Valentines Lovebirds

Lovebirds sketch

Lovebirds sketch

Hi there, how are you?

Last week we had Valentines Day and I wanted to make the other half a card.

I thought to myself lovebirds are really sweet so I looked at a few pictures on the internet and sketched some out in my sketchbook I liked the way they turned out.

I used a pentel brush pen for the line work. After swatching a few colours out and deciding which to use, I  splashed a little watercolour over them.

Quinacridone yellow (W&N)
New Gamboge (W&N)
Red (old student no name?)
Hookers green (old student no name?)
Burnt umber (old student no name?)

The colours I used were from my homemade sketch tin, this is the one I take everywhere and most of the paints in it are old student no name paints. They work just fine in my sketchbook, the paint slides around just the same whether it is artists or student grade and it doesn’t need to be light fast, the only time they see daylight is when I paint in the book or flick through it from time to time.

As I use the paints up I am gradually replacing them with artist’s grade paints though.

homemade paint palette

Homemade paint palette

To transfer from the sketchbook to the watercolour paper I borrowed the daughters light box. I have to say it’s much faster than using tracing paper and scribbling on the back with a soft pencil (the usual way I transfer drawings.) it also saves me from damaging the paper rubbing out stray pencil marks.

Lovebirds watercolour painting

Lovebirds watercolour painting

I used exactly the same colours for both but you can see looking at both pictures the paint reacts very differently on each type of paper even though they were painted in exactly the same way.

Love and hugs to every one.
Thanks for stopping by today. Till next time, have fun x



Sketching Chickens In The Kitchen Garden

henrietta 1

A sketch of Henrietta chicken

Hi there, how are you?

Last week we visited the local botanical gardens. They have so many lovely walks there and even in the middle of winter we find things to look at.

This time we walked past the chicken run, its part of the gardens called a pottager garden (French term for an ornamental vegetable or kitchen garden.)

There are about a dozen chickens scratching around, we decided to sit and draw them (insert scrappy sketches).

rough chicken sketches

I had drawn the chickens with graphite which doesn’t show up on my scanner but I found a pink pen while tidying up and decided to pick out the chickens I liked best with it.

I have several pages just like this one; I think you get the general idea though. Not amazing art work I admit, it just gives me an idea of the shapes and poses.

I really wanted some photo’s but I only had my ipod with me so we waited till they came close to the edge of the enclosure and snapped a few photos. One of the chickens Henrietta (not her real name) came right up to us (she was ready for her close up). The pictures came out surprisingly well.

henrietta chicken photo

The beautiful Henrietta (please excuse the fence)

Later at home I drew some sketches of Henrietta in my sketchbook. I used Payne’s Grey for the feathers but thought they were a little too blue, so I painted another layer mixing a little black into the Payne’s Grey. I didn’t want to dull the colour, just darken it a bit.


A different view of Henrietta.

I’m not sure what it is about chickens, I love watching the scratch around and bustle about.

Thanks for stopping by today. Till next time, have fun x

This Month It’s Squirels

red squirrel sketch 1

Red squirrel sketch 1

Hi there, how are you?

1st of February is the day #pinchpunchpost happens on twitter, it’s a monthly challenge. They tell us at the beginning of the month what the theme will be and you get a month to draw/paint/art something on that theme. This month was squirrels.

red squrrel sketch 2

Red squirrel sketch 2

I could have spent the whole month just drawing squirrels but normally I do mine in the last week (if I remember).

grey squirrel sketch

Grey squirrel sketch

grey squirrel look-out sketch

Grey squirrel look-out sketch

The grey squirrels were drawn from photos I had taken in the local park, red squirrels are pretty scarce, they don’t live in our area (the grey squirrels, not indigenous to these shores have pushed them to the outskirts) so they were drawn from internet pictures.

squirrel peeping sketch

Squirrel peeping sketch

They were all pencilled out lightly, coloured with watercolour then lined with a pentel brush pen.

I couldn’t decide between red or grey so drew both and picked out the ones I liked best.
Next months challenge is zebra, which should be interesting!

Thanks for stopping by today. Till next time, have fun x

Drawing Songbirds At The Zoo

timor sparrow sketch

Timor sparrow sketch

Hi there, how are you?

This year we wanted to draw more animals so we have bought zoo passes again. It’s still cold outside so in weather like this we like to go into the houses and see any of the tropical birds and animals. They keep it toasty warm in there.

In one such house we came across some tiny songbirds, so books and pencils out, we drew birds. Birds don’t like people, particularly the ones that stand and stare at them for ages; they get nervous and fly around.

If you look at the picture above and think Oooh…., well, that’s not the level of drawing I can do from living beings.

The kinds of things I draw at the zoo are tatty little things like the picture below. If you look carefully all of the information is there, I jot down little notes to remind me of the colours or any other distinguishing marks, their names and if possible I draw them from different angles.

bird reserch sketches drawn at the zoo

Bird research sketches drawn at the zoo.

Once home I decided to do a little home work and look up the birds I had drawn to try and do a better job of capturing a likeness. I’m hoping this will help me, 1) learn to draw and 2) fix in my brain how they really look so next time I go out drawing birds (or anything else for that matter.) I will have a better understanding of how they are put together.

zebra finch sketch

Zebra finch sketch

I haven’t looked up the superior fruit dove (what a name) yet, I didn’t have time to write down any notes on colours etc so I’ll go back next time and have another look. I could just find photo’s on the internet but I’ll probably learn more and get a better idea of the real colours by checking for myself. We have passes so we can go back every day if we want, we probably won’t, but we could hehehe.

