Friday, 28 March 2014


For my menagerie project I chose to focus on bats.

I wanted to do an animal that I thought most people wouldn't do. Bats are not very popular and even feared but I think they are misunderstood and cute yet elemental. I looked at the different types of bats and where they live. I found that there are two branches of the bat family; Microbats and Megabats. Microbats are nocturnal, have external tails, are carnivores, use echolocation and are smaller than Megabats. Where as Megabats eat fruit and nectar, don't have visible tails, are diurnal so they have good eyesight and have no need for echolocation and are much larger.

I also looked into their behaviour and what their relationship is with people around the world. I used pencils, ink, collage and origami to show different aspects of the bat. The origami was the most challenging and the most rewarding.

Harlyn Blanchflower.

More on frogs

This was another experiment using water, oil and colour in order to create the idea of water and ripples within it.  Below is also a line of frog bunting representing the different personalities of people.

Short animations

3 short animations resulting from the Research Methodology project;

Save the Arctic
Pen and ink drawn animation by Aaron Baker

Claymation by Johnathan Smallwood

How the Black Death Began
Paper cut animation by Bryony Mellett

Thursday, 27 March 2014


I love cats and this is the simple reason way I chose them for my project. They are loved by many and apparently mainly by crazy lady’s, including me. Besides being affectionate, cute and adorable I find they have a lot of character and attitude. This is what interested me most and what I wanted to focus on and convey in my drawings. I tried to communicate this through gestures, symbols and expression and use medium that would work and compliment the message and style. 

The Anglerfish

I chose Anglerfish for this project. I was really interested with the sheer appearance of them, their huge mouths, the sharp teeth and the glowing lure on top of their head. As someone fascinated in horror/monster illustrations I felt this deep sea creature would make a perfect project for me. 

At first I was looking at how you could make the Anglerfish look less intimidating and scary so I tried a range of different bright colours, the materials I used for these illustrations was mainly ink pen, water colour and photoshop. After these experiments I took a completely different approach to the project and found poems and short children stories about the Anglerfish. I found this one poem called 'The Mermaid Song' and it's about a beautiful young woman who was once heartbroken and spends the rest of her days as a mermaid in the deep ocean who lures unwary sailors and brings them to their death. I found this poem really connected with the Anglerfish and how it lures its prey near them till they're close enough to kill. 

Red Fox

I decided to focus on the fox for my research methodology project. I have always been fascinated by foxes, considering I had seen one bareley a handful of times in real life as they are such timid creatures. I began looking at lots of different species of fox, but quickly settled on the Red Fox. Having grown up in a fairly country-based town, I would frequently wake in the night startled by the sound of a Foxes shrill cry. However it would be near impossible to catch a sight of the sly creatures as they would lurk in the shadows in my then overgrown childhood garden.

I think the fact that I knew Foxes were difficult to catch a glimpse of created an interest within me for the creatures, and as a child I would constantly be fascinated if I caught sight of a Fox skulking into a bush in the day, or scuttling across a land at night. This Idea of a child so fascinated by a particular animal, yet not being able to see it with their own eyes, gave me quite a distinct idea. I knew I wanted to act on my love for children's illustration within this project, so that was the path I decided to go down, and I created Ella and Fox. A story based around a girl who finds all of the clues to a living creature in the forest, but cannot see this creature, so she goes searching for him, and learns all about foxes along the way. It seemed to me that as the character was discovering this information about the animal, the child reading the story would too, so it became a sort of mini fact file as well as a children's story. I had a lot of fun on this project!


I chose to research lizards because of their incredible colours and patterns. Within the lizard species, there are many different types; Geckos, Iguanas and Chameleons, among others. I mainly focused on geckos and chameleons. I looked into their unique patternation and amongst other things, how lizards are used in fashion. I focussed on their elegance and beauty and created a number of pattern designs that could be used for homeware. I made wallpaper rolls and samples of these designs.


 Ella Tomkins


I chose to look at the squid for this project.
Scientifically, little is known about many species of squid, and some have never actually been seen alive, so one of the themes I looked into was the unknown, and how curious and fascinated humans are about things they know little about. I also looked into what makes the squid a unique creature, and focused a lot on how they glow in the dark, and their skin.

I was mainly interested in the mythology associated with the squid, so I looked into the legend of the giant squid, old pirate stories and maps and eyewitness accounts of the huge creatures. I wanted to create something that people would be curious about, and illustrate the mystery that surrounds the squid, so I looked into victorian curiosity cabinets and had a try at making my own version.

aggie davies

The Rabbit

I looked at rabbits, first focusing on how they live in the wild,
but then moving on to examine how they are kept as pets.

Through my research, I found that many rabbit-owners are not aware of basic
rabbit needs and rabbits are frequently abandoned when they are more work than the
owner anticipated. I wanted to show that rabbits are not 'easy option' pets and in
particular communicate the fact that they can live for 10 years. I also experimented
with how I could visualise the inquisitive nature of this creature.


I based my methodical research on the breed of dog named, Pomeranian. After informing myself of its interesting history and origins, I began exploring social issues involved in owning a 'Toy' breed, its personality and behaviour. With the Pomeranian being a symbol of fame and decadence, I experimented with different ways I could portray this, considering the use of media, texture and colour. I directed my ideas into screen printing on pillows to conclude and convey the symbolic depiction of social class and fashion of Pomeranians.
Danielle Noakes


Fireflies by Fiona Simpson

Domestic Cat

I chose to base my project on the domestic cat. I focused mainly on the textures found on cats for example, their rough tongues and their soft fur. I also looked in to their sensitivity to their surroundings and also their sensitivity and fragility in general. I tried to use different mediums, techniques and materials to reflect these qualities such as using thin paper and origami techniques, paper cutting, and using stick and ink to create looseness in my images.

Barn Owl

I initially chose owls as my subject of research, later deciding to focus mainly on barn owls. Owls have always fascinated me, barn owls in particular, there is a certain silent beauty and mystery about them which I wanted to explore further. I researched a lot into the mythology and symbolism of owls,  I was surprised at the amount of cultures that believed and still believe that owls are connected with death. I decided to look further into this aspect, linking it with the mystery of the creatures. I created a few prints and wallpaper designs as well as some jewellery that I felt reflected the aspect of barn owls that I wanted to present. I mainly used photoshop, as well as fabric printing and polymer clay to create my pieces. I liked the idea of the repetition and mirrored images representing the mysterious aspect, I also chose to portray the owls mainly using skulls to represent death but with roses, a symbol of beauty, in the eye socket, combining the aspects of beauty and death that barn owls are seen to connote. The jewellery was a similar approach, depicting the beauty of barn owls.

Red-Cheeked Cordon-Bleu

I took a look at the charming Red-Cheeked Cordon-Bleu after spotting them amongst the banana trees during my visit to The Gambia. I instantly fell in love with this bird with its bright blue plumage contrasting with its pastel grey chest and of course it's red cheeks! And what a wonderful name! 

Whilst I was in The Gambia, Omar who worked for the charity WYCE where I was staying and who had a love for all birds, told me that if you venture into Senegal to the cannabis crops that's where you'd find most of these birds as they favour the seeds from the plant. This is why the plant also features in my work... 
Flying high.