years apart but still connected

It’s funny how certain themes resonate with me. Does that happen to you – whether you’re an illustrator like me, or creative in another field – a few themes and related imagery stick in your mind and are expressed in artwork.

Zesty Escape

Zesty Escape was painted in gouache (W&N designer gouache *) very recently. It’s now a print in my shop. But, many years ago, around 2014, I think, I was also painting balloons of a different sort…

The Perfect Balloon II (original sold)

These ones were more decorative, and rather traditional in terms of depiction. I was also not using gouache back then, so it was done using outlines with fineliner pens (Sakura *) and filled in with watercolours (W&N’s Cotman *), and I used beautiful handmade cotton paper (Khadi *)

But there are actually two things they have in common. I’m still drawing balloons, using different representations rather than the traditionally decorated one, but they also still have the little steampunk-esque silhouetted Victorian figures hanging off of them!

I’ll explain my love for those little figures in another post one day soon, but isn’t it curious that six or more years on, I’m still painting balloons with tiny figurines?

Have you got an obsession with something like I seem to have? It’s not just balloons, by the way. A couple of posts ago you’ll see my nautilus shape that I’ve been drawing for even longer – coming up to more than 15 years, I think!


Note: Some links may be affiliate links (marked by an *) and may earn me a small commission should you make a purchase. This does not affect the price you pay, only helps me keep this blog and video content free for you to view.

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