Drawing Fish

fan tail fish ink sketchFan tail fish ink sketch

Hi there, how are you?

Currently I have a few fountains filled with different inks.

I was in the mood to draw things and after looking through my photos thought fish would be fun.

Above a fan-tailed goldfish drawn with water based Quink and a pen that has a little variance of line but is quite scratchy to use. I think there is a knack to using this pen I haven’t yet found, the fine lines and details it can make are brilliant but if only it was smoother to draw with.

Below a fish head drawn with the same pen.

ink drawing fish head
Ink drawing of a fish head

The pen filled with dark red ink was a lot more fun to draw with.

I’d forgotten how dark the ink gets and tried to shade the fish after drawing all of the details. It got a little messy so underneath I drew another fish head only this time I drew a basic outline and pulled the ink out with a damp brush to add shading before drawing the details over the top, it made for a much tidier sketch.

red ink fish sketch
A red ink fish sketch

Lastly I drew a fish with a waterproof ink, this meant I could add a little watercolour without the ink leaking into the paint.

It’s nice to have a little colour now and again.

watercolour goldfish
A watercolour goldfish

Fish are so fascinating to draw, so many different shapes and sizes.

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


Inktober 2022 Week 3

ink octopusInk octopus

Hi there, how are you?

It’s week three of Inktober and happily I am still working away.

Looking back through the week there seems to be a fair number of sea life drawings.

1 & 2. octopus, I always love drawing octopuses. They have lots of squiggly tentacles and make really interesting shapes.

I switched the colours the next day to see what effect it would have.

ink octopus2
Ink octopus 2

3.bamboo, a stalk of bamboo with a little bird perching on the side. Fun to draw.

little bird in the bamboo
Little bird in the bamboo

4. gold fish, I had limited time for this one so kept it simple.

This is three attempts placed into a single image to save picture space. I like the idea but feel it was poorly executed.

fish in a pond
Fish in a pond

5 & 6. Betta fish, or Siamese fighting fish. They have such beautiful colours and the frilly tails and fins are almost like flowers, couldn’t help but draw them two days in a row.

I switched the colours each day again.

betta fish 1
Betta fish 1
betta fish 2
Betta fish 2

Another interesting week, for me at least.

I am liking the way the Instagram feed is now turning pink and blue it almost looks curated ha!

Hope everyone else is having as much fun with their arting as I am.

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

Inktober 2021 – Acrylic Ink Week 5

19 lotusl 2021 inktober
19 lotus 2021 inktober

Hi there, how are you? Last week of Inktober whew!

I didn’t make it to 31 but it’s been an interesting month.

Lotus –(above) the flower was OK but the thing I like most about this one was the leaf, both the texture and the colours.

Betta fish – these fish are so beautiful but put two males in a tank together and they fight to the death, yikes. They are almost floral in appearance so no wonder I love painting them.

20 betta fish 2021 inktober
20 betta fish 2021 inktober

Bamboo – my first attempts at bamboo with acrylic ink were pretty poor. Getting the lovely dry brush breaks in the stem is incredibly hard. The butterflies were intended to be more two toned, the ink mixes incredibly fast on the brush so they are very well camouflaged.

21 bamboo 2021 inktober
21 bamboo 2021 inktober

Poppy – an experiment trying to paint a poppy with a bold background; interesting textures.

22 red poppy 2021 inktober
22 red poppy 2021 inktober

Not posted but I’m counting them anyway:

I have done a lot of experimenting this month trying to see what works and what doesn’t. These weren’t posted as I wasn’t sure that I liked the way they turned out but these were the best of the bunch.

