Tag Archives: bird prints

Original British bird paintings

Hello everyone,

It’s almost time you can bag yourself some original birdie art to hang in your home (or give as a Christmas pressie).

The 8, mixed media watercolour and pen, bird paintings will be posted and ready to go on Sunday 1st November 2015, at 7pm GMT in my Folksy shop.  Here’s the link:  Beetroot Press Folksy shop.

As this is my first time selling my actual paintings, I’m going to sell them for £25.00!  (wow I hear you say)



I’ve scanned the paintings in, so will be adding them all on here later on so you can have a good look before they are added to the online Folksy shop on Sunday.


Birdie warm-up sketches [part: 2]

Hello folks, I’ve been sketching away again this week, doing more little bird warm-up sketches.

I wanted to try a few different ways of drawing the birdies and get a feel for the direction I wanted to take when painting/drawing in neat – which I will make a start on this following week (exciting).  As some of you will know, I love little birdies, and I’ve really enjoyed drawing the sketches so far.  I’m a little scared about starting the final drawings – but in a good way!

Bearded tit illustration by Sarah Papworth

This is a Bearded-tit, I drew him at the beginning of the week.  I like his friendly face and little smile.  Although I liked the sketches from the week before, I wanted to try using the fine-liner pens to add more colour and texture through their mark making – and perhaps to be a bit more stylised.

Sparrow illustration by Sarah Papworth

Here’s a little Sparrow, here I’ve used the watercolours but then used the pen on top.  I don’t have much to say about him, I like him, but prefer others more, (sorry Mr Sparrow)!

Blue tit illustration by Sarah Papworth

I knew I would be drawing a Blue-tit in this series, so I thought I’d do a practice run.  I like the brighter colours, using brush pens and fine-liner pens.  There is a subtle layer of watercolour paint underneath, but perhaps too subtle, as you can’t really see it – not in the photo anyway.

Great tit illustration by Sarah Papworth

And this little chap is a Great-tit.  He’s the last one I drew and I like the contrast with the black and the softer and brighter yellow, which has the texture/mark making that I like too.  I think it’s time to start drawing some birdies in best now!

I’ll show you how I get on, and I’ll be posting more frequently on Instagram, and Facebook.  But will try to update on here as often as possible.

I’m aiming to get the final original drawings finished by the 16th October ’15 and in the shop that weekend (17th/18th Oct), but I will give you more specific times nearer the time.

Thanks for reading and see you again soon!  Thanks, Sarah.

Little bird warm-up sketches

Hello again!  I’ve started doing warm up sketches of little British birdies.  Im planning at the moment to do 8 drawings to sell the originals on Folksy before Christmas.  I’m really excited about this as I haven’t sold the originals before.  I just hope they actually sell!

The sketches are to help me decide what sort of style I want to do them all in.  I’ll post a few more once completed, Im doing one a day at the moment and posting on Instagram.  Please let me know which ones you like or aren’t so keen on, plus if you have any favourite little birds you’d like to see.  It all helps with final decision making!

Coal tit illustration by Sarah Papworth

This was my first sketch, a Coal Tit, I used watercolour for the colours, then a bit of acrylic white for the highlights, then fine line pen on top.  I do really like him but am wondering if he’s a bit too traditional for my liking? – maybe I should go more stylised…

Tiny goldcrest illustration by Sarah Papworth

This chap is a Tiny Goldcrest, as you can see from my scribbly notes he is also created in watercolour, fine line pen then white acrylic on top.  I went a bit more scribbly on him, again Im not sure, but I do like his character/facial expression.

Bullfinch illustration Sarah Papworth

This grumpy chap is a Bullfinch, I drew him with brush pens (if you haven’t used brush pens, you must – they are so fun).  Then I added the white acrylic on top for detail.  I actually preferred him without the acrylic, he was a bit more graphic looking and simple – but he needs to cheer up a bit!