If anybody has any useful tips for drawing live animals I would be very interested.

Thanks for stopping by today. Till next time, have fun x

Learning To Paint Landscapes Continued…

landscape value studies 1

Landscape value studies 1

Hi there, how are you?

I have been carrying on from last week learning to paint landscapes.
The guy on the course says we’re supposed to paint outside from life but It’s still cold and wet so I’m still painting from photo’s.

I don’t have too many decent pictures of landscapes so I had a look on google maps (street view) and took a few screen shots. These are all views from North Wales. There’s so much beautiful scenery in Wales it’s hard to choose where to start.

landscape value studies 2

Landscape value studies 2

I wasn’t too happy with the first two; I think I painted them a little small but I’m quite pleased with the last three even if they still look a bit clumsy in places.

The next class uses a limited palette of colours so that should be interesting.

Thanks for stopping by today. Till next time, have fun x

Learning To Paint Landscapes

value study pg.1

value study pg.1 in gauche

Hi there, how are you?

This week I have been attempting to paint landscapes. I’m using a Schoolism course, they’re an on-line course mainly teaching drawing and digital art but they have a few traditional courses too. DD was doing the character design course and when she spotted a watercolour & gauche for landscapes, thought I might like to give it a go.

So I am, having a go that is. The teacher is Nathan Fowkes, a concept artist from the animation business, this guy knows his stuff.

We are supposed to use toned paper, and gauche with flat brushes. I hadn’t used any of these things before so it’s a steep learning curve.

Shopping trip to Hobby Craft (the only thing resembling an art store round here) the toned sketch pads weren’t cheap but as we looked around we saw small 8” square photo albums filled with craft paper for just £3, so we bought one. I already have flat brushes I just hadn’t used them. I do also have a set of reeves gauche paints but found they aren’t opaque enough so bought a tube of Windsor & Newton white.

value study pg.2 in gauche

value study pg.2 in gauche

The first exercises we are to only use white gauche and black watercolour, we are supposed to use paintings and work out the values.
I didn’t have the forethought to write down the original artists for the first page sorry; the second page’s original artist is Mark R Hanson. They are only used as studies.

Some of these worked out better than others, not knowing how to use the tools means everything takes that much longer to work out.

value study pg.3 in gauche

value study pg.3 in gauche

Next we are supposed to go outside and paint value studies. It’s cold outside so I will leave that till I can find a warm place to do it from. Instead I have been using any photos I could find with anything landscapy in them.

What have I learned so far you may ask?

1 take better pictures!
2 gauche is not easy to use and can very quickly turn to mud
3 I need an awful lot more practice.

I could carry on through the course and start using colour but I think the values are going to turn out quite important. I will probably do a few more pages in black and white (or grey mud) to see if I can get the hang of it.

Thanks for stopping by today. Till next time, have fun x

Sketching Jellyfish

jellyfish draw with a fountain pen

Jellyfish draw with a fountain pen.

Hi there, how are you?
I have been thinking about jellyfish, I’m not sure why I find them so fascinating at the moment but they’re in my head so I’ve drawn them in my sketchbook.

Above are some jellyfish I drew with a preppy fountain pen, it still has Quink ink inside so I’ve brushed the lines out with a water brush (not that is shows up). It’s a bit scrappy but I was just trying to get the idea of how they’re put together.

pink and blue jellyfish sketch

Pink and blue jellyfish sketch.

one blue jellyfish sketch

Blue jellyfish sketch.

long jellyfish sketch

Long jellyfish sketch the blue one was outlined with a brush pen.

It’s hard when you look at them to see where one part ends and the next part begins.

I’ve tried to let lots of paper show through to make them appear transparent. They’re all drawn with pencil and coloured with watercolour. The blue one was outlined with a pentel brush pen because i didn’t like the way it turned out.

I think I need to practise drawing lots frilly things so I can do a better job of the arms (Is that what they’re called?)

Thanks for stopping by today. Till next time, have fun x


Pandas Into The New Year

Hi there and Happy New Year!
I’m writing this as the last post of the year but it will probably go out as the first post of next year.

chinese panda sketch book 2

Chinese panda from my sketch book 2

I’ve been sketching pandas; this month pinch punch post’s theme is pandas. (It’s a small twitter challenge on the first day of each month.) I don’t always do pinch punch post, sometimes I forget but since I remembered and I like pandas so I thought I’d give it a go.

chinese panda from my sketch book 1

Chinese panda from my sketch book 1

I started off doing Chinese pandas, the ordinary black and white ones. I did’t think black watercolour was dark enough for these little guys so I used my pentel brush pen. I actually ran the pen out drawing these and had to fill it up with ink again!

Originally the page was just black and white (a bit boring) so I painted some bamboo in the background of two of the pandas with watercolour, nothing too fancy just a bit of bamboo but it does look better than a blank page. Backgrounds are something I’m not really very good at doing so I need to practice them more.

red panda from my sketch book 1

Red panda from my sketch book 1

After drawing the Chinese pandas I saw a red panda on TV and thought Oooooh, as you do, so I drew a few red pandas as well.
I think I will have to be careful with the cerulean blue in future because it really doesn’t like to scan.

red panda from my sketch book 2

Red panda from my sketch book 2

Well it’s time to say goodbye to 2017 and welcome to 2018 Best wishes to everyone in the coming year I hope it’s filled with of peace, love and kindness.

I would like to say thank you everybody for the time you’ve spent here, reading, liking, following and making thoughtful uplifting comments. Thanks for the support and encouragement and for taking the time out of your busy lives to stop by. Till next time, have fun x