Wrens In The Garden

3 watercolour wrens3 watercolour wrens

Hello Folks.

There have been lots of moments appreciating the garden recently and as I stood drawing a tiny wren flew down looking for food or nesting material. It didn’t stay long as one look at me scared the little guy away but it made me very happy to know wrens are nesting somewhere near by.

They don’t nest around here normally because the many magpies and crows would swallow such a tiny bird whole; still it was nice to see.

I’ve spent this week painting and drawing wrens. Some painted in watercolour (above) they are roughly 2½” in size, tiny paintings.

Below the wrens were drawn with a calligraphy fountain pen, the kind with a wide nib intended for fancy writing. I’d found it in a draw and thought I would be interesting trying to drawing with it. I’ll definitely be trying this again, working out how to hold the pen to make marks was a lot of fun.

wren drawn with calligraphy pen
Wren drawn with calligraphy pen

This next one was also drawn with a calligraphy pen but it kind of got away from me, still an interesting exercise though.

wren drawn with calligraphy pen
Wren drawn with calligraphy pen

The last one is drawn with my new fountain pen, still don’t love it but for these tiny little birds it worked quite well.

wrens drawn with fountain pen
Wrens drawn with fountain pen

It’s funny that something so small and fleeting can bring such happiness.

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


Happy New Year 2023

best nineBest nine chosen by the algorithm.

Happy New Year everyone! It’s hard to believe we’re into 2023 already, the years are flying by.

This is a little round up post for last years artiness.

The top image is chosen by the algorithm and as expected contains many Inktober’s. If you post every day as part of a challenge they are much more likely to be shown and seen.

I like all of the images but the variety is small and chosen by a machine so I took a look at the images I have posted this year and picked my favourite nine.

Still some Inktober’s and also a few things that for one reason or another resonated with me.

my favourite nine 2022
My favourite nine 2022

Poppies always a favourite.

I love the background on the butterflies top middle.

Two little dragons on number 1 sons card made us all smile.

Goldfish facial expressions are a hoot.

A Christmas card using an experiment that turned out way better than I though it would.

A cute little bird from the zoo.

Happy Yin yang fish.

Who doesn’t love a monkey with a moustache,

and the fun loving octopus.

Different media and subjects but full of happy memories.

Thanks so much for the support last year I really appreciate you taking time out of your busy lives to visit, like and comment, I have also enjoyed visiting you, reading and seeing all of you wonderful creations.

Here’s to 2023.

I hope you have some happy memories from last year and that you make many more in the coming year.

Till next time, have fun x

Owl Thumbnail Sketches

baby owl watercolourBaby owl watercolour

Hi there, how are you?

This week I have been making lots of little owl doodles. Each of the sketches are about an inch to 1½ inches in size.

The first page (below) was drawn with blue fountain pen ink; I spilled water on this page and ruined it! One of the perils of using water soluble ink, still have the scan though phew.

blue ink owl doodles
Blue ink owl doodles

Learning my lesson I drew the second page with black waterproof ink. They’re all a little ski-wiff and lots of fun to draw.

black ink owl doodles
Black ink owl doodles

I wanted to see if I could turn these scrappy thumbnail sized sketches into something more finished, placed the scan in procreate and used some of the owls as a template to draw over the top.

My procreate skills are very basic but they are OK for a first attempt.

digital owls
Digital owls

The little owl watercolour at the top of the post was also drawn from one of the little thumbnails. I placed her on top of a tree stump in a small clearing so she’s not floating around on a white page.

The sketch had a woolly hat on and since we’re in December I turned it into a Christmas hat (trying to get into the seasons spirit.)

I can see the issues but don’t yet have the skills to fix them yet, more practice me thinks.

Backgrounds are something I suck at so I’m trying to practice using them more, it’s a start.

Who knows maybe eventually I’ll know what I’m doing hehehe.

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

Sketching Magpies

watercolour magpie  sketchWatercolour magpie sketch

Hi there, how are you?

This week I have done absolutely nothing at all. There I said it.

The week before I had planned to scan and post the few scrappy drawings I had done and then bang, I was hit by the superbug COVID!

The illustrious other half caught it at work and brought it home to share, he needn’t have bothered.

I went to bed shivering and aching and didn’t resurface until this weekend. Bleah!

So, these are the things I would have posted last week. Magpie studies.

(above)from a photo taken in the garden a watercolour painted in the sketchbook. I’m reasonably happy with the background and twiggy bits here.

Drawn in graphite pencil these magpies (below) had to be scanned in black and white as it’s not always easy to see. These are pretty much all Pinterest magpies.

graphite magpie sketches
Graphite magpie sketches

Some birds drawn with a fountain pen. It’s not easy to colour with fountain pens (I think it’s a fine nib) so I just give an impression of shading drawing the lines close together.

fountain pen magpie sketches
Fountain pen magpie sketches

Fountain pen and blue ink trying and failing to show some iridescence, it was the wrong colour blue.

By this stage the drawings are getting a little more sketchy and unbeknownst to me I was starting to get sick.

blue fountain pen magpie sketches
Blue fountain pen magpie sketches

I’m still coughing but my cotton wool head is slowly starting to clear and hopefully this week will soon be a soggy memory.

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

Inktober 2022 week 5


Hi there, how are you?

Inktober 2022 week 5. by the time you read this Inktober will probably be finished but I’m not quite there yet, still a little more to do.