Robin sketch illustration by Sarah Papworth

We have a little robin that has been tapping at our window for a 2 days now (which is getting slightly annoying on this, the 3rd day), I think he wants to be included, so here he is ;).  I like the simplicity of him, I used a brush pen for the red breast and a black fine liner for the sketchy drawing.  I like the leaves added, perhaps I’ll use leaves in all of them…hmmm, decisions decisions.

When I’ve created the final drawings, I’ll upload them all at the same time to Folksy and go live with the shop, so it will be a first come first serve basis. I’ll let you know in plenty of time when that will be.

I’m usually a bit slower at updating the blog, so find the most recent updates on Instagram, also on Facebook and hashtag #bpbirdies.  But I promise to let you know when they are uploaded to Folksy 🙂

Illustration challenge: Part 2.

Hi everyone,

I’ve now completed the sketch challenge!  This post is a little delayed, as I actually finished on Sunday evening.

If you haven’t been keeping up to date with it on Facebook, then here’s the pictures from the second week of the sketch challenge.

DAY 8. Monday 14th: Octopus


Following on with a bit of a sea theme from last week (mermaid, ship), I decided to draw an Octopus with her baby, as an idea for mothers day card or new baby card/illustration.


Here’s the first pencil sketch of octopus and baby.


Pen has started to be added here.


And here’s the pen part finished.  The text doesnt always make sense as I usually change that around on the iMac computer in Adobe Illustrator.


And here’s a snap of it finished on the computer screen.

DAY 9.  Tuesday 15th: Cactus botanical


I love cacti, and at the moment it is on trend.  So I decided to create a botanical style illustration of one.  I like the shapes the plants form and the fact that they are quite hard to kill (I don’t do well with house plants).


Here’s the first stage pencil sketch of the cactus plant.


Here, the pen is all finished, ready to scan in.


Here I have added the pen drawing to the light box, and on a separate sheet of watercolour paper, placed on top of the pen drawing, (so I can see through), I have painted ‘fill-in’ sections, using the pen drawing as a guide as to where to paint.


Here’s the final photo of the design coloured and completed on the computer.  I like this as a modern botanical style drawing.

DAY 10.  Wednesday 16th: Bird


Day 10’s illustration is of a birdy.  I love birdies and cant believe one wasnt on my list, so I added one in here.  I cant decide if he’s in his nest or flying past a cloud – could be either?


Here’s the first stage pencil sketch.


And the sketch moved on a bit and ready for pen stage.


Ive finished most of the pen, but wondering what to do with the wing and the head.


Extra eyes, in case the one added doesn’t quite work and pen completed on the bird’s body.


And here’s it finished on the computer screen.

DAY 11.  Thursday 17th: Gloucester old spot


I wanted to create something similar to the dalmatian last week, but for rare breed British farm animals.  I decided upon the characterful Gloucester old spot pig.  I also filmed myself drawing the pig from scratch with pencil, the first stage of the drawing/illustration.  Here’s the link to the YouTube sketch video


Here’s the first stage pencil sketch


And here’s the  final stage pencil before I add the pen.


I sometimes just draw images from the computer, but as it was a nice day, I printed a photos out and drew outside.


Here’s the finished drawing, completed on my computer.

DAY 12. Friday 18th: Vintage caravan


This Vintage caravan illustration was also created as a bit of a friend for the Vintage car last week.




Here’s the very first three stages of the pencil sketch.



And here’s the pen added to the caravan drawing.


And here’s a bit of a wonky snap of the design on my iMac when I had just finished it.

DAY 13. Saturday 19th: Biggest strawberry


Some of you may of clocked the link between this illustration and a photo I added a couple of weeks ago of an absolutely massive strawberry I ate on the way home from our local shop on a nice sunny day.  SInce then this idea for an illustration kept popping in my head, so I had to include it to get it out of my brain and down on paper.




So here are the pencil sketches, it took me a bit of time swapping the ribbons and text around until I liked the layout.



And here’s the pen added (the dots are the flower centres which I’ll add on the computer).



And here’s a couple of photos on the computer screen once I’d finished.

