Practising Gouache Flowers

gouache flowers
Gouache flowers

Hi there, how are you?

This week I have been practising painting gouache flowers.

I find gouache a difficult medium to work with, getting the consistency of the paint is tricky, the colours shift as they dry, too much water and it’s thin and streaky, too little and it’s like painting with mud. It is very frustrating.

The brush strokes in these sketches are quite simple so the colours aren’t mixing together too much, they are more an imprecision of flowers than realistic.

The compositions are all over the place, something else to work on, but I think some of the flowers are interesting.

more gouache flowers
More gouache flowers

A little set of blue peonies. I would have liked to paint white peonies but it is not the best idea on white paper. I suppose if they were painted on a dark background they would have looked white maybe.

blue gouache peonies
Blue gouache peonies

I painted two blue rectangles on a page and let them dry to try painting on a coloured background. Later using quick light strokes I painted on the flowers, the base colour didn’t lift up too much, a nice surprise.

gouache flowers on a blue background
Gouache flowers on a blue background

Gouache is still a bit of a mystery to me but slowly I’m working out how to use it, and I quite like the way some of the flowers turned out.

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


More Peony Love

pink peony painted watercolour sketchPink peony sketch painted with watercolour

Hi there, how are you?

More fun at the botanical gardens this week. The peonies are still flowering, with more erupting into bloom every day and my camera card is filling up fast.

The pink peony above was found on the floor by the side of a shed, I think some child had pulled it off and discarded it later as there was no sign of the plant it came from; hate to see a good flower go to waste so I brought it home with me for drawing.

It is painted with watercolour on cartridge paper, the watercolour was used pretty dry as I tested out the paper in a new sketch book. It held up pretty well.

The peony below is the same flower drawn with a sepia coloured fine liner. I don’t use this pen nearly enough, I like the colour, it’s much softer than a black fine liner.

sepia fineliner peony sketchSepia fine liner peony sketch

The next two peonies were painted from photos taken at the gardens.

I decided to see how far I could push the paper before it fell apart.

After drawing out the peony then painting in the leaves and shadows I thought a background would make the petals stand out better. It did but the leaves got a little lost in the greenness so I painted a second darker layer of green over the top which seems to have pushed the leaves forward just enough for them to be seen.

The paper behaved quite well considering and only started to pill after the second layer of green.

peony painted watercolour sketchA peony sketch painted with watercolour

Happy with my experiment this next peony is painted with a mixture of gouache and watercolour, I was hoping to use slightly less water.

The background was a little flat so I tried lifting some leaf shapes out with a brush to give the impression of leaves and plants in the background.

This looks better in person than in the scan but I think you can just about see the pale leaf shapes in the background.

peony painted watercolour sketch 1A peony sketch painted watercolour and gouache

I’m hoping to go back again next week as there are lots of smaller bush peonies in bud right now and I want to get lots more photos.

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

Koda The Red Panda

3 monotone panda  sketches
3 monotone panda sketches

Hi there, how are you?

This is Koda, he’s a red panda living at the zoo.

We haven’t been to the zoo in so long; on the day we had planned to go in January Boris locked the country down so no visits for us *sad face*. Happily the zoo have posted youtube “zoo days” videos of some animals.

I watched this one about red pandas. We’ve seen the pandas occasionally on previous visits, rarely they walk about their enclosure, mostly they are little balls of orange fluff high up in the tree tops snoozing. Red pandas do like a good snooze.

I thought it would be interesting to sketch koda as I watched.

These pandas are painted with watercolour and gouache. The colours aren’t quite right, i couldn’t meke the blue dark enough, the pink paper effects the colour (top right corner) and gouache is still a struggle but I do like the poses.

watercolour red panda sketches
Watercolour red panda sketches

Then I stopped fighting the paper, I used grey fountain pen ink in a brush pen and a black brush pen. For the white I used an acrylic white pen with a gel pen for the whiskers. I was starting to get an idea of the shapes by this time.

2 monotone panda  sketches
2 monotone panda sketches

Just for fun I found two pink brush pens, one slightly darker than the other and drew a few pink pandas. Pink on pink worked a lot better than I thought it would, a good experiment.

pink ink red panda sketches
Pink ink red panda sketches

I drew these pandas one or two a day, just load the video and draw along with the bits I was interested in I drew him in various positions and occasionally I slowed it down or stopped it to catch up.

