Happy Mothers Day Hummingbird Card

hummingbird card

Hummingbird card

Hi there, how are you?

Happy Mothers Day people.

I decided to make a card, with a humming bird and sketched out a couple of ideas in my sketchbook; I liked the little bird on the grass but wanted something more flowery.

hummingbird on grassHummingbird on grass

The flowers I’ve painted were based on quince flowers that are just starting to bloom in the garden. I’m not sure a hummingbird has ever seen a quince flower so call it artistic licence if not hehehe

hummingbird practice sketchHummingbird practice sketch

They’re painted loosely and based on a Chinese brush painting style, I like the simplicity and the way they make every brush stroke count. It also stops me from overworking the painting.

2 hummingbird sketches on quince blossom2 hummingbird sketches on quince blossom

I painted quite a few sketches, they’re all very similar but I liked the image at the top best for the card, the little bird is a little rotund, obviously lots of nectar to eat around there hehehe.

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

Winter Hydrangea Experiments

Shiny hydrangea skeletons
Shiny hydrangea skeletons

Hi there, how are you?

The Christmas tree came down today, all packed away neatly till next year. Everything looks plain and dull now all of the shiny things are gone.

I went out into the garden, I was trying to pick the last quince off the branch but it seems to have welded itself on and can’t be taken off without taking off the whole branch. I’ll try again later.

Whilst there I spotted the hydrangea plant; All of the flowers are gone except for a few flower skeletons. The flowers wither and decay until all that is left are the veins of the petals. They’re quite beautiful and very delicate.

I brought some in to examine and draw. Here are the little experiments made so far.

These were drawn onto a pink background. There was some inky water left over from something else and I painted it over several pages to take the whiteness away.

The pink and green should have been brown really but my head went straight to the colour (brains are weird)

hydrangea skeleton experiments
Hydrangea skeleton experiments

I drew the skeletons with various gold or metallic pens to see how it looked, it never shows up in scans so the top image is me trying to show the shiny pens off in a photograph.

This page I tried different backgrounds on the white page. I’m wondering what they would look like on toned or black paper now, more experiments to try hehehe.

More hydrangea skeletons
More hydrangea skeletons

This one is one of my envelope doodles. When I’m cooking sometimes there’s a short period of waiting for things to finish. The top doodle took seven minutes which is how long it took for the carrots to steam. The second was painted whilst waiting for the washing machine door to open and inked over a little later.

They’re fun and quick to do in moments that would otherwise involve me staring into void waiting for things to happen. There’s no pressure because it’s just the back of an envelope and will be recycled along with the others if I don’t like it. It’s also a good way to try out or jot down an idea quickly so it’s not forgotten.

envelope doodle of hydrangea
Envelope doodle of hydrangea

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

Watercolour Fish And Jellyfish Doodles

gold marble veiltail angelfish watercolour painting

A gold marble veiltail angelfish painting on watercolour paper.

Hi there, how are you?
I’ve borrowed a different book from the library this week; it’s a DK book about aquarium and pond fish. I like DK books, they’re chock full of information and have lots of really good pictures to draw. The only problem is which one to do first.

Top of the post is a gold marble veiltail angelfish, (that’s what you call a name). There are a few angel fish but this one is so pretty and I wanted to see if I could make the tail and fins look as delicate as the ones in the photo. They didn’t come out too bad although I did have to paint them twice because they were far to pale to scan the first time.

Below is a paradise fish; I love the colours of this one. It seems to look more brown than the brilliant orange in the book but overall I was happy with the way it turned out, especially the fins and tail.

paradise fish watercolour painting

A paradise fish painting on watercolour paper.

The last two are what I call “envelope doodles”. When I’m in the kitchen and have just a minute or two to wait whilst things cook I grab an envelope from the recycling box and practice a few brush strokes, nothing grand just blobs and lines, then later sometimes if I like the marks made I turn them into things. Sometimes roses or butterflies, this time they are jellyfish. It’s all good practice.

watercolour envelope jellyfish 1

Jellyfish 1 painted with watercolour on the back of an envelope.

They were finished off with some jelly roll pens whilst watching the TV.
Jellyfish have been floating inside my head for a while now (was that pun intended hmmm) now they’re on a page so there’s more room in my head for other things.

watercolour envelope jellyfish 2

Jellyfish 2 painted with watercolour on the back of an envelope.

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

Water Brush Experiments

water brush experiment 2

Water brush experiment

Hi there, how are you?

