Owl Thumbnail Sketches

baby owl watercolourBaby owl watercolour

Hi there, how are you?

This week I have been making lots of little owl doodles. Each of the sketches are about an inch to 1½ inches in size.

The first page (below) was drawn with blue fountain pen ink; I spilled water on this page and ruined it! One of the perils of using water soluble ink, still have the scan though phew.

blue ink owl doodles
Blue ink owl doodles

Learning my lesson I drew the second page with black waterproof ink. They’re all a little ski-wiff and lots of fun to draw.

black ink owl doodles
Black ink owl doodles

I wanted to see if I could turn these scrappy thumbnail sized sketches into something more finished, placed the scan in procreate and used some of the owls as a template to draw over the top.

My procreate skills are very basic but they are OK for a first attempt.

digital owls
Digital owls

The little owl watercolour at the top of the post was also drawn from one of the little thumbnails. I placed her on top of a tree stump in a small clearing so she’s not floating around on a white page.

The sketch had a woolly hat on and since we’re in December I turned it into a Christmas hat (trying to get into the seasons spirit.)

I can see the issues but don’t yet have the skills to fix them yet, more practice me thinks.

Backgrounds are something I suck at so I’m trying to practice using them more, it’s a start.

Who knows maybe eventually I’ll know what I’m doing hehehe.

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


Working Through A Class


For the last two weeks I’ve been working through a class by Tansy Hargan called sketching for textiles.

I was interested to know the process of designing for something. How can you generate ideas, where do you start?

The course is two weeks long and at the moment I am roughly half way through.

It’s a fascinating class and my head is buzzing with all of the exercises and am thoroughly enjoying it.

All of the exercises were done on a mixed range of papers, white, cream, black and brown.

Drawing items from a description I had made was hysterical, we were supposed to use scraps of fabric but I don’t have any so I used the washing line, clothes are fabric right? I didn’t do the drawing till a few days after the describing and couldn’t remember which clothes I’d used so I just followed the words.

The cat brush is another part of the exercise, there are lots more pages but It would make the post far too long.

drawing descriptions
Drawing descriptions

We picked an object and drew it over and over with different media. I chose a small piece of gravel I’d found whilst out shopping and turned it over as I drew it.

The blue shapes at the bottom are a few of the designs coloured.

stone sketches
Stone sketches
Cut and paste.
Cut and paste.

We were supposed to use tracing paper to reflect and copy, I didn’t have any so scanned it into illustrator and had far too much fun making patterns.

patterns from a stone
Patterns from a stone

Making patterns from patterns, again fascinating.

extracted patterns
Extracted patterns

The class is aimed at people using textiles for whatever purpose and seems mostly abstract but I think the ideas could be used for other forms of idea generating too. I’m looking forward to completing the class.

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

Quick Blobby Sketches

humming bird blobs
Humming birds from blobs

Hi there, how are you?

I have been in a funny mood this week, wanting to draw something but not knowing what to draw. Normally when I feel like this the best thing to do is just play.

I made lots of blobs of colour on the page, some yellow and some blue. Then with another colour tried to turn them into humming birds.

They’re very scrappy but they are interesting shapes.

I did the same thing with frogs; this time I put yellow blobs down first and finished with green.

The details were picked out with a fountain pen.

froggy blobs
Froggy blobs

More little birds in black, brown and grey; I used pinterest birds to make the shapes this time.

sketchy humming birds
Sketchy humming birds

Stephanie Fizer Coleman has a video about putting texture onto sketched shapes. She makes lots of painted papers and scanned them into the computer to use as texture resources.

It looked interesting so I gave it a go. I used a sketch of a little flying frog (seen in the bottom corner of the image below) and used a painting that had lots of brushstrokes and desaturated it for the texture.

If I were to do a lot of this kind of thing a lot I’d probably have to make my own purpose built textures first.

