Drawing Garden Flowers In The Glorious Sunshine

Orange Quince flowers sketch

Orange Japonica Quince flowers sketch

Hello folks, how are you?

Over the last week or so we’ve had beautiful glorious sunshine. The kind of weather that makes you want to sit and just enjoy the garden. I’ve taken my sketchbook out with me and spent the time drawing some of the flowers as they started to bloom.

quince flower sketch

A sketch of flowers from my quince tree.

The orange Japonica quince and the furry quince have been amazing and are just coming to an end but I managed to draw a few sketches before the flowers fell, never know I might even get some fruit off them this year.

These orange Japonica quince flowers are very different from the Japonica quince flowers I drew a few weeks ago and the fruit , if I ever get any is a lot smaller.

Bluebells sketch

The bluebells have been lovely this year and are also past their best now.


aquilegia in watercolour & ink

Aquilegia flower buds drawn with a brush pen and coloured with watercolour.

Aquilegias are sprouting up everywhere, the seeds have spread around the garden very well and I can see loads of new plants sprouting up ready for next year. I think I’m going to have to thin them a little ready for next year.

aquilegia in water based ink

Aquilegia flowers drawn in water based ink (Quink) the ink was then pulled out with a water brush.

I bought a yellow poppy from the supermarket this year, drew it for a few days then put it out into the garden, of course the slugs thought it was their birthday and ate all the flowers! I don’t like slugs but won’t use pellets in case they kill the birds that eat them.

I’ve been reading up to find out how to deter them. Copper doesn’t work well, salt affects the soil, so this year I’m using rolled oats and hair. Yes hair, apparently slugs don’t like it so as I emptied the hoover and saw all the hairs I thought I’ll give it a try.

So far it’s working, slugs are hiding under the pots but they have stopped eating the plant and more importantly the buds. Maybe I’ll have a few more flowers soon, fingers crossed.

yellow poppy sketch 1

Supermarket yellow poppy sketch

yellow poppy sketch 2

Supermarket yellow poppy sketch

It looks like I’ve been really prolific this week but I’ve just spent half an hour here or there where I can. It’s a little but of peace and quiet and it helps me to relax. Hopefully the weather will continue and there will be more days in the sun.

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


The Aviaries Are Open Again

Hi there, how are you?

Normally at the zoo some (not all) of the aviaries are open to the public but during winter and early spring this year all of the aviaries were closed. Avian flu hit the zoo and we learned quite a few penguins had died, the zoo wanted to keep all of its birds safe.

Eastern Crested Guineafowl Sketch

Eastern Crested Guineafowl

Sad for us but necessary, all of the birds had their enclosures reduced and netted to keep people and wild birds away.

Now the weather has improved and all chances of flu are gone we can go in and see the lovely birdies again.

The Eastern Crested Guineafowl spend their time on the ground rooting in the ground for food. I haven’t seen them fly so I assume they don’t.

They tend to wander around in groups and after watching them for a while we decided they looked like a group of Elvis impersonators with their funny little hair styles hehehe.

Eastern Crested Guineafowl

This little guy was checking out the ducks in the neighbouring aviary. The grass is always greener on the other side.

Weaver Birds

Weaver birds building their nests.

There are also several pairs of weaver birds. The males make intricate upside down nests on long willowy tree branches out of grasses and leaves, if the female likes his nest they pair up, if not the male pulls it to pieces and starts again, more than once if needs be! Those ladies are very picky.

adventure playground chicken sketch

Adventure playground chicken sketch

Also this week we drew chickens at the local adventure playground. They were drawn in pencil and coloured at home, all except the rooster on the left, he was running around keeping all the ladies in check so try as I might I just couldn’t work him out, I snapped a photo on my ipod and worked him out at home.

There maybe a few more bird sketches in the future as we work our way around the zoo.

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

Watercolour Flamingo For The May Challenge

flamingo sketched at the zoo

Flamingos sketched at the zoo

Hi there, how are you?

1st of the month is the day to post our monthly creature on twitter for pinch punch post. This month the theme was flamingo.

