After visiting Phoebe at her family farm in Eye and meeting her flock of Norfolk horn sheep I came back to the studio to have a look through all the photographs which I had taken. There were a lot of photos! I had enjoyed spending my afternoon with the Norfolk Horn sheep so much, I had really been looking forward to it. They are a breed with such distinctive characteristics which I was really looking forward to drawing,
A bit of a stare off between a Norfolk Horn ewe and Nellie the sheepdog.
Phoebe's sheepdog Nellie.
This is a pencil sketch that I did from one of the photographs I took of Phoebe's Norfolk Horn ewes, I was really pleased with how distinctive it looks. The dark face contrasting with the staturesque horns.
This is the final print which I have created from my pencil sketch, I have taken all the basic shapes out of my drawing and then worked back into the print to get the detail and features of the ewe.
I would like to say another BIG thank you to Phoebe and her family for taking the time to show me around their farm. I had a brilliant time and if you would like to see more about Phoebe's family business 'Woolly Comforts' creating beautiful lambskins from their flock of sheep then please take a look at their website >>> www.woollycomforts.co.uk.
If you would like to find out more about Norfolk Horn sheep the Rare Breeds Survival Trust have lots of information on their website >>> www.rbst.org.uk.
I had a great time meeting Zoe's herd of dairy goats, I was really looking forward to getting back to the studio and looking through the photographs I had taken. The British Alpine and British Toggenburg's are really striking with their facial markings and I know will look great in a print. I have drawn Zoe's British Alpine's before and I know that their monochrome colouring works really well in a print, The logo that I created for Zoe is of one of British Alpine's and it is really eye catching!
The logo I have recently designed for Zoe, featuring one of her British Alpine's.
Pencil sketch of a British Alpine doe.
Pencil sketches of British Toggenburg doe and kid.
The final print of the British Alpine doe created with hand stamps.
The final print of the British Toggenburg doe.
I am really pleased with how the final prints turned out, I think they are really bold and eye catching. It won't be long until I will be ready to complete a second 'Over The Farm Gate' card collection and I think these will look great on greetings cards.
I would like to say another BIG thank you to Zoe for taking the time to introduce me to her goats.
Emma's flock of Beltex is called 'St Theobalds'.
After visiting Emma and meeting her flock of Beltex sheep, I returned to the studio to look through all the photographs I had taken. I had never really taken much notice or come across Beltex sheep before. The Beltex sheep arrived in the UK from Belgium in 1989, and with their double muscle traits they have brought a new dimension to British lamb production. They are extremely distinctive to look at with a very short, thick face which is square in shape.
The Beltex face is short and thick.
Pencil sketches of a Beltex ewe.
These are the hand stamped prints of the beltex sheep which I created from the pencil sketches that I did to begin with. It is always difficult doing an animal that doesn't have a bold colour, especially when it is white/cream and making it stand out. However, the Beltex is so distinctive and striking looking that I think that the portrait is really effective.
I would like to say another BIG thank you to Emma for taking the time to introduce me to her flock of sheep me and showing me around her farm yard!
After visiting Emily's farm and meeting her goats, I came back to the studio to look through all the photographs that I took. The goats have so much personality and character, it was fantastic to see Emily working and interacting with them. They are so cheeky and such busy bodies, Emily puts lots of boxes and objects for the goats to climb on, sit on and lie in to keep them occupied. It was great looking through all the photos and seeing all the moments I captured.
Emily's buck Goliath.
Above are some of the pencil sketches that I drew from the photographs that I took of Emily's goats. I really enjoyed drawing the goats and I felt as though I could have kept going as there were so many great images. I never realised how photogenic goats are, they are just so inquisitive and friendly I think thats why they love the camera!
These are the prints which I have created from the pencil sketches, I am really happy with the prints of the buck and I think this is because of the colour! It is always really difficult when animals are white, as I don't really like to use 'outlines' but I had to with these prints. I am already really excited to see these on cards as I can tell these will be really popular!
Another BIG thank you to Emily for taking the afternoon to show me around her farm and introducing me to her herd of goats. If you would like to see more of Homeleigh Farm Boer Goats, you can follow them on Facebook and Instagram.
