Wednesday, 9 November 2011

The Twelve Days Of Military Christmas - Christmas Cards Pack

This is a pack of 12 unique Christmas cards all with individual images that were created as part of the Manic Art Challenge are now available to be purchased, you will not find these in any shop.

Click on the link below to purchase:

Why not make a change from the norm and send a card this Christmas that lets us remember the men and women of our armed forces.
 Those that are not able to spend this festive time with loved one because of operational duties on foreign shores.
Our veterans that have fought for Queen & Country. 
The able and the injured and
 lastly as a mark of respect to all our fallen Heroes that are sadly with us no more..

 'We must never forget what our past & present Armed Forces have done for us'

All profits from these cards will be going to Combat Stress

Combat Stress is the UK's leading military charity specialising in the care of Veterans' mental health.
We look after men and women who are suffering from a psychological condition related to their Service career. This might be depression, anxiety, a phobia or (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). Our services are free of charge to the Veteran.
Last year we received over 1,400 new referrals. We have a current caseload of more than 4,600 individuals – including 168 Afghanistan and 533 Iraq Veterans.

Click on the link below to visit the Combat Stress website:

Thank you all for you on-going support 


Sunday, 6 November 2011

Drawing number 12.. Mission/Challenge  complete !!!!

Drawing number 11 is now finished ~>

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Drawing number 10 is now finished...

Drawing number 9 is finished....

Date 5th Nov..

Day 2 of the #ManicArtChallenge

Todays completed drawing picture number 8 (only 4 more to go!!)

Friday, 4 November 2011

Drawing number 7 is now complete, thats my last one for today 5 more to go !!!! :))

Drawing number 6 is now complete !!! I've reached half way... GO ME ;)

Drawing number 5 completed...

Look at the mess I've made so far...

Drawing number 4 completed...

IT STARTED TODAY !!!! #ManicArtChallenge

So its now 15:17pm on Friday 4th November

I have completed 3 drawings so far....

Only 9 more to go !!!!

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Manic Art Challenge

The Twelve Days of (Military) Christmas

This Christmas we need to remember the British Armed Forces out in Afghanistan
They are sacrificing their Christmas so that we can enjoy ours back in the home.

 Poem Of The Unknown Soldier

’Twas the night before Christmas,

He lived all alone,
In a one-bedroom house, made

Of plaster and stone.
I had come down the chimney,

With presents to give,
And to see just who

In this home did live.
I looked all about

A strange sight I did see
No tinsel, no presents,

Not even a tree.
No stocking by the mantle,

Just boots filled with sand,
On the wall hung pictures

Of far distant lands.
With medals and badges

Awards of all kinds
A sober thought

Came through my mind.
For this house was different

It was dark and dreary
I found the home of a soldier,

Once I could see clearly.
The soldier lay sleeping,

Silent, alone,
Curled up on the floor

In this one-bedroom home.
The face was so gentle

The room in such disorder,
Not how I pictured

A lone British soldier.
Was this the hero

Of whom I’d just read?
Curled up on a poncho,

The floor for a bed?
I realised the families

That I saw this night
Owed their lives to these soldiers

Who were willing to fight.
Soon round the world

The children would play
And grown-ups would celebrate

A bright Christmas Day.
They all enjoyed freedom

Each month of the year
Because of the soldiers,

Like the one lying here.
I couldn’t help wonder

How many alone
On a cold Christmas Eve

In a land far from home.
The very thought brought

A tear to my eye
I dropped to my knees,

And started to cry.
The soldier awakened

And I heard a rough voice:
“Santa, don’t cry,

“This life is my choice.
“I fight for freedom

“I don’t ask for more
“My life is my God,

“My country, My corps.”
The soldier rolled over

And drifted to sleep,
I couldn’t control it,

I continued to weep.
I kept watch for hours,

So silent and still,
And we both sat and shivered,

From the cold night’s chill.
I didn’t want to leave

On that cold, dark night,
This guardian of honour,

So willing to fight.
Then the soldier rolled over,

With a voice, soft and pure,
Whispered: “Carry on Santa,

“It’s Christmas Day, all is secure.”
One look at my watch,

And I knew he was right:
“Merry Christmas my friend,

And to all a good night.”

Author Unknown 



Updates will be posted here throughout the weekend or follow me on Twitter @Julie_Manic_Art

Manic-Art will be attempting to complete 12 drawings... YES you read that right... 12 Military Christmas themed drawings over 1 weekend... I must be mad? no wait I AM MAD!!
Once completed the drawings will be turned into a pack of 12 Christmas cards called..
'The Twelve Days of (Military) Christmas' 
This pack will be available to purchase on the Manic-Art website.

