Illustration Friday

Illustration Friday

Illustration Friday was a weekly online art task that anyone could do. A word would be suggested and participants would have a week to illustrate it in any style or medium they liked.

Sadly IF is no more, it stopped operating in 2019/2020 and these days the website URL brings up nothing but a server error 😢.

Here are some of my entries to the event.


Yep, Farewell Illustration Friday!

Farewell Hound
The Doleful Howl


Go forth to meet the shadowy Future, without fear, and with a manly heart

Illustration Friday Painting - Future
7*10 inches; Acrylic on Acrylic Paper

The word for this week was ‘Future’ and, as you’ve probably guessed from the quote at the top of the post, this painting shows the viewpoint of someone peering down a shaded copse towards a dark and unknown region ahead of them.


The British Museum was running an exhibition on PompeiiLife and death Pompeii and Herculaneum which I planned to visit.  Perhaps that’s why my mind immediately went to molten lava when I saw the IF word Liquid.  I had a bit of fun:

Awareness Ignited
8 * 10 inches; Acrylic on Acrylic Paper

Of course, as we all know, it wasn’t slow moving lava that got them in Pompeii but the rather scarier and speedier pyroclastic flow (but I guess such subtleties are of no consequence if you’re a statue with a top speed of about 0mph!).


The fruit of bees is desired by all, and is equally sweet to kings and beggars
– Saint Ambrose

Illustration Friday: Sweet - Honeycomb
7*5 inches; Acrylic on Watercolour Paper

Going back quite a few years, there was a documentary on the Baka Pygmies of Cameroon. One of my favourite scenes was when a group of them went deep into the forest looking for honey. And when they found some, wow, it looked so delicious – they ate it all, the honey, the honeycomb and the odd bee!

I quite like the effect of the hexagonal comb cells in this sketch.

Orbit in an orbit

The IF word was Orbit.  The orbit is the cavity in the skull in which the eye sits.   So what I painted was a couple of eyeballs orbiting around (each other) within an orbit.

Orbit in an orbit
Acrylic on Canvas A4 (8 * 11.5 inches)

And why would they be eyeballing each other so aggressively?  Perhaps it reflects anger and frustration at our inability to look after our environment.  Their orbital path mirroring that of all the space junk floating around the planet.  And perhaps the skull reflects the fate of mankind if we continue in this irresponsible way.

The palette used is yellow ochre, raw umber, burnt umber, burnt sienna, ultramarine blue, white and a touch of red.

(P.S If you’d like to learn how to draw a skull then take a look at the linked post.)


Panning for Gold
Mixed media on Paper 7 x 5 inches


The Illustration Friday Word was Fuzzy and I decided to design a fuzzy soft toy.

Fuzzy Wuzzy Boo Boo


teddy's health original watercolour
Teddy’s Health 6 * 9 inches

A quick watercolour sketch. It is done on Arches 300gsm Cold Press and is about 6 * 9 inches.

Imaginary Friend

A watercolour painting for the Illustration Friday word Imaginary.

Imaginary Friend
Imaginary Friend, 9 * 12 inches on watercolour paper

It’s 9 x 12 inches and painted on Arches 140lb Hot Press paper. The scan isn’t the best, the background is a lot smoother in real life.


Illustration Friday had a new word, Family. It went up on a Monday.

Family, inks & coloured pencils on cartridge paper

Should it be called Illustration Monday instead? I don’t know, the previous word, ‘gift’, went up on a Thursday (I think) and was only there for about 5 days. Previous to that was ‘brain’ which was the chosen word for over 5 weeks! What’s going on IF?

Painting of a young family in casein.
Painting of young family, casein

Red Panda

Here’s a casein painting of a Red Panda for Illustration Friday.

I have to admit that it is not an animal I’m familiar with and, until I looked it up for this piece, wouldn’t have known what anyone meant if they mentioned it!

Red Panda
Red Panda, casein

The Red Panda is native to the eastern Himalayas and south western China. In the past it has been classed as a relative of the bear and of the racoon (which is what I would have thought one was if I’d seen it before) but is now classed in a family of its own (Ailuridae). It is not closely related to the Giant Panda.

It has reddish brown fur, light rings on its tail and distinctive white markings on the face. A mammal, it is about the size of a cat. The Red Panda eats mainly bamboo but also eggs, birds and insects.


A Little Tale …

It was not a good time to be a royal flower.

The Princess was in a foul mood. Nanny had put her outside on the grass when all she wanted was to be inside playing with her toys.

“Where is my throne? What kind of a Princess sits on the grass?” She wailed.

“I know what I’m going to do,” she said. “I’m going to gather all the flowers in the garden and make the prettiest throne in the whole kingdom!”

Uh-oh, what were the flowers to do?

Princess, acrylic ink on Yupo paper

… With No End

Well I don’t know what the flowers should do, not yet anyway! This was just a quick scrawl for Illustration Friday, I had a feeling the word would soon change (it had been ‘Princess‘ for over a week already) so I didn’t want to spend much time on it.

Roll the Dice

The IF word was ‘Dice‘ and I decided it would be fun to illustrate the common phrase with its double meaning.

I had a sample of Canson Heritage 640gsm cold press watercolour paper lying around. The sample sheet is about 8 * 6 inches but a quarter of it is given over to the Canson logo and decoration so this piece is more like 6.5 * 6 inches.

Rolling the Dice
Rolling the Dice

The paper was a delight to paint on with acrylics, the high absorbancy means it doesn’t get all slippery though you may need more layers than you would otherwise. I also have a sample of the hot press version, it gives a different, more matte, effect.

Sadly these heavyweight papers tend not to come in pads, I really hate cutting up large sheets – such a drag!

Back to top