Kahukura (red admiral) illustrations #tereo

Just quickly popping in to say hi and share these beautiful illustrations by Cliff Whiting from the maori childrens book Pūrerehua (Kahukura) by Hirini Melbourne, which is about the life cycle of the NZ Red Admiral. I thought it was quite fitting to share these today as we come to the end of Te wiki o te Reo Maori (Maori Language Week) here in NZ!! Kahukura-Hirini-Melbourne+Cliff-Whiting-05

‘Lands, lands, on a stinging nettle’ | ‘It lays eggs; one, two, three, four’
‘Wriggles and squirms and out pops four caterpillars’ | ‘Eat. eat, eat the leaves are gone, they are hanging dangling by one end’ 
‘Butterfly flying on the wind. Fluttering wings, flying in the wind’ | ‘Go higher, reach the highest point, fluttering wings, flying on’ 

Images from: Melbourne, H., Whiting, Cliff, & New Zealand. School Publications Branch. (1979). Pūrerehua (Kahukura)(Purapura. Pīngao. A). Wellington, N.Z.]: Te Rōpu Whakamahipukapukakura.

Have a lovely weekend everyone!


illustration friday: WARRIOR

this weeks challenge prompt for Illustration Friday was WARRIOR.

Here is what I came up with:

inked and then digitally coloured

and a close up:


It is loosely based on a few stories I read in a book about the cultural history of NZ birds- the New Zealand eagle (which was the largest known bird of prey, with a wingspan of up to 2.4m) was written throughout Maori myth and legend as a dangerous bird that preyed upon humans, and was also seen as a bad omen. In this drawing I tried to imagine children re-enacting the myths of warriors who fought against these giant birds of prey.

Here is the colour palette I used:

you can get the PSD file for this gamut mapper from deviantart!

hope you are all having a great weekend! Check back mid-week for another installment of NZ natural history artist- this weeks artist is Piers Hayman, an ornithological artist who did some really amazing work. Till next time! emma

an old favourite

Just some things I’ve been working on lately…

This is the beginnings of a portrait of Sam (the german shephard x) and Tiddles (tabby cat) both pets of our family who have passed on a while ago. The image I am working from is of when Tiddles was a little kitten and had just joined us, and you can see he’s a little scared of Sam!

I have attempted this portrait before (on green coloured card) but was not very happy with the result (I cannot find the picture anywhere- will try to post it when as a comparison when I have finished this one).

So, now I’m trying it again. This time will be the first I have used acrylic paints as a background to a coloured pencil drawing, so will be interesting to see how it works. Heres where I’m up to (still very unfinished!):


This is my first time using a Canson C A grain paper, which as far as I know is not readily available in NZ- I got it on my recent trip to Melbourne. I think my favourite paper is still Fabriano 5 grain…

Then for something a bit different, I have been reading Danny Gregory’s book, ‘An illustrated life’- which is such a great book! I have decided to try and keep a journal of my own (+stick at it!). Here is my first page, which I did after a day of volunteering at a bird rehab centre. Its pretty terrible drawing, but hopefully its just a matter of practice!


On the theme of sketchbooks, here is a lovely video to watch if you have time (which was posted on Laura Wood Illustration). Its about Renata Liwska a childrens book illustrator, and how she got into childrens book illustration. Very inspiring stuff! Makes me want to get a moleskine too!

A Quiet Look – How to become a children’s book illustrator in one (not so easy) step from mike kerr on Vimeo.

Well, thats all I have for now! I hope you have a great weekend!