Mother’s Day Blossoms

blossom sketch

Blossom sketch

Hi there, how are you?

Happy Mother’s Day, if it doesn’t apply to your country yet, happy Sunday, I hope you all had a very relaxing weekend.

I decided to make a card for mum with a watercolour painting. All of my photos are in the poorly computer so for reference I used old sketch books. (I have 5 old sketch books now can you believe it!)  It’s nice to be getting use out of my old drawings.

cherry blossom sketch

Cherry blossom sketch

apple blossom sketch

Apple blossom sketch


I had a play around with the colours and different types of flower; I liked the apple blossom best and after playing around in my sketch book I broke out the watercolour paper, the good stuff not the student grade I normally use.

Apple blossom watercolour

Apple blossom watercolour on W&N 200gsm (90lb) 100% cotton paper

The first one was on Windsor & Newton 200gsm (90lb) 100% cotton watercolour paper, I like this paper but it is quite thin and needs stretching for very wet washes. It was all going really well till I muffed the background so I started again.

Apple blossom card watercolour

Apple blossom watercolour on Saunders Waterford 300 gsm (140lb) 100% cotton paper

The second one I decided to paint the background first so if I messed it up again I could just turn over the page and not waste too much time.

This was Saunders Waterford 300 gsm (140lb) 100% cotton paper. It’s not as white as the W&N and I hadn’t allowed for that in my colour mixing. I’m not sure if its cold press or rough (it came to me in a set of fancy art papers but it had a Saunders watermark on the edge), again nice paper to use.

I used the second painting for the card in the end, there were parts of both I liked but they wouldn’t both fit on the card, hehehe.

To be honest I liked the sketch better than both paintings, maybe I should try hot press paper?

Thanks for stopping by today. Till next time, have fun x


Note:It wasn’t until I had given the card away that I realised I hadn’t taken a picture so I snapped something quick on my ipod. All of the other pictures in today’s post are a little off from the way the actually look, I’m scanning them with an app on my ipod and it’s blowing out the colours.


Take A Deep Breath Stand Back And Start Again

mousy brush pen sketchesHello folks, how are you?

I’ve had one of those weeks, it started with the roses. I’m not posting roses because seriously they were terrible.

Then I wanted to make a card, decided mice would be cool and started to sketch said mice, So far so good. Tried some watercolour in my sketch book, meh I was sure they would look better in the finished card.

watercolour mousy sketches

watercolour mousy sketches

two mice on wheat stalks

Two mice on wheat stalks. the only thing I liked here was their little faces.

After a few blobby attempts (not shown) it was ok then realised his little tummy should be white so I finished the painting as far as I needed, best to keep all the screw-ups in one place and learn as much as possible from them. Then try again.

two mice on wheat stalks 2

Second attempt, two mice on wheat stalks 2


Attempt two. Tried a background this time, managed to keep his tummy white but I still wasn’t feeling it.

This is what I ended up with. Not mice at all hehehe. It’s full of back-runs but they looked sort of pretty and were in places that seemed to work. The shape of the leaves was ok; I’m not fussed on the colour.

It was supposed to be a lovely watercolour painting but after a while I realised it was going the same way as the others and turned into something a bit more graphical  with the brush pen. Sometimes it’s best not to fight the process and just go with the flow.

chameleon watercolour

chameleon watercolour

The only thing I really liked this week were the black and white mousy sketches drawn in a few minutes with my brush pen.

I know these paintings are not completely awful; they have their good bits, they just weren’t any where near the images inside my head.

This arting thing is a learning experience and slowly but surely I am learning, lots, mainly what doesn’t work at the moment; eventually I’ll gain an understanding of what does?

I hope you’ve had a much more fruitful week. It’s time to take a deep breath stand back and start again, more practice that’s what I need, that and a good strong cup of tea.

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

Little Fluffy Chicks

little chick sketches 1

little chick sketches 1

Hi there, how are you?

I’ve been drawing fluffy little chicks; well that’s what I was aiming for any way. The colours didn’t transfer to the screen very well, the paler yellows are sort of over exposed.

little chick sketches 2

little chick sketches 2


My laptop went kapluee this week and I’m working on one kindly lent to me by my other half. He has hardly any programs! No scanner, no image programs it’s like a wasteland in here!

On the bright side it’s better than trying to do the whole thing on my ipod so “thanks dear”

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


Valentines Lovebirds

Lovebirds sketch

Lovebirds sketch

Hi there, how are you?

Last week we had Valentines Day and I wanted to make the other half a card.

I thought to myself lovebirds are really sweet so I looked at a few pictures on the internet and sketched some out in my sketchbook I liked the way they turned out.

I used a pentel brush pen for the line work. After swatching a few colours out and deciding which to use, I  splashed a little watercolour over them.

Quinacridone yellow (W&N)
New Gamboge (W&N)
Red (old student no name?)
Hookers green (old student no name?)
Burnt umber (old student no name?)

The colours I used were from my homemade sketch tin, this is the one I take everywhere and most of the paints in it are old student no name paints. They work just fine in my sketchbook, the paint slides around just the same whether it is artists or student grade and it doesn’t need to be light fast, the only time they see daylight is when I paint in the book or flick through it from time to time.

As I use the paints up I am gradually replacing them with artist’s grade paints though.

homemade paint palette

Homemade paint palette

To transfer from the sketchbook to the watercolour paper I borrowed the daughters light box. I have to say it’s much faster than using tracing paper and scribbling on the back with a soft pencil (the usual way I transfer drawings.) it also saves me from damaging the paper rubbing out stray pencil marks.

