Drawing Experiments: Orchids

drawing of a pink orchid in brown ink

A drawing of a pink orchid in dark brown ink

Hi there, how are you?

This week I have been drawing orchids, lots of orchids. We have two orchid plants in our house, mine is the pink striped one and the other is white with slightly bigger flowers belonging to my daughter. We are extremely happy with ourselves because amazingly they are still alive after over a year, whoot!
The pink one started to flower last week and I drew one or two sketches of it. This week the white orchid is flowering, it has grown four flower spikes so far so there will be lots of drawing opportunities available in the future.

The drawing above and the one directly below were both drawn with a fountain pen and brown ink, the ink was then brushed out with a water brush to create the shadows. I really like the way the tones and shadows stand out on the first one,

drawing of a white orchid in brown ink

A drawing of a white orchid in brown ink. I love the colour of this ink.

The next two are drawn the way I usually draw things in general, with a pentel brush pen. I know it makes them look a bit cartoon-y but I like the effect. I also wanted to use these drawings as a pattern for watercolour and thought it would show better though the light box and paper. It did.

sketch of white orchid flower buds

A sketch of white orchid flower buds

The shadows didn’t show up too well on the scan of the flowers, to be honest I’m not sure they were strong enough to start with, something for me to experiment with later.

sketch of a white orchid spray

A sketch of a white orchid spray.

I painted a green background on this one trying to push the white flowers forward, I had wanted to try to paint it without the heavy lines but the shadows again were not strong enough. This is all useful information to take into future drawings.

white orchids on a green background

Some white orchids on a green background

This one was more an experiment with the paper than the drawing. I like the effect of the blue background and I will try this again. The paint was applied with a 1” synthetic brush in a criss-cross pattern.

white orchid on a blue background

white orchid on a blue crisscross blue background

All of these drawings were done in my sketch book which contains a coated cartridge paper so an even wash is not possible. It turned out quite well and isn’t any where near as much work as the green background in the image above.

This quick sketch was drawn on brown packing paper, I wanted a toned surface and this was all I had. It’s drawn with a fountain pen and brown ink then painted with watercolour (Chinese white for the petals)

orchid sketched on brown paper

An orchid sketched on brown paper

Finally watercolour paper (phew!)  This is always fascinating to me, the water was added and the paint allowed to travel out along the water.
I like the colour and the way this turned out, again the shadows are not strong enough. I could have fixed it maybe but the next day it had been made into a birthday card and was winging its way to its new home.
Its recipient said she liked it and that’s what really matters.

blue orchid birthday card

Blue orchid birthday card

I love playing and working in my sketchbook, It’s nice to make pretty pictures but my sketchbook is the place I experiment, make mistakes, learn from the things that worked as well as the things that didn’t. If all my drawings were perfect there would be no need to practice and for me that is where the fun lies.

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


Happy New Year

teasel drawn from the front and back

A teasel drawn from the front and back.

Hi guys, how are you?

It’s the end of the year already! A time that makes most people think about the past and present simultaneously.

These drawings, a few hawthorn berries and teasels found on a winter walk were drawn with a fountain pen in brown ink brushed out with a water brush.

teasel sprig drawn in brown ink

A teasel sprig drawn in brown ink.


hawthorn berries drawn in brown ink

A few hawthorn berries drawn in brown ink.

All carry their seeds into the new year filled with hope, ready to grow into future plants.

As we move forward Lets all take the seeds of hope into 2019.

I would like to thank each and every one of the people who have stopped by, liked or sent uplifting and encouraging comments. You make the whole experience such a pleasure.

Have a very happy and healthy New Year everyone.

See you next year  XXX



Merry Christmas

merry Christmas elves

Merry Christmas Elves

Not much time for drawing this week but I did manage this little doodle, so from me to you I wish each and every one of you a very happy Christmas filled with, peace, joy and love.

Thanks for taking the time to stop by. take care and have fun x

Drawing Beautiful Turkeys

head of a magnificent turkey

The head of a magnificent turkey, as usual looking very peeved.

Hi there how are you?

Is this not the face of a magnificent bird? Well I’m sure the lady turkeys think so, all puffed up and proud, strutting around.

I took a few photos earlier in the year (maybe March or April) and drew some turkeys in my sketchbook, (posted here). I decided to draw them again and see if my skills had improved.

two turkey heads

Sketches of two turkey heads.

There’s is a lot to take in to account with turkey heads, wrinkles, the wattle, the snood, feathers. It’s interesting to try to capture all of these things on one head. Then there’s the fact that they always look so peeved.

turkey showing off his lovely plumage

Turkey showing off his lovely plumage

I wanted to draw some full body turkeys; the iridescent plumage is so beautiful and colourful and really do give an exceptional display.

I didn’t outline the full turkeys with a brush pen I wanted to see how they would look without the lines.

beautiful iridescence of a turkey

The beautiful iridescence of a turkey

I’m not sure I have the skills yet to fully show the beauty of the plumage yet, but it’s fun trying.

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

Christmas Crafting Begins

santa gnome watercolour

Santa gnome watercolour


‘Tis the season so they say, which means Christmas crafting begins in earnest. I know most sensible people sort this stuff out way back in August, but I just never seem to get round to it that early.

December always creeps up on me, I turn around and Pow, there it is and I’m not ready!
I have too much stuff so I’m trying to use up only things I already have this year.

