From Colour Pallets To Monochrome

moth to a light pg1
Moth to a light pg1

I have slowly and steadily been filling in the sketchbook I’m using for the Creative Watercolor Sketching for Beginners course by Laura McKendry. It’s taking a while as there are many pages to fill.

The pages are started hap haphazardly at first then you try to tie them together either by technique or subject matter so it ends up as a cohesive body of work.

Moths to a light are in-between a page of line painted light bulbs and the Colourful Watercolour Beetles I’ve shown previously.

The light bulb is from the page before and the element inside it is the shape of an origami butterfly using lines. Origami butterflies also appear on other pages in the book. Trying to fit everything together.

I thought moths are bugs so not to much of a leap to beetles or even butterflies really.

The background is interesting; I didn’t want another solid dark background then I spotted a bristle brush on the desk. Starting with yellow I swiped paint hear and there, then pink then indigo as I worked to the edge of the page.

moth to a light 2
Moth to a light 2

The next two pages fit between a page of some small round colour pallets and a page containing monochrome or tonal origami butterflies.

The hot air balloons remind me of the colour pallets turned sideways, they’ve started off colourful and as they float to the other side of the page they become more pink in various tones. I’ve also added some fluffy pink clouds and two tiny butterflies just for fun.

hot air balloon pg1
Hot air balloons pg1
hot air balloon pg2
Hot air balloons pg2

As I go through the book I am thinking some of these pages are not quite finished. Maybe towards the end I’ll make a few additions.

I still have pages to fill and it’s taking a while to complete this course but I don’t mind, although it’s not the sort of things I would normally think to paint, it’s a very interesting way to work.

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




Hi there how are you?

It’s December already! The last month has flown by.

Last week of the Victoria Johnson course I drew a stag beetle, it was supposed to go with last weeks images but didn’t seem to fit so I embellished it a little more and it sits nicely with the other beetles now.

We all did beetles as part of the course and it was the part I was least looking forward to, all of those creepy little legs.

Well something I never thought I’d say,”I’ve spent the whole week drawing beetles and enjoying every minute of it! The beetles I’ve seen on–line are amazing with all of the lovely patterns and colours suddenly I drew a whole page of them. Who would have thought?

They’re a bit wonky, coloured with watercolour and outlined with various gell pens. I’ve even used some gold markers but that doesn’t show up in the scan. They do look quite fancy when they catch the light though.

I am working digitally for this course because it was the only way to keep the colours consistent and work quickly enough to keep up with the rest of the class.

I pulled my little beetles into illustrator and drew out all of the shapes and turned them into various patterns.

Here are my two finished collections. (I don’t have fancy names for them) The first one is birds, butterflies and flowers. I’ve tinkered around with them since last week, changed colours, added stuff and they’re looking a lot better.

Collection1 flowers butterflies and birds
Collection 1

The second collection; Beetles, they are much better all together. The patterns made from my ropey little drawings came our quite well.

Collection2 beetles
Collection 2 Beetles

The beauty of illustrator, I clicked the screen by accident and changed the whole colour of the orange beetle. Oooooo I like this one too hehehe

blue beetle
Orange beetle turned blue.

The reason I had taken this class was to give me a change from inktober and stop the burn out I usually have after a monthly challenge, boy did it ever! It’s probably the hardest course I’ve taken; it was a huge task just to keep up with everything.

If you’re an illustrator, designer or professional artist selling to companies this is the lady to see, so much useful information (so much!) for me I’m glad to have completed it and now I can get back to my drawing although maybe in the back of my mind some of this epic information will stick. You never know how these things will affect you till they do.

Now the class is finished its time to start getting ready for the day, only 24 more days to go so I better get a move on!

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

Birds Butterflies And Blooms

bird and flowers
bird and flowers

Hi there how are you?

The last four weeks I’ve been taking a class by Victoria Johnson called create collections and it turned out to be a lot harder than I thought.

I tried to make all of the art work traditionally but couldn’t get the colours to gell and started to wonder why I had taken this class in the first place.

