Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa with a population of over 200 million according to what they say, it is not certain because our last census of over 10 years was contested. I will tell you why later in this read. Let’s look at Lagos as an example, the industrial city of Nigeria. Lagos is teeming, with over 23 million people packed in a geographical location way smaller than the size of London. Imagine the number of people in Oxford Street during Christmas eve and doing Christmas shopping, then times that by two. Now replace those shopping bags with water carriers pushing Jerry Cans of water in long trolleys, water splashing on your new polished suede shoes, passers-by stepping on you, pushing you from side to side, agbero* shouting at you… for no reason. And the bus conductor chants “Ojota Ojota, Magodo, Magodo” trailing in the air. With a whiff of breath, you are taking in fumes from the many industrial buildings, car fumes from vehicles not fit for the road, dust, sweat, someone’s cough and catarrh, smells.

There’s a stark difference when you inhale in a sparsely populated village in the hilly outskirts of a state in the north. You can feel the difference in the air quality even on the plane to go there. Ok, that’s an exaggeration but you get the point. Well, the thing is you cannot go live in those small towns, eating masa and spinach soup and enjoying sites like the little waterfalls you most times see there. Or having a cabin in the lush vegetation down south while working from home. First of all, transport, communication networks, and the Internet don’t always work well there. For a business person, you will need a larger able-to-afford population which you will likely only find in the city. There are other pitfalls but before you realise them, the numerous unmasked but unidentifiable bandits would have pursued you ‘commot.

As you can see, the city is a strategic location but to get away from those annoying things you experience just walking on the usually unpaved streets or sometimes, market crowded pavements, the people that can get cars, get them. You see, one more car added to traffic goes a long way in Nigeria. For people in Lagos, that might be extra thirty minutes to the one hour of no movement in traffic. You might wonder, why can’t they just ride commercial buses, don’t they have it in Nigeria? Oh, we do, of course, but there are many stories which I won’t write about here. In Lagos, there’s the Dando and Molue slowly becoming a less preferred choice to the BRT. But these BRT buses, a copycat of the London red ones, are only in parts of Lagos, not Nigeria. The cost of transportation is going up because the government can’t seem to arrive at a point: fuel subsidy or not. A fuel price issue in one of the largest oil-producing countries—which is a major addition to its GDP that is one of the highest in Africa, tells a lot. Many critics are coming to say the population is the problem. No population isn’t the problem, not having an optimum population is. It is a population with adequate resources. Now, who are the sharers of resources again?

* Agbero – A labourer that carries heavy load in the market. It is now being used to describe irrational behaviour and touts who become hoodlums during political elections.

‘Commot – This is pidgin. It means to get out.

To be continued…

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Everything you need to know about choosing colours in your design or illustration

This is a detailed post to help you choose the right colours in your design, illustration or art.

Colours are convey certain feelings and message, and it’s important to know this and bring beauty to your art or design.
Hello, welcome to the blog! I am an illustrator and here I post on Lifestyle, Art and Literature. Let’s cut to the chase!

P.S I’m use to the spelling “colour.” I know my American readers spell it “color.”

1. Colour theory: This is the colour wheel, it consists of all the primary, secondary and tertiary colours (the combination of primary and secondary colours). Any other colour is the tinted or toned, or less saturated variation of these colours. In the image below, the primary colours are the three in the middle: blue, red and yellow.

I wrote on colour theory on my blog before, you can visit it after reading this post.It’s digital painting for beginners .

It’s good to familiarise yourself with the various colours in the colour wheel, that you can use in your design or art and not feel you’ve been using the same colours over again. Black and white augment colours and are ‘technically’ not colours.

2. Cool and warm colours: When painting or designing with colours, it’s very important to take note of cool and warm colours. Depending on the feeling you want to convey you can choose either cool or warm colours or a combination of both. Even changing the saturation of a colour can convey a different feeling. Warm colours: red, pink, yellow and orange convey excitement, action or anger. It’s attention-grabbing. Take red chilli pepper for example. In restaurants’ sauce, the spiciest ones always have something like “hot & spicy,” in red. Like it’s telling you, use at YOUR OWN RISK.

Everything you need to know about choosing colours in your design or illustration

Cool colours include blue, green and purple. These colours are calming and convey a feeling of being relaxed, creative or nostalgic. Nevertheless, depending on the saturation/vibrancy it can give off the feeling of sadness, loneliness, fear.
Now we have gone over cool and warm colours. In most eye-pleasing art or design, there is a combination of warm and cool colours, because the viewer’s eyes need a place to relax on the piece. The eyes normally relax on objects painted with cool colours.

3. Saturated colours: colour saturation is the intensity of a colour in an image. It’s vivid and bright. A less saturated colour is one mixed with grey. It is not to be confused by how light or dark a colour is, although a less saturated colour looks pale and not bright.

Everything you need to know about choosing colours in your design or
The left is saturated warm colours, the right is less saturated warm colours. Pink, being a tint of red, is also a warm colour. Less saturated colours look darker than saturated colours which are brighter and vibrant. To reduce the saturation of a colour, mix it with grey.
The left is saturated cool colours and the right is less saturated colours. Cool colours show calm, jolliness. When less saturated, it can convey a different meaning.

