Dancing Cranes

dancing cranes card
Dancing cranes card painting

Hi there, how are you?

This week I needed to make a card, I wanted to make something wintry, not snowflakes they’re too Christmassy and I don’t want her to think it’s a left over Christmas card so I’ve been searching for something to fit.

In October (inktober) I drew dome dancing cranes in white ink on toned paper, and thought they would be just right.

I could have cut the inktober drawing down but I wanted to try something different.

I tried out a few colours and sketches in my sketch book to see which I preferred. I also found some fun sparkly paint in a local store, it’s meant for kids so light and colour-fastness are unknown but it’s for a card and they don’t last forever so I figured it would be OK. See the sparkly colours, gold, silver, pink, blue, happy paints.

dancing cranes sketch page
Dancing cranes sketch page, the papers wrinkly and the drawings a bit scrappy but the ok for testing colours.

There are several designs to play with, I picked my favourite and painted my card (see top image). I took the photo outside to catch the shine but the light wasn’t good the colours are turquoise blue and viridian and don’t show well up in pictures.

These two birdies below are likely to appear on the next card I make in some form, I’ll have to post that one at a later date though, after I’ve given it away.

dancing cranes
Dancing cranes

After painting the card I wondered if a darker colour would make the birds show up better and did another test adding darker Prussian blue into the mix with interesting results, something to consider next time maybe

red crowned cranes
Red crowned cranes

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

Drawing Sheep

2 sheeps grazing
2 watercolour sheeps grazing

Hi there, how are you?

This week I came across a video of Glenn Vilppu drawing animals. I’ve seen videos of him drawing before and always found them fascinating, I decided to have a go myself following his lesson.

He was drawing live goats, I wanted to use photos I’d taken but goats are quite hairy and it’s hard to see the bone structure so I’ve used some photos of sheep I’d taken a few years back. The sheep had all been sheared which made it a little easier to see the shapes.

I drew a few in pencil trying to work out the shapes, these are not finished so the construction lines and mistakes are all here. I’m leaving it like this so that future me can see how I drew them and work out how I did it.

sheeps under construction
Sheeps under construction

Then I coloured a few with watercolour. (top image and the one directly below) The scanner doesn’t like the colours but they look OK I think.

sheep head
Sheep head

I also drew and inked some with brown ink; I used a water brush to pull out some of the ink for the shadows. I think I like the inky ones best.

sheeps drawn in brown ink
Sheeps drawn in brown ink

I think maybe I’ll have to look up some skeletons to really get the benefit if this way of drawing to learn where everything is supposed to be. More practice me thinks.

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

Winter Hydrangea Experiments

Shiny hydrangea skeletons
Shiny hydrangea skeletons

Hi there, how are you?

The Christmas tree came down today, all packed away neatly till next year. Everything looks plain and dull now all of the shiny things are gone.

I went out into the garden, I was trying to pick the last quince off the branch but it seems to have welded itself on and can’t be taken off without taking off the whole branch. I’ll try again later.

Whilst there I spotted the hydrangea plant; All of the flowers are gone except for a few flower skeletons. The flowers wither and decay until all that is left are the veins of the petals. They’re quite beautiful and very delicate.

I brought some in to examine and draw. Here are the little experiments made so far.

These were drawn onto a pink background. There was some inky water left over from something else and I painted it over several pages to take the whiteness away.

The pink and green should have been brown really but my head went straight to the colour (brains are weird)

hydrangea skeleton experiments
Hydrangea skeleton experiments

I drew the skeletons with various gold or metallic pens to see how it looked, it never shows up in scans so the top image is me trying to show the shiny pens off in a photograph.

This page I tried different backgrounds on the white page. I’m wondering what they would look like on toned or black paper now, more experiments to try hehehe.

More hydrangea skeletons
More hydrangea skeletons

This one is one of my envelope doodles. When I’m cooking sometimes there’s a short period of waiting for things to finish. The top doodle took seven minutes which is how long it took for the carrots to steam. The second was painted whilst waiting for the washing machine door to open and inked over a little later.