Lovebirds watercolour painting

Lovebirds watercolour painting

I used exactly the same colours for both but you can see looking at both pictures the paint reacts very differently on each type of paper even though they were painted in exactly the same way.

Love and hugs to every one.
Thanks for stopping by today. Till next time, have fun x



Sketching Chickens In The Kitchen Garden

henrietta 1

A sketch of Henrietta chicken

Hi there, how are you?

Last week we visited the local botanical gardens. They have so many lovely walks there and even in the middle of winter we find things to look at.

This time we walked past the chicken run, its part of the gardens called a pottager garden (French term for an ornamental vegetable or kitchen garden.)

There are about a dozen chickens scratching around, we decided to sit and draw them (insert scrappy sketches).

rough chicken sketches

I had drawn the chickens with graphite which doesn’t show up on my scanner but I found a pink pen while tidying up and decided to pick out the chickens I liked best with it.

I have several pages just like this one; I think you get the general idea though. Not amazing art work I admit, it just gives me an idea of the shapes and poses.

I really wanted some photo’s but I only had my ipod with me so we waited till they came close to the edge of the enclosure and snapped a few photos. One of the chickens Henrietta (not her real name) came right up to us (she was ready for her close up). The pictures came out surprisingly well.

henrietta chicken photo

The beautiful Henrietta (please excuse the fence)

Later at home I drew some sketches of Henrietta in my sketchbook. I used Payne’s Grey for the feathers but thought they were a little too blue, so I painted another layer mixing a little black into the Payne’s Grey. I didn’t want to dull the colour, just darken it a bit.


A different view of Henrietta.

I’m not sure what it is about chickens, I love watching the scratch around and bustle about.

Thanks for stopping by today. Till next time, have fun x


This Month It’s Squirels

red squirrel sketch 1

Red squirrel sketch 1

Hi there, how are you?

1st of February is the day #pinchpunchpost happens on twitter, it’s a monthly challenge. They tell us at the beginning of the month what the theme will be and you get a month to draw/paint/art something on that theme. This month was squirrels.

red squrrel sketch 2

Red squirrel sketch 2

I could have spent the whole month just drawing squirrels but normally I do mine in the last week (if I remember).

grey squirrel sketch

Grey squirrel sketch

grey squirrel look-out sketch

Grey squirrel look-out sketch

The grey squirrels were drawn from photos I had taken in the local park, red squirrels are pretty scarce, they don’t live in our area (the grey squirrels, not indigenous to these shores have pushed them to the outskirts) so they were drawn from internet pictures.

squirrel peeping sketch

Squirrel peeping sketch

They were all pencilled out lightly, coloured with watercolour then lined with a pentel brush pen.

I couldn’t decide between red or grey so drew both and picked out the ones I liked best.
Next months challenge is zebra, which should be interesting!

Thanks for stopping by today. Till next time, have fun x


Drawing Songbirds At The Zoo

timor sparrow sketch

Timor sparrow sketch

Hi there, how are you?

This year we wanted to draw more animals so we have bought zoo passes again. It’s still cold outside so in weather like this we like to go into the houses and see any of the tropical birds and animals. They keep it toasty warm in there.

In one such house we came across some tiny songbirds, so books and pencils out, we drew birds. Birds don’t like people, particularly the ones that stand and stare at them for ages; they get nervous and fly around.

If you look at the picture above and think Oooh…., well, that’s not the level of drawing I can do from living beings.

The kinds of things I draw at the zoo are tatty little things like the picture below. If you look carefully all of the information is there, I jot down little notes to remind me of the colours or any other distinguishing marks, their names and if possible I draw them from different angles.

bird reserch sketches drawn at the zoo

Bird research sketches drawn at the zoo.

Once home I decided to do a little home work and look up the birds I had drawn to try and do a better job of capturing a likeness. I’m hoping this will help me, 1) learn to draw and 2) fix in my brain how they really look so next time I go out drawing birds (or anything else for that matter.) I will have a better understanding of how they are put together.

zebra finch sketch

Zebra finch sketch

I haven’t looked up the superior fruit dove (what a name) yet, I didn’t have time to write down any notes on colours etc so I’ll go back next time and have another look. I could just find photo’s on the internet but I’ll probably learn more and get a better idea of the real colours by checking for myself. We have passes so we can go back every day if we want, we probably won’t, but we could hehehe.

If anybody has any useful tips for drawing live animals I would be very interested.

Thanks for stopping by today. Till next time, have fun x


Learning To Paint Landscapes Continued…

landscape value studies 1

Landscape value studies 1

Hi there, how are you?

I have been carrying on from last week learning to paint landscapes.
The guy on the course says we’re supposed to paint outside from life but It’s still cold and wet so I’m still painting from photo’s.

I don’t have too many decent pictures of landscapes so I had a look on google maps (street view) and took a few screen shots. These are all views from North Wales. There’s so much beautiful scenery in Wales it’s hard to choose where to start.

landscape value studies 2

Landscape value studies 2

I wasn’t too happy with the first two; I think I painted them a little small but I’m quite pleased with the last three even if they still look a bit clumsy in places.

The next class uses a limited palette of colours so that should be interesting.

Thanks for stopping by today. Till next time, have fun x