Monday, 18 August 2014

Portrait painting of my niece

This is a painting I did recently of my lovely niece who is 4, it's an acrylic on canvas and has been manipulated in Photoshop using my Wacom tablet. The background has been built up in layers revealing a subtle background image. I've tried to capture her personality and I hope that has come through in this painting.
If you're interesting in getting a portrait done then please do get in touch.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Personalised hand drawn Mum Heart Illustration

Here's a personalised digital image I did recently combining hand drawn typography, typed text, hand drawn images and photographs which were all digitally manipulated in the shape of a heart.

I'm now selling my personalised art on my Etsy Sarah Hayes Illustration shop.

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

How do you choose which book to read?

Today I read an interesting article about how people choose their books. I tend to use online reviews such as Amazon or recommendations from family and friends. However, if I walk into a book shop then the cover is usually a winner for me. If it has an interesting illustration or photo which tells a story and gives a great insight into what the book is about then I'm captured. The font is also very important, I seem to be drawn to hand printed or drawn fonts. Do you choose books by their cover, blurb or reviews?

Here are a few of my favourite book covers:

Monday, 21 April 2014

Student Illustration commission for HEFCE - book cover

I've recently created an illustration for HEFCE to use for their publication about higher education. I layered textures, hand painted elements and photographic collage to create an energetic and abstract digital artwork.

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Alice in Wonderland Illustration

I've been working on some illustrations for Alice in Wonderland lately, this is one of them. I worked in Acrylic initially and then added the detail and text in Photoshop using my new wacom tablet :)

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Book cover illustration for The Owl and Pussy-cat

Owl and Pussy-cat book illustration

As Edward Lear was one of my favourite poets when I was a child, I recently had an urge to illustrate his poem; 'The Owl and the Pussycat, a particular favourite of mine. I wanted to give the illustration a magical feel. It's an acrylic on canvas with some effects added in photoshop.

The Owl and the Pussycat went to sea 

In a beautiful pea-green boat,

They took some honey, and plenty of money,
Wrapped up in a five pound note.

The Owl looked up to the stars above,

And sang to a small guitar,
"O lovely Pussy! O Pussy, my love,

What a beautiful Pussy you are, you are, you are,

What a beautiful Pussy you are.
Pussy said to the Owl "You elegant fowl, 
How charmingly sweet you sing.

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Mevagissey Painting, Cornwall

This is one of my latest paintings from my trip to Cornwall last Summer, Mevagissey is a favourite harbour of mine. I love the height of the different coloured cottages against the structural boats in the harbour. I added layers of textured paper before adding the acrylic paint to add depth and texture to the painting. I recently visited the Paul Klee exhibition at The Tate and was inspired by his colours, shapes and line work which I think have come across in this painting.

Monday, 14 October 2013

Owls in Love Card lino cut design

I've been experimenting with Lino cut techniques lately and I'll be selling my personalised hand printed Owl cards on my Etsy shop soon so keep a look out for them. :)

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Handmade cushions

Went on a course today to make piped cushions at The Makery in Bath, very pleased with my creation even though it took me over 3 hours! :)

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Spring Paris Trip

Paris is one of my favourite places and it's been far too long since I last went so decided it was time to book another trip.  Last time, we did all the usual touristy things so for this trip I wanted to explore some of the less known areas. We stayed in the Latin Quarter area which was lovely, full of old cafes, restaurants and boulangeries. Apparently it's where the Woody Allen film 'Midnight in Paris' was filmed, love that film, anyway, it's also near Jardin du Luxembourg which is a fab place to relax and people watch. There were so many more cafes, galleries and museums to see than I thought. The Musee de l'Orangerie was a first for me and it was breathtaking seeing Monet's Waterlilies, will definitely go back there. Also loved seeing the modern art at the Pompidou centre, there was a Salvador Dali exhibition on but that was a 3 hour queue so even though I would have really of liked to see it, I didn't fancy wasting valuable time queuing! I didn't visit Montmartre this time round but I did miss it so will have to pay it a visit next time Paris and I meet again.

