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


Supermarket Plants And A Discovery

geranium watercolour sketchGeranium watercolour sketch, outlined with a fountain pen.


Hi there, how are you?

One of the few places we have been regularly lately are the supermarkets. There are many supermarkets by us, about six all in the space of about three miles.

We’ve picked up the habit of checking out the plant shelves and far too often these plants end up in the shopping trolley.

This geranium (above)was found in the plant graveyard (they never seem to water the plants) I had planned to make cuttings from it after a little T.L.C. But it started flowering again and I don’t want to pull the flowers off so I’m going to use them for drawing practice till they fall and take cuttings later.

It is painted with watercolour, I like the looser look of it without any ink lines.

In the next one below I concentrated more on the flowers and outlined them with a fountain pen.

geranium ink & watercolour sketchGeranium ink & watercolour sketch

Back in early spring I bought a small fuchsia plant. It was very small and only £1. last year I found out the slugs don’t eat them so there would be good chance I’d get flowers.

Unfortunately last years plants didn’t last the winter and the cuttings I took didn’t take. (I don’t have green fingers but I keep trying.)

The plant is quite big now and the flowers are just starting to bloom.

They’re a different colour to last year and very frilly so I think they’re going to be a lot of fun to draw.

I reached the end of the sketchbook and didn’t have time to find another one so I drew on the back cover and coloured it with watercolour.

The watercolour is dulled down and looks a little vintage but on the whole I like the effect. A touch of white gel pen to add the highlights.

fucshia sketch on toned paperFuchsia sketch on toned paper (the back of the sketchbook)

One of our many supermarkets was built next to a field. People use it as a cut through to the nearby housing estate.

I was there was to see if the blackberries were flowering, it’s a good place to pick berries away from the traffic.

I startled two rabbits as I walked around and in a small clearing I saw some small purple flowers.

I didn’t know what they were but as I got down on the ground I could see they were some kind of orchid. The whole plant was about three inches high and the small flowers about as big as my thumb.

This is the first time I’ve ever seen anything like this in the wild so I was very exited and I took a couple of photos.

I looked them up later and found out they are called bee orchids.

bee orchid sketchBee orchid sketch

Isn’t it amazing what you find when you’re not expecting it.

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

Welcome To Our Little Orchid Family

red orchid plant sketch 1
Red orchid plant sketch 1

Hi there, how are you?

Our little family of orchids is growing slowly, we bought this one last year from the plant graveyard at the supermarket.

It’s a different type to the other orchids, the leaves and flowers grow up from bulb like stems and it has smaller beautiful deep burgundy red flowers.

The buds appeared last month on a long thin stalk and gradually started opening (above).

All of the flowers are open now and the whole plant looks stunning.

I ran out of room to fit all of the flowers or even leaves onto the page.

red orchid flower sketch 2
Red orchid flower sketch 2

I decided to draw one of the flowers on it’s own, this one is almost open.

red orchid flower sketch
Red orchid flower sketch

I drew this quick pencil sketch to help me understand the way the flowers grew, it’s a bit scrappy and there are some splotches from a sketch on the other side of the paper but I like how it turned out.

red orchid pencil sketch
Red orchid pencil sketch

I’m using the alizarin crimson and hookers green mix I discovered last week, it works so well for these flowers.

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

Value Studies

orchid value sketch
Orchid plant

Hi there, how are you?

This week I have drawn a few flowers from around the house and garden, plus octopus. (left over thoughts from last week maybe) They were simple line drawings drawn with a brush pen; they looked OK but a little boring so I found a grey brush pen and a white gel pen to make some value studies.

I’m not sure why I haven’t done this earlier to be honest, it is toned paper after all. So at almost a hundred pages into my blue sketch book I’m making value sketches.

My little pink orchid is flowering again, it flowers about two or three times a year and it is always fun to draw or paint. I really like the way the flower stalk is curling around the plant at the moment.

Mum gave us a piece off her agapanthus plant this spring and I dutifully planted it thinking it would be next year before we had flowers. Surprise they grew this year and they are stunning although every day I go out to admire it some of the flowers are missing (rotten slugs!) got to draw it before they all disappear.

agapanthus value sketch
Agapanthus flowers

The petals on these flowers are based loosely on the st. johns wort. I am trying to work out how to make small compositions of flowers.

Usually I just draw what I see and end up with a page of disjointed looking flowers.

This is two little groups and I quite like how they turned out. Some flowers are harder than others though so it’s going to take a lot more practice.

flower value sketch
Some flowers loosely based on st, johns wort

I also drew octopus. I had painted a lot of octopuses in gouache last week, this week I drew two with a brush pen, (they must still be in my head). Again they were simple line drawings so I decided to jazz them up a little.

octopus value sketch

I think the extra tones have defined the flowers a little and brightened them up.

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

Ohn Mar Win Daily Art Practice: 14 Day Mindset Challenge

days 1-3

Days 1-3

Hi there, how are you?

Just over two weeks ago I watched a skillshare class by Ohn Mar Win 14 Day Mindset Challenge. It sounded interesting so I thought I’d give it a try.

I chose my parameters (I know I won’t finish if I don’t) I like to set some sort of goal for challenges so that when the art sucks (and I know some of it will), I’m still working towards that goal and am less likely to give up.

I decided to use a fountain pen that I don’t much like using (which makes me sad as it was a gift) working straight to paper without pencil lines first.

So I’m drawing in ink with out the aid of a safety net eeep!

Mostly I drew the orchid on the kitchen window sill with occasional birds when my squirrel mind diverted itself.

