Inktober 2017 09-15 & Chamelions

#Inktober 2017-9-15

Second week of Inktober numbers 09th – 15th


Hi there, how are you?

Week 2 of inktober, I always have a hard time with prompts but I have tried to stick to them.

The goal I’ve set myself this month is to learn how to use a dip pen and I have tried to stick to this although there are times I’ve used a brush pen, they’re all posted on my instagram fluff.n.stuff here.

I’ve been having difficulty varying the thickness of the lines; the nib I was using wasn’t very flexible, after changing nibs this seems to be a bit easier and it’s not looking quite as flat.

There’s no great works of art here, just simple drawings and lines so I can concentrate on using the pen properly.

Prompt and interpretations
Day 09 screech – a screech-owl
Day 10 gigantic – giant blue whale in b&w and coloured ink
Day 11 run – chicken running
Day 12 shattered – shattered ice
Day 13 teeming – lots of fish
Day 14 fierce – shark
Day 15 mysterious – chameleon (I couldn’t think of anything for this prompt)

Still sticking to the prompts so far except for 15th when my brain really couldn’t think of anything at all, some of these prompts are so random!

I also drew more chameleons in my sketch book and feeling the need for colour, coloured them in with a little watercolour.

chameleon sketches

Chameleon sketches coloured with watercolour

chamelion & shark sketch

More inktober sketchings of a shark and some chameleons

One thing I find about doing this challenge is the amount of sketching I’ve done working out what I would draw. It has to be good drawing practice if nothing else.

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


Inktober 2017 1-8 It Begins

sunnyfae inktober 2017-1-7

Normally I would just do my own thing but this year we’re doing the official prompts. I find the hardest thing about prompts is interpreting them, so if any are too difficult anything goes.

Hi there, how are you?

Lots of drawing and sketching going on around here as we frantically try to make our inktober’s daily arts.

I don’t yet have the drawing skills to do anything fancy and the point of this, for me at least, is to learn how to use the dip pens so I’m keeping the drawings simple.

I have to admit I did use my brush pen for a couple, I was finding it hard to get any variation in line thickness and everything was looking a bit flat. Hopefully this will improve as I go on; part of the solution is recognising the problem.

Prompt and interpretations
Day 1 swift – bird called a swift
Day 2 divided – sun and moon, day and night.
Day 3 poison – snake (I know venomous) close
Day 4 under water – the place to find a nautilus
Day 5 long – giraffes’ have long necks
Day 6 sword – swordfish (plus tiny squids because they’re cute.)
Day 7 shy – tortoise in his shell, he looks more worried than shy hehe
Day 8 crooked – tree, nearly caught me on this one

I love looking around to see how other people interpret the prompts.  You can find all information and official prompts here

If any one is interested in a clearer view you can find them here on my instagram fluff.n.nonsence and inspiredtangle’s are here  (we’re doing it together) it’s always fun to do the big reveal every day and see what the other has come up with.

Week two here we come.

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

Inktober And Beautiful Fading Hydrangea


Lots of watery splashes of paint.

Hi there, how are you?

The weather is cooling, the leaves are starting to turn, it’s October! Yes, already. The hydrangea plant in my garden gave some beautiful white flowers this year; now as autumn closes in the flowers start to turn red, yellow and green.

I’ve watched them grow and wondered how I could possibly catch all of this beauty in a drawing or painting. Finally I decided to go for it, before they finish altogether.

hydrangea from instagram

I am quite pleased with how it came out. The colours of the flower heads are so random it seemed the best way to approach it.

I took by paint brush loaded with watery washes of paint, splashed them across the page and let the paper dry. Next after squinting hard picked out what I thought looked like petals with negative painting.

Remember I said it was October? In this house this means Inktober, again. Thought up by Jake Parker here. I did inktober last year for the first time because my daughter decided she wanted someone else to do it with her, she thought we could help each other along and maybe even finish 31 ink arts in 31 days. We did make it to the end, Phew!  You can see my efforts last year on instagram here and my daughters will be here, her stuff is really good (proud Mum hehehe).

prompt swift bird inktober 2017

The first prompt was swift so I drew a bird called a swift (literal I know). A quick outline in pencil then, inked with a dip pen.