What have I been doing this week I hear you ask. Well thanks for asking, this week  I have been binge watching Skillshare classes.  I received an offer for three months Skillshare for 99 cents. I know you can get two months free in some places but seriously don’t begrudge any one 99 cents for an extra month. I’ve probably already had my moneys worth.

Part way through the binging I realised it would probably make some sense to actually “do” some of the classes. Then I stumbled on a lovely creative soul called Marie-Noëlle Wurm, she is an illustrator and artist. Some of her work is figurative and some abstract. You could type her name into Google for web sites etc: Her classes looked interesting so I tried one.

First lesson get out some art tools and start making marks: I got out my water brush and paints and started to move the brush around and this happened.

water brush experiment 1

Water brush experiment 1

There are loads more, some I like some not so much, these are a few of my favourites. It seems to have become a theme.

water brush experiment 3

Water brush experiment 3

water brush experiment 4

Water brush experiment 4

green water brush experiment 1 class doodles

Water brush experiment class doodles

This is not the sort of thing I would usually paint, I had no idea what would happen as I painted the strokes and no plan so it’s really interesting to see what it all turned into.

The second exercise was to make the marks into something, er.. I sort of pre-empted that one, I’ll move on to the next part soon.

She also has some abstract classes that look interesting so when this one is finished I will try one of those, that’s if I can get my head around the whole abstract thing.

It’s always fun learning new things.

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

Fantailed Goldfish

fan tailed goldfish painted with watercolour

Fan tailed goldfish painted with watercolour

Hi there, how are you?

A while ago we went to the garden centre, sometimes we go not to shop for plants but to look at the flowers, take a few photos and most importantly to have tea and cake.  FYI it was lovely cake hehehe.

On the way out we noticed an aquarium selling all kinds of fish. We had to nip in and have a look obviously and whilst we were there took a few photos of the fish.

Taking photos of fish is not easy due to the poor lighting and the fish swimming so I took some tiny videos on my ipod to draw from when I got home. I just play the video till I like the pose and pause it till I’m done.

Above are two goldfish swimming around painted in watercolour, I think I managed to capture the colours pretty well.

I’m still drawing in pencil, trying to keep the few skills I learned recently, you know the saying “use it or loose it”.

fan tailed goldfish drawn in graphite pencil

Fan tailed goldfish drawn in graphite pencil

I’m not really a detail kind of person but I did find that by doing these pencil drawings I do observe the subjects better and that can’t be a bad thing.

Note: Yes I did buy plants, garden centres are dangerous places to visit, I just cant leave with buying some lovely plant for the garden.

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

Little Brown Birds

little brown bird in watercolour and brush pen

Little brown bird in watercolour and brush pen

Hi there, how are you?
This week we have a little bit of colour whooot!

At the zoo recently we have been checking out the walk-in aviaries. In the Bali aviary we saw two little brown birds; I did check the board for the name and forgot to write it down, senior moment! (I’ll edit when I find out).

One of the birds had found a grasshopper in the weeds and as he attempted to eat it the grasshopper tried to hop off. The bird was having none of this and after putting his foot on top of the poor insect carefully nipped off the wings with his beak, then to make sure his dinner stayed put, one by one snipped off each leg. Happy to say I wasn’t eating anything myself at the time, ooof.

I took lots of photos of the birds in many positions (not of the dissection, just the bird) and decided to draw him when I got home.

I’ve used different mediums, water colour, brush pen, pencil even watercolour pencils in places, just having fun and relaxing.

Top image: Brush pen and watercolour – I really liked the effect the brush pen overlapping gives an impression of the feathers.

Below: Brush pen and graphite pencil – this was a quick experiment to see how it looked. Meh!

little brown bird in pencil and brush pen

Little brown bird in pencil and brush pen

Watercolour – it was hard to get a decent black but it’s close enough for a sketch

little brown bird in watercolour

Little brown bird in watercolour

Watercolour and watercolour pencils – the watercolour looked a bit washed n this one so I used some watercolour pencils to bring back a few details in the feathers. I like it much better now.

little brown bird in watercolour pencil

Little brown bird in watercolour pencil

Graphite pencil. – Just practicing with the pencils so I don’t lose what I’ve learned over the past few weeks. The sparrow I drew last week was drawn on an A4 piece and this little guy is much smaller so it’s harder to get a lot of detail.

little brown bird in graphite pencil

Little brown bird in graphite pencil

It was a lot of fun drawing these birdies and with any luck we’ll see them again next time, preferably without the grasshopper.

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

Edit: The birds are called Chestnut backed thrushes, its always nice to get the name right. 

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