Painting More Bali Myna Birds On Colour Swatches

Bali mynah swatch painting
Bali mynah swatch painting

Hi there, how are you?

Last week I painted Bali mynah birds on some colour swatches, this week I finished up painting the last two swatches.(You can see an image of two of the swatches here along with the reason I made them).

I picked out two decent photos from my camera roll and sketched them out on a sketchbook page with a fountain pen. This helped me simplify the image and pick out the important details.

I do prefer the top branch in the sketch but didn’t think it would match the branches in the other paintings so maybe next time I’ll try something different.

bali mynah sketches
Bali mynah sketches

Last time I painted each bird separately which meant mixing and matching the colours for each painting so this time I painted both at the same time, it was much easier.

Bali mynah acrylic swatch painting
Bali mynah acrylic swatch painting

Placing them all together to see how they looked; I had used a limited palette (turquoise, cad orange, buff titanium, black and white) and because of this they all seem to harmonise with each other, even though some were painted a week apart, interesting.

four bali mynah bird paintings
All four Bali mynah bird paintings together.

I think it actually looks like a little series of bird paintings, hehehe.

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

Painting Bali Myna Birds On Colour Swatches

bali minah acrylic painting
Bali mynah acrylic painting

Hi there, how are you?

This week I have been painting Bali mynah birds with acrylic paint.

Not my favourite medium really but back in June I took a taster course “Find your Joy” by Louise Fletcher. She uses acrylic paint and I wanted to follow along with the class.

One of the exercises was tapping paper with masking tape and paint with a limited palette of two colours plus black and white.

I chose cad orange, turquoise, buff titanium(instead of white) and black.

Your supposed to splot the paint around making marks and mixing as many colours as you could.

It looks like a hot mess, then when you take the tape off you kind of have small mini abstract paintings, in my case roughly 4”x6”. I have quite a few of these swatches in various colours but with no real purpose so I decided to see if I could use them as the base for some paintings.

colour swatches
Two colour swatches

There were already a few sketches of Bali mynah birds in my sketchbook from last week so I thought since they were white birds I could paint them and still keep within the same colour scheme as the swatch.

I think it all harmonises nicely.

I’m painting from my own photos taken from various visits to the zoo. The bird below saw me taking photos and stared directly into the lens.

His tail is behind somewhere his wings and head feathers are tucked in. This was an unusual position so I really wanted to paint it.

acrylic bali mynah painting
Acrylic Bali mynah painting (I see you)

The youngling took one look and laughed “what even is it, it looks like a ball on legs” seriously! After showing her the photo she agreed it was a difficult position to draw.

To be honest I don’t care because every time I look at it it makes me smile and of the two I’ve painted so far it’s my favourite.

There are still two more swatches left in these colours so I may paint more in the future, it’s certainly better to use them this way than to throw them out.

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

Bali Myna Birds

bali a myna bird sketch
Bali a myna bird sketch

Hi there, how are you?

This week I have been drawing Bali myna birds.

After a long break I finally had a brief visit to the zoo; wow so many people and hardly a mask in sight!

I picked my route along all of the quieter paths and ended up in the Bali walk-in bird aviary. Its peaceful and calm in there, most people walk through so fast they hardly see any thing at all. I like to sit on the bench quietly to watch the birds.

Bali myna birds are snow white but for a few feathers on their wings and tail. They also have bright blue patches around their eyes that makes them look like they are wearing little masks.

They are not as shy as some of the other birds and if you stay quiet they sometimes sit in the trees near by or even hop really close just to check if there’s any food.

Sometimes I sketch them in the aviary, others I’ve managed to take some decent photos to draw from later.

This watercolour is painted on cartridge paper and its a buckled with the water, I don’t mind I learned lots about the colours and type of background I want so it’s all good information.

bali a myna bird watercolour sketch
Bali a myna bird watercolour sketch

The rest are all ink sketches of birds in different positions, its interesting to see how their tufty feathers stand out in some positions and in others they lay flat against their heads.

sketch of bali a myna bird
Sketch of Bali a myna bird

This last page has a manufacturing fault in the paper, I mainly drew around it but in the top right hand corner I followed the creases and drew a branch with leaves, kind of random but it filled the space.

ink sketches ofbali a myna birds
Ink sketches of Bali a myna birds

The kids are back to school now so the zoo is probably going to be a lot quieter and a little safer so I will hopefully be able to see more of the animals.

