poison arrow frog
A sketch of a poison arrow frog

Hi there, how are you? Happy Easter!
(For those not celebrating I hope you’re having a lovely weekend)

The first day of the month is time to #pinchpunchpost  (A monthly twitter challenge where they give a theme, usually an animal at the beginning of the month then you can post a picture, art work, whatever using their theme on the first day of the next month.) April 1st is frogs.

I can’t believe it’s April already, where is the year going!

I drew a few out of a kids illustrated frog book.

green cascade frog
A sketch of a green cascade frog
azure poison arrow frog
A sketch of an azure poison arrow frog


mini toy frogs
Drawings of some mini toy frogs

I remembered I had some tiny plastic toy frogs, not very realistic but frog shaped enough for me to draw. It was fun to turn them around in my fingers and draw frogs from different angles.

Thanks for stopping by today. Till next time, have fun x


Fun At The Natural History Museum

Common Ostrich sketch
A Common Ostrich sketch, a bit ropy but it was the first sketch of the day

Hi there, how are you?

We’ve been away to London for a few days this week so we shopped, ate out and had a day out at Tate Modern as you do.

This time we saw Picasso (works from 1932) and Modigliani. I’m not a great lover of Picasso but it was interesting to see the art in person. I liked the Modigliani a little better. It’s nice to see these artworks in person, to see the brush strokes and colours used by the artist even if it doesn’t resonate with me; I always like to have an open mind until I’ve seen them properly.

For one of the days we didn’t really have anything planned so we went into the natural history museum to draw from some of the displays.

We started at the bird cases; they have loads of stuffed birds from all over the world, even a dodo! We weren’t able to get close to the dodo because there were so many people around it so settled for an ostrich, it was the first drawing of the day so it’s all over the place but it was fun to do.

Natural History Museum Red Jungle Fowl
Sketch of a Red Jungle Fowl from the Natural History Museum

Next was a rooster (red jungle fowl) it was drawn in pencil but decided to draw over it with a fountain pen and clean it up a bit. I’m quite happy with this one and since it’s drawn in waterproof ink I may even colour it in later.

Natural History Museum Shearwater
Sketches of Shearwater seabirds drawn at the Natural History Museum

Standing for a long time was making our feet ache so we went upstairs to see what else they had (plus there were some benches to sit on) we saw a case full of sea birds all in flight, I picked some little shearwater birds, it’s a view that’s very hard to get even with a camera because they’re so fast so this was ideal.

Natural History Museum Pheasant Family Silver Pheasant
Sketch of a Silver Pheasant from Natural History Museum

Moving along the room was a case containing pheasants. I wish they had done a better job of naming the breeds there were so many different types of pheasant (apparently chickens are also part of the pheasant family. Educational too eh), after a long look on the internet I have decided this pheasant is called a silver pheasant. I loved his little red mask; he looked like he was off to a masquerade party hehe.

We had a really fun day and ended up spending so long there we got kicked out!

London is so busy we don’t stop while were there, back home now with tired feet and needing another rest!

Thanks for stopping by today. Till next time, have fun x

This Month It’s Squirels

red squirrel sketch 1
Red squirrel sketch 1

Hi there, how are you?

1st of February is the day #pinchpunchpost happens on twitter, it’s a monthly challenge. They tell us at the beginning of the month what the theme will be and you get a month to draw/paint/art something on that theme. This month was squirrels.

red squrrel sketch 2
Red squirrel sketch 2

I could have spent the whole month just drawing squirrels but normally I do mine in the last week (if I remember).

grey squirrel sketch
Grey squirrel sketch
grey squirrel look-out sketch
Grey squirrel look-out sketch

The grey squirrels were drawn from photos I had taken in the local park, red squirrels are pretty scarce, they don’t live in our area (the grey squirrels, not indigenous to these shores have pushed them to the outskirts) so they were drawn from internet pictures.

squirrel peeping sketch
Squirrel peeping sketch

They were all pencilled out lightly, coloured with watercolour then lined with a pentel brush pen.

I couldn’t decide between red or grey so drew both and picked out the ones I liked best.
Next months challenge is zebra, which should be interesting!

Thanks for stopping by today. Till next time, have fun x

Drawing Songbirds At The Zoo

timor sparrow sketch
Timor sparrow sketch

Hi there, how are you?

This year we wanted to draw more animals so we have bought zoo passes again. It’s still cold outside so in weather like this we like to go into the houses and see any of the tropical birds and animals. They keep it toasty warm in there.

In one such house we came across some tiny songbirds, so books and pencils out, we drew birds. Birds don’t like people, particularly the ones that stand and stare at them for ages; they get nervous and fly around.

If you look at the picture above and think Oooh…., well, that’s not the level of drawing I can do from living beings.