It was lots fun and I learned something too from the lovely talk the zoo keeper gave in the video.

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

Foxes For A Birthday Card

practice fox watercolour
Practice fox watercolour

Hi there, how are you?

I have a birthday card to make; I decided to paint a fox. Most people like foxes and I think she will too.

It’s quite a while since I’ve drawn any foxes so first step to find some images and have a practice.

After a few ropey pencil drawings (not shown) I did the thumbnail exercise from last week thinking maybe it would generate some ideas.

I just made some splots of ink with a brush pen then tried to find the foxy shapes. They are tiny, less than an inch, It worked better than I thought it would.

fox thumbnails
Fox thumbnails

Next to find a position for foxy. There are three on this page that I liked The singing fox was favourite here.

fox gouache sketches
Fox gouache sketches

The next page has some smaller poses, I picked the one in the bottom left I thought it was cute and I’d had an idea how to use it.

smaller fox gouache sketches
Smaller fox gouache sketches

First try. (top of the post)I like most of this, its a bit sparse and the birdies didn’t work very well and the I wanted to change the colours.

Below is the finished card. I lightened the background colour (I used sparkly mica paint for the sky, it doesn’t show up.) and used a darker colour for the fox. I also switched up the birdies (I like them more now) and added a mountain and twiggy tree.

To make the card I cut a round aperture in the front and glued the painting behind, it’s not mounted but it does look a bit more finished.

finished fox card
Finished fox card

There are things I like and dislike about both of them, perfectionism is not always a good thing.

Now all I have to do is find some way of delivering it, it may be a knock and run birthday this year hehehe.

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

NB: I missed a day. Working from home, the week and week-ends all run into each other. Maybe my brain is finally dribbling out of my ears eeep!

Sketching Rose Hips

dog rose hip painted with  gouache
Dog rose hip painted with gouache

Hi there, how are you?

The daily walks are getting colder now and we have to wrap up warm.

The wild flowers are finished but there are still one or two rose hips scattered along the hedgerows.

I went out with a camera and sketchbook to take notes and a few photos that could be used as drawing models this week.

Once home I started sketching with a fine liner, practising my hatching and trying to work out where to put the shadows.

The paper is thin so occasionally things drawn on the other side show through.

These are “Rosa rugosa” they have big round, bright red hips. The plants are shrubby, very prickly and about two or three feet high. The birds love them and have almost eaten all of them now.

Rosa rugosa hip sketched in fine liner
Rosa rugosa hip sketched in fine liner

These are dog rose hips, the type usually found in the hedge row. They’re much smaller and oval in shape; the plants are thorny like a garden rose and they climb up through the vegetation.

They are starting to dry and shrivel forming some very interesting shapes. I’ve tried to draw in some of the little dints and wrinkles.

dog rose hip sketched in fine liner.
Dog rose hip sketched in fine liner.

Now for some colour. I painted these in gouache, it’s more opaque than watercolour and I thought it would show up better.

I had a little trouble with the green, too bright or too dark, I think its fighting with the colour of the paper but on the whole I think it’s OK.

dog rose hips painted with  gouache
dog rose hips painted with gouache

Both types of rose hips are edible although some people prefer the smaller dog rose hips, saying they have more flavour. Personally I don’t taste much difference, I chop them all up and mix them all together to make jelly or rose hip syrup.

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

Hydrangea Paintings And Flower Drawings

white hydrangea painted with gouache
White hydrangea painted with gouache

Hi there, how are you?

I’m still sitting in the garden drawing and painting flowers, only now I’m wearing a coat because it’s starting to get a bit chilly.

We had hoped by now to be able to have a day out here or there but there is more spikage and things are closing down again!

The hydrangea is starting to droop and the flowers are changing colour. They turn from a green/white to lovely shades of rusty pink.

I have tried drawing and painting them before but never seem to capture the real beauty of them.

Since I have a blue sketch book I thought gouache would work for the whiter petals.

