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Bird of the Fortnight: Black Headed Gull

Blackheaded Gull Sketch Ella Johnston ellasplace.co.uk

This fortnight’s bird may be rather mundane to some but to me it’s rather special.

Essentially we share our home town with the black headed gull, you only have to walk around the corner from our house and you’ll see these critters flying about or picking at the Wivenhoe mud. They make a great racket too, especially if you’re having chips on the quay!

So if you haven’t seen my bird of the fortnight posts before then what I do is start the week with three black and white pen sketches. I then finish the week with a worked up colour watercolour and ink drawing. Join me on Friday to see the final illustration.

Blackheaded Gull Sketch Ella Johnston ellasplace.co.uk

Blackheaded Gull Sketch Ella Johnston ellasplace.co.uk

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Hack: Pimp up a notebook with Posca pens

Poska Pens pimped-up notebooks (c) Ella Johnston ellasplace.co.uk
There are few things more majestical to me than a fresh new notebook and a journal where I can pimp up the front is even better.

That’s why I love this little set of Moleskine mini cahiers – a trio of mini journals in kraft card all ready to be personalised and pimped up by yours truly.
Poska Pens pimped-up notebooks (c) Ella Johnston ellasplace.co.uk
I updated these three with posca pens. I love these pens. They provide beautiful colour coverage and have a fab paint-like quality that you can control, meaning you get great detail without fussing with a brush. You can see that with the white in particular (I know a white pen that works!).
Poska Pens pimped-up notebooks (c) Ella Johnston ellasplace.co.uk
Hand-rendered type is very popular in at the mo – for a font-loving, handwriting addict like myself it’s always been cool, much more character and fun. A little slogan works well on notebook and I decorated this trio with phrases taking ‘days’ as my theme. I must admit my favourite is OH MY DAYS as I always think of my sister Lucy when I hear or see it. I might send her this notebook actually if I’m feeling nice.

Poska Pens pimped-up notebooks (c) Ella Johnston ellasplace.co.uk

If you’re not mega confident in free-hand rendering type then simply print off a slogan in your favourite font and trace it onto the book to colour over.
Poska Pens pimped-up notebooks (c) Ella Johnston ellasplace.co.uk

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9 Memphis-style home buys

Memphis Style Buys ellasplace.co.uk

As I mentioned in an earlier post the Memphis Movement has a very big influence on interiors and design at the moment and only looks set to be more prevalent in home shops over the coming months. The style is already emerging in a number of buys, from fridge magnets, trinket boxes and party plates to beanbags, cushions, lights and cot protectors –have a look at my selection of favourite Memphis style ideas that can add a playful on-trend update to your home.

Memphis style buys ellasplace.co.uk
From Sweet Party Day
Memphis style buys ellasplace.co.uk
From Oliver Bonas
Memphis style buys ellasplace.co.uk
From DaWanda
Memphis style buys ellasplace.co.uk
From Cuckooland
Memphis style buys ellasplace.co.uk
From Oliver Bonas
Memphis style buys ellasplace.co.uk
From George Home
Memphis style buys ellasplace.co.uk
From Made.com
Memphis style buys ellasplace.co.uk
From Cuckooland
Memphis style buys ellasplace.co.uk
From Oliver Bonas

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Summer in five colours

Berry head cliff edge TEST LO RES

Last week I spent a few days in South Devon and the weather was beautiful. At this time of year, when nature is starting to reach its vibrant peak, colours come into their own and seem to create a palette of pink, white, green, yellow and blue.

PINK
Red valerian at Berry Head PINK LO RES

The hedgerows, meadowlands and walls were full of wild red valerian, which is sometimes known as kiss-me-quick, fox’s brush or Jupiter’s beard. It was everywhere.
Red valerian at Berry Head 2 PINK LO RES

WHITE
White valerian at Berry Head WHITE LO RESThe white ‘albus’ form of valerian also smothered swathes of the cliffs at Berry Head, while the higgledy-piggledy buildings of Brixham’s harbour reminded me that what we think of as ‘white’ is usually a mixtures of other, softer colours – creams, yellows, blues and pinks.
Brixham Quay WHITE LO RES

GREEN
Ivy blue wall 2 GREEN LO RESSome of those harbourside walls are gradually being ‘greened’, while a walk through the Grove took me back to Andrew Marvell’s poem ‘The Garden’ and the line ‘a green thought in a green shade’.
Brixham Grove trees GREEN LO RES

YELLOW
Brixham lichen 2 YELLOW LO RESThe sunny week in June saw me and Dr B spend afternoons in some of the secluded coves along South Devon’s coast. I am fascinated by lichen (it’s starting to cover the roof of my little studio) and on one afternoon the dappled sunshine was reflected in the golden colour of the lichen on the rocks at the foot of the cliff – it’s almost an abstract painting.

BLUE
Fishcombe Cove boat BLUE LO RESAnd of course, when it comes to blue, the sea and the sky around Torbay provided perfect inspiration.
Torbay yachts TEST LO RES