Inktober, All Over For Another Year

peony brush paintingPeony brush painting

Hi there, how are you?

Inktober is over for another year as we now enter a soggy November.

I made 30 pieces of art by October 31and topped up the last day with something experimental.

1. a peony in the style of Chinese brush painting.

After trying a number of different types of paper, even rice paper the one that worked and was least annoying was painted on a piece of junk mail. It was just absorbent enough with the right amount of tooth so no fancy paper here then ha!

2. These were the make up pieces, I was experimenting with spraying, masking and transferring ink.

A die cut circle was placed on to watercolour paper and blue ink sprayed on top. After it had dried I loosely sprayed water into the centre to wet the paper and reactivate the ink then laid a circle cut from an ink painting that didn’t work over the wet circle. The red ink transferred into the blank space and bled into the blue ink.

It’s an interesting effect and I thought I could draw some little silhouette trees or something on the top but the ink activates too easily with anything wet so I left it. They look like little moons.

Maybe if I drew the silhouette first in waterproof ink it would work better, an experiment for another day I think.

moon experiment 1
Moon experiment 1
moon experiment 2
Moon experiment 2

This last one is a watercolour using the magpie image from last week. I needed to make a card and this one fit the bill as he loves magpies, or any birds really.

It made him smile do job done.

magpie pumpkin watercolour
Magpie pumpkin in watercolour.
magpie on a pumpkin
Magpie on a pumpkin used as the pattern for a watercolour card.

The goal was to use the blue and red ink I had just bought, and try to generate some new ideas because I was feeling a bit stuck. If I don’t have a goal I know I’ll procrastinate, then I wont finish, sad but true. That’s why I give myself the little tasks and by with using different tools and ways of applying the ink it keeps the interest going for the whole month.

Apart from the odd “my life what am I going to draw” its been a good month.

I’ve loved looking around at what other artists have produced, some following prompts, some making their own prompts up and some like me busking it and doing their own thing and it has been amazing. So much good work.

If you did some, all or any of the Inktober month congratulations, hopefully like me your giving yourself some pats on the back.

You can check out the previous weeks inktober’s below:

Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5

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


Peony Practice

peony original sketch
Peony – original sketch

Hi there, how are you?

This week I have been drawing and painting peonies. I had drawn a quick sketch in my sketchbook and thought it would look OK on a card; to be honest I prefer the sketch, it has much more life to it.

The sketch was drawn with a fountain pen, no pencil guides, just quick and simple. It was drawn over some failed thing in grey ink so there is a grey splodge underneath the drawing.

The flowers were all very similar as I transferred the drawing by holding it against a window (poor man’s light box)

I drew it out on watercolour, painted it and realised I’d forgotten to put in the shadows, adding the shadows later lifted the colour. Fail 1.

Trying again this time putting the shadows first which worked but the paper developed some kind of weird bloom? Sad because I liked this one. Fail 2.

The next one is unfinished. I put in the shadows and the first layer then stopped. Maybe I’ll finish it maybe not, I like the softness of it.

unfinished peony watercolour
Unfinished peony watercolour

Time to change everything up. I spotted the coloured brush pens and wondered how they would work on watercolour paper (previously I’d only used them on cartridge paper.)

They are very saturated and I really liked the way the colours blend into each other on this paper, have to do more with these.

peony drawn with brush pens
A peony drawn with brush pens

The colours in the scan look blown out as reds don’t scan well, the photo shows the card and gives a better view of the actual colours. I took the photo in the hope it would show the gold paint, it didn’t really.

red peony
Red peony card

I know it looks really dull painting the same thing over and over but I learn as much about myself as I do the tools and techniques so it’s very useful.

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

Travelling Sketchbook Finished

pink peony sketchPink peony sketch

Hello people, how are you?

This week I finished the last page of my travelling sketchbook. This is the book I keep in my bag and if I see something interesting and have a little time will use it to draw or sketch in.

The peony (above) was drawn this spring at the botanical gardens late spring/early summer. They have small beds of different species of peony dotted all over the gardens and these pink peonies were right beside a bench off the main pathway. A nice place to rest and draw.

