Drawing And Practising My Shading

poppy pencil drawing

Pencil drawing of poppies

Hi there, how are you?
A whole month of watercolour painting and I somehow feel the need to draw things. It’s not that I didn’t draw in July but the watercolour does most of the heavy lifting when painting.

I watched a skillshare class by Isa Down called Shading 101: Your Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Dynamic Shading in Your Drawings
Shading is something I find difficult when drawing with a pencil (or pen for that matter)
I drew the first flower along Isa in the class and then drew a poppy from my own photos to see if I could replicate the technique. Not too shabby me thinks it does actually look like a poppy.

There’s a huge splot on the first flower, I think I was a little too enthusiastic with the pink paint on another page! (Sometimes life just happens)

We had one or two days of sun so out I went with my little stool and drew the hollyhock before it started to fade. I used a Preppy fountain pen EF nib filled with deep dark green ink and thoroughly enjoyed myself, no reason really I just spent half an hour or so loosing myself in the details. I really like the fact that the green isn’t as harsh as black ink, it’s my new favourite.

hollyhock fountain pen drawing

Hollyhock fountain pen drawing

The foxglove came into its own this week so I set about drawing it in pencil.

foxglove pencil drawing

Foxglove pencil drawing

I love the shapes of these flowers, so a few days later I took my stool outside and quickly painted it.

foxglove watercolour sketch

Foxglove watercolour sketch

The scanner does not like this pink apparently and the bottom half of the flower spike faded into nothing so I cropped it a bit. It’s not a brilliant painting but it does give me an idea of the colours. Sometimes the colours in photos and on screens aren’t as close to the real colours and can be misleading.

The foxgloves are definitely paying for its spot in the garden though and as a plus the slugs have decided not to eat it so a big whoot from me!

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


Dodging Raindrops And Drawing In The Garden

watercolour sketch of st johns wort

A watercolour sketch of st johns wort flowers

Hi there, how are you?

It’s been raining all week, typical June weather. In-between the down-pours I’ve nipped out into the garden to draw and paint some flowers.

On show at the moment is St Johns Wort, lots of big yellow flowers bursting out like sunshine. I’ve tried to draw each one in a different position.

After painting the flowers I tried a few graphite pencil drawings practising my skills.

st johns wort pencil sketch

A pencil sketch of st johns wort flowers

Last year mum gave me a comfrey plant, I dutifully planted it and after a year of doing nothing suddenly it went poof and is shooting leaves and flowers everywhere.

I think it’s kind of a weed but if it can fight off slugs, leaf miners and still produce beautiful flowers I’m giving it a home. Plus the bees love it, whoot!

I used watercolour, fountain pen and pencil to sketch the flowers.

I love the way the flower buds spiral around till they flower and tried to capture it in the drawings.

comfrey drawn in various medium

Comfrey flowers drawn in various medium.

We had some gorgeous deep red roses this year, by the time I got to drawing them the petals had fallen off so I drew the hips instead. Well they’re not quite hips yet but they soon will be. After a quick pencil sketch I mixed a little paynes grey with some green watercolour and filled them in, later I defined the shapes with a brush pen. It’s not a realistic colour but I love the way it turned out.

rose hip watercolour sketch

A rose hip watercolour sketch

It’s still raining, the garden is growing fast and every thing is very green, more rain dodging drawing practice for me.

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

Drawing More Japonica Quince Flowers

orange quince garden sketch

Orange quince garden sketch

Hi there, how are you?

A few weeks ago I drew some japonica quince flowers in the garden; they’re pink and white a little like apple blossom. This week the other japonica in the garden started to flower. These flowers are quite different to the others, they’re orange and where the pink flowers flare out, these are more cup-shaped.
They are beautiful in the spring especially as the sun hits them and really brighten up the garden.

We’ve had a lovely sunny week so sitting in the garden drawing the quinces is a very relaxing thing to do.

At the zoo the quinces are also out, theirs differ again with their flowers being bright red. I noticed a small piece had broken off so picked it up and carried it home.
As I drew it I turned it around in my hand to show different positions. I do love the bright yellow stamens against the deep red flowers.

red quince sketch from at the zoo

Red zoo quince sketch.

The first quince is still flowering although the flowers are starting to fall now so I stood outside for a while with my sketch book and a fountain pen filled with red ink and drew a few branches. Then took a water brush and pulled out some of the ink to shade it slightly.

quince sketch in red fountain pen ink

Quince sketch in red fountain pen ink

This small watercolour sketch was painted in my sketch book, cartridge paper is not really meant for lots of watery washes but it was enough to give the idea of what the flowers look like, if I think ahead next time maybe I’ll take a piece of watercolour paper out with me.

pink Japonica quince watercolour sketch

Pink Japonica quince watercolour sketch

I really have the most delightful time drawing in the garden this week, and since the clocks went forward this week I’ll be able to stay out there even longer. Good times!

