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Monday Moodboard: Birds

Monday Moodboard Birds

Well it was only a matter of time before I treated you a Monday Moodboard of birds.

As you know an awful lot of my drawing practice centres around birds. So much of my time is spent trawling and taking images of birds to study and illustrate. This is absolutely no hardship for me. I could honestly spend all my time looking at my feathered friends.

Recently I have been  focussing on heads and shoulders to create bird portraits for my show at the Over The Sofa Gallery at Wivenhoe Bookshop. It’s a small space and I wanted to do it as a site specific piece, the show is called Family Portraits so it has a kind of homely feel. It consists of nine A6 watercolour and ink drawings and four A6 pieces.

The show is on until April 30.

Birds at Wivenhoe Books

Wanna know what each bird is? Well here they are…
Top row from left: Puffin, Long Eared Owl, Starling
Middle row from left: Lapwing, Peacock, Pigeon
Bottom row from left: Cormorant, Robin, Crested Grebe
On shelf: Black Redstart, Budgie, Goldfinch, Dartford Warbler.

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Drawing of the week: Robin

Robin Illustration (c) Ella Johnston

My drawing of the week is a Robin – because these birds are not just for Christmas.

I often drawn to create illustrations of birds where they look a bit cocky or coquettish – I think this pose captures both.

The robin was voted Britain’s favourite bird last year so I hope this watercolour and ink drawing does him justice.

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My Illustrated Christmas Cards

Christmas Stationery Ella Johnston Art and illustration.

While everyone was sunning themselves this summer I was busy putting together my illustrated Christmas card collections. I’ve got a number of designs available this year ranging from the traditional (we all love a wee robin) to playful (as a veggie I couldn’t help but showcase what most people will be eating at Christmas) to vintage (I’m a huge fan of retro illustration).
Christmas Stationery Ella Johnston Art and illustration.

I thought it would be nice to coordinate your Christmas greetings, gifting and thank you notes with my Festive Robin Stationery Box Set.

This year the robin was crowned the nation’s favourite bird in the National Bird Vote – so my festive motif featured on greetings and gift tags is sure to be a real favourite with friends and family and a time-honoured way of ‘tweeting’ your Christmas wishes.

In a Scandi-inspired theme of red and white, the pack also features a simple heart motif print, designed and printed by me. The pack features ten illustrated Robin Christmas greetings, ten thank you notecards and ten Robin gift tags. You can take a look at it here.
Christmas Stationery Ella Johnston Art and illustration.
I’ve got a pack of 10 illustrated Goose and Turkey Christmas cards (five of each) so you can send a season’s greeting with a cheeky twist. Get your set hereSo what better way to say ‘Season’s Greetings’ than with a lovingly drawn illustration of the creatures that are kindly sacrificing themselves to ensure your Christmas dinner is absolutely perfect; a fattened goose and succulent turkey?

Christmas Stationery Ella Johnston Art and illustration.
Christmas Stationery Ella Johnston Art and illustration.

My pack of 10 vintage inspired Christmas cards was inspired by old designs of the 1950s and 60s. There were lots of baubles, bells and kitsch motifs (which I adore). I wanted to see if I could do something similar so I went to the shed and pulled out all my old decorations and got drawing. Check out how you can get yours here

Christmas Stationery Ella Johnston Art and illustration.

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The Nation’s Favourite Bird 2015

Robin illustration (c) Ella Johnston

The robin has been crowned the nation’s favourite bird in the National Bird Vote.

More than 224,000 people took part in the poll, the result of which was announced today.

As someone who loves birds and drawing them, this vote was of real interest to me. It was organised by ‘urban birder’ and Springwatch contributor David Lindo and polls closed on the day of the general election. Thirty four per cent voted for the robin – a garden favourite – with the barn owl coming second and the blackbird taking third place.

My favourite bird, the puffin, came tenth.
Puffin illustration (c) Ella Johnston

The result didn’t particularly surprise me as my robin cards and garden bird cards have been hugely popular for a little while now –  you can check them out on my Not On The High Street Shop.

Garden Bird Cards (c) Ella Johnston

Robin Card by Ella Johnston

Here’s the National Bird Vote top ten in full
1 Robin
2 Barn Owl
3 Blackbird
4 Wren
5 Red Kite
6 Kingfisher
7 Mute Swan
8 Blue Tit
9 Hen Herrier
10 Puffin