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


Drawing Peonies

peony drawn with ink

Hi there, how are you?

Out and about again this week, this time to the local botanical gardens, just as the peonies are starting to bloom whoot!

I took lots of photo’s and in a quiet moment even sat down on a bench to draw in the sunshine. I can’t tell you how much I’ve missed this.

Everything is properly socially distanced of course and masks are worn inside the building but it is so lovely to be able to have little days out now.

I think all of these flowers are tree peonies; the ink peony above is a different type of flower. it has purple spots towards the base of the petals.

The peonies below are also tree peonies but not quite as fancy but still beautiful having plain white petals.

I noticed some flower heads in a nearby pond (maybe blown by the wind?) as I was taking photos so I picked one up to take home and draw later and used it as a model to draw these flowers below.

peony drawn with coloured pencil 3

They were first drawn out in graphite pencil then used a black Faber Castell colouring pencil, they are really nice and smooth to draw with and also much darker so it shows up better. I really should use these more often.

peony drawn with coloured pencil 2

The peony was wilting fast and had a little less shape each time I drew it but I think you can still tell what it is.

peony drawn with coloured pencil 1

I took a gamble and bought a yearly pass to the gardens, now I’m crossing my fingers there’s no more lock-downs.

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

Taking Inspiration From Inktober Drawings

little bird amongst the roses
A little bird amongst the roses.

Hi there, how are you?

It appears to be card making season at the moment, having no new ideas I flicked through old sketchbooks and drawings and came across the 2020’s Inktober drawings.

The trouble with 31 day challenges is having to think of something new and postable every day, you need lots of ideas fast. The offset to that is now there are 31 ideas that can be rethought out and used at a later date.

Not all of my Inktober were brilliant but the little bird sitting on some wild roses was just what I needed for a mothers day card.

22 wild rose
The original inktober drawing, 22 wild rose

There was no need to rearrange it so it was traced onto watercolour paper and painted; no mess no fuss, just as I like it. (see top image)

The toucan is a combination of two Inktober day ideas; the toucan on it’s own would have been fine but for some reason I had to add a little chameleon too.

a toucan & chameleon meet
A toucan & chameleon meet
26 toucan
15 chameleon on hibiscus flowers
15 chameleon on hibiscus flowers

To be honest I like the original versions but for card I think you really do need a little colour, don’t you?

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

Freesias – Playing With Ink And Watercolour

small digital posy of ink freesia
A small digital posy of ink freesia

Hi there, how are you?

The lovely freesias are wilting now but I managed to draw them a little more with ink and watercolour.

The pink note book is finished, sad but true. I enjoyed drawing on that paper more than I thought I would and loved some of the effects I managed to create.

I’m now working in an A4 sketch pad, it has slightly off white paper and the cover says its suitable for all dry media (pencils, pastels, charcoal etc.) so the first thing I use on these pages is ink of course!

There was still red ink in the fountain pen I’d used a few weeks ago and wanted to use it up. The paper is quite porous so the ink wouldn’t pull out from the edges with a water brush, on to plan B.

I found a brush, mixed the ink with a little water on a dish and painted the ink loosely over the petals.

red freesia in red ink
Red freesia in red ink

I really like the effect and decided to paint the other bunch.

I bought two bunches, one red and one purple. Its interesting to see that different colours have different shapes. The purple flowers are mush more compact.

purple freesia in red ink
Purple freesia in red ink

After testing the paper with ink I wanted to see how it would react with watercolour.

It won’t take any watery washes of paint but the dry brushing is nice and unlike the ink it doesn’t bleed through to the other side of the paper.

red freesia with watercolour
Red freesia with watercolour

Unfortunately the purple flowers had wilted by this time so no watercolour of them this time.

When everything was scanned into the computer I played around with the inky flowers to see if I could make a small posy out of them. The background is pink because I wanted to keep it in the same colour family, a kind of tone on tone effect. (see top image) I always mean to paint the like this then end up with lots of specimens social distancing themselves across the page.

I’m sure I’ll get the hang of it one day.

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


Hellebore (Christmas rose)
Hellebore (Christmas rose)

Hi there, how are you?

The Christmas rose is still going strong and more flowers are growing so I have been drawing them in my sketch book.