I didn’t follow prompts last time, this time I will try to do prompts if I can and if not I’ll do my own thing, as long as I’m using ink I don’t think it really matters.

Last year I had been given a brush pen and used this challenge to learn how to use it, it was a steep learning curve but I really like using it now. This year I want to try to get some use out of my dip pens, with some of the inks I have knocking around the house. I’ll use other pens and brushes too depending what works best.

I’ll probably drive myself nuts again just like last year but it’s always fun at the end to see just how the work improves when you do something every day.

Happy inktober every one, if you’re joining in too, let me know and I’ll try and check you out.

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

Drawing Yellow Flowers In The Garden

Yellow flower shetches 1

Hi there, how are you?

In the garden we have a bush. It’s very fast growing and from July to mid September it has yellow flowers, they are about 1 1/2″ – 2” in size.

In the autumn I cut the whole plant back down to the ground, then in spring off it goes again trying to take over the garden.

Yellow flower shetches 2I’ve been going out side when I get a free moment and drawing a flower or two in my sketch book with a brush pen and some watercolours.

The anthers in the centre of the flowers were either suggested with a slightly darker wash, painted orange or just drawn in with the pen depending on how I was feeling at the time, they are really an orangey yellow with a yellow cone in the centre.

Yellow flower shetches 3

I don’t know what the plant is called, we just call it the bush with yellow flowers (again my plant knowledge lets me down). It’s pretty to look at, flowers for most of the summer and has been keeping me and my brush pen busy for quite a while, so useful too.


This is a repeat pattern made out of my sketchy little flowers. I was just playing around with the computer to see what would happen.

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

Crabs Remind Me Of Summer

crab sketches

These are not local crabs they’re search engine crabs but they still remind me of the sea-side.

Hi there, how are you?

It’s the end of the summer and we haven’t been to the beach this year. I couldn’t drive for much of the summer so we’ve had little days out closer to home.

Trying to hold onto the summer just a little longer I decided to draw some crabs. They remind me of sunny days walking on the sand, inspecting rock pools.

They were sketched out loosely with a pencil then drawn with a brush pen. I’m getting much more used to drawing with this pen these days and am really enjoying using it.

Happy Autumn everybody.

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

Learning To Draw Birds

Hi there, how are you?

I wanted to draw something a little different this week. I remembered John Muir Laws records a class every month or so and very generously puts it up on YouTube. He also has a blog full of information on nature journaling.

my class notes from video

As I watched the class I took notes ( just like I would if I had been taking the class in person ) they’re a little scrappy but they ‘re only to remind me of some of the points I thought important to remember. I drew the four little yellow birds immediately after watching the class.

He has a video on drawing birds and I thought it would be fun to follow the class and see if I could really draw these little birds.

NB: when I hit the share button to share his video it put the actual video in my blog. Not sure that I shared it properly but this is his video, it’s about 1 1/2 hours long and well worth watching if you want to learn how to draw birds.

robin sketches

The robins were drawn with the method in the video, from photos I have taken over the year in the garden. The drawing wasn’t bad but I’m afraid the colouring could have been better, still they look like robins so a win there me thinks.

kingfisher sketches

Next I drew some kingfishers from an image search. I love these little guys but I’ve never seen one in real life. Who knows one day I’ll be lucky.

John Muir Laws is a nature journaler, author and teacher, he does a great job of teaching in a no-nonsense way that even someone as inexperienced at drawing as me can produce some very bird like drawings.

I haven’t sketched any birds outside yet but if any come close enough next time I have my sketch book out I will definitely have a go.

If you watch the video give it a try. It’s a lot of fun.

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

Sketching Poppy Seed Heads In The Garden

poppy plant sketch

This was the last poppies; it was drawn with a fountain pen.

Hi there, how are you?

I’ve been out in the garden again drawing. The poppies are coming to an end so the seed pods have caught my attention. There are poppy seed heads in various stages of decay dotted around the garden, so I take my tiny fold up stool outside and sketch a little whenever there’s time (weather permitting of course)

poppy seedhead sketch

A quick sketch drawn with a brush pen.

