Well, as usual, this weekend has flown by in a blur of drawing, coastal walks, painting and pubs! It is becoming increasingly clear to me that time does not always run at the same pace, but speeds up at weekends. A whole 48 hours zooming past at the speed of light before winding down in the late hours of Sunday night and plodding along for the rest of the working week.

Whose idea was it anyway, that for every two days off, we have to work five?

Despite time’s efforts to scupper my plans, I do feel as though I’ve achieved quite a lot this week. I’ve been making progress on a surprise portrait commission and have squeezed in time for my 52 Faces project and to work on my entry for the BBC’s Little Painting Challenge.

I also sent off a finished paper cut commission to its new owner!

Paper cut heart commission

This intricate heart was given as a Mother’s Day present, so I’m now safe to share it with you all. Thanks to the flexibility of the person who commissioned it, I was able to work on it on and off over several weeks.

Paper cut heart

I thoroughly enjoyed this one, right from drawing it out in the beginning to cutting the final little section out. The client provided a long list of items and words to include, which is great because it makes designing it a bit more of a challenge. The feather and angel wings were both new to me, but I love how they’ve turned out.

paper cut heart commission

The client also asked for Gerbera daisies, which help to break up the intricacy of the leaves a little and contrast with the finer details.

paper cut heart commission

I’ve been struggling to find decent paper to cut recently, as I like to use finer sheets with a bit of texture. You wouldn’t think it would be so hard to track down! I’ve tried all of the craft shops around where I live but none have quite what I’m looking for. I’ve got a few packs from Hobbycraft at the moment, but am still on the hunt for another supplier!

paper cut heart commission

paper cut heart commission

I’m really looking forward to seeing a photo of this one framed, as I rarely frame my own work. I love the lime green colour that the client chose for the background!

The Little Painting Challenge

If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you’ll probably remember that I’ve been working on some miniature portraits as part of my submission for the BBC’s Little Painting Challenge. I’ve decided to do a piece entitled ‘Funny Money’ with a series of miniature portraits of recognisable wealthy people laughing! I was going to do five, but as I’m running out of time, I’ve settled on three. Here is Mark Zuckerberg, cofounder and CEO of Facebook, to go alongside Richard Branson and Bill Gates.

Mark Zuckerberg watercolour portrait

I’ve completed them all in different media, Richard Branson in pencil, Bill Gates in coloured pencil on brown paper and Mark here in watercolour.

Mark Zuckerberg watercolour portrait

Every time I use my Winsor and Newton watercolours, I enjoy the process and result, so I should really make the effort to use them more often!

52 Faces

I got out the watercolours again for this week’s miniature portrait for my 52 Faces challenge. Judi Dench was suggested by my Mum and I thought she’d make the perfect subject as she has a recognisable face with interesting features. I think I’ve said before that it’s a lot harder to draw ‘perfect’ people with symmetrical faces and immaculate skin. They tend to have very subtle characteristics which make them recognisable, while older people and those with distinctive features are a lot easier to capture.

miniature watercolour portrait of Judi Dench

Once I’d finished with the watercolours I added a little extra detail with my Faber Castell polychromo pencils, in particular, the slight rosiness of her cheeks and the dark blue of her jacket.

Judi Dench watercolour portrait

Finally, I’ll leave you with this photo taken in sunny Bude yesterday. The sea pool has been revamped recently and the turquoise water managed to look inviting, despite the cold! While we were there, some teenagers must have felt the same as they jumped in wearing nothing but t-shirts and shorts – rather them than me!

Bude Sea Pool

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


Dame Judi looks amazing! So lifelike! But all your miniature faces look fantastic. And that paper cut heart! Just magnificent 🙂 Whoever the lucky recipient is will cherish it forever. Beautiful work!

Beautiful paper cut Clare. I love the detail the client asked to be included and that lime green is so bright and vibrant – has Auntie Liz (aka Lime Green Lizzie) seen this one 😀 The portraits for the competition look fun, good luck 🙂

that paper cut heart… omg… amazing work! You must have incredible patience. Just amazing. And that ocean pool! So very cool. Yes, i have a teenage son & i suspect if he was near something so beautiful, he would be jumping in too. 😉 xx

Ah Clare, your papercuts are just SO beautiful. I’m so in awe!
I’d be interest to know what weight paper you like to use, if you don’t mind sharing your tricks of the trade.

Wow, what wonderful work! So intricate. You must be very patient 🙂 And I love the portrait of Judi Dench. I recognised her immediately before reading the post.

The paper cut heart is beautiful, i love all the little details, its amazing how many elements you have managed to include whilst still making it seem perfectly balanced and uncluttered, i just know its new owner will be treasure it.

Fantastic portraits too, i especially like Judi Dench, you’ve captured her beautifully x

I love the heart, the details are amazing. I also admire that you can paint such recognizable faces in teeny tiny miniature. I have been watching the Big Painting Challenge and look forward to seeing your ‘Little Painting’ 🙂
Jan x

You are so talented…this is such impressive work…I was mesmerized by that gorgeous heart!! I LOVE it!! All the details…really amazing along with your tiny portraits which are also incredible…Just big WOW….Love it all!!

Hugs Giggles

What a feast of lovleyness!!! Your paper cut is so wonderful and I can imagine loved totally!! I do love your mini faces. What will you do with them in the end? Are you going to exhibit them somewhere?
You are very lucky to live is such a beautiful area. I love the coast of Devon almost as much as my local Dorset coast. We are really lucky here in the UK aren’t we!

Have a lovely week xx

your tiny portraits do amaze me, so much detail in a little spot of paper.
plus they are wonderful.

this paper cut could not be more lovely.
your technique is gorgeous too. may i ask what you use to cut it with?
i was cutting out something yesterday and it was challenging with a large utility knife. plus i sense the quality of the paper is important too and i was using cheap watercolor paper that i would not want to paint on.

thank you for your kind message on my blog.

Thanks Tammie! I just use a craft knife. A lot of people use Swann Morton knives which are really good, but I just use a cheaper one at the moment, with 11a blades. I can imaging that a utility knife is a bit cumbersome for something so small! Yes, the quality of the paper does have an effect – paper is definitely easier than card though!

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