After discarding many paintings (probably as much to do with a mean inner critic as poor colour coordination) I decided to regroup and start again this time using illustrator. Digital colours are much easier to control so I set up a small colour palette to work off.

I Started (above) with the little bird and adding flowers and butterflies, then on to some flowers influenced by the blossom. I think the flowers need tweaking but its getting there.

Next a pattern: Since I had used opened butterflies for the main image I changed to butterflies with closed wings and switched up the colours, it’s kind of pretty.

butterfly pattern
Butterfly pattern

For a less busy pattern I took some of the leaves in the flower image, changed the colours and made an implied pattern. It doesn’t repeat but it’s big enough to give the idea of a pattern.

leaf pattern
Pink leaves

A couple of coordinates or tiny patterns and that’s it for now. I still have lots to do but at least I have something to hand in now.

tiny patterns
Tiny blossoms and dots

Hopefully these look like they belong in a group (coordinate) especially as that seems to be the point hehehe.

I may paint some of these up in watercolour after the class is finished, at least the ones I really like.

This week we have to put everything together and present it, interesting times.

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

Taking On A New Challenge

hummingbird finding colours
hummingbird finding colours

Hi there how are you?

After the marathon that is inktober I usually feel a bit flat. Drawing something every day isn’t a problem I do that any way, 5 minutes here half an hour there, mostly the drawings however are not very good. Over a normal week maybe half of my drawings are worth posting the rest are stepping stones to something else. During inktober though there has to be something postable every day!

This year I thought I would head of the burn-out by enrolling in a class. Create collections was one of the first classes that took my interest. I don’t know what a collection is or what you’re supposed to do with them but I intended to find out. ???

create collections
create collections

We started of finding colour palettes. Turns out I am already using most of my favourite colours and with a few additions they’re even more favourite hehehe.

I drew a lot of humming birds. I love the colour palette of the first one above; the others are placed against different colours to see how they looked.

hummingbird 1
hummingbird 1

hummingbird 2
hummingbird 2

This week we made a finished piece in a “collection” I thought I would use those lovely muted colours again but no, my brain had other ideas! I used a little painting of a geranium I had painted way back in August, painted some other bits and pieces to go with them and after much fiddling about came up with this.

geranium wreath
geranium wreath

I quite like how it turned out now but there were a few moments when I thought “why am I doing this!!” the class is full of illustrators and designers so I’m feeling a little out of my depth, all of the work I see in the class is amazing and well thought out, Then there’s me.

The challenge is on and I’m out of my comfort zone but I am drawing loads of stuff, mostly things not worth posting but there’s no sign of burn out so achievement unlocked.

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

Inktober 2019 Week 3

14 fish amongst the lily leaves
14 fish amongst the lily leaves

Hello peeps how is it going?
It’s week three of inktober, wow this month is going fast!

So far I’ve mostly managed to keep up, there’s been the odd “I don’t know what to draw” moment and at the last minute I think of something. I could use the prompts but found them so uninspiring so I’ll just plod on as usual.

1. Fish amongst the lily leaves – (above) there’s the beginning of an idea here that maybe I’ll look at later.

2. Horned owl – I’ve drawn a similar owl before on white paper, it’s interesting to see the difference the toned paper makes.

15 horned owl
15 horned owl

3. Hornbill – I love these cantankerous birds, the zoo is trying to breed them but the hornbills have other ideas.

16 hornbill
16 hornbill

4. Monarch butterfly – three butterflies fluttering. It was fun to draw them with the wings in different positions.

17 monarch butterfly
17 monarch butterfly

5. Penguin – at the zoo we have Humboldt penguins, they love nothing more than showing off to the children swimming right up to the glass.

18 penguin
18 penguin

6. Sparrow – I know I drew a sparrow last week but I have taken loads of photos of them and I really like drawing them. Who knows maybe I’ll draw more sparrows’ hehehe

19 little sparrow
19 little sparrow

7. Dancing cranes – there was a program on TV about Japanese wild life, when I saw the cranes I decided I needed to draw some hehehe. I’m sure had I thought of it I would have painted some with my Chinese brushes last year. “Future me” may try this, once inktober is over of course.

