Fantailed Goldfish

fan tailed goldfish painted with watercolour

Fan tailed goldfish painted with watercolour

Hi there, how are you?

A while ago we went to the garden centre, sometimes we go not to shop for plants but to look at the flowers, take a few photos and most importantly to have tea and cake.  FYI it was lovely cake hehehe.

On the way out we noticed an aquarium selling all kinds of fish. We had to nip in and have a look obviously and whilst we were there took a few photos of the fish.

Taking photos of fish is not easy due to the poor lighting and the fish swimming so I took some tiny videos on my ipod to draw from when I got home. I just play the video till I like the pose and pause it till I’m done.

Above are two goldfish swimming around painted in watercolour, I think I managed to capture the colours pretty well.

I’m still drawing in pencil, trying to keep the few skills I learned recently, you know the saying “use it or loose it”.

fan tailed goldfish drawn in graphite pencil

Fan tailed goldfish drawn in graphite pencil

I’m not really a detail kind of person but I did find that by doing these pencil drawings I do observe the subjects better and that can’t be a bad thing.

Note: Yes I did buy plants, garden centres are dangerous places to visit, I just cant leave with buying some lovely plant for the garden.

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

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Little Brown Birds

little brown bird in watercolour and brush pen

Little brown bird in watercolour and brush pen

Hi there, how are you?
This week we have a little bit of colour whooot!

At the zoo recently we have been checking out the walk-in aviaries. In the Bali aviary we saw two little brown birds; I did check the board for the name and forgot to write it down, senior moment! (I’ll edit when I find out).

One of the birds had found a grasshopper in the weeds and as he attempted to eat it the grasshopper tried to hop off. The bird was having none of this and after putting his foot on top of the poor insect carefully nipped off the wings with his beak, then to make sure his dinner stayed put, one by one snipped off each leg. Happy to say I wasn’t eating anything myself at the time, ooof.

I took lots of photos of the birds in many positions (not of the dissection, just the bird) and decided to draw him when I got home.

I’ve used different mediums, water colour, brush pen, pencil even watercolour pencils in places, just having fun and relaxing.

Top image: Brush pen and watercolour – I really liked the effect the brush pen overlapping gives an impression of the feathers.

Below: Brush pen and graphite pencil – this was a quick experiment to see how it looked. Meh!

little brown bird in pencil and brush pen


Little brown bird in pencil and brush pen

Watercolour – it was hard to get a decent black but it’s close enough for a sketch

little brown bird in watercolour

Little brown bird in watercolour

Watercolour and watercolour pencils – the watercolour looked a bit washed n this one so I used some watercolour pencils to bring back a few details in the feathers. I like it much better now.

little brown bird in watercolour pencil


Little brown bird in watercolour pencil

Graphite pencil. – Just practicing with the pencils so I don’t lose what I’ve learned over the past few weeks. The sparrow I drew last week was drawn on an A4 piece and this little guy is much smaller so it’s harder to get a lot of detail.

little brown bird in graphite pencil

Little brown bird in graphite pencil

It was a lot of fun drawing these birdies and with any luck we’ll see them again next time, preferably without the grasshopper.

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

Edit: The birds are called Chestnut backed thrushes, its always nice to get the name right. 

Drawing Sparrows

graphite drawing of a sparrow

Finished graphite drawing of a sparrow

Hi there, how are you?

This week was the last week of the course I have been doing.

Part one to work out the shapes of a plant/animal I think we had to show how we worked out the shapes and rough the tones in (I could be wrong but that’s what I did). I drew a couple of sparrows from photos I’d taken.

rough working drawings of sparrows

Rough drawings of sparrows, working out the shapes.

Part two was to make a finished drawing of a plant/animal. Since I had already sparrows on my mind my finished drawing would be a sparrow. I drew a practice bird on ordinary cheap drawing paper just to work out feathers, shading and such. It’s a bit smudgy but it gives an idea of where everything goes.

sparrow practice drawing

Practice drawing of a sparrow

Next the drawing was transferred onto some decent cartridge paper. Lots of pencil sharpening and a good deal of time later here is the finished drawing. It came out a lot better than I thought it would so I’m very pleased with it. So much that I’m showing it twice in this post hehehe.

graphite drawing of a sparrow

Finished graphite drawing of a sparrow

This course was a beginner’s natural history drawing course, if you paid for the course it was properly assessed by the teachers and if you passed a certificate is given, if free the students critique each others work.

