Tag Archives: pencil drawing

My illustration in the book “Drawn from Life – Contemporary Artists, Timeless Techniques” by Helen Birch

One of my sketches is featured in a showcase of life drawings in the book Drawn from Life by Helen Birch. This is a lovely little book for those interested in drawing the figure from life, and provides inspiration from a variety of artists and traditional (yet contemporary) techniques.

My drawing comes under the heading ‘informal practice’ as it’s a sketch drawn while lounging on my parents sofa a few years ago (hence the Marimekko Unikko design blanket – Finnish mother!) This sketch came at a time when I was trying to rebel against my natural desire to perfect what I was seeing, to draw what I see without improving on the truth. Society inflicts images of perfection upon us with Photoshop, make-up, filters, and fakery. Life drawing should be about what is real. I love the truth and all its imperfections!

Drawn from Life book by Helen Birch with Heidi Burton

Drawn From Life drawing by Heidi Burton - legs on Marimekko sketch

If you’d like a copy of the book, you can buy one here.

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Filed under Featured Artwork, Illustrations, News, Traditional

New illustration print for the lost souls

Here’s a new print in my shop, taken from a pencil drawing in one of my sketchbooks. “I don’t know what the fuck I’m doing” is a feeling I keep returning to throughout my life. I guess it depends if you focus on the bigger or smaller picture, but every so often this reality check comes back around and I question everything.

i don't know what the fuck i'm doing mockup zoom2

This is the first of my illustrations to be professionally printed on 300gsm white recycled board with a textured look. It comes in A5 size as part of a signed, open edition.

i don't know what the fuck i'm doing small new text

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Filed under Traditional

Sweet journal, sombre journal

I’ve been working my socks off illustrating Moleskine journals this past week. Here are two of my very recent additions to my Etsy shop.

I Like People Who Smile When It’s Raining – a cute lilac pocket journal featuring raindrop elves and the words “I like people who smile when it’s raining”, revisiting a sentiment of mine from back in 2008 that I once made illustrated prints of. This is the first time I’ve worked with a pastel coloured journal cover, and have a yellow one, and pink one waiting to join the pastel trio!

i like people who smile when it's raining

smile when it's raining moleskine

The River From Which She Rises – for this grey pocket journal I illustrated the beautiful, sombre poem ‘Lorelei’ by Sylvia Plath. An excerpt:

“Deep in your flux of silver
Those great goddesses of peace.
Stone, stone, ferry me down there.”

river from which she rises journal

river from which she rises journal

I hope you like them! I’d be interested to know which you prefer – my cartoon style journals or the more sombre, detailed pencil style journals?

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Filed under Journals, News, Stationary/Greetings

Revisiting Goblin Market using the medium of a journal

I finished illustrating this new journal just last night and listed it for sale on Etsy. It depicts a scene from the curious Victorian poem ‘Goblin Market’ by Christina Rossetti, written in 1859. For some reason I keep returning to this poem, it’s steeped in intrigue and I need to keep drawing it out time and time again, almost as if I should find some answers at the end.


goblin market moleskine journal art


My journal depicts Laura and Lizzie entangled by their sisterly bond, with tear drops cut into the cover, symbolising their anguish. I have left the ribbon banner blank for a name or short message of one’s choosing.


goblin market moleskine journal
goblin market drawing moleskine journal


Excerpt from the poem:
“Evening by evening
Among the brookside rushes,
Laura bowed her head to hear,
Lizzie veiled her blushes:
Crouching close together
In the cooling weather,
With clasping arms and cautioning lips,
With tingling cheeks and finger-tips.
“Lie close,” Laura said,
Pricking up her golden head:
We must not look at goblin men,
We must not buy their fruits:
Who knows upon what soil they fed
Their hungry thirsty roots?”


goblin market moleskine journal

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Moon drawings, journals, and handwritten Haiku

As the nights grow longer and the atmosphere has that familiar autumnal ambience, I notice the moon more.  This is the best season.  Then again, I say that about every season because each has those beautiful changes in nature that one can observe and admire (with a cup of chai tea mmm.)  Do you feel the nostalgia of autumn?

The moon is unhinged
From its pivot. Thoughts hang slack;
With immense longing.

As some are aware I’ve been suffering with creative block for months now, but hooraaah; this change of season, and personal circumstances appear to have me drawing at any given opportunity.  I’m talking dormant volcano of creativity and ideas erupting here!  (Though please don’t run away from the metaphorical lava, it won’t burn ya.)

Anyway, my point .  The moon!  Henceforth some lunar-inspired little artworks from the past week.  These are special to me;  the ravine through the solid ice of creative block. (Yes, love being over-dramatic, thx.)

Check my Etsy shop listings if you’re interested in adopting one 🙂

ACEO original moon pencil drawing

ACEO original moon pencil drawing

Each ACEO comes with an original hand-written Haiku poem on paper, folded into an origami paper star.  I enjoy writing these little poems.

The moon surrounded
With blinking little urchins;
Uniformly so.

Paper poetry star illustrating Haiku 'Thoughts Hang Slack' by Heidi Burton

ACEO original moon pencil drawing

ACEO original moon pencil drawing

Original moon pencil drawing with holes - constellation silhouette

I altered some Moleskine cahier journals too.  Here’s one of them.  More to show soon once the photos are taken.

Altered Moleskine cahier cover - Full Moon

Moleskine cahier detail drawing - Full Moon

Moleskine cahier hand-stitched star constellation - Full Moon

Altered Moleskine cahier - Full Moon

Also, on topic, I love this song: ‘The Moon‘ by The Swell Season.  Isn’t it beautiful?

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Filed under Illustrations, Journals, News, Traditional

Protected: Adopt a sloth ACEO – Olivier

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