I found a cute Santa tutorial here and tried a little origami for the tags.

a group of origami santa tags

A group of origami santa tags

I don’t have any two-sided origami paper but I managed to find a couple of red envelopes that were white on the inside. The tutorial doesn’t give a size for the little squares, they’re really tiny so I experimented and decided 1 ½ inches was about the right size.

I made a simple patterned paper on the computer with little baubles and streamers (something chrismassy) and used it for both the tags and the cards further down.
I don’t put ribbons through the tags till I wrap the gifts so I can use something that matches the paper I use.

origami santa tags

Detailed picture of the origami santa tags

I was given a lot of odd shaped card bases a few years ago (6 ¾” x 3″)   so I decided to use these up this year.

Most of the cards I made this year are simple, die-cut, as near to one layer as I can get, they needed to be quick to make and easy to post.

3 die-cut Christmas tree cards

just a few of the die-cut Christmas tree cards made this year,they were all slightly different

The cards were narrow enough that I could place the whole card flat on the plate and cut the tree directly out of the card base; I backed each tree hole with a coloured paper (cream, green or gold) and glued the trees back into the hole. Then it’s just ribbons sentiments and snowflakes, bang, job done.

Last but not least I finally painted some Christmas cards whoot! The winter scene I painted last week made a very nice card, I added a small amount of glitter with a sparkly pen to make it a little more festive.

santa gnome and snow-scene cards

Watercolour Santa gnome and snow-scene cards

This week I wanted to draw/paint a gnome, (no idea why?) I roughed him out in my sketchbook a little to decide how he was going to look then painted him with watercolour on watercolour paper.

I like him, even if he does look more like Santa on his day off than a gnome. He certainly looks OK on a Christmas card.

So that’s the cards written out, the tags sorted and were not even half way through the month yet! oh so organised hehehe.

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

Painting Snowy Winter Trees

blue watercolour winter scene

Blue watercolour winter scene

Hi there how are you?

This week I have been painting winter trees. I watched a video tutorial by Maria Raczynska, she paints lovely watercolour tutorials, this week she painted lots of winter tree bookmarks on a single page of paper.

I liked the idea, found a scrap of watercolour paper (student grade) and followed the tutorial. Obviously I don’t have all of her skills (yet) but it doesn’t look too bad.

winter trees Maria Raczynska tutorial

Winter trees from a Maria Raczynska tutorial.

This then started me thinking about winter trees in general so after looking at winter trees on pixabay (a site that lets you use the images posted royalty free) I painted lots of them in my sketchbook. Practice is the way to go hehehe.

winter trees sketchbook pages

Winter trees painted in my sketchbook, (cartridge paper)

Next I was off to find some cotton watercolour paper to practice on. These two little trees are about 2” x 3” each. Trying to make the trees look like they have snow covering the branches and not like I forgot to paint the leaves is interesting; yes I think more practice needed.

two watercolour winter trees

Two watercolour winter trees

The image at the top of the post is me trying to paint a little snow scene, it’s not any place in particular, just something I made up. I have painted misty trees before; you can see them here if you’re interested.

It’s funny what triggers the imagination and where it leads.

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


Humming Birds Simplified

hummingbird Lucy Wang tutorial

Hummingbird from a Lucy Wang tutorial

Hi there how are you?

I’m still having lots of fun painting birds, last week I painted lots of kingfisher’s, something I thoroughly enjoyed doing.
On my travels during the week I spotted a tutorial in a watercolour painting book by a lady called Lucy Wang. She was showing how to paint humming birds (almost kingfisher’s right?) they were beautifully simplified so as soon as I returned home I decided to try out painting a few of my own.

The top image is me painting in her style from her tutorial, for this page I used a water brush because I was in a rush to try them out.

Back to kingfishers and trying to paint them in this style, some worked better than others again painted with a water brush. (The first one is very humming-bird shaped).

kingfisher's brush strokes

Kingfisher’s painted with just a few brush strokes

Now I have birds on the brain! I tried a few more humming birds using a #8 round sable brush. In my sketchbook they are about the size of my thumb. I used photos for some whilst the others were more inspired by photos using colours I like.

hummingbirds sitting

Seated hummingbirds

The last set if birds are painted days later trying to remember how I painted the first humming birds, changing up the colours.

three hummingbirds

Three hummingbirds, changing up the colours.

I didn’t buy the watercolour book because it was there were only two pages of interest.  I do love her style of painting though and looked around the interwebs to find any book written by Lucy Wang but unfortunately they seem to be out of print. Maybe she’ll write another one! No matter, I’ll keep an eye out and maybe I will find a second-hand copy, fingers crossed.

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

Watercolour Kingfisher Practice

watercolour practice kingfishers

Watercolour practice kingfishers

Hi there how are you?

This week I have been practising painting kingfishers with watercolour. I was trying to take some of the knowledge gained with Chinese brush painting and apply it to these lovely little birds.

Above are some of the kingfishers painted on various types of watercolour paper (some 100% cotton, some student grade.) using just a few colours.

kingfisher inktober practice

Kingfisher inktober practice

These are little practise kingfishers painted during October (Inktober) they were painted with red and blue ink and finished off with a pentel brush pen. This page was a lot of fun to paint with all of the different poses and positions.

kingfisher birthday card

Kingfisher birthday card

Since I had a birthday card to make this week I thought I would use one of the paintings on the card. It’s matted onto a piece of silver card (not that it shows up well on this photo) and used an embossing folder on the ends, it looks much better in person.

ink painted kingfisher

Ink painted kingfisher

I really enjoyed paining the little birdies last month, and am hoping to paint lots more.

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