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


Mum’s Sweet Peas

sweet peas watercolour sketchSweet peas watercolour sketch

Hello there, how are you?

Mum gave me a small bunch of sweet peas this week; she takes great pleasure showing me around the garden to look at all of the lovely flowers then as we reach the sweet peas she says “here you go have some of these”.

They are her everlasting sweet peas meaning they were planted years ago and just keep on flowering year after year but sadly they don’t have a scent. You can’t have everything I suppose.

I started by painting with watercolour on cartridge paper in the sketchbook. It’s not well defined watercolour tends to bead up on this paper, after a little pushing the paper accepted the watercolour. They are very loose and washy, I really like the effect of it.

I like using Different tools and mediums it changes the marks and effects you can make, it always seems to make me look at things a little differently.

This next one is drawn with graphite pencil, just a few little studies to capture the way the plant grows.

sweet pea pencil sketch
Sweet pea pencil sketch

I do love drawing with the Pentel brush pen, the lines are so expressive. I didn’t colour this one in, the dark lines and shapes were enough to make me happy.

sweet peas brush pen sketch
Sweet peas brush pen sketch

The next one also drawn with a Pentel brush pen and painted with watercolour, the darker purples and blues combined beautifully on the paper.

sweet pea line & wash
Sweet pea – line & wash

I always find sweet peas inspiring to draw and they have certainly brightened my week up.

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

Doodling Octopus

octopus ink doodle
Octopus ink doodle

Hi there, how are you?

Here are some little octopus doodles.

Arting has been very slow lately as we’ve been away from home so there was only time to fit in a small sketch here and there and for some reason my brain decided octopus were the thing to draw. (brains are weird).

The octopuses above were drawn with a pentel colour brush pen. The ink isn’t waterproof but it’s fun to play with.

More octopus below this time drawn with my favourite grey and black pocket brush pens. I like this combination, I use the grey to quickly map out a shape then use the black to add details.

octopus ink doodle 2
Octopus ink doodle 2

Watercolour octopuses, sometimes I want a bit of colour. These were tests for a watercolour painting. Nothing too grand just a small study.

wc octopus colour test
Watercolour octopus colour test

I like the blue and orange one on the bottom but thought the orange stood out better against the blue water.

The watercolour paper seems to have lost some of its sizing which could have been a disaster but it gave the water an interesting effect, a happy accident.

orange octopus wc doodle
Orange octopus watercolour

We’re having elder care issues at the moment. She is sinking ever slowly into dementia which is heartbreaking to deal with but the problem is she lives 250 miles away and at phone call from the nurse or hospital we need to rush down to help out.

We’ll manage. We’ll keep her safe and cared for, it just takes time and energy.

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

Shades Of Grey: Drawing With Brush Pens

a few garden flowers
A few garden flowers

Hi there, how are you?

Sometimes there isn’t a lot of time for drawing so I try to sit for fifteen or so minutes with my two favourite brush pens and a sketch book, it gives me time to slow down and reset for the rest of the day.

Above a fuchsia, strawberry and aquilegia flower all drawn on different days with a grey brush pen with outlines and details in black.

It’s interesting just how much detail you can make with two colours.

Below, blue bells, forget-me-nots and viola flowers. There’s lots of lovely flowers around at this time of year.

more garden flowers
More garden flowers

I keep these two pens in my sketch kit for sketching out and about, they’re easier to use and less messy than watercolours and I can get the idea down quicker.

Crab-apple blossom are amazing this year and I couldn’t wait to draw them at the local gardens. They are a lovely dark pink colour that fades gradually as they age. I took many photos so no doubt I’ll be painting them soon.

crab apple blossom
Crab apple blossom

Sometimes I use brush pens for doodling, I have a few minutes to kill so I make a quick sketch in the sketch book.

These mushrooms were drawn in two sessions along the bottom of a page, the little snail half drawn one day, the dragonfly drawn the next. I like the way they fit together on the page.


I don’t draw every day but if I can fit some into a small pocket of time I will, got to keep practising.

