Last Fuchsia Of The Summer

fuchsia watercolour sketches

fuchsia watercolour sketch

Hi there, how are you?

It’s September, the end of the summer months, and the fuchsia are having one final bloom.

My little plants have had a difficult year with the weather switching from fierce heat and drought to wind and torrential rain; with each change the newly formed flowers have withered or fallen then with determination flowered again.

I should be finishing off the course I’d started but I didn’t want to miss the last few fuchsia flowers.

Above, It’s quite hard to mix that pale sugary pink, it worked a little better when mixed with a little gouache mixed in with the pink but not ideal. Looks like I need to do some colour mixing exercises.

Below are the buds of a different fuchsia plant. The outside is a deep crimson red and the inside is purple. I’m hoping to see the flowers open before the flowers drop off.

fuchsia buds
Watercolour fuchsia buds

I’ve been practising hatching with the brown fine liner again. It’s just the one flower drawn at about A5 size, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked this one.

sepia pen sketch
Sepia pen sketch

Next I drew some in graphite even managing to sketch a few tiny cyclamen flowers. (very happy to see they are still alive) I love the way the flower curls up once the petals fall.

Once in side the house I decided to give the fuchsia a light wash of watercolour, it’s pale but I do like the effect.

graphite fuchsia sketch
Graphite fuchsia sketch

Time now to get back to finishing last weeks course me thinks.

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


Drawing Tiny Quince Fruits

small quince with watercolourTiny japonica quince painted with watercolour

Hello there, how are you?

Autumn is on its way and the tiny quince fruits are starting to swell.

The fruit on this plant aren’t very big even when they’re fully grown, the largest being about 4cm (1 ½ inches).

(Above) They look like tiny green pumpkins hanging on to their stems. Painted with watercolour.

It’s not a whole branch just the bits here and there that interested me dotted around the page.

(Below) more bits of plant together on a page. I don’t always remember to use the brown fine liner but when I do I love drawing with it. It’s a much softer line than the black one.

small quince with fine liner
Tiny japonica quince drawn with a brown fine liner.

It was at this point I realised my pen shading was pretty rubbish and was something I needed to work on.

I tried another drawing this time with a fountain pen. More practice is need but there are some parts I like.

small quince with fountain pen
Tiny japonica quince drawn with a fountain pen and black ink.

The last one was drawn with a graphite pencil but it didn’t seem dark enough in the shadows so I drew over it with a black colouring pencil.

It turned out better, now I just need to learn how to do this with ink, should be fun.

small quince with pencil
Tiny japonica quince drawn with graphite pencil and a black coloured pencil.

Usually we don’t get more than one or two fruits but this year we have roughly fifteen, a very good year.

If we want to eat them I have to cook them and strain the pips out as cutting them out before cooking would take forever and it would cut out most of the fruit.

Still a nice addition to other fruit so worth it.

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

Blooming Agapanthus

agapanthus & bee watercolourAn agapanthus & bee watercolour

Hello there, how are you?

The lovely agapanthus are blooming whoot!

Two little pom poms of blue flowers standing in the garden making not only me happy but the bees also, they really are buzzing around collecting and pollinating.

When I get chance I nip out and draw them.

Above a watercolour of one flower and a little bee. This was painted without and pencil guides so I’m quite happy with the way it turned out.

Below is drawn with a fine liner, it’s just an outline really as that was all I had time for, I need to practice my shading.

agapanthus fine liner sketch
An agapanthus fine liner sketch

I thought it would be fun to do a few pencil sketches. I have the stub end of a blackwing pencil (the youngling throws them away when she deems them too short so I finish them off).

I like the way they turned out but the graphite in these pencils is dark almost as dark as a 4b pencil and they are quite smudgy so I’ve sprayed them with a fixative, it seems to keep the smudging to a minimum.

agapanthus pencil sketch
Agapanthus pencil sketch

The next drawing was drawn from a photo I’d taken. Drawing bees from life is not easy.

My graphite bees need work, it was difficult to draw all of the hairy tones and it came out a bit dark really.

bee on agapanthus flower
A bee on an agapanthus flower

Graphite pencil doesn’t usually scan too well but the blackwing is so dark and looks OK when scanned so I’ll try and remember that for the future.

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

Faded Roses

rose watercolour sketchFaded rose watercolour sketch

Hello there, how are you?

I love to paint roses but find them difficult due to the many folding and curling petals.

The little rose plant has been flowering quietly to itself for days but didn’t have time to draw the flowers.

I did eventually manage to get outside and sketch it, then I took my eye off them for a day or two and poof, next time I looked there were three hips where flowers used to be.

Luckily I find the leaves and hips just as fascinating to draw as the flowers.

Happy with the rose above as I managed to paint petals and since it was fading slightly, a centre.

Below drawn with ink to place the shadows and watercolour, I’m loving the way the leaves curl.

rose hip watercolour sketch
Rose hip watercolour sketch

Practising ink sketching again, trying to work out how to lay the hatching lines.

rose ink sketch
Rose ink sketch

This last one was drawn with watercolour pencils.

I don’t have too many colours so I drew the leaves and hip out with the pencils laying two or three colours on top of each other. I brushed over the sketch with water then with the brush took a little colour from each pencil tip and mixed them on a palette.

