Alpaca Drawing

This is another artwork that I did for a Christmas present. I did it for my Mum and Dad and they loved it!

I drew this alpaca from a photo my Dad took of an alpaca at a holiday cottage we started at in Wales during the summer. It took quite a long time to capture all the detail and texture in the fur, and it was hard work. However, I always think that the more hard work you put in, the better the end result. I know many modern artists would not agree, but it is my personal opinion.

I just used pencil for this drawing, then put a nice wooden frame on it to finish it off. We don’t know the actual name of this alpaca, but my Mum has decided to call it Paul!

As always, I would love to read your comments about this drawing!

Eloise xxx

Robin Plaque Painting

Back in the summer I bought a plaster plaque of a robin from Blists Hill Victorian town. The robin is a very important part of my family – especially for my Nanny, so I decided to paint it for her as a Christmas present.

I enjoyed using fine brushes to create the fine feathers, and having chance to examine this bird very closely. I found photos of robins online to allow me to make it as realistic as possible. I also enjoyed adding in the background branches and ivy leaves. I used acrylics and varnished it with Modge Podge once it was dry.

I think handmade gifts are very special – they are cheap to make but expensive in love and care. 😊

I always see my grandparents on Boxing Day and when I gave it to them, they loved it and said that they would treasure it. I am very judgemental of my work so this was the most rewarding thing of all.

In my next post I will be showing you another artwork which I gave as a gift this Christmas, so please follow this site to make sure you see it!

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas / Hanukkah / holidays!

Eloise xxx

Christmas Pudding Cookies

These Christmas pudding cookies are a fun, festive treat for all the family to enjoy! They combine rich, silky chocolate cookie with a snowball of pecan goodness; not to mention the sweet sugar icing and the delicate decorations which may be tricky, but are certainly worth the patience!

Ingredients:

165g margarine / butter

1tsp vanilla essence

45g icing sugar

Chocolate Outer

105g flour

1tsp baking powder

1 1/2 tbs cocoa powder

45g chocolate (50% cocoa solids or more)

Pecan Filling

90g flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

22g pecans

23g chocolate chips

Icing

Icing sugar

1tsp glycerine

Water

Green fondant

Cranberries

Method:

Mix the margarine / butter, vanilla essence and icing sugar together in a large bowl. Scoop out 1/3 of the mixture into a smaller bowl (for the filling), and add the 105g flour, 1tsp baking powder and 1 1/2 tbs cocoa powder to the large bowl, then mix. Grate the 45g chocolate (on the small side of the grater) and add to the large bowl as well.

In the smaller bowl, add the 90g flour, 1/2 tsp baking powder, chopped pecans and chocolate chips. Now leave both of the doughs in the fridge for 30 – 60 mins.

Once the doughs have chilled, divide each one into 14 balls (14 larger chocolate balls and 14 smaller pecan and chocolate chip balls). Flatten the chocolate balls and wrap them around the pecan balls. Bake at 180c / Gas Mark 4 / 360F for 12 – 15 mins or until completely firm.

When the cookies are cool, mix together icing sugar, 1tsp glycerine, and water until it is thick but runny enough to drip slightly. Spread over the top of the cookies, then cut out little holly leaves and small pieces of cranberries, then place on top to look like a mini Christmas pudding.

When the icing is set it is time to taste! 😁😋

I hope you enjoy these tasty Christmas snacks and send me a photo of your finished bakes on Instagram with the hashtag #eloisescreativebakes or by email (see contact) for a chance to be featured on my Creativity in the kitchen and Food Design page!

Merry Christmas!

Eloise xxx 🎄

DIY Snowmen Lanterns

These snowmen lanterns are really fun, simple and effective! I enjoyed making them and they are a great way to pass the time before Christmas Day arrives! (I know you probably have no time spare, but even if you don’t, you will be able to rustle up one of these smiling, shining snowmen in no time!)

Crafting is also a brilliant way to calm down during the hustle and bustle of Christmas time, and allow us to focus on what it really important at this festive season.

