hello lovely :)

Go Radiate is Melissa Doran

A handsome fox having a little stroll in the summer sun, painted and animated in Animate CC.

Naturama and My Naturama Nature Journal out now

Naturama and My Naturama Nature Journal
A dream project for me as a life long nature lover, Naturama and My Naturama Nature Journal were a joy to illustrate. I got to work on researching and drawing Irish wildlife throughout the seasons and I’m so happy with the result. The books were co created with the writer Michael Fewer and published by  Gill Books. Naturama came out first and is a beautiful introduction to Irish wildlife, regardless of whether you live in the countryside or in the city, there’s lots of things to learn about and get you started as a nature enthusiast. It was so cool to see it become a number one bestseller and meet loads of wonderful children who were loving the book! My Naturama Nature Journal has projects for children to do outside and field guide notes sections to write and draw in. It gets everyone outside turning rocks upside down looking for worms :) Click here for all the latest Naturama related news….

Workshops in The Dock, Leitrim

I’m delighted to be on the artist panel to deliver a variety of art workshops for 2018 in The Dock arts centre in Leitrim.

My next one will be all about making Fast and Slow Portraits, in celebration of National Drawing Day on Saturday May 19th. I will help you experiment with different techniques and materials to create self portraits, and portraits of whoever comes in with you (so bring your friends!). You don’t have to have any experience, it’s just a great chance to have some fun with drawing :)

Drop in between 11am and 2pm to take part, no booking required and it’s totally free. If you aren’t in Leitrim this weekend there’s lots of other free events around the country for National Drawing Day and you can find out about them here.

There will also be workshops led by artists Wayne O Conner and Jessica Kelly so lots of fun to be had.

About ME

Portrait by Firechild Photograpy

I became an illustrator because I wanted to be able to spread love and happiness through my work. I’m now studying animation for the year and almost finished so I’m looking forward to working with an animation company, making bigger projects and collaborating!
I facilitate a variety of art workshops for children but they all centre around cultivating a love of nature. Some examples of past workshops include nature journalling, nature printing, wildflower sketch walks and making nature mobiles.
In my own art practice I love having a hand drawn feel to my work. I teach a digital illustration workshop and am skilled with creating work digitally, but I always like the idea of making the computer side of things invisible – using it to enhance my drawings but letting the end result feel hand made.
My undergraduate degree is in Architecture (B.Sc from UCD) and I have a Masters in Digital Media Technology (DIT). I am also an Adobe Certified Expert in Illustrator.

Watch me on TV talking about Naturama (2016) and how I draw. If you can’t see it on youtube, watch it here on Facebook..

Pocket Portraits

I ran a little event as part of my time at FROST Fumbally before the Christmas and invited the public to visit the shop and get a free portrait. I drew just under 70 portraits over a couple of days, here is a selection..with more here.

Benson Street Hoarding Illustration for Dublin City Council

A post shared by Melissa Doran (@goradiate) on

If you take a walk down Benson Street in Dublin 2 you will see a very colourful little area amongst all the dust of the nearby building sites!  I was commissioned by Dublin City Council to design a  55 metre long illustration on a hoarding around the building site for a new park. The drawing moves through the four seasons and is packed full of native flora and fauna, and features some local landmarks too. Here is a timelapse of me drawing one of the foxes from it (press play in the fox image), and below is a simple animation I made to show you the full thing…plus more photos here….

For this project, I did most of the drawing by hand in my notebook, then scanned it in and worked it up in Illustrator.  I collaged hand coloured work with vectorised, digitally coloured elements. I collaborated with the printer to have everything perfect so they could make a series of panels to fit with the perimeter of the site, taking into account the corner elements and the slight slope. Once printed, the site contractors took care of the rest and installed it over a day. (Luckily I didn’t have to be out in the cold painting it!).

Let me know if you go see it!  


Need to learn how to draw digitally? Or simply want to make the most of your hand-drawn work using Illustrator? Check out my Digital Illustration Workshop

Digital Illustration workshop in Fumbally Exchange, Dublin, book here. Next workshop: June 23rd/24th 2018. Develop your digital illustration skills over one fun weekend using Illustrator in Dublin. Learn how to draw digitally and and bring your artwork to a whole new level. 11 CPD point for Architects. I am an Adobe Certified Expert with 5 years teaching experience and my classes are just great!
The two days are jam packed and very hands on but I create a very relaxed atmosphere and give lots of encouragement and one to one help. I focus on ways to incorporate hand drawn work so you can bring in your existing skills.
There is a maximum of 5 participants so everyone gets lots of attention.

Find out more here.


I’ve started a new series of paintings in Photoshop based on scenes with gorgeous locations from films. Follow along with me on Instagram and tell me what your favourite scenes are, I’m open to suggestions! :)

Scene from Bladerunner 2049

Scene from the movie Murder On The Orient Express

Scene from Murder on The Orient Express

Norway landscape from Downsizing

Giant Dandelion seedheads from the movie Downsizing

View full portfolio here…

Check out my portfolio....

Get the latest from the blog....

Pocket Portraits at Frost Fumbally

  I had a brainwave to draw everyone who came into visit me at FROST Fumbally. A thought ran through my head...
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FROST, Christmas pop up shop at Fumbally Exchange

I was delighted to be part of a beautiful Christmas pop up shop at Fumbally Exchange (5 Dame Lane, Dublin 2). A...
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No Fixed Abode Exhibition at the Copper House Gallery

The Copper House Gallery ran a group exhibition called “No Fixed Abode” for two months at the end of...
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Green Door Festival 2017

I love Leitrim! I’m from Leitrim and hope to live there again some day so I love to see cool events popping...
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Culture Night 2017 at Bí Urban

  Culture Night is one of my favourite nights of the year and this year I was so happy to be invited to join...
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Nature Drawing Walks for Carlow Garden Festival

Carlow Garden Festival has been running for about 15 years now and each year it’s getting bigger and better! The...
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Connemara Summer School

I had a wonderful week this July at the Connemara Summer School on Inisbofin island, off the coast of County Galway...
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Naturama Exhibition at Bí Urban, Stoneybatter, Dublin

I first met Kaethe Burt O’Dea from Bí Urban (pronounced “Bee” Urban) the night of m...
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Talk & Workshop at Body & Soul Music Festival

This year I went to Body & Soul for art, not music! I gave a talk on the Sunday about my work and how...
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Rathmines Garden Trail 2017

Rathmines is a village close to Dublin city centre, and anyone over 40 who went to college in Dublin tells me that...
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Sketch Walk Workshop at Bloom Fringe

Bloom Fringe is a festival run in parallel with Bloom In The Park and encourages biodiversity and sustainability in...
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Naturama exhibition at Íontas Arts Centre

Naturama exhibition at Íontas Arts Centre, Castleblayney, Monaghan, March 31st – May 25th 2017 I had a solo...
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