Tag Archives: design

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Clover flower

I ought to have provided an update on my productivity for the month of July but as it was almost zero I failed to do so last week.

There were a couple of paintings I managed to create in between other stuff that kept me away from my easel, one being a clover flower on 1st July.

Much of the other stuff was little more than journal painting. The fact is I have run short of watercolour paints so no way to produce much unless its predominantly blue, such as the Purplish Jays I painted at the end of the month.

A pair of Purplish Jays

The other bird portraits I completed were a pheasant, that was having a dust bath, and a Toco Toucan.

Toco Toucan
Ring-necked Pheasant

Until I can get hold of quality watercolour paints I will limit myself to design work and painting in my journal.

Social Media

Having created a new instagram account for my photography I discovered that Meta had blocked my account for, so they say, infringing some rules. Given that the account (shootinages2022) was operating for just a day or two after confirming my email address, with about a dozen photos uploaded to kick off the account, I found it odd to have been accused of something I hadn’t done. So I deleted the account and also deleted my design studio account. I will keep my watercolour bird account until I find a suitable alternative app.

I am also reviewing my Facebook and Whatsapp accounts with a view to moving to apps that offer a similar service. Facebook has been particularly annoying of late with, on one occasion, a total of 25 posts of ads or irrelevant suggestions between posts of friends.

So all Meta apps are now under review. I have found alternatives and plan to test them in the next few days.

I shall publish the results here, hopefully at the end of this month.

Have a nice weekend and thanks for following.



Black and white abstract pattern necktie

Having spent a good deal of my life wearing a suit I collected quite a number of neckties. A few were lost though, for the most of those, I still have a mental picture of their designs. The ones still in my possession are celebrated in one of my Pinterest boards.

One tie in particular, I recall, was given away to a total stranger while I was in a bar filled with World Cup semi-final supported in 1998. The bar was in Curitiba, in the south of Brazil and Brazil made it through to the Final. It was an exciting game, made more exciting by the exuberance of the Brazilians cheering for their team, plus of course a certain quantity of alcohol being consumed by all. A guy next to me commented on my tie so I simply removed it and gave it to him. It had a yellow/gold background but I don’t remember the design or the designer.

The tie above, was designed by me. It is a design that I have had at the back of my mind for some time but, as I no longer wear suits very often, I have not felt any urgency in having it join my collection. That said I expect it may be with me before the end of the year.

This tie can be bought via my Zazzle store. Watch for discounts!

Thanks for following

Another brick in the wall!

Faux brick ceramic tile in midnight blue

The latest addition to the Alan Skyrme Design Studio, store at Zazzle is a set of ceramic tile designs that are designed to make an impact in a home or office environment. The faux-brick design is available in 7 colours though custom colours can be created on request.

The tiles are available in Zazzle’s large size (6 inches square) only as the small size (4.25 inches) does not suit the design. They can be produced in the smaller size on request.

I have 88 ceramic tile designs on sale – varying by colour or size – which will increase to 100 designs in the next month.

My tile designs have found buyers in several states in USA and in the UK while other products have been sold in Canada and Europe.

Aqua blue, dark brown, green, dark blue, pale yellow and brick red.

Zazzle regularly offers great discounts so its a good idea to look often, especially if you are looking for great home design products.

Thanks for following.

June Update

Jaguar (Pantera onca) 30cm square watercolour on paper

Hard to believe that half of 2022 has disappeared already!

June has been a fairly productive month, though still room for improvement. Planning makes a big difference yet one would think that I had not been planning this year. I have plenty of experience in strategic and operational planning in my previous career which has not gone wasted. There are other issues at play but I seem to be overcoming them slowly but surely.

So what have I done in June?


Over 40 paintings completed in June. Most were bird portraits but a few other subjects completed to mix things up a bit.

The Rockpooling Project

Almost complete. I let the two most challenging subjects to the end and, to be honest, I am not sure if I will complete them in a hurry owing to the complexity of the creatures: two types of sea urchin – spiky little monsters!

Among the 8 or so illustrations that I did complete in June are:

Product design

At the end of May I had 325 products on sale. During June I added another 50 taking the total up to 375. Among these were Sicilian style ceramic tile designs in shades of blue (six of these each in two sizes) based on designs I had already created.

Next Month

July is not expected to be quite so productive as I have a ton of admin and personal issues to deal with. I hope to arrange to travel … though there are a few dependencies … so all a bit uncertain.

I have a long-standing project to deal with too, which involves preparing at least one book for publication. I started the project a long time ago with the intention of publishing at the end of 2020! Maybe I can publish it this year.

Thanks for following.

Feel free to follow me on Zazzle (and take advantage of promotions to buy!!)

I’m a mug for a mug!

