Modern Poetry and the English Rose

Warning: BOOBIES!

Big smile on my face today, which is unusual (it is Monday after all), but very pleasant! All because of the wonderful weekend I have had!

Saturday morning, Dan and I woke up with no plans at all. While checking out some updates on Instagram waiting for his breakfast Dan noticed that Scroobius Pip was doing a set at the Free (YES, FREE) Godiva Festival in Coventry.
I have been trying to become more spontaneous recently, and thought “To hell with it Dan, let’s go!”

By 3pm, we were en route with our last £10 between us, car full of petrol (luckily) and a bag packed full of edible supplies! The only thing we bought while there was an ice cream! Petrol costs were under £20 for the journey and the drive itself was very pleasant coming back to Cheltenham, watching the sunset over the Cotswolds.

Dan adores Scroobius Pip (especially Vs Dan Le Sac), and had missed his sets at previous gigs / festivals. So I could not allow him to miss it again and lose the opportunity to stand there and prove he knows all the bloody lyrics!

While we waited for Scroobius to start his set we sat back and people watched in the sunshine. I especially love to “tattoo spot” when the sun is out, and I noticed so many interesting designs while sun bathing. Quite a few badly done in my tattoo snob opinion (Rip Nan was the worst one… how original and meaningful…), but there were also some unique and beautiful designs as well to be seen!

Festivals are incredibly colourful and vibrant, with all the crazy fashion statements and silly headwear, I  couldn’t help but feel inspired to draw!

It was much too late to do anything by the time we got home, but Sunday morning I woke up with purpose.
At first I wanted to experiment with make up. I freelance as a Make up Artist, not as often as I would like too anymore but I still have a large kit of pretty goodies to play with.
Only problem is, my skin hasn’t been in the best of shape recently, so clogging it up with a plentiful concoction of colours was not the best move to help it heal!

The next best thing?

To draw a face I could put make up on instead! I quickly delved into my collection of Front Magazine‘s and found issue 158, with Mel Clarke. She is one of my biggest women crushes! If you have read my previous blog posts, you will see a reoccurring theme here!


Mel has a sexy yet vulnerable look about her. She exudes power and femininity, with her dainty features and dark mysterious look.

I especially loved the  pose and when I am struck by an image I have to replicate it in my own way. I didn’t wish to include the jacket in my illustration so I had to use my imagination to finish it off!

I am not shy of nudity but I wanted to practice my roses too, and with such large negative space over her torso, I thought it was a prime area to add in some extra girly features. It started off with just the 1 rose on her ribs, but developed further to include the rose bud nipples too.

It is my take on the modern-day english rose. Pale porcelain skin, soft rosy cheeks and smooth dark hair. Almost Snow White in appearance, but with none of the Disney innocence… 😉

I started with watercolours to lay down the base colour. As you will see from the image where the colour starts, it can look really flat to start with. Which is rather disconcerting for me, as I panic and think it looks all wrong. But I am slowly learning to be patient and to just add a bit of detail at a time. It can become quite tedious, but reminding myself of a better result tends to keep me committed!

I have been using my Staedtler Watercolour pencils a lot more often recently. I find I cannot get the right shades of bright pinks, greens and blues with my normal paints. And I find these pencils really easy to use, they enable you to have a lot more control over the colour saturation in the areas you need a deeper shade.

As usual, I finished off this painting using my favourite Prismacolor Verthin pencils, and a final pass over with the fine liners again to make it stand out.

The lips were the biggest problem to me. Dan told me that they looked a bit “Derp” (his exact words).
I think I must have misjudged the line work, so she has ended up with an exaggerated pout, but the good news is I like it! and it is not often I will say “Yes, I like this!” about any of my work.
The artists curse, is to always find fault and flaw with anything you create! Maybe this time next month I will find plenty I wish to change with it. In the meantime, I need to give some thought to a background… It needs… something. But what is that something? Suggestions welcome!

The completed image as shown isn’t the best quality as I used my Samsung S4 to take the image. However you can still see the development and difference from the first layer of colour to how it stands now. I hope you have enjoyed my English Rose! Next, you must go enjoy some modern Poetry with Scroobius Pip…seriously, do it!

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