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Draw on Halton - Ellie Francesca Watson

Images created by our studio artist Ellie Francesca Watson for the #drawonhalton challenge.

Canals and Rivers

Hospital and Doctors:




Last year Norton Priory Museum & Garden Paul Quigley were kind enough to send a big box of their home grown charcoal our way. Since then I have used it in every single portrait I have produced 👌

A college tutor once told me that the reason many artists are apprehensive about starting a new piece of work, is not because they are stuck or uninspired, but rather because they’re scared to tarnish a white surface such as a plain piece of paper or a crisp new canvas. I specifically use this charcoal as a base for EVERY portrait. It’s smooth, blends like a dream, is easily liftable and most importantly, it’s super messy and gets rid of that clean white surface in no time 👍 Just have to beware of those pesky charcoal smudges 😉


For the 'School' theme in last weeks #drawonhalton Ellie looks back at her GCSE artwork and how her style has progressed over the years.

This weeks prompt for the Draw on Halton challenge was ‘Schools’, Whilst sitting around waiting for my brain to work, (After 22 years it should be any day now🤞😅) I dug my old School sketchbooks off the shelf for inspiration.

I remember drawing the top study, and I remember being pretty smug about it at the time (Even with those sad tadpoles that I lovingly called ‘eyebrows’ attached to my face🤔) Looking back now, it’s embarrassing 😶 Nevertheless, after a good two weeks of obsessing over basic decisions, verbally assaulting a laptop and just generally being a massive pain in the arse, it’s a welcome reminder that in the space of those 6 years, I must have done something right😅 I’m glad I kept these ☺️


🎵A girl can do what she wants to do and that's what I'm gonna do🎵(Joan Jett & The Blackhearts - Bad Reputation)

This weeks #drawonhalton prompt was ‘person’

For me there’s something about people, without doubt my favourite subject matter and yet I find I need time to research and educate myself in order to truly capture a person. I have to at least try to get into their head a little bit and become familiar with their character before I do them any kind of justice when pencil meets paper (perhaps I’m just a picky mare 🤷‍♀️)

Elizabeth Margaret Braddock (known by the media as ‘battling Bessie’) was a British Labour Party politician who served as Member of Parliament for the Liverpool Exchange division from 1945 to 1970.

At first I was entranced by Bessie’s appearance, stern and statuesque. After a night of reading articles and various biographies, she was a voice of the working class, a grafter who worked in a local co-op in her early years, an ambulance driver throughout the war years, an advocate for introducing larger dress sizes in women’s clothing shops, and most importantly someone who was not afraid to voice her opinion and make herself heard, which in 1952, saw her become the first woman to ever be suspended from the House of Commons.

An interesting character for sure. One I’m certainly glad I did my research on beforehand. So presenting my sketch of Bessie in all its half-finished glory 😅 Not just a statuesque lady complete with stern expression but a reminder that working class women have the power to makes waves and stand up to the boys regardless of appearances and background 💪🏻💪🏻💪🏻

Ellie Francesca Watson was inspired by Bessie after discovering a rather marvellous picture of her in Picture Halton archive

Church and Temple:

🎵Some are dead, and some are living, In my life, I've loved them all 🎵(The Beatles - In My Life)

This weeks prompt for #drawonhalton was ‘church/temples’ from Ellie Francesca Watson

As per with these prompts that seem to sneak up on me week after week and bite me on the arse at the weekend, a struggle occurred 😅

Without beating around the bush, I’m not religious, not in the slightest. Nevertheless, I can appreciate that the church/places of worship provides comfort and belonging to many, many people.

For me personally, I associate them with two occasions: weddings and funerals. With that in mind, a thought process began as to how people use music as a way of celebrating both the union of two people, as well as saying a final goodbye to a loved one.

