Sketching Lionfish At The Aquarium

lionfish shetch 1

A lionfish drawn with a brush pen and a pork fish in fine liner and watercolour.

Hi there, how are you.

Last week was wet and rainy and we really didn’t want to dodge the showers outside so we decided to go to the aquarium. Usually we have some idea what we want to see but this time we just muddled around till we found something fascinating, to be fair there’s lots to be fascinated about.

We stopped at the Lionfish. They’re very beautiful and graceful and after spending quite a time staring at them took out our sketch books and started to draw.

Drawing the tropical fish at the aquarium isn’t easy because the lights are dimmed and everything is bathed in a blue light so I decided to use my brush pen so I could see what I was doing.

We saw the talk at the big tank, this is the one where they keep the sharks, you know the ones with the teeth! I didn’t draw them this time, too fast but there were some small schools of small fish and I managed to capture one of them, the lady said it was called a pork fish. We were sitting at the top near the back and it wasn’t till we came down closer to the tank I noticed it has yellow stripes. Next time I’ll put them in.

lionfish shetch 2

A quick sketch drawn and painted later from a photo. they appear to have a slight blue tinge but are actually pale brown in colour, but all the photos i’d takes show them to be blue.

lionfish shetch 3

This fish again drawn and painted later from a photo gives a better idea of the colour but still has a blue tinge from the light.

All in all it was a fun and dry day with the fishes.

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

Sketching Wild Poppies

Sketching poppies 1

Sketching wild poppies.

Hi there, hope you’re well.

There are wild poppies every where at the moment. I love it when that happens, little pops of bright red in the hedge rows, the verges and any bit of unloved bit of soil. It makes me feel like summers almost here. We did have sun last week some time but now we have wind and rain (welcome to the UK).

I didn’t want to sit out in the rain drawing them so I went out with my little camera to take some pictures before the petals all blew away!

Sketching poppies 2

Trying to capture the way the petals move in the breeze

Sketching poppies 3

The poppies on the right are a brighter red than the others. I read that putting a thin wash of yellow under the red brings out the colour. It worked they do seem a lot redder.

Sketching poppies 4

Wild poppies with their tissue paper petals fluttering in the breeze are so delicate on their thin hairy stems.

As you can see some worked out better than others, some got away from me but over all, most do look like poppies so no complaints here.

I have a few poppies in my garden almost ready to flower, they are pink oriental poppies. I’m hopping they wait till the sun comes back so I can sit in the garden and take my time drawing them.

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

More Bees – Breaking Out The Watercolour Paper

watercolour bumble bee

Hi there, how are you?

I had drawn quite a few bees in my sketch book recently(you can see them here) so I decided to break out the scary paper again and see if I could do something that looked a little more finished.

I keep saying I’m going to use watercolour paper more often but I don’t, how will I learn to use it if I don’t use it?

So here is a nicely painted bumble bee, on watercolour paper, It’s not perfect but I’m really pleased with the way it turned out.

Ok so that was the good, now gird yourself for scary bee. I wanted to paint one of those lovely splodgy painterly bees that you see around the internet, after putting down the colours all I had was a splodge!

3 watercolour bees

Three little watercolour bee studies.

I was going to throw it away in disgust and then thought “eh, if it’s going in the bin any way I can play with it some more”. I did the thing where you take a damp brush and pick the colour off to highlight the legs and eyes. It’s not beautiful but it was effective and it does look like a bee so I decided not to throw it out after all.
The other two bees were me getting in some valuable practice, as we can see I need it.

My favourite quote this week was from a book by Carl Purcell – Painting with your artist’s brain.
“Use plenty of water and paint, the purpose of painting is not paint conservation.” I think that applies to paper too.

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

The Sketching Of The Bumble Bees

Hi there, how are you?

A quick warning for the people who don’t like insects or bees, this post is full of them so maybe not the best place to be if you have a fear of them.

bumble bee sketches 1

These last few weeks I have been practicing drawing bees. I’ve been looking at pictures of bees, taking photos and even small videos of bees to try to work out how they fit together.

 

bumble bee sketches 2These are all bumble bees but not all bumble bees are the same, some are black and yellow with white rears, some have orange rears, even in my own garden there are several different types. They’re really fascinating to watch.

bumble bee sketches 3

Drawing bees in lots of different positions and sketching out the wings to remember how they fit together.

