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


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

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

Orange Japonica Flowers

watercolour-sketch orange quince flower-A watercolour sketch of orange quince flowers

Hi, how are you?

Last week I had been drawing and painting the white blossoms of the japonica quince; sadly the petals of these flowers are starting to fall to hopefully make way for the fruit.

This week the orange/red japonica is flowering away giving the most beautiful display.

They’ve been drawn with whatever medium I have to hand in moments I have. I like to do this because each pen, pencil or brush has a different look and feel to it.

Below a graphite study of several small stems. Most of the pencil sketches were drawn with an ordinary HB pencil and don’t scan well but this page was drawn with a much softer 2B pencil and is at least visible in the scan.

pencil sketch orange quince
Pencil sketch of orange quince

Later in the week I coloured this in with watercolour, just doodling really; fun to do whilst watching TV.

watercolour & pencil sketch orange quince
Watercolour & pencil sketch orange quince

This was drawn in black ink and a new pen I’m still not in love with, it’s lovely and fine but scratchy and skips a lot. Hopefully it will grow on me.

black ink sketch quince flowers
Black ink sketch of quince flowers

A small cluster of flowers drawn with red ink in an older pen, this ink goes from deep dark red to a very pretty pink when a damp brush is passed over the lines.

red ink sketch quince flowers
Red ink sketch of quince flowers

A watercolour painting on cartridge paper at the top of the page was a lot of fun to paint. I wanted a background but the paper becomes quite patchy and is only really any good for light washes so I sprinkled a little salt in places to give some interesting textures, I think it works.

Spring is here and the gloom of winter is slowly fading away. I’m looking forward to getting outside more now.

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

Japonica Flowers

quince, red ink sketch A red ink sketch of white japonica flowers

Hi, how are you?

The time has come for the japonicas to flower, whoot!

These are the first blossoms of spring, closely followed by the orange blossoms then the true quince.

It’s at a time of year when a sudden cold spell and all the flowers drop off so fingers crossed.

I filled a fountain with red ink and stood in the garden for a while, it was a nice sunny day but still very cold so I don’t stay out long.

I like to draw with this ink, then pull out the colour with a damp paint brush.

The top two flowers below were drawn with black ink and a new fountain pen that I’m not in love with yet. Maybe it will grow on me, we’ll see.

The small twig under them is drawn with a soft pencil and very enjoyable to do.

They were all made in small gaps of time whilst waiting for other things to happen.

b w tiny quince sketch
Tiny black and white quince sketches

Two more sketches this time in watercolour; again they were made in small gaps of time, they keep my mind busy.

They are very pale and difficult to scan so the colour is as accurate as I can get it.

small WC sketch quince

Trying to paint with gouache ha! This was the only one that didn’t resemble mud. I suppose it has a certain atmosphere but not much more than that.

quince gouache sketch
Japonica quince gouache sketch

Fun times in the garden. Next week the orange japonicas should be flowering and hopefully there will be more to draw.

Supermarket Tulips

4 watercolour tulipsLoose watercolour tulips

Hi there, how are you?

At the supermarket this week we found a small bunch of tulips in the reduced section. They were only slightly wilting and we thought with some care they may spring back a little.

They did and were still going strong a few days later; they were the muse for this weeks drawings.

I started with loose watercolour, it’s quick and gave me a feel for the shapes.

Next I drew some tulips with a fountain pen (below) and pulled out the ink with a damp brush, then used a brush pen filled with grey ink to colour them.

tulips ink
Tulips in black and grey ink

Tidying through some papers I found a toned sketchbook (it’s amazing what you find when you’re not looking for it), I was just going to use ink and a white gel pen but there was a palette of gouache by my side and I thought it would go nicely on this paper and it did,

tulips gouache on toned paper
Tulips in ink & gouache on toned paper

This last one is a combination of brush pen, black watercolour and white gouache. I like the effect of the black watercolour on this paper, especially where the paint is thin and it looks like a dark brown. I’ll have to try that again.

tulips ink & gouache
Tulips in ink watercolour & gouache

Not too bad for a small bunch of wilting tulips, they’ve kept me busy and happy all week.

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

Iris Seeds Heads

Hi there, how are you?

watercolour iris seed headsWatercolour iris seed heads

Spring is about to spring so I thought I’d go out into the garden and tidy up a bit.

One or two of the spring bulbs are starting to show tiny green shoots and it’s all looking very promising, then in the corner of my eye I spotted last years iris plants.

Of course there aren’t any flowers but there are some very beautiful seed heads, the pods have burst open revealing the lovely colourful seeds ranging from red to purple, absolutely stunning.

It’s too cold and wet to sit out side and draw them so I snapped a few photos and drew them in the house.

The first two are painted with watercolour on cartridge paper, layering one light wash on top of another till it became the colour I wanted.

watercolour iris seed heads 2
watercolour iris seed heads 2
The photo for this painting was taken from the top which is why the leaves are is a strange angle

The next one is drawn with a fountain pen as I try to draw in the tones. It’s not too bad, I’ll keep on practising though.

iris seeds ink drawing
iris seeds ink drawing

Another ink drawing. I was going to leave it at that but in the end added a quick wash of watercolour over the top.

I really like it now, it reminds me of illustrations from vintage books, definitely need to do this more.

vintage style iris seeds
vintage style iris seeds

These little seed heads really cheered me up this week, it’s nice to find something unexpected in the garden a this time of year.

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