Sunny Poppies And A Tiny Visitor

poppy drawn with fountain pen

Poppies drawn with a fountain pen

Hi there, how are you?

This week I have mostly been drawing poppies. I can’t resist, no matter where I see them I have to draw them (or take photos to draw later hehehe)

I drew some out in fountain pen and ink, I think it was green ink, it’s very dark so it’s hard to tell. I like the shapes the stringy little stems make.

We had one or two Biro’s sitting on the table, (probably something the other half brought home from work) red, blue and black, I thought it would be fun to sketch a poppy with them. This kept me quiet for a good half hour, all of those little folds and creases very relaxing and interesting to draw.

poppy drawn in biro

A poppy drawn in biro

This poppy was drawn with a fine liner and coloured with distress markers, I found them in a draw and am trying to use them up. The highlights are white jell pen.

red poppy coloured with distress markers

A red poppy coloured with distress markers

This is the point where all poppy sketching stopped. Whilst I had been drawing I’d heard a high pitched peeping but thought it was one of the many birds fluttering around the garden. I looked down to see a little ball of fluff and feathers padding across the path peeping loudly for mum. What to do!

I called to one of the kids to look at R.S.P.C.A on the internet and we went through the check-list

1 does it have feathers – yes

2 is it injured – no

3 is it in any immediate danger – no, not yet?

It was possibly a fledgling, I hadn’t realised they left the nest so soon, the advise was to wait up to two hours to see if mum comes to feed it. two hours! We backed away, took all our stuff inside and waited.

Five or six minutes later mum flew down with a feed and lots of cheapage. The little ball of fluff padded under cover at the back of the garden, luckily I haven’t gotten around to weeding back there yet so it had lots of cover.

baby blue tit (fledgling)

A baby blue tit (fledgling)

I’d taken a quick photo whilst waiting for the kids on the internet, I just had to draw it to keep the memory. He looks quite peeved here hehehe

Next day I heard high pitched peeping again but couldn’t find it, too well hidden. It’s the most excitement we’ve had all week.

No doubt there will be more poppies next week, hehehe

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


buttercups watercolour and ink

Buttercups drawn with a fountain pen and watercolour

Hi there, how are you?

There are buttercups everywhere at the moment. Last time we had a walk I picked a few and when we were home I put them into some water.

I’ve spent some very happy hours drawing them.

I started out drawing them with a fountain pen, the intention was to use watercolour but the ink ran and as you can see in the first flower, the paint beaded up so I just pulled out some of the ink a water brush to shade the leaves.

This page was drawn with a fine liner, I like the ink in fine liners but I wish lines had more variation, at least the ink didn’t run as I scrubbed the watercolour in. Some of the flowers were a little past their best by this time and they made some very interesting shapes.

buttercups watercolour and fine liner

Buttercups watercolour and fine liner

I vectorised one of the buttercups in illustrator, I like playing around with this program but everything I make looks so very flat so I was trying to give it a little more “personality”. It looks a lot more interesting, less polished, a little more like a drawing. I may play with it a bit more in the future.

buttercups illustration

An illustration made with my buttercups

Since the single flower turned out so well I vectorised some others and made them into a pattern this time using buttercup colours. I didn’t have many flowers vectorised so I used solid shapes to fill out the pattern

buttercup pattern

Buttercup pattern

Buttercups are such cheerful flowers they always make me happy.

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

Aquilegia (Columbine)


Aquilegia (Columbine flowers)

Hi there, how are you?

Still at home pottering around the garden. So, more garden drawing for me.

This week I’ve been looking at the aquilegia (Columbine) and I’ve have made loads of scrappy drawings trying to figure them out.

They are mostly pale pink or mauve, and have seeded themselves around the garden over the last few years and grow quite happily, slugs apparently don’t like ‘em.

Aquilegia have so many petals sticking out all over the place, it’s taken a while to even work out what is joined where. Although I try to draw them every year the are still a challenge.

I do a quick sketch with pencil to mark the positions of the petals then draw them in with a fine liner and put in some shadows. I’ve used watercolour washes to colour them, if I scrub it in with a water brush it doesn’t bead up too much.

aquilegia plant

Aquilegia plant

These are sketches of just the flower head, turning it around in my hand and drawing the different positions. They’re a bit scrappy but very useful in working them flowers out.

aquilegia pen sketches

Aquilegia pen sketches

I picked a few different flowers from the garden and put them into a vase (jam jar) they look very cheery. Since watercolour is hit and miss in this sketchbook I decided to use gouache to paint them, I didn’t much care for the result but I did find one tiny bit of the painting I quite like so I’ve cropped out all the rubbish to show that little part.

aquilegia painted with gouache

Aquilegia painted with gouache

I’m sure given what’s going on at the moment I will have plenty of time to draw more.

