Ardent Shadows

Gothic Fantasy paintings by Jemima Mantle



Feeling the Love: Social Media Reach

I recently felt the success of getting a painting selected for publication. I created a piece for Out of Step Books, ‘Under the Sea’. I have previously posted the painting, ‘Sleeping With Fishes’ and shared progress shots but with my Screenshot_2017-07-24-10-46-30-1limited number of followers of social media, there was a small amount of people that could really get to see it. Out of Step Books however however have 330,000 on their Instagram and I am so pleased to say that I have felt the love that their reach can bring.

At last count my painting, on their page, has reached 3,188 likes. It feels unbelievably good to know that there are Ardent Shadows fans out there who I just haven’t found yet. It’s really spurred me on and given me the confidence to keep pushing forward. My own small Instagram page has been enjoying a new rush of followers. Yes my current number may only be holding around 240, but I few short weeks ago I was struggling to get over 160. Of course not all of that has been because of this one piece. My involvement in the Wolves in Wolves Project has also helped me gain followers. It just feels so great to know that there truly is a future for my work out their. The all consuming passion I have for my art means that I could never stop painting, but it’s so nice to know that others are getting enjoyment out of my craft, my love and my hours of hard work and dedication.

I am really feeling the love!

Prints available as below (8 x 10 inch print with multi-frame mount, £15 plus postage). The original painting, 20 x 16 inches is available framed at £185. Contact me directly for more.


Mindfulness Monday #30


‘I shall never be a morning person, for the moon and I are too much in love.’

I think this drawing totally sums up how I’ve recently been feeling – a gothic soul giving off hippy vibes. This mindfulness project has all been about my journey in reconnecting with myself, my art and my inner peace. I feel that it’s not so surprising then that I’ve reached a time in this project where some reflection is in order.

When I was a kid, back before I discovered black as a teenager, I had a dark blue bedroom with glow in the dark stars stuck to the ceiling and sun and moon print bedding; so I find myself so happy that along with my tie dyed t-shirts and other grunge apparel, it all appears to be back in fashion. It all seems to have grown together with a huge revival of interest in the occult which is particularly apparent in alternative fashion. Perhaps it’s fortunate timing, perhaps I would have found my way here on my own, but I finally feel like I am connecting the dots and rediscovering me. That’s what this weeks drawing is all about. Finding the balance of all the things I love about nature, love, life… and finally being able to express that visually through my work.

So this week I will not be dissecting what I like and don’t like about this drawing, what’s worked well and what I could improve, but rather offering it to you simply with love. Aware that this weeks offering means much more to me than you, I would like to encourage anyone who’s enjoying this project or is on their own journey, to come forward and chat with me. Leave me a comment or direct message me your thoughts.


Mindfulness Monday #9

This week I’ve decided to give you an insight into how I build up the two pages. I try and start each weeks drawing in a different place on the page. This just helps me stay mindful whilst drawing so I can really focus on what I’m doing. As you can see I move around the page and try not to finish one page ahead of the other. I like to work round in a spiral as much as possible.


This week I’ve also continue to play with the pens I use to draw with. Last week I was struggling to get used to using my two new pens and it took me a very long to complete two pages because I was using the smaller pen for all the construction lines. I therefore decided to buy more of the original pen that I started with. Using all three types of pen has really improved my technique and I’m pleased with how this has worked. So for those who want to know, that means I’m using the following:

  • Pentel: EnerGel 0.7
  • Pilot: Pure Liquid Ink 0.5 (V Ball)
  • Pilot: Pure Liquid Ink 1.0 (V Sign Pen)

The downside to this is that I now have to carry my book and three pens with me. I have been taking my mindfulness drawing to anywhere I might need to do some stress busting. I really have been able to achieve a total state of calm by doing these drawings and find that picking it up just for 5 or 10 minutes at a time is very beneficial for me.

Additionally this weeks’ drawing is also a ‘spot the panda’ by request of my sister. I invite you all to spot the panda and as I’ve uploaded this one in a special large format, why not print this one and have a go at colouring it yourself to enhance your mindfulness. If you do, make sure you share them with me – I’d love to see them!

Emelye Evans, this one’s for you:


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