I made a real find this week, Usually the seed heads age, dry out, drop their seeds and then blow away in the wind, this year however two of them dropped down amongst the leaves and carried on decaying, leaving me with some poppy seed head skeletons!

skeleton poppy seed head photo

I’ve only seen pictures of these before so to actually hold them in my hand is amazing.

I pulled out my brush pen and drew them from a few different angles. Then I just washed some watercolour over the whole page and picked the lines out with some yellow ochre.

skeleton seedheads sketch & watercolour

I’m not sure whether it’s the colour or the scrappy line work but this one makes me happy.

In other news, we had the great day of cast removal (ooofff) the bones had set beautifully, unfortunately so had all of the stringy bits inside my arm (technical term) due to lack of movement. I spent the last few days bending my wrist back and forth like a rusty hinge trying to get some movement back.

Of course the best form of exercise is just to use it so I did some more drawing hehe.

Ageing poppy seed heads, micron pen and watercolour.

Ageing poppy seed heads, micron pen and watercolour. Getting a better grasp of the brush with my fingers.

skeleton poppy seed head sketch 2

Skeleton poppy seed head drawn from different angles.

These two were pencilled in first and drawn over with a micron pen. I did a better job of colouring these last two in, probably due to the fact I could actually move my fingers to hold a brush properly.

All in all another interesting week.

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

Using Dip Pens And Masking Fluid To Paint Honesty

watercolour honesty with dip pens

Using Dip Pens And Masking Fluid To Paint Honesty

Hi there, how are you?

Last week I picked a small twig of honesty and sketched it. I thought it would be fun to try to paint it with watercolour. I used three colours cerulean blue, raw sienna and burnt sienna, to try and keep it simple.

 honesty watercolour indian ink

Drawn with a dip pen and Indian ink. Once the ink had dried I used a dip pen to draw some masking fluid around some of the pods, I also splashed some masking fluid across the surface.

Masking fluid is tricky stuff. If you use a brush it’s best to use an old or inexpensive one because it will eventually ruin the brush. Dip it in soap and wipe off the excess before using in the masking. This helps prevent the masking from sticking to the bristles. It always ruins the brush in the end so keep a dedicated brush for masking fluid.

I wanted fine lines on these paintings and as hard as I try I can’t get a fine enough line with a brush so I decided to use dip pen to apply the masking. I’ve read books where the artists say it works so I gave it a go. I pour a small amount of masking fluid into a tiny ceramic dish then put the lid back so whole pot doesn’t dry out.

watercolour honesty drawn with dip pen

I drew the honesty with masking fluid and dip pen (the masking dries blue so it’s easy to see where I’ve been) .

Let them both dry thoroughly. If the masking doesn’t dry thoroughly it sticks to your best watercolour brush, and it won’t come off! (You can guess how I learned this lesson) I use a silicone colour shaper for large areas, the masking peels off the tip when it’s dry but there were no large areas here.

It’s a bit fiddly but I did manage to load the nib, I just tip the dish to the side and load the nib against the side of the dish. I don’t throw away any left over masking fluid; let it dry in the dish, it will be used later.

After I had painted them I decided the pods weren’t going to stand out very well so I loaded the dip pen with watercolour (to do this pass a loaded paint brush over the nib) and drew in the details.

Once everything had completely dried (if the paper isn’t dry it may tear) I roll up the masking fluid that had dried in the dish into a ball and use it to remove the dried masking from the painting. This prevents me from smearing my painting with the oils in my fingers, and rubbing it lightly, not peeling it away stops the paper tearing as it comes off.

There is a masking pick up tool you can buy from the shops to do this but I don’t have one so for now this works for me.

dip pen nibs

Experimenting with the dip pen was interesting, there are two pens in the picture, the red one has a narrower rounder nib and I couldn’t find a way to load it properly with masking fluid. The blue one worked much better. I’ll try it again on something else to see what results I can get.

The Indian ink looked very bold against the background as you would expect, the other one is a lot softer, I think the extra line around the edge makes it stand out better.

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