WILDLIFE WATERCOLOUR PAINTINGS FIT FOR A NURSERY

Fox watercolour painting by Helen Simms

In the last couple of weeks I’ve turned my hand to painting woodland animals …. starting with this little fox and rabbit! Our little clan is due to expand in early May and I’m hoping to hang a trio of animals up in the little one’s room (being a country girl and all that) …… perhaps a sweet little deer to complete the set? What do you think?

fox watercolour by Helen Simms

rabbit watercolour by Helen Simms

Will share the final trio once complete and framed…….

AN EXCITING NEW YEAR AND SOME RECENT(ISH) DABBLINGS WITH ABSTRACT WATERCOLOUR

Helen Simms dot watercolour painting

I think it’s acceptable on the 13th of January to still be saying Happy New Year to you – especially since I’m ashamed to say that my last blog post has not been since the end of May! With that in mind, it’s also a fair assumption what my new years resolution is going to be! I’m definitely aiming to create more work and share my process with you on here – warts and all.

2015 was an excellent year for me. I had some exciting clients – including L’oreal and TIME Inc and  am currently anxiously waiting to see my illustrations “come to life” for a project I did with Sanctuary Spa back in summer, that will be launching nationwide later this month ….. watch this space! Not only that, me and Mr Simms managed to buy our very own house together. We got to kiss goodbye to the perils of renting and set about making our house into a home, ripping out bathrooms, carpets and dated 70s style fireplace cladding and completely redecorating (aside from the kitchen – our budget didn’t quite stretch that far!)

With that in mind, I think it’s fair to say that my creative practice became a little sidelined since the move as I began to find more and more instagram accounts to follow – based purely on how their creators had styled their home, searched Pinterest to create mood boards for each of the rooms and quite a few hours on ebay trying to get the best price on vintage french furniture.

However, the projects that I did focus on got me thinking about my overall style. A few of my clients encouraged me to be looser with my technique. I LOVE working this way and certainly the works that I have considered most successful in the past have shown a really loose, confident technique that I would love to develop this year. Sometimes I feel like I need to give myself permission to work this way – it seems too easy, too enjoyable … but then I guess it takes a certain amount of confidence to give oneself that kind of permission and shut everything else out.

Helen Simms abstract watercolour

 

Helen Simms abstract watercolour 2

Helen Simms abstract watercolour 3

abstract watercolour helen simms 4

 

Above are a few abstract experiments trying to loosen up both my technique and my mind! Also, living in the country, I’m often inspired by botanicals and again I wanted to loosen up my response to them.

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helen simms abstract watercolour 6

BEAUTY ILLUSTRATIONS FOR ROUGE MAGAZINE, CHINA AND REALISING MY STYLE

Helen Simms

A couple of months ago I was contacted by ROUGE Magazine, China, and asked to create 6 beauty illustrations to show the upcoming trends for this fall. The brief specified that “one part of the face should be accentuated and the rest could be more abstract. We’ve seen this in some of your work”.

They sent across six photographic reference images of the trends for me to work from and immediately I loved the brief! They were just the kind of photographic references that I would have chosen myself. I also seemed to have some kind of epiphany during this commission – as in, “oh yeah, that is my style (duh!)” and as such, it was definitely one of the most flowing and enjoyable commissions I have created so far. I’m hoping to further develop this style and will share the finished illustrations once they are published – but for now here are some in progress shots….

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Alexander McQueen Illustration for ROUGE Magazine, China
Alexander McQueen Illustration for ROUGE Magazine, China

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watercolour eye Helen Simms

A Moment in Time

Helen Simms J Crew earrings website

 

 

 

In this illustration I’ve tried to create more fluidity in my work – so it was all about letting go and getting into the flow of it rather than thinking too much. So fun to create. What do you think?! x

 

Hogwarts vintage box

 

 

I’m in love with the box that I recently bought to store all my watercolours and inks. I WILL keep my desk tidy! hogwarts instagram

Stripped Back

stripped bare small

 

 

My lovely friend Alex recently sat for me. I had asked to paint her for a few reasons;

 

1. She is one of the most beautiful people I know – both inside and out!

2.She has been a huge supporter of my work, right from the beginning …. and a cup of tea or (more likely) glass of wine with Alex can set the world to rights on days when I am questioning what the hell I am doing with my life.

3.I knew it would be fun and we could have a bit of a catch up …..

And we did! But what surprised me most about the whole process, was the fact that this stunningly beautiful girl was actually really self conscious. I took some snaps on the day and made the mistake of letting her see some when she asked. “Noooooo! Ugh, I look awful. Delete, Delete, Delete! Pleeease!” No-one likes themselves in photographs (unless perhaps you are Gisele)! But in the end, Alex put her trust in me and I’m so glad she did.

I must admit to being super nervous to show her this work. I tried so many versions before I eventually stripped the whole thing back and just made it about the lines of her face and her eyes – pretty much the first thing I noticed about her.

Anyway, I hope I did her justice. Thanks again Alex! x

 

Burberry in the Snow … at least I might be prepared!

Burberry Fashion Illustration by Helen Simms

So …. when putting together my new website/blog, I started looking through my illustrations, deciding what to add to get me started. I created this one back in winter and it was inspired by an especially beautiful and what looked like ubber flattering (on the six foot gorgeous model that is) winter outfit as shown on the Burberry catwalk at London Fashion Week earlier this year. I absolutely love Burberry and though, for now, it is somewhat out of my price range, this image and the images I found of Burberry’s glorious winter range got me thinking about what I am going to wear this Autumn to stay warm. This may sound mad – given that it is currently mid July and I am about to embark on a summer holiday to Southern Italy later this week and the fact that the British weather has FINALLY started to resemble something a little more like SUMMER – woohoo!

However, when I went shopping last week to snap up some last minute summer clothing deals ahead of my holiday (there are sales everywhere!), I was disappointed NOT to be able to buy myself the kind of frilly/pretty bikini that would do my petite frame a thousand favours. All of my size had sold out! Moreover, I couldn’t help but notice all the invitingly new looking Autumn/Winter stock already available in store.

I have therefore made a deal with myself to look for a new and flattering winter coat early this year – before all my size sells out! It might not be Burberry – but perhaps I’ll look in Reiss, before the Duchess of Cambridge decides to wear something stunning from there and then that sells out too!

xoxo