Sketching Three different Quince Fruit

quince fruit

The one and only quince fruit.

Hi there, how are you?
In our garden we have three different types of quince.

We have a small tree growing the real quince, they’re pear shaped with a fuzzy skin, we also have two types of japonica quince. They’re all edible sour and very hard, all need to be cooked and sweetened before they can be eaten.

I love to draw the flowers in spring then forget to draw the fruit in the autumn. This year I have rectified that and tried to draw the fruits of our entire quince family.

The quince tree has lots of white/pale pink flowers in spring; one or two fruits start to form then usually most fall off.
It maybe me or the weather who knows but it normally produces one single fruit. Last year we had a bumper crop of two whole fruits, this year we’re back to one.

I’ll cook it slowly in the oven and we’ll eat it with ice cream, one fruit will easily feed four for a dessert yum.

The small japonica bush as loads of orange flowers and looks so beautiful in spring. It gives barely any fruit and when it does they are small, possibly the size of a ping pong ball. This year it has four fruits on one of the branches. Best crop we’ve had for many years, something that needed recording in my sketch book for sure.

small japonica fruit

Four small japonica fruit. A bumper crop this year.

The third quince is a cross between a tree and a bush. It grows tall and is mainly branches and stalks. It has lovely white flowers that blush red and pink in spring, almost like a blossom.
The fruit is about the size of an apple.

The last few years they have given us lots of fruit. The fruit grows close to or even on to the branches and don’t have much in the way of stalks.

I leave them on the bush well into autumn till the first one drops off then try to prize them from the branches. Again they are very sour, more so than the pear shaped one and need lots of sugar. I use the japonica quince to make my favourite quince, rosehip and apple jam. I like to grate anything left over and freeze the pulp; it can be used with other fruit through out the year and tastes really good in muffins.

large japonica fruit

Large japonica fruit

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

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Painting Interesting Chicken Breeds

malaysian serama spangled male

The Malaysian Serama spangled male

Hi there, how are you?

“#Chick, chick, chick, chick chicken, lay a little egg for me”
I’ve been singing this to myself all week as I was looking through the chicken book, so many different types to choose from.

These are a few of my favourites, I also love some of the black chickens but painting black watercolour is not easy and they all turned out looking pretty miserable.

The spangled Malaysian Serama (above) is a very beautiful bird. The few I looked up on the internet weren’t as colourful so I imagine the blues are iridescence on the feathers.

Disclaimer: some of these chickens have been beautified in photoshop hehehe. White chickens on a white background is like polar bears in the snow, invisible so I took the white of the paper off and inserted a few puffs of grey to help them show up better.

Had I been a better artist I would have painted the paper but this paper doesn’t take wet washes well and I didn’t want to spoil the pictures.
Maybe I’ll do some on watercolour paper now I’ve seen the effect and quite like how it looks.

The white Wyandotte hen on the left and the Silkie on the right. the Silkie has very fluffy feathers and little fluffy boots

The white Wyandotte hen on the left is just a quick pencil sketch, I liked how it turned out and left it at that.

I really like the way the purple colour turned out on the Silkie (right), we saw chickens like these at the animal farm and they look just like balls of fluff on legs. They also come in black but painting black beaks, combs, feet and fluff needs a lot more skill than I currently have.

white Wyandotte and Silkie chicken paintings

A white Wyandotte and a Silkie chicken

The Seabright has laced patterning on its feathers, which apparently means they’re edged with another colour. I’m using a brush pen to edge the feathers. With its tiny comb and puffed out chest it looks a bit like a pigeon.

Seabright hen drawing

Seabright hen, using a brush pen for the feather pattern

The Appenzeller Spitzhauben chicken has a horned comb and a feathered crest he’s quite a fancy looking bird, and he knows it.

Appenzeller Spitzhauben Male

Appenzeller Spitzhauben Male

The book has to go back to the library soon but it was a lot of fun drawing and painting chickens.

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

Nasturtiums

2 watercolour nasturtium flowers

2 watercolour nasturtium flowers front and back.

