1880s Girl’s- Sketching Challenge an Introduction


NPG P1825; Beatrix Potter (Mrs Heelis) by Charles King

One of my favourite Victorian Illustrators, Beatrix Potter. Photo by  Charles G.Y. King (1854-1937) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Everyone knows that sketching and watercolour are vital accomplishments for any Victorian woman with pretensions to class or education.

This 1880s girl has no pretensions to class nor is she extensively educated but I do like to draw and in High School showed some promise in watercolours.

The Dream


My original hero, Laura Ingalls Wilder (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)

My childhood ambition was to either grow up to be Laura Ingalls and write the story of my life.

Or to be Beatrix Potter and write and illustrate picture books.

Or in the same way a child may want to be an astronaut and a ballerina, I thought I might manage to be both Laura and Beatrix at the same time.

The Reality

Then life happened and choices must be made, rent paid, children raised and there simply are not enough hours in the day to cultivate all our passions and interests.

For me, writing is a necessity. Art is a luxury.

Sometimes even working class 1880s girls get to indulge in a little luxury.


Inspired by the interview with Tania McCartney on episode 150 of the So You Want to be a Writer Podcast I toyed with the possibility of a weekly illustration. But where to find the time?

Enter Little Miss Seah…

The Plan

Little Miss Seah likes me to sit with her and watch Better Homes and Gardens on Friday night. I’m not very good at sitting still especially during commercials so I decided to sketch and watch.

A sketch is less intimidating than an illustration, just a bit of fun.

I will post a sketch every Friday with a brief commentary on lessons learned.

I mean everyone gets better with practice right?

Maybe when I’ve gained a little confidence I’ll take on the official 52-week challenge but until then I will aim to post one sketch a week to my blog.




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