A Westminster Abbey Christmas with Amanda Loverseed
Our beautiful Christmas card design for this year is based on a watercolour picture painted by illustrator Amanda Loverseed. This delightful painting includes traditional festive activities like carol singing and wreath selling, alongside classic London icons like the Routemaster bus and the Queen's guards.
Amanda started her career as a professional illustrator after leaving Cambridge College of Arts in 1989. She developed a “passion for telling a story within a picture, using quirky detail” and has had a successful career writing and illustrating children’s books and creating artwork for a wide range of products. She is inspired by her “constant desire [to] realise the images” in her imagination and enjoys the opportunity to “’solve a problem’”, such as creating a design that will fulfil a specific brief or fit on a certain type of product.
Amanda creates her work in her studio based in her home in the South Downs. Her studio looks out over “the ever changing colour of fields and copse” and her “nearest neighbours are partridge, deer and kites”. When working, she uses a traditional dip pen and Indian ink on watercolour paper which means that she always has inky fingers! After creating the line drawing she then paints using watercolours, inks and marker pens.
After seeing Amanda’s illustration work for other London attractions, we were really excited to approach her to create the artwork for our Christmas cards and advent calendars this year. Our team loved the way that her work draws your eye in to focus on the small details that capture humour and lightheartedness.
Amanda was delighted to be asked to create this piece and felt “honoured to be asked to illustrate an Advent calendar for such an iconic British building”. She found that as a result of studying the building “well enough to draw it the architecture sort of seeps into one’s soul”, and she now knows it so well she can’t help but spot it everywhere on television and in books and films.
With so many elements to the design, such as the sweet robins in the snow to the wonderfully detailed coronation coach, it is hard to choose a favourite. Amanda enjoyed being able to use so much red in the picture as it is a very Christmassy colour, as well as featuring on so many traditional London images like the bus and post box. She also enjoyed incorporating the religious nature of the Abbey in the work, with some religious images behind the advent windows.
We are looking forward to this new Christmas card going on sale, and hope that it will bring our customers some festive cheer. If you would like to purchase this Christmas card it is on sale now.