They’re fun and quick to do in moments that would otherwise involve me staring into void waiting for things to happen. There’s no pressure because it’s just the back of an envelope and will be recycled along with the others if I don’t like it. It’s also a good way to try out or jot down an idea quickly so it’s not forgotten.

envelope doodle of hydrangea
Envelope doodle of hydrangea

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

Hares To 2020

hare's to 2020
Hare’s to 2020

Hi there, how are you?

Christmas has come and gone in a heartbeat as it does and now everyone is racing around getting ready for New Year, phew!

Not a lot of arting happening here at the moment except for a brief moment of I need to draw hares?

Brains are weird right, so here are some hares to take us bounding into 2020.

hare ahead
Hare ahead

I can’t believe we’re into another decade already, wow. Where does the time go!

Over on instagram I did the best nine thing again I always find the results fascinating.

Five are from the Victoria Johnson and bonnie Christine classes I had taken in November and December. Fennel painted from a class by Jean Lurssen. The little sparrow in the middle, love a sparrow. Magpies from waay back in January and top prize goes to a cyclamen I had forgotten even drawing, again in January.

No inktobers at all, *sad face*.

top nine
top nine

Algorithms aside here are a few of my favourites (in no particular order) from this year, none of which made it into the top nine but hey, they made me happy and that’s the point of doing them in the first place I think.

my top nine
My top nine

Well 2020 beckons; I wish you health, love and happiness. I hope we all go out and experiment, play and learn stuff.

My main wish is that there will be more kindness in the coming year, divisions are healed and the world becomes a friendlier place to live in once more.

I would like to thank each and every person that has visited (for however short a time), liked or commented, you’re encouraging and kind words are always appreciated. Thank you.

Onward to the New Year ❤

Christmas Robins

robin 2
A robin from my sketchbook.

Hi there how are you?

Christmas is almost here, are you ready? I’m almost there but we still haven’t made any mince pies and Christmas can’t start without them so tomorrow I’m going to have to get my finger out!

I’ve been drawing robins in my sketchbook this week. I try to draw and paint robins every year but usually the end up looking a little “special”. I tried again this year and they didn’t look too bad, (for me that is).

Since they came out so well I painted some little robins on watercolour paper placed them onto some card bases. They’re not amazing but very much better than usual so I’m quite pleased with them.

Sorry the lighting is a bit weird the sun was quite low in the sky; it makes everything yellow and elongates the shadows.

robin christmas cards
Robin Christmas cards

This is the robin I decided to use for the cards. It’s nice to see there was a little improvement from last year; maybe the practice is paying off.

robin 1
A second little robin from my sketchbook.

I’ve made two more little sketchy robins into a pattern just to see how it would look. If anybody would like to use it for their own personal use please do, just click on the image, click again to enlarge, right click and save the image.

If you’re on mobile devices I have no idea how to do that sorry.

robin pattern paper
Robin pattern paper

Happy Christmas every one and whether you’re celebrating or not I wish you all love, peace and joy.

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

Drawing Pretty Birdies

blue bird with pink leaves
Blue bird with pink leaves

Hi there how are you?

This week I have been drawing birds. I found some interesting birds on the interwebs and decided they would be fun to draw. I was right!

I don’t know the names unfortunately because they weren’t labelled which is sad because I would have liked to look them up.

The yellow bird below looks a little more subdued in my sketch book but my printer and scanner are currently not talking to each other, some disagreement over wireless and updates I assume and though I have tried mediating they refuse to cooperate! This means some colours will be a little off for the foreseeable future. I’ll keep trying.

yellow bird
A yellow bird, he’s very bright.

The second two birdies are what I call puff-ball birds. They are round and fluffy and I love their sticky up tails.

First is a variegated fairy wren, so cute and colourful and look at that tail hehehe.

variegated fairy wren
A variegated fairy wren

The second is a long tailed tit. I’m particularly happy with the mossy branch in this one, I have a hard time painting branches and this one looked like a long muddy mess when it was first painted. Once dried though suddenly the colours show up and look quite mossy, (for me that is).

long tailed tit
A long tailed tit

I’ve been drawing lots of birds lately, I’m not sure why. Through out inktober I noticed quite a few birds cropping up, it’s probably a phase I’m going through, I’ll go with it.