Day 1 – top left. A basic orchid outline, didn’t put in the veins, I was more concerned with the shapes and having no pencil line to follow. It’s a start.

Day 2 – top right. Did a slightly better job, managed some veins this time. It’s a slightly better drawing.

Day 3 – Mrs Blackbird. I had some photos of a lady blackbird and couldn’t resist drawing her, lots. Six 3 minute sketches, not beautifully formed but loads of fun to do 11/10 fun value

days 04-06

Days 04-06

Day 4 – 2 stems top right. Back to orchids. Trying to work out shading and added thicker lines to see if it would work. Meh, not really but it was worth a try. It’s not a bad drawing though so progress.

Day 5 – top left, still trying to work out shading, it is a little better maybe.

Day 6 – parrot. This is from another photo I’d taken. The shadows on the feathers were quite strong and I thought it would help with shading in general.

It went over time but I had a huge amount of fun drawing it. another 11/10

days 07-09

Days 07-09

Day 7, 8 and 9 – one 3 min and one 6 min drawing for each of these three days, the shading was starting to work, I found it quite meditative drawing these, just standing making lots of little lines, very calming.

Day 10 and 11 I looked back at the class video’s and think I’m doing it all wrong. Obviously I wasn’t paying attention!

I didn’t go around picking random items to draw, wasn’t really analysing daily, I just wanted to draw my orchid as the flowers opened.  

My inner mean person took over, threw all my toys out of the pram and decided I don’t like analyzing stuff and there was no point carrying on.

Sometimes I’m my own worst enemy.

days 12-14

Days 12-14

Day 12 – top left corner. I stopped feeling sorry for myself. I realised I had lots of drawings that I wouldn’t have done without this callenge and got back on the horse.

The drawing isn’t brilliant because I still wasn’t feeling it but it was a drawing so I give myself a pass.

Day 13 – a 3 min and 6 min drawing. Back to enjoying myself and I think the shading is working

Day 14 – a 3 min and 6 min drawing.  Two little orchid drawings and I’m done whoot!


My confidence is pretty level whenever I do any art at maybe a 5/10, if I like it cool, if not, it sucks and I move on, as long as it mostly resembles the thing I’m drawing I’m happy so no need to add it in the analysis.

I did it (mostly) there was a bit of a wobble but that happens. I have 12 days of drawings and if I look back at the first one I can see some improvement which makes me very happy indeed.

Also I got to document my little plant flowering as each day the flowers opened one by one.

I’m glad this was a 14 day challenge, that’s usually about the time I start to get burnt out on the monthly ones like inktober and world watercolour month (the only challenges I do normally)

I know it doesn’t read like I enjoyed this challenge but it was actually a lot of fun, sometimes I get in my own way but it doesn’t last long, I just need to take a break and rearrange my thoughts and off I go again.

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

Home Grown Orchids

blue background orchids
orchids on blue background sprinkled with salt.

Hi there, how are you?

Last week I drew some orchids we’d seen at the zoo. This week I’ve been drawing the orchids on our window sill. The white orchid is just coming into flower and I love to draw them when they do.

I’m working in my new sketchbook and testing out the paper so I thought I would see how it does with lots of water.

I know it’s not watercolour paper so some things will work and others not but it’s always fun to try.

I used Payne’s grey for the background then sprinkles a little salt for some texture. The paper curled up so I needed a couple of clips but other than that it wasn’t too bad, I kind of like it.

orchids on blue background
orchids on blue background .

It’s more interesting to draw them from different angles so I turn the plant around as I go.

I decided to try a different colour and used a burnt orange with the Payne’s grey, it got a little muddy but I think I would like to try again and use these colours on watercolour paper.

orchids on an orange background
Orchids on an orange background

All in all some decent experiments this week I think.

Next up we have the valentine’s card I made for the other half. I had tested out some colours in my sketch book (you can see the tests here); this is the card I made with them. I didn’t post the picture earlier because I wanted to surprise him, I think he liked it.

valentines card dancing cranes
Valentines card dancing cranes

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

Orchids At The Zoo

pink orchids
Pink orchids

Hi there, how are you?

The zoo this week was so cold, most of the animals were inside (I don’t blame them one bit) so we decided to visit the tropical greenhouse. It’s always toasty warm in there and they have lots of amazing plants, some of which are the orchids.

They have quite a few orchids in flower at the moment all looking stunning and filling the air with their beautiful aroma, I didn’t even realise they had a scent.

We took a load of photos and drew some little sketches before it was time to leave. When I was home I looked through my photos and drew two types of orchid we had seen.

The first (above) is about six to eight inches high with wide flowers, short stems and mid length leaves.

The second type is roughly 12 inches high, have long stalks, narrow flowers and the leaves are relatively short. They both have bucket flowers.

two tall watercolour orchids
Two tall watercolour orchids

I’m using a new sketch book, it’s interesting to see how the colours look slightly different and the paint reacts a little differently too. It’s a heavy-ish cartridge paper (no weird coating this time) the paper doesn’t buckle as much and the paper isn’t as damaged by my scrubbing with a brush so I’m quite happy with it.

The flowers have a lot of white so I outlined the flower so it would show up, I wondered how it would look on toned paper. (I do love an experiment).

I’m using the same toned paper I used for inktober (the rolled up brown paper from inside the Christmas wrapping).

It’s sturdy and seems to hold up the paint I was using without warping too much.

orchid painted on toned paper
Orchid painted on toned paper

I found it hard to figure the colours out but on the whole it was a good experiment, the white petal shows up nicely but seriously the greens need work!  

orchid painted on toned paper
Another orchid painted on toned paper

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