I have trouble composing flowers into little arrangements so the drawing above was me trying to put the flowers together, it still needs work but I like the way it turned out.

The drawing below is drawn as they are in the pot, it looks a little sparse as I just drew the parts I was interested in and left out most of the leaves. As the flowers age they turn green and flatten out.

Hellebore (Christmas rose) 2
Hellebore (Christmas rose)

They are drawn with the usual black and grey brush pens, a scratchy white pen and this time a green brush pen to add a little colour.

Outside in the garden I noticed some hellebore flower stalks. I had planted them last year but didn’t think they’d survived. That was a lovely surprise. I picked one of the stalks and brought it inside to draw.

Hellebore flower

Its not as pale as the Christmas rose (also a hellebore) with blushes of pink on the petals. The leaves are a little bigger although that might be the difference of growing situations. They are the only flowers growing in the garden at the moment. Something pretty to look at through the window.

I’ve drawn my little stalk from different angles with a black brush pen and coloured them with watercolour.

This paper doesn’t like watercolour much so I tried not to use too much water but it meant I was able to be a little more subtle with the colours.

Hellebore in ink and watercolour
Hellebore in ink and watercolour

This last drawing I used a fountain pen and a water brush to pull out the ink from the edges. I thought the ink was brown but as I pulled the ink out it turned out to be dark red: a happy accident. Its a bit feathery, I don’t mind I just wish I’d thought to do this sooner.

Hellebore red ink sketch
Hellebore red ink sketch

Next time I go out into the garden I’m going to poke around and find the snowdrops. Were not out of winter yet but spring is on it’s way.

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

Otterly Sketchy

watercolour otter sketches
Watercolour otter sketches

Hi there, how are you?

I watched a tutorial by Liz Chaderton this week. She was showing how to paint little otters in watercolour and made it look quite easy.

Liz is a full time artist and paints otters all of the time, me not so much. I tried just painting by eye as she did, clearly I didn’t know what otters look like and decided to sketch some out in the sketchbook first and show my brain what its aiming for.

ink pen otter sketches 1
Ink pen otter sketches 1

As usual I drew otters from as many different angles as possible.

ink pen otter sketches 2
Ink pen otter sketches 2

I mostly used photos I had taken at the zoo, they have a small pool in the indoor enclosure and otters love to show off their amazing swimming abilities to people. Such a beautiful sight to see. Hopefully we’ll get back to see them soon.

ink pen otter sketches 3
Ink pen otter sketches 3

I filled several pages, not all pages were worthy of scanning but these are the pages I like best.

Then I tried the watercolour again (see top image). To be fair I did rough them out a little with a watercolour pencil. They’re not brilliant but they do look like otters this time and not weird seals.

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

House Plants

yellow and pink orchid
Yellow and pink orchid

Hi there, how are you?

This week I have been drawing house plants.

Two of our orchids are currently flowering, the white one (I’ve drawn this one before) and a newer yellow and pink one.

I received the yellow and pink one last summer for our wedding anniversary, full of beautiful flowers. The flowers all dropped and the plant was placed in the bathroom window sill (kitchen window sill is full!) last week it started to flower with not one but two flower stalks, how luck are we?

I think it really likes the bathroom, must be all the steam.

I drew it a few times, this is the only one I like. Maybe I’ll have another try using colour.

The white Edding marker I used for the petals is having a moment, I liked the effect though so I carried on making the pen strokes in the direction of the petals.

This is the white orchid. I liked the scratchy marks the white marker made and used the same technique here.

white orchid flowers
White orchid flowers

Our cyclamen has been flowering since Christmas and now the flowers are almost gone. I thought I would draw the last few flowers before it is just a little pot of leaves again.

I had to move this onto a sunnier window sill because it became very stalky and the leaves are very small. Hopefully the extra sunshine will give the leaves a little boost. I can move it back when there are brighter daylight hours.


At the supermarket this week I bought a new plant, not that I have much room left to put it but it was so pretty.

It’s a Christmas rose, probably left over from Christmas. It had one flower and a few small buds, I thought it would be fun to draw; and it was.

As with all of these drawings I used a pentel brush pen, a grey brush pen and a white gel pen plus the scratchy white marker.

When it’s finished flowering I can put it out into the garden and take its chances with the usual pests hehehe.

christmas rose
Christmas rose

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