Sketching At The Botanical Gardens

pink blossom
Pink crab apple blossom

Hi there, how are you?

Had a trip to the local botanical gardens this week; I usually use a camera and take lots of photos. This week I decided to take a little stool and my sketching gear. Comprising of a small tin of watercolour, and a pouch just big enough to contain a pencil, water brush, two brush pens (one grey, one black) and a fountain pen. The sketch book is 6”x4” home-made from scraps of 250 gsm cartridge paper.

The weather was dull and overcast so it was reasonably quiet and I stayed on the quieter pathways as drawing in public makes me nervous.

I knew there was a crab-apple tree at the back that had lovely pink blossoms so that was the first place I headed.

They are just starting to blossom so I took out my sketchbook and drew some little sprigs. The colours aren’t quite right but it gives me a general idea of what things look like.

Further on past one of the many ponds is the beginning of a bamboo wood. Lots of different bamboo species all planted is a small area.

The shape of a small bamboo soot interested me so I spend a few minutes just making the shapes with a brush pen then drew around it with a fountain pen.

bamboo shoot
A small bamboo shoot

I’m not sure what these yellow flowers are called, they grow around the shallow edges of one or two of the ponds. I spent a few happy moments sketching them.

yellow water plant
Yellow water plant

On the other side of the park is a small wooded area. There are firs, camellias, rhododendrons all growing happily together. I was particularly taken by these plants. They are between eight or ten feet tall in small clusters of three or five. Usually there is one really tall one and some smaller younger bush like ones.

This is more of an impression of a plant because I like the shapes.

tall trees
Tall trees

I thoroughly enjoyed my trip out this week, I have to admit I do find sitting out in nature very relaxing.

I’ll probably go back next week and take photos.

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


Travelling Sketchbook Finished

pink peony sketchPink peony sketch

Hello people, how are you?

This week I finished the last page of my travelling sketchbook. This is the book I keep in my bag and if I see something interesting and have a little time will use it to draw or sketch in.

The peony (above) was drawn this spring at the botanical gardens late spring/early summer. They have small beds of different species of peony dotted all over the gardens and these pink peonies were right beside a bench off the main pathway. A nice place to rest and draw.

Also at the botanical garden they have a lovely tunnel of wisteria, some blue but mostly yellow and there are benches very close by so it’s nice to sit there and draw on a sunny day.

yellow wisteria flowers
Yellow wisteria flowers

I’m not sure what this little flower is called, we came across it on one of our lockdown walks last summer. They were all along the grassy verge, the youngling and I decided to sit on the grass and draw for a while. A nice way to pass the time.

small yellow flower
Small yellow flower

The common name around here for this plant is “lords and ladies” not sure why? I have no idea what the real plant name is. In late summer/early autumn the flower spike is covered with bright red berries. This plant is poisonous so this is as close as I generally get and after drawing this it was pulled out. With small animals around I don’t like to take a chance with things like that.

lords and ladies (weed)
Lords and ladies (weed)

Below a few other things I’d drawn in this book click the picture to see the post and a bigger image.

pitcher plant flowers
pitcher plant and flowers

red pitcher plant flowers

These pages were coloured with watercolour but most of the drawings in this book are pretty scrappy, drawn in pencil and they don’t scan well so I generally don’t share the pictures but after a quick flick through one or two aren’t that bad.

The paper was really thin and the drawings on the other side of the page sometimes show through. The paper also buckles badly which is the reason most of the drawings in this book were made with pencil but every now and then it’s good to just go for it and use a little colour.

This book was started in September 2018! unfortunately last year and most of this year for that matter we haven’t been able to travel so it was neglected for much of the year. It’s good to finally finish it.

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

Fun At The Botanical Gardens

two pink peoniesTwo pink peonies

Hi there, how are you?

I spent a day at the botanical gardens this weekend, checking out all of the beautiful flowers.

The big white tree peonies are finished now, they don’t last long. There are lots of smaller peony bushes dotted around just starting to bloom and I’ve been taking photos like a mad woman trying to capture as many as I can find.

