Today I’m writing from a cosy little cottage in Dorset! We’re on holiday here for a week and the wet and windy weather is giving me a chance to do a little bit more work on my Canal du Midi map commission.

I’ve been exchanging emails with Le Boat all week to iron out the final details of the sketch and have now started to put pen to paper.

Would you believe that this little section here took me about two and a half hours to outline? Toulouse is the busiest city on the map and has lots of elaborate architecture to illustrate, from the ‘Convent des Jacobins’ to the stunning ‘Capitole’.

Canal du Midi illustrated map

As before, I’ll rub out the labels so that they can be added digitally at the end.

Canal du Midi illustrated map

Over the next week I’m hoping to finish outlining and perhaps do some work on the watercolour house portrait commission I’ve also got on the go.

Canal du Midi illustrated map

Yesterday we spent the evening snuggled up in front of the log burner in the cottage. We don’t have one at home, so it’s a bit of a treat!

I did this watercolour sketch while basking in the warmth!

watercolour painting of a log burner

I’m still trying to work on the depiction of light and shadow with watercolour. In this sketch I attempted to pick up the glow from the fire in the tools and woodwork. I think it could be a bit more obvious though!

Watercolour painting of a woodburner

Finally, just in case you thought we’re spending all our holiday holed up in the cottage, here’s a photo of a dashing gentleman on a hill who we visited today! We went on a walk in the surrounding countryside, but the best view was from the car park. If you’ve not seen him before, he’s the Cerne Abbas Giant – a huge figure of a (very well endowed) naked man carved into the chalky hillside. According to folklore he is associated with fertility, hence his huge….uh huh!

Cerne Abbas Giant

Anyway, on that note, that’s me done for today!

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


Your work is so beautifully detailed and extremely creative. I have never seen anything like this. You will make the buyer ecstatic when you complete this piece!

Clare, loving your map work. Your maps have so inspired me that I brought home one of the town of Scarborough as I’d like to put my hand to making one myself! 😀 Your watercolor illustration is lovely and look so cosy. I do hope you had a wonderful holiday, despite the damp weather.

I’m so flattered to hear that I’ve inspired you! You inspire me every day with your uplifting illustrations and constant creativity! Good luck with the map, I can’t wait to see it! x

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