#5 - ENGLISH GARDEN ILLUSTRATION - CHILDHOOD MEMORIES
Let's go to England this time! This illustration is from spring 2022, as I was wandering around Instagram I came across an online art challenge launched by Jehane_ltd and called jehanestwelvedays. While reading the prompts an old memory came back to me and I decided to follow it. Come with me for a private tour of this English garden...
The prompts for this challenge were :
- Kaleidoscope of Butterflies
- Proud Peacock
- Celebration Cakes
- A Victorian Greenhouse
- A Picnic Blanket
- English Flowers
- Cherry Blossom Trees
- Garden Birds
- Fanciful Topiary
- Union Jack Deckchair
- Party Bunting
- The Queen Bee
It reminded me my childhood. We used to spend a week in summer in the south of England, in Devonshire, visiting my parents' friends who had a beautiful and typical farm there. Next to the cottage there was a charming garden full of flowers. My mother used to tell me: “you see, it’s really an English-style garden”. I wanted to believe her even if I had no idea of what an English or French a garden was. Since then I learned a bit more on the subject and I must say that the charming English gardens are truly irresistible 💚
In my mind all those prompts were forming a consistent garden and they should be used together rather than separately. So I added the challenge of drawing them all together to form a single illustration of an English garden. My childhood memories being a little blurry and not having any photos of this beautiful place, I improvised. The result is certainly very far from the original but it is faithful to the impression it left in my childhood memory.
MIXED MEDIA & TRYING NEW TOOLS
Excellent occasion to try something new : I had just received those amazing gouache sticks (Yes ! gouache in sticks) from Delgreen and I was looking for an opportunity to test them, this one was perfect.
And since I love art supplies I decided to use as much as possible 😄 which ended like :
- Ecoline liquid water colour for the background
- Talens Gouache paint (regular tubes) and Faber Castel Polychromos pencils for trees, flowers, leaves...
- Delgreen gouache sticks + gouache with thin brush + white Postca + colour pencils for the cherry blossoms
- Digital final touch on Procreate (perfect to enhance some details or to make the stains disappear when you accidentally drop your brush on the paper... 😰)
Want to see a step by step process line ?
You may have noticed all the prompts were not in... and that's true, I skipped some of them on purpose because I thought they just didn't fit in this particular drawing.
MY MUST-HAVE LIST FOR A GREAT ENGLISH GARDEN ILLUSTRATION
Plenty of art supplies to use : it's important to have FUN and fun comes by experimenting many different ways to create art. Each art supply brings a different effect. Make some tests in your sketchbook before in order to see what effects you can get by mixing them together.
Diving into childhood memories. It can also be replaced by a dive in Pinterest to find some great inspirations, it is full of gorgeous English garden pictures.
A list of inspiring prompts. Instagram provides plenty of art challenges, however, if you don't find one just perfect for you, remember that it's always possible to make some adjustments, change a prompt for an other, skip one if you feel it is too much... don't forget the purpose : to develop your inspiration and create some great art, even if you have to change the rules...