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

An Attempt At White Flowers

lilly of the valley

Lilly of the valley

Hi there, how are you?

Still on staycation here. The beginning of the week was a washout, it rained and rained so we didn’t even go in the garden, though it did save me hoyking up and down with a watering can.

For the last few days I’ve been drawing white flowers.

The Lily of the valley is in a small pot for the moment. The tiddly flowers are hard to see on the ground and if I’d used my head I would have put the pot higher up!

The flowers above were painted with watercolour and gouache, I’ve found with this paper if I use a stiff-ish synthetic brush and not too much water I am able to use watercolour without too much beading on the surface.

I’ve been rooting through my supplies and found things I’d forgotten about so I’m experimenting and using things up.

The strawberry flower and lily of the valley below were coloured with ranger distress markers and some cheap knock off ranger markers, they are water based. They still leak through the paper a little but not too much.

Strawberry flowers & lily of the valley

Strawberry flowers & lily of the valley

I also tried to use a white correction pen for the flowers. These pens are not water based, I found this out the hard way! Luckily I was only using an old water brush to push it around and not my best sable, phew, back to the gouache.

I have another small pot in the garden filled with wild garlic, we brought some seeds home from the woods a few years ago and surprise, they’ve taken. (maybe slugs don’t like wild garlic) They were drawn with the markers and a white gell pen.

wild garlic

wild garlic

The strawberry plant below is currently pushing its way through the cracks in the paving. They are remarkably robust and plant themselves all over the garden, we don’t actually get many strawberries even though there a re lots of flowers, between the slugs, birds and squirrels we’re lucky to get just a handful. I do enjoy the flowers though so I don’t mind too much.

strawberry flowers

strawberry flowers

I was thinking of planting both the lily of the valley and wild garlic in the garden but discovered lily of the valley are quite invasive and the plants are often easily mistaken for each other; since lily of the valley is poisonous it’s probably a bad idea so they will be place into a bigger pot for the time being.

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

Quince Flowers In Gouache And Ink

Gouache quince flower

Gouache quince flower

I’m still in the garden, the quince tree has been flowering away to itself for almost a week now and I fear I have neglected it this year, realising this I thought I should draw the flowers before they all drop off!

They have lovely white flowers just tinged hear and there with pink, the leaves are huge and floppy making a good backdrop for the flowers helping them to really stand out.

I did a quick pencil sketch for a guide then drew it all in with a fine liner. The intention was to use watercolour but the paper was refusing to co-operate so I used gouache. It’s not a highly pigmented set but the extra body helped with the paint beading on the surface.

two gouache quince flowers

Two gouache quince flowers

Gouache is not my favourite medium, I usually spent more time fixing the mistakes than painting but this time it was a more pleasurable experience as being outside meant the paint dried faster and so I wasn’t pushing the colours together in a muddy mess.

(Note to self: use less water when painting with gouache.)

Some drawings worked better than others as I tried to work out how best to deal with the shadows and which greens to use.

Between the blue paper and the white paint the scanner had a hard time here and the white flowers don’t really show up well.

After trying single flowers I looked for a little group that although weren’t actually on the same branch, from my point of view seemed to be in a small cluster, I think It gives a little more movement around the page.

a group of gouache quince

A group of quince flowers painted with gouache.

The day was a bit colder and didn’t really want to drag paints and brushes outside so I settled for a fountain pen and my sketchbook. The leaves, twist and undulate, it was difficult to work out the shadows and then make the leaves darker than the flowers. I think this will take a lot more practice.

quince flowers drawn with a fountain pen

Quince flowers drawn with a fountain pen

Stepping away for a while and looking at it now its not too bad, maybe if there are and flowers left after the nights wind I will have another go and work the shadows out properly.

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


poppy drawn with a brush pen

Poppy drawn with a brush pen

Hi there, how are you?

The poppy bud popped open this week and now we have a lone beautiful red poppy to draw.

The last sketchbook filled up very quickly and now I’m working in a new one which has blue paper (that’s right folks blue, no need to adjust your sets hehehe) it was an old note book rescued from the younglings recycling pile. She hated the paper so threw it out!

To be fair the paper is really thin and blue, brush pens fountain pen ink and fine liners all leak through to the back of the page, watercolour beads up and it gets wrinkly with too much water. Pencil and biro are fine. I suppose it’s a little like the old airmail paper mum used to buy for sending letters abroad.

I’ve made an executive decision and I’m going to use just one side of the paper for now with scrap paper behind to protect the other pages and I will use all of the things I like to use and hang the leakage hehehe.

I know your asking why such a bad paper? Well, because it makes me happy, it’s a challenge and the wonder of “what would happen if”. There can be no preciousness on this paper.

