My work in a book!

I meant to share this on here when it happened a while ago, but here I am sharing it now, much later than intended.

Having my work inside the pages of a book is something I have dreamed about for a long time. I was SO happy when I was asked to be a part of this book, and really couldn’t think of a more apt one to be in! WOMEN'S CLUB. Art is Powerful by Eva Minguet, published by Monsa Publications is available to buy here

It is filled with a great variety of incredible female illustrators.

Book description:

“For some time now, women have been fighting for their rightful place in different disciplines, making their voices heard and posting messages on social media.

The illustrations shown in this book will fascinate you with their content. Works in which, above all, women are the central characters of their illustrations, combining manual and digital techniques to create their own universe full of girls, in everyday situations.”

Below is a snapshot of my work inside the book. The cover illustration is by Samya Arif.

Holly

Urban Sketching with Stuco Design

I recently had the opportunity to go urban sketching on a sunny eve in Glasgow with staff from Michael Laird Architects, led by Stuart Kerr of Stuco Design. After an inspiring talk from Stuart, mainly about how important drawing is (I could not agree more of course!) for all sorts of reasons, including for your mental health, we then went out beer and pencils in hand, to start drawing from the urban environment. Something I don’t do very much of, whenever I have I usually get a bit overwhelmed with how much there is to take in, as soon as you start looking there is detail, and perspective, and pattern and light everywhere!! Aaah! My tip - focus on a small area/ zoomed in section, to start with anyway.

We started with some very loose exercises, given I have done a fair amount of teaching, it was so enjoyable and refreshing to be on the other side of it.

We then did a couple of slightly longer drawings - although the longest one was probably still only about 10 minutes… not enough time to get much detail down, but it forces you to work quickly and try and capture what you see in front of you.

Looking at everyones drawings afterwards, who were mainly architects, it was really interesting and insightful to see how differently we approached it! Mine lacked any real sense of form or perspective or anything accurate! But instead I was looking for light and colour and pattern and not paying too much attention to how many windows there were… for example. Haha! So fascinating how we see things differently, and why we should keep training ourselves, especially in new environments like this setting.

Stuart also showed us some of his Moleskine sketchbooks, filled to the brim with incredible and detailed line drawings, all from life, of his day to day surroundings. With intricate lines and quirky compositions. I really was inspired to get back into the habit of drawing in a little sketchbook every day. I do draw often, but it is quite different doing it for a commission or to create a final artwork, there is something magic in drawing from life, on a daily basis and literally slowing down to do so. To stop and take in your surroundings. I really would encourage it, whether you are creative or not, just start looking, start drawing, and whatever you do, don’t judge or criticise what you create, instead try to treat it as an exercise.

Below are the sketches I did, they are roughly in the order I did them. I think the first ones were 10 second drawings, and the line ones were blind drawings (drawn with your eyes closed!). Which should give you an idea of how quickly they were all done! I would definitely recommend working in this way, at least to start with anyway, it forces you to loosen up and not overthink what you are drawing. (The sketch at the start of this post is probably my favourite one from that night).

Thank you Stuart, what a lovely way to spend an evening!

Hopefully I will have more sketch-booking to share with you on here over the coming months :)

Holly


New digital prints!

 

As part of my recent website makeover / completely re-doing my website ! I have also expanded my shop to include prints, which I sold before through Etsy, but I have now transferred my shop over to hollysharpe.com. My Etsy shop will stay open, but my main focus from now on will be my own web shop. As part of this I have tried to streamline the prints I offer and have also introduced a new line of digital prints at a more affordable price. They are still of a very high quality, but not as costly as the fine art giclée prints which I have offered up until now.

Below are some of the new prints within this range.

They are priced at £21 each or buy any two for £30 ♡

SHOP DIGITAL PRINTS HERE

These prints are also available at The Scottish Design Exchange in Glasgow - if you live here and would like to see them in person!
I hope to add more images to this range in the future, so if there is an image of mine you really like and would like as an A3 digital print, please get in touch or leave a comment below and I will try and make it available if I think there is a demand for it :)
Holly



Live illustrating for Ted Baker

I had such a great weekend, live painting on tote bags for Ted Baker in House of Frasers, Glasgow. I have done live illustrating a few times now, and every time I have LOVED it! Below are a few pics from the event. I also made a couple of little videos which you can see on my Instagram here.
Holly

COLLAGE / CUTWORK. 

