Frogs and frocks

I went to an art class this weekend.  God it felt good to be drawing again.  I love loosing myself for a few hours.  I’d been looking forward to it for ages.  Taught by my very talented friend Tracy.  Costumes in watercolour and ink… it was good to get the grey matter going and get lost in the magic scenes and get lost in the atmospheric music (I’d highly recommend Tracy’s classes!) the model Ruby Tingle looked stunning in her striking outfits!

Here’s what I came up with…

When I got home I had a go at a couple digital work from the picture I took…

Can’t wait to get to my studio and do some more.  Must make a trip to Turners for some new supplies 😉 

Will let you know what I come up with! X


Life Drawing Exhibition

A couple of weeks ago I attended an inspitational life drawing class in New Mills.  Taught by my very talented friend Tracy Fennell Illustration.  The lesson was one of 6 in a series of life drawing classes. Each week the students explored the human form, using different mediums.  I joined them on the collage class (the second time I’ve done it!)

It’s really great to get back into the swing of things 🙂 Here’s what I came up with…

Here’s Tracy in action and the beautiful model Alannis (Bunny Girl)

I’m really looking forward to the exhibition this Thursday.  The standard of work from this course has been phenomenal.  I’ll be signing up for the next set of workshops 🙂

Ms Wood x

An Introduction to Modern Calligraphy 

I want learn lots of new things in 2016 and I’m off to a great start 🙂 

What a morning, learning a new skill…. Modern calligraphy 🙂 

With a delicious cup of coffee and a cake, a group of us settled down at The Foundation Coffee House in the Northern Quarter, Manchester.  Joyce Lee from Artsynibs lead us step by step through the alphabet, teaching us how to hold the pen, your posture (no slouching!!) and training your muscle memory – helping us to practice this beautiful art form (also reminding us to breathe!!) 🙂    

What a great day! Looking forward to practicing and showing you what I come up with (I’ve had enough coffee to keep me awake all night!) 🙂 looking forward to more doing more workshops with Joyce in the future 🙂


Sugar sugar, do do do do do do

I may be slightly giddy from too much sugar… Apologies! Well actually, it’s not the sugar – I’m just really excited after part two of the creative hand writing class lead by Andrea Joseph, this weekend 🙂

As a designer I naturally love typography, but after doing this two part course at The Studios in Mew Mills, Andrea has inspired me to look more at type around me and try drawing it myself…

Surrounded by my (many) pens (and yes I may have bought more today – and a new Dr Ph Martins ink 😉 oopss) I’ve been drawing a sugar packet I brought back with me from a client meeting at Cafe Nero today – I loved the fonts… First attempt… Grrr I used a black fineliner (staedtler) not knowing it wasn’t waterproof (and in all fairness I didn’t check!!) – I was playing with my new ink and it got a bit messy.  I kind of like how it bleeds into each other…but practice makes perfect (well not quite perfect!).

I wanted to see what it’s like to use different tools.  I always tend to go for my unipin 0.8 fineliner/watercolours/ink. So I thought I’d mix it up a bit… I found the pencil quite difficult – I’ve not used them in a while. A bit clunky and smudgy.

Next I played with my Faber-Castell dark sepia medium and brush pens.  It was a bit easier to control and the more I was looking at the letters and practicing it was getting a bit easier. 

Hello coffee brown Dr Ph Martins ink 🙂 couldn’t leave this bad boy out! Got a bit giddy with it on the right, but used my new Aqua brush pen to dilute the colour.  Then went over with the sepia brush pen.

Lastly my good old unipin fineliner (the old faithful).  I feel so much more comfortable with this pen, I just love black on white.   But all in all it was a fun exercise that kept me out of mischief for a couple of hours 😉 

Feel very happy and inspired after the weekend 🙂 have a great week everyone 


Follow your dreams

Follow your dreams Ms Bandit Wood

I honestly didn’t think I’d be where I am now, this time last year. My whole world changed in the blink of an eye – ‘redundant’. It’s a horrible word. It made me feel useless, worthless, well…redundant. Not only did it make me incredibly sad, I worried – well panicked actually! ‘how on earth am I going to pay the bills?’ ‘I’ll have to get another job but there are no jobs out there’. That’s when I sat down with my husband, mum and dad and decided I’d go it alone! * gulp *

I had the greatest support from my friends and family. ‘You’ll be great!’ ‘It’s the best thing that has ever happened to you’. At the time I didn’t believe any of this. I sat there with Jassy on my knee as the tears rolled down my face in their bucketfuls. ‘How can I be alright?’ ‘how is THIS the best thing that’s ever going to happen to me?!’

Now as I sit here in my little creative corner, a year on, looking through the ever daunting tax return I need to submit – it was the best thing to happen to me! My mind switched from being scared to ‘right, here goes nothing’, and I made a plan with Stewart to get cracking with building my new empire. Sometimes things happen for a reason. Being thrown well an truly out of my comfort zone, I’ve just had to grab life by the balls!

2015 was an amazing year, I’ve worked with so many great people and had some superb opportunities and projects to work on.   I discovered The Studios in New Mills early in March 2015, where I took a life drawing class. Tracy, my friend of many years, taught a 6 week course there. Just having that routine on a Thursday morning, helped me to start gaining confidence in the work I do. It also gave me the opportunity to meet new arty minded people.