This kind of thing takes a lot of practice to make anything decent. It was just fun to play around and so something different.

computer textured frog
Computer textured frog

I’m also using “ye olde drawing tablet” from the times when windows 7 was a thing. I was thinking of buying one but wasn’t too sure it’s something I need so I rooted the kids olde one out to see how I get on. The pressure thing doesn’t work any more although it did manage to find itself a driver. All I can say right now is it’s going to be a bit of a learning curve.

Ahh the possibilities.

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

Pattern Postcard Challenge Manual Repeats

manual repeat red flowers
Manual repeat red flowers

Hi there, how are you?

There has been more fun with patterns as I try to catch up with the pattern post card challenge run by Jules Mckeown of @thepatternsocial and Anna of @oravska_house on instagram.

This week she showed how to make a repeating pattern on a piece of paper.

The design is drawn into the middle of the page, cut the paper in half vertically and stick the outsides together in the middle with masking tape.

Continue the design in the centre of the page. Cut the page in half horizontally and stick the outsides together in the middle with masking tape.

Continue the design in the centre of the page. By now you should have completely filled the paper and the pattern should repeat if you lay it next to itself (photocopies or a printed copy helps here).

I’ll link to one of her instagram videos so you get a better idea if your interested.

I started with simple flowers to get the idea (see above), it went a little Skew-whiff, obviously my measuring was not as accurate as it could have been but I like the overall look of it.

The dulled square with a blue outline is the pattern, I put them next to each other in the computer to test it out.

Next a kind of abstracted animal print in happy colours.

manual repeat abstracted animal print
Manual repeat abstracted animal print

Fishes – this is an idea I seem to keep coming back to, something in my head likes drawing schools of fishes, it is long rather than square, I wanted to see if it would work on other shapes. It does hehehe.

manual repeat fishes
Manual repeat fishes

After scanning the fishes I decided to place it into illustrator and turn them into colourful fishes.

illustrator pattern from fish pattern fishes
Illustrator pattern from fish pattern fishes

I think it’s a fun process and a nice change from looking at the computer all of the time.

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

Freesias – Playing With Ink And Watercolour

small digital posy of ink freesia
A small digital posy of ink freesia

Hi there, how are you?

The lovely freesias are wilting now but I managed to draw them a little more with ink and watercolour.

The pink note book is finished, sad but true. I enjoyed drawing on that paper more than I thought I would and loved some of the effects I managed to create.

I’m now working in an A4 sketch pad, it has slightly off white paper and the cover says its suitable for all dry media (pencils, pastels, charcoal etc.) so the first thing I use on these pages is ink of course!

There was still red ink in the fountain pen I’d used a few weeks ago and wanted to use it up. The paper is quite porous so the ink wouldn’t pull out from the edges with a water brush, on to plan B.

I found a brush, mixed the ink with a little water on a dish and painted the ink loosely over the petals.

red freesia in red ink
Red freesia in red ink

I really like the effect and decided to paint the other bunch.

I bought two bunches, one red and one purple. Its interesting to see that different colours have different shapes. The purple flowers are mush more compact.

purple freesia in red ink
Purple freesia in red ink

After testing the paper with ink I wanted to see how it would react with watercolour.

It won’t take any watery washes of paint but the dry brushing is nice and unlike the ink it doesn’t bleed through to the other side of the paper.

red freesia with watercolour
Red freesia with watercolour

Unfortunately the purple flowers had wilted by this time so no watercolour of them this time.

When everything was scanned into the computer I played around with the inky flowers to see if I could make a small posy out of them. The background is pink because I wanted to keep it in the same colour family, a kind of tone on tone effect. (see top image) I always mean to paint the like this then end up with lots of specimens social distancing themselves across the page.

I’m sure I’ll get the hang of it one day.

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

Pattern Postcard Challenge

mark making
mark making

Hi there, how are you?

This week I have been taking part in the pattern post card challenge hosted by Jules Mckeown of @thepatternsocial and Anna of @oravska_house on instagram.

The only things we needed to complete the challenge was lots of postcard sized pieces of paper, some markers and roughly 20 – 40 minutes a day to complete the task.