These pink peonies (above and below) were in a small shady enclosure just off the main pathway. I actually sat for a while on a nearby bench and sketched a little in my sketch book, it was very relaxing.

pink peony watercolour sketchPink peony watercolour sketch

Further along there are some peachy coloured peonies, so pretty.

I love the colour of these but don’t really think I quite captured it very well. Corals and peach colours I find very difficult to mix.

orange peony sketchPeach peony sketch

A surprising find this year was the green magnolia, the name on the label was magnolia soulangeana. This is one of the things I like about botanical gardens, most of the plants have labels. It makes it much easier to look the plants up when I get home.

They are small fist sized flowers and stay a green/blue colour throughout.

I’ve never noticed them before, probably because the flowers are short lived and blend in with the leaves so well.

green magnolia watercolour sketchGreen magnolia flower watercolour sketches

I took a few photos to draw at home.

It’s so lovely to finally be out walking in the sunshine amongst all of these beautiful gardens in the sunshine.

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

Pitcher Plant Flowers

pitcher plant flowers
Green flowers of a pitcher plant from the front and back.

Hi there, how are you?

I went to the zoo this week and spent the time fascinated by the plants. We saw lots of animals but at this time of year there are some very beautiful plants in the gardens dotted around the zoo too.

One little garden is full of ferns, grasses and pitcher plants. I’d seen them last year and assumed they would change the plants for something different once the summer was finished but no, they seem to be quite hardy and survived the winter unscathed.

pitcher plant and flowers
A pitcher plant. flower and bud. The petals hang down over the platform in the centre.

The flowers are very strange. The petals hang down over a kind of little platform in the centre of the flower. There are a few different species; some have green flowers and others red.

red pitcher plant flowers
A pitcher plant with red flowers.

They’re in a long raised bed so I sat on the wall next too the plants and drew them. Most people are looking at the red pandas in that part of the zoo (I had seen the pandas first) so it’s reasonably quiet.

pitcher plant photo
This is a photo of the green flowers of the pitcher plant. it shows them a little more clearly.

I drew them from different angles, each pitcher along with its corresponding flower and spent a very enjoyable time in the sunshine.

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

Llama Llama Duck

Llama llama duck watercolour birthday card
Llama llama duck, a watercolour birthday card.

Hi there, how are you?

It was number one sons Birthday this week so I painted him a card. Llama llama duck based on a silly YouTube video we saw ages ago. It’s hard to think of things for guys cards so I just go with any idea I can think of, even silly ones.

The bird at the front is a supposed to be a duck not a goose (art fails *sad face*) I think the neck got longer each time I drew it but it’s really a duck, honest.

It’s watercolour on student grade 300 gsm watercolour paper; I usually paint on the right hand side of the paper then fold the paper down the middle to make a card.
It made him smile so my work is done hehehe.

I’ve been decorating so not much arting going on this week.

On Tuesday the weather was so beautiful, we didn’t want to stay indoors so we drove over to Ness Gardens (the local botanical gardens) they have a lovely snowdrop walk (sadly fading now) and the daffodils and spring flowers all coming into their own.

The camellias are blooming so we stopped for a few minutes to draw a few blooms. A lovely way to spend an afternoon.

camellia watercolour sketch
A camellia watercolour sketch

Then back home to the decorating,

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

World Watercolour Month Fourth Week

And we’re back! Hi there, how are you?

Holidays over, the weather was fantastic and hot, very hot. We stayed in a small farm cottage for the week. There was a small garden with flowers, hollyhocks, sweet peas, also geese, goat’s chickens and two horses. The horses were also holidaying there.

We’ve seen monkey world, Stonehenge, castles, beaches, and investigated the small town of Shaftesbury (a lovely town with fantastic views over the local hills)

There are a few paintings missing from the week’s daily paintings. There wasn’t always time to get the paints out, too much gallivanting don’t cha know hehehe.

