Rather red…

redwork bird WIP*long, happy sigh*

This Sunday was spent just the way I have fantasized about spending a Sunday for many, many weeks: no craft market, no dinner parties, no social commitments, no dramas, no urgent errands, no housekeeping. I got up at a lazy 8 a.m. and—after breakfast and getting a huge pot of coffee ready—set to work with the aim of getting one simple project done, from start to finish, in one day.

I took an idea for a new journal cover design and moved it from daydream…to doodle…to finished illustration. In these pictures it isn’t quite done…but dusk came along just as I put in the finishing touches of opaque white ink, and then it was too dark to photograph the illustration properly.

redwork bird 2This is going to be the cover fabric design for a hand bound “Recipe Journal”…the title, in handwritten Spencerian script, was supposed to go inside the empty label, but I’m glad I held off from writing straight onto the illustration…text can always be added in Photoshop, later. I think I’ll keep the label blank, so that the design can be used for other things besides a recipe notebook.

redwork bird 1I loved devoting the entire day to making something. Now it’s dark outside and my eyes are a little strained from all the fine brushwork I did, so I’ll probably spend the rest of the evening listening to music in the dark and then turn in early.

It’s been a perfect, perfect Sunday. Hope your weekend was peaceful and satisfying, too!

Process: Pencil drawing (4B), watercolours on cotton rag paper. Redwork details (I was trying to capture the feel of embroidered redwork stitches) in matte flow acrylic paint applied with a fine-tipped gutta applicator. Opaque white details (not pictured) using white ink and a mapping pen.

22 thoughts on “Rather red…

    1. Come, now, Rajiv, you’re being humble! Like anything done well, it is simply a matter of practice and perseverance. I have simply put a lot of time into it since the days when I could only draw stick insects (not so long ago! 15 years ago I never drew anything and couldn’t draw anything…) 😉 We cannot be masters of all things, so we each choose one little area to focus on, no?


    1. Imaginary bird! 😉 I just drew a generic bird, and made up colors and wing markings as I went. I’ve since added browns and white bars to the wings, so this is not the finished bird you’re seeing. Will post a pic of the finished illustration soon…I sort of think of it as “Potbellied Bird” because I drew the chest bulging out like a fatso.


  1. It would make a great cover for any kind of book. I love the blank label. It’s such a nice piece, it would make a beautiful frontispiece too.


    1. Thanks, Lou! Yes, it would, you’re right! Maybe when finally venture into the word of Blurb books… I also thought maybe it can be a greeting card or something. Cheers for the feedback!


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