I asked various local people if they’d share with me a song from either a wedding or a funeral that was poignant to them. I tried to include as many as I was given, and the first line from each song make up the background to this particular piece (points to anyone who can guess them all 🤗😅)

In the foreground we have a simple (and unfinished 🙄) drawing of two hands, in this very specific composition. Reaching out to each other or letting go? Who knows... but doesn’t it tie the concept together nicely? ☺️


🎵The time is gone, The song is over, Thought I’d something more to say🎵(Pink Floyd - Time)

The final week of #drawonhalton! I’ve had my eye on this one 👀 I’ll be using this week to post about my favourite topic... Myself, whoops sorry... Music 😬

When I draw, I listen to music. No matter what, there has to be sound in the room. Perhaps this helps my mind to wander slightly, makes me less likely to overthink/overwork a new drawing. Every artist has a favourite subject. No matter how niche or peculiar it may be. My favourite subject is those whose records both I and many others, listen to on a daily basis. Music provokes nostalgia and a sense of familiarity in everyone. Despite being two very different forms of creativity, both music and art are a beautiful form of self expression. For me at least, the two have slotted together like a jigsaw since I first held a pencil.

To start with, I’m digging out something from the archives. In July 2018 I graduated from College with a HND. For my final major project, I felt it was important to base my work on a topic that would thoroughly occupy my own personal interest for the duration of the project. So to start with, I’d like to share my piece(s): ‘The Making and Breaking of’, I still have it gathering dust on the shelf in my studio space, I’m still proud of it. But, two years later, I like to think I’ve developed my drawing technique somewhat. The conceptual element to this piece is still one that continues to intrigue and inspire me

Second post in a series of three from Ellie Francesca Watson for #drawonhalton

🎵It's gotta be Rock And Roll Music, If you want to dance with me🎵(Chuck Berry - Rock and Roll Music)

The second part of my #drawonhalton entry for this final week: Music 🎶 The last post talked about past work from 2018, Today I’d like to share my, what turned out to be, ‘Lockdown Project’ 👇

I started a new series of work at the VERY beginning of March this year, with the intention that these guys would set the wheels in motion with a new venture...(We’ll talk about that later 👀)

Being the control freak I am, I set myself a deadline to get 15 new faces into the portfolio by July. At the beginning of March, I was blissfully unaware of just how much time I’d have on my hands in the very near future 😅

With the exception of George and Kurt, first and last of the gang, all of these portraits were produced at home... And I hated every second 😂 The concentration I put into these guys was frankly the only thing making the ‘new arrangement’ bearable 😅

There’s not 15, but having spent the last three months hunched over a laptop and entering the wonderful world of ‘digital editing’ 🙃🥴... I decided I was content to stop at 12 for now 😅 At the end of June I FINALLY got my arse back into Hazlehurst, allowing me to scan the portraits, (Rather than relying on my VERY amateur photography skills 😶) and show them off properly now 🤗

I hope you like them! ☺️

🎵But you gotta make your own kind of music, Sing your own special song, Make your own kind of music, Even if nobody else sings along🎵 (Cass Elliot - Make Your Own Kind Of Music)

Hiya 👋🏻 Me again 👀😅 ~ Ellie Francesca Watson

For my final (promise!) post for this weeks drawonhalton, I’d like to share a little secret 👀

As I mentioned in my last post, for pretty much the entirety of this year, I’ve been working towards a new and exciting venture.

I consider myself lucky in the sense that this art lark has kept me going since leaving college (in the sense that I haven’t had to get a full time job yet😅) But there’s been so many ideas that I’ve had in my head for a long time, and for a long time they’ve stayed put.

Whilst I’m not one for New Years resolutions, Back in January, I decided that 2020 would be the year I dipped my toe into the more commercial aspect of this industry. Becoming a ‘brand’ as well as an ‘artist’ ...And didn’t I pick a good year for it? 🤗🙃

This is only a sneak peak of what’s to come... it’s been a headache, it’s been scary and exciting. It won’t be long now until we’re up and running 😬 But most importantly I’ve learned, even if no one else bats an eyelid... It’s still my baby, and to be blunt, I’m just pleased I grew a pair of balls and finally did it 😅

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