Thursday, 18 March 2010

Portrait painting 4

I just realised that I have never posted this portrait painting onto my blog, so I'm doing it now at long last. (It's been on the facebook fan page for ages!)

It's a watercolour painting from back in October 2009, and is a portrait of my artist friend Nicole Volbeda.

Nicole came over from the Netherlands in 2008 to study on the MA Animation course at Edinburgh College of Art (ECA) in 2008/09, which was the same time that I was in the final year of my BA Animation course.
We met online in the months leading-up to the start of her new course, so we kinda new each other before she even got here; and around that time she started a new blog to document her adventures in Edinburgh and keep friends back home up to date. In relation to that information, this painting was based on a photograph from her first "pre-move" visit to Edinburgh in the summer of 2008 (as published in one of the earliest entries on that blog).

While she was at ECA, Nicole developed a proposal to create a new children's TV series called Lilly Knows It All, which would have a bunch of short episodes (roughly 2 minutes each) starring a cheeky 5 year old girl & her strict mother, with the plot for each episode being a fun interpretation of traditional sayings being put into conflict: For example, one episode might focus on a conflict between the sayings "silence is golden" and "the squeaky wheel gets the grease"; while another episode (like the one Nicole animated at ECA) is about Lilly's strict mum ("know your enemy") being forced to buy a puppy because Lilly - in protest at not being allowed to get a dog - chooses to cause more trouble around the house than a dog would ever cause ("if you can't beat them join them").

Towards the end of my academic year (June 2009), I spent a few days helping Nicole with the digital colouring of that Lilly Knows It All episode using TVPaint on PC and a bit of Michael Jackson music blaring out through the otherwise empty studio (cos we started working together in the morning after MJ's sudden death)...
You can watch an "in-progress draft" of the full episode featuring some of my colouring by clicking on this link to the relevant post on Nicole's Lilly Knows It All blog.
You can watch a 1-minute introduction/sample of the fully finished episode on YouTube by clicking here.
And you can read all about the concept and development of the series on the Lilly Knows It All blog at:

Nicole has now moved back to the Netherlands, having graduated from Edinburgh College of Art in November 2009, but you can check out her latest artworks (drawing/painting/animation) and other wonderful creations (knitting/sewing) on her new blog at:


  1. Wonderful portrait of a very creative woman! Loved the Lilly Knows it All sample.

  2. Thanx Andy! I enjoyed our collaboration and have so much fun memories of my time in Scotland! :) Like painting my exhibition space together with you and Chloé haha.
    All the best, stay in touch and keep painting and animating!


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