Poppies And Peonies

red poppy watercolourRed poppy watercolour

Hi there, how are you?

The sun finally appeared this week and the perineal poppies in the garden popped open, they look amazing in the sunshine.

A perfect time to sit down and paint them.

It’s as near to watercolour as I can get on cartridge paper, the water buckles the paper but I ‘m used to that now, sometimes it gives interesting effects, especially on the backgrounds.

I bought a few bedding plants this year, erythranthe or monkey flowers amongst others to fill one or two pots by the door.

I’ve not grown them before so it was a lovely surprise to see how bright and colourful they are. They were mixed colours, red and yellow; so far I’ve only drawn the yellow ones. Hopefully I’ll draw the red ones too if I can get to them before the slugs eat them (apparently they are very tasty!)

yellow erythranthe study
Yellow erythranthe study

I thought I’d missed the peonies this year at the botanical gardens so I was pleasantly surprised to find one blooming in a quiet shady part of the gardens. I snapped some photos from various angles to draw at home.

The first peony was drawn with a fountain pen in grey ink and coloured with watercolour.

I used blues and purple to painting the shadows.

white peony sketch
White peony sketch

Next I tried negative painting to carve out the petals.

I used the same colours for the shadows in both flowers, it’s interesting to see the effect the background colour has on each peony.

white peony watercolour
White peony watercolour

It’s bank holiday this week so hopefully the sun will shine and I’ll get a little more time in the garden.

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


Little Birds At The Zoo

watercolour of a samll bird 1watercolour of a small bird 1

Hi there, how are you?

We paid the zoo a visit this week. We haven’t been for quite a while as it gets very busy but it was a little drizzly so I thought we’d give it a try. It was still busy so we kept to the quiet paths and had a really good day.

The walk-in aviary on the islands is always quiet, the birds are well camouflaged and good at hiding so you have to be quite still to spot anything.

This little bird had spotted a few mealworms on the ground and was wondering whether I was worth it to swoop down and pick them up. That small amount of time was just enough to snap a few photos before it was back in hiding again.

The first two are drawn with a fountain pen and coloured with watercolour. I’m trying to practice painting backgrounds on things, it’s nice for the little birds to have somewhere to live.

I think I like the second background best, it’s not as over worked.

watercolour of a small bird 2
Watercolour of a small bird 2

The next are ink sketches. I wondered if I could draw the birds in ink and use different shades to give an impression of where the colours are.

small bird ink sketch 1
Small bird ink sketch 1
small bird ink sketch 2
Small bird ink sketch 2

I don’t have the name for this little bird, next time I’m at the zoo I’ll have to remember to check the information board for their name.

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

Blossom Experiments On New Paper

water blossom experiment 1
Water blossom experiment 1

Hi there, how are you?

This week I started a new sketchbook. Its a pink pig book with their own brand watercolour paper and I wanted to test the paper. Usually I just make lots of blobs on the back page but I thought it would be nice to just draw or paint with different media and see which ones I like.

They are all drawn from my own photos taken this year; it’s been a very good year for blossom.

The first is watercolour of white blossom. Painting white flowers is always a challenge, I managed to paint in some shadows which sort of works.

The paper is very smooth almost like hotpress paper. There was some strange beading of the paint, I’ll try again with something else.

Watercolour and fine liner next. The fine liner glides nicely on this paper, no problem at all. Watercolour needs pushing around to stop the beading.

blossom in watercolour and fine liner
Blossom in watercolour and fine liner

The next one is also watercolour, I’m trying to work out whether it was just the front of the page or the reverse side too.

It’s both sides, the paper is usable but I’d rather work on cartridge paper than this with watercolour for sketching.

water blossom experiment 2
Water blossom experiment 2

The latest experiment was using the pentel brush pens. Loved it, the pen glides beautifully over the paper, the ink looks nice and dark and there is enough drag to give some cool dry brush marks with the grey ink.

blossomdrawn with brush pens
Blossom drawn with brush pens

So far I’m thinking this will be a great book for ink drawings, I have other media to test so maybe these will also work well in this sketchbook.

All papers have different properties that work well with certain media, it’s fun to play and find out which work best for me

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

Quick Blobby Sketches

humming bird blobs
Humming birds from blobs

Hi there, how are you?

I have been in a funny mood this week, wanting to draw something but not knowing what to draw. Normally when I feel like this the best thing to do is just play.

I made lots of blobs of colour on the page, some yellow and some blue. Then with another colour tried to turn them into humming birds.

They’re very scrappy but they are interesting shapes.

I did the same thing with frogs; this time I put yellow blobs down first and finished with green.

The details were picked out with a fountain pen.

froggy blobs
Froggy blobs

More little birds in black, brown and grey; I used pinterest birds to make the shapes this time.

sketchy humming birds
Sketchy humming birds

Stephanie Fizer Coleman has a video about putting texture onto sketched shapes. She makes lots of painted papers and scanned them into the computer to use as texture resources.

It looked interesting so I gave it a go. I used a sketch of a little flying frog (seen in the bottom corner of the image below) and used a painting that had lots of brushstrokes and desaturated it for the texture.

If I were to do a lot of this kind of thing a lot I’d probably have to make my own purpose built textures first.

This kind of thing takes a lot of practice to make anything decent. It was just fun to play around and so something different.

computer textured frog
Computer textured frog

I’m also using “ye olde drawing tablet” from the times when windows 7 was a thing. I was thinking of buying one but wasn’t too sure it’s something I need so I rooted the kids olde one out to see how I get on. The pressure thing doesn’t work any more although it did manage to find itself a driver. All I can say right now is it’s going to be a bit of a learning curve.

Ahh the possibilities.

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

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

Rest And Relaxation 

A few days rest and relaxation. We are all getting some culture at the V&A museum. There’s so much to look at in here, it takes more than one day to see everything.

I’m sending this on my iPod  because we don’t have wifi. Thank you free wifi 😀 hopefully this will work.

Thanks for stopping by, till next time, have fun x