Magnolia Brush Pen Painting Experiments

magnolia in ink with a brush pen

Chinese brush painting style painting of magnolia in ink with a brush pen.

Hi there, how are you?

This week I have been experimenting with magnolias. Gardens and parks are filled with their beautiful blooms; I have taken lots of photos and really wanted to capture some small part of it.

Remembering the Chinese brush painting I tried in October (inktober) I thought it would be fun to paint the flowers in this style and after thumbing through my book and reading some very brief instructions I copied the picture in the book.

magnolia exercise taken from book

Chinese brush painting style painting of magnolia in ink with a brush pen. This exercise was taken from a book.

I didn’t fancy grinding down ink so I used two pentel brush pens, one filled with black ink and the other with red ink (I filled an old cartridge with a pipette).

Chinese brush painted magnolia

magnolia painted in ink with a brush pen Chinese brush painting style.

I painted the magnolia in the style of the flowers in the book and after a few paintings decided to have a go with watercolour. I’m using a sable paint brush not a Chinese brush and making the shapes I wanted took a little practice but I think they look OK.

magnolia painted with watercolour

magnolias painted with watercolour

Having loads of fun now and painted one side of the page in watercolour, the other side with brush pens, just to see how they look side by side.

magnolia brush painting experiments

Magnolia brush painting experiments. watercolour on the left and ink on the right.

I really like the ink magnolias, they’re quite graphic and I think I painted them a bit more confidently but with a little more practice the watercolour magnolia will look a lot better.

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

 

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Attempt At Drawing Daffodils

sketching group of daffodils

Hi there, how are you?

Everywhere I look at the moment there seems are daffodils, in gardens, at the roadside, parks, shops, every where, but not in my garden. I have a few pots full of daffodil leaves but they have no flowers?

Whilst out shopping last week I saw a small pot of midget daffodils for only £1 so I bought one and brought it home. I thought they would make good drawing models and they did, they sat still and looked beautiful what more could I want.

daffodil Sketch

Daffodil Sketch

 

Turns out daffodils are harder than they look. I’ve draw lots of them, turning the pot each time to give a different view. It doesn’t matter how many times I draw them it’s always the same.

daffodil watercolour sketch

Daffodil watercolour sketch

 

Maybe it’s the yellow I’m using it seems quite opaque (a bad workman blames his tools!) I find it hard to work out shadows with yellows, there’s a slight green tinge to them in places, then red in others, purple is the opposite of yellow and should make a good shadow, I seem to make it into a muddy mess though.

watercolour sketch of daffodils

Watercolour sketch of daffodils

I’ll get there in the end.

My little pot of daffodils are starting to look a bit sad now, I’ll dead head them and put the pot in the sun then plant them in the garden for next year. They can add to my little collection of daffodil leaves hehehe,

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

Llama Llama Duck

Llama llama duck watercolour birthday card

Llama llama duck, a watercolour birthday card.

Hi there, how are you?

It was number one sons Birthday this week so I painted him a card. Llama llama duck based on a silly YouTube video we saw ages ago. It’s hard to think of things for guys cards so I just go with any idea I can think of, even silly ones.

The bird at the front is a supposed to be a duck not a goose (art fails *sad face*) I think the neck got longer each time I drew it but it’s really a duck, honest.

It’s watercolour on student grade 300 gsm watercolour paper; I usually paint on the right hand side of the paper then fold the paper down the middle to make a card.
It made him smile so my work is done hehehe.

I’ve been decorating so not much arting going on this week.

On Tuesday the weather was so beautiful, we didn’t want to stay indoors so we drove over to Ness Gardens (the local botanical gardens) they have a lovely snowdrop walk (sadly fading now) and the daffodils and spring flowers all coming into their own.

The camellias are blooming so we stopped for a few minutes to draw a few blooms. A lovely way to spend an afternoon.

camellia watercolour sketch

A camellia watercolour sketch

Then back home to the decorating,

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

Painting Sparrows

watercolour sketch of a sparrow on the ground

Watercolour sketch of a sparrow on the ground

Hi there, how are you?

I’ve drawn and painted lots of sparrows over the past few months, usually when Chinese brush painting and I wanted to see if I could draw some more realistic birds, it’s good to know the actual shape so as to understand how best to stylise them later.

watercolour sketch of a sparrow on a branch

Watercolour sketch of a sparrow on a branch

I think the birds I drew were all male; the females are a little duller in colour like this one below.

female garden sparrow

Female garden sparrow

I try to take photos of the birds but I have to take them inside through the window because the sound of the camera shutter is quite loud and frightens them off.

watercolour sketch of a sparrow on a tree trunk

Watercolour sketch of a sparrow on a tree trunk

 

I’m hoping that as the weather warms up there will be more birds around and I will get a better look at them.

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

Dragonflies Fluttering Around The Bulrushes

Chinese brush painting bulrushes & dragonflies

Chinese brush painting bulrushes & dragonflies. Brown ink & gouache.

Hi there, how are you?

On the first day of every month there is a twitter challenge called pinch punch post. I haven’t participated for a few months, Christmas was too hectic and last month I forgot (no excuse really!) This month I remembered, whoot! The theme was dragonfly.

I had thought of painting a dragonfly with lovely colourful wings and was searching the interwebs for inspiration when I stumbled across some Chinese brush painted dragonflies dancing around some bulrushes.

Since I haven’t painted bulrushes with Chinese brush painting and didn’t have any instructions I wondered If some of the brush strokes and exercises I’d already learned would transfer to these, then I could paint little dragonflies fluttering around them, it also gives me a chance to practice my Chinese brush painting.

I’ve taken a few photos of bulrushes in the past so I shuffled through them to find something useful.

These were the first little tries, painted with a brush pen to get an idea of the shapes.

Chinese brush painting bulrushes & dragonflies, brush pen

Chinese brush painting bulrushes & dragonflies, Pentel brush pen

Chinese brush painting bulrushes & dragonflies, black ink

Chinese brush painting bulrushes & dragonflies. Painted in black (watered down to grey) ink, working how to make the shapes as I go.

Another practice this time using grass for the dragonflies to land on, I really liked the shape of this one

Another practice this time using grass for the dragonflies to land on, I really liked the shape of this one.

Next I moved onto coloured ink and gouache. I’ve used brown ink for the bulrushes and gouache for the dragonflies. Chinese watercolours are quite opaque and nearer to what we would call gouache than traditional western watercolours, I used what I had, they came out OK but I think I prefer the inky ones more.

bulrushes & dragonflies

bulrushes & dragonflies, painted with brown water-soluble ink and gouache.

Chinese brush painting green grass & dragonflies

Chinese brush painting green grass & dragonflies. I used my new green ink for the grasses.

They were all fun to paint and it’s good to practice my Chinese painting skills, I haven’t really used them much since inktober.

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

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