Preppy Girl

I LOVE preppy stuff......or actually I love uniforms, specially school ones. Blazers, tie's, pleated skirts, black tights.....I'd dress like that everyday given the chance.




We had a great theme this week on A Fashionable Challenge.....carnival!! In the end I decided to go with the Venice Carnival cause the costumes are so elaborate and to quote Anne, there's so much scope for the imagination! But then there's also Rio's fab carnival and my personal favourite the small town carnival.........slightly seedy and run down, with big wheel's, cotton candy, freaky mirrors, fortune tellers and all the other cool stuff that goes with that. Think I'll have to do a illustration based on that to!!


I love colour

Done for a challenge on A Fashionable Challenge. The theme was love...and I love colour!


I heart Shweshwe

I was busy this week with a drawing for A Fashionable Challenge with the theme 'home girl'. The prompt was to draw something that represent your town/neighbourhood. Well of course I had to draw some Shweshwe....... the perfect fabric to represent South Africa.

Photo from Da Gama Textiles

Shweshwe has a looong history in South Africa, it was first brought here by European missionaries some where in the 1800's and has been popular with ordinary South Africans for about just as long.

It's still made in much the same way, only the indigo dye has since become synthetic. The distinctive delicate patterns are produced through an acid discharge method. The fabric is fed through copper rollers with the design etched onto it. These allow a weak acid solution to seep into the fabric and bleach out the design.

Another of the fabrics distinctive characteristics also dates form it's early travels to our shores. Shweshwe is the only fabric I can identify just by smell! To protect the bolts of fabric on the long sea passages to Africa it was heavily starched, giving it the smell that we know it by. Today it is manufactured in South Africa but for traditional reasons it is still starched. Cause that's how we know and love it!

A few years back it South African fashion designers suddenly noticed it and it had it's 15 minutes on catwalks around the country. But it's vintage production methods means it can only be produced in a very narrow width, making it unsuitable for mass production in clothing factories. Which means it remains kinda under the radar only being made into fab outfits by loving hands.

I've made my fare share of shweshwe skirts and I LOVE the fabric. After washing the starch out it is a lovely soft cotton, perfect for summer skirts. Which brings me to it's name........it comes from the sound of the skirt swishing around your legs. Gotta love that.

Da Gama Textile is the biggest manufacturer of traditional Shweshwe fabrics in South Africa, for more on the fabric check out their website here. And check out this cool blog for South Africans wearing their fav fabric.


How I draw....

I love reading of and looking at different people's creative processes. I LOVE to seen how every body's brain works in a different manner and how their process influence their work. When I draw I almost always start with a VERY rough thumbnail. It helps me pin down the ideas that float around inside me head and try out different possibilities without worrying about how its looking. These drawings I do on any scrap of paper that has the misfortune of crossing my path at that moment, most often pieces of scrap paper doing the rounds on my desk at the office. I also lose these drawings almost as soon as I am done with them. (I should do it in a sketchbook, but I hate having to page around to find what I'm looking for, if they are on bits of paper I can spread them around me when I start the final drawing).

Here is the first rough thumbnail I did for the Parade prompt on Illustration Friday

And here is the finished drawing........miles apart hmn!!



Done for Illustration Friday



I've had a bit of time on my hands so far this week, and I've been using it to catch up on the A Fashionable Challenge challenges. This is the first of them. The theme was Red, I did a flamenco inspired illo..... but only coloured the background. Its in a lovely new sketch book that I got on my trip last week. It has brown paper (actually card stock) pages and I am LOVING drawing on it. The colour and texture is just perfect! I include a close up of the face cause I quite pleased with the line quality and it gets a bit lost in the big picture.



I'm slowly recovering from a wonderful holiday with my awesome friends in Pretoria. We did the rounds of all the museums in the capital (we're just nerdy like that) and did some major shopping. I'm still struggling to fit all the loot from Joburg's fab second hand book stores onto my bookcase. I just can't believe that a week can fly by so quickly!!


High Society

Finally finished the drawing for the High Society challenge on A Fashionable Challenge. I'm not sure if I like the finished product, maybe I was a bit to ambitious? The problem is I get bored to quickly with large images.... wish I had a bit more patience!!