Learning To Paint Landscapes Continued…

landscape value studies 1

Landscape value studies 1

Hi there, how are you?

I have been carrying on from last week learning to paint landscapes.
The guy on the course says we’re supposed to paint outside from life but It’s still cold and wet so I’m still painting from photo’s.

I don’t have too many decent pictures of landscapes so I had a look on google maps (street view) and took a few screen shots. These are all views from North Wales. There’s so much beautiful scenery in Wales it’s hard to choose where to start.

landscape value studies 2

Landscape value studies 2

I wasn’t too happy with the first two; I think I painted them a little small but I’m quite pleased with the last three even if they still look a bit clumsy in places.

The next class uses a limited palette of colours so that should be interesting.

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


Learning To Paint Landscapes

value study pg.1

value study pg.1 in gauche

Hi there, how are you?

This week I have been attempting to paint landscapes. I’m using a Schoolism course, they’re an on-line course mainly teaching drawing and digital art but they have a few traditional courses too. DD was doing the character design course and when she spotted a watercolour & gauche for landscapes, thought I might like to give it a go.

So I am, having a go that is. The teacher is Nathan Fowkes, a concept artist from the animation business, this guy knows his stuff.

We are supposed to use toned paper, and gauche with flat brushes. I hadn’t used any of these things before so it’s a steep learning curve.

Shopping trip to Hobby Craft (the only thing resembling an art store round here) the toned sketch pads weren’t cheap but as we looked around we saw small 8” square photo albums filled with craft paper for just £3, so we bought one. I already have flat brushes I just hadn’t used them. I do also have a set of reeves gauche paints but found they aren’t opaque enough so bought a tube of Windsor & Newton white.

value study pg.2 in gauche

value study pg.2 in gauche

The first exercises we are to only use white gauche and black watercolour, we are supposed to use paintings and work out the values.
I didn’t have the forethought to write down the original artists for the first page sorry; the second page’s original artist is Mark R Hanson. They are only used as studies.

Some of these worked out better than others, not knowing how to use the tools means everything takes that much longer to work out.

value study pg.3 in gauche

value study pg.3 in gauche

Next we are supposed to go outside and paint value studies. It’s cold outside so I will leave that till I can find a warm place to do it from. Instead I have been using any photos I could find with anything landscapy in them.

What have I learned so far you may ask?

1 take better pictures!
2 gauche is not easy to use and can very quickly turn to mud
3 I need an awful lot more practice.

I could carry on through the course and start using colour but I think the values are going to turn out quite important. I will probably do a few more pages in black and white (or grey mud) to see if I can get the hang of it.

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

Sketching Jellyfish

jellyfish draw with a fountain pen

Jellyfish draw with a fountain pen.

Hi there, how are you?
I have been thinking about jellyfish, I’m not sure why I find them so fascinating at the moment but they’re in my head so I’ve drawn them in my sketchbook.

Above are some jellyfish I drew with a preppy fountain pen, it still has Quink ink inside so I’ve brushed the lines out with a water brush (not that is shows up). It’s a bit scrappy but I was just trying to get the idea of how they’re put together.

pink and blue jellyfish sketch

Pink and blue jellyfish sketch.

one blue jellyfish sketch

Blue jellyfish sketch.

long jellyfish sketch

Long jellyfish sketch the blue one was outlined with a brush pen.

It’s hard when you look at them to see where one part ends and the next part begins.

I’ve tried to let lots of paper show through to make them appear transparent. They’re all drawn with pencil and coloured with watercolour. The blue one was outlined with a pentel brush pen because i didn’t like the way it turned out.

I think I need to practise drawing lots frilly things so I can do a better job of the arms (Is that what they’re called?)

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


Pandas Into The New Year

Hi there and Happy New Year!
I’m writing this as the last post of the year but it will probably go out as the first post of next year.

chinese panda sketch book 2

Chinese panda from my sketch book 2

I’ve been sketching pandas; this month pinch punch post’s theme is pandas. (It’s a small twitter challenge on the first day of each month.) I don’t always do pinch punch post, sometimes I forget but since I remembered and I like pandas so I thought I’d give it a go.

chinese panda from my sketch book 1

Chinese panda from my sketch book 1

I started off doing Chinese pandas, the ordinary black and white ones. I did’t think black watercolour was dark enough for these little guys so I used my pentel brush pen. I actually ran the pen out drawing these and had to fill it up with ink again!

Originally the page was just black and white (a bit boring) so I painted some bamboo in the background of two of the pandas with watercolour, nothing too fancy just a bit of bamboo but it does look better than a blank page. Backgrounds are something I’m not really very good at doing so I need to practice them more.

red panda from my sketch book 1

Red panda from my sketch book 1

After drawing the Chinese pandas I saw a red panda on TV and thought Oooooh, as you do, so I drew a few red pandas as well.
I think I will have to be careful with the cerulean blue in future because it really doesn’t like to scan.

red panda from my sketch book 2

Red panda from my sketch book 2

Well it’s time to say goodbye to 2017 and welcome to 2018 Best wishes to everyone in the coming year I hope it’s filled with of peace, love and kindness.