Hi there, how are you?

I planted nasturtiums in the garden in late spring, as they started to grow they were promptly eaten by the mollusc hoards. Tried again early summer, eaten again pfft! Nasturtiums are so easy to grow, you just poke the seed into the soil and they grow but it wasn’t working so I planted them into pots and placed the pots on the window sill (along with other plants that should be easy to grow but were eaten).

This worked beautifully

nasturtium seed & small shoot

A nasturtium seed & small shoot.

Once big enough they needed to go out into the garden, the mollusc hoards struck again and ate a third of my plants to stumps. So for the past month or two I have been going out in the dead of night with a torch and a pot, picking the slimy visitors off my precious plants and taking them over to the nearby woods.

I now have six lovely healthy nasturtium plants.

watercolour nasturtium bud

Watercolour nasturtium bud

They’re looking fine and I decided to celebrate their beauty by drawing some of the flowers.
I’ve drawn some flowers, buds. seeds and spent some quality time in the garden drawing and painting.

nasturtium painted with watercolour

Nasturtium plant painted with watercolour. the second seed down is from a different plant, I included it in the sketch because I liked the way they twisted around each other.

Tonight I will be seen once again in the pitch dark picking slugs and snails off the plants by torch light, fun times.

Thanks 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

Chicken – Some Interesting Head Wear

single comb sussex

A Sussex chicken with a single comb

Hi there, how are you?
Recently I borrowed a book from the library about chicken keeping. The other half was a little worried when he saw it, nudged the daughter and said “we’re not getting chickens are we, where will we put them!” she reassured him that there would be no chickens in our tiny garden, mum just wants to draw from the pictures hehehe.

rose comb bantam

A Bantam chicken with a rose comb

It’s true, this book has loads of good chicken pictures with chickens of all different breeds plus ducks and geese too! I may have to renew it. It’s quite interesting and informative.

horned comb la fletch

A La Fletch with a horned comb

It would be easy to type chicken into google, lots of images would turn up in the results but I don’t always want to be stuck in front of screens and devices, books are a lot easier on the eyes.

pea comb sumatra

A Sumatra chicken with a pea comb

I had planned on drawing whole chickens but there are several pages concerning their combs, feet feathers, and bird anatomy. There are so many breeds and differences.

buttercup comb sicillian

A sicillian chicken with a buttercup comb

I think this book will keep me busy for a while.
Chickens are fascinating birds.

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

Loose Watercolour Flowers

watercolour peony esther peck class

Watercolour peony from an Esther Peck class

Hi there, how are you?

I really like the idea of loose washy watercolour flowers. They are of course a lot harder to paint than they look. I thought I’d give it a try.

I checked out the skillshare classes (yes I still have a week or two left so I’m cramming them in). There’s a lot of this kind of thing on there but nothing that really resonated. Then I saw a class by Esther Peck. Her style is a cross between watercolour painting and Chinese brush painting, each petal being its own stroke(s).

I love peonies so took the peony class and painted lots of stylised peonies. This is just one of the pages I’ve painted. (see above)

The rose class you would think would be a lot easier but getting my head around these has been hard work. I know they are a lot of c shapes in a circle but getting them to look like a rose oofff.

I have pages and pages of terrible practice roses; these were the best of a bad bunch.

stylised roses

Stylised watercolour roses

Talking about bunches I also tried to paint roses in small bunches; not a bad start but they need more work.

watercolour rose sprays

Watercolour rose sprays

I liked the loose flower class (teaching some wild and some filler flowers) of course once I reached the poppies I couldn’t resist. I like how these turned out and will probably paint lots more because they are just a fun doodle to do when I don’t want to think too hard hehehe.

loose watercolour poppy

Loose watercolour poppy

In the garden we have small drifts of hardy geraniums, the stalks start to get a bit straggly at this time of year so I gave them a hair cut and put the flowers I’d cut off into a jam jar, no need to waste good flowers. They were perfect models for painting indoors when it was raining.

