Second Week Of Sketching For Textiles

plates after printingPrinting plates after printing

Hi there, how are you?

Finally I’ve finished the sketching for textiles class that I’d started a few weeks ago. It was only supposed to be a two week course but there was so much interesting information to digest and actually doing all of the exercises makes it easier for me to learn so it took a little longer.

We made lots and lots of thumbnails some on black and some on white paper to start and out of these I picked four to enlarge to three inches and turn into collages.

thumbnail sketches
Thumbnail sketches

As you can see the thumbnails are mainly line work so I just picked colours from the papers I’d made to put the collages together.

4 small collages
4 small collages

The aim of the class was to design a textile piece of art; I don’t have lots of scrap fabric so after some thought decided to design a print instead.

I made two small plates (3”) out of cardboard boxes, the same design only one was the positive the other the negative as an experiment, also a larger one (6”) all based on the collages.

The plates were glued together then varnished. After my last printing experiment, which wasn’t completely successful, I have looked up various blogs for instructions.

printing plates before printing
Cardboard printing plates before printing

I used my big shot die cutter to make the prints; it worked very well once I’d gotten the “sandwich” right.

One of the smaller plates stuck to the paper and fell apart on the first print, too much ink or pressure maybe? You don’t get many prints before the plates are squashed flat with the pressure; they are only cardboard and don’t last long.

It got a little messy and some of the prints are better than others. But on the whole I don’t think they’re too bad. Lessons learned and filled away for next time.

Some of the prints

The two plates that survived after printing (at the top of the post) look more interesting than the prints themselves so I think I’ll hang on to them.

Again I’ve thoroughly enjoyed these lessons. I think I’ll put all the work into a little folder and keep it for future reference

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


Working Through A Class


For the last two weeks I’ve been working through a class by Tansy Hargan called sketching for textiles.

I was interested to know the process of designing for something. How can you generate ideas, where do you start?

The course is two weeks long and at the moment I am roughly half way through.

It’s a fascinating class and my head is buzzing with all of the exercises and am thoroughly enjoying it.

All of the exercises were done on a mixed range of papers, white, cream, black and brown.

Drawing items from a description I had made was hysterical, we were supposed to use scraps of fabric but I don’t have any so I used the washing line, clothes are fabric right? I didn’t do the drawing till a few days after the describing and couldn’t remember which clothes I’d used so I just followed the words.

The cat brush is another part of the exercise, there are lots more pages but It would make the post far too long.

drawing descriptions
Drawing descriptions

We picked an object and drew it over and over with different media. I chose a small piece of gravel I’d found whilst out shopping and turned it over as I drew it.

The blue shapes at the bottom are a few of the designs coloured.

stone sketches
Stone sketches
Cut and paste.
Cut and paste.

We were supposed to use tracing paper to reflect and copy, I didn’t have any so scanned it into illustrator and had far too much fun making patterns.

patterns from a stone
Patterns from a stone

Making patterns from patterns, again fascinating.

extracted patterns
Extracted patterns

The class is aimed at people using textiles for whatever purpose and seems mostly abstract but I think the ideas could be used for other forms of idea generating too. I’m looking forward to completing the class.

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

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

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

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

Colourful Watercolour Beetles

wet in wet beetles
Wet in wet beetles

Hi there, how are you?

These are more pages from the sketchbook I’m using for a Domestika course by Laura McKendry called Creative Watercolor Sketching for Beginners.

Last week was chameleons this week it’s beetles.

The exercise was to drop one colour into another wet in wet; beetles are so colourful and varied so I thought they would be perfect for this, they’re definitely very colourful.

I’m not sure these pages are finished yet but for now maybe I’ll add more to them after I finish the other pages.

more wet in wet beetles
More wet in wet beetles

Two pages away from these beetles is a page about colour and colour wheels. I wanted the pages in-between beetles and colour wheels to connect some how. The wheels are ball shaped so how to get from pretty beetles and wet in wet techniques to colour wheels.

