Supermarket Tulips

4 watercolour tulipsLoose watercolour tulips

Hi there, how are you?

At the supermarket this week we found a small bunch of tulips in the reduced section. They were only slightly wilting and we thought with some care they may spring back a little.

They did and were still going strong a few days later; they were the muse for this weeks drawings.

I started with loose watercolour, it’s quick and gave me a feel for the shapes.

Next I drew some tulips with a fountain pen (below) and pulled out the ink with a damp brush, then used a brush pen filled with grey ink to colour them.

tulips ink
Tulips in black and grey ink

Tidying through some papers I found a toned sketchbook (it’s amazing what you find when you’re not looking for it), I was just going to use ink and a white gel pen but there was a palette of gouache by my side and I thought it would go nicely on this paper and it did,

tulips gouache on toned paper
Tulips in ink & gouache on toned paper

This last one is a combination of brush pen, black watercolour and white gouache. I like the effect of the black watercolour on this paper, especially where the paint is thin and it looks like a dark brown. I’ll have to try that again.

tulips ink & gouache
Tulips in ink watercolour & gouache

Not too bad for a small bunch of wilting tulips, they’ve kept me busy and happy all week.

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


Faded Roses

rose watercolour sketchFaded rose watercolour sketch

Hello there, how are you?

I love to paint roses but find them difficult due to the many folding and curling petals.

The little rose plant has been flowering quietly to itself for days but didn’t have time to draw the flowers.

I did eventually manage to get outside and sketch it, then I took my eye off them for a day or two and poof, next time I looked there were three hips where flowers used to be.

Luckily I find the leaves and hips just as fascinating to draw as the flowers.

Happy with the rose above as I managed to paint petals and since it was fading slightly, a centre.

Below drawn with ink to place the shadows and watercolour, I’m loving the way the leaves curl.

rose hip watercolour sketch
Rose hip watercolour sketch

Practising ink sketching again, trying to work out how to lay the hatching lines.

rose ink sketch
Rose ink sketch

This last one was drawn with watercolour pencils.

I don’t have too many colours so I drew the leaves and hip out with the pencils laying two or three colours on top of each other. I brushed over the sketch with water then with the brush took a little colour from each pencil tip and mixed them on a palette.

It was easy to glaze one colour over another, something to think about next time.

rose watercolour sketch 2
Rose watercolour sketch 2

Usually there are more flowers in the autumn so I can practice all over again.

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

It’s Poppy Season, Whoot!

watercolour open poppy
Watercolour open poppy


Hi there, how are you?

I’m very happy to say poppy season has arrived.

I love everything about poppies of all kinds and colours but this week the big red perineal poppies are flowering in the garden and they are grabbing all of the attention.

Poppies have a fragility about them I find very hard to capture whilst having the strength to grow on any barren patch of ground and I’m always trying to find new ways to draw or paint them.

The first two poppies are painted with a flat brush just over 1cm (just les than ½ inch). Normally I prefer smaller round brushes, flat brushes seem quite clumsy to paint with.

Surprisingly I really enjoyed the big angular marks it made, they seemed to suit the structure of the petals.

watercolour poppy closing
Watercolour poppy closing


The next one was drawn early evening and started closing up as the sun began to set. It was drawn quickly with a fine liner and painted with a mop brush using three different washes of orange, red and purple. The buds and barely there leaves were added later.

watercolour & fine liner poppy
Watercolour & fine liner poppy


A lot of cross hatching with a fine liner next. When taking photos I always seem to close in on the centres of the flower and thought it would be interesting to concentrate on drawing just the centre.

I really enjoyed trying to make the different tones and found it quite meditative sitting in the sunshine.

crosshatch poppy centre
Cross hatch poppy centre


It was a lot of fun experimenting with different tools and techniques. Hopefully I’ve learned something new to carry forward into other work.

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

Sketching At The Botanical Gardens

pink blossom
Pink crab apple blossom

Hi there, how are you?

Had a trip to the local botanical gardens this week; I usually use a camera and take lots of photos. This week I decided to take a little stool and my sketching gear. Comprising of a small tin of watercolour, and a pouch just big enough to contain a pencil, water brush, two brush pens (one grey, one black) and a fountain pen. The sketch book is 6”x4” home-made from scraps of 250 gsm cartridge paper.

The weather was dull and overcast so it was reasonably quiet and I stayed on the quieter pathways as drawing in public makes me nervous.

I knew there was a crab-apple tree at the back that had lovely pink blossoms so that was the first place I headed.

They are just starting to blossom so I took out my sketchbook and drew some little sprigs. The colours aren’t quite right but it gives me a general idea of what things look like.

Further on past one of the many ponds is the beginning of a bamboo wood. Lots of different bamboo species all planted is a small area.

The shape of a small bamboo soot interested me so I spend a few minutes just making the shapes with a brush pen then drew around it with a fountain pen.

bamboo shoot
A small bamboo shoot

I’m not sure what these yellow flowers are called, they grow around the shallow edges of one or two of the ponds. I spent a few happy moments sketching them.

yellow water plant
Yellow water plant

On the other side of the park is a small wooded area. There are firs, camellias, rhododendrons all growing happily together. I was particularly taken by these plants. They are between eight or ten feet tall in small clusters of three or five. Usually there is one really tall one and some smaller younger bush like ones.

