Noah completed Gnomevember!

Okay, No more drawing challenges from me for a while now! I must concentrate on my new book! If you see me even suggest that I am going to complete a drawing challenge just nudge me back to my ‘to do’ list please and I would be very grateful. These drawing challenges are a lot of fun but it is potentially not the wisest decision to do one straight after another, a few months break should be mandatory. I just couldn’t help myself and once I had created Noah the Gnome I could visualise all of his adventures so clearly, really I had no choice and I loved every exhausting moment of it. Month long challenges are not for the faint of heart. But here he is on all of his wonderful adventures, Noah the Gnome.

The gallery is backwards because I am technologically challenged and actually thought I had managed to do it the right way this time! I definitely have a few favourites (why can’t I manage a Gnomevember without at least one naked gnome?) and some of them are a little darker than I would of liked but it is November and the lighting is really not kind to sketchbooks at this time of year.

All of the images were painted in watercolour and have been photographed and backgrounds removed where necessary. I love to see the texture of the paper come through with watercolours and adding a few digital effects like the wizard sparkles has been really fun experimentation. I added a full digital background to the rocking horse image which is really simple but I felt it added a little to the story. I have also been trying to create more diverse backgrounds and I had so much fun with the woolly mammoth illustration that I think it is a background which I would like to explore more in the future.

The prompts that Noah followed.

All art challenges are difficult and the longer they span the harder it is to complete them. I do cheat, I do many before the day they are due to be posted and even posting every day is a commitment. I have failed more than one art challenge and that is okay too but seeing a completed challenge all together in a gallery is almost as satisfying as seeing one of my books in print. I have loved drawing Noah, maybe he should get his own book someday too? I feel like Noah completed the challenge with me.

I would love to know which illustration is your favourite or maybe you can think of an adventure for Noah that I haven’t even thought of?

Thank you for reading, Samantha x

I Drew My Week

Inspired by the prolific art of Gary Scribbler and the charming illustrated diary of Sam Stoner (both of whom I follow on Instagram) I wanted to try illustrating my week. I am amazed at how both artists manage to consistently post a new illustration everyday, perhaps it becomes quicker and more of a habit but I set my sights on a week because I felt that it was manageable for me.

Tools at the ready!

I purposely chose Half Term week because honestly most of the time we have the same routine of school runs, painting and lots and lots of naps. I wanted to draw the week where we had plans not only to have seven different images but also as a little diary for myself of the fun that we have had over half term. Believe me our usual week is not this exciting, there are less fireworks and swimming is an incredibly rare treat!

MONDAY

The Webblings stayed with Nana while we went to Tesco, I genuinely bought Halloween decorations and Christmas treats. It made me feel like I need to really crack on with my Christmas shopping.

TUESDAY

OK I know I said we had an exciting week and so far it has been a trip to BIG Tesco and now a whole load of washing but it did have to be done! Also at this point in the week I was a bit too scared to draw anyone besides myself, it is totally OK to butcher an image of myself but I was wary of messing up images of other people. It gets more exciting I promise! (I secretly did enjoy the empty washing basket at the end of the day, it was a little bit exciting!).

WEDNESDAY

I know lots of people go swimming regularly and some of my crazier friends go sea swimming a lot! I am not that brave. This is the first time that I have been swimming since my accident in 2019, the thought of slippery floors and lots of children running around scared me off but we managed to book a private pool so all I had to worry about was looking like a hippo in my swimwear, luckily hippos are cute! I even braved drawing the Webblings who had a great time finally getting to swim again.

THURSDAY

I don’t know about you but I absolutely love to nap. I have fibromyalgia and the busy days and entertaining the Webblings took its toll so I dozed while we watched Sonic The Hedgehog and other movies. I am lucky that Lilly and Harry are so understanding of my limitations, they enjoyed reading and drawing while I gained some much needed energy for the weekend ahead. I secretly think they were happy to have a day at home too.

FRIDAY

Domestic Goddess? Hahahaha so far from it, my poor husband does 90% of the cooking and just as much of the cleaning, he is my rock! But when it comes to baking I am not too bad really, if you keep it simple! I do love to decorate cakes and cookies though. Harrison wanted to make Halloween cookies for the tea party at his Nana’s house on Saturday so we made chocolate chip eyeball cookies and they tasted pretty good.