DAY 14.  Sunday 20th:  Bearded Scottish man

IMG_0833I guess this is the most random illustration, but he’s also the biggest.  It’s just a bit bigger than A3, but once i’ve scanned it in, I think it’ll fit OK onto A3.  Unfortunately my scanner is A4 size, so there will be a bit of pasting together on Adobe Photoshop before I can start.

It’s an idea I had for a screen printed tea towel, with the focus on breakfast.  I eat porridge almost every morning, and so that was the first inspiration.  I had to do a bit of research for the bird, finding out which birds are found in Scotland.  The Kestrel, even though not an obvious Scottish bird choice, is found there, and I liked the size and look of the bird.


Here the sketch is already quite far along.  Sometimes it’s hard to see how it is actually going to turn out, especially when drawing people.


Here’s the pencil sketch almost complete, I had a bit of trouble getting the arm right which is holding the spoon.



Compared to the pencil layer, I wanted to go a bit looser with the pen, so I didn’t follow the lines exactly, especially on the beard.

Because this one took a long time (over a day really to complete, I decided not to scan it in as it is supposed to be all one colour anyway.  If it is to be a silk screen design, then I will need to thicken all the lines more before scanning it in.  I think this could be my favourite though!  A good note to end on.

And that is the end of the challenge!  I now have a lot of new work and things to build on, for example, I could do more breeds of dogs in the same style as the dalmatian.  I still need to re-work the ship from last week, but overall very happy with my efforts.

As mentioned on Facebook I will be selling all of these prints completed in the sketch challenge for half my normal price for two weeks, starting now and finishing Sunday 3rd August.  A4 prints will be £9.00 instead of £18, and A3 prints will be £14 instead of £28, with postage added £3.50.  The only A3 ones are the Bearded Scottish Man, and The first one of the Bicycles.

They wont be in the Beetroot Press Folksy or Etsy shops so please just drop me an email with which one you want and I can send a pay-pal invoice, or you can pay direct into my account.

Email address: hello@beetrootpress.co.uk

I hope you’ve enjoyed the sketch series!  Thanks for following and for your support.

The last few weeks

Hi Ya! How’s your summer going? Yesterday was our first downpour for a while which means happy allotment.



After the exhibition, my freelance work took over a little but I now have some more time to devote to Beetroot Press which is amazing….and my poor neglected allotment.  We even had a bit of time for a week’s holiday in Egypt.

Last weekend, We had some friends to stay, and we visited the local animal park where we got locked in after closing hours – we managed to find a ladder in their yard and break out!  They assure us it’s never happened before, and it is a nice place to visit with the kiddie winks so dont let it put you off.  The farm is in Honeybourne, near Evesham, Worcestershire – here’s the link if you’re interested… All Things Wild



The allotment, even though sparse and, with an army of slugs running it, has produced a few strawberries for the last few weeks.  It’s been hard to find the time to keep on top of it but i’m getting there slowly.  I bought a few more plants today because the slugs have eaten so many of my ones raised from seed.




I’ve been brainstorming new ideas for illustrations, new products and new textile prints and now I’m at a stage to start doodling them onto paper.

I managed to finish off sewing the Market tote bags for various customers this week.  I love these bags as they have such a good shape – mine got really tested out as I used it as a beach bag on holiday and then as a food shopping bag, our car was being fixed so I ended up carrying a full-to-the-brim bag home on the train. (it works)!



I also found some time to take some photos of the new stock, the paper prints and textiles – although it was a little windy outside.  I’m hoping to take some of the new cushions next week.

gardeners birds british by Beetroot Press

I now need to desperately find some local fairs to attend before all the summer ones are completely booked up.  I’ve left it late this summer – eek.  While looking online I came across a post on selling for designer-makers which I found it really helpful, so if you’re just starting to sell your wares, this may be of interest….Markets for designer-makers  ….and let me know if you have visited any good craft fairs/events around.

Anyway, that’s it for now, have a good week….but just before I go – I think this is the biggest strawberry I have ever seen, and it was all mine. Yum.