It’s Poppy Season

red poppy watercolourA red poppy watercolour

Hi there, how are you?

It’s poppy season!

We’ve had a gloriously sunny week here and I’ve been able to sit in the garden with the poppies. Good times.

The poppies above were painted first then the background added later. I put a few spots of yellow down on the petals first, I like the way it shows through the red, it gives the poppy a sun-kissed effect.

Its painted on cartridge paper as usual so a bit patchy.

Note to self: next time put the background in before the leaves, maybe it’ll be more even.

Normally when I draw outside even in the sunshine there is a certain amount of dappled shade but on this day the sun was particularly bright. I was doodling around on in my sketchbook then went inside as it was quite hot. As soon as I entered the house I realised I could barely see. Looks like I went paper blind!

It was a bit of a shock so next time I went out to sketch I used this toned paper, much easier on the eyes. Maybe I’ll have to be more careful and invest is some sunglasses.

red poppy on toned paper
Red poppy on toned paper

My new favourite pen at the moment is a calligraphy pen. It’s a pen with a broad flat nib I bought cheap years ago and it makes lovely bold marks.

Currently it’s filled with quink black ink and dilutes to lovely greys and browns when brushed with water.

I thoroughly enjoyed drawing this poppy and its serrated leaves.

red poppy calligraphy
A red poppy drawn with a calligraphy pen

Here’s hoping the weather and the poppies last a few days more.

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


Poppies And Peonies

red poppy watercolourRed poppy watercolour

Hi there, how are you?

The sun finally appeared this week and the perineal poppies in the garden popped open, they look amazing in the sunshine.

A perfect time to sit down and paint them.

It’s as near to watercolour as I can get on cartridge paper, the water buckles the paper but I ‘m used to that now, sometimes it gives interesting effects, especially on the backgrounds.

I bought a few bedding plants this year, erythranthe or monkey flowers amongst others to fill one or two pots by the door.

I’ve not grown them before so it was a lovely surprise to see how bright and colourful they are. They were mixed colours, red and yellow; so far I’ve only drawn the yellow ones. Hopefully I’ll draw the red ones too if I can get to them before the slugs eat them (apparently they are very tasty!)

yellow erythranthe study
Yellow erythranthe study

I thought I’d missed the peonies this year at the botanical gardens so I was pleasantly surprised to find one blooming in a quiet shady part of the gardens. I snapped some photos from various angles to draw at home.

The first peony was drawn with a fountain pen in grey ink and coloured with watercolour.

I used blues and purple to painting the shadows.

white peony sketch
White peony sketch

Next I tried negative painting to carve out the petals.

I used the same colours for the shadows in both flowers, it’s interesting to see the effect the background colour has on each peony.

white peony watercolour
White peony watercolour

It’s bank holiday this week so hopefully the sun will shine and I’ll get a little more time in the garden.

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

Trying Out Colours And Fountain Pens

pink & yellow rosePink rose with yellow background

Hi there, how are you?

These two rose drawings were supposed to be something quick just to tell myself I had actually put pen to paper but they turned into little test swatches.

I’m trying to practice putting backgrounds around drawings so they’re not floating around on the page. I also wanted to try different colours to see how they worked.

Pink rose with yellow background
Pink rose with blue background

The peonies are all but over for this year, I missed them. Life is what we call interesting at the moment and I couldn’t get to the gardens and see then in all their wonder. I’ve also missed the cherry blossom and magnolias so I’m relying on photos this year. Next year I’ll need to pay more attention.

This one was drawn with a fountain pen in dark green ink. It looks black till it’s washed out with water but I liked it the way it is and left it alone.

peony ink line sketch
Peony line sketch in dark green ink

These poppies were drawn with a calligraphy fountain pen.

I have found that I really enjoy drawing with this pen; I have to really think about which way to hold the pen to make the variance of line I want.

The black Quink ink washes out into pale greys and browns (although they don’t show on the scan.) Very enjoyable.

poppy calligraphy pen
Poppies drawn with a calligraphy pen

The sunny weather is with us for a while so hopefully I’ll get a few moments in the garden this week.

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

Rose Practice

pink watercolour rosePink watercolour rose

Hi there, how are you?

I find roses so difficult to draw so this week I have been practising .

Above is an inked outline and watercolour, The flower is side on and fully open showing all of its curly petals. As the rose is pink the colours didn’t scan too well but I like the way it turned out,

Below are two small roses drawn in red ink, the colour is pulled out with water. I love doing this, they look very sketchy and delicate. The fun is you never know how it will look till it’s finished.

red ink roses
Red ink roses

This little rose bud was drawn in black ink with a fountain pen; no water this time as I liked the line work as it is so left it alone.

black ink rose bud
Black ink rose bud

The two pink roses on the left of the next image are the same as the roses as the ones on the right. They were painted directly with watercolour trying to be a little looser with my painting, it looked OK but then I wondered what they would look like if I drew in outlines to define the petals so I scanned the page then drew the ink lines.