Here are some of my photos ...enjoy :) the Eiffel Tower..
A few of the Louvre:

And Notre Dame:

We also booked a Macaron baking course through  La Cuisine, Paris which was fun, will definitely try one of their other classes next time. Can't wait to return to explore more of this beautiful city. I'd so love to live there... I'll just keep dreaming :)

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Illustrations for the HEFCE

I've recently been working on a series of illustrations for the HEFCE. They are for a report about the changes in funding for higher education and how this has impacted students and higher education institutions. To create the front cover I first painted the background and built up layers of textures which I then scanned. I worked on the photographs individually in Photoshop and combined them with the painting, different textures, snippets of student bank statements and text to create a busy, expressive and textural image.

This is the front cover:

These are the illustrations for the dividing sections within the publication:

I wanted to give the images of the student figures a screen printed effect with some of the figures more prominent than others. Some of the images are quite subtle, ambiguous and are suggestions of shapes which are then over layered with textures and paint.

As you can see from the images below, I experimented with different compositions and colours in Photoshop for each illustration. I think I had about 12 versions for this particular image before deciding!:

To view the Illustrations within the full report visit the HEFCE website.
Click on each individual strip below to see the full illustrations, Which is your favourite?

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Sewing projects

Just thought I'd share a few of my latest sewing creations:
The Crazy crocodile I made for my 2 year old nephew, it's my first attempt at patch working!: 
Pretty hearts filled with lavender from my garden which were perfect christmas gifts for friends and family:
My monkey friend who sits on my desk:
A card I made:

This was my first attempt at making a Teddy bear, I made this before I had my sewing machine so it is all hand stitched:

I made this little rabbit for a friends baby, cute:

Thursday, 31 January 2013

Wedding invitations

This is an illustration I did for my wedding invitations, we got married in Italy so I included the italian rooftops in my illustration and merged my painting with my photographs using Photoshop. If you're after something unique and personalised for your wedding invites then drop me a line or contact me through my Etsy Shop. I'd love to hear from you and work with you to create a special invitation design for your special day too! All you need to provide is a couple of photographs and some information on the wedding and then I can mock up an illustration for you. I can even arrange for the printing of them if you'd prefer.

Friday, 22 April 2011

Illustration Friday - Bicycle

This weeks Illustration word is Bicycle, here's my submission...

Thursday, 20 January 2011

My handmade toy

I have been getting into sewing lately and thought I'd start with something fairly easy to make, so decided to make a cute plush toy for my niece's christmas present. This one is hand sewn but I did get a Sewing machine for xmas so I'll be experimenting!

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Homeless illustration

I created this illustration for the Bristol charity: '1625 Independent People'. They provide accommodation, support and advice for young people in Bristol and South Gloucester. My greeting cards are available to buy on their website where all of the money goes towards this worthwhile charity so why not buy a pack today and show your support. 

Friday, 2 July 2010

Illustration Friday - Giant

This is my submission for this weeks theme: Giant. I actually did this one a while ago for a book cover. Have a great weekend people!

Wednesday, 30 June 2010


I've just come back from Barcelona, what an amazing city. Gave me lots of inspiration. Here are a few of my photos... To see more of my photos, have a look at my flickr page:

Saturday, 24 April 2010

Illustration Friday - Ahead

Looking ahead to your future - which path should you take?
The key signifies new begininings in a persons life, it might be about someone starting university or new job, moving on in a new relationship. An opportunity to do something with their life and look forward to the possibilities of the future and which path/decision they should take.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

My new website

I've finally managed to get my new website up which I've been meaning to get done for ages - woo hoo!

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Midsummer Night's Dream

My illustration for
Midsummer Night's Dream which has been used by Liberty Junction Theatre Company for their website and their events programme.