20 dancing cranes
20 dancing cranes

I like most of the little drawings I made this week even with the phaffing about deciding what to draw. I am starting to miss colour now and can’t wait to get the watercolours out again, “Soon my pretties”.

Here’s a link for week 1 and week 2 just in-case you’re interested.

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

Note: If you want to know more a link to information on inktober and what it is all about is here.

Tissue Butterfly Card

Butterfly Tissue CardHi there. How are you?

This is a card made in the same style as the little tag I made way back in June.The colours are slightly darker and duller because the tissue was a little darker but I used the same method to make it.

The topper card was embossed with a Swiss Dots embossing folder and was then matted and layered with red card onto a card base with foam pads.

So that’s it short and simple
Thanks for stopping by. Till next time, have fun x

Dies Used:
Sizzix movers – and shapers Flower and Butterfly Set
Spellbinders – Nesting Circles
Embossing folder Used:
Swiss Dots


Butterfly Tag

Butterfly Tissue Tag
Butterfly Tissue Tag

A lovely tag made with oddments and leftovers found on my crafting table.
Hi there. How are you?

I was sitting at my table in a blurry haze.(The weekly trip to the opticians continues and is the running joke here at the moment). I couldn’t decide what to do, so I started to tidy up. Usually this clears not only the table but also seems to clear my head too.

I found tags, unused die-cuts and bits of kitchen roll that had been used to clean stamps and mop up ink

Then as they made their way to the bin, hoarder me suddenly popped up and said noooo surely you can make some thing out of these!

Hoarder me is normally best ignored. I have far too much tat as it is but this time she could be right, hmm…

Out came the P.V.A glue and the butterflies were stuck to the tag and the kitchen roll glued on top. The tissue was had some colour from the inks but I added a little extra watercolour and picked out the butterflies in red and yellow.

For a touch of sparkle I mixed a drop of gum arabic with a drop of water and some mica powder. The gum arabic binds the mica and stops it rubbing away when you touch it. To make sure though I gave the whole thing another coat of P.V.A.

I finished the tag off by backing it with a piece of pink card, I even found some ribbon for the hole. Normally I wouldn’t bother with ribbon because the tags I make are used on gifts and I like to match the ribbon with the gift wrapping but this was pretty so I went with it.

Considering it was made from all the tat on my table I’m really pleased with how it turned out. The colours turned out well and it is quite tactile.

That’s it for now. Thanks for stopping by, till next time, have fun x

Dies Used:
Sizzix movers – and shapers Flower and Butterfly Set
Sizzix – Tags #3A A

Pretty Pink Peony

Vellum PeonyHi there, how are you.

My daughter and I have decided we have too much stuff so we are using up what we have till it’s gone. This is to use up the vast amounts of stuff we have.

I found a pack of vellum amongst my stuff so I decided to have a go.I’ve never used vellum before, I bought it because I thought it looked cool (something I have to stop doing). After trying a few things (and failing) I decided to start simple and stamp onto it using distress ink. This worked surprisingly well considering it’s dye based ink, and it didn’t smear all over the place once it had dried.

I couldn’t use the whole of the flower image
1) because it is a very large stamp
2) I had messed it up testing things out so I decide to put a frame around the parts I could use.

The pink paper for the main frame was embossed with an embossing folder one side at a time because the folder was a lot smaller than the paper and a circle was cut from the middle.

To pick out the pattern I lightly rolled over it with a brayer and some Versamark, sprinkled on some embossing powder and heated it with a heat gun.

I’ve used a darker pink card around the sentiment butterfly and centre border to help everything stand out. The corners of the card were rounded.

Everything here was a huge experiment so it was nice to get a decent card at the end.

Thanks for dropping by and reading my ramblings. Till next time, have fun x

Inks used:
Distress Ink – Picked Raspberry
Stamps used:
Indigoblu – Giant Peony
Woodblock – Happy Birthday
Dies Used:
Spelbinders – Wonderful Wings
Spelbinders – Nested Circles
Embossing folder – Free from magazine
Silver embossing powder