SATURDAY

Saturday was jam packed, we went to a Halloween tea party, arms full of yesterdays eyeball cookies and then we were invited to join our friends on a trip to Lappa Valley Steam Railway to see the end of season fireworks. It was hard to choose what to illustrate for Saturday but this here was my favourite moment of the entire day. I was finally brave enough to draw Jamie too and although he hasn’t seen it yet I really do hope he likes it. The fireworks were beautiful and the spooky train ride was magical too.

SUNDAY

And as if by magic we were transformed into a kangaroo, a hippie, a wolf and red riding hood! Mr Webb does not like to dress up but he got in the spirit of it with some fluffy wolf ears to be the wolf to my red riding hood! Harry wanted to be the most scary of all animals, a kangaroo!!! Lilly is 13 so she played me like a fiddle and chose her costume around the outfit that she wanted which was nothing to do with Halloween! The pumpkins were carved and we spent the night watching The Mummy movies and eating pizza.

Happy Halloween from the Webb family.

Half term was crazy but magical. Drawing your day really helps you focus on the happy moments in a day and even when you have a bad day or a painful day if like me you suffer from chronic pain there is some part of your day that you can look back on and smile. It is not something that I will be doing on a regular basis because it is a big commitment but there will definitely be more doodles of my day in my planner from this point forward.

If you would like to see how it is done properly take a look at

Gary Scribbler – http://www.garyscribbler.co.uk/finding-joy—doodleaday.html

Sam Stoner – https://www.instagram.com/talking_scribble/

Thank you so much for reading my blog,

Samantha x

GNOMEVEMBER 2021 is Coming Soon!

I know a lot of artists are knee deep in Inktober right about now, I have been enjoying sharing illustrations of my own Susies Bunny on Instagram too but deep down I am really just waiting in anticipation for Gnomevember. Every day throughout the month of November each year, the gnomes come out to play and 2021 is no different.

Gnome is ready!

No matter wether you decide to use paint, pencils, clay or paper mâché everyone can join in with Gnomevember, you don’t need to be very good, you aren’t being judged and there are no winners or losers. Gnomevember is purely for fun and there is absolutely zero pressure! Here are this years prompts that I have devised to help give you some ideas and get your creative juices flowing. If you don’t like them then their are potentially more prompt lists available on instagram by different artists.

2021 prompt list.

This is my third year of participating in Gnomevember, the first year I painted in watercolours and mixed the prompts with huevember too. the second year I decided to create all of my gnomes digitally so that I could practice digital art.

Gnomevember 2019 – Samantha Webb
Gnomevember 2020 – Samantha Webb

In 2021 I want to take my Gnomevember designs in a different direction and have decided to create a character to go on adventures throughout the month of November. His name is Noah Sunshine and he is a very young gnome with a very adventurous streak in him. I have done a few practice sketches and decided to create my own little life size Noah Sunshine so that I can sketch him from all different angles more effectively although sadly the polymer clay is not posable once baked. Isn’t he adorable? I am so happy with him and cannot wait for his adventures to begin. Noah Sunshine will be painted in watercolours and may be available afterwards as a zine if people are interested.

Noah Sunshine by Samantha Webb.

If you would like to follow Noah’s adventures then keep an eye on my instagram throughout November and if you would like to join in that would be amazing, tag me in your insta posts so that I can see them!

Happy creating,

Samantha x

What Mermay Has Taught Me

Mermay is an instagram challenge for artists, the idea is to draw, paint or create a mermaid for each day in May. There are prompt lists to join if you would like to but you don’t have to. It isn’t a strict challenge, it is supposed to be fun and to stretch your creativity. Mermay was created in 2016 by Disney artist Tom Bancroft and it continues to get bigger and bigger each year.

I first joined the challenge in 2018 and actually managed to complete the whole 31 days of mermaids and I really enjoyed it. I wasn’t drawing continuously at this point and I just had a lot of fun with it. I like to think I have grown as an artist but I still love some of the images that I created that first year.

Samantha Webb 2018

Having completed the challenge in 2018 I decided that 2019 was the year to make it more personal and as my heart really is set on creating children’s books it really did only make sense to try and create a mermaid book. One big challenge that I thought I would be able to accomplish.

