Inktober 2018 Week 3

Chinese birds on a blossom branch day 15

Inkktober Chinese birds on a blossom branch, Day 15.

Hi there, and welcome to week 3 of inktober.

This week seems to be the week of birds,
15-16  Random birds, the book doesn’t say what kind they are, I suppose you could just change the colours and the shape would work for many little birds.

15 – The birds above were painted on a blossom branch as it gives them a place to perch.
16 – Birds on a line, I was just practising the strokes so instead of the birds floating around in mid-air I painted a quick line underneath to represent the branch.

Chinese birds on a line day 16

Inkktober Chinese birds on a line, day 16.

17-21 Sparrows, these were so much fun to do! I found a picture from The beginner’s guide to painting: Birds and Insects. Judging by the page I have found I definitely need to check this book out.

17 – I painted a small block of birds on a page; they were all in different positions, perfect for adding to other paintings.

Inkktober 9 sparrows day 17

Inkktober 9 sparrows, Day 17.

Then all I needed was something for them to perch on, I picked bamboo with their flexible stems, I thought they would make good perches.

18 – A small part of a bigger picture, this was the only part I liked so I cropped it in the computer.

inktober sparrow day 18

Inktober sparrow, Day 18.

19 – Four sparrows all painted with two tones of ink. It’s all the same ink; I just add more water to dilute it to a paler tone.

sparrows on bamboo in black & Gray ink day 19

Sparrows on bamboo in black & gray ink, Day 19.

20 – Two little sparrows. I’m mixing my inks here and it makes quite a reasonable brown.

sparrows on bamboo day 20

Sparrows on bamboo, Day 20.

21 – Two more sparrows on bamboo. The beauty of having all of these birds in so many positions you can pick one or more and it is a completely different painting.

Inktober sparrows on bamboo, Day 21.

Inktober sparrows on bamboo, Day 21.

I could paint these little sparrows all day long and I have many more practice pieces. I’m also sure that it would be very boring for everybody to see but me hehehe, so I’m going to move on and see what else I can find in my books.

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

link to Inktober information here

If you would like to check out previous weeks
Inktober week 1
Inktober week 2



Inktober 2018 Week 2

inkktober day 14 swallows 2

Inkktober day 14 swallows bonus illustration.

Hi there how are you?
I’m continuing on with my Chinese brush painting for Inktober week 2. Week 1 is here

Day 8 & 9 Chrysanthemums – two more to finish the trio from last week, adding more flower heads with each painting.

inktober chrysanthemum day 8

Inktober chrysanthemum day 8

inktober chrysanthemum day 9

Inktober chrysanthemum day 9

Day 10 – 12 Plum blossom – in the book some flower heads are more of an outline but these are the full petal blossoms. I had a lot more trouble painting the branches, it’s quite hard to paint them and make them look organic.

inkktober day 10 plum blossom

Inkktober day 10 plum blossom

inkktober day 11 plum blossom

Inkktober day 11 plum blossom

inkktober day 12 plum blossom

Inkktober day 12 plum blossom

This is the last of the four main exercises all made with either Indian ink or as for the last 5 images sumi-e ink. I’ll spend the rest of the month hopping about the various books doing the exercises that I like the look of and even add a little colour.

Day 13 Chrysanthemum painted in a different style to the others, slightly more realistic, taken from the book by Cheng Yan. Look at that lovely yellow, whoot!

inktober chrysanthemum day 13

Inktober chrysanthemum day 13

Day 14 Sparrows – these sparrows are made out of a few basic strokes, once you get the hang of how to hold the brush they’re not too difficult and they’re loads of fun to paint. There are one or two more birdie positions in the book but I haven’t quite learned how to paint them yet. (Baby steps hehehe ). The bonus illustration at the top of the post is also of some sparrows.

inkktober day 14 swallows 1

Inkktober day 14 swallows 1

Traditionally the colours used in Chinese brush painting are watercolours but since it’s inktober I’m sticking with ink. The colours I have are limited to black – (Indian or sumi-e ink), yellow, blue and red – (pergamano ink), I don’t really like the pergamano ink because it contains a lot of shellac, it stains and if it’s not washed off tools, brushes etc. its stuck there for ever! I need to use it up so that’s what I’m using.

It’s been an interesting week and I feel like I’m learning a lot.

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

Inktober 2018 Week 1

inktober 2018 bamboo

Inktober 2018 bamboo


Hi all, wow are you?

It’s that time of year again, inktober. As I said last week I wasn’t really going to participate this year due to a case of the bleah’s. Then I hit on the idea of doing something completely new to me, Chinese brush painting, I’m so glad I did.

covers of the books I'm using

Here are the covers of the books I’m using.

know very little about this subject so I’m using three library books for reference.
Chinese brush by Jane Evans.
Not a bad book for a beginner – gives stroke direction and basic strokes needed for the first exercises, lots of lovely colour illustrations, some advanced stuff at the back.

Chinese brush painting traditional & contemporary using ink and water-soluble media by Cheng Yan.
A beautiful book with loads of lovely colour illustrations but not a book for beginners.

