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Home hack: Lovely everlasting botanical display

Eucalyptus (c) Ella Johnston

An everlasting display is a lovely thing plus a cheap and easy home hack to boot.

Thistle (c) Ella JohnstonRegular visitors to Ella’s place know how much I love creating floral displays – they are a lovely way to give the place a refresh without costing you a fortune. Plus I think it’s important to bring elements of nature into your home.

Eucalyptus and thistles are great to buy fresh and then let them dry in the house. The make a lovely permanent arrangement as they fade into silvery tones and provide a lovely structured display.Poppy heads (c) Ella Johnston ellasplace.co.ukLast summer I also gathered spent allium and poppy heads from the garden to decorate our spaces. Again, the faded hues and structured shape look really effective all year round.

Doglamp and seed heads Ella Johnston

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Sharing the love with Not On The High Street #LoveIsReal

Love is Real, NOTHS (c) Ella Johnston

Today I’ve had fun doing my version of the Not On The High Street “Love is” tag. The company has sent it to its partners so they can spread the love in the run up to Valentine’s Day.

I think love is an important message to communicate at any time, no more so than in these turbulent, uncertain times. For me kindness and compassion goes hand and hand with love. Kindness to your partner, to your friends, to strangers, to yourself and to the planet we all share; the latter is why my sign is nature-themed flamingo illustration. I created the illustration with pencil and my spare pink and white poscas.

Love is Real, NOTHS (c) Ella Johnston

You can see more LoveIsReal tags here

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Monday Moodboard: Pantone Colour of the Year: Greenery

Greenery Moodboard

Last week Pantone announced its colour of the year for 2017. It’s ‘Greenery’ and it makes me happy.

A few design experts have been a bit disparaging about this colour with the name ‘Kermit’ referenced, well as a person who admires the work of Jim Henson I don’t think that’s so bad.

But seriously I  love a bit of greenery, and I was even singing its praises earlier this year. Bringing the colours of nature into your home is a marvellous thing and the vivid shade of this Pantone  works incredibly well with both subtle pastels and equally vibrant hues.

The colour is described by Pantone as a “fresh, yellowish hue” that “symbolises the reawakening of nature in spring and is a symbol for a new beginning”. Great – just what we need after 2016.

I’ve embraced shades of greenery already in my own new print designs (before the announcement I may add) so I’m incredibly happy that it’s not just me looking to find hope in natural colours and forms.

Leaf prints by Ella JohnstonLeaf prints by Ella JohnstonLeaf prints by Ella Johnston

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Drawing of the week: red squirrel

squirrel illustration by Ella Johnston

I’m in an autumnal mood now so I wanted to give you a drawing this week that reflected that, a lovely red squirrel, resplendent in his seasonal coat.

Don’t get me wrong, I like a grey squirrel (I don’t subscribe to the ‘rats with good PR’ school) but nothing beats a stunning red creature. They really capture autumn for me so I wanted a woodland classic for my illustration.

As usual I whipped up this fella using watercolour and ink, I wanted this to be quick and gestural like I was just catching him while he was away gathering his nuts.

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Monday moodboard: Autumn

Autumn pattern

Rich, warm and inspired by nature – this week’s moodboard is all autumn patterns and motifs.

I know we’re only in September but this change of season is very exciting for me. Autumn’s natural colour way is a source of inspiration in itself. Rich purples and reds, faded greens, soft creams and burnished bronzes make me feel warm as the colder weather creeps in. The motifs too – poppy heads, falling leaves and feathers, pine cones and woodland animals – are such rich pickings for illustrators and artists. I’ve blocked out a whole three days of drawing this week to dedicate myself to precisely these subjects… Watch this space!