Staffordshire Pottery Mini Assignment

Things are starting to settle back into a rhythm here at the studio.  Some days are harder, but overall being back at work and jumping back into my Make Art That Sells Class assignments has been a great way to focus on the positives and continue doing what I think I'm called to do: share the beauty of life, in all its laughter and tears, through art and visual storytelling.

I skipped around a bit and started the Home Decor section this week. It's fascinating learning more about the licensing process and what art directors are looking for in this kind of work. To get us ready for the big assignment, we warm up with a "Mini." Minis usually have interesting and sometimes unusual prompts to keep things interesting and help you stand out if you add anything from them into your portfolio, and the prompt this week was something I've never drawn before:

Staffordshire Pottery.

I've seen these little figurines around and was more familiar with their lines and feel than I thought when I first read the phrase. I grabbed a bunch of reference over on my Pinterest board like I usually do and jumped right in to just drawing a bunch of pottery pieces for the afternoon.

I love how these Mini assignments are structured: you can usually tell roughly what the final assignment will be, and completing the Mini gives you some artwork to work with when you get to it, but the Minis themselves are mostly just giving you a prompt and telling you to go draw things and play with it for a couple of hours. I love spending time this way, and it's so much easier to tell my extremely driven self that I'm accomplishing something when someone has specifically given me to directive to literally just draw on a theme for awhile.

I'm going to take three of the figures I sketched and finish them as a set of three illustrations:

Which one would you like to see for the third piece--the deer or the squirrel? Vote in the comments below!

For this assignment, I started sharing some of my progress through Instagram Stories, which was a big success (you can follow me here if you like using Instagram), and I've rounded up all the best bits and pieces, plus taken some extra behind-the-scenes pictures for you to take a look at!


It took me a few tries to get the watercolor for the dog the way I wanted it.

The final Dalmatian Piece!

Help me pick one for the final piece! Deer or Squirrel? Vote in the comments below!

I'm started on the sheep, too! Here's the watercolor texture, ready for scanning.  For the sketch, I tried doing the "normal" Staffordshire pottery-type eyes (the sheep on the left), but it just felt (and looked) weird. So back to my usual mostly-human-like animal eyes.

I did the collar and tag on a separate layers from the body so I could edit the colors more easily once I got it into Photoshop.