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

Painting Octopus and Tadpoles

blue octopus sketch
Blue octopus sketch

Hi there, how are you?

I made birthday cards recently for family members. We like to make each other cards, they’re more personal and it’s always fun to see everyone’s ideas.

In my sketchbook I had sketched out a page of inky octopus with two brush pens, one black and the other a pale grey. The legs are a lot of fun to draw and usefully it planted an idea for a card in my head.

Inky octopus ink sketches
Inky octopus ink sketches

The image at the top of the post is the sketch for the card. I liked the colours but thought the fine liner was a little heavy.

In the card I used a thinner fine liner, it looks much better. The colours are burnt orange and Prussian blue, together they make some lovely soft greens.

After painting the octopus I decided to add a background. This is where planning would have been very handy as painting in the background in first I could have given it a nice gradient (very hard to do painting around all of those legs).

He said he liked his card and that’s the important thing.

octopus card
Octopus card

The next card is a little frog looking down under the lily pad into the water. I’m not sure why the frog looks brown here as he is green on the card?

I painted in the background first this time, see planning.

I enjoyed painting this and apparently the tadpoles were a big hit hehehe.

hey down there
Hey down there

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

Shades Of Grey

fucshia draw in inkFuchsia draw in ink

Hi there, how are you?

A few weeks ago I bought a shiny new Lamy fountain pen, it was half price (we all love a bargain)

It came with a small plastic pouch, roughly 7” x 21/2”. Filled with a pencil, the Lamy, a water brush a rubber and a brush pen (they all squeeze in if I clip the fountain pen onto the outside) I thought it would make a nice little drawing kit.

I’ve been testing it out together with a small sketch book to see how useful it would be and honestly it’s brilliant.

There is no colour obviously because the palette wont fit so everything is just shades of grey. The brush pen Is filled with grey ink and the water brush is used for the line and wash.

This fuchsia (above) was a lot of fun to draw it’s shaded by pulling ink out from the from the drawing.

Testing out the brush pen next I drew another fuchsia sprig, it’s very subtle but I like the effect.

fucshia drawn with a brush penFuchsia drawn with a brush pen

There are still one or two poppies flowering in the garden, this was drawn using the fountain pen and the water brush again.

poppy ink drawingPoppy ink drawing

The geranium is still flowering, I used the brush pen to draw it. It’s a lot more intricate than the fuchsia and wasn’t sure the petals would show up being so close to each other, again it is very subtle but I think it works.

geranium drawn with grey inkGeranium drawn with grey ink

All in all I think this was a successful experiment, the kit is very light, fits easily into my bag and there is a good range of tones to keep the drawings interesting. I’m going to have lots of fun using these pens

I’ll still be using the watercolours of course but it’s good to have options.

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

Drawing Peonies

peony drawn with ink

Hi there, how are you?

Out and about again this week, this time to the local botanical gardens, just as the peonies are starting to bloom whoot!

I took lots of photo’s and in a quiet moment even sat down on a bench to draw in the sunshine. I can’t tell you how much I’ve missed this.

Everything is properly socially distanced of course and masks are worn inside the building but it is so lovely to be able to have little days out now.

I think all of these flowers are tree peonies; the ink peony above is a different type of flower. it has purple spots towards the base of the petals.

The peonies below are also tree peonies but not quite as fancy but still beautiful having plain white petals.

I noticed some flower heads in a nearby pond (maybe blown by the wind?) as I was taking photos so I picked one up to take home and draw later and used it as a model to draw these flowers below.

peony drawn with coloured pencil 3

They were first drawn out in graphite pencil then used a black Faber Castell colouring pencil, they are really nice and smooth to draw with and also much darker so it shows up better. I really should use these more often.

peony drawn with coloured pencil 2

The peony was wilting fast and had a little less shape each time I drew it but I think you can still tell what it is.

peony drawn with coloured pencil 1

I took a gamble and bought a yearly pass to the gardens, now I’m crossing my fingers there’s no more lock-downs.

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