It’s Poppy Season

red poppy watercolourA red poppy watercolour

Hi there, how are you?

It’s poppy season!

We’ve had a gloriously sunny week here and I’ve been able to sit in the garden with the poppies. Good times.

The poppies above were painted first then the background added later. I put a few spots of yellow down on the petals first, I like the way it shows through the red, it gives the poppy a sun-kissed effect.

Its painted on cartridge paper as usual so a bit patchy.

Note to self: next time put the background in before the leaves, maybe it’ll be more even.

Normally when I draw outside even in the sunshine there is a certain amount of dappled shade but on this day the sun was particularly bright. I was doodling around on in my sketchbook then went inside as it was quite hot. As soon as I entered the house I realised I could barely see. Looks like I went paper blind!

It was a bit of a shock so next time I went out to sketch I used this toned paper, much easier on the eyes. Maybe I’ll have to be more careful and invest is some sunglasses.

red poppy on toned paper
Red poppy on toned paper

My new favourite pen at the moment is a calligraphy pen. It’s a pen with a broad flat nib I bought cheap years ago and it makes lovely bold marks.

Currently it’s filled with quink black ink and dilutes to lovely greys and browns when brushed with water.

I thoroughly enjoyed drawing this poppy and its serrated leaves.

red poppy calligraphy
A red poppy drawn with a calligraphy pen

Here’s hoping the weather and the poppies last a few days more.

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


Trying Out Colours And Fountain Pens

pink & yellow rosePink rose with yellow background

Hi there, how are you?

These two rose drawings were supposed to be something quick just to tell myself I had actually put pen to paper but they turned into little test swatches.

I’m trying to practice putting backgrounds around drawings so they’re not floating around on the page. I also wanted to try different colours to see how they worked.

Pink rose with yellow background
Pink rose with blue background

The peonies are all but over for this year, I missed them. Life is what we call interesting at the moment and I couldn’t get to the gardens and see then in all their wonder. I’ve also missed the cherry blossom and magnolias so I’m relying on photos this year. Next year I’ll need to pay more attention.

This one was drawn with a fountain pen in dark green ink. It looks black till it’s washed out with water but I liked it the way it is and left it alone.

peony ink line sketch
Peony line sketch in dark green ink

These poppies were drawn with a calligraphy fountain pen.

I have found that I really enjoy drawing with this pen; I have to really think about which way to hold the pen to make the variance of line I want.

The black Quink ink washes out into pale greys and browns (although they don’t show on the scan.) Very enjoyable.

poppy calligraphy pen
Poppies drawn with a calligraphy pen

The sunny weather is with us for a while so hopefully I’ll get a few moments in the garden this week.

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

Rose Practice

pink watercolour rosePink watercolour rose

Hi there, how are you?

I find roses so difficult to draw so this week I have been practising .

Above is an inked outline and watercolour, The flower is side on and fully open showing all of its curly petals. As the rose is pink the colours didn’t scan too well but I like the way it turned out,

Below are two small roses drawn in red ink, the colour is pulled out with water. I love doing this, they look very sketchy and delicate. The fun is you never know how it will look till it’s finished.

red ink roses
Red ink roses

This little rose bud was drawn in black ink with a fountain pen; no water this time as I liked the line work as it is so left it alone.

black ink rose bud
Black ink rose bud

The two pink roses on the left of the next image are the same as the roses as the ones on the right. They were painted directly with watercolour trying to be a little looser with my painting, it looked OK but then I wondered what they would look like if I drew in outlines to define the petals so I scanned the page then drew the ink lines.

I think I prefer the flowers without outlines but I wouldn’t have known this if I hadn’t tried it out, it was an interesting experiment.

roses with & without outlines
Roses with & without outlines

I still find roses difficult to draw so I’ll keep practising and hopefully eventually they will become easier to draw.

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

Orange Japonica Flowers

watercolour-sketch orange quince flower-A watercolour sketch of orange quince flowers

Hi, how are you?

Last week I had been drawing and painting the white blossoms of the japonica quince; sadly the petals of these flowers are starting to fall to hopefully make way for the fruit.

This week the orange/red japonica is flowering away giving the most beautiful display.

They’ve been drawn with whatever medium I have to hand in moments I have. I like to do this because each pen, pencil or brush has a different look and feel to it.

Below a graphite study of several small stems. Most of the pencil sketches were drawn with an ordinary HB pencil and don’t scan well but this page was drawn with a much softer 2B pencil and is at least visible in the scan.

pencil sketch orange quince
Pencil sketch of orange quince

Later in the week I coloured this in with watercolour, just doodling really; fun to do whilst watching TV.

watercolour & pencil sketch orange quince
Watercolour & pencil sketch orange quince

This was drawn in black ink and a new pen I’m still not in love with, it’s lovely and fine but scratchy and skips a lot. Hopefully it will grow on me.

black ink sketch quince flowers
Black ink sketch of quince flowers

A small cluster of flowers drawn with red ink in an older pen, this ink goes from deep dark red to a very pretty pink when a damp brush is passed over the lines.

red ink sketch quince flowers
Red ink sketch of quince flowers

A watercolour painting on cartridge paper at the top of the page was a lot of fun to paint. I wanted a background but the paper becomes quite patchy and is only really any good for light washes so I sprinkled a little salt in places to give some interesting textures, I think it works.

