Illustration: Birds

I have a passion for drawing birds and am fond of doing so even when it isn’t work. Here are some commissioned and personal examples of my avian illustrations that includes book, magazine and album cover illustrations.

BOOK ILLUSTRATION AND DESIGN: THE MIGRANT WADERS, DUNLIN PRESS 2016
Brief: To create a 21-strong collection of wading bird and shorebird drawings on a plain white background. Birds needed to be immediately recognisable and all drawings had to have a consistent style in order to work as a collection, while also being able to be used as stand-alone pieces. Read more about the process here

Curlew (c) Ella Johnston, watercolour and ink. Commission for Migrant Waders
Curlew (c) Ella Johnston, watercolour and ink. Commission for Migrant Waders
Golden Plover (c) Ella Johnston, watercolour and ink. Commission for Migrant Waders
Golden Plover, watercolour and ink. Commission for Migrant Waders
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Spoonbill illustration, The Migrant Waders, Published by Dunlin Press
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Sanderling illustration, The Migrant Waders, Published by Dunlin Press
Snipe (c) Ella Johnston, watercolour and ink. Commission for Migrant Waders
Snipe (c) Ella Johnston, watercolour and ink. Commission for Migrant Waders

PUBLICITY MATERIALS: THE MIGRANT WADERS, DUNLIN PRESS 2016
Brief: To design accompanying material to promote The Migrant Waders book, this included an Illustrated Guide to Waders and Shorebirds poster and a set of limited edition postcards.

Illustrated Guide to Waders and Shorebirds Design and Illustration by Ella Johnston
Illustrated Guide to Waders and Shorebirds Design and Illustration by Ella Johnston
WADERS AND SHOREBIRDS ILLUSTRATED POSTCARDS (C) ELLA JOHNSTON
Limited Edition Waders and Shorebirds Illustrated Postcards for Dunlin Press

COVER ILLUSTRATION & TYPOGRAPHY : FIVE MILE FLOAT 2016
Brief: I was asked by the US-based band to create a set of illustrations to use on their album and a three EPs. The band wanted three tropical birds in sympathetic colours to sit together on the album but to then be used on their own for each of the EPs. They also needed me to produce hand-rendered type for the releases to ensure a consistent look and feel across the records.

Album cover illustration for Five Mile Float
Album cover illustration for Five Mile Float
Bee-eater bird illustration and cover design for Five Mile Float by Ella Johnston
Bee-eater bird illustration and cover design for Five Mile Float

 

Azure-winged magpie watercolour and ink. Album cover illustration for Five Mile Float
Azure-winged magpie watercolour and ink. Album cover illustration for Five Mile Float
Hummingbird watercolour and ink. Album cover illustration for Five Mile Float
Hummingbird watercolour and ink. Album cover illustration for Five Mile Float

MAGAZINE ILLUSTRATION: FIREWORDS 2014
Brief: I was approached by the arts periodical to produce three bird drawings to illustrate poems by Valentina Cano and Mike Alexander.

Poem illustrations by Ella Johnston, Firewords Quarterly Winter 2014
Poem illustrations, Firewords Quarterly Winter 2014
Blue tit (c) Ella Johnston Poem illustrations, Firewords Quarterly Winter 2014
Blue tit (c) Ella Johnston Poem illustrations, Firewords Quarterly Winter 2014

 

Wren (c) Ella Johnston Poem illustrations, Firewords Quarterly Winter 2014
Wren (c) Ella Johnston Poem illustrations, Firewords Quarterly Winter 2014
Waxwing (c) Ella Johnston Poem illustrations, Firewords Quarterly Winter 2014
Waxwing (c) Ella Johnston Poem illustrations, Firewords Quarterly Winter 2014

LOGO ILLUSTRATION: SPARROW ANTIQUES 2016
Brief: To provide a watercolour and ink drawing of a sparrow wearing a crown for the US-based antiques store to use as their logo. 

Private logo commission for Sparrow Antiques. Crowned Sparrow
Crowned Sparrow. Logo commission for Sparrow Antiques

PRIVATE COMMISSIONS: ONE-OFF DRAWINGS AND PAINTINGS
Birds hold a very special place in peoples hearts so I’m often asked to produce one-off bird illustrations for special occasions such as birthdays and anniversaries. I’ve also produced portraits of people’s pet raptors, which as enormous fun!

Hawk (c) Ella Johnston Private Commission
Hawk (c) Ella Johnston Private Commission
bird illustration
Hawk illustration – work in progress
Hawk (c) Ella Johnston. Watercolour and ink.
Hawk, watercolour and ink. Private commission.
Lazuli bunting (c) Ella Johnston Private Commission
Lazuli bunting (c) Ella Johnston, Private Commission
Little Owl (c) Ella Johnston Private Commission
Little Owl (c) Ella Johnston Private Commission