The course was open free for the duration of the course for audit only, in other words after the course is finished you no longer have access to it or the work you’ve submitted. This is fair enough you at least have a chance to try it out and if you like it pay the money, these people need to make a living too don’t cha know.

It has been fascinating to do the various lessons and tasks and have thoroughly enjoyed it. I didn’t do the course for certificates; I just wanted to see if I could challenge myself to do something different. I’m very glad I did, sometimes I felt way out of my depth but I just kept trying so as to have something to hand in at the end of the week.

If you had asked me to draw this sparrow six weeks ago I would have laughed, I really didn’t have the skills.

I would like to think it will have a knock on effect on my other art, I suppose only time will tell.

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

 

Warthogs And Plovers – Pencil Drawings Continue

warthogs pencil drawing

A graphite pencil drawing of warthogs

Hello, hello and hello.

I’ve been doing a lot of “proper drawing” this week, working out proportions and just generally enjoying myself.

Lesson one animals, I chose a warthog because I think they’re cute, I’ve been watching them for a while at the zoo and really wanted to draw them so this was the perfect chance. For homework we only had to show a rough sketch showing the proportions of the animal in profile, so an outline and some rough guides to show where things fit.

wk5 animal homework (proportions)

wk5 animal homework (proportions) A warthog in profile.

I had a few photos I wanted to use and couldn’t resist drawing a couple of piggies in a bit more detail (see top image). I surprised myself by how much I enjoyed drawing them, not perfect but not too bad either.

Part two was bird proportion. Plovers are nesting at the moment in the zoo and as they’re guarding the nest they stalk about and peep at anyone who gets too close, for little birds they can be very aggressive when they want to.

plover pencil drawings

Plover graphite pencil drawings

I didn’t read the homework properly and coloured them in, oh well who doesn’t like drawing lots of plover’s hehehe. I decided to draw them again this time following the instructions.

wk5 bird homework (proportions)

wk5 bird homework (proportions) Plover.

I really do need to find some better quality pencils, some of the pencils seem quite gritty and it made the drawing really hard going. They’re fine for normal sketching but this type of drawing needs something a lot smoother.

One more week to go and the course will be finished, I have to say that up to now it’s been quite fascinating trying out the new techniques.

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

 

Drawing Leaves And Flowers

leaf drawing homework wk4

leaf drawing homework wk4 – Japonica quince

Hi there, how are you?

I’m still keeping up with the drawing course. This week is about leaf and flower anatomy.

First exercise was drawing leaves, as an overall shape with some information on size and colour (this course is concerned with graphite drawing so colouring is kept to some notes and swatches) also a drawing of how it appears on the plant. The weathers been horrible this week so on the one mild day we had I jumped outside and drew the leaves of the japonica quince. It’s right outside the door and something I’m reasonably familiar with.

It came out better than I thought it would, still mistakes in the actual drawing but I like the overall look of the branch.

flower drawing homework wk4 Viola

Flower drawing homework wk4 – Viola

The second exercise was drawing a flower including some of the anatomy and notes. I drew a viola, from the front, back etc then pulled one of the flowers apart to see how it’s made up.

Well my eyes aren’t as good as they used to be and I started thinking I should have picked a bigger flower! Enter the magnifying light we bought a while ago and haven’t used much, it has a daylight bulb inside so when you look through the magnifying lens you can see what you’re doing. Worked perfectly and could see all the tidily little parts so I could draw them. Sorted.

I’m enjoying this course; I’m learning loads and hopefully will push my drawing skills forward.

I would like to be drawing and painting lots of other stuff at the moment but this type of drawing takes me so long that I haven’t the time, still there is only two weeks left and then I can get back to normal, maybe even an improved normal who knows.

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

Happy Easter

Easter eggs painted with little skulls

painted Easter eggs

Happy Easter peeps! Sending good wishes out to every one whether or not you’re celebrating.

We haven’t painted eggs since the kids were small but one member of our family can’t eat chocolate *sad face* we didn’t want to leave them out so we decided on ordinary eggs, painted. We painted a few practice eggs of cute bunnies and chicks but they were for a guy. Not sure he was going to appreciate cute so skeleton bunnies and chicks it was then hehehe.