Each day instruction were given on the day and we just followed along with the prompts:

Day 1 – mark making using various black pens and markers, making patterns across the paper. It was fun trying to see what marks I could make with the pens. (see image above too)

Day 2 – colour swatching, we made colour chips to work out colour schemes then used these schemes to draw lots of stripes.

day 1 & 2 markmaking and coloured chips
Day 1 & 2 markmaking and coloured chips

Day 3 – abstract animal prints. The point was to draw something using animal print as inspiration but not to copy it.

day 3 abstract animal prints
Day 3 abstract animal prints

Day 4ditsy flowers, making lots of patterns with tiny flowers.

day 4 ditsy flower patterns
Day 4 ditsy flower patterns

Day 5 – pattern clash. Place three or four clashing patterns onto one page. (inapparently its a fashion thing?)

day 5 pattern clash
Day 5 pattern clash

At the end of the week I was inspired enough to make two little flower patterns in illustrator. They’re simple but I enjoyed making them.

illustrator flower patterns
Illustrator flower patterns

This challenge was to help with creative exploration without having to worry about the outcome and to act as inspiration for future works. It’s also lots of fun playing with supplies I don’t often use.

Had this been a class they could have charged good money for this but they chose to make it free and if any one wants to they can go to Jules Mckeowns account, follow along with the prompts and videos, so much fun!

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

Feeling Blue (Lots of blue patterns)

dotty flower
Dotty flowers

Hi there, how are you?

This was the last and final week of the Victoria Johnson class – explore florals and we’re working in blue.

I played a little with masking fluid; mine is pretty old and gloopy so I ended up with lots of dots using the back end of a paint brush.

Next I tried some simple brush strokes it’s uneven and wonky which I like. I made two colour ways for this pattern. The cool thing about this is only the background was changed but it made the coloured brush marks look completely different.

brush stroke petals
Brush stroke petals

Some loose chrysanthemum flowers in this next pattern, painted in watercolour with simple brush strokes it was a strange flower to make a pattern out of but I think it works.

chrysanthemum flowers
Chrysanthemum flowers

The last set of flowers were something I had drawn in the garden with a fountain pen containing blue ink. I hadn’t intended to make anything out of them but since I was in pattern making mode I thought it would be fun to have a go.

delicate garden flowers
Delicate garden flowers

It’s been an interesting three weeks, I’ve used art techniques and materials I probably wouldn’t have other wise so altogether a very good learning experience.

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

Gouache Flowers

pink hibiscus flowers
Pink hibiscus flowers

Hi there, how are you?

It’s been a week phew!

Last week I was supposed to be drawing tropical flowers for Victoria Johnson, explore florals, I like tropical flowers so no problem eh?

I drew and painted loads and loads of flowers and leaves, looked at it all and decided I didn’t like any of it. Then started again.

Gouache had been suggested in the class notes so I broke out the gouache and painted some hibiscus flowers.

After my little melt down I sat outside in the garden for a while drawing flowers. There is a nasturtium growing in a pot by the door, grown from a seed off last years flowers and made a quick drawing with some watercolour brush pens. These pens work well on this sketchbook paper, the colours aren’t brilliant but it was just nice to sit in the sunshine for a while.

Huge surprise I didn’t make mud! (I usually feel like I’m painting with mud) I tried making some highlights and shadows to give the flowers a little dimension, they don’t look too bad.

nasturtium sketch
Nasturtium sketch

Back to the class work, I painted a monstera leaf and needed something else to fill it out a bit. Nasturtiums are tropical right? Lucky I had a nice drawing in my sketch book hehehe. I re-drew the nasturtium and painted it in gouache too.

hibiscus-flower in cream & navy
Hibiscus-flower in cream & navy

They were all cut out in the computer and put together into a little poseyish thing. The blending modes are a quick way to change the colours up. Next to make some patterns.

stripey pattern
Stripey pattern
same pattern two colour ways
Same pattern two colour ways

I think I like them, I’m not sure but I learned stuff and completed the week, even if it was a little late.

Hoping for something easier next week.

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