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

Painting Ginkgo Leaves And Making Patterns

ginkgo watercolour sketch
Ginkgo watercolour sketch

Hi there how are you?

I love ginkgo leaves, speciality at this time of year. The leaves turn from green to yellow and lovely pale oranges.

I picked a few fallen leaves one day last week and brought them home to draw. It was just a sketch drawn with a fine liner. I scanned them into the computer for later and then coloured them with watercolour.

Later in the week I signed up for a class by Bonnie Christine. She is teaching a free 5 day class on pattern making in illustrator. I know the basics of pattern making but every time I take one of these classes I pick up a few hints, tips and techniques that make this epic program easier to understand.

Since I’d drawn the line work for the ginkgo earlier I decided to use them to make the pattern and I scanned the painted leaves in to for extra pattern pieces.

The blue image is the same pattern in four different colour variations. It was made with the line art. i really like this one, must be going through my blue phase hehehe.

1 ginkgo pattern 4 colour-ways
1 ginkgo pattern 4 colour-ways

These were made with both the line art and the watercolour images. I have to say I find the colour picker in illustrator totally addictive, I can’t stop clicking for the next colour variation.

4 ginkgo patterns
4 ginkgo patterns

And finally in this one I’ve put the leaves in rows, I’m happy with this one because I got all of the leaves to join up so you can’t see the start point.

lines of ginkgo 2 colour ways
Lines of ginkgo 2 colour ways

I had promised myself I wouldn’t do more classes this year, they take up so much time. This one was too good to pass up though.

I like making digital patterns and even digital art but it needs a lot of time in front of a screen and isn’t that relaxing so for the rest of the year I want to stick to my sketch book and get down to some drawing and painting, it’s been sadly neglected for a wile now.

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



Hi there how are you?

It’s December already! The last month has flown by.

Last week of the Victoria Johnson course I drew a stag beetle, it was supposed to go with last weeks images but didn’t seem to fit so I embellished it a little more and it sits nicely with the other beetles now.

We all did beetles as part of the course and it was the part I was least looking forward to, all of those creepy little legs.

Well something I never thought I’d say,”I’ve spent the whole week drawing beetles and enjoying every minute of it! The beetles I’ve seen on–line are amazing with all of the lovely patterns and colours suddenly I drew a whole page of them. Who would have thought?

They’re a bit wonky, coloured with watercolour and outlined with various gell pens. I’ve even used some gold markers but that doesn’t show up in the scan. They do look quite fancy when they catch the light though.

I am working digitally for this course because it was the only way to keep the colours consistent and work quickly enough to keep up with the rest of the class.

I pulled my little beetles into illustrator and drew out all of the shapes and turned them into various patterns.

Here are my two finished collections. (I don’t have fancy names for them) The first one is birds, butterflies and flowers. I’ve tinkered around with them since last week, changed colours, added stuff and they’re looking a lot better.

Collection1 flowers butterflies and birds
Collection 1

The second collection; Beetles, they are much better all together. The patterns made from my ropey little drawings came our quite well.

Collection2 beetles
Collection 2 Beetles

The beauty of illustrator, I clicked the screen by accident and changed the whole colour of the orange beetle. Oooooo I like this one too hehehe

blue beetle
Orange beetle turned blue.

The reason I had taken this class was to give me a change from inktober and stop the burn out I usually have after a monthly challenge, boy did it ever! It’s probably the hardest course I’ve taken; it was a huge task just to keep up with everything.

If you’re an illustrator, designer or professional artist selling to companies this is the lady to see, so much useful information (so much!) for me I’m glad to have completed it and now I can get back to my drawing although maybe in the back of my mind some of this epic information will stick. You never know how these things will affect you till they do.

Now the class is finished its time to start getting ready for the day, only 24 more days to go so I better get a move on!

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