Youngling inspiredtangle drew the outlines (I like her style, she’s a very good artist), then we both filled the outline in.

I’m still doing the botanical course. The second part of week 2 (last weeks homework)was to draw at least three objects. I chose some from our shell collection. We had to include notes, sizes, observations etc. it was an interesting exercise, you really have to take your time and look hard doing this kind of drawing.
It turned out a lot better than I thought it would.

Shame it didn’t scan well but then graphite never really does.

pencil drawing of shells wk 2

Pencil drawing of shells wk 2

Week three is nature journaling out in the field; we have lots of bluebells growing out in the garden the so I sat in sunshine and drew bluebells. It had to include notes and descriptions of the item to include colours.

nature journal page of bluebells

Nature journal page of bluebells

I really enjoyed this exercise it was very relaxing.
I’m looking forward to seeing what we’ll be doing next week.

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

 

Working On My Drawing

 

 

pencil drawing of tree roots

A pencil drawing of tree roots.

Hi there, how are you?
Recently I have been taking a course on botanical drawing, yeees, it was a free course open for only a few weeks and for a “small fee” a certificate is available (should I even pass the course that is.)
I’m not looking for a certificate but I thought it would be interesting to try their taster course to test myself more than any thing else, see how far I could get.

First week tonal exercises, links were given to a bunch of Youtube videos teaching how to use different hardness/softness of graphite pencils and basic tonal exercises. I followed the instructions of several videos and this is what I came out with, it was quite interesting and enjoyable, probably something I should do a lot more often.

tonal exercises week 1

Tonal exercises week 1, please excise the wrinkly paper. discoveries: i do not like stippling with a pencil.

Second week Oooof, more videos to watch and then go and “draw” a landscape. I tried to start this several times after procrastinating loads; landscapes are hard enough in watercolour with nice washy backgrounds and skies but pencil! Finally I sat myself down, gave myself a good talking to and decided if I was doing the course I should do it properly and hand the work in no matter how bad.

I chose a photo of a tree trunk I had taken in some woods a while ago (see top drawing) because I liked the way the roots grew. Doing this kind of thing out in the field would take way too long. To be fair I don’t hate it and there is a good amount of shading and tone in the pencil so I’m patting myself for this one. I still have another homework to hand in for this week but I spent so long worrying myself about the first on that I’m a bit behind, no matter I’ll soon catch up hopefully.

If you want to learn something you have to push yourself to keep going forward and though this course is way out of my comfort zone and I am way, way out of my skill set I am learning and learning is always a good thing.

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

Drawing More Japonica Quince Flowers

orange quince garden sketch

Orange quince garden sketch

Hi there, how are you?

A few weeks ago I drew some japonica quince flowers in the garden; they’re pink and white a little like apple blossom. This week the other japonica in the garden started to flower. These flowers are quite different to the others, they’re orange and where the pink flowers flare out, these are more cup-shaped.
They are beautiful in the spring especially as the sun hits them and really brighten up the garden.

We’ve had a lovely sunny week so sitting in the garden drawing the quinces is a very relaxing thing to do.

At the zoo the quinces are also out, theirs differ again with their flowers being bright red. I noticed a small piece had broken off so picked it up and carried it home.
As I drew it I turned it around in my hand to show different positions. I do love the bright yellow stamens against the deep red flowers.

red quince sketch from at the zoo

Red zoo quince sketch.

The first quince is still flowering although the flowers are starting to fall now so I stood outside for a while with my sketch book and a fountain pen filled with red ink and drew a few branches. Then took a water brush and pulled out some of the ink to shade it slightly.

quince sketch in red fountain pen ink

Quince sketch in red fountain pen ink

This small watercolour sketch was painted in my sketch book, cartridge paper is not really meant for lots of watery washes but it was enough to give the idea of what the flowers look like, if I think ahead next time maybe I’ll take a piece of watercolour paper out with me.

pink Japonica quince watercolour sketch

Pink Japonica quince watercolour sketch

I really have the most delightful time drawing in the garden this week, and since the clocks went forward this week I’ll be able to stay out there even longer. Good times!

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