Wild poppies – The page was splattered with ink from the big red poppy painted on the left side of the sketch book and to stop myself from fiddling as it dried I painted a few loose poppies on the right hand page. It’s better to distract myself than run the risk of ruining the page.

loose poppies 2021 inktober
loose poppies 2021 inktober

Blue poppies – last week I drew blue poppies or rather painted them. I had planned them to be line work but didn’t like the way it turned out so I started again and painted them.

blue poppies 2021 inktober
blue poppies 2021 inktober

Tiny landscapes – this was an experiment to see how the ink flowed. (I was following a tutorial by Nick Stewart, he uses fountain pen ink to make wonderful art.)

I mixed the colours to see if it would separate with water, it did a little but the acrylic ink doesn’t flow as freely as fountain pen ink so not quite as pretty. (this is two pages put together, the landscapes are roughly two inches in size)

tiny landscapes 2021 inktober
Tiny landscapes 2021 inktober

Another experiment testing the flow of the ink, it’s interesting but not what I was looking for. (again this is two pages put together)

landscape 2 2021 inktober
landscape 2 2021 inktober

As I said it’s been an interesting month, I’ve learned a lot about the way these inks work and found some of the properties very useful, the ability to put complimentary colours next to each other without them muting each other out for instance. In some cases I’ve managed to mute the vivid colours and on occasion I’ve enjoyed them.

The thing I don’t like is having to clear space and spend time getting all of the bottles out and then putting it all away at the end, I find watercolour much easier to use even sitting on the sofa with the family but I think I will enjoy it on the occasions that I can spend a longer period of time painting , I need to set up a dedicated space up maybe.

If you are interested in seeing the rest of this years Inktober drawings the links to the posts are below.

Week 1

week 2

week 3

week 4

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

Tiny Sketches – Trying To Find Some Inspiration

sketches of birds
Sketches of birds

Hi there, how are you?

I’m trying to find ideas but at the moment nothing seems to be inspiring me, so I opened up pinterest, typed in a word and drew a few tiny sketches. It’s usually best not to think to hard about this or I just end up diving down a rabbit hole of pretty pictures.

I’m drawing in an A5 sketchbook (roughly 5×7 inches) so each little sketch is about 2 inches in size and coloured with watercolour. Its amazing what you can get done in a short space of time.

Lots of birds because I like birds. The shapes and colours are a little off but I like the way they turned out.

I’m pretty sure I’ve drawn that wren before.

birds sketches
Bird sketches

Fish are always fun especially the fish with flowing tails, these were the best of the bunch, I need to draw more fish.

fishes sketches
Fish sketches

Frogs come in all shapes, sizes and colours, they were a lot of fun to draw.

frog sketches
Frog sketches

Note to self; I need to put more yellow out in my palette as some of these greens are a bit muddy.

The ideas are still percolating and maybe some of these will work and if not at least they kept me busy for a while.

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

Pattern Postcard Challenge Manual Repeats

manual repeat red flowers
Manual repeat red flowers

Hi there, how are you?

There has been more fun with patterns as I try to catch up with the pattern post card challenge run by Jules Mckeown of @thepatternsocial and Anna of @oravska_house on instagram.

This week she showed how to make a repeating pattern on a piece of paper.

The design is drawn into the middle of the page, cut the paper in half vertically and stick the outsides together in the middle with masking tape.

Continue the design in the centre of the page. Cut the page in half horizontally and stick the outsides together in the middle with masking tape.

Continue the design in the centre of the page. By now you should have completely filled the paper and the pattern should repeat if you lay it next to itself (photocopies or a printed copy helps here).

I’ll link to one of her instagram videos so you get a better idea if your interested.

I started with simple flowers to get the idea (see above), it went a little Skew-whiff, obviously my measuring was not as accurate as it could have been but I like the overall look of it.

The dulled square with a blue outline is the pattern, I put them next to each other in the computer to test it out.

Next a kind of abstracted animal print in happy colours.

manual repeat abstracted animal print
Manual repeat abstracted animal print

Fishes – this is an idea I seem to keep coming back to, something in my head likes drawing schools of fishes, it is long rather than square, I wanted to see if it would work on other shapes. It does hehehe.

manual repeat fishes
Manual repeat fishes

After scanning the fishes I decided to place it into illustrator and turn them into colourful fishes.

illustrator pattern from fish pattern fishes
Illustrator pattern from fish pattern fishes

I think it’s a fun process and a nice change from looking at the computer all of the time.