I would like to say thank you everybody for the time you’ve spent here, reading, liking, following and making thoughtful uplifting comments. Thanks for the support and encouragement and for taking the time out of your busy lives to stop by. Till next time, have fun x

Painting Polar Bears

polar bear and baby watercolur sketch

Polar bear and baby watercolour sketch

Hi there, how are you?
I’ve been drawing and painting polar bears this week, lots of polar bears.

polar bear walking watercolour sketch

Polar bear walking watercolour sketch

They didn’t all scan very well unfortunately maybe they were too pale but in person they look ok. It shows up my wrinkly pages nicely.

polar bear watercolour sketch 1

Polar bear watercolour sketch 1

They were all drawn with a pencil and painted with watercolour.

polar bear watercolour sketch 2

Polar bear watercolour sketch 2

I used a brush pen for these polar bears and filled in a few shadows with ultramarine blue watercolour

more polar bears brush pen sketch

More polar bears brush pen sketch

I used the sleeping polar bear as a card for a gift voucher. It is painted on blue card with white gouache

sleepy polar bear gauche on blue card

Sleepy polar bear gouache on blue card

Happy Christmas everyone and thanks for stopping by today. Till next time, have fun x

Misty Mountain Fir Tree Watercolour Paintings

misty mountain fir trees 1

I have been seeing watercolour paintings of little fir trees fading into the mists everywhere lately. It looked like fun so I thought I would have a go myself.

Hi there, how are you?

Since it’s been cold and snowy here I decided to paint  snowy mountain landscapes.

I’m using 100% cotton watercolour paper 190 gsm (90 lb). I had bought this paper because I wanted to make it into a small sketchbook. I generally paint tiny watercolours and this would give me a chance to get used to using a better quality of paper without any pressure. The paper did buckle a little but not so much as to affect this painting.

misty mountain fir trees 1

I used only one colour (moonglow, Daniel Smith) varying the amount of water to change the tone, it is a very granulating colour that splits into shades of blue and purple.

The sky was a quick wet in wet wash and left to dry; the mountains were so easy, I used a no. 4 rigger, scraped the brush on its side and with just a few passes the brush did all the work with no fiddling to make all the rock faces and crags. Amazing!

I put in small groups of trees and anywhere I wanted them to disappear into the mist I brushed a little clean water underneath them

I used more colour and less water to make the trees appear nearer.

misty mountain fir trees together

This looks like one picture cut in half but they were side by side on a board and the as thee brush skipped from one painting to another it gives an impression of one whole painting.

I’ve tried painting misty landscapes before and found it quite difficult but I like how these turned out and I have decided moonglow is my new favourite colour.

I have not made the sketch book yet, something else for the “to do” list.

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

Christmas Cards – Using Stuff Up

christmas aperture card star 1

christmas card with embossing and a star aperture

Hello Peeps, how are you?

It’s that time of year, you know the time of year when everything you do is geared towards one day. This week I have been shopping (on-line), shopping in actual shops, because that’s still a thing and making Christmas cards/tags.

Looking around on the internet I’ve seen people painting lovely watercolours and making them into cards, I thought what a lovely idea, I should do that! Who am I kidding; I would have to start making my cards in august if I wanted to finish before Christmas.

Introducing all the stuff I have made this week. The star card is made with nesting star dies and has a little floating star in the aperture. It’s a 6”x6” card so the top layer was embossed with an embossing then the folder was moved along to emboss the other side, happily it worked quite well.

christmas aperture card star 2

In real life the card is very sparkly and has blue glitter borders. It doesn’t show up, we have very poor light this time of year and even at midday in bright-ish sunshine everything looks washed out.


christmas embossed card snowflake

The gold card bases were given to me, they’re an odd size 6”x3”. The second card in the picture was embossed with a die; I like it more as a die-cut. I had some fancy paper which was a cross between tissue paper and mulberry paper; I used it to back the cut-out, it looks really good when light shines through it.

christmas/gift voucher card roudolf

The reindeer card is made entirely with peel-offs. For some unknown reason I seem to have loads of peel-offs, they need using up. It’s just the right size to place a gift voucher into.


christmas card snowflake small

Another card made with card bases I seem to have acquired these are 6”x4” cards. An embossed panel and die – cut snowflakes, I also managed to use up more of my peel – offs and a small piece of thin ribbon.


die - cut gift tags

Through out the year, when ever we get something in pretty packaging I die cut some tags and put them in a little box. Then when I need tags for gifts they’re cut and ready to use, just pick something that goes with the wrapping paper.

For the main presents this year I thought it would be nice to have die-cut names on the tags to make them a little bit special. I cut each letter three times and glued them on top of each other to give some dimension, then glued the names onto the tags, it’s a bit fiddly but I like the effect. It also used up lots of tidily bits of card I had hanging around.

I haven’t bought any new dies, stamps, card or anything else really this year. I have far too much stuff and really need to use things I already have so that’s what I’ve been doing. To be honest all this making hasn’t really made a dint but I’ll keep going and eventually I’ll get to the bottom of it all.

So, cards done, tags done, vouchers done. Gifts almost wrapped, shopping done, and we still have a couple of weeks left to go, yes! I’m on it this year hehe.

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