how I drew the inside of a car

inside of a car by shantele ianna 2I was always intimidated to draw the inside of a car. It seemed so difficult to get the perspective right. But this is just my journal and not an artwork for a gallery, so with a few simple tools I gave it a go.

We were on a long road trip up the coast, covering 600 kilometres. Plenty of time to study my subject, the dashboard of our Toyota Hilux ute. I started with a focal point of the dashboard in front of me and did some quick pencil lines to check perspective. I then use the free app Photosynth  to check perspective. inside of a car by shantele ianna

I take a quick photo in the app on my iPhone and save it to my camera role. Photosynth is a panorama creation app and lets you take panorama photos from left to right and up and down. The app then stitches them together and you can easily scroll through the photo. I have found this the easiest way for me to check perspective in difficult drawings.

And that’s all there is to it. You now know my secret! The other secret is to just keep drawing and filling in the details, and with each drawing you will get better.

{Field Guide Friday} Lionfish

This is a new series on my blog this year where I will be sharing a sketch from my nature journal every Friday in an effort to keep myself drawing (at least weekly) and to hopefully inspire someone else while I’m at it. lionfish watercolor print by Shantele IANNA v

I have a fascination with fish. Whenever I go diving I always seem to see lion fish. They are pretty amazing creatures. Lionfish are found throughout tropical waters in much of the world. They posses characteristic long striped spines and brown/maroon stripes across their bodies. The spines are venomous and are known to cause an extremely painful sting, although thankfully I have never tested this theory 🙂   lionfish watercolor head detail by Shantele ianna

This artwork was created in my nature journal from a photo taken whilst I was scuba diving at Dahab, Red Sea, Egypt. The fish was following us around for quite a bit of the dive and posed for this photograph. But as you can see by its eyes, it was very cautious of us.

I have just set up my Etsy shop where Prints and cards of this image are available.

I paint, design, scan, print and package everything myself in my home studio. Thanks so much for following along with my creative adventures and for supporting handmade, so I can continue to create and do what I love.

DIY rustic wedding signs

Mr & Mrs Meagher_wedding signage 3

Photo courtesy of Alison from 

We live at the end of a dirt road on a shared driveway which is not the easiest place to find. I had created a map for our wedding guests to go with the invites but we wanted some extra signage so that it was easy for people to fins their way to the ceremony without needing someone to direct traffic.Mr & Mrs Meagher_wedding signage 7

Mr & Mrs Meagher_wedding signage 2So I used wood from pallets to make wedding signs. First I cut them into arrow shapes and sanded one side back to create a smooth finish to write on. I made four signs, labelled “Chris and Shantele’s wedding”, “parking” “camping” and “photo booth”, which I painted on with white paint and a fine paintbrush. I them gave them a couple of coats of clear lacquer to protect them from the weather. They were attached to a wooden stake with a screw through the back and were ready to put in the ground.Mr & Mrs Meagher_wedding signage 6

Mr & Mrs Meagher_wedding signage 4We set the drinks up in an old green fertiliser spreader that we found on the farm under some lantana in its rusty weathered glory. The idea was to keep the drinks self serve so we created another sign using an old window frame, which I wrote the menu on using a white grout pen. I wouldn’t recommend the grout pen because I still haven’t been able to get the writing off the window. I guess this was a bonus because the writing didn’t wash off during the hail storm on our wedding day!Mr & Mrs Meagher_wedding signage

Photo courtesy of Alison from 

Hope you enjoyed this post, I will be sharing more wedding and honeymoon pics soon!!

Travel journal mini book

USA and mexico mini book cover USA and mexico mini book page 1USA and mexico mini book page 2 USA and mexico mini book page 3 -4 USA and mexico mini book page 7-8I collected a lot of ephemera on our holiday in Mexico and USA, I kept tickets, business cards, maps and Chris’s international drivers license. The amount of stuff that I would have had to sort through would have been pretty overwhelming if our holiday hadn’t been cut short, and we had gone round the world for 12 months as planned.USA and mexico mini book page 9-10 USA and mexico mini book page 11 USA and mexico mini book page 12 USA and mexico mini book page 13 USA and mexico mini book page 14

I already have a blurb book of all of our photos from our trip, so I wasn’t worried about focusing on the photos for this book. I just wanted to have a more creative record of the places we had been.USA and mexico mini book page 15 USA and mexico mini book page 16

I made a mini book  last summer and I was really happy with how it turned out so I decided that I would try this again with a travel theme.USA and mexico mini book page 17 USA and mexico mini book page 18

I used recycled cardboard for the front and back cover and two three inch book rings to hold it all together. I didn’t have much of a method, I just glued in bits and pieces in a sort of chronological order of the places we visited and then added some photos as fillers. I added out flight itinerary in an envelope and stuck it in there too. I also love adding money. I only had notes this time but I would have liked to have added coins in a little bag next time. USA and mexico mini book page 20 USA and mexico mini book page 21 USA and mexico mini book page 22 USA and mexico mini book page 25

I didn’t worry about using everything, and any pieces that I didn’t use I just threw them out.USA and mexico mini book page 26 USA and mexico mini book page 28 USA and mexico mini book page 23

USA and mexico mini book back coverI am really happy with how this little book turned out. I will probably add a bit more stitching around some of the pages and call it done. If you have any other great suggestions on putting together a travel journal or binder please let me know, because I am looking for a new way to put together a journal for our honeymoon.