Samantha Webb Mermay 2019

Well, I tried, I really did but for me 31 days is definitely not enough time to create a whole story, fully illustrate it and edit it too. I managed to do a lot of the illustrations and had my story to a point where I was really happy with it but time was just not on my side and I didn’t manage to complete it. I had come too far with it to leave my story sat in my sketchbook now. Despite some setbacks personally, Livvy and Pipps was published independently under Moby and Puddle Books and I couldn’t be more proud of my mermaid story even if it did take a lot longer than 31 days. You can purchase it right now!

Livvy and Pipps published January 2020

In 2020 I made my New Years resolution to not join in any art challenges and to spend more time on my artwork rather than trying to do lots in a short amount of time, quality over quantity. I didn’t do a single image for Mermay but I did enjoy seeing all of the amazing mermaids drawn by other talented artists on Instagram. Having the pressure off especially in the chaos that was 2020 (I hope I never have to homeschool ever again) was the best decision for my mental health and I am glad that I made that decision.

This year I have decided that I will join in with Mermay again because I love the community feel of it but I won’t be doing the whole month, I can’t even contemplate trying to fit in a new painting everyday. I am so happy that I am now very busy with my illustration career, something that seemed like a dream back in 2018 when I first attempted Mermay. (Let’s face it, It still feels like a dream now!) So instead I have decided that this year I will experiment, inspired by the amazing artist Cindy Lane and we went to the sea and got some sea water to paint with.

Plymouth Seawater!

We had a great day by the sea and then I had fun experimenting with the salty water and my watercolours. The textures and the natural gradients that the salt water achieve are stunning. It is hard to control where the pigments lay and I think it will take some practice to get it right but it is amazing. I have lived by the sea for most of my life and it is not until I saw Cindy Lane’s post that I even thought about trying seawater in my paintings. I love to experiment and it is great to find a way to experiment that doesn’t actually cost me a load of money this time!

It has been nice to join in with Mermay but with the pressure off. I think that my art has improved because I am not putting a strain on myself to create something new every day but I am not stopping myself from joining in when inspiration strikes. Hopefully I have found a good balance for me. I admire the artists that can create a new mermaid image every day but I have learnt that for me, art challenges lead to burn out and a decline in the quality of my illustrations. So I hope that you enjoy the mermaid illustrations that I do manage to post because I am really enjoying creating them.

Samantha Webb 2021
Samantha Webb 2021
Samantha Webb 2021

Thank you so much for reading my post. I think I have babbled on long enough but I really do love Mermay and think that if you can join in without giving yourself burn out, without stressing out and whilst keeping it fun then go for it, you will have a whale of a time! (sorry :P)

Samantha Webb

Gnomevember 2020

I love to take part in drawing challenges but as I draw pretty much everyday already, I find it helps to set myself an extra challenge. In March 2020 I invested in an iPad and an Apple Pencil and a programme called Procreate and my digital art changed forever! However I am a long way from being anywhere near able to achieve what I want to at the moment, so I challenged myself this November to not only draw a gnome each day but to do it digitally.

I have learned a lot from using my iPad every day, one of those things is that I simply do not get the same joy from digital art as I do from traditional art and therefore I don’t think that it will ever really be a replacement for me even if I manage to improve. Secondly, I learnt that ‘layers’ are a blessing from the heavens!

I managed to create 30 pieces of gnome based art work and I feel really proud of the work that I have produced, some are better than other and some are just quite honestly frighteningly bad BUT I was going for practice over perfection and I did just that!

I hope that you like them and maybe next Gnomevember you can join in too?

100 Circles Challenge 

I love to draw and to paint, especially in watercolour and ink. But life gets hectic and as much as I would like to improve my artistic abilities there just never seems to be enough hours in the day.

In an attempt to get drawing everyday I have decided to start a 100 circle challenge. I have drawn out 100 circles in my sketchbook and I am hoping to fill one each day. One small circle is a much less intimidating challenge than aiming to create a whole new piece each day.

I am currently on day 9 and some days I have only been able to spend a minute or two drawing but I am making sure I fill a circle everyday. You can follow the journey on my Instagram account if you would like to see my drawings, they are by no means masterpieces but they are fun! 
Join in the challenge too if you would like to give yourself a challenge. Happy drawing, Samantha xxx