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

Drawing Quince Blossoms In The Garden

quince watercolour sketch

Japonica quince watercolour sketch


Hi there, how are you?

Spring is springing and I’ve been watching the Japonica’s outside in the garden, waiting for them to flower. The flowers on this plant are similar to apple blossom, white with a pink bush on the outside of the petals. I have another plant on the other side of the garden that is much smaller in size with orange flowers but they’re not ready yet.

They’re called Japonica (oriental ) quince not to be confused with the other pear shaped fuzzy quince. I have one of those too but it’s too early for it to be in flower yet.

Out I went, sketch book in hand to draw the lovely flowers. Here the flowers are just budding; it was a very quick sketch in watercolour (no pencil )to get the idea of the shapes.

quince buds watercolour sketch

Quince buds watercolour sketch

Over the week as the flowers have started to open and I nip outside to draw one or two sprigs; it’s been quite cold so I draw what I can in as short a time as possible before my fingers get too cold.

quince flowers watercolour sketch

I tried a bit of ultramarine for the shadows in these quince flowers and I quite like the effect.


I tend to draw bits of the plant rather than the whole thing, it’s all trunk/stalk with small branches that hold the flowers and buds close to the trunk.
This was drawn with a fountain pen and gives the best idea of the structure,  imagine it at about six or so feet tall (it really wants to be taller but then I wouldn’t be able to pick the fruit in the autumn).

quince outlined in fountain pen

Japonica quince flowers drawn with a fountain pen. Did I mention the sharp spiky thorns, ooof!

After scanning the line work in I thought it looked a little sad so I coloured it in, because I had used water-soluble ink to draw it so  decided to use watercolour pencils for the flowers and leaves so it didn’t turn into a huge brown inky mess.  Ahh that’s better.


quince outlined in fountain pen and watercolour

Quince flowers outlined in fountain pen with watercolour and watercolour pencils.


If I get time I might draw a few more over the week as it’s in full bloom now and it would be a shame to miss such a lovely drawing opportunity.

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

Drawing Flamingos From The Comfort Of My Arm Chair

sketch of two flamingos in green ink.

Two flamingo heads drawn with green ink.

Hi there, how are you?

We wanted to draw flamingos, the weather was OK as we arrived at the zoo then suddenly the heavens opened and it rained and rained and rained! It was too wet for sketchbooks so we did what everyone else did and hid from the rain in one of the animal houses.
Normally we would sketch in the houses but there were so many people and not too much room so we just spent the day enjoying the animals.

Later at home I still wanted to draw flamingos so pulled up some photos I’d taken on a previous visit and drew a few in the dry comfort of my arm-chair (hehehe)

I received some new fountain pen inks this Christmas, they are all small sample bottles, if I like the ink enough and use it I will maybe buy the full-sized bottles in the future.

I filled the pens I had with red and green ink (I already have brown in another pen) and used them to draw these flamingos, then used a water brush to pull out some of the colour from the ink


pink flamingo ink sketches

Flamingos drawn in red ink , I drew over some of the lines with a pentel brush pen and the feathers are a mixture of gouache and watercolour.


I drew a few close-ups of their heads to try to work out where the eyes and beaks are positioned, this is usually difficult when we see them at the zoo because they’re quite far away.

peeved pink flamingo

I drew this one too close to the gutter of the page so it didn’t scan too well. I do like the look on her face though, a slightly peeved pink flamingo.


These were little gesture studies, there are others but I had painted them with watercolour and the scanner didn’t like to colour so these were the only ones I can show.

flamingo gesture sketches

A few flamingo gesture sketches drawn with a fountain pen and brown ink. Trying to work out the direction the feathers lie.

Maybe next week we’ll have better weather then we can spend a little time drawing real flamingos.

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

Drawing Experiments: Orchids

drawing of a pink orchid in brown ink

A drawing of a pink orchid in dark brown ink

Hi there, how are you?

This week I have been drawing orchids, lots of orchids. We have two orchid plants in our house, mine is the pink striped one and the other is white with slightly bigger flowers belonging to my daughter. We are extremely happy with ourselves because amazingly they are still alive after over a year, whoot!
The pink one started to flower last week and I drew one or two sketches of it. This week the white orchid is flowering, it has grown four flower spikes so far so there will be lots of drawing opportunities available in the future.