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

Flowers And Butterflies

Hi there, how are you?

Watercolour fuchsia sketch
Watercolour fuchsia sketch

The weather has been gloriously sunny this week but there is a little bit of a chill to the air. Time to take stock of what’s in the garden and think about tidying up as the autumn rolls in.

The fuchsias have tried hard this year, they’re growing nicely but every time they fill with buds the weather changes drastically and they all fall off. This week we actually had flowers so I drew a little sketch in celebration.

There are still a few other flowers remaining so I decided to make a page of little snapshots to document some of them.

1: St. johns wort, 2: poppy seed pod, 3; a rose leaf, 4: cyclamen, 5: fuchsia 6: tiny yellow tomatoes.

watercolour garden snapshots
Watercolour garden snapshots

This week I have also been Chinese brush painting. I was trying out compositions for a birthday card, so far this was the best of the bunch.

wisteria and butterflies
Wisteria and butterflies

The butterflies were a little tricky so I had a practice painting different shapes and styles. They are all blue because I had some mixed in a small dish to use up.

blue watercolour butterflies
Blue watercolour butterflies

After practising I decided orange was a happier colour and they contrast better with the wisteria.

It’s almost September people! The whole year is moving by so fast, have to take the time to paint the flowers hehehe.

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

Tetra Pak Printing (And Failing)

tetra pak printing plate
Tetra Pak printing plate (shame I didn’t clean it first eh)

Hi there, how are you?

No pretty pictures this week, we will just be seeing my attempt to print with a Tetra Pak carton, and failing.

Tetra Pak are the brick shaped cartons we buy in the supermarket containing things like fruit juice, milk and soup to name but a few.

I had watched a tutorial on printing with them and as luck would have it I was about to throw one into the recycling so I washed it, cut it open, dried it off and set to work. I do love an experiment.

The carton is long and thin which meant my design had to be too so I chose poppies, drew them out freehand and cut out with a small craft knife (possibly my first mistake) and made the printing plate above.

I’m using blue water based printing ink and yellow water mixable oil paint. I didn’t want anything too stinky and it’s easy to clean up.

The original idea was to push the ink into the gaps I’d cut out but it seemed hard to do so the brayer came out and rolled the ink over the top. Below you can see my three print epic fail, can you tell I don’t know what I’m doing?

The middle one was best but I didn’t work hard enough on the bottom corner with the wooden spoon so the ink didn’t transfer. The last one had too much ink on it.

first ever prints
First ever prints (it can only get better right?)

I had a brainwave what if I used my die cutting machine as a printing press. Surprisingly it worked although it took a while to get the sandwich right.

The two top prints in the image below were pretty rubbish so I wondered if painting over them with watercolour would work. The ink and paint do reactivate slightly but it was worth a try.

I really like the bottom left, that was what I had hoped my little prints would turn out like “sigh”, I also like the red poppies on the far right.

playing with failed prints
Playing with failed prints before and after.

This next one wasn’t supposed to be a print at all. I had placed a piece of scrap paper on the back to push the plate down into the left over ink on the palette, there was still ink on the brayer and it gave this sort of half print, again I used watercolour and a brush pen to finish it off.

an unexpected happy accident
An unexpected happy accident, before and after.

Clean up time; I sprayed the glass palette I was using with a mister and used scrap paper to take up as much ink as I could. This gave me a strange feathery ghost print, I love the texture so I will stick it into my sketch book as it is to remind me how I did it.

ghost print texture
Ghost print texture

As I say no pretty pictures but I did thoroughly enjoy myself making lots of messes and I learned a load of things not to do when printing hehehe.

I will make another plate with the next Tetra Pak carton and using my newly found knowledge try again with hopefully better results.

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

A Few Painted Cards

froggy fathers dayA froggy fathers day

Hi there, how are you?

I have made a few cards recently, for various occasions. These are the few I remembered to take pictures of as most of the time I forget until I’ve given it away.

(above) A Fathers day painted with watercolour and brush pen. Some little frogs sitting on a log. The background is actually a bit more green than this image shows. I like the expression on their faces they make me smile.