I think I prefer the flowers without outlines but I wouldn’t have known this if I hadn’t tried it out, it was an interesting experiment.

roses with & without outlines
Roses with & without outlines

I still find roses difficult to draw so I’ll keep practising and hopefully eventually they will become easier to draw.

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

Chameleon Card

D-_HDD_Pictures_scans_2020_11_08_2023_04_23_chameleon-cardChameleon card

Hi there, how are you?

More chameleons this week, I’ve decided to put one on a card.

I thought the chameleons could use some friendly little frogs and set about sketching out some ideas in my sketchbook.

frog drawings
Happy frog drawings

The backgrounds were all started off by splattering watercolour onto the paper randomly in various shades of green and yellow then sprinkling on a little salt. Foliage is not my strong point so it’s a good starting point for the trees and an impression of leaves.

green chameleon background
Green chameleon background

I painted this image a couple of times trying different colours or ideas, I liked parts of both paintings but tried it one more time (maybe this is some sort of perfectionism?) anyway I liked the last one so that will be the one to make into the card. The others will probably be glued into my sketchbook for future reference.

chameleon tests
Chameleon tests

Hopefully the teenage boy it’s intended for will enjoy it.

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

Cheery Chameleons

chameleons hangin'Chameleons hangin’

Hi there, how are you?

This week I’ve been in a silly mood drawing chameleons. Whenever I draw things like this they seem to look very cartoonish.

Is that a style? Who knows, there are so many colours and shapes they really make me smile.

The green chameleons above are drawn haphazardly on the page, hanging around on their little branches; looking at them they each seem to have their own personality.

Sometimes when I draw the images bump into each other, even falling off the page. I don’t mind and draw one behind the other like I meant to do it.

The image below made me chuckle, it wasn’t till I saw the scan and thought the chameleons looked like they were racing across the page; a chameleon broomstick race maybe, next stop hogwarts hehehe

chameleon race
Chameleon race

There’s lots of fun to be had drawing chameleons.

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

Drawing Fish

fan tail fish ink sketchFan tail fish ink sketch

Hi there, how are you?

Currently I have a few fountains filled with different inks.

I was in the mood to draw things and after looking through my photos thought fish would be fun.

Above a fan-tailed goldfish drawn with water based Quink and a pen that has a little variance of line but is quite scratchy to use. I think there is a knack to using this pen I haven’t yet found, the fine lines and details it can make are brilliant but if only it was smoother to draw with.

Below a fish head drawn with the same pen.

ink drawing fish head
Ink drawing of a fish head

The pen filled with dark red ink was a lot more fun to draw with.

I’d forgotten how dark the ink gets and tried to shade the fish after drawing all of the details. It got a little messy so underneath I drew another fish head only this time I drew a basic outline and pulled the ink out with a damp brush to add shading before drawing the details over the top, it made for a much tidier sketch.

red ink fish sketch
A red ink fish sketch

Lastly I drew a fish with a waterproof ink, this meant I could add a little watercolour without the ink leaking into the paint.

It’s nice to have a little colour now and again.

watercolour goldfish
A watercolour goldfish

Fish are so fascinating to draw, so many different shapes and sizes.

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

Wrens In The Garden

3 watercolour wrens3 watercolour wrens

Hello Folks.

There have been lots of moments appreciating the garden recently and as I stood drawing a tiny wren flew down looking for food or nesting material. It didn’t stay long as one look at me scared the little guy away but it made me very happy to know wrens are nesting somewhere near by.

They don’t nest around here normally because the many magpies and crows would swallow such a tiny bird whole; still it was nice to see.

I’ve spent this week painting and drawing wrens. Some painted in watercolour (above) they are roughly 2½” in size, tiny paintings.

Below the wrens were drawn with a calligraphy fountain pen, the kind with a wide nib intended for fancy writing. I’d found it in a draw and thought I would be interesting trying to drawing with it. I’ll definitely be trying this again, working out how to hold the pen to make marks was a lot of fun.

wren drawn with calligraphy pen
Wren drawn with calligraphy pen

This next one was also drawn with a calligraphy pen but it kind of got away from me, still an interesting exercise though.

wren drawn with calligraphy pen
Wren drawn with calligraphy pen

The last one is drawn with my new fountain pen, still don’t love it but for these tiny little birds it worked quite well.

wrens drawn with fountain pen
Wrens drawn with fountain pen

It’s funny that something so small and fleeting can bring such happiness.

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