Inktober, All Over For Another Year

peony brush paintingPeony brush painting

Hi there, how are you?

Inktober is over for another year as we now enter a soggy November.

I made 30 pieces of art by October 31and topped up the last day with something experimental.

1. a peony in the style of Chinese brush painting.

After trying a number of different types of paper, even rice paper the one that worked and was least annoying was painted on a piece of junk mail. It was just absorbent enough with the right amount of tooth so no fancy paper here then ha!

2. These were the make up pieces, I was experimenting with spraying, masking and transferring ink.

A die cut circle was placed on to watercolour paper and blue ink sprayed on top. After it had dried I loosely sprayed water into the centre to wet the paper and reactivate the ink then laid a circle cut from an ink painting that didn’t work over the wet circle. The red ink transferred into the blank space and bled into the blue ink.

It’s an interesting effect and I thought I could draw some little silhouette trees or something on the top but the ink activates too easily with anything wet so I left it. They look like little moons.

Maybe if I drew the silhouette first in waterproof ink it would work better, an experiment for another day I think.

moon experiment 1
Moon experiment 1
moon experiment 2
Moon experiment 2

This last one is a watercolour using the magpie image from last week. I needed to make a card and this one fit the bill as he loves magpies, or any birds really.

It made him smile do job done.

magpie pumpkin watercolour
Magpie pumpkin in watercolour.
magpie on a pumpkin
Magpie on a pumpkin used as the pattern for a watercolour card.

The goal was to use the blue and red ink I had just bought, and try to generate some new ideas because I was feeling a bit stuck. If I don’t have a goal I know I’ll procrastinate, then I wont finish, sad but true. That’s why I give myself the little tasks and by with using different tools and ways of applying the ink it keeps the interest going for the whole month.

Apart from the odd “my life what am I going to draw” its been a good month.

I’ve loved looking around at what other artists have produced, some following prompts, some making their own prompts up and some like me busking it and doing their own thing and it has been amazing. So much good work.

If you did some, all or any of the Inktober month congratulations, hopefully like me your giving yourself some pats on the back.

You can check out the previous weeks inktober’s below:

Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5

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


Green Chrysanthemums

green chrysanth fine liner
Green chrysanthemum drawn with a fine liner

Hi there, how are you?

This week I received a lovely bouquet of flowers for my birthday, white roses, blue sea holly and green chrysanthemums, all very posh.

I’ve tried and tried to draw the chrysanth’s most of which were very bad drawings but I did manage a few that were reasonably presentable.

Below I was painting the petals directly onto the page, not quite what I wanted but it gave some indication of the way the petals radiated out from the centre.(the colours didn’t scan well here, they were much more green than yellow.)

watercolour green chrysanth
Green chrysanthemum painted with watercolour

Next some Chinese brush painting. I like the stylised simplicity of this type of painting, to make each petal with a single brush stroke is very satisfying.

sumi e green chrysanth
Green chrysanth’s painted (sumi-e) chinese brush painting style

The drawing at the top of the post is most like these flowers. The petals are long thin and pale green, very striking.

It’s almost the last flower I’d drawn and after trying lots of different styles of painting and drawing I thought drawing the petals out with a pencil and using a fine liner to outline everything may give me a better idea of the shapes; it worked and this is my favourite of the paintings so far.

The drawing below was one of the most troublesome drawings. I had tried painting in the petals, it didn’t work so I filled the whole thing over with pale green paint. They ended up looking like green lollipops!

After using the fine liner and liking the result I started drawing petals over the lollipops and even though it’s not my favourite I think it’s been saved from the rubbish pile.

green chrysanth lollipops fine liner
Green chrysanth lollipops over-drawn with fine liner.

I feel very lucky to receive these beautiful flowers and plan to make as much use of them as I can. I’ve taken lots of photos so if they wilt before I can draw them all I can use the photos as future reference.

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

Inktober 2021 – Acrylic Ink Week 3

09 crow 2021 inktober
09 crow 2021 inktober

Hi there, how are you?

I’m a bit behind this week with everything and didn’t get a lot of arting done either, only managed four inktobers.

Not sure if I’ll catch up at the end, we’ll see how I feel when it’s time.

Crow – (above)I always love drawing crows and this was no exception. Since the inks are translucent I thought I’d try a spot of glazing. Didn’t go quite to plan as the black has a little more body to it. I like the effect though so I’m calling it a win.

