After such a brilliant and inspirational visit to 'The Calf at Foot Dairy' I began going through all the photos that I had taken. (I took over 400 photos, it was a lot to work through!) I couldn't help but just continue to take photos of these gentle and serene cows. They have to be some of the easiest animals I have photographed, I think partly as they are so well handled they did not feel threatened by my presence in the yard or feel that I was invading their personal space. They didn't run away or fret when I was kneeling down or approaching them as they nursed their calves, sometimes it felt as though they were posing for me!
Jersey cows are so pretty and 'dainty', they have such an elegant and graceful presence which you just sense when you are around them. With their delicate features and distinctive facial markings they have such a strong sense of character. Not one cow looks the same, every cow has its own individual and unique characteristics and markings.
As you can see from these three pictures the colours and marking can vary so much from cow to cow.
This is my pencil sketch of one of the Jersey cows.
This is the hand stamped print I created, using the shapes within my pencil drawings to create the stamps and then referring back to my photographs for the colours. I am really pleased with the print, as I feel it translates the personality and character of the Jersey cow. I think her eyes show the kindness of this docile breed, and the soft textural nature of the print suits their gentle nature.
I would like to say another HUGE thank you to Fiona, Zoe, Amy and their wonderful volunteers who made me feel so welcome and for sharing their story with me. If you want to find out more about The Calf at Foot Dairy please take a look at their website www.the-calf-at-foot-dairy.co.uk or follow them on Instagram @thecalfatfootdairy. They give fantastic daily updates on the day to day running of the farm!
I had such a fantastic visit to the Pointer Farm, I don't think I have ever taken so many photos in one day. I focused on the majestic English Longhorn cattle, but Jamie did kindly introduce me to all the different breeds which are also at the Pointer Farm. I came back to the studio with so much inspiration! It was fantastic, as well as the Longhorns, I have drawn from three of the different breeds of sheep and the Middle White pigs.
The Longhorns do not have to have symmetrical horns, and no two cows have the same horns. They come in quite literally any shape and size, going in any direction they fancy! This meant it was really hard to choose which cow to draw from, but I decided on this cow as she just caught my eye. I loved her delicate mottled markings and her horns are beautiful.
My pencil sketch of the Longhorn cow.
This is my final print of the Longhorn cow, I am really pleased with the outcome. The Longhorn is so very distinctive and they have so much character and I think that this has translated through the print.
As I said before Jamie works with 5 different breeds of sheep at the Pointer Farm and I have drawn from three! It was hard to choose!
The Valais Blackness Sheep - these have been recently sheared and are usually REALLY fluffy. I can't wait to draw them when their fleeces have grown back!
Sketch and print of Exmoor Horn Ewe.
My new favourite sheep - the Greyface Dartmoor, I loved drawing this ewe, she had the most amazing curly fleece.
Finally... The Middle White Pig!
I would like to say another BIG thank you to Jamie, for taking the time to show we around the amazing Pointer farm. I have really enjoyed putting this blog together and drawing so many different breeds. I certainly learnt a lot and gathered so much inspiration that I can't wait to use on products in the future. If you would like to learn more about Pointer Pedigrees take a look at their website > www.pointerpedigrees.com and follow them on Instagram > @pointerpedigrees.
After my visit to Carr Farm to meet Nicola and her Waveney herd of Belted Galloway's, I came back to the studio to go through the many photos I had taken to try and pick one to draw from. The Belted Galloway are such a distinctive looking breed and to the untrained eye they may all look identical. However, Nicola told me that a Belted Galloway cow should have a short, feminine head and that a long face was less preferable, especially in the show ring. The Belted Galloway, are a tough native breed with so much character, I was really looking forward to drawing them.
The only thing I was worried about was their features!!! With such a black face and with so much heavy winter coat it is very difficult to see their eyes. Eyes being an important feature and often the make or brake of drawing an animal... anyway I tried my best!
Here is the pencil sketch which I did from a 2 year old heifer, her face was a especially difficult, even now I am not completely convinced by it. I spent so long trying to put the suggestion of her eyes, it is hard because you can barely make out their eyes through all their hair. After finding the drawing a little tricky I knew that the print would be even harder, as it is always difficult to put subtle detail into my hand stamped prints.
Here is my final print, I feel that the texture within the print translates the shaggy, thick coats of the Belted Galloway well. In the end I am pleased with the result, after being quite anxious as to how it would turn out!
I would like to say another BIG thank you to Nicola for taking the time to show me her Waveney Herd of Belted Galloway, I had a fantastic morning looking round the farm and meeting the cattle. If you would like to learn more about Carr Farm or maybe purchase one of their meat boxes please take a look at their website, www.carrfarm.org.
After visiting Helena and her flock of Herdwick's I came back to the studio to look through all the photographs I had taken. The Hardwick's have so much character and are extremely distinctive with the small white faces and large, thick fleeces. Tormund the Ram is particularly eye-catching with his impressive set of horns and tufty beard.
The Herwick's have a distinctive contrast between the colour of their faces and fleeces.
These are two pencil sketches which I have completed of 'Tormund' the ram.
A pencil sketch of Arya, one of Helena's favourite ewes.
These are my final hand stamped prints which I created from my pencil drawings. I take all the 'main' shapes from my drawings to create simple stamps from, which I then use to build up and create the coloured prints. I then work back into the stamped prints, putting in all the characteristics and detail. I am really pleased with how these prints have turned out, I think it is mostly because of the character and distinctiveness of the Hardwick breed. They also have such variety of texture and colour within their fleeces which really compliments the hand stamped technique.
I would like to say another BIG thank you to Helena for taking the time to introduce me to her Stark Herdwicks. It was so interesting to learn so much about another one of our countries native breeds.
After my visit to Holly and her beautiful Percheron's, I returned to the studio with all the photographs I had taken. It was so interesting to see all the different aspects of preparing Mabel but I was actually rather nervous about creating a hand stamped print of a horse as this is the first time I have done one! There is so much detail and character in the face and head of a horse, it is really quite a challenge.
Holly turning Mabel out into her field, you can see how much character and personality Mabel has by just looking at these photographs.
The pencil sketch I drew of Mabel.
The hand stamped print I created of Mabel.
I am actually really pleased with the result of the hand stamped print, it has created a striking and eye catching design. The hand stamped, textured nature of the print has really complimented the dappling of labels coat. I also really love the colour braids which Holly plaited into Mabel, the contrast is really bold and effective.
Another BIG thank you to Holly and Mabel for spending the afternoon with me. I look forward to following their progress on the show scene next year!
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'.
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’