Earlier in the month I had sketched out some flamingos at the zoo, nothing too fancy, just something to capture the shapes they make.

flamingo sketch 2

Another page of flamingos sketched at the zoo

I had forgotten about the challenge until a day or two before it was supposed to be posted, looked at the little flamingos I had drawn and thought meh. As is usually the case they were drawn on a white background, just gesture studies really, I wanted them to look a little more finished so decided since I’d be scanning them into the computer anyway I would try a bit of digital art.

I cut the white background out and put each flamingo onto its own layer, now I could move them around and even flip them until they looked more like an illustration than a sketch.

I only ended up using one of the sketched pages; I didn’t really have a lot of time to play with them. I changed the background to blue and put in a few ripples. It’s not a big change but to me it looks a little better.

flamingo watercolour sketch digitally manipulated

Flamingos sketch and painter in watercolour for a monthly challenge.

This is a good way to work out compositions and colours when you don’t want to draw it out over and over and I actually find it quite relaxing to do when I’m at the computer waiting for things to load or even when I’m having conversations on the internet, a kind of digital doodling if you like.

I don’t have any idea what the theme will be for next month, if I like it I may have another go.

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

Practising My Drawing

Hi there, how are you?

We have been to the zoo again, we have a pass and we’re not afraid to use it hehe. We’ve seen most things there many times but animals are endlessly interesting.


Pencil sketch of a silvery gibbon.

This time the gibbons were swinging about and as there weren’t too many people about (the orangutans just had a baby) we parked ourselves on the floor and started to draw. We’re not bothered if people watch us drawing and if anyone does talk to us they are always very kind but we don’t want to block anybody’s view especially for little ones.

As we drew a gibbon swung over to see what we were up to, he seemed to find it fascinating, I supposed they are used to the cameras and phones we all use these days.


In this photo he is watching my daughter; she is quicker getting a likeness than me so I was taking pictures to draw from later. I did draw the gibbons but its all in pencil it won’t scan.

I’m trying to practise drawing from life, it’s not the easiest thing to do if the model doesn’t keep still, that’s why I take the photos and draw them when I’m home, hopefully it will train my brain and next time I’ll have a better idea what the actually look like.

I drew the gibbon (at the top of the page) in graphite pencil just to see if I could make something with basic paper and pencil, no cheating and using my pen or colour to pull out the tones. It was a lot better than I thought it would be, although I could do with a softer pencil to really bring out the darks.

Next I tried a little watercolour sketch without using lines to define the edges, ok I admit it I needed a light pencil line but it is a lot softer than my usual black pen. The grey was a bit on the brown side, should have used a little more blue in the mix.


A small watercolour sketch of a silvery gibbon.

I’m actually quite happy with the way they turned out, some progress has been made, four years ago I couldn’t even draw a straight line, so it goes to show practise and hard work is really how you learn to draw!

I wish I had learned this lesson years ago. It’s very easy to say if you want to learn to draw just draw, the truth is if you want to learn how to draw you need to practise, you can take lessons, watch videos and read books but you need use the lessons and practise.

You have to do a lot of sucky drawings before you get to the good ones and I’m not getting any younger so I need to get off my soap box and get on with making lots more sucky pictures to improve on what I’m doing lol.

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

A Visit To The Farm Park


These sketches were drawn in pencil then tidied up at home.

Hi there, how are you?

This week we went to a local farm park. I suppose it’s a kind of petting zoo for kids but there wasn’t any actual picking up of the animals (probably a good thing). Although they do sell food to feed the animals.

We arrived just in time to feed the lambs. One of the farmers came out with a large crate filled with bottles of milk and we were all allowed to hold the bottles out to the lambs to drink whilst he told us a little about them.

Dotted around the park were various coops containing different breeds of chickens, turkeys, pheasants etc. I have to admit I do love a chicken, we started to draw some of the birds, then wouldn’t you know it the heavens opened and the rain started. We’re not afraid of a bit of water but it’s hard to draw on wet paper so off for a cup of tea and home we went.

Most of the sketches had been drawn with pencil and looked a bit scrappy so later on I got my brush pen and paints out and tidied them up a bit using some very ropey photos I’d taken on my ipod for reference.