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

Having A Whale Of A Time

orca birthday card
Orca birthday card

Hi there, how are you?

This week I have been drawing whales.

I had a card to make; it’s always difficult to think of ideas for guys cards. After a quick image search I found some whale images and have a whale of a time came instantly to mind hehehe.

Humpback whales are cool but the grey wasn’t really something i wanted for a birthday card.

watercolour humpback whales
Watercolour humpback whales

Next I tried some orca, we used to call them killer whales, just realised I could have written have a killer birthday! Oh well, another time maybe.

watercolour orca whales
Watercolour orca whales

I did use the orca eventually (see top image), they seemed more playful than the others; I painted him excitedly jumping up out of the ocean.

I didn’t use black to colour it because black sometimes looks dull, I used indigo instead.

Still in a whale drawing mood I drew the tail of a blue whale. I had typed in blue whale and loads of images of tails appeared so why not hehehe.

The tail is drawn with black faber-castell polychromos pencil and a dried out brush pen. I likes the way the texture of the paper showed through.

sperm whale sketches
Sperm whale sketches

Sperm whales are so interesting, big big heads and a tiny little mouth. Had to draw one (or two) of these. They are graphite pencil with black faber-castell polychromos pencil coloured lightly over the top.

It’s interesting to see where the need for a birthday card will lead.

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

Inktober 2020 week 1

01 lotus & betta fish
01 lotus & betta fish

Hi there, how are you?

Is it October already? Yes, it’s that time of year again “Inktober

To be honest I wasn’t really feeling it this year. There is so much going on and lockdown fatigue is taking it’s toll. I manage to draw more days than not but sometimes I have to push myself. I won’t learn to draw if I don’t actually do any drawing.

That’s the good thing about being here on my little blog, I need something to post. So being here and seeing all of you lovely people keeps me accountable, one of the many things I’m thankful for right now.

I had no parameters set but had recently bought a new bottle of ink, a pale purple/grey colour. I’ll play and experiment with the new ink, a pentel pocket brush pen, a white jell pen and probably some fine liners with various white papers. I want to find out what this ink will do and how best to use it.

I’m not using prompts unless I see something that appeals and generally they don’t.

Day 1 – fish. (see above) Did I say no prompts? Well I like fish so OK I did the first one. I tried to combine it with lotus flowers. It’s the first time using this ink, it’s really pale and at its palest doesn’t scan well. (Learning and growing hehehe) . Antique printer paper (the kind that had the perforated holes down the side, (using it up slowly)

Day 2 – cyclamen. I have a cyclamen plant that is stubborn and fights my terribly un-green fingers. I used it as a model for the leaves and photos I’d taken last year for the flowers. I like the shading on this one. New printer paper.

02 cyclamen
02 cyclamen

Day 3 – beetle. A half decent idea that almost works. Maybe I’ll come back to it, I can think more about this now it’s on paper and out of my head. I like this colour a lot. 200Gsm coated card

03 beetle
03 beetle

Day 04 – chrysanthemum. Normally I paint chrysanths free hand but I thought it would be fun to draw some, it was. Then I decided to make the background black! Ran all the ink out of my brush pen. It does look sort of cool though so worth it. 200Gsm coated card.

04 chrysanthemum
04 chrysanthemum

I posted the first one on the 2nd October so I’m a day late, I may make it up or not, I’ll see how I feel. Getting started is the hard part so now I’ve started it shouldn’t be to difficult to keep the momentum. The hardest thing is deciding what to draw.

I’m looking forward to seeing everyone’s Inktober’s this year, I think that’s the most fun part.

Take care of yourselves and thanks so much for taking the time to stop by. Till next time, have fun x