Emma Russell

Emma Russell's illustration blog

Live drawing – Portraits for the Art Rookie networking event at Lights of Soho

I had a great night live drawing portraits at Lights of Soho for Art Rookie.

To reflect the super cool neon lights that make this venue so unique, I worked in neon colour (pink, yellow or blue) and white on black paper.




Photo from Instagram courtesy of @23prlondon


Photo from Instagram courtesy of  @fsh_bwl


Photo from Instagram courtesy of @danikuzzi

In the photo above, the fashion style portrait on the white paper is by Carmen Johnson who you can find on Instagram at @carmenjohnsonillo

Here I am hard at work with Carmen:

Photo from Instagram courtesy of  @artrookie_


Illustrated interview for Art on a Postcard x Culture Label


Art on a Postcard interviewed me for their current Postcard Lottery.   The catch? All my answers had to be illustrations!

To see the whole set with the questions, visit here

q1 q7 q9 q10


What’s on the drawing board

Lots of secret projects on the go at the moment here’s some sneak peeks of what’s happening


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Live drawing at Lights of Soho for Art Rookie

On 25th August Art Rookie are holding a networking event for creatives at the wonderful art gallery and members club Lights of Soho. I’m excited (and a little nervous!) to be live drawing at this event alongside two other illustrators.

RSVP to info@artrookie.co.uk for the guest list.

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Art on a Postcard x Culture Label postcard lottery

To coincide with ‪‎World Hepatitis Day‬ on 28th July, Art on A Postcard and Culture Label launched a £10 postcard lottery. Lottery tickets are on sale until 1st September. Tickets offer you a chance to win a postcard sized original artwork by artists including Daisy Emerson, Robbie Porter, Jon Burgeerman, Jake & Dinos Chapman. And me! My print and painting “Dream Painting Blue Indigo” is one of the prizes.

Go to this link for more information and tickets http://bit.ly/22Y4cTL

Emma Russell 002 art on a postcard lottery

Bespoke paper headpieces, lips & sign artworks

My paper artwork featured in the Monochrome with a Dash of Colour. I was commissioned to make paper headpieces based on willow pattern dishes, a pair of huge juicy paper lips and a big pop art flash sign saying “TAT”. Here it is in print:

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When I’d just completed the headpieces:

hat IMG_1539 IMG_2709

The making of the lips and TAT sign:

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Initial sketches:


Little Free Library for swimming pool

Here is another Little Free Library, my third one, this time for Runnymede Swimming Pool in Essex. They asked for a swimming theme which I really enjoyed putting together. I painted a synchronised swimming team on each side, a happy floating man with his belly sticking up on the back and a pattern of assorted swimmers on the top, complete with a little dog doing doggy paddle. I’ve been a bit tardy posting this as it was erected in September last year! I hope it’s still being enjoyed by all the visitors.




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I think these characters would make a lovely pattern, especially as something like a gift wrap.

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I think the character in the spotty bathing suit was my favourite to draw:


Although I really liked this guy too!

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Here is a page from my sketchbook with some of the original drawings:

swimming pool

You can see the library in situ on Little Free Library’s twitter feed here: https://twitter.com/LFLProject/status/641586876793679873


Plaque for Creekmouth Village.

I am thrilled that the Creekmouth Village plaque has been erected. This is the first time I’ve ever seen my name engraved on steel! I was commissioned to draw a populated map illustration and illustrated story panels for a commemorative plaque at the site of Creekmouth village in London. This is certainly one of the most unusual “friendly infographic” pieces I’ve done!

The illustration has been engraved into a steel plate and mounted on a concrete plinth in the Creekmouth Open Space. Creekmouth Village was built on the banks of the Thames in east London by victorian agricultural scientist Sir John Bennet Lawes, for workers at his fertiliser factory, and was destroyed in the 1950s by flooding. A regeneration project was started in 2005 and there is now a park (Creekmouth Open Space) on the banks of the river. For more information about Creekmouth see the Creekmouth Preservation Society http://creekmouth.net/ The agency for this project was the design studio http://objectif.co.uk who did the design, lettering and layout of the plaque. This project was unusual as, given the size of the plaque and the level of detail, I largely worked on computer only – drawing directly on my Wacom tablet rather than drawing in pen then scanning and editing.

The engraved illustration in situ:

The plaque 1 The plaque 2

The map drawing:

creekmouth map low res

The panels:

panel river panel square panel way to barkingpanel sir john

Some details from the map:

creekmouth detail back row

creekmouth detail front row

creekmouth detail plane

creekmouth detail pond square

creekmouth detail pub

RCA Secret postcards 2016

1 and 2 blue yellow copy 2 and 1 yellow blue copy 3 yellow blue copy

Time has whizzed by and I haven’t yet shared my postcards from this year’s RCA secret. It’s always a great event, the money raised from the sale of cards goes to support the Royal College of Art students and the possibility of scooping up a little piece of work that you love is brilliant!

These are my three cards in acrylic paint, printing ink and pen and ink. Two for the London show, one for the Dubai show. I was thrilled that the buyers from the London show both got in touch.