New work. After having a studio clear out at the start of this year, I decided to do something with the piles of little paintings and drawings which I originally created to scan in and do something digital with, for patterns or illustrations etc. So, I began to cut them all out, by hand, and have created a whole new way of working that is similar to what I would do in Photoshop, only manually! The possibilities are endless, and I have a lot of exploring to do! 

You can see more of what I have been doing on my Instagram here.

Cutwork: collage 09 HOLLY SHARPE.JPG

Day 30 of 30 days, 30 illustrations

Day 30: Rush

Woohoo, I made it! I have completed my self imposed challenge to create a new illustration, every day, for 30 days. I think I will save my thoughts and reflections on how I feel it went, for another post. 

For now, let me introduce my final illustration. I decided to do an illustration that is probably the type of illustration that people who know my work, know me best for (??). The only new part in this illustration is the face, which itself is an original pencil drawing. ALL the other elements come from my 30 days, 30 illustrations. I didn't use something from every single day, as that would have been too crazy, and she is already pushing the boundaries of crazy as it is! But I did sneak in a LOT of different elements. If you didn't understand my process for creating illustrations like this one already, maybe you will now as you can try and spot which day each little bit comes from....! I LOVE creating illustrations in this way, especially when I have so many elements / new drawings to work with... however, it also puts you in an endless cycle of decisions in Photoshop. I ended up with 5 final versions, and let it be told that I for sure could have created at least 5 more. I might still publish my second favourite one out of the final options, but for now this is it:

Rush - illustration by Holly Sharpe

You can read the intro to my 30 days, 30 illustrations challenge here. 

See more of my work on my Instagram and Facebook.
Holly
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twitter: @hollysharpe

Day 27 of 30 days, 30 illustrations

Day 27: Green space

Today I wanted to draw one of my many house plants. This is one of my more recent additions to my ever growing indoor green space, and is definitely one of my favourites. It is also in a little pot that I painted. I realised that all my illustrations so far have had colour in them, and although in most of them I have used pencil to create them, it has usually been combined with watercolour or ink. So, I wanted to leave this one as as pencil drawing, no colour. 

Pencil botanical illustration by Holly Sharpe

Illustration created with pencil.

You can read the intro to my 30 days, 30 illustrations challenge here. 

See more of my work on my Instagram and Facebook.
Holly
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twitter: @hollysharpe

 

Day 26 of 30 days, 30 illustrations

Day 26: Swim II

I talked about my love of swimming and being in water in my last post here. So I felt inspired to create another underwater themed illustration. Sadly I am not usually swimming with tropical fish, but I have been lucky enough to go snorkelling and scuba diving a couple of times years ago and wanted to try and capture the beauty and vivid colours in these phenomenal creatures. Still hoping I'll get to swim in the Great Barrier Reef one day!

Swim II illustration by Holly Sharpe

Thanks again for following my 30 days, 30 illustrations!

You can see more of my work and what I do on Instagram and Facebook. 

Holly
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Day 25 of 30 days, 30 illustrations

Day 25: Swim

I feel really grateful that my parents got me and my siblings all swimming lessons when we were kids. Since neither of my parents are great swimmers, it was a big priority for them to make sure we could all swim. At the time, I am sure there were times when I would rather be doing something else, but now I am so glad we didn't. It is like riding a bike, once you have been taught to swim properly, and then practiced it A LOT, you never really lose it. What you do lose is stamina... I don't swim as much as I would like to now, but when I do I love it so much. I realised recently that I actually find it very meditative as I am usually focusing on counting breaths, lanes, strokes, so much so that I feel like the whole time I don't think I am actually thinking about anything else! There is something so tranquil about gliding through water, feeling fresh, energised, and like you are physically, and possibly mentally, lighter. 


"We lose ourselves in the things we love, we find ourselves there too" - Kristin Martz

Swim illustration by Holly Sharpe

'Swim' illustration created with pencil and watercolour.