(Wet in wet, beetles, colour and circles.)

dung beetle
Dung beetle

I painted the sky wet in wet it with red, yellow and indigo, the beetles are red with indigo dropped into the centre and the balls are made from collaged circles made for an exercise of painting with discordant colours.

The words read “navigating by the stars” and “on arrival they dance” meaning dung beetles use the stars to navigate to their nests and when they arrive they do a shuffly kind of dance, I like to think in celebration of finally getting to their destination.

In my head it works I think.

I have many more pages to fill in my sketch book and maybe I’ll make a few over Christmas.

beetles dance on arrival
Beetles dance on arrival

I have many more pages to fill in my sketch book and maybe I’ll make a few over Christmas.

Hopefully we will all be able to get together with friends and family this year. I would like to wish you a very happy Christmas and to anyone not celebrating peace and best wishes.

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

Colourful Watercolour Chameleons

chameleon collage 1
Chameleon collage 1

Hi there, how are you?

I’m currently taking a Domestika course by Laura McKendry called Creative Watercolor Sketching for Beginners. I like the loose and free way Laura illustrates and her way of teaching.

I know I’m not technically a beginner but after reading the course notes decided it was an interesting and different way to illustrate a sketchbook with simple watercolour techniques.

These pages are from the third module where the lessons are starting to fit together.

The paler background chameleons are collaged from papers using different mark-making techniques, salt, cling film etc.

They’re a little busy and a lot of fun to make.

chameleon collage 2
Chameleon collage 2

The chameleon on the darker background is another collage using different papers. It didn’t stand out enough against the paler painted background so I panted the next page with indigo watercolour, lifted out the leaves and branches and used it here instead.

chameleon collage & lifting 1
Chameleon collage & lifting 1

The fire flies are lightbulbs with wings, odd I know but the way this course works is that every page tries to fit in with the next page and also the previous page.

chameleon collage & lifting 2
Chameleon collage & lifting 2

This is the way the pages look together on the sketchbook.

chameleons and fireflies
Chameleons and fireflies

The aim of the course is to fill a sketchbook with illustrations that follow on from each other and fit together even though they are completely different types of items e.g. chameleons and light bulbs, its a fascinating way to work.

When I finish the sketchbook I will post the pages in order so it will make more sense.

This may take some time.

In other news were having elder care issues. Herself is in hospital at the moment and its putting lots of things on hold as her health and welfare are utmost in our minds.

Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible.

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

Finding My Joy?

peony ink sketchPeony ink sketch

Hi there, how are you?

I’ve been a bit meh lately, not really sure why. Whilst poking around on Youtube looking for inspiration I found an inspiring artist called Louise Fletcher . She is an abstract artist and is currently running a free taster course called “find your joy”.

It’s not a course about how to paint or even how to do anything at all really, it’s more about working out why you make the art you make, using the tools and mediums you choose and finding pleasure in the process. Sounds weird but it’s interesting.

First we taped off a large (or in my case two big) pieces of paper making marks all over it. I have to admit it looked like a hot mess to me but when I peeled the tape off there were lots of mini abstract paintings.

The youngling said “if you don’t want em I’ll use them to make note cards for nan as she’s running out”, sold hehehe.

find your joy exercise acrylicFind your joy exercise acrylic. The top one is painted in acrylic paint the lower watercolour.

Next exercise is painting with unfamiliar stuffs. The only time I paint with acrylic paint is when I’m decorating walls so this was tough, I do like the way it turned out though.

acrylic brush floweracrylic flower painting

I also painted one with watercolour, the shadows weren’t dark enough in this one and yet again I muffed up the background. I did a little negative painting around the leaves and that turned out reasonably well, very happy with that.

watercolour painting of a flowerWatercolour painting of a flower

The image at the top of the post was my sketch from a photo I’d taken, at the moment that’s my favourite of the week. Who knows maybe I already found my joy hehehe,

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