This is one of the few plants the slugs don’t eat so if were lucky they will flower again before winter sets in, more for me to draw.

geraniums in a jar

Watercolour geraniums in a jar

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

Drawing And Practising My Shading

poppy pencil drawing

Pencil drawing of poppies

Hi there, how are you?
A whole month of watercolour painting and I somehow feel the need to draw things. It’s not that I didn’t draw in July but the watercolour does most of the heavy lifting when painting.

I watched a skillshare class by Isa Down called Shading 101: Your Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Dynamic Shading in Your Drawings
Shading is something I find difficult when drawing with a pencil (or pen for that matter)
I drew the first flower along Isa in the class and then drew a poppy from my own photos to see if I could replicate the technique. Not too shabby me thinks it does actually look like a poppy.

There’s a huge splot on the first flower, I think I was a little too enthusiastic with the pink paint on another page! (Sometimes life just happens)

We had one or two days of sun so out I went with my little stool and drew the hollyhock before it started to fade. I used a Preppy fountain pen EF nib filled with deep dark green ink and thoroughly enjoyed myself, no reason really I just spent half an hour or so loosing myself in the details. I really like the fact that the green isn’t as harsh as black ink, it’s my new favourite.

hollyhock fountain pen drawing

Hollyhock fountain pen drawing

The foxglove came into its own this week so I set about drawing it in pencil.

foxglove pencil drawing

Foxglove pencil drawing

I love the shapes of these flowers, so a few days later I took my stool outside and quickly painted it.

foxglove watercolour sketch

Foxglove watercolour sketch

The scanner does not like this pink apparently and the bottom half of the flower spike faded into nothing so I cropped it a bit. It’s not a brilliant painting but it does give me an idea of the colours. Sometimes the colours in photos and on screens aren’t as close to the real colours and can be misleading.

The foxgloves are definitely paying for its spot in the garden though and as a plus the slugs have decided not to eat it so a big whoot from me!

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

The End Of World Watercolor Month 2019

giant atlas moth watercolour painting

Giant atlas moth watercolour painting

Hi there, how are you?

It’s August; world watercolour month is over for another year, and for everyone participating, we made it peoples, whoot!

These are the last few paintings of the challenge.

Day 29 Giant atlas moth. I found a book of butterflies at home and decided to paint some. I’m not a huge fan of moths but this one is quite spectacular. Having said that I’d probably run a mile if I saw one hehehe.

Day 30 Tiger moth, I thought I would have picked lots of pretty butterflies from this book but I seem to be drawn more to the moths, very strange.

tiger moth watercolour painting

Tiger moth watercolour painting

Day 31 Hollyhock, the hollyhock is still going strong. We’ve had persistent rain and wind and it’s starting to look a bit bedraggled but at the time of painting it was looking pretty fine.

hollyhock watercolour painting

Hollyhock flowers painted in the garden.

Butterfly, it’s not a super colourful one, I just liked the photo. I’d painted this one in august but I’m using it to fill in for some of the paintings I had missed.

butterfly watercolour painting

Butterfly watercolour painting

August 1st is Pinch punch post day (a monthly twitter challenge) and this month’s theme was dolphin. I’m happy that I remembered to paint it in time.

dolphin watercolour painting

A dolphin watercolour painting for pinch punch post.

I was unsure as to whether I wanted to join in this year but as always once I got started I enjoyed making a little painting every day, there are even one or two I’m quite proud of. I enjoyed working on watercolour paper every day and noting all the differences with the way I would normally work.

I did miss my sketch book a little. The paper is so smooth and I feel totally free using it with any media. It makes me wonder whether I should try hot press paper, maybe another experiment for another day but something to think about.

just in-case anyone’s interested here are the links to this years paintings or you could check them out on Instagram.
week 1
week 2
week 3
week 4

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

Note: This is a challenge set up by Doodlewashe’s Charlie shields. He has details of the challenge and you can donate money or art supplies to the Dreaming Zebra charity supported by the challenge, I’m sure that even though the challenge is done this year they would still take donations.