I don’t know if you have heard of Roz Stendahl, she is a brilliant artist who loves to paint portraits, hair, beards and animals: she also loves drawing on many different types of paper. I love to see her paintings on note book or lined paper and reading her blog is always an education.

Back to the poppies. Drawn with a pentel brush pen and watercolour. (see above) Paints skips and slides across the paper and stops where it will. The highlights look almost yellow in the bright sunshine. So much fun to paint!

I’m still painting Californian poppies, I thought I’d planted yellow flowers but no they are a deep orange. More brush pen and watercolour. I like the orange colour here better than last week, this was a burnt orange and gamboge hue, it makes a very acceptable deep orange.

red californian poppies

Red Californian poppies

More Californian poppies, this time just watercolour. I wanted to see if I could paint them without the dark outline.

another page of californian poppies

Another page of californian poppies

Painting the poppy from a slightly different angle, again only in watercolour. It’s so hard to capture the papery delicacy of poppies but I like the way this one turned out.

watercolour poppy

Watercolour poppy

Unlike the pink oriental poppies that sporadically appear in the garden and whose flowers only last a day before the petals drop this flower has bloomed for several days and looks like I might last a few more if I’m lucky.

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

Californian Poppies and More Garden Sketches

californian poppy sketches

californian poppy sketches

Happy Easter people, if you’re not celebrating, happy Sunday.

It’s usually a time for meeting up with friends and family but we’ve been very good and stayed home. Lots of phone calls and connecting digitally will have to do for now.

This week the weather was gloriously sunny and I planted up some pots and tidied around a little when I noticed a pot with some Californian poppies. I’d planted them last year, twice as slugs ate the first batch. The second batch were really planted too late for the summer and thought I’d lost them to the frost.

There they were happily flowering away and are the most beautiful rich orange colour. I took my sketchbook and little stool out to draw them quickly. The colour isn’t quite right, I’m going to have to do some more mixing to see if I can find a better match but it’s close.

I also drew a few poppies with various pens just to familiarise myself with the shapes. As the shade (or the evening) closes in they all close up into tight buds again and go to sleep, very much like I do hehehe.

californian poppy pen sketches

californian poppy pen sketches

This quick poppy sketch is another plant I thought I had lost last year. The slugs ate it down to a stump last summer but it survived and pushed its way though the weeds and has one lovely huge bud.

Mum gave us a small pot of lily of the valley a few years ago, it was just a pot of leaves last year but this year it has several flower stalks beginning to shoot. I’m so happy things are starting to grow and flower.

garden plant sketches

garden plant sketches. A poppy bud, a few more californian poppies and a lily of the valley

Once I’d scanned the poppies into the computer I decided to make a pattern out of them. They’re a bit scrappy bur the patterns look OK, I’ve made It into two colour ways, more out of curiosity than anything else, I’m not sure which I like best, it’s a good thing I don’t have to choose.

californian poppy pattterns

californian poppy pattterns

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

Still Plodding Along

an ink drawing of red quince buds

An ink drawing of red quince bud

Hi there, how are you?

We’re still plodding along; we had one big walk down the road this week and kicked ourselves that we didn’t take our drawing stuff along. It was only a mile or so down a small lane to the river, it’s a dead end road with not too many houses so not many people or cars to avoid, crossing to the other side when we became close.

Next time if we’re still allowed out we’ll take a book and pencil case and sit on the riverbank with the cows.

I’ve been drawing in the garden again. I drew some quince flowers; the bush is a little scrappy but it has beautiful orange flowers, its only redeeming feature really since the fruit if we get any at all is the size of a ping pong ball and mostly filled with pips.

I used my fountain pen again. I’m finding it very restful listening to the birds and scratching away with my little pen.

had another go at the weeds/plant in the pot from last week. This time I drew it with a fine liner so when I painted over it with the watercolour the ink wouldn’t run into the colour.

They look a lot cleaner and fresher this time.

When I’m drawing plants like these and the quince I just pick out the bits I’m interested in,

weeds drawn with a fine liner

Weeds/plants drawn with a fine liner

This week saw in the 1st of April (can you believe it April!) I remembered pinchpunchpost, a twitter challenge I do if I remember. This month’s theme was walrus. I drew a very unappealing walrus, tried to cheer it up a bit in the computer, meh. I posted it anyway, why not.



With walrus’s on the brain I decided to make some sort of pattern. I drew a few walrus in illustrator and next thing I knew I had fish and a seagull too hehehe. Having lots of fun with the cuteness.

Walrus pattern

Walrus pattern

It’s not a colour scheme I would have chosen, I mean they are all colours I like but wouldn’t have consciously put them together myself, but I do like it. Illustrator colour changer for the win.

Thanks for taking precious time to stop by. Take care, till next time, have fun x