Fish – I was attempting to mix a more muted colour with this one, I find the inks on their own are a little too vibrant. There are some nice washy things going on it the tail and fins, I’ll have to try and remember how I did it.

10 fish 2021 inktober
10 fish 2021 inktober

Cherry blossom – I wondered if I could dry brush with these inks. Chinese brush painting seemed a good way to test it. I didn’t use my best Chinese brushes for this technique as I didn’t want to ruin them with dry acrylic. It worked pretty well though I don’t think its something I’ll do too often.

11 blossom 2021 inktober
11 blossom 2021 inktober

Orchid – another little Chinese brush painting because I enjoyed the cherry blossom painting so much.

12 orchid 2021 inktober
12 orchid 2021 inktober

I didn’t manage to make art every day last week, a very nasty stomach bug has visited upon us and were all a little under the weather. Don’t panic we are recovering and will be fighting fit soon.

I have enjoyed the days I did make something, experimenting with acrylic ink is turning out to be a lot more fun than I thought it would.

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

Love Peonies

watercolour peony buds
watercolour peony buds

Hi there, how are you?

This week on a trip to the local supermarket I spotted bunches of peonies. Feeling sure that if my other half had seen them he would have bought them (he loves me right?) I placed the flowers into the trolley. Once home I said “thanks for buying these beautiful flowers, they’re lovely!” it’s at this point he smiles and says “You’re welcome“, what a guy.

The peonies were tight buds when I (He) bought them so I drew the buds and leaves; I sketched them out in pencil and filled in with watercolour.

A day or so later as they began to open I drew them again. They are pale pink, almost white and so far I had managed to show that in the drawings.

sketch of 3 peony buds as they open.
Sketch of 3 peony buds as they open.

Now they are fully opened, looking quite magnificent, and have a lovely delicate smell. (Nobody’s hay-fever has been affected by the peonies, whoop! We can have these flowers again, Yay)

I haven’t been successful Painting the “whiteness” of the full flowers yet, so that is something to work on. I did try a little Chinese brush painting using in pink and white gouache. Placing the brush strokes and watching the flower take form is quite meditative.

peony using chinese brush painting
Peony using Chinese brush painting

I have actually painted tons of peonies (I won’t flood the whole post with pictures don’t panic) and I want to try again painting them paler and more like the flowers I have in the vase, I’ll keep trying.
I had several paintings that didn’t work for one reason or another, these parts came out a lot pinker that I wanted. I decided to put some new found digital skills to use (binge watching more skillshare classes this time Ohn Mar Win) and made them into one slightly better image.

I enjoyed putting all of the pieces together; it’s a bit like doing a jig-saw.

peony made from pieces
Peony image made from pieces of failed paintings

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

Magnolia Brush Pen Painting Experiments

magnolia in ink with a brush pen
Chinese brush painting style painting of magnolia in ink with a brush pen.

Hi there, how are you?

This week I have been experimenting with magnolias. Gardens and parks are filled with their beautiful blooms; I have taken lots of photos and really wanted to capture some small part of it.

Remembering the Chinese brush painting I tried in October (inktober) I thought it would be fun to paint the flowers in this style and after thumbing through my book and reading some very brief instructions I copied the picture in the book.

magnolia exercise taken from book
Chinese brush painting style painting of magnolia in ink with a brush pen. This exercise was taken from a book.

I didn’t fancy grinding down ink so I used two pentel brush pens, one filled with black ink and the other with red ink (I filled an old cartridge with a pipette).

Chinese brush painted magnolia
magnolia painted in ink with a brush pen Chinese brush painting style.

I painted the magnolia in the style of the flowers in the book and after a few paintings decided to have a go with watercolour. I’m using a sable paint brush not a Chinese brush and making the shapes I wanted took a little practice but I think they look OK.

magnolia painted with watercolour
magnolias painted with watercolour

Having loads of fun now and painted one side of the page in watercolour, the other side with brush pens, just to see how they look side by side.

magnolia brush painting experiments
Magnolia brush painting experiments. watercolour on the left and ink on the right.

I really like the ink magnolias, they’re quite graphic and I think I painted them a bit more confidently but with a little more practice the watercolour magnolia will look a lot better.

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


Dragonflies Fluttering Around The Bulrushes

Chinese brush painting bulrushes & dragonflies
Chinese brush painting bulrushes & dragonflies. Brown ink & gouache.

Hi there, how are you?