I love ewe. I like a play on words and so does the other half. I used three colours to paint it, burnt sienna, cerulean blue and paynes grey. Interesting how many colours it takes to paint a white sheep.

This was made for our wedding anniversary (36 years!) time goes by so quickly.

sheep card
Sheep card, I love ewe.

Three brown mice. This was an idea from my Inktober drawings you can see it here. The background was Moonglow by Daniel Smith, it splits and divides into various colours of purple and mauve. I think I also splashed a little water over the top for some added texture. It’s interesting but I’m not sure it’s the best colour for a background.

three brown mice
Three brown mice

Jellyfishes. Li Ching Heng makes some very good tutorials on instagram, I loved all of the tiny fish plants and details she had used in this one and I really wanted to try it.

I used some shiny mica paints on the jellyfish and some of the plants so it is quite sparkly in places. loved the way it turned out and once it was finished I thought it would make a nice card.

jellyfish birthday card
A jellyfish birthday card.

I like sending my little artworks out into the world and maybe they bring a little pleasure into someone’s day.

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

Travelling Sketchbook Finished

pink peony sketchPink peony sketch

Hello people, how are you?

This week I finished the last page of my travelling sketchbook. This is the book I keep in my bag and if I see something interesting and have a little time will use it to draw or sketch in.

The peony (above) was drawn this spring at the botanical gardens late spring/early summer. They have small beds of different species of peony dotted all over the gardens and these pink peonies were right beside a bench off the main pathway. A nice place to rest and draw.

Also at the botanical garden they have a lovely tunnel of wisteria, some blue but mostly yellow and there are benches very close by so it’s nice to sit there and draw on a sunny day.

yellow wisteria flowers
Yellow wisteria flowers

I’m not sure what this little flower is called, we came across it on one of our lockdown walks last summer. They were all along the grassy verge, the youngling and I decided to sit on the grass and draw for a while. A nice way to pass the time.

small yellow flower
Small yellow flower

The common name around here for this plant is “lords and ladies” not sure why? I have no idea what the real plant name is. In late summer/early autumn the flower spike is covered with bright red berries. This plant is poisonous so this is as close as I generally get and after drawing this it was pulled out. With small animals around I don’t like to take a chance with things like that.

lords and ladies (weed)
Lords and ladies (weed)

Below a few other things I’d drawn in this book click the picture to see the post and a bigger image.

pitcher plant flowers
pitcher plant and flowers

red pitcher plant flowers

These pages were coloured with watercolour but most of the drawings in this book are pretty scrappy, drawn in pencil and they don’t scan well so I generally don’t share the pictures but after a quick flick through one or two aren’t that bad.

The paper was really thin and the drawings on the other side of the page sometimes show through. The paper also buckles badly which is the reason most of the drawings in this book were made with pencil but every now and then it’s good to just go for it and use a little colour.

This book was started in September 2018! unfortunately last year and most of this year for that matter we haven’t been able to travel so it was neglected for much of the year. It’s good to finally finish it.

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

Quince And Poppies

watercolour sketche of quince fruitWatercolour sketch of quince fruit

Hi there, how are you?

The weather is all over the place and after a week of sweltering heat we’re back to piddling rain, rotten for us but the plants in the garden are loving it.

It’s certainly doing the japonica quince well as this year they are producing lots of fruit. I may be making jam this year.

Above is a watercolour sketch painted in between down-pours. They look a bit like apples but they are rock hard and very sour. They really need cooking and lots of sugar before they can be eaten.

Below is another quince sketch, this time drawn with black fountain pen ink. Originally the fruit was cross hatched, I didn’t like it so I washed it out with a water brush then pulled ink out of the line work to colour the leaves. I like it much more now.

ink sketch of quince fruit
Ink sketch of quince fruit

The poppies have almost finished now, there is one last straggler that has burst into bloom; in a day or so all of the petals will drop and they will be finished for another year.

They’re one of my favourite flowers to paint.

pink poppy flowers
Pink poppy flowers

Thinking of poppies the seed pods of the big red perineal poppies have just popped opened. They are so structural and become more and more fascinating as they age and decay.

poppy seed head
Poppy seed head

I’ve tipped a few seeds into a small envelope as Mum asked me to save some for her.

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