You can see more of my work on my Instagram and Facebook. 
Read my intro to my 30 days, 30 illustrations challenge here. 

Holly
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Day 24 of 30 days, 30 illustrations

Day 24: Black lines.

I have worn liquid eyeliner for years now, and regular pencil eyeliner for even longer. A lot of my girl illustrations wear it too! So today I thought I would indulge in drawing some lovely eyes with different liquid eye liner styles....  Illustration created with pencil, pen and watercolour.

Eye liner illustration by Holly Sharpe

You can see more of my work on Instagram and Facebook. 
Only 6 days left of my 30 days, 30 illustrations challenge! 

Holly
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twitter: @hollysharpe

Day 23 of 30 days, 30 illustrations

Day 23: Studio tools

It's day 23 and I decided to illustrate more of the tools I use in my studio! On day 9 I illustrated another of my favourite mediums which you can see here.
I created this illustration with pencil and watercolour.

Paint brushes illustration by Holly Sharpe

You can see more of my work on Instagram and Facebook.
Thanks again for following my 30 days, 30 illustrations challenge!! 
Holly
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Day 22 of 30 days, 30 illustrations

Day 22: Masculinity

I don't want to say too much about my ideas behind this illustration, as I hope it will speak for itself. And although a very complicated and intricate topic, I hope it will be interpreted in different ways by different people. 

The subject I wanted to explore in this illustration is men in our society, what it means to be a man today, how we (our society) has shaped them, put pressure on them, and in many cases left them behind. Yes, there is a much greater awareness of mental health in general these days, but, when suicide is THE highest cause of death in young men, we have a HUGE problem. Granted, no one has an exact explanation for this, but my theory is quite simple: men, typically, do not talk about their feelings, emotions, and problems, any where near as much as women, if at all. The age old 'boys don't cry' has gotten completely out of hand, and has left in its trail an extremely bitter taste. Then add on top decades of pressure to act a certain way, suppress a load of stuff, and 'rise to the top'. A toxic concoction which can (sometimes) result in breakdowns, violence, and unhealthy levels of anger and aggression as well as lead to (some) men growing up to be unhappy and frankly, a bit lost.

Two great books, exploring issues of this sort are:

'How Not To Be a Boy', by Robert Webb and 'The Descent of Man' by Grayson Perry

Both books explore, analyse, and explain, these complex issues better than I could, so instead I did this....

Masculinity illustration by Holly Sharpe

You can read the intro to my 30 days, 30 illustrations challenge and some of my ideas behind it here. 

And if you would like to see more of my art and illustration work you can follow my Instagram and Facebook. 

Thanks again for following my blog,
Holly x
 

 

Day 21 of 30 days, 30 illustrations

Day 21: Rejuvenate

Sundays are a good day to slow down and recuperate. That means something different to me from day to day, week to week. Sometimes it is seeing friends that rejuvenates me, or maybe it's a long bath, or reading a book, watching a film etc. And sometimes I like to pamper myself with a little Lush face mask! This one is super fresh and minty and acts like an exfoliating face scrub when you wash it off. 

I hope you have had a relaxing Sunday and make time to catch up with yourself and what you need before the start of another week!

Face Mask illustration by Holly Sharpe

Thanks for following my 30 days, 30 illustrations challenge! 
You can see more of my work on my Instagram and Facebook.
Holly
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Day 20 of 30 days, 30 illustrations

Day 20: Aerial

I decided to do another illustration on my new and exciting aerial/ trapeze class! (You can see my first one on day 1 here) I have now been going every week for over a month. In each class we do a combination of trapeze, silks, and rope. I am still nowhere near the pose illustrated, but have been doing things that frankly, I never thought I would or could. It has become increasingly more difficult each week, but also pretty exhilarating, and really does make me want to increase my strength (because you seriously need a LOT of it for this!) and flexibility so that I will hopefully start to improve. It is for sure a new found love, and I would encourage anyone to challenge yourself in starting something new, whatever that may mean for you.

Aerial 2 illustration by Holly Sharpe

You can see more of my work on Instagram here and Facebook. 
Holly
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