On the first day of every month there is a twitter challenge called pinch punch post. I haven’t participated for a few months, Christmas was too hectic and last month I forgot (no excuse really!) This month I remembered, whoot! The theme was dragonfly.

I had thought of painting a dragonfly with lovely colourful wings and was searching the interwebs for inspiration when I stumbled across some Chinese brush painted dragonflies dancing around some bulrushes.

Since I haven’t painted bulrushes with Chinese brush painting and didn’t have any instructions I wondered If some of the brush strokes and exercises I’d already learned would transfer to these, then I could paint little dragonflies fluttering around them, it also gives me a chance to practice my Chinese brush painting.

I’ve taken a few photos of bulrushes in the past so I shuffled through them to find something useful.

These were the first little tries, painted with a brush pen to get an idea of the shapes.

Chinese brush painting bulrushes & dragonflies, brush pen
Chinese brush painting bulrushes & dragonflies, Pentel brush pen

Chinese brush painting bulrushes & dragonflies, black ink
Chinese brush painting bulrushes & dragonflies. Painted in black (watered down to grey) ink, working how to make the shapes as I go.

Another practice this time using grass for the dragonflies to land on, I really liked the shape of this one
Another practice this time using grass for the dragonflies to land on, I really liked the shape of this one.

Next I moved onto coloured ink and gouache. I’ve used brown ink for the bulrushes and gouache for the dragonflies. Chinese watercolours are quite opaque and nearer to what we would call gouache than traditional western watercolours, I used what I had, they came out OK but I think I prefer the inky ones more.

bulrushes & dragonflies
bulrushes & dragonflies, painted with brown water-soluble ink and gouache.

Chinese brush painting green grass & dragonflies
Chinese brush painting green grass & dragonflies. I used my new green ink for the grasses.

They were all fun to paint and it’s good to practice my Chinese painting skills, I haven’t really used them much since inktober.

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

Humming Birds Simplified

hummingbird Lucy Wang tutorial
Hummingbird from a Lucy Wang tutorial

Hi there how are you?

I’m still having lots of fun painting birds, last week I painted lots of kingfisher’s, something I thoroughly enjoyed doing.
On my travels during the week I spotted a tutorial in a watercolour painting book by a lady called Lucy Wang. She was showing how to paint humming birds (almost kingfisher’s right?) they were beautifully simplified so as soon as I returned home I decided to try out painting a few of my own.

The top image is me painting in her style from her tutorial, for this page I used a water brush because I was in a rush to try them out.

Back to kingfishers and trying to paint them in this style, some worked better than others again painted with a water brush. (The first one is very humming-bird shaped).

kingfisher's brush strokes
Kingfisher’s painted with just a few brush strokes

Now I have birds on the brain! I tried a few more humming birds using a #8 round sable brush. In my sketchbook they are about the size of my thumb. I used photos for some whilst the others were more inspired by photos using colours I like.

hummingbirds sitting
Seated hummingbirds

The last set if birds are painted days later trying to remember how I painted the first humming birds, changing up the colours.

three hummingbirds
Three hummingbirds, changing up the colours.

I didn’t buy the watercolour book because it was there were only two pages of interest.  I do love her style of painting though and looked around the interwebs to find any book written by Lucy Wang but unfortunately they seem to be out of print. Maybe she’ll write another one! No matter, I’ll keep an eye out and maybe I will find a second-hand copy, fingers crossed.

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

Watercolour Kingfisher Practice

watercolour practice kingfishers
Watercolour practice kingfishers

Hi there how are you?

This week I have been practising painting kingfishers with watercolour. I was trying to take some of the knowledge gained with Chinese brush painting and apply it to these lovely little birds.

Above are some of the kingfishers painted on various types of watercolour paper (some 100% cotton, some student grade.) using just a few colours.

kingfisher inktober practice
Kingfisher inktober practice

These are little practise kingfishers painted during October (Inktober) they were painted with red and blue ink and finished off with a pentel brush pen. This page was a lot of fun to paint with all of the different poses and positions.

kingfisher birthday card
Kingfisher birthday card

Since I had a birthday card to make this week I thought I would use one of the paintings on the card. It’s matted onto a piece of silver card (not that it shows up well on this photo) and used an embossing folder on the ends, it looks much better in person.

ink painted kingfisher
Ink painted kingfisher

I really enjoyed paining the little birdies last month, and am hoping to paint lots more.

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