When autumn leaves start to fall – Bear-a-thought illustration

It seems many, many years ago that I was working on this ‘When autumn leaves start to fall’ illustration.  All of the Bear-a-thought illustrations take me right back to the time I was drawing them.  This was an illustration that appeared in my 2006 calendar and was inspired by a famous song performed by the immortal Nat King Cole

I was chatting to a good friend recently who mentioned the  song and I thought that this illustration would make a very good blog post this month.  I have to be honest and say that I have a bit of a ‘downer’ about November and it’s my least favourite month, as I dislike being plunged into the dark days of autumn at the end of October.

AutumnleavesbyMichaelQuinlyn-Nixon
In this illustration, I have tried to show November at it’s best with golden leaves and azure blue skies.  I chose one of my new teddy bears, named Raymond, for the illustration as I just thought he was so appealing in his blue duffle coat and I loved illustrating the cord buttons on his coat that are keeping him warm from the autumn chills.  I also really enjoyed drawing the golden-leafed oak tree in the background and I do remember putting some shapes in amongst the foliage.  I think there was a heart, a gingerbread man and a goldfish to name a few, though looking at the illustration now I can’t see them.

The leaves that our lovely little bear is bouncing on were quite difficult and rather monotonous to draw, but I wanted to give them the appearance of looking dry, brittle and ‘crackly’; the kind of bone-dry leaves you cannot resist running through and then watch them being whisked-off by the cool autumn breezes…

Autumn leaves of red, orange and brown, to the ground come fluttering down.
Raymond jumps to catch them as they fall, from the trees above – so big and tall.

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Christmas Craft Creations

Since starting to teach again last September, I have been busy.  Along with my 12-year-old niece we have been busy trying out craft creations, such as greeting cards and pen tidy pots and things like that, that can be used for practical exercises in the class…

I sketched some pictures on to a sheet of A3 paper (robin, snowman, reindeer etc) to create some templates to make greeting cards and then pasted them on to cardboard to cut them out, so we could draw around them on coloured paper and create the cards.  We had a great time and many hours passed before we stopped.  I don’t always get the time to ‘test’ things out before my students have a go, but on this occasion it was most beneficial, as it gave me the opportunity to work out what degree of difficulty was involved in making each card.  Believe it or not, the Santa Claus was the most difficult.  The reindeer was very popular, but my personal favourite was the penguin, but that’s because I love penguins.

We also had a lovely time creating a series of pen tidy pots, that were covered in felt and decorated with felt and cardboard pieces to create reindeers, penguins and snowmen.  Most of these were sold at my students’ Christmas craft fair, so that was a good enterprise scheme.  We had used coffee cylinders and crisp tubes, so apart from the felt and some glue and a few hours spent doing craft, it was rather a cost effective and enjoyable exercise…

Penguin handmade Christmas card Robin handmade card

Penguin pen tidys Reindeer card and reindeer pen tidy

To all of you that read my blog (and there are some that do it…frequently), I would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and every best wish for the forthcoming year.  I hope 2016 is a good one for us all! x