House Plants

yellow and pink orchid

Yellow and pink orchid

Hi there, how are you?

This week I have been drawing house plants.

Two of our orchids are currently flowering, the white one (I’ve drawn this one before) and a newer yellow and pink one.

I received the yellow and pink one last summer for our wedding anniversary, full of beautiful flowers. The flowers all dropped and the plant was placed in the bathroom window sill (kitchen window sill is full!) last week it started to flower with not one but two flower stalks, how luck are we?

I think it really likes the bathroom, must be all the steam.

I drew it a few times, this is the only one I like. Maybe I’ll have another try using colour.

The white Edding marker I used for the petals is having a moment, I liked the effect though so I carried on making the pen strokes in the direction of the petals.

This is the white orchid. I liked the scratchy marks the white marker made and used the same technique here.

white orchid flowers

White orchid flowers

Our cyclamen has been flowering since Christmas and now the flowers are almost gone. I thought I would draw the last few flowers before it is just a little pot of leaves again.

I had to move this onto a sunnier window sill because it became very stalky and the leaves are very small. Hopefully the extra sunshine will give the leaves a little boost. I can move it back when there are brighter daylight hours.



At the supermarket this week I bought a new plant, not that I have much room left to put it but it was so pretty.

It’s a Christmas rose, probably left over from Christmas. It had one flower and a few small buds, I thought it would be fun to draw; and it was.

As with all of these drawings I used a pentel brush pen, a grey brush pen and a white gel pen plus the scratchy white marker.

When it’s finished flowering I can put it out into the garden and take its chances with the usual pests hehehe.

christmas rose

Christmas rose

Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by. Till next time, have fun x

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Koda The Red Panda

3 monotone panda  sketches

3 monotone panda sketches

Hi there, how are you?

This is Koda, he’s a red panda living at the zoo.

We haven’t been to the zoo in so long; on the day we had planned to go in January Boris locked the country down so no visits for us *sad face*. Happily the zoo have posted youtube “zoo days” videos of some animals.

I watched this one about red pandas. We’ve seen the pandas occasionally on previous visits, rarely they walk about their enclosure, mostly they are little balls of orange fluff high up in the tree tops snoozing. Red pandas do like a good snooze.

I thought it would be interesting to sketch koda as I watched.

These pandas are painted with watercolour and gouache. The colours aren’t quite right, i couldn’t meke the blue dark enough, the pink paper effects the colour (top right corner) and gouache is still a struggle but I do like the poses.

watercolour red panda sketches

Watercolour red panda sketches

Then I stopped fighting the paper, I used grey fountain pen ink in a brush pen and a black brush pen. For the white I used an acrylic white pen with a gel pen for the whiskers. I was starting to get an idea of the shapes by this time.

2 monotone panda  sketches

2 monotone panda sketches

Just for fun I found two pink brush pens, one slightly darker than the other and drew a few pink pandas. Pink on pink worked a lot better than I thought it would, a good experiment.

pink ink red panda sketches

Pink ink red panda sketches

I drew these pandas one or two a day, just load the video and draw along with the bits I was interested in I drew him in various positions and occasionally I slowed it down or stopped it to catch up.

It was lots fun and I learned something too from the lovely talk the zoo keeper gave in the video.

Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by. Till next time, have fun x

Foxes For A Birthday Card

practice fox watercolour

Practice fox watercolour

Hi there, how are you?

I have a birthday card to make; I decided to paint a fox. Most people like foxes and I think she will too.

It’s quite a while since I’ve drawn any foxes so first step to find some images and have a practice.

After a few ropey pencil drawings (not shown) I did the thumbnail exercise from last week thinking maybe it would generate some ideas.

I just made some splots of ink with a brush pen then tried to find the foxy shapes. They are tiny, less than an inch, It worked better than I thought it would.

fox thumbnails

Fox thumbnails

Next to find a position for foxy. There are three on this page that I liked The singing fox was favourite here.

fox gouache sketches

Fox gouache sketches

The next page has some smaller poses, I picked the one in the bottom left I thought it was cute and I’d had an idea how to use it.

smaller fox gouache sketches

Smaller fox gouache sketches

First try. (top of the post)I like most of this, its a bit sparse and the birdies didn’t work very well and the I wanted to change the colours.