So why would I put myself through this time consuming challenge you might ask?

Well because I am not one to ask people to donate their hard earned cash without good reason..
hence me working my butt off for the privilege..

How will the donated funds be spent?
The donated funds will be spent to purchase the following items:
  • Frames
  • Mounts
  • Paper
  • Cards
  • Envelopes
  • Printer Cartridges
  • Packaging
  • Drawing Accessories
To name but a few..

Please go to.. & click the DONATE button!! 

**Please Note all donations will be going towards materials etc. to help me complete my Military Art Project for Combat Stress NOT directly to Combat Stress**


**All profits from the sales of my Military Prints, Christmas Cards & the eventual proceeds from the auctioned Original Military Drawings will be going to COMBAT STRESS**

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

I would just like to say a very *BIG THANK YOU to DERWENT PENCILS* for very kindly donating the above items towards my Military art project that I am doing to raise funds for Combat Stress !!

Please visite their website at...
Where you will find all you need to know about their high quality drawing materials and writing instruments.

Sunday, 25 September 2011


Today's drawing from start to finish, it took just over 12hrs, Again I worked from Andrew Schofields amazing photograph (@andrewschof on Twitter)

Saturday, 24 September 2011


I started on this Merlin yesterday, I was working from one of Andrew Schofield (@andrew_schof_ on Twitter) amazing photographs.
I left it last night as the lighting was terrible then went back to it in natural light this morning to add the finishing touches.
I have to say I'm very happy with it !!

Thanks for popping by to have a peek..



Thursday, 22 September 2011

The Apache I did for @Pilot_MikeB (Twitter)

13 hours very well spent.
And here it is in its new home... I have visiting rights, supervised of course !! haha

Wednesday, 21 September 2011



This is my latest drawing I worked from one of Major Paul Smyths amazing photographs of a Sniper.
This picture is larger than my other Military work and is A3 in size. It took just over 15 hours to complete but it was well worth the extra effort.
Limited prints of some of my Military work will soon be available to purchase all profits going to Combat Stress.

So watch this space and I will update you accordingly

Thanks for taking the time to view my blog..


Sunday, 11 September 2011

Apache Pilot..

After 10 hours work I'm very pleased with yesterdays drawing.

A did this drawing for the lovely @ahpilot (on twitter)
Lots of detail in this drawing & it was a challenge but I do so love a challenge.

Thanks for looking as always



Saturday, 10 September 2011

Just finished...

A drawing for Thank You Soldier ~> & @thankusoldier on Twitter.
Its a more detailed take on their logo.

If you would like to see more of my Military drawings you can view them all on my website at:

Thanks for looking as always


Saturday, 27 August 2011

Titled: Rear Gunner.

So after a few days working on other drawings I'm back on track building up this fantastic portfolio.
This is my latest drawing of a Rear Gunner on board a Chinook finished last night, it took me just over 10 hours to complete.
In the last 72 hours I've clocked up an amazing 32 hours of drawing time... go ME !!
I rather like this drawing as it's very striking and you kind of get drawn into it. One of the things I love to do in my drawings is to get them to look as if they a photograph.. & I believe I nailed it with this one !!!
This project really is testing my artistic talents, which is great I feel I am learning and improving with every drawing.
So I now have 6 drawings complete, I think its now time to put some plans together and organise 'getting this show on the road' as they say.
If you have any suggestions or ideas regarding this project feel free to share them with me, after all this portfolio is all about raising as much funds as possible for charity to help & support the British Armed Forces.

Thanks for looking in..


Monday, 22 August 2011

My Drawing is FINISHED !!!

I have finished it... Yay !!

This drawing has took me an age to do as there was so much work involved, I wouldn't even try to guess at how any hours I've spent on it..
I have to say I think it was well worth the effort & I am very pleased with the end result.

So on to the next drawing as they say...

Julie x

Friday, 19 August 2011


Hello All...

Apologies all as I've being suffering the lurgy but I'm on the mend :) so I thought I should update you all on my progress so far..

This drawing needs patience !! there is lots of work involved & I am gutted my time table has been put back... but I'm back on the job & working hard :)

Thanks for looking as always..



Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Painting update..

The painting was not going as well as I'd planned so rather than give up on it I've decided to put it a side (just for now) & concentrate on my drawings.