In design, the creative can use a saturated colour to draw the attention of the viewer, for example, the “click” button or the “buy” button. Especially when the background colours aren’t as saturated. That does well in drawing the eye of the viewer to the call to action.
For artists, the knowledge of saturated colours is also important. For instance, in painting, the colours further into the horizon are less saturated, as their colours start to blend into the background. Objects closer are painted with more saturated colours. And that helps for a 3D effect on the 2D canvas board.

The ultimate 10 Watercolor tips I wish I knew before

Hello, it’s been a while hasn’t it? If you are new to this blog, Hey! I am Hope, I illustrate and welcome to the blog! Today, I am going to share with you the ten ultimate watercolor (or watercolour 😗) tips I wish I knew before I started out. I illustrate digitally and traditional, here I use more of watercolor paints, and I have gathered some tips and hacks over time that are very helpful. Of course, I’m going to share these tips with you!

1. Get good brushes, watercolor paper and paint

It’s best to invest in good supplies –not over the top, but good tools for painting. Some brushes fray, and it will be annoying to paint with them because those stick outs have the paint and will scatter paint where you don’t want it. For watercolor paper (300gsm) is the ideal. GSM represents the thickness of the paper. If you are just starting out (150gsm, cardboard paper) can be okay. Just don’t expect to be able to do techniques like wet on wet, scratching out paint, as you might reap the paper apart 😬. Also, cheaper paint is mixed with more chalk than pigment and as the price goes higher, it is more pigment (color) mixed into it than chalk. If you are just practicing, you can use the cheaper ones. However, you will still notice how it comes out paler and chalky compared to less cheaper watercolor paints.

2. Do not rush to put your mixed paint on the paper.

Try it out on a paper towel or normal paper before you use it to see if it comes out how you pictured it. I can’t stress this enough! Do not rush to put your mixed paint on the paper.

3. The shade of your yellow and blue determines the green.

You don’t want muddy colours. It will be better to have some visuals to explain my point better. I found a video of this tip on YouTube by Makoccino that adequately explains it.

4. Know your brushes.

know your brushes The ultimate 10 Watercolor tips I wish I knew before

Brushes soak up water and others, not so much. You don’t want puddles in your paintings. Know if your brush absorbs much water so you know how frequently you should deep it in clean water and if you should dry it before making an independent stroke.

5. Your hand posture is important

Your hand positioning needs to come in mind especially when you are starting out with painting, as you practice more, it becomes part of you. The posture of your hand can determine how large or thin a stroke is and how stable your hand is.

6. You can go for larger brushes.

I use a size 7 artist brush even for the little details. It is OK to have those detailing brushes. Still, if you have only a chance to pick one brush, I’ll say go for a medium sized brush. You can make both large and small strokes with that brush by positioning your hands differently. Better too big than too small.

The ultimate 10 Watercolor tips I wish I knew before
This is a size 7 brush

7. Mix in more colour pigments.

When mixing your colours with water or with another colour, use more paint. The more your paint, the more vibrant the art comes out. You can always water the mixed paint down if you want a wash look/technique. Even better, you can leave the excess for next time and just activate the paint with water!

8. Start with the light colours

When painting with watercolors it’s best to start by painting in the lighter colours that will be in your artwork. Using the lighter colours, you are able to cut out shapes and even if you make a mistake, the darker colour will cover it up. Making a mistake with dark colours is quite hard to cover up, except you are using the wet on wet technique where the paint is still cleanable. There are some times when we start with darker colours —that’s, when we have drawn out the shape already with a pencil and we are coloring the dark background, making sure we stick to the lines.

Good news below!

9. Clean your brushes well before painting with another colour.

It’s easy to throw your brush into your cleaning water and bring it out the next second. The problem is some paint can still be in the brush and when you get another paint, it mixes with that pure color. This goes along with number 2.

10. It is okay to sketch out the art before painting.

You might be putting paint directly on paper without sketching because you think that’s how it is meant to be. I felt that way initially. Why some artists just paint on without sketching, it is okay to do a simple loose sketch so you can tell where the shapes go. Most artists do this, and their work comes out great!

For more of these tips, follow me on Instagram @hopeasfro and on Twitter @hopeasfro to see how I apply these tips and hacks! I also post my art on these platforms.

Hello, my coloring pages are HERE! Get these detailed and heartily made colouring designs for less. They are family friendly so kids can join in too. Printable so you can start colouring!

Get 10 pages of fun now click here

My art journey | I talked on my art style and its metamorphosis through out the years.

…More like the past three years.

The other day, I was going through my Instagram feed. You know, I found it again interesting and like an interesting lifestyle magazine, I was flipping (scrolling) over.

I just finished four digital paintings that together make up a series of illustrations that tell one story. In them, I experimented on lighting and a different mood I did before, and they were more realistic than my impressionist style. It was nice to do something different and finally finish up something you had been doing for weeks. However, I don’t think I enjoy spending that much time on one digital art.