Below is the finished card. I lightened the background colour (I used sparkly mica paint for the sky, it doesn’t show up.) and used a darker colour for the fox. I also switched up the birdies (I like them more now) and added a mountain and twiggy tree.

To make the card I cut a round aperture in the front and glued the painting behind, it’s not mounted but it does look a bit more finished.

finished fox card

Finished fox card

There are things I like and dislike about both of them, perfectionism is not always a good thing.

Now all I have to do is find some way of delivering it, it may be a knock and run birthday this year hehehe.

Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by. Till next time, have fun x

NB: I missed a day. Working from home, the week and week-ends all run into each other. Maybe my brain is finally dribbling out of my ears eeep!

New Year Crows

class crow studies

Class crow studies

Hi everyone happy 2021.

I was a little stuck as to what to draw this week,then I saw that David Coleman had a new class up and it was early bird half price so I decided to give it a try. He’s an illustrator and character designer for companies like Disney

It’s called animal character design and it shows the process he goes through to make new characters with animals; I’m finding it quite interesting.

To be honest most of my animals seem to find their own characters but I have no idea how to do it on purpose.

The class includes tigers, gorillas foxes and crows. It doesn’t show how to draw things though, just how he makes characters out of the animals he draws.

It got me out of a rut any way; as soon as I saw him drawing crows I was away. Drawing crows makes me happy.

I used the class reference photos for the first page (above). They’re pencilled in to get the shape then filled in with my trusty brush pen, brushed over with grey ink to add a little colour (it’s quite subtle) and highlighted with a gell pen.

This paper is giving some nice dry brush marks.

Next I drew some internet crows, same way as the crows above.

internet crow studies

Internet crow studies

The next page is drawn from photos I have taken over the years. I like to draw things in different positions as it helps me to understand things better.

crow studies from my photos

Crow studies from my photos

David also shows how he makes tiny thumbnail drawings from random shapes to find new or interesting poses. I just made bird shapes with grey ink and used a fine liner over the top to bring out the details. They are all about 2” in size.

crow thumbnail drawings

Crow thumbnail drawings

They are a bit scruffy but I like the idea and I enjoyed drawing them.

Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by. Till next time, have fun x

Happy new year 2021

my favourite nine 2020

My favourite nine 2020

Hi there, how are you?

Last post of the year I thought I would show my favourite nine of the year.

Towards the end of the year people on instagram show their best nine. It’s compiled from your own most liked images on the platform and its always nice to see what people like.

I also like to find my own favourites for fun, it’s also a nice review of the year. (see above)

Looking back over the year, I drew a lot of flowers. Sitting in the garden was a thing, poppies and fuchsias were the favourites.

I like the way the Inktober’s worked out this year. They generated lot of ideas and the colour of the inks sit really nicely together.

I used a lot of toned paper in blue and pink sketchbooks, it effects the way I think, and the materials I use so it was a very interesting exercise.

The images picked by the best nine website were all from the beginning of the year, I think there was an algorithm change somewhere after these and nothing else reached these giddy heights hehehe.

top nine 2020

Top nine 2020

Interesting to see the walrus pattern in there and my dabbling with collage guinea fowl

Well we did it folks, 2020 is over and we got to the end of the year, phew!

I want to think next year will be better, happier but I think we still have more to work through before we see the light at the end of the tunnel.

For the next few months of the coming year I will mostly be sitting in my house staying safe; just like I have since march last year.

Happy New Year everyone I hope you’ll be happy, healthy and who knows maybe we’ll be together enjoying the company of family and friends.

Thanks so much for being here, your likes, visits and uplifting comments have been so encouraging and I appreciate you following along with my little artistic journey.

Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by. Till next time, have fun x

Painting Rose Hips With Watercolour

watercolour rose hips

Watercolour rose hips

It’s the week before the day. Hi there, how are you?

I’ve spent the week running around buying last minute gifts (responsibly masked and distanced) wrapping said gifts and oh, suddenly we need new cushion covers. What? They all kind of fell apart just like that?