Sumi~e by Hakuho Hirayama
This book has no bells and whistles, no shiny coloured illustrations, just good basic information on brush strokes and why or where to use them, A very good beginner’s book.

There are four basic seasonal objects from nature to paint called the four honourable gentlemen.
Bamboo (summer)
Chrysanthemum (autumn)
Plum blossom (winter)
Chinese orchid (spring)
For some reason all of the books do these lessons in different orders!? These exercises teach everything you need to know to learn all of the strokes needed for Chinese brush painting.

Top painting is a bonus bamboo – an extra bamboo that was painted but not posted, I quite like it so I put it here.
Days 1-3 Bamboo – a few different arrangements to start off with

day 01 inktober 2018 bamboo

Day 01 inktober 2018 bamboo

day 02 2018 inktober bamboo

Day 02 inktober 2018 bamboo

day 03 inktober 2018 bamboo

Day 03 inktober 2018 bamboo

Days 4-6 Chinese orchids – again some different arrangements

day 04 inktober 2018 orchid

Day 04 inktober 2018 orchid. Light flowers and dark flowers

day 05 inktober 2018 orchid

Day 05 inktober 2018 orchid

day 06 inktober 2018 orchid

Day 06 inktober 2018 orchid

Day 07 Chrysanthemum – so many petals. To be honest though it’s just different lengths of the same stroke so when you’ve learned the stroke it’s not too difficult.

day 07 inktober chrysanthemum

Day 07 inktober chrysanthemum

Traditional paper for Chinese painting is usually rice paper, I don’t have any and reading the books they say any absorbent paper like news print is fine. I’m using a mixture of news print copy paper and some kids drawing paper that I’ve had knocking about for years, they are all very absorbent and I have found the kids drawing paper works very well for the bamboo.

I’m working in black ink at the moment, then once I have learned the brush strokes I’ll think about adding some colour. Chinese brush painting is usually done with watercolour but since it’s inktober I will try to keep it to coloured ink for now and see if I can make it work

It’s fun to take part in this challenge and also a lot of fun checking out other people’s inky efforts. There is a lot of amazing artwork going on around the internets.

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

Cute Little Geckos

baby brown gecko

A watercolour sketch of a baby brown gecko


Hi there how are you?

Autumn is here, September is over and the nights are drawing in, time to break out the woolly hats, gloves and scarves.

1st of October is pinch punch post day. (A twitter monthly challenge) It slipped my mind completely last month so I forgot to draw or post anything! This month though I’m ready, the theme is gecko.

I drew one, thought it was kind of cute so I drew another. The brown one is a baby gecko not sure what species. The red one is a leaf-tail gecko, looks like he’s found lunch hehehe.

leaf-tail gecko

A watercolour sketch of a leaf-tail gecko

We had a lovely sunny day this week so I took out my little stool some painting gear, and set about painting a pot of pansies.

This pot of pansies is the only one remaining, I’m afraid the slugs got the rest (little perishers!) At least there’s still some colour left in the garden.

This pot used to be full of weeds; I left them in there because I thought they looked pretty and drew it ages ago for a sketchbook skool class I had taken, you can see it here. It was interesting to see the difference in both paintings.

pot of pansies

a watercolour sketch of some pansies planted in a pot in the garden.

It’s October or should I say Inktober,(you can find out about inktober here) I can’t believe it’s been a year since the last one. Where does the time go?

I wasn’t going to participate this year; I’m in a bit of a slump lately and really need to push myself to do anything arty at all, the prompts weren’t filling me with inspiration either so I thought I’d give it a rest this time.

Then I had the idea that I could do a bit of Chinese brush painting (that’s ink right?) and suddenly I’m feeling excited to get going again. I’ve borrowed some books from the library so I’ll follow these and hopefully inspiration won’t be a problem.

It will be interesting to see what the carefully placed intentional brush strokes of Chinese brush painting could do for both my watercolour and drawing skills.

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


Still Trying To Paint Landscapes

zoo stall at the islands

island stall scenery at the zoo


Hi there how are you?

I am yet again trying to paint landscapes, (here’s some  I painted earlier). A while ago I was following a course by Nathan Fowks a while ago and I’m trying to apply his lessons in my paintings. When he’s not painting digitally Nathan Fowks paints with a mixture of watercolour and gouache. Gouache is not my favourite painting medium but slowly I am getting used to it.

The first picture was painted from a photo I had taken at the zoo. They have lots of lovely scenery around the tropical part of the zoo this view is from a small boat on a river. (It’s all very picturesque)

It is painted on white paper with gouache and is about 3 ½ x 2 ½ inches in size. Nathan uses a small A6 size sketchbook and does his paintings small so I’m trying to do the same.

Moel Famau painted in gouache

Moel Famau painted in gouache

The picture above was taken from a recent photo of Moel Famau, it is situated at the top of a hill in Wales and is a mile and a half walk to the top. There is a fantastic view from the top of this monument but boy was it windy!

It is painted in gouache in my craft paper album. The monument came out a bit boxy, something to work on but overall it’s OK.

atumn walk watercolour

An Autumn walk watercolour


The last two were painted using the same reference picture taken from the interwebs. They were both painted on white paper.

