GUEST ARTIST: Balancing Beasts And Towering Totems

#WorldWatercolorGroup - Watercolor Illustration by Daisy May Collingridge - #doodlewash

My name is Daisy May Collingridge and I’m from Surrey, UK. I have been fortunate enough to be living in New Zealand for the last 8 months! (Exploiting the joys of becoming not freelance.) 

#WorldWatercolorGroup - Watercolor Illustration by Daisy May Collingridge - #doodlewash

My background is fashion design. Since graduation, I have developed my illustration style. My subject is animals. Usually in a towering totem. It began with two large drawings for my sisters first baby. We just picked out our favourite animals. I drew two A1 illustrations, crouched on the soon to be painted nursery floor and so this obsession with balancing beasts began. 

My process begins with deciding on which animals are going to feature. Sometimes, this can be decided by the name of the person I am drawing it for. I’ll pick animals beginning with the same letters as those letters in the name. For example baby Dilara had a donkey, an ibis, a leopard, an aardvark, a rhino and a anteater. 

It’s an awesome way to discover new creatures! There is also a running story line with two characters, the donkey and the gibbon. These two depict the adventures that I (the donkey) have been having with Gibbo (the gibbon). We have been to Thailand on a raft and met an elephant and cycled around Holland on our bicycles. Is there a better way to sum up a holiday than a drawing?!

I spend a day or so in this ‘research’ phase. I will use trusty google images to collect pictures of the animals to practise drawing them. Then begins the jigsaw puzzle of working out how these animals might interact and balance on top of one and other. I also try to think about the overall aesthetics of the drawing; how it will look on the page. Once I’m satisfied with a merry group of animals I get on and draw it with pencil. I use 300gsm watercolour paper (haven’t yet settled on a particular brand yet). 

Then comes the scary bit; Getting the pens out. I use a variety of uni-pin fine liner pens to do my line work. I have very recently started to draw with ink and a paint brush as I want a more fluid line (so watch this space!). The pen work done; I get to do the fun part: paint. I love colour and watercolours are so forgiving! I must admit I am still using my travel set of Winsor and Newton watercolour paints that I have had since school…might be due an upgrade! It’s always nice to have a good colourful animal in there as sometimes it can get a bit brown and beige. I’m desperate to create a bird one as they are so colourful. 

#WorldWatercolorGroup - Watercolor Illustration by Daisy May Collingridge - #doodlewash

I am relatively inexperienced with watercolour so Doodlewash, with its featured artists, is proving a valuable lesson in learning the potential of watercolour. So thank you! I am hoping to develop my style further and become more free with my painting. My 2017 resolution is to illustrate a story book! See more of my work at the links below. 

Thank you to Charlie for featuring me and to the whole Doodlewash community for the wealth of knowledge! Happy painting! 

Daisy May Collingridge
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Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you'd like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!
Recommended6 recommendationsPublished in Featured Artists
17 Comments
  1. Heide 5 months ago

    Your paintings are breathtaking, Daisy May! I love that they are at once realistic, yet also adorably whimsical. And although you say you’re quite new to watercolor, it seems you’ve already mastered quite a lot of the technique. Congratulations on your beautiful work, and thank you (and thank Charlie too!) for sharing it.

  2. Pao Alfonso 5 months ago

    Wonderful work! So whimsical and imaginative. I love it a lot!

  3. M. L. Kappa 5 months ago

    Good work, Daisy May! So fun. Will find you on Instagram 🌺

  4. Laura (PA Pict) 5 months ago

    Your illustrations are wonderful! They are full of charm and wit.

  5. wow! very original! I love your work!

  6. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 5 months ago

    Daisy, your art is so full of joy and whimsy – it’s a delight to view your images. I like your use of thick and thin lines to accent features. It’s interesting to see how a sketch develops into a painting, and to note the changes incorporated. I love your towers of animals, seeing all of them get along so well.

  7. Judy Salleh 5 months ago

    Truly beautiful illustrations – I love them. I note you mentioned you are relatively inexperienced with watercolours and I felt compelled to tell you that from my personal experience when you do work as beautiful as yours then use artist’s quality watercolours as I think yours are Cotmans and after a couple of years the colours really fade especially if in the sun. Hope you don’t mind me saying. Keep going!

  8. Ellie 5 months ago

    Awesome! Your paintings are absolutely fantastic – and inspiring! Thanks for sharing

  9. Susan Feniak 5 months ago

    Wonderfully whimsical. I am still smiling. Thank you for sharing.

  10. Melissa 5 months ago

    So imaginative and full of life.

  11. Charles Ray 4 months ago

    Great stuff!!!

  12. mudpilewood 3 months ago

    Your style is different and enlightening.

  13. Lauren Allen 3 months ago

    Your work is so amazing!!

  14. Cynthia Hintz 2 months ago

    I like the way you use ink with your watercolors. Best of luck in illustrating a book!

  15. Sandra Strait 1 week ago

    I love your towering totem animals! What an amazing idea to begin with, and you do them so beautifully!

  16. Sharon Nolfi 1 week ago

    Your illustrations are fantastic. I love how you combine the animals. Thanks for sharing your process.

  17. Susan Cuss 4 days ago

    Your illustrations make me smile, and certainly pique the interest of the viewer. Love them, and best wishes on your book!

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