Spring is here and the gloom of winter is slowly fading away. I’m looking forward to getting outside more now.

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

Japonica Flowers

quince, red ink sketch A red ink sketch of white japonica flowers

Hi, how are you?

The time has come for the japonicas to flower, whoot!

These are the first blossoms of spring, closely followed by the orange blossoms then the true quince.

It’s at a time of year when a sudden cold spell and all the flowers drop off so fingers crossed.

I filled a fountain with red ink and stood in the garden for a while, it was a nice sunny day but still very cold so I don’t stay out long.

I like to draw with this ink, then pull out the colour with a damp paint brush.

The top two flowers below were drawn with black ink and a new fountain pen that I’m not in love with yet. Maybe it will grow on me, we’ll see.

The small twig under them is drawn with a soft pencil and very enjoyable to do.

They were all made in small gaps of time whilst waiting for other things to happen.

b w tiny quince sketch
Tiny black and white quince sketches

Two more sketches this time in watercolour; again they were made in small gaps of time, they keep my mind busy.

They are very pale and difficult to scan so the colour is as accurate as I can get it.

small WC sketch quince

Trying to paint with gouache ha! This was the only one that didn’t resemble mud. I suppose it has a certain atmosphere but not much more than that.

quince gouache sketch
Japonica quince gouache sketch

Fun times in the garden. Next week the orange japonicas should be flowering and hopefully there will be more to draw.

Supermarket Tulips

4 watercolour tulipsLoose watercolour tulips

Hi there, how are you?

At the supermarket this week we found a small bunch of tulips in the reduced section. They were only slightly wilting and we thought with some care they may spring back a little.

They did and were still going strong a few days later; they were the muse for this weeks drawings.

I started with loose watercolour, it’s quick and gave me a feel for the shapes.

Next I drew some tulips with a fountain pen (below) and pulled out the ink with a damp brush, then used a brush pen filled with grey ink to colour them.

tulips ink
Tulips in black and grey ink

Tidying through some papers I found a toned sketchbook (it’s amazing what you find when you’re not looking for it), I was just going to use ink and a white gel pen but there was a palette of gouache by my side and I thought it would go nicely on this paper and it did,

tulips gouache on toned paper
Tulips in ink & gouache on toned paper

This last one is a combination of brush pen, black watercolour and white gouache. I like the effect of the black watercolour on this paper, especially where the paint is thin and it looks like a dark brown. I’ll have to try that again.

tulips ink & gouache
Tulips in ink watercolour & gouache

Not too bad for a small bunch of wilting tulips, they’ve kept me busy and happy all week.

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

Snowdrop Time


Hi there, how are you?

There’s been more poking around in the garden and I’ve discovered the snowdrops.

These small unassuming white flowers tell us that though winter is still in full swing but spring is just around the corner. The garden is preparing for new growth and the warmer weather is on it’s way.

After snapping one or two photos and I ran back into the dry warm house.

I made lots of little studies in my sketchbook, little buds all closed up in their capsule’s waiting to pop, small white droplets hanging down as the flowers slowly open.

snowdrop buds
Snowdrop buds

Snowdrop bud sketch

I found a small piece of arches watercolour paper, just big enough to paint on (roughly A5 in size). The paper is rough not cold-pressed a very different painting experience than usual.

I drew something simple because I didn’t want to use masking fluid.

The background was going to be dark green with blue and purple dropped in (left image). It looked OK whilst it was wet but once dried turned a murky grey.

snowdrow wc before & after
Snowdrop waterccolour before & after

Since I wasn’t really fussed about it I thought I’d experiment a little more, maybe a dark blue background would work?

Ultra marine blue and a touch of indigo, the flower shows up better not sure it’s an improvement though, but it was fun trying.

As more snowdrops pop through I’ll take more photos if for no the reason than I really enjoy looking at them.

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

New Year Orchids

red orchid watercolour
Red orchid watercolour.

Hi there, how are you?

This week two of our orchid plants have flowered, a red one and a new flower with a bucket shaped flower.

The red orchid has small angular petals and the leaves seem to grow out of vertical flat bulbs.

I haven’t yet drawn the bulbs but maybe I will if only to document the whole plant.

(Above) the whole flower stalk is painted with watercolour.

The flowers are a deep burgundy colour not the purple you see here. Have tried and failed to produce this colour with any medium so far, so obviously I need to keep trying.

Below are two sets of three flowers drawn with coloured brush pens, the top three using a deep wine colour and the bottom with magenta underneath the wine colour.

For some reason the scans all look purple?

red orchid brush pens
Red orchids drawn with brush pens.

The other orchid was a mothers day gift last year. The youngling handed it to me in two parts as the flower had dropped off in transit, hehehe. I was very exited to see it bloom this week.

As I said it has a kind of bucket flower in green and pink and small green two toned leaves, very exotic indeed.

new orchid watercolour
New orchid in watercolour

I painted the whole plant first then had some fun experimenting turning the flower as I drew it to better examine the shapes.

The left side drawn with a brush pen and right has a little colour added.

new orchid brush pen
New orchid in brush pen and watercolour.

I’m hoping that like the other orchids the flowers will last quite a while so I can keep on drawing them.

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