I hadn’t realised for instance quite how long their legs are compared to their bodies. The veins on the wings have a specific pattern and the two wings on each side hook together when they fly. (I’ve been looking stuff up)

bumble-bee-sketches-4

Leaving myself small illegible notes to remember what colours I was using.

I also need to work on the colours I have in my box. I have a hard time with yellows, lemon yellow is on the green side, and yellow ochre is too dull. I also have a New Gamboge but it has a strange red tone to it which sort of works for the orange but I just haven’t found a yellow I’m completely happy with.

It’s fun to watch them flitting around the garden pollinating the plants and it has really given me a better understanding of them. Apparently the numbers of bees is dwindling so we have to look after them. The world will be a much hungrier and less colourful place without the bees.

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

sempervivum (houseleeks)

Hi there, how are you?

sempervivum (houseleeks) sketch

A sketch of some of the houseleeks in the larger pot.

I’ve been out in the garden this week checking out my plants, gardening is not something I’m particularly good at but I plant things and hope for the best. Most have a 50% chance of surviving as long as the slugs don’t find them first.

This is a sketch I drew of some Sempervivum (houseleeks) I keep in pots around the garden.

I like these plants, if I try to look after them they give up and die so I just ignore them and in the hottest weather chuck some water at them, they are thriving beautifully.

Eventually they push their way out of the pot, tumble down the sides and I just pick them up and place them on top of another pot, they grow quite happily.

sempervivum (houseleeks)

The houseleeks in the smaller pot are the parent plants, the ones in the bigger pot are the cuttings.

I thought with a bigger pot I would just get many more tiny rosettes and they would have room to spread. Well the cuttings are huge, more than about four times the size of the parent plants.

Finally something I am good at growing! I think I’m gonna need a bigger pot hehehe.

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

Frilly Pansies

monocrome frilly pansies

Drawn with a black Pentel brush pen sketching the shapes of the different flower heads.

Hi there, how are you?

Out on a shopping trip this week I spied a gorgeous frilly pansy plant; of course I had to buy it.

It’s not quite warm enough to put them outside yet so I’m keeping it on the window sill. A perfect time I think to have a go at drawing them.

watecolour frilly pansies

I sketched them out briefly in pencil then used watercolour to colour them in.

These were drawn over the space of a week, a couple at a time. I just try to fit a little sketching when ever I can.

I’ll plant them into the garden soon and hopefully the slugs won’t think they a new tasty meal!  Maybe I’ll get another chance to draw them.

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

Sketching Aquilegia (Columbine),

Aquilegia (Columbine) black brush pen

Aquilegia (Columbine) drawn with a pentel brush pen to try and work out the shapes

Hello there, how are you.

This week I’ve been out in the garden trying to work out how to draw Aquilegia flowers (sometimes known as columbine).

Aquilegia (Columbine) Flower

This is a photo of the Aquilegia flowers I’ve been trying to draw.

Aquilegia (Columbine) sketch 1

some worked out better than others as you can see.

As usual I’ve tried various medium to work out the shapes, pencil, watercolour, pentel brush pen even biro. I do this because for some reason each tool makes me draw and even think in a slightly different way. The brush pen in particular makes me work mainly with the shapes, a paint brush also helps to see the shapes but then I also get lost in colour too.

Aquilegia (Columbine) Sketches 2

I’m not really trying to draw whole plants at the moment the flowers are enough to work on.  I have to say all these inny and outty petals really are giving my little gray cells a workout.

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

Sketching Pretty Pink Pigs

Sketch of pink pigs 1

Sketch of pink piggies, complete with photobombing pig. Fine liner and watercolour wash.

Hello friends, how’s it going?

I wasn’t sure what I wanted to draw this week, you know, one of those blocks that have you staring at the blank page with no clue how to fill it.

Suddenly something popped into my head and said “pigs”. I like pigs generally speaking but random pig drawing, who knows where that came from?

I did a google search and found a few piggy pictures and this was the result.

The pig in the bottom right of the page above really makes me chuckle, it looks like he just photobombed the page ha!

Sketch of pink pigs 2

More piggy sketches.

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