Whimsical Watercolors by Jill Delavan

I've long been drawn to watercolor paintings and pretty lettering, so it's no surprise that I immediately followed artist and designer Jill Delavan on Instagram (@jilldelavanatelier) after coming across her oh so appealing photos. In addition to posting beautiful items she was creating for her wedding - more about that in a moment - I noticed a variety of adorable dog portraits.

Watercolor Alphabet Dog Poster-size Print

I learned that Jill was in the midst of painting a dog for each letter of the alphabet and planned to release a poster-sized print early in the new year. The time has come and look how special it is, perfect for a baby's nursery or child's room! Imagine the happy moments a little one would spend studying each friendly pup, all the while learning letters and breeds the way so many kidlets become dinosaur experts.

four watercolor dogs

The quality is superb as it is printed on 120# Mohawk Superfine Eggshell Ultrawhite matte paper. You'll find it listed in Jill's online shop along with a range of smaller, but equally delightful prints. I was interested in learning about Jill's art journey, so wrote to ask if she would like to participate in my artist interview series... she agreed, so enjoy getting to know her:

watercolor galloping zebras

Tell us about yourself... is being an artist your full-time career or are you happiest creating art part-time?

I have been a full-time textile designer in the fashion/home industries for the past 11 years. My illustration is something that I would love to be able to pursue full-time eventually. I started my small studio because I have always had a love of paper products and was generally feeling unfulfilled by my full-time job. I never thought I would want to be a fine artist, but now that's all I can envision for my future.

shop is open sign with calligraphy pen and ink bottle

Do you have a formal art education or do you come by designing and painting naturally?

I have a Bachelor's Degree in Fine Art with a concentration in Graphic Design from Florida State and a Master's Degree in Textiles from NCSU. I've always been a very creative person and I love both the digital and fine art aspect of my work. Growing up, I had buckets and buckets full of crayons, markers, paints and chalk.

Kate Spade-inspired floral watercolor

Have you always loved painting and particularly, painting with watercolor?

I actually took oil painting courses in college, but never really took to it. I only recently (within the past 5 years) took a basic watercolor class and fell in love. Most of my learning with the medium has just come from practice, patience and research on the right materials. I also study a lot of other artists' paintings.

watercolor bulldog

What are your plans for your shop?

I'm so excited to have just opened my online shop! My intentions are only to sell a few items, but mainly take on custom illustration work. I plan on adding a couple of stationery sets and wrapping paper plus original paintings. I am also working on a few pre-designed card deck ideas, similar to the ones I made for my wedding. In the future, I would love to have a wallpaper line.

hand painted wedding stationery

Your shop listings are printed on beautiful papers... how did you select the ones you did and where did you learn about various papers?

A lot of research and sample collecting! I have a natural instinct towards choosing quality papers and supplies, and I'm also a perfectionist. I want my work to be shown in the best light possible. Using luxe papers allows my brand to have an elevated feel to attract the types of clients I would like to work with in the future.

watercolor wedding favor playing cards

I know you do beautiful lettering and created special art for your wedding invitations, save the date cards, place and menu cards, personalized playing card favors, thank you notes and more. Would you like to do similar work for other couples?

Yes! I would love to be able to take on a limited number of fully custom invitations.

hand painted wedding place cards

You've painted many animals and I'm guessing you're especially fond of dogs... do you have pets?

I love animals and grew up with all different breeds of dogs! I love being able to capture their whimsical personalities. I can be inspired by so many different things and most times ideas will pop into my head mid-day, or I can just be walking down the street and see something that catches my eye. I'm an insane list maker! I have so many ideas that I have to only pursue the ones that I'm most excited about since I am currently only able to focus on this part-time. Unfortunately, living in a high rise apartment in New York City isn't conducive to having a dog at the moment, but definitely in the future!

watercolor Scottish Terrier

Who are your favorite artists, living or past, and is there an Instagram feed that wows you?

Past: I love the whimsical illustrations of Ludwig Bemelman, best known for the Madeline book series.

Present: I have been admiring Caitlin McGauley's work for so long. We have a similar illustration style and professional work background that I've learned through reading some of her interviews and I am truly in awe of the career she has crafted for herself. I can only hope to be as successful!

Custom floral and Nutcracker watercolor holiday cards with bride and groom portrait

And now a U.S. giveaway!

Enter to win an Alphabet Dog Print (20" x 29") by posting a comment below now through Saturday, January 19, 2019. Note that Blogger does not allow me to see the email address you type into the comment form with your name, so you must include an email address within your comment to be contacted if you win. If spam is a concern, type your address like this: janedoe at gmail dot com

The same giveaway is underway on the All Things Paper Instagram feed - enter there too to double your chances. One winner with a U.S. mailing address will be chosen at random from combined blog and IG entries and announced at the bottom of this post.

watercolor bear

Say hi to Jill at Jill Delavan and follow her on Instagram and Pinterest.

Congratulations to Patti, winner of the Alphabet Dog Print!

Wedding photography by The Happy Bloom
Post sponsored by Jill Delavan Atelier

Ann Martin
Ann Martin

This is a short biography of the post author and you can replace it with your own biography.


  1. This print is too cute – would love to win one for my friend’s nursery! ��

    Candace.cage at gmail dot com

  2. Thanks for introducing me to a few new artists to explore and a new shop to "favorite"! The dog alphabet is pretty grand! I have a friend who has a dog walking/daycare company and she would love this poster, so if I get picked, I'm gifting it to her. I'm at gmail, too; starts with writetopatti. Thank you.

  3. I volunteer for a dog rescue -- this would be perfect as a doorprize at one of our fundraisers!
    digicats {at} sbcglobal {dot} net

  4. I recently saw Jill's work on the Jekyll Island website on the playing cards. Too cute! I would love to win this piece of her work. knaas1228 at aol dot com.

  5. Love that dog alphabet! Not just for kids and babies! Thanks for the chance to win this beautiful poster. shirlsew@yahoo.com


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