participate in a Daily Challenge'. Believe you me challenges get you really focused on the job in front of you, plus you will learn tons and it could change your life forever and that of your little characters.

Two of my favourite Challenges at the moment are the 29FaceChallenge and the MakeSomething365. What do you think?  Let me know if you join.

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Life drawing classes at the Bowery Gallery in Leeds.

While on my travels last year I came across a wonderful small Gallery situated in the heart of Headingley in Leeds. This fine place not only has a trendy coffee shop serving top coffee and delicious local food they also offer a variety of creative classes and workshops.

If you are like me a creative soul I am sure you will find something to satisfy your taste. I did the life drawing class a couple of months ago and I have just enrolled in ceramics hoping that finally the kiln I bought a couple years ago will shake off it's ornament status.

Friday, 9 January 2015

Paper doll play.

I know I am a bit late but I still wanted to wish you all a very Happy New Year! I have lots of fun stuff happening this year so I will share with you when and where.

Only one working week has gone by and I am super busy. Today I wanted to share some new paper dolls with you. These cuties are called Jansje, a traditional Dutch family name, and they are available in my shop right now.

Sunday, 7 December 2014

7 days to feed your creative soul.

If you ever get the chance to go on an art retreat with Gillian Lee Smith I would highly recommend you do this. Just over a year ago I was persuaded by some long term online friends to commit myself to participating in such art retreat. It was a first class experience and the best money I spent for a while, I learnt so many new and exciting painting techniques. I feel my art work is already benefiting and maybe it is even growing up a little.
1) In the Studio in Gardenstown.
2)  Gillian Smith demonstrating her pastel drawing skills to her students.
3) A paintbrush in the charcoal and oilbar technique.
4) A practise painting using an image from the book Pastel painting atelier by Ellen Eagel.

From left to right my bestie house mates for the week Pam, Kate, Phyllis and me.
The place Gillian chose for her retreat was a wonderful and inspirational setting in Gardenstown. This remote village is built into the old red sandstone cliffs in the area of Aberdeenshire in Scotland. When I stepped out of my car I felt like I was stepping back in time which really helped me in getting my mind set in the right gear for painting 7 days undisturbed with the help of the sweetest soul you would ever meet. Gillian just couldn't do enough for you, she was always ready to help well above what I had expected. So I would like to say a massive thank you to her for all that she has done!