The drawing above and the one directly below were both drawn with a fountain pen and brown ink, the ink was then brushed out with a water brush to create the shadows. I really like the way the tones and shadows stand out on the first one,

drawing of a white orchid in brown ink

A drawing of a white orchid in brown ink. I love the colour of this ink.

The next two are drawn the way I usually draw things in general, with a pentel brush pen. I know it makes them look a bit cartoon-y but I like the effect. I also wanted to use these drawings as a pattern for watercolour and thought it would show better though the light box and paper. It did.

sketch of white orchid flower buds

A sketch of white orchid flower buds

The shadows didn’t show up too well on the scan of the flowers, to be honest I’m not sure they were strong enough to start with, something for me to experiment with later.

sketch of a white orchid spray

A sketch of a white orchid spray.

I painted a green background on this one trying to push the white flowers forward, I had wanted to try to paint it without the heavy lines but the shadows again were not strong enough. This is all useful information to take into future drawings.

white orchids on a green background

Some white orchids on a green background

This one was more an experiment with the paper than the drawing. I like the effect of the blue background and I will try this again. The paint was applied with a 1” synthetic brush in a criss-cross pattern.

white orchid on a blue background

white orchid on a blue crisscross blue background

All of these drawings were done in my sketch book which contains a coated cartridge paper so an even wash is not possible. It turned out quite well and isn’t any where near as much work as the green background in the image above.

This quick sketch was drawn on brown packing paper, I wanted a toned surface and this was all I had. It’s drawn with a fountain pen and brown ink then painted with watercolour (Chinese white for the petals)

orchid sketched on brown paper

An orchid sketched on brown paper

Finally watercolour paper (phew!)  This is always fascinating to me, the water was added and the paint allowed to travel out along the water.
I like the colour and the way this turned out, again the shadows are not strong enough. I could have fixed it maybe but the next day it had been made into a birthday card and was winging its way to its new home.
Its recipient said she liked it and that’s what really matters.

blue orchid birthday card

Blue orchid birthday card

I love playing and working in my sketchbook, It’s nice to make pretty pictures but my sketchbook is the place I experiment, make mistakes, learn from the things that worked as well as the things that didn’t. If all my drawings were perfect there would be no need to practice and for me that is where the fun lies.

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

Happy New Year

teasel drawn from the front and back

A teasel drawn from the front and back.

Hi guys, how are you?

It’s the end of the year already! A time that makes most people think about the past and present simultaneously.

These drawings, a few hawthorn berries and teasels found on a winter walk were drawn with a fountain pen in brown ink brushed out with a water brush.

teasel sprig drawn in brown ink

A teasel sprig drawn in brown ink.


hawthorn berries drawn in brown ink

A few hawthorn berries drawn in brown ink.

All carry their seeds into the new year filled with hope, ready to grow into future plants.

As we move forward Lets all take the seeds of hope into 2019.

I would like to thank each and every one of the people who have stopped by, liked or sent uplifting and encouraging comments. You make the whole experience such a pleasure.

Have a very happy and healthy New Year everyone.

See you next year  XXX



More Garden Flowers To Draw

honeysuckle painting outlined with a fountain pen

Honeysuckle painting outlined with a fountain pen

We’ve had such beautiful weather this week, just perfect for sitting out in the evening drawing flowers.

The honeysuckle is out, it’s not actually in the garden as such, it just drapes itself over the fence looking lovely. It’s a very obliging plant.

I’ve tried to draw honeysuckle before and always end up getting lost in the curly petals. This time I went straight in with water brush and paint. It seems that painting in the shapes first prevents my fiddling about with all those petals, and then I drew in the lines with a fountain pen. I like the way they turned out.

This page of honeysuckle is painted without any line work. I keep looking at it thinking maybe I should add the lines but I think leaving them like this will remind me how different they look as I look back through my sketchbook.

honeysuckle painting not outlined

Honeysuckle painting without any outlining.

In the corner of the garden is a large shrub? It grows very fast and has to be pruned back hard every year. I have no idea what it’s called bur every year it’s covered in big yellow flowers. I drew them last year; you can see the drawings here.

I’m still trying to find the right yellow to do these flowers justice. I’m sure I’ll find it eventually.

sketch of yellow flowers

A sketch of yellow flowers


These fuchsia flowers are not in my garden, I spotted them growing over somebody’s fence as I walked past so I snapped a photo on my ipod to draw later.

drawing of Fuchsia flowers

A drawing of Fuchsia flowers found growing over somebody’s fence

It is such a colourful time of year. Plants are growing, flowering away, and all I have to do is pull up the odd weed. sit back and draw them, love the warm summer evenings.

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