This is more of an impression of a plant because I like the shapes.

tall trees
Tall trees

I thoroughly enjoyed my trip out this week, I have to admit I do find sitting out in nature very relaxing.

I’ll probably go back next week and take photos.

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

Loose Sketchy Flowers

a pot of hyacinths and daffodils
A pot of hyacinths and daffodils

Hi there, how are you?

We had a few sunny days this week so I went outside in the garden to see what’s growing. I found a pot filled with spring bulbs.

The pot is layered up with all kinds of spring bulbs so when one set dies back there’s another to take its place.

The snowdrops have finished flowering but there are still a few daffodils and a hyacinth bulb had pushed its way through.

Usually I would draw out the flowers then fill in the colour; this time I painted everything out loosely and drew over the top with a fountain pen.

There are blue flowers growing along the fence at the back of the garden (possibly periwinkles), they appear every year like weeds requiring no help from me at all (maybe why they’ve survived so long hehehe). Again I painted the colour and drew over the top with ink.

Its a bit splotchy, as I was finishing a bird gifted its previous meal! They say it’s supposed to be lucky so this is possibly the luckiest painting I’ve ever done hehehe.


At the supermarket this week I found a small bunch snapdragons and another of alstroemeria, I thought the colours looked good together.

I drew them as they are in the vase, the snapdragons peeping over the top.

snapdragons and alstroemeria
Snapdragons and alstroemeria

Snap dragons are really interesting flowers so I made a little study of then on their own. I love the shapes.


Normally I draw everything out loosely in pencil, draw over the pencil with ink then add colour. This way of working is much quicker and seems, to me at least to keep the freshness and life in the drawing that sometimes gets lost in the process.

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

Spring Flowers


Hi there, how are you?

It’s march and spring is springing up everywhere. We have Lovely spring flowers popping up through the soil in pots all over the garden.

This auricula was planted two years ago, the youngling had said to mum they were one of her favourite flowers. After they had finished flowering she gave us a cutting to plant in the garden.

It didn’t grow much last year as the slugs ate every tasty petal but this year they are growing well it must be too cold for the slugs yet.

Sadly all of the yellow crocus flowers have been eaten, the purple crocus however are growing well and have filled the pot.

purple crocus
Purple crocus

Tiny daffodils are just starting to flower. They are about six inches tall and the only daffodils to flower in the garden. The bigger flowers are always eaten just as they start to open.

Daffodils are hard flowers to paint as some parts are almost green and some almost orange so this time I used two yellows for the flowers, lemon yellow (a cool yellow) and Indian yellow (a warm yellow), you can’t see the difference in the image but in real life it seems to work.

tiny spring daffodils
Tiny spring daffodils

Snowdrops have finished flowering now, they’re the first flowers to push through, indicating the beginning of spring.

last week I sat outside and drew for a few minutes, it was so cold, I’d drawn them very quickly so they are a bit sketchy.

snowdrops  sketch
Snowdrops sketch

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

The Last Of The Fuchsia

fuchsia watercolour sketch
Fuchsia watercolour sketch

Hi there, how are you?

Earlier in the week I drew the last of this years fuchsia flowers. Lucky thing really as on Friday Storm Arwen blew through.

We lost a couple of roof tiles, two fence panels and all of the flowers blew off the fuchsia plant. Amazing.

I’d painted the flowers below first, the paper was unforgiving and although it was able to take the watercolour the colours looked heavy and overworked.

Trying again (above) this time I used the watercolour quite dry and painted with a smaller brush than usual, the colours aren’t as overworked and they are truer to the flowers.

I don’t often look inside fuchsia flowers, it was interesting to draw them from that angle, I’ll have to remember to do this more often.

fuchsia sketch
Fuchsia sketch

Drawing with a fountain pen (no pencil guidelines) this was fun, just concentrating on the shapes of the petals. I always find this kind of drawing very meditative. It’s lots of different bits of the plant put together, I think it makes for a cool sketchbook page.

fuchsia drawn with fountain pen
Fuchsia drawn with fountain pen

This is one of the white roses from my bouquet of birthday flowers, it’s long gone now though I did take some photos and I’ll probably dip into them sometimes till spring appears again.

white rose
white rose

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

Quince And Poppies

watercolour sketche of quince fruitWatercolour sketch of quince fruit

Hi there, how are you?

The weather is all over the place and after a week of sweltering heat we’re back to piddling rain, rotten for us but the plants in the garden are loving it.

It’s certainly doing the japonica quince well as this year they are producing lots of fruit. I may be making jam this year.

Above is a watercolour sketch painted in between down-pours. They look a bit like apples but they are rock hard and very sour. They really need cooking and lots of sugar before they can be eaten.

Below is another quince sketch, this time drawn with black fountain pen ink. Originally the fruit was cross hatched, I didn’t like it so I washed it out with a water brush then pulled ink out of the line work to colour the leaves. I like it much more now.

ink sketch of quince fruit
Ink sketch of quince fruit

The poppies have almost finished now, there is one last straggler that has burst into bloom; in a day or so all of the petals will drop and they will be finished for another year.

They’re one of my favourite flowers to paint.

pink poppy flowers
Pink poppy flowers

Thinking of poppies the seed pods of the big red perineal poppies have just popped opened. They are so structural and become more and more fascinating as they age and decay.

poppy seed head
Poppy seed head

I’ve tipped a few seeds into a small envelope as Mum asked me to save some for her.

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