{Field guide Friday} Field guide to the farm

field guide to the farm weeds by shantele iannaI have had a pocket moleskine a while now that has stayed empty, because I never knew what to do with it. Then I saw someone had used a theme with there journal and only drew  things they had found on the beach. So I decided to use my tiny moleskine like a nature journal as a field guide to the farm and draw things that I found on my walks.field guide to the farm gumnuts by shantele ianna

field guide to the farm weeds watercolor by shantele iannaI just carried my pocket moleskine and my pocket winsor and newton watercolour kit and drew the first thing that caught my eye. So far it includes a pine cone, different species of weeds and some grasses. I am hoping to fill it with drawings and learn lots of new plant species as I go.

Summer mini book

summer mini book by shantele ianna
In and effort to get my photos off my phone and camera and to document our days I created a mini book of our summer last year.IMG_9101 IMG_9108 IMG_9110 IMG_9112 IMG_9113 IMG_9114 IMG_9115 summer mini book by shantele ianna page 3-4 summer mini book by shantele ianna page 3-45 summer mini book by shantele ianna page 5-6 summer mini book by shantele ianna page 7 summer mini book by shantele ianna page 8 summer mini book by shantele ianna page 9 summer mini book by shantele ianna page 12

My goal with this book was to mainly use photos and to add some journaling. My other goal was to not buy any scrapbooking supplies. I used scrap cardboard and paper from packaging and magazines that would have otherwise ended up in the bin. I just printed the photos in 4×6 format and glued them back to back.IMG_9128

I also printed some photos over a double page and made some photo grids in photo shop elements. I held it all together with some thick cardboard and book rings. summer mini book by shantele ianna page 15

I didn’t do another mini book this summer because I have been using a similar method to project life this year. I am way behind on our project life album but I plan on catching up by the end of January and doing a round up on the blog. Having this reminder of our summer last year is a great gift and I plan to continue taking and printing photos of our everyday moments.

Photo walk Stradbroke Island

stradbroke island watercolour sketch by shantele iannastradbroke island photo walk2stradbroke island photo walkIMG_8348 IMG_8320 IMG_8295 IMG_8260 IMG_8240 IMG_8239 IMG_8233 IMG_8229 stradbroke island photo walkI bought a 50mmm (1.4) prime lens for my digital slr camera a while ago. So many photographers that I admire recommend this lens but out of my 3 lenses it is the one I use the least. Don’t get me wrong, I love the bokeh and the photos that it takes, but because my camera is not full frame, this lens behaves as a 75mm. Which means I have to walk such a long way back to get everything I want into the shot.

So to force myself to use it, on a recent trip to Stradbroke island I only used this lens on my camera. The photos didn’t turn out as well as I would have hoped, most likely due to photographing when the light wasn’t very good. But the goal was to use it and play and experiment and practise. I also managed to do a quick sketch in my nature journal of a bream that we caught, so I was a good weekend. Do you have any tips for using this lens??

{Field Guide Friday} – Stick insect

Happy new year everyone!! I am starting off the new year with a feature/series I have been wanting to do on the blog for a while called field guide Friday…..

“Field guide Friday” is where I will share a different sketch of a plant or animal that I have drawn each Friday. 

First up stick insects. Stick insecStick insect watercolour sketch by Shantele iannats are fascinating creatures. So when I spotted one on the side gate I grabbed my nature journal and sat in front of it and drew it. This was one of the biggest and most colourful stick insects that I have ever seen. I drew it at life size (24.5cm’s) from head to tail (not includinig legs). It had hot pink forelegs and bright pinky/maroon spines all over it.

I had never thought much about the life cycle or habits of a stick insect. But as with most insects these guys have some interesting lifestyle habits. Females don’t need the males to produce offspring, and when they do lay eggs they are often protected by ants in the ants nest for up to 3 years in some species.

Rustic wedding chalkboard DIY

DIY rustic wedding chalkboardAfter getting engaged in Venice last year, we planned to have a small wedding on our farm in spring. Just with a marquee, finger food and 48 of our closest friends and immediate family. Our wedding theme was rustic, colourful, country! We set out to achieve this by adding lots of handmade items to our decorations.DIY rustic wedding chalkboard 4

One of these was a chalkboard program. We didn’t want to handout paper programs at the wedding, mainly because we didn’t want to add to the paper clutter and we didn’t want to have another job for someone to be doing. So we decided to have our program written on a chalkboard display with all the information that we wanted out guests to know.DIY rustic wedding chalkboard 5

To create the chalkboard we used some scrap villa board that we had laying around (you could use any wood though) as the back. I then spray painted this with black chalkboard paint. I then collected some thinish sticks that had some nice bark texture on them for the frame. We planed the back of these sticks with a wood planer so they were flat on one side and could more easily be attached to the chalkboard. We then screwed the stick frame from the back of the chalkboard through the sticks, so that the screws weren’t visible from the front. We left the edges unmitered so that it would look more rustic.DIY rustic wedding chalkboard 3

DIY rustic wedding chalkboard side viewUnfortunately, because we were running around like crazy people on the day of the wedding, putting the chalkboard out for everyone to see as they walked up totally got missed off the list. DIY rustic wedding chalkboard 6

And like most things on your wedding day, this totally didn’t matter! Most people have a pretty good idea of a ceremony layout, and our wedding was pretty small and intimate so most people knew our parents names and we didn’t have a bridal party at all to introduce to anyone. But it did come out after we got back from photos, and i’m glad it did so that our guests could read our personal message.

Sketching at the Qld museum

Spanner crab and jelly fish by Shantele IannaLiving in a small regional town I often have to travel a fair way to get to urban sketching events. Brisbane is my nearest capital city and closest urban sketching group. So when the Brisbane urban sketchers organised a meet up at the qld museum I jumped at the chance to meet and sketch with the group.Muttaburrasaurus by Shantele Ianna

There is so much material to draw at the museum. There are lots of animal skeletons and a great display of marine animals and invertebrates. So next time you visit take your nature journal and do some sketching.Curlew by Shantele Ianna