To make one snowman lantern you will need:

– white tissue paper

– a small jar (empty and clean)

– black card

– orange card

– red ribbon

– water

– PVA glue

– glue gun

tea light / LED candle

Step 1:

Begin by tearing the white tissue paper into small pieces (about an inch square).

Step 2:

Make a runny glue by mixing 2/3 PVA with 1/3 water. Use this to glue the pieces of tissue paper onto the jar. (Make sure there is glue on top, as well as underneath, so it has a smooth finish.)

Step 3:

Once the jar has dried, cut out the eyes and dots for the mouth out of black card. Cut out a carrot nose from the orange card. Glue these in place.

Step 4:

Use a glue gun to stick on the red ribbon and bow around the rim of the jar. Now place your tea light into the jar and enjoy the glow! 😁☃️

Merry Christmas!

Eloise xxx

‘Time for Reflection’ – water composition

As I said in my previous posts, I have been doing an art project on water recently. I did quite a few different art exercises to capture water in different ways, and then decided to put together a whole composition which incorporated all of these different techniques: reflections, splashes and droplets.

I went to the forest near me which often serves as inspiration for my artwork as it is so beautiful. There is one part in particular which I like a lot – a quiet little lake nestled under a halo of greenery with lily pads resting peacefully on the surface and a heron which often hides among the heath and reeds. Tranquil.

I went to this special place and took some photos; it was the end of summer and luckily it was still nice and green.

I used this photo, along with my imagination and some other photos of the which I found online to create my painting from. I begun by making a pencil sketch, then used acrylics for the final thing:

The original sketch:

I like to have a message behind a lot of my artworks and although I feel that art should be able to speak for itself and be open to different interpretations, it is helpful for the viewer to know what the artist intended. So here is what I wanted this painting to show:

The magpie (as magpies love shiny things) has collected the can, but has been careless and dropped it in the lake, in the same way the many humans crave beautiful things but are careless with them.

The droplets of water are meant to be on the surface of a camera lens; this time the roles are reversed as a human is observing the animal’s careless action through the camera lens, instead of animals observing the destruction of humans.

Eloise xxx

Raindrops study

I’m not usually a fan of rainy days but I decided to use to rain to my advantage and do a watercolour study of it. It is very interesting to see how raindrops behave – each one is like a mirror reflecting so many different angles of light and colour! I think that each drop looks beautiful; like a diamond.

Living in England, I have seen the rain out of this window thousands of times, so I know how it looks. However, it is harder to convey this familiar image than I expected. It is easy for the marks to just looks like muddy lines, and not like raindrops at all! It is also not easy to show the wet, three dimensional feeling that it gives in real life, on paper.

This is what I produced after an afternoon of studying the rain:

Eloise xxx

Water inspired by David Hockney

Over the past few months I have been doing an art study of water.

It’s very interesting to look more closely at the magical way this life-giving liquid behaves, which painting and drawing it has allowed me to do.

It can splash, shimmer, sparkle or bounce using techniques which can be represented in many different ways through art.

It is not an easy subject to portray and I’ve found it difficult to pick a technique I like best – I love Monet’s romantic impressions, however, I was also captivated by the very different, yet just as effective way that David Hockney captures the beauty of water. He uses far more carefully positioned and precise marks and brushstrokes, usually used to portray water inside swimming pools, rather than lakes. Since I go swimming regularly, I was able to watch the magnificent swirls and ripples created by a moving pool and decided to copy my favourite artwork of David Hockney’s.

Mine:

Hockney’s:

I used watercolour and acrylics on a mixed media pad for this artwork. ☺️💦🎨

Eloise xxx

Pretty Paula’s Potions

I haven’t done a Pretty Paula sketch since Easter – she’s been on her summer holiday! But she has come back for Halloween, as cheeky as ever.

Some of you might remember the mischief she got up to last Halloween – climbing inside a pumpkin! This year she has taken it a step further, getting right inside a cauldron, wearing a witches hat and mixing up her own potions!

Happy Halloween to all of you who celebrate it!

Eloise xxx

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