I’ve made so many new and inspiring friends. I met Andrea, who runs superb Alternative Life Drawing classes. I developed my drawing style from these evenings in New Mills once a month… creative stories, beautiful models, music and the odd glass of wine! (good old Drink and Draw!!) 😉

Art has saved me. Sounds really corny but it has. I know I could’ve easily slipped back into a very dark place… I thought the past year would’ve dragged its arse majorly, but it didn’t. It flew by and I discovered there weren’t enough hours in the day! It’s thanks to art and all the wonderful support of my family and friends.

Having just turned 30 in December, I’m not only looking forward to a New Year, but a new decade of new and exciting possibilities. 2016 is going to be awesome. I’ve already started the year off with a creative hand-lettering course (run by Andrea) and I’ve been on the other side of the table at Drink and Draw, modelling with my equally bonkers Husband Stewart! Will be great to do that again at some point 🙂

I’ve wanted to write down how I’ve been feeling about life, for a while. After chatting with my friend today, it’s made me look back at last year and made me think – thought just when you feel like giving up – don’t! Just keep going!

I’ve come along way since January 2015. I’m following my dreams with my art and design and I’m looking forward 2016’s adventure!

Ms Bandit Wood - Karrie Brown

Expressive Inks Masterclass with Tracy Fennell Illustration Part 2

Another Saturday spent at The Studios in New Mills yesterday! Such a creative and inspiring time with Tracy.  After an interesting class last week, it was great to put into practice some of the techniques we learnt.  We had a beautiful model called Alannis, she had a fab collection of outfits for us to draw (including some rather fetching lace bunny ears – I wanted to wear them… as you do! :D).

We started off with a striking red coat and black hat…

Expressive inks Part 2 Ms Bandit Wood Art 1 inks Part 2 Ms Bandit Wood Art 2 inks Part 2 Ms Bandit Wood Art 3

I always feel a bit wobbly at the start of the classes but I soon got into the flow of things (and so did the ink!) 🙂 Alannis, after break, changed into a floaty dress, complete with a red masquerade mask and a rose.  Tracy had various acetates that she projected on to the wall… some birds, butterflies and typeography.  It really helped to bring the composition together…
inks Part 2 Ms Bandit Wood Art 10 inks Part 2 Ms Bandit Wood Art 12All the painting/creativity was hungry business… We popped out for a sandwich and so we were fuelled for the last section of the class… Lace… well lace bunny ears and mask to be precise! 😀  Tracy talked us through techniques for drawing lace with the water in and dip pen – the results were very abstract and unique…

inks Part 2 Ms Bandit Wood Art 4

I really enjoyed this section (the bunny ears were completely fabulous darling!! :))


inks Part 2 Ms Bandit Wood Art 8 inks Part 2 Ms Bandit Wood Art 9 inks Part 2 Ms Bandit Wood Art 11

After a while, all the concentrating was getting a bit too much, so Tracy gave us a couple of exercises to loosen us up… Contour drawing, using the dip pen  – I just looked at Alannis and not at the paper (it’s not as easy as you think!)

inks Part 2 Ms Bandit Wood Art 6

Then we tried drawing with our opposite hand – my right in my case.  I loved it! the lines had different thicknesses and I felt that I wasn’t over thinking what I was drawing.  I love the less is more approach using this method…

inks Part 2 Ms Bandit Wood Art 5

For the last pose of the day I decided to use this technique – I really liked it 🙂

inks Part 2 Ms Bandit Wood Art 7

I’ve come away from the class completely buzzing and can’t wait to get creating at home.  I took lots of pictures which are on my facebook page I can refer back to.  Practice makes perfect 🙂  I’ve got a few more classes coming up at The Studios, how exciting! 😀

Ms Bandit Wood x

Expressive Inks Masterclass with Tracy Fennell Illustration

I can’t believe how fast this weekend has gone! I’m not surprised really… it’s been fab! full of art, homemade cake, tea (and a few with Gs :D) and great friends.  A winning combination don’t you think? 🙂

Saturday I spent at The Studios in New Mills on an art workshop I’ve been looking forward to for a while… Expressive Inks Masterclass with Tracy Fennell Illustration.  Tracy produces fantastic ink illustrations and is such an inspirational tutor.  As you can see from most of my artwork, I love to use inks.  It’s such an interesting medium with unique results.

In the morning session we got our creative juices flowing by mark-making with ink.  Using toothbrushes, bamboo canes, sponges and string – to name a few!  A fun (and messy) way to get use to the inks.  Tracy provided us with a brief.  We were to create a worksheet filled with marks made with the tools provided, to illustrate a list of words such as shadowy figures, a stately raven, gnarled bark of weathered trees.  A very dark/gloomy and spooky composition for ‘The witching time of night”.  After compiling all of my marks together in photoshop, here’s my composition…

The Witching time of Night
The Witching time of Night V2 Manipulated the layers in photoshop –  1) Original black and white 2) inverted the black and white

After a delicious slice of chocolate and Guinness cake/cup of tea, we started to play with colourful inks. Picking an object to draw from a table full of trinkets, we drew silhouettes using just ink and water.  It was amazing watching the ink dance and bleed into each other on the page.  Then Tracy taught us about negative space and we drew the negative space around our chosen object with simple line.  I chose a bottle to draw…

Milk Bottle Red Milk Bottle Blue

Lastly we focused at a point on the table – bringing together the techniques Tracy taught us, we spent the last hour of the class drawing. I picked some rather fab leopard print vampy shoes and a bright orange teapot! 😀

Lepoard Print Shoe Lepord Print Shoe & Tea Pot

All in all an arty great day out.  Thanks to Tracy for such an informative and exciting introduction to the world of Expressive Inks 🙂 There’s part two to look forward to next week! Looking forward to practising this week 🙂

Ms.B Wood x