Blooming Agapanthus

agapanthus & bee watercolourAn agapanthus & bee watercolour

Hello there, how are you?

The lovely agapanthus are blooming whoot!

Two little pom poms of blue flowers standing in the garden making not only me happy but the bees also, they really are buzzing around collecting and pollinating.

When I get chance I nip out and draw them.

Above a watercolour of one flower and a little bee. This was painted without and pencil guides so I’m quite happy with the way it turned out.

Below is drawn with a fine liner, it’s just an outline really as that was all I had time for, I need to practice my shading.

agapanthus fine liner sketch
An agapanthus fine liner sketch

I thought it would be fun to do a few pencil sketches. I have the stub end of a blackwing pencil (the youngling throws them away when she deems them too short so I finish them off).

I like the way they turned out but the graphite in these pencils is dark almost as dark as a 4b pencil and they are quite smudgy so I’ve sprayed them with a fixative, it seems to keep the smudging to a minimum.

agapanthus pencil sketch
Agapanthus pencil sketch

The next drawing was drawn from a photo I’d taken. Drawing bees from life is not easy.

My graphite bees need work, it was difficult to draw all of the hairy tones and it came out a bit dark really.

bee on agapanthus flower
A bee on an agapanthus flower

Graphite pencil doesn’t usually scan too well but the blackwing is so dark and looks OK when scanned so I’ll try and remember that for the future.

Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by. till next time, have fun


Blue Banded Bees

watercolour bee studies

watercolour bee studies

Hi there, how are you?

This week I discovered there are blue banded bees living in Australia.

They are so beautiful I thought I would draw a few.

The top right is not a blue bee I just liked the position the photo was taken from.

I wanted to try painting them looser so I used a small squirrel mop brush and painted them in as few strokes as possible.

Not bad for quick sketches though if they were painted with a smaller with a smaller brush they would be more convincing.

loose watercolour bees
loose watercolour bees

loose watercolour bees

Louise fletcher ran her free taster course this week. I took this course last year and thoroughly enjoyed myself so I joined again.

So far I’ve only managed the first exercise. I took plenty of notes so will play with the others later.

Most people use acrylic paint in this course; I found some old tester pots of emulsion in the garage. There was a pink, a green and a yellow, not colours I normally put together but they needed using up.

We were supposed to mask the paper off a large sheet of paper into sections, this would have made the squares on my A4 paper very small so after sploshing paint all over the paper I cut it up into six squares roughly 4” in size. They sometimes look like mini abstract paintings.

find your joy lesson 1
find your joy lesson 1

What to do with all of the little squares. Last time I used them as backgrounds and painted birds on them, Bali minors. Since I have been painting bees I thought I would try a little bee.

It was fun to paint although I think I need to practice more painting with acrylics.

find your joy bee painting
Find your joy bee painting


Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by. till next time, have fun

Bees, With And Without Fluff

sketches of bees 2
1st page of bee sketches

Hi there, how are you?

The sun is shining, the flowers are out and so are the bees.

Word of warning there will be drawings of insecty things, if that’s not your thing or it creeps you out (to be fair some of them creep me out!) this post may not be for you. Come back next week and I’ll try and draw something a little prettier.

sketches of bees 1
2nd page of bee sketches

So, I’ve been drawing bees. I’ve drawn them before here  and I didn’t think it would be much of a problem, boy was I wrong! The first bees I drew are not shown because of their suckiness, back to bee drawing school for me!

Above are two sketchbook pages drawn over a few days of any bees I could find on the internet.

A day or so later I took a biro and a small sketchbook, and drew some bees from memory, actually not too bad, the tiny bees are as big as my little finger nail, they’re kind of cute.

Sketch of bees drawn in biro
Sketches of bees drawn with a biro

Bees (bumble bees) are like little fluff balls, hair every where. To see what is going on under the fluff I decided to draw some wasps, thinking of them as sort of naked bees as you do?

sketches of wasps
I’m not fussed on wasps, they’re mean and sting you just for the fun of it, then sting you again. They also try to steal your lemonade but as a means to an end they will have to do.

Drawing them was fun, I put my sketchbook away till the next day, opened it up to check how they turned out (they always look different with fresh eyes) Eeep! They look slightly more realistic than I was expecting and I don’t know about you but they definitely creep me out!

If I trick myself into not noticing the insectyness of them they are graphically speaking quite beautiful and I really like the shapes they make with their bodies.

Phew, the end of the insect post, well done, you made it to the end hehehe!

Thanks for taking the time to stop by today. 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)

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

Busy Bee Sketches


Hey there, How are you?

Whilst on a walk on a sunny day we found a bumble bee on top of a thistle, it had no inclination to fly off so my daughter and I took lots of pictures as it was working around and round the thistle. We got lots of snaps of bee positions before it finally flew off into the distance.


We got some pretty good close-ups and the pictures in the computer were quite detailed so I thought it would be fun to draw them. I used some from my photo’s and some from my daughters.


They were drawn with a micron pen and coloured with watercolour. I tried again to make my own black. Some came out on the blue side, which I like but the best one so far has been perylene green and quinacridone magenta, they make a lovely black together.

The bees came out ok if a little alien looking but I really think I need to work on my thistles!

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