That’s how long I’ve been working on the Thames map today for Le Boat, and while I may have a headache, sleepy eyes and stiff neck, it’s been a very satisfying day!

The whole painting process has taken a lot longer than I anticipated because of all the tiny details. Just painting the trees took about four and a half hours in total. I’ve painted them two different colours of green for a bit of variety.

I don’t want to give away too much now because I’m so near finishing. I want to wait until I can show it all – there’s nothing like a bit of suspense! Here are just a few little snippets to keep you guessing!

This little piggy and his friends at Odd’s Farm Park are one of my favourite parts of the illustration.

I’m sorry about the blurry photos, I only realised when I got them onto the computer that they hadn’t come out sharply.

I’ve spent the last couple of hours colouring in shadows with pencil. It’s a tedious process but I really like the 3D effect it gives the painting.

These two attractions are Mercedes Benz World and the Brooklands Museum. In reality they don’t have a car and concorde on top, but a little creative license never hurt anyone!

The Eden Walk shopping centre is probably one of the more ‘boring’ buildings on the map, but strangely it’s one of my favourites! Something to do with the little windows and straight lines.

Finally, this is a section of the Thames just after Windsor. The little yellow boat is one of the Runnymede Hotel‘s ‘HotTugs’ which sounds like a lot of fun!

As well as painting the map, which is taking up every spare hour that I’m not at my ‘real’ job, I’ve had a really great week! A couple of girls from work and I went to volunteer at the Blue Cross in Tiverton where we painted the dogs’ lounge and went out for a walk with a some of the dogs. These two are Penelope (top) and Brooke.

Our painting left much to be desired and needs another coat, but fortunately there’s another group of volunteers going in this week to finish up!

Some of the animals there have had a really hard time of it, so it’s lovely to know that they are now being well looked after and have chance to be rehomed and receive all the love they deserve. The staff and volunteers at the Blue Cross centre do an excellent job of assessing their behaviour, addressing any problems and generally making them healthy, happy animals. If you’re looking for a dog or cat, then I’d really recommend you try them. 

As if that weren’t enough excitement for one week, we had our work Christmas party on Friday which kicked off the festive celebrations in style!

Have a great week peeps! With a bit of luck I may have a finished map to show you next Sunday!

I’m sharing this post on the following blogs:  Handmade Harbour, Paint Party Friday and Blue Chair Diary Illustrations!


It’s great to see how the maps progressing and I like the way you’ve used your artistic license with the car and plane. I’m really looking forward to seeing it completed. What a good soul you are volunteering for the paint job. I bet the dogs were thrilled to be taken out for a walk.
Ali xx

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