1. turtle (above). I quite like this one, there’s only a tiny amount of pink in some of the shading so more monochrome than the others, I think it fits the subject though.

2. teapot. Not sure what to call this really, bits of things? It makes a nice composition though.


3. cockerel. I wondered if I painted a cockerel (rooster) with two colours how it would look.



4. magpie. This time of year everyone draws crows, magpies are corvids too don’t you know hehehe. It looks cool standing on a pumpkin.

magpie on a pumpkin
Magpie on a pumpkin

5. bird. This is actually based on a blue tit. It’s interesting the difference the colours makes.


6. ginkgo. I saw a ginkgo tree on a walk the leaves an autumn gold, very inspiring. These turned out a little graphic, fun to draw.

ginkgo leaves
Ginkgo leaves

I still have a couple more left to do as I’d missed some hopefully I’ll get them sone soon.

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

Cards To Paint

watercolour dasisy cardWatercolour daisy card

Hello there, how are you?

This month there is a wedding anniversary and a birthday, a good excuse to paint some cards.

The first card, daisies and butterflies, painted on posh arches watercolour paper no less.

This was the second attempt as the sizing in the paper of the first attempt had degraded and to make matters worse the masking fluid I used, tinted blue left lots of blue stains on the paper!

The masking fluid is in the bin, I wont be buying that brand again.

In the end I just painted around the petals, I don’t think it looks too bad.

The butterflies have gold shiny mica watercolour on the wings and the background looked a little empty so I painted blue swirls and drew around the swirls with a white and a sparkly gel pen.

Below is an image of me trying to take a photo of the sparkle, Can’t see it? No me neither phfftt. Obviously my photographic skill are not good enough for the job.

sparkly daisy card
Sparkly daisy card

It’s our anniversary in august so I like to make himself something a little romantical. I went with love birds and drew lots of scrappy little birds in the sketchbook. These are the best of the bunch.

birb sketches
Birb sketches

I picked the two second from the bottom and added some cherry blossoms to give them more of a branch to sit on.

love birds
Love birds in the cherry blossom.

Thirty seven years, crikey! Seems like yesterday. Doesn’t time fly when your having fun.

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

Abstract Birds & A Hidden Snake

abstract birds
Abstract bird

Hithere, how are you?

I’ve spent a little more time this week filling pages in the sketchbook I’m using for the Creative Watercolor Sketching for Beginners course by Laura McKendry.

This page is a reaction to one of the exercises in the class on the previous page, drawing abstract birds.

The whole page was painted blue and the clouds lifted out with tissue. The birds are just a few brush strokes to imply bird-ness. As the page after had colours dropped into a base colour I used the same technique for the tree then sprinkled on a little salt for texture and used a sponge to indicate leaves.

abstract flying birds
Abstract flying birds

The next page is half a spread, I skipped the lined of bleeding colours and concentrated on this page. It was another exercise in dropping one colour into another and wound around in a sort of spiral.

It suggested the shape of a coiled up snake so I gave it eyes, a tongue, some scales and swiped on a background.

I was going to collage leaves over the top as if the snake was in the undergrowth. The collage paper I’d made for a chameleon page with careful cutting would just fit over the top. I cut out the shapes of leaves and in the gaps cut leaves from other paper and made an overlay. It’s glued onto the back of the page and opens out as a page in it self. Little bugs and beetles were then cut out and stuck onto the leaves on both sides for fun.

snake overlay open
The snake page with the overlay open

When the leaf page is folded in you can just see the little snake peeping through the leaves. It’s one of my favourite gages so far. I’m so glad I didn’t glue the leaves straight onto the page now.

snake overlay
The snake overlay page closed

It’s taking a long time but this sketch book is filling up slowly and there’s not too many pages left now. I’m having so much fun using this process to generate ideas.

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

Trying To Simplify Birds

Chickadee sketch

Hi there, how are you?

This week I have been trying to simplify little bird paintings using a square brush and as few paint strokes as possible. (I did cheat a little for the really tiny details and used a small round brush.)

I’m using watercolour but leaving the white of the paper for little white tummies looked a bit odd so I used a very watered down paynes grey for the whites and added a touch more paint for the shadows.

Above is a chickadee, they look a little similar to the small garden birds we have here, very cute.

Below the same kind of bird hanging on a seed head.

Learning to use a chunky square brush to make the shapes I wanted was interesting, being only black and white made it slightly easier.

Chickadee on a seed head
Chickadee on a seed head

Saw this picture of a blue tit and had to have a go. I love the awkward positions they manage to get themselves into.

This one was a little harder as there are more colours (or variance of colour) and markings. I think it works though, it’s recognisable as a blue tit.

blue tit hanging on a twig
Blue tit hanging on a twig

The last one is a small hornbill. I’m not sure what kind and the zoo has closed all of the aviaries at the moment to protect them from bird flue, I’ll check in the spring when they open again.

It was a little over worked and in the end I used a fountain pen to outline it then added a background. It’s OK as sketches go but not what I’d call simplified, I’ll have to try again.

small hornbill
A small hornbill

I seem to be suffering from some sort of creative block at the moment. I stare longingly at my sketch book, wanting to draw some thing and not knowing where to start so I am setting myself little tasks in the hope it will help. It got my brush moving so here’s hoping.

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