The first one was painted with watercolour it came out looser and less detailed than the second one which was painted with gouache. It’s interesting to see the difference between the two.

autumn walk Gouache

An Autumn walk Gouache


There is so much to think about when painting landscapes and it’s taking quite a long time to work it all out but with more practice I’m sure I’ll get there.

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



Pansies – Need To Draw Them fast The Slugs are coming!

watercolour sketch of pansies

Watercolour sketch of pansies


Hello peeps how are you?

The garden flowers this year grew and died so quickly and all the colours are fading fast. Pansies are in the garden centres and they are so cheerful to look at I really feel the need to bring them home.

They were all planted in pots around the garden and really do make me happy as they wave in the breeze smiling back at me.

Suddenly there are little notches taken out of the leaves and flower heads missing, the slugs have found them eep!
I decided I had better draw them fast before they turn into little pots of stalks!

The first picture above is of a pansy and a viola. I have to say that the little viola is my favourite out of all of these, it almost painted itself and I managed to get the colours really close to the real flower.

Next I painted lots of pansy heads, all of the colours immortalised in my sketchbook for all time. I had bought a box of mixed colours so hopefully my pots will be a riot of colours throughout the autumn (providing the slugs don’t eat them first that is.)

watercolour sketch of pansies heads

Watercolour sketch of pansies heads


This little viola is painted on a watercolour postcard; the card was hiding in the back of my sketch book, and I was interested to see the difference in the colours to the sketchbook pansies.

Postcard of watercolour pansies

Postcard of watercolour pansies


Below are pansy doodles drawn whilst watching TV, testing myself to see if I could remember the shapes, they’re outlined with a brush pen, almost cartoony really.

more watercolour pansies and heads

More watercolour pansies and heads


I hope you enjoyed a peek these happy little flowers and also that they last a little longer. If it means running around the garden in the dark with a torch picking the rotten things off, It will be worth it for a bit more colour.

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



Wolves, More Lessons

wolf head sketch coloured in watercolour side view

Wolf head sketch coloured in watercolour side view


Hi there how are you?

Last week I was drawing foxes from the Aaron Blaise course “how to draw wolves’ coyotes and foxes” I had started at the end with foxes because I think they’re cute but felt I was missing something.

At the beginning, in the wolf section he covered bone structure, muscles, legs and feet. I was missing feet! (All those little toes and pads.)This is what I get for starting at the end of the course!

wolf head sketch coloured in watercolour

Wolf head sketch coloured in watercolour

I started with the head, he was drawing digitally using a photo of the skull to draw around and show where everything was in relation to the skull. I should have printed one out it would have been a great help, instead I winged it meh.

I drew everything with a red crayola pencil (not so easy to rub out) you can still see the pencil here and there in the two water-coloured heads.

wolf gesture sketches 1

Wolf gesture sketches 1

I drew along with the video stopping it when I fell behind. There’s certainly a lot of information to take in here and although at the moment I’m using it for wolves and foxes it’s also going to be useful for drawing other animals too, lots of animals have similar bone structure.
The wolf gestures are a bit cartoonish, I’d expect that since he is a big animator and Disney artist.

I haven’t gotten around to colouring them in yet, or maybe I’ll draw them again with a graphite pencil and tidy them up a little.

wolf gesture sketches 2

Wolf gesture sketches 2

They’re a lot of fun to draw, if I can pack all of this information into my head I may be able to draw some wolves of my own, I’m going to need some reference though.

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

Drawing Foxes

Fox sketch standing coloured with watercolour

Fox sketch standing coloured with watercolour

Hi there how are you?

More foxes but this week I’ve been drawing them. I bought a course by Aaron Blaize. The lessons are all drawn digitally but he does it in a way that you can easily follow along with a pencil and paper. The course is called “how to draw wolves’ coyotes and foxes”. If you follow the last link you can find a free peek at the course where he shows how to draw a wolf. Or watch his youtube channel (no affiliation, just fun stuff)

Since I had been painting tiny fox gestures last week I started at the end with the foxes.

fox gestures in watercolour

Fox gestures in watercolour

They were all drawn in my sketchbook with a red crayola colouring pencil, it’s difficult to rub out and they are nice and soft to draw with. I just drew along with him, listening to the commentary  correcting as I went along, no rubbing out so they were quite scribbly.

sketch of a fox sitting painted with gouache

Sketch of a fox sitting painted with gouache

The top pictures were painted with watercolour, you can’t really tell in the picture but the pencil still shows through. To try to hide the lines I painted the last two pictures with gouache and outlined them with a brush pen.

I normally use watercolour with my drawings I find gouache quite difficult to use, it’s  thicker and flows less so the colours don’t mix on the paper but it worked well to hide the pencil marks.

If I was using watercolour paper I would transfer the image with tracing paper eliminating the need to hide the lines at all.

fox sniffing close to the ground in gouache

Fox sniffing close to the ground in gouache

Aaron Blaise made this quite easy, talking through his thought process and showing why he made the choices he did. Next step is to draw from some photos without help, see if I can do it on my own.

I would try to draw from life but the foxes around here are very shy and only come out at night.

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