It was easy to glaze one colour over another, something to think about next time.

rose watercolour sketch 2
Rose watercolour sketch 2

Usually there are more flowers in the autumn so I can practice all over again.

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

Calla Lilies

watercolour calla lily sketchWatercolour calla lily sketch

Hello there, how are you?

This week the calla lily came into flower. It was a plant I had bought for mum a few years ago for her birthday. It grew and spread quickly do she split the plant in half and gave one half back to me.

I should say that mum is the only one with any green fingers at all.

The first year it was eaten to a stump by slugs, no surprise there.

This year however it’s back and has lovely deep purple flowers.

Painting the flowers was a thing, how to mix a really dark purple; I didn’t want to use any black because the colour would loose its vibrancy. After a few trials I decided to use alizarin crimson and viridian.

The image below was the firs attempt, I think it’s too red and the leaves too yellow.

The second attempt above a little more viridian was added and is much closer to colour of the flowers. The leaves also benefited from a tiny touch of viridian. The white dashes on the leaves is a light layer of gouache.

Viridian is not a colour I use often as on it’s own it is a very unnatural looking colour but it really does seem to mix with other colours beautifully, I may have to make a space for it in my regular palette.

calla lily watercolour sketch
Calla lily watercolour sketch

I’ve been practising sketching with ink. Trying to make the different values with a fountain pen. Its not brilliant but the flowers do look darker than the leaves so I’m calling it a little win.

calla lily ink sketch
calla lily ink sketch

The youngling buys some expensive pencils, Faber Castel, prisma, blackwing. When the pencil is used down to the last quarter or so she’s done with them and throws them away. Seriously!

Now she gives them to me and I use them till there’s barely anything left to hold on to.

This graphite sketch was drawn with a blackwing pencil held on its side to use the whole depth of the pencil tip. these pencils are harder than a 4b pencil yet equally as dark.

graphite calla lily sketch
Graphite calla lily sketch

They are a real joy to draw with,

I won’t be rushing out to buy any at the moment but I enjoy using up her little stubs.

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

Drawing Lots Of Poppy Pods

Hi there, how are you?


Watercolour poppy pod

The poppies have finished flowering now and all that’s left are the pods. Luckily I really like the pods and started to draw them.

I’ve been a little bored with myself lately, everything is very samey, so I set about finding lots of different drawing and painting media to see if I can push myself to make something different.

The poppy above is the last thing painted. It’s watercolour (the Mungyo paints from last week) some of the paints are pastels and opaque, it’s the colour the pods turn just before they dry and turn brown. So far this is the favourite.

I’ve had water-soluble graphite pencils for ages and never really used them. I drew them out as I would with a regular pencil then ran a paint brush over the top to dissolve the graphite.

I love the result! I should definitely use these pencils more often.

Poppy pod drawn with water soluble graphite

Ink brush pens are always fun to use. I don’t really have the right colours for these pods; placing the green over the top of a grey gives a lovely effect. More experimentation needed.

Poppy pod drawn with ink brush pens

Negative painting. It’s not really a win but it is quite striking. I tried this on a few paintings but I really need to find some cotton paper for this technique.

Poppy pod, negative painting

Not all of the poppy pod drawings were successful, there are many treble drawings and paintings and I think the failures taught me as much as the successes.

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

Nasturtiums And Daisies

nasturtium and daisy watercolourNasturtium and daisy watercolour

Hi there, how are you?

I’m always in awe of the way other peoples compose their floral paintings, every thing just seems to flow.

Usually I just draw or paint a flower in the hope it will be aesthetically pleasing which is OK but I’d like to have a little more variance.

In the garden now nasturtium and daisies are growing next to each other so I thought these flowers would be good models to practice with, I tried to imagine the daisies growing up through the nasturtiums.

First I sketched them out with pencil then drawn out with ink, it seems to work.

Then I faintly drew a similar composition in a watercolour sketchbook (the leaves are a little more spaced out.) (top image)

nasturtium ink sketch
Nasturtium ink sketch

White flowers on white paper was going to be an issue so I added some water around the daisies and dropped in a little Prussian blue. It doesn’t show too well as blues never really scan well. I do like the effect though, it’s almost a background but not too overpowering.

There are lots of things I can see need fixing but on the whole I’m quite satisfied with it.

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

Pink Poppies, You’ve Got To Be Quick To Catch Them

pink poppy flower

Hi there, how are you?

This week I have been carefully watching the pink poppy buds, waiting for them to open.

Then finally one morning out one popped but I didn’t have time to draw it so took a few photos on my phone to draw later.

When I did have time I went out, sketchbook in hand all hopeful, this is what I found. All of the petals had dropped off in the wind!

All of the petals blew off!
All of the petals blew off!

I drew the pod anyway, they are still interesting although not as pretty without the petals.

Here’s one drawn from the photos taken earlier.

A pink poppy before the petals blew off
A pink poppy before the petals blew off.

At the top of the post is an ink sketch with a loose wash of watercolour.

The next day there is one pod and two buds slowly opening, maybe I’ll be quicker off the mark and get to draw them this time.

Waiting for the next poppy to open
Waiting for the next poppy to open.

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