My aim for the next few weeks is to gather enough research for my next illustration LICHENS WALES. The trigger for this collection came from a recent visit to the beautiful Portmeirion, nestled on the shores of the river Dwyryd. A small haven with a mild microclimate, and an abundance of stunningly colourful lichens. The specimens seen on the rocky outcrops vary from sublime greys to vibrant yellows, whilst the beautiful woodlands provide the perfect habitat for circular, oval and undulating edged specimens.

When looking, something quite magical happens, the unnoticed become noticed, and what was passed by before is now highlighted. Somehow, quite strangely they now appear everywhere.... I am more aware, with a heightened sense of inquisitiveness, and many unanswered questions.

So the journey of discovery begins.....


First steps involve sketching and taking macro shots to document their setting, environment, colour, form, and texture. The tools are limited on this occasion so the experimentation will happen at home. It’s then onto the books and secondary research online, to identify and make connections between the visual recording and the factual evidence....this involves the what, where, when and how. Eventually, I am able to start putting the jigsaw pieces together with the addition of bilingual terms. The experimental stage I begin by using unconventional recycled materials, to try and emulate and re-capture their beauty, their form, colour, and textures, this leads into drafting a layout and choosing the most common species seen. The journey takes as long as is needed, and it closes with a final design, often overlapping with other studies.

It’s been a beautiful journey so far...on to Llanystumdwy next...



Ffion Gwyn










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