This is my latest drawing...

This is the first stage, as you can see I'm not so good at sketching.. I tend to over do it, I blame that on me being a Virgo & forever striving for perfection !!
Its the all or nothing syndrome as I call it ;)

This is the drawing after 4 hours work...

So now you know what I'm up too..

Thanks for looking as always

Julie x

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Painting its a messy business..

I'm one messy artist !!
I just thought I'd share my view with you.. I am painting a picture today as part of this 'drawing' project. I know that's kind of moving away from what it says on the box "Drawings Of The British Armed Forces In Afghanistan" but I couldn't resist I loved Major Paul Smyth's photograph of this Chinook in a mist of sand so much that I thought I could do it better justice in the form of a painting.

A closer view of my progress so far..

I just love painting !!!

Saturday, 6 August 2011


My finished Chinook...

I have spent most of today working on this drawing & you should see the colour of me, my table & my floor I love messy art !!
So after many layers of soft pastels and pastel pencils this is the end result..
I enjoyed doing this drawing as it is in colour, don't get me wrong I love drawing with graphite pencils but working with pastels is fun & the colours are so cheerful I can't help but get drawn into this picture. Its like you can feel the heat and also feel the sand swirling around hitting your skin from the force of the blades on the Chinook.
Its a 3D drawing imagination style !!

Thanks as always for taking the time to look at my blog.


The first layer is applied !!

Yes it's in 'Colour' :)

I thought I would share my progress of this soft pastel drawing as it will change dramatically as I build it up. The idea of showing you it as it stands now is to let you see how I plan my drawings.
Firstly I start by getting a good sense of shapes & sizes of the objects using faint pencil marks then I applied a thin layer of soft pastel which I rub in gently.
Now I have my base I can start work on building up the drawing, for the finer more detailed areas I will use pastel pencils for greater effect.

So there you go, you now have an idea of where I'm going with this piece...


Thursday, 4 August 2011

My Chief of the sky is ready to fly..

Drawing number three is finished..

Titled: Chief Of The Skies..

Can you tell what it is yet ?? haha... sorry I couldn't resist !!

So that's drawing number three now complete, what do you think ?! I'm very happy with it. Surprisingly though it was quite difficult to draw, there was me thinking it would be a doddle but no I had to zoom in & out of the original photograph for hours to make sure I got as much detail in as possible, talk about motion sickness *winks*

The materials I used for this piece were Derwent graphic pencils on A3 white 200gsm paper.

Thanks for checking out my blog & looking at my work !!


Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Chief of the skies, the Apache.. Progress !!

Chief of the skies...

Well now what do you think of this little beauty ?!
This is my first EVER attempt at a mechanical piece of transport/machinery being more use to the human form this has been yet another challenge... It is by no means finished but I just thought I'd share my progress so far, as it has turned out (at this stage) much better than expected !!
This project is turning into a real learning curve for me I feel like I'm testing my artistic skills in every new drawing and boy am I enjoying it..
I am sure that by tomorrow this piece will be finished, so stay tuned & keep on following my updates..
As always thank you for reading my blog & viewing my progress so far.


That's the second drawing finished...

Drawing number two is now complete...

Titled: On Patrol..

All in all I'd say this took me around 17 hours to complete, there is a lot of detail in this drawing and I didn't want to rush it & spoil it.
I hope as you look at the drawing you get the feeling that the soldier to the back is out of focus, that is my aim anyway... as this is the case in the original photograph.
Again this piece was completed using Derwent graphic pencils on a sheet of A3 200gsm paper.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011


After 10 hours of work..

This is the second drawing for my portfolio and already it is starting to take shape... this drawing has been a challenge as I am trying to get a blurred effect/out of focus image of the soldier to the back of the picture.
I have filled in the main detail today and tomorrow I will move on to the clothing, shading then final touch ups.
I expect by tomorrow evening to have this drawing finished.

Today has been a very productive day, I have spoke to many people over the last few days who have had nothing but nice things to say about this project, this is so encouraging and I am so overwhelmed by all the positive comments I am getting.
So I would like to thank each & everyone of you who is taking the time to read this blog & view my work.

Till tomorrow..


The first of many..

And so my project begins...

Titled: Soldier
This is the first drawing (of many) to be included in my portfolio and I have to say it really did turn out better than I expected.
I am trying to get my drawings to look as realistic as possible, an approach I am particularly enjoying doing.

The materials I used in this piece were Derwent graphic pencils, on white 200gsm paper.