Spinning Moonlight

Spinning Moonlight

Just finished this today, which is appropriate as there have been other moon-based shenanigans afoot (there was an eclipse in this part of the world this morning).

These are my good friends Eloise and Murphy going about their business, which in this case involves collecting skeins of moonlight, presumably to fashion into a stylish, yet practical, garment later on. Eloise recently packed her job in and has become a full time weaver – you can find out more here, or if you are visiting Widecombe-in-the-moor, pop into the National Trust shop where she has some wares on display.

Here are the relevant stages (or struggles, as I prefer to call them). First, the initial scribbly idea…


Then the rough with some colour added via Photoshop…


Next, the pen and ink drawing…


Then the undercoat, which was particularly fiddly on this one because of all the twiggy nonsense.


After this stage there was much toothbrush-flicking of watercolour, added colour pencil, paint taken off and put back on again, scanning in and fiddling about digitally to try things out so as not to make too much of a mess on the painting, more flicking of paint and general fixing of things. Business as usual, in fact. This one will probably undergo a bit more remedial work; normally I live with paintings for a while before releasing them into the wild, but there probably won’t be many lunar-centric stories in the news in the next week so this seemed an appropriate time.


17 Replies to “Spinning Moonlight”

      1. I find them fascinating. It’s one of the main reasons I buy art books. I want to see the sketches!

  1. Gorgeous work as ever and I also love being given a peek into someone else’s process. I think that the fundamental principles are the same, whether it’s visual art or the written word – music, too.

    I confess I’m fascinated by the interaction between traditional and computerised media in the way you work – a truly creative response to the tools available.

    I’m a great fan of all your stuff, but it’s these pencil/ink/watercolour paintings that I love most of all. They’re utterly unique and distinctive. Just delicious.

    Well, that was meant to be a thoughtful comment on the creative process and actually turned into a bit of a fan letter! No harm in that, I suppose.


  2. I love this illustration. Not only are the line work and colors impeccable, but it’s highly reminiscent of the Moon card from the tarot. I love the powerful magical energy that you charge your work with. Well done!

      1. You’re welcome.

        Do enjoy the blog. I must apologize for it’s appearance. The last them I used was hacked, and I’m designing a new theme for it as we speak. But the content is still accessible. Enjoy!

  3. David, I hadn’t seen this, doh! LOVE seeing the stages! Also love the lunar timing of it, which I hadn’t realised, and the comment about the Tarot likeness – have you done a deck of Tarot cards? It would be a stunning deck if you did! Thanks again, so honoured to be one of the weird folk inspiring your great work 🙂 xx

  4. My daughter and I are absolutely enchanted by this painting. We are doing a homeschool project collect folklore around the moon phases. Is there more to the story here of spinning skeins of moonlight? Were you inspired by any fairytales, folklore or magical experiences? We’d love to hear more if you’re Inspired to share. Thank you!
    ~ Dena and Maple

    1. Thanks. It’s not inspired from a specific tale, although I’ve probably been subconsciously influenced… The idea popped into my head on a walk between Hound Tor and Haytor near where I live – there’s a little valley there and I was taken with the trees and the little pools that had formed under the mossy branches. I thought it would more interesting as a painting if they were reflecting moonlight instead of sunshine. At the time my friend Eloise was starting out her mobile weaving business and somehow the two things came together. The Norns may have been in my thoughts as well, as I was dong some work on Scandinavian myths about then (strangely enough, I’m doing some more Viking-related work right now).

      1. Beautiful to hear more about how this painting came to be, birthed from your lands and loved ones. My daughter and I are both spinners, so have been talking alot about how one might spin the magic of moonlight. So glad to have your work. Thanks you.

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