Art from last year
Pot belly goons by Hopeasfro

Mood and lighting

Like I wrote earlier, I experimented on mood and lighting. Currently, there has been more of subtle tones, a laid back mood. I don’t know how to describe it but it’s not hard to see the difference. my art style woman of courage
Woman of courage by Hopeasfro. Tap the picture to see the series.

What next?

I want to do more of the editorial book style illustrations. I love those illustrations with grainy shadings and not much saturation —just like the ones in books. I’ve tweeted about it, since, that I want to go into book illustrating. I love telling stories, my artworks have a back story, so it will be good to do a couple of illustrations for authors or even my book.

Neighbours by Hopeasfro

Will I toss out other art styles? The answer is… Nope, of course not. My art style is almost similar to what I described before so I don’t think I’ll have a problem interchanging the two, incorporating simplicity and mood.

Email detox: Clear out and organise your email inbox and emails

This is the time to get your email together! Those messages in inbox you haven’t opened yet need to be checked.

Practical steps to clear out and arrange your email inbox and emails

  1. Check out those promotion emails in your inbox. Sort out ones you might be interested in. Advice, be careful about opening links with addresses you aren’t familiar with. Open the email and if it contains links to purchase sites verify first online from the business’ website. You need to make sure it is legitimate.
  2. For newsletters you didn’t subscribe to, unsubscribe to them if you are not interested. Organise your emails into promotions, updates, social or forums. This is helpful when you receive lots of emails and you want to prioritise ones and open them first.
  3. Read unread messages and star the ones that are important.

The story of this art

Lampshack got the things together; the blanket, the large woven basket, the stove. They were going to fly. He saw it for the first time, when he got to watch the television.

“What is that up there!”

“An air balloon”

“Are there people inside?”



Even though Tito’s air balloon gave way in the sky, and the fun had to end.
He was glad. Who would have thought he could fly an aircraft?

How to import psd files to autodesk sketchbook

Things like mockups or unfinished artwork come in psd format, because of the layers. With psd format, you can transfer a file with its layers still intact and that allows you work on each individual one later on.

I got some mock ups for a book cover I designed, they were on Pinterest and they looked lovely so I downloaded them. Sadly, I couldn’t use them after I finished downloading the bulk. The file wouldn’t open when I shared it to the autodesk app. I eventually deleted all but one. Recently, I found how I could share this psd file to autodesk sketchbook, with the layers still intact. It’s quite a simple way, which I did by accident lol.

Instead of clicking on the file from your device’s file organizer, and sharing it to the app directly, go to the app instead.
Open autodesk sketchbook. You are given the option to open new sketch, new from image, new from camera , scan sketch. Pick ‘new from image’ and choose the psd file you want. Make sure you know where you saved the file. Once you click on the file, it appears on your autodesk canvases, with its layers intact.

Then I just import the image of a part of the book cover to the part of the mock up I’m working on. Say, if it is front cover, I import the front cover I made, and use the adjusters at the top of the screen, to pull on edges and get the right perspective.

This is a mockup psd file I downloaded. The layers are in tact.
The adjustment tool after importing an image, can be used to put it in the right angle.

Unlike apps like canva, i can’t edit the layer itself. Perhaps the good thing here is that the background, the woman holding up the book and outline of the book can be used in representing your design. The outline can be a guide.

Peanut butter chocolate oats cookies — Food is art

I made some really delicious cookies and I want to share. Baking and working with chocolate is something I like doing.

Here’s how to make peanut butter chocolate oat cookies


1. Cocoa powder
2. All purpose flour
3. Baking soda
4. Almond milk (it gives the cookies a nice taste)
5. Peanut butter
6. 1 large egg
7. Sugar
8. Oats


1. In a large bowl, add 3 cooking spoons all purpose flour and 2½ cooking spoons of cocoa powder, 2 cooking spoons of sugar and 1 table spoon of baking soda.

2. In another bowl, whisk the egg, peanut butter and almond milk. Just enough almond milk. Your dough should be thick.. Not too thick.

3. Add the whisked egg, peanut butter and almond milk into the flour and cocoa mix.

4. Add the oats (any amount you want)

5. Mix them together with a spatula or cooking spoon and leave to set for 25 minutes. Lets all the ingredients get in there.

6. Get your oven tray and coat it with butter and place parchment paper on it. Parchment paper will prevent your cookies from sticking to the tray.

7. Scoop and arrange your cookies on the tray.

8. Preheat the oven at 250°

9. Then oven for about 10 minutes. This is if you want your cookies to be chewy.

Coat them with chocolate syrup for extra flavour.

My Art Prints store is live!

Yes it is, my store is now live. I have been planning this for a long while. I have had some enquiries about selling my art and finally it’s here! Digital download art prints are here and they are ready to find a new home Learn more about digital downloadable art prints.

Available are my art prints of my original watercolor, acrylic paintings.

Hopeasfro online art prints store

Link to my store Here

My art is specifically tailored for people looking for vivid and astounding art for their homes, living space or little corner for an affordable price.

One thing I love about the art made is their openness. I work with the principle hope and this can be easily seen. They are enthralling, distinctive and Invoke optimism.

Draw your visitors with these eye-catching prints. Shop Now!

Scarlet Macaw art print hopeasfro