Facebook - @HomeleighFarmBoerGoats
Instagram - @homeleigh_farm_boer_goats
I am really excited to announce the launch of my first collection of cards which have been inspired by my farm visits as part of 'Over The Farm Gate'. I started this blog in January with the aim to combine both my passions, design and farming. I wanted to visit other peoples farms, hear their stories and meet their livestock. I have had a fantastic time visiting other peoples farm yards and learning so much about all the different breeds. Having looked through all my drawings and designs Lara and I have picked 12 prints which make up the first 'Over The Farm Gate' card collection. Each card has been personalised on the back with the farmers name, the animals breed and a little quote from the farmer.
Each card has been personalised to every farmer.
My first blog all the way back in February was about chicken breeder, my sister Cecily with her Buff Orpingtons and Light Sussex. Cecily has had chickens throughout our childhood and I as my first blog I was so happy that she agreed to be my first farmer/breeder!
My next visit was with pig breeder, Hayley who has British Lop and British Saddleback pigs which are both on the RBST rare breeds list. These pigs have to be some of the best looked after pigs I have ever come across! Hayley attended South Suffolk show yesterday and won Champion with Jilly, her British Lop and Reserve Champion with Minty her British Saddleback. Hayley and I are attending lots of similar agricultural shows this summer and I am looking forward to seeing her winning streak continue!
At the end of February I visited cattle farmer, Annabelle who has Charolais cattle. Annabelle has grown up on a cattle farm but at only 16 years old the Charolais are her own venture. Annabelle is so passionate and knowledgeable about the breed, I am looking forward to following her progress through the show season.
At the beginning of march I visited young sheep farmers, Archie and Oscar with their flock of Suffolk sheep. I was amazed at the knowledge the brothers both had about their sheep. The boys will be busy this summer at local shows, I will be keeping my eyes peeled to see how they get on!
At the end of March I was lucky enough to meet Esme with her Original Population Dairy Shorthorn which are on the RBST critical list. This means that there are only 150 or less of these left, Esme and her father Granger are doing a fantastic job at preserving this historic breed.
At the beginning of April I visited Zara, it was one of her busiest times of the year because as well as having to lamb her own Ewes she was contract lambing through the nights for other farmers. I spent a morning with Zara and her sheep learning about both her breeds, the Southdown and the Texel Mule and the attributes which attract Zara to these breeds.
I am already looking forward to continuing to visiting more farmers with their livestock and creating more prints for future design ideas!
These 12 cards will be available to purchase on the website individually and in a pack of 12, take a look at the 'CARDS' section in the 'SHOP'.
After my visit to Eves Hill Farm I came back to my studio to look through all the photos that I had taken of the Hereford cattle. It had been a really wet and miserable morning yet the cattle still look striking on the backdrop of the fresh spring grass. When I draw from all these different breeds, I always ask the farmer what is 'typical' for that specific breed and what colours or markings are preferred. With the Hereford, Jeremy said that breeders look for a completely white face, especially in the show ring. So when I was trying to pick out cattle to draw from I was looking for this, luckily Jeremy has lots to choose from!
One of the 2018 spring calves having a break from the milk bar.
The Herefords are such calm and docile breed, it was so lovely to watch Jeremy interact with the cattle, they were so friendly. This is one of the main characteristics that attracted Jeremy to the breed in the first place and I could definitely see why! I was really keen to be able to portray the relaxed and placid nature of the Herefords through my drawings and prints.
Pencil sketch of one of the cows from Eves Hill Farm.
Hand stamped print.
The Herefords are such a striking native breed with their strong contrasting markings, I was really looking forward to working from the photographs I had taken. Especially after how striking the herd looked on the backdrop of the spring grass. I am really pleased with how the print has turned out as I feel the texture of the print reflects the curls and coat of the Hereford.
A mother keeping a close eye on her calf out on the spring grass.
Another BIG thank you to Jeremy for taking the time to show me are his farm farm and giving me the chance to meet the Eves Hill Herd of Herefords. Don't forget you can follow Eves Hill Farm on social media.
Doug, Fern and Skye.
After visiting Zara's farm and meeting her Southdown and Texel Mule sheep, as well as her beautiful dogs I was really looking forward to getting back to the studio and looking through all the pictures I had taken. I haven't done any prints of dogs before, so this is a complete first since starting 'IzziRainey'. I really wanted the dogs to be part of my design's as they are an essential part of Zara's work, she shares such a close relationship with them, especially Doug,
These are the pencil sketches that I did of the ewe's and Doug and Fern. It was actually more difficult than I thought, drawing the dogs, I think I tried to draw them too small. There is so much detail, expression and personality in a dogs face.