Boris just cancelled Christmas so there’s nowhere to buy fabrics so after poking around in the cupboards I found something useful and recovered four cushion pads and made four cushion covers. Thank goodness for old curtains eh.

Whilst tidying up I found a watercolour sketch book and flicked through to check whether I had finished all the pages. It was and on the last page were two rather uninspiring watercolours of rose hips. I remembered at the time really disliking them, closing the book and thinking “no need to ever look at those a gain.”

loose watercolour rose hips

Loose watercolour rose hips

I was trying loose and negative painting but it all ended up being wishy washy and samey.

So yes I looked again and surprisingly they didn’t look as bad as I thought.

I did have a little titivate, touched up some places and darkened the colour in others, and now I think they’re not great but OK. Some improvement at least.

It’s the only arting I’ve managed this week so something to be thankful for.

Happy Christmas, seasons greetings, happy holidays and best wishes to everyone.

I wish you all peace, love, joy and every thing you wish for yourself.

Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by. Till next time, have fun x

Northern Bald Ibis

olivia mary & kate ibis chilling

Olivia Mary & Kate chilling

Hi there, how are you?

These birds are called northern bald ibis, they are very strange looking birds. At first glance they all look like they are wearing little masks but no, unlike other birds they have no feathers on their heads and faces.

Long black feathers grow from the back of the head and fan out around the head fluttering in the breeze.

The rest of the feathers are black too although when the sun shines the feathers flash green blue or purple depending on the angle at which they are sitting.

Brynn the look-out

Brynn the look-out

These ibis live at the zoo. Of course we haven’t been to the zoo for ages but I have a few photos taken previously so I’m using them as reference.

miriam the peeved ibis

Miriam the peeved ibis

Ibis spend most of the day high on the rocks at the back of the enclosure; there is a bridge next to the enclosure and it is just in line with the top of the rocks. It’s nice to stand on the bridge watching them communing with each other they really are are quite comical.

I don’t mean to draw in a cartoony way but that seems to be the style in which I draw and after looking at the drawings for a while the birds all seemed to have their own little personalities so I gave them names.

Abigail the ibis

Abigail the ibis

After a few quick lines in pencil they were drawn with a brush pen filled with grey ink, the details filled in with a black pentel brush pen.

The zoo is open at the moment; winter hours are short and a visit needs to be booked for track and trace plus spaces are limited. Hopefully next year we’ll be able to visit more.

Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by. Till next time, have fun x

Sketching Rose Hips

dog rose hip painted with  gouache

Dog rose hip painted with gouache

Hi there, how are you?

The daily walks are getting colder now and we have to wrap up warm.

The wild flowers are finished but there are still one or two rose hips scattered along the hedgerows.

I went out with a camera and sketchbook to take notes and a few photos that could be used as drawing models this week.

Once home I started sketching with a fine liner, practising my hatching and trying to work out where to put the shadows.

The paper is thin so occasionally things drawn on the other side show through.

These are “Rosa rugosa” they have big round, bright red hips. The plants are shrubby, very prickly and about two or three feet high. The birds love them and have almost eaten all of them now.

Rosa rugosa hip sketched in fine liner

Rosa rugosa hip sketched in fine liner

These are dog rose hips, the type usually found in the hedge row. They’re much smaller and oval in shape; the plants are thorny like a garden rose and they climb up through the vegetation.

They are starting to dry and shrivel forming some very interesting shapes. I’ve tried to draw in some of the little dints and wrinkles.

dog rose hip sketched in fine liner.

Dog rose hip sketched in fine liner.

Now for some colour. I painted these in gouache, it’s more opaque than watercolour and I thought it would show up better.

I had a little trouble with the green, too bright or too dark, I think its fighting with the colour of the paper but on the whole I think it’s OK.

dog rose hips painted with  gouache

dog rose hips painted with gouache

Both types of rose hips are edible although some people prefer the smaller dog rose hips, saying they have more flavour. Personally I don’t taste much difference, I chop them all up and mix them all together to make jelly or rose hip syrup.

Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by. Till next time, have fun x