The kinds of things I draw at the zoo are tatty little things like the picture below. If you look carefully all of the information is there, I jot down little notes to remind me of the colours or any other distinguishing marks, their names and if possible I draw them from different angles.

bird reserch sketches drawn at the zoo
Bird research sketches drawn at the zoo.

Once home I decided to do a little home work and look up the birds I had drawn to try and do a better job of capturing a likeness. I’m hoping this will help me, 1) learn to draw and 2) fix in my brain how they really look so next time I go out drawing birds (or anything else for that matter.) I will have a better understanding of how they are put together.

zebra finch sketch
Zebra finch sketch

I haven’t looked up the superior fruit dove (what a name) yet, I didn’t have time to write down any notes on colours etc so I’ll go back next time and have another look. I could just find photo’s on the internet but I’ll probably learn more and get a better idea of the real colours by checking for myself. We have passes so we can go back every day if we want, we probably won’t, but we could hehehe.

If anybody has any useful tips for drawing live animals I would be very interested.

Thanks for stopping by today. Till next time, have fun x

Birds On The Brain

pidgeon sketch
pidgeon sketch

Hi there, how are you?

Earlier in the week we went into town, we had decided to check out the local Christmas market. There were things to see and taste (they had some extremely good cheeses) and at the end we came upon a giant tea-cake seller (the tea-cakes were very big not the vender) after buying one each we went into the new theatre/cinema/caffè/restaurant/library! They have moved everything into one big building and so we needed to check this out too.

We ordered hot chocolates took out our tea-cakes and whilst we were sitting there we pulled a few books off the shelves to read. I found a book about poultry that strangely contained pigeons and ostriches; we got out sketch our books (ever ready) and started to draw as our drinks cooled.

I drew a pigeon, I would have taken the book home but it was “reference only” so I snapped a few cool looking chickens on my iPod to take home with me. The book is called “Storey’s Illustrated Guide to Poultry Breeds” it has lots of fine-looking bird pictures in it.

The Catalana rooster/cockerel
The Catalana rooster/cockerel

During the week I’ve been drawing from the pictures I took and having a lot of fun in the process.

The Welsummer hen
The Welsummer hen
The Dutch Bantam rooster/cockerel
The Dutch Bantam rooster/cockerel

Friday was the 1st December, I drew a little robin in the corner of my sketchbook page and since I liked it decided to post it on twitter for the @pinchpunchpost challenge. At the start of every month they post up a theme, usually an animal, then on the first day of the next month you can post pictures with that theme. This month it was a robin.

robin sketch
A cheeky little robin

The theme for January is panda so if you feel like joining in post a panda on your twitter feed January 1st   tagged  #punchpunchpost.

We’ve decided we really like drawing in the library/everything else and we will be doing it again in the future, it was actually very relaxing.

Thanks for stopping by today. Till next time, have fun x

Newts, Testing De Atramentis Ink

sketch of two newts
We took pictures of this newt at the aquarium, unfortunately I didn’t write the name down so I’m not sure what it’s called. They looked quite gray because the lighting was low and very blue.

Hi there, how are you?

For my birthday this year I was given some waterproof ink (so lucky). De Atramentis Document ink to be precise.

I use quink ink in my preppy fountain pen and I can get some cool washy effects with it but it leaks into the watercolour so it’s best for pen and wash or straight line work.

To test it out I drew a little newt and once the ink was dry I washed some watercolour over it. It worked no movement at all.

I found an old fountain pen; the ink inside it had dried out so it needed cleaning. (Note to self, do not take a pair of pliers to your fountain pen when trying to take the nib out! The pen still works but it didn’t do the nib any good.) I am using this for the De Atramentis ink. I now have two fountain pens to draw with hehe, I may have to sort out of my pencil-case soon before it gets too heavy to carry.

two californian newt sketch
These newts are Californian newts.

I like the look of the gray newts, they’re quite sweet. The Californian newts look more salamander-ish to me, maybe it’s the way I drew them. I like the colour of the top newt and the shadow in the bottom newt, it worked out much better than I thought it would.

I really like De Atramentis Document ink, especially for use with watercolour; I think it’s going to be a lot of fun to use.

Thanks for stopping by today. Till next time, have fun x


Ornamental Cherry Blossom Sketch

ornamental-cherry-blossom-sketchHello, how are you.

A week or so ago I went into town to do some shopping (as you do). On the way I saw a big ornamental cherry tree in full bloom. I didn’t have a lot of time so I just snapped a few pictures on my I-pod and went about my business.

A few days later looking through my I-pod I found the pictures and decided to have a go at drawing them.

The first page was me just trying to work out the shapes using watercolour and the shape of the brush to make the petals.

The second page the blossom was drawn with a fine liner and coloured in with watercolour.

I’m liking both pages and can’t really decide which effect I like the best but I did have lots of fun sketching them all out, which is the real point of doing it.

Thanks for stopping by. Till next time, have fun x