Some of the turkey photos were a lot better so I decided to draw from them. The shape looks a little off but I think that’s because of the angle at which I took the photo.


The front view of a turkey.


Side view of a turkey.

Turkeys are strange looking creatures, not what you would call conventionally beautiful, except maybe to each other. One of the turkeys gave me a very long hard stare and as he did his dangly bit (technical term hehehe) got shorter and shorter till he had pulled it right up over his beak! I didn’t even know they could do that.


This turkey was giving me a very long hard stare!


It was an interesting day out and since it wasn’t too expensive to enter we’ll probably go again, maybe draw some of the other animals.

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

Sitatunga And Jackdaws With Moustaches

Jackdaws with Moustaches On Sitatunga

Jackdaws with moustaches on a Sitatunga


Hi there, how are you?

Last week we went to the zoo, we have passes again this year and we’ve been out every week getting our moneys worth.

Walking past the Sitatunga field (a kind of West African deer) we noticed one of the Sitatunga was sitting on the ground motionless and two jackdaws were pecking at its back. You always fear the worst don’t you.

On closer inspection though we saw they weren’t pecking but pulling out the fur from her back! The deer was sitting unfazed as they pulled and tugged at her fur, we supposed it was time for the Sitatunga to moult; it’s probably quite itchy when animals moult and the jackdaws were helping her out, we also supposed the jackdaws would use the fur to line their nests. I’m sure that would make their nests really warm and soft.

Then birds turned to look at us and I almost broke myself laughing! They all looked as if they had little ginger moustaches! It’s the funniest thing I’ve seen in a long time lol.

My daughter took a few photos as we watched this incredible sight. Once we were home I borrowed a few of her photos to draw from. You can see her version here on instagram

Jackdaws On A Sitatunga

Jackdaws on a Sitatunga with beaks full of orange fur. If you click on this picture it will take you to her instagram account.

Jackdaw with a Moustache 2

Jackdaw with a Moustache

Jackdaw with a Moustache 1

Another Jackdaw with a Moustache


Jackdaws are part of the crow family, they’re a little smaller and slightly grayer than crows and they have clear blue eyes. To me they are always a little more comical than crows too.

We are now imagining lots of orange fur-lined jackdaw nests brightening up the trees around the zoo hehehe.

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

Spring Blossom Time

blossom sketch 2

This page and the quince below were drawn with a brush pen

Hi there, how are you?

It’s the time of year when everything starts to come to life. There are many things I love about this time of year, the weather, the promise of new life with buds and spring flowers but my favourite is the spring blossom.

I don’t think there is any kind of blossom I don’t love. Cherry, apple, plum, the hedge row hawthorn, any kind of blossom fills my heart with joy.

The flowers don’t last long so while they are here I run around with my ipod or camera snapping pictures or if I can drawing and sketching little sprigs of blossom here and there.

blossom sketch 1

Blossom drawn with both black and pink fine liner.

Quince Blossom Sketch

A sketch of some Quince blossom growing in the garden, I have two types of, japonica quince. This one has pale apple blossom type flowers, the other bush has orange blossom but it flowers a little later in the month.


All of these are drawn in different styles, with different pens, splashed with watercolour. Some from life others from pictures I’d taken previously, Cherry blossom, quince blossom, apple blossom. I’ll probably draw more as the season continues because it makes me happy.

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


poison arrow frog

A sketch of a poison arrow frog

Hi there, how are you? Happy Easter!
(For those not celebrating I hope you’re having a lovely weekend)

The first day of the month is time to #pinchpunchpost  (A monthly twitter challenge where they give a theme, usually an animal at the beginning of the month then you can post a picture, art work, whatever using their theme on the first day of the next month.) April 1st is frogs.

I can’t believe it’s April already, where is the year going!

I drew a few out of a kids illustrated frog book.

green cascade frog

A sketch of a green cascade frog

azure poison arrow frog

A sketch of an azure poison arrow frog


mini toy frogs

Drawings of some mini toy frogs

I remembered I had some tiny plastic toy frogs, not very realistic but frog shaped enough for me to draw. It was fun to turn them around in my fingers and draw frogs from different angles.

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