Some of the 42 mugs on offer

My last post should have been an update on my paintings created in April but, as I often find, admin and other tasks get in the way of publishing. So, as I had not done much painting in April I shall combine the two months in an update for May – next week.

The subject today: Mugs!

I have 42 mug designs on offer. There is a 20% discount on all products at the moment so a great time to take advantage.

I have a personal collection of mugs, that I use, that I have built up over many years. It’s a fun and colourful collection.

The designs I have on offer, growing daily, has something for everyone (almost!) but the objective is to use them for bringing coffee, tea or soup! Great gifts or for your own use.

Have a look. Be tempted!

Thanks for following

Alan Skyrme Design Studio

Z Pro

I received a nice little bonus, this month, in the form of a tag on my Zazzle Store. It is given for achieving sales commission over $100. This has taken over a year to achieve, with almost 300 products sold with my designs on them.

In total I have about 220 products on sale. I did have that number on sale last year but I had a bit of a rationalisation exercise in January, dropping to about 170 products, but have since built up some new additions and am adding more each week.

I plan to increase that number to 300 by the end of the year but may even exceed that if all goes well.

Zazzle seems to be quite popular in USA and I even saw a delivery package on an Amazon Prime series recently!

The nice thing about Zazzl;e is that products can be personalised, which is great for creating gift. Alternatively just buy a designed product (one of mine!!) as is.

The other nice thing is that Zazzle has regular discounts, some quite generous, though that means I get less commission, but that’s business.

Become a Zazzle member, download the app, and follow me (Alan Skyrme Design Studio), and if there are any specific product requests let me know and I will create a tailored design to your specification – no extra cost!

Mothers Day (USA)

Some would say that Mothers Day should be celebrated every day. The official Mothers Day is coming soon. Mark the day:

8th May, 2022

It is interesting to note that this celebration has different dates in USA and UK. The British day, known as Mothering Sunday, is linked to Easter and thus the date varies each year.

This year it was on 27th March.

But, we can celebrate our Mothers at any time, so why not consider a gift from the Alan Skyrme Design Studio Collection!

Thanks for following

March discount at Zazzle

There is a 25% discount across all products on Zazzle. Check out mine and use the code MARCHSALENOW to get that discount!

I have 175 products on sale having just removed over 25 last week. Every once in a while I refocus my product range before adding more – a Spring clear-out.

Checkout my calendars, tote bags, cushions and mugs.

With spring, and summer on the way, time to think of tee-shirts and picnics. I have a range of “Vegan” themed products as well as picnic paper plates, napkins and napkin rings.

Hurry! Sale ends soon.

Alan Skyrme Design Studio

Thanks for following

Experiment in ink

This week has not been as productive as I would have liked – not even one painting per day completed! In fact I did three on Wednesday and one yesterday.

The three that I did midweek were, as the title above implies, an experiment in drawing ink.

I used a set of Winsor and Newton drawing inks. The pack contains eight small (14 ml) glass bottles of ink that I used undiluted and applied with watercolour brushes.

The subjects were Nagajubans which are traditional Japanese robes worn as undergarments beneath a kimono, so as to avoid the complicated process of cleaning the kimono. From what I can see these robes are generally colourless to avoid clashing with the beautiful kimono patterns. I have to admit my ignorance of such things as, although I lived for about 15 years in Asia, my only visits to Japan were in Tokyo airport (so does not count as a country visit!).

Nagajuban: Blue with gold chrysanthemum, Yellow with cherry blossom and Green with yellow magnolias. Each painted on A3 watercolour paper.

My objectives were firstly to try out the inks that I had only used before to see their colours on paper, and to create a set of paintings that was interesting and unusual.

Learning points:

The colours can be mixed, though I used each separately.

The colours are not fast. Layering caused them to bleed, so care is needed to keep colours separate. I used the bleeding to my advantage in the yellow nagajuban by first painting the yellow, then terracotta in multiple layers for the branches, red, deep red and plum for the cherry blossom, and finally another layer of yellow that softened the blossom.

The colours dried quickly. That is no surprise to me as I live in a hot climate and have challenges when painting in watercolour. I had to apply a second layer to hide the brush marks, though this proved advantageous in creating an impression of texture in the material.

The pack contains black paper indian ink (waterproof) and seven water-based colours: ultramarine, purple, brilliant green, peat brown, sunshine yellow, vermillion and deep red.

I signed the pieces with both my regular painting signature and a gago-in (the hanko or signature stamp known in china as a chop, from the Hindi word chapa) – I have a couple of Japanese / Chinese painting sets which included chops ready to carve my “signature”

An interesting experiment. I may do more ink experiments in future.

Thanks for following.

Feel free to visit my website www.shootstock.com