Something new…..

I am pleased to announce that the talented printmaker Jackie Duckworth Art and I are teaming up for this year’s Cambridge Open Studios, in July.

We will be doing demonstrations of printmaking and painting, and will be ready to answer your questions, and you may like to give it a try yourself!

We will both be able to show you our work in progress, Jackie with her Lino cuts and press and I will have my easel, canvas and paints with something new under way. I will also have some sketch books and materials ready for you to draw in.

I will be running workshops during the week, details and booking information will be announced soon.

Do check out, like and follow my Facebook page,

You can also find me on Twitter @art_allison  and instagram AllisonHendersonArt

So two artists under one roof, plenty to see, and buy!  Prints, paintings, drawings, unique gifts, t shirts, cards, all hand made / artist designed.


Please do support independent artists and makers,  check out #justacard who explain the importance and value of your support. Thanks! See you at Open Studios!


Something old….school

Something Old……when was the last time you got to sit and draw with coloured pencils?

In my case, it was probably at school…..a long, long time ago….

With the occassional dabble in recent years showing toddlers how to colour in or outside the lines.

I have been very fortunate in recent times to be given pencils that the giver no longer needed.  They have been put to good use by the children at After School Art, working out ideas, card making, and  homework and so on….but up until yesterday I hadn’t given them much more thought.

Laid low the last few days with a debilitating cough/cold I needed something dry, quick and easy to put down  (without making a mess) from shaky hands reaching for yet another tissue…..

out came the pencils,  and ….search for a quick subject matter……an apple a day keeps the doctor away? ….hey presto an idea is hatched.



FIRSTLY, I chose a coloured paper as I usually prefer to paint from a coloured ground. This enables you to lay light colours and use white with interesting effects. (This is a buff cartridge paper from #Tyger in the #GrandeArcade, #Cambridge just £2 for a pad of 30 sheets.)

I sketched out the rough shapes using a reddish pencil, the idea being to draw using the colour of the object/element being drawn.  Then I blocked in some light tones of white and yellow.



NEXT, I began building up the layers of colour, experimenting, as the colours will be affected by the buff of the paper.  Tip..don’t press too hard, you want to do several light layers to enhance depth of colour and tone. If you press too hard initially you will ‘burnish’ the colour, making the area flat and smooth and not able to take more colour.  Save the burnishing for your final layers.
IMG_7218THEN working in the background at same time as moving on to the middle Apple, adding a lot of yellow to show through beneath the top two reds.

I used a purple as the shadow colour, again, soft marks, building up the layers of pigment, paying attention to the effect of the shadow on the green areas and white areas.  I didn’t have an exact green but allowing the buff paper to show through achieved a soft green I was happy with.



third Apple done, and I  worked some more on the table cloth.  I decided to let more of the yellow show through on the first two apples, I may well re visit this.  The first photo at the top of this blog shows where I stopped, the following was about ten minutes earlier.    The pencils used are #Crayola, they are smooth to use, waxy, sharpen to a good point, and glide across the paper.

YOUR TURN, go on, give it a go…coloured pencils are for everyone, why let kids have all the fun….!


We are twinned! Again…


Did you know that 1in3 people worldwide don’t have access to a safe toilet? No, I didn’t either until I saw one of the #ToiletTwinning certificates in a friend’s loo.

That was two Christmases ago, and for the last two we have designed and printed cards at after school art to sell to raise the money to twin a toilet.

This time I was brave and decided to get out the lino cutting tools. The juniors did very well and were attentive to the safety instructions – much to my relief!

We made several practice pieces to get used to the tools and refine the designs.

The lino was cut to size to print directly onto card blanks, to save time and help with lining up.

Great fun was had rolling out the ink…enjoying the Velcro noises!  and inking up the lino, and we were delighted with the results.

Many thanks to all the customers who bought the cards, especially returning customers who liked last year’s (2016) so much they put orders in before we had finalised the 2017 designs!

If you would like to give this a go, please contact me for details of lessons for children, and adults.

If you would like more information on how to twin your toilet, visit

Most of us take our access to a clean, safe loo as an ordinary, common place necessity, but so many people, right now don’t have access to even the simplist of latrines.  The above certificate came with a note to say that the exact coordinates of the latrine could not be given as the local families are afraid of drone strikes.  This made me cry.  We complain when we go to the loo and the paper runs out…..makes you think doesn’t it?





This certificate is for 2016….our first twin.

I also did an assembly at the local school asking the staff and children if they would like to fund raise for #toilettwining, and I am pleased to report the unanimous response was yes, and the school have twinned their toilets.  👍😀