Kingfisher – love kingfishers and the photo looked so cute.

hummingbird sitting on a twig
Hummingbird sitting on a twig

sweet peas – the owner of our cottage filled a small vase with sweet peas so I had to try a painting.

watercolour painting of sweet peas
Watercolour painting of sweet peas

Goose – this is one of three geese that were wandering around the grounds.

watercolour painting of a goose
Watercolour painting of a goose

Daisies – at the edge of the paddock wild daisies were growing so I painted a few.

watercolour painting of daisies

Watercolour painting of daisies

Hollyhocks – these were growing around the house. In the evening before the sun set we sat in the garden drawing and painting

watercolour painting of hollyhocks
Watercolour painting of hollyhocks

I know the official challenge finishes in a few days but I plan on finishing the rest up next week, seems a shame not to complete the challenge.

We’re all back to normal now, lots to catch up on, the app on my ipod gave out after a couple of days so I haven’t been able to respond to comments or even see the amazing art your all producing. I’ll catch up over the next few days.

Want to know what #worldwatercolourmonth is all about click here to go to doodlewash’s page for details of what, why and where to donate if you want to.

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

A Day At The Horseshoe Pass

sketches of sheep
Shorn the sheep!

Hi there, how are you?

Last week we ventured out on to the horseshoe pass. It’s a pass between two sets of mountains near Llangollen in Wales.

My parents used to take us up there when we were kids to pick whinberries (bilberries) but I haven’t been there for years. There are no berries at the moment; it’s the wrong time of year.

horseshoe pass panorama
A panoramic view of the horseshoe pass

You can walk for miles and see nothing but roaming hills, mounds of slate and sheep that wander over the heather. It’s a great place to get away from it all.

We challenged ourselves to draw a landscape in 15 minutes, this is the best I could muster, it’s only about 2”x3” I thought I would have a better chance of finishing something small. These are some of the hills in the distance.

horseshoe pass 15 minute sketch
Distant hills on the horseshoe pass 15 minute sketch

Once home I tried to paint from one of my photos, this was painted in one colour, perylene green trying to work out the tones.

horseshoe pass tonal sketch
Horseshoe pass tonal sketch

Did I mention the sheep? They had all been shorn recently so it was interesting to see their actual shape, they’re such a different shape with wool, see above for sheep sketches. Have to say most of my photos were of the backside of a sheep as they walked away from us.

This is the one that got away; she escaped the shearer’s clippers hehehe. I hope she doesn’t’ get too hot in this weather!

the one that got away
Avoiding the shearers clippers

It’s world watercolour month as from the 1st July, this is where we all paint lots of lovely watercolours and share our stuff. If you’re not sure what it’s all about hears the link to doodlewashe’s site to tell you all about it  and if you feel like donating, it’s for a good cause.

I’ll post my first seven up together next week to spare your in boxes or you can catch me on instagram if you want to see as they go up.

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

Sketching Wisteria At The Botanical Gardens

purple wisteria sketch
A sketch of purple wisteria

Hi there, how are you?

It’s the time of the year for wisteria. I love to see it flower. It hangs and drips off walls and fences, it really is beautiful.

At the local botanical garden they have a lovely long arch-way covered in both purple and yellow wisteria. This part of the garden is currently free to the public so we decided to spend a day in the sunshine drawing it.

wisteria archway
The wisteria archway

I find trying to paint the whole thing a bit much so I drew parts of the plant, much easier to deal with.  Here I am drawing the yellow flowers, again just a small branch with a few sprays of flowers on.

sketching yellow wisteria
Drawing yellow wisteria in the sunshine

In this next one I was trying to give more of an impression of one of the plants, I was using my sketch book made from cartridge paper, not good for washy things so not a brilliant effort but it gives kind of the impression of what I was looking at.

My daughter had brought watercolour paper with her and after seeing my poor effort gave a small piece to me.

wisteria purple
I’ll have to imagine the metal support of the arch structure because I had forgotten to draw it in.

It’s funny how time flies and after being deeply engrossed in what we were doing realised it was almost time to go home.

We set ourselves a challenge, 10 minutes to draw/paint some wisteria.

Eeep! Where to start, I chose a bunch of purple flowers and started to paint, no drawing or roughing it out just straight onto the paper and since I now had a piece of watercolour paper that was what I used to paint them on.

Wisteria 10 minute challenge
This was the painting from my 10 minute challenge.

It was just a quick little sketch but this was actually my favourite painting of the day, it’s clean, simple and not overworked. Maybe we should do more of this it was a lot of fun.

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