These are the hand stamped prints that I created from taking the most simple shapes from my pencil drawings. I am really pleased with how they have turned out. Especially this print of Doug, Zara's 'main man' I feel that it really portrays Doug's loyal nature as he never takes his eyes of her. I like the way in the print he is looking away as I know when I took the photo he was looking at her, always waiting for his next job or instruction.
Another BIG thank you to Zara for taking the time to show me round her farm at probably one of the busiest times of the year!
After my trip to visit Esme and her Original Population Dairy Shorthorn I felt so inspired by her story and the passion and importance of the work she is dong to preserve these historic cattle. Having never seen an (Original Population) Dairy Shorthorn, I was completely taken with the breed. They are such sociable, quiet animals with kind faces and soft tones in their roan markings. The Dairy Shorthorn do come in three different colours red, white and roan with the roan being the most popular, so this is the colour I wanted to focus on. I was really excited to start working from the photographs I had taken.
Esme has such a wonderful bond with her cattle and I think she really portrayed the quiet nature of these cattle. It was a real pleasure to be able to witness, and I hope that through my drawing and prints I will be able to portray the nature and qualities of these cattle.
These are some pencil drawings that I have done from the photographs I took of the Shorthorns, from these drawings I then took the basic shapes and created handmade stamps to form the basis of my prints.
These are the prints of the Dairy Shorthorns that I created with my handmade stamps. I was most worried about how to portray the tonal nature within their coats, so to create the soft roan colours I layered up the stamps. I painted up the stamps with different colours and this combined with the textures from the stamps created a really interesting print. I am really pleased with the result and I feel that it really reflects the Shorthorns coat.
A big thank you to Esme and her father, Granger for taking the time to show me their cattle and tell me their inspiring story. I really hope that I get a chance to visit them again and see how their herd progresses, as the future of these rare breeds is dependent on the work of families like theirs.
Don't forget...if you would like to find out more about the Original Population Dairy Shorthorn take a look at the Rare Breed Survival Trust website >>>www.rbst.org.uk or if you would like to show your support and become a member of the RBST >>> https://www.rbst.org.uk/Support-Us/Become-a-Member.
Oscar and Archie with two of their January born lambs.
After meeting Archie and Oscar along with their prize winning Suffolk sheep, I was looking forward to going through all the imagery I had collected from my visit to their farmyard, back in the studio. The Suffolk sheep are a handsome looking animal with their distiguished black heads and I was really excited to start sketching them.
These are some of the pencil sketches that I did from the boy's prize winning ewe. I really enjoyed doing these drawings as there are so many different textures and marks within the ewe's fleece.
I created some handmade stamps from the simple shapes within my pencil drawings. With the stamps I have produced these prints, I think that the Suffolk's distinctive black face has created a really bold print which I am really please with and I hope will create an effective design in the future.
A big thank you to Archie and Oscar for taking time out of their half term to tell me all about their Suffolk sheep, I will keep a look out to see how they do at the shows this year!
After visiting Annabelle's farmyard and meeting her Charolais cattle, in particular heifer 'Little Darlin', I was looking forward to getting back into the studio to start creating some designs from some of the pictures I had taken. In the back of my mind I felt this could be a little bit of a challenge purely because Charolais are white!
A couple of pencil sketches I did from pictures I took of Little Darlin.
As the Charolais are white, I knew it was going to be quite a limited colour palette. I managed to keep the printing quite tonal by layering up the stamps to create a little more impact. Here are the final prints which I created after visiting Annabelle and her cattle. I loved the gentle giant character of the Charolais and hope that I have been able to portray their quiet, good nature through my designs.
A huge thank you to Annabelle for letting me spend the afternoon at her farmyard and keep an eye out for whose farm gate I will be looking over next!
Don't forget to follow Annabelle on Instagram @whitetowercharolais
I am Izzi, farmer’s daughter and textile designer at IzziRainey. If I am not designing or sewing you will find me out in the farmyard with my cattle. I am constantly seeking inspiration for my prints, not that I have to look very far. Growing up on the farm, I have always been influenced by my surroundings and this combined with my passion for farming is what inspires my designs. I love spending time on the farm but I also enjoy learning about other people’s animals, passions and stories, which are also influential to my design process. I hope you enjoy reading ‘Over the Farm Gate’