I found it hard to keep the white mixed with the other colours very easily and it doesn’t stand out from the page as much as I thought it would.

For this next one I painted the pink first to try to make the petals stand out more which sort of worked although I lost the brightness altogether this time.

Maybe a darker paper would work; another experiment for another time.

hydrangea painted with gouache
Hydrangea painted with gouache

Mum gave us some fuchsia cuttings in August, I planted them into a pot thinking it was the last I would see of them but the are growing quite nicely.

The flowers and leaves are bigger than the other fuchsia I have (I now have three types of fuchsia all with no slug bites at all!) I drew them in my sketch book so if they don’t last the winter I’ll have something to remember them by.

I’ve also taken a few photos so I can paint them later.

Fuchsia sketch
Fuchsia sketch

During our visit to mums we took a wander around her garden (she likes to show off all the beautiful flowers) she has a gorgeous clematis growing through some trellis. I took one or two photos to draw at home.

Clematis sketch

Fingers crossed we wont be stuck in the house for six months like they’re predicting because pretty soon I will be reduced to drawing lots of brown leaves!

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

Painting Gouache Octopus

octopus gouache sketches brown & blue
Octopus gouache sketches brown & blue

Hi there, how are you?

This week I’ve been having a tidy up. I seem to have accumulated a lot of drawings and paintings over the last few months and they were all stacked up in one corner.

I looked through them dividing them into piles, keep recycle etc. Some were happy memories others practice pieces as I tried to work out the shapes. The recycle pile wasn’t that big really, have to go through them in a few more months and weed a couple more out.

I found a page of small octopus doodled with a brush pen in red ink. It’s not a beautiful page, they were each about two inches in size, drawn on printer paper with lots of black ink smudges from some other drawing. Possibly for Inktober last year.

When I’m sketching like this cheap printer paper is better as it allows me to think on the page without worrying about “wasting paper” the back of an envelope works too, hehehe.

octopus ink sketch
Octopus ink sketch, not pretty but full of ideas.

This was the little guy that I ended up using in October.

I’m still using my blue sketch book and although I do use watercolour a lot on these pages it’s not the best medium for this paper so I switched to gouache, it sticks to the paper better and doesn’t need as much water.

octopus gouache sketches 1
Octopus gouache sketches 1
octopus gouache sketches 2
Octopus gouache sketches 2

I didn’t know what colour they should be, looking at pictures on the internet octopus can be many colours so I used the colours that were already on the pallet and layered them up.

octopus gouache sketches yellow & green
octopus gouache sketches yellow & green

It’s possible I got a little carried away as they were so much fun to paint.

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

Gouache Flowers

pink hibiscus flowers
Pink hibiscus flowers

Hi there, how are you?

It’s been a week phew!

Last week I was supposed to be drawing tropical flowers for Victoria Johnson, explore florals, I like tropical flowers so no problem eh?

I drew and painted loads and loads of flowers and leaves, looked at it all and decided I didn’t like any of it. Then started again.

Gouache had been suggested in the class notes so I broke out the gouache and painted some hibiscus flowers.

After my little melt down I sat outside in the garden for a while drawing flowers. There is a nasturtium growing in a pot by the door, grown from a seed off last years flowers and made a quick drawing with some watercolour brush pens. These pens work well on this sketchbook paper, the colours aren’t brilliant but it was just nice to sit in the sunshine for a while.

Huge surprise I didn’t make mud! (I usually feel like I’m painting with mud) I tried making some highlights and shadows to give the flowers a little dimension, they don’t look too bad.

nasturtium sketch
Nasturtium sketch

Back to the class work, I painted a monstera leaf and needed something else to fill it out a bit. Nasturtiums are tropical right? Lucky I had a nice drawing in my sketch book hehehe. I re-drew the nasturtium and painted it in gouache too.

hibiscus-flower in cream & navy
Hibiscus-flower in cream & navy

They were all cut out in the computer and put together into a little poseyish thing. The blending modes are a quick way to change the colours up. Next to make some patterns.

stripey pattern
Stripey pattern
same pattern two colour ways
Same pattern two colour ways

I think I like them, I’m not sure but I learned stuff and completed the week, even if it was a little late.

Hoping for something easier next week.

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