Also at the botanical garden they have a lovely tunnel of wisteria, some blue but mostly yellow and there are benches very close by so it’s nice to sit there and draw on a sunny day.

yellow wisteria flowers
Yellow wisteria flowers

I’m not sure what this little flower is called, we came across it on one of our lockdown walks last summer. They were all along the grassy verge, the youngling and I decided to sit on the grass and draw for a while. A nice way to pass the time.

small yellow flower
Small yellow flower

The common name around here for this plant is “lords and ladies” not sure why? I have no idea what the real plant name is. In late summer/early autumn the flower spike is covered with bright red berries. This plant is poisonous so this is as close as I generally get and after drawing this it was pulled out. With small animals around I don’t like to take a chance with things like that.

lords and ladies (weed)
Lords and ladies (weed)

Below a few other things I’d drawn in this book click the picture to see the post and a bigger image.

pitcher plant flowers
pitcher plant and flowers

red pitcher plant flowers

These pages were coloured with watercolour but most of the drawings in this book are pretty scrappy, drawn in pencil and they don’t scan well so I generally don’t share the pictures but after a quick flick through one or two aren’t that bad.

The paper was really thin and the drawings on the other side of the page sometimes show through. The paper also buckles badly which is the reason most of the drawings in this book were made with pencil but every now and then it’s good to just go for it and use a little colour.

This book was started in September 2018! unfortunately last year and most of this year for that matter we haven’t been able to travel so it was neglected for much of the year. It’s good to finally finish it.

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

Finding My Joy?

peony ink sketchPeony ink sketch

Hi there, how are you?

I’ve been a bit meh lately, not really sure why. Whilst poking around on Youtube looking for inspiration I found an inspiring artist called Louise Fletcher . She is an abstract artist and is currently running a free taster course called “find your joy”.

It’s not a course about how to paint or even how to do anything at all really, it’s more about working out why you make the art you make, using the tools and mediums you choose and finding pleasure in the process. Sounds weird but it’s interesting.

First we taped off a large (or in my case two big) pieces of paper making marks all over it. I have to admit it looked like a hot mess to me but when I peeled the tape off there were lots of mini abstract paintings.

The youngling said “if you don’t want em I’ll use them to make note cards for nan as she’s running out”, sold hehehe.

find your joy exercise acrylicFind your joy exercise acrylic. The top one is painted in acrylic paint the lower watercolour.

Next exercise is painting with unfamiliar stuffs. The only time I paint with acrylic paint is when I’m decorating walls so this was tough, I do like the way it turned out though.

acrylic brush floweracrylic flower painting

I also painted one with watercolour, the shadows weren’t dark enough in this one and yet again I muffed up the background. I did a little negative painting around the leaves and that turned out reasonably well, very happy with that.

watercolour painting of a flowerWatercolour painting of a flower

The image at the top of the post was my sketch from a photo I’d taken, at the moment that’s my favourite of the week. Who knows maybe I already found my joy hehehe,

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

Fun At The Botanical Gardens

two pink peoniesTwo pink peonies

Hi there, how are you?

I spent a day at the botanical gardens this weekend, checking out all of the beautiful flowers.

The big white tree peonies are finished now, they don’t last long. There are lots of smaller peony bushes dotted around just starting to bloom and I’ve been taking photos like a mad woman trying to capture as many as I can find.

These pink peonies (above and below) were in a small shady enclosure just off the main pathway. I actually sat for a while on a nearby bench and sketched a little in my sketch book, it was very relaxing.

pink peony watercolour sketchPink peony watercolour sketch

Further along there are some peachy coloured peonies, so pretty.

I love the colour of these but don’t really think I quite captured it very well. Corals and peach colours I find very difficult to mix.

orange peony sketchPeach peony sketch

A surprising find this year was the green magnolia, the name on the label was magnolia soulangeana. This is one of the things I like about botanical gardens, most of the plants have labels. It makes it much easier to look the plants up when I get home.

They are small fist sized flowers and stay a green/blue colour throughout.

I’ve never noticed them before, probably because the flowers are short lived and blend in with the leaves so well.

green magnolia watercolour sketchGreen magnolia flower watercolour sketches

I took a few photos to draw at home.

It’s so lovely to finally be out walking in the sunshine amongst all of these beautiful gardens in the sunshine.

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

More Peony Love

pink peony painted watercolour sketchPink peony sketch painted with watercolour

Hi there, how are you?

More fun at the botanical gardens this week. The peonies are still flowering, with more erupting into bloom every day and my camera card is filling up fast.

The pink peony above was found on the floor by the side of a shed, I think some child had pulled it off and discarded it later as there was no sign of the plant it came from; hate to see a good flower go to waste so I brought it home with me for drawing.

It is painted with watercolour on cartridge paper, the watercolour was used pretty dry as I tested out the paper in a new sketch book. It held up pretty well.

The peony below is the same flower drawn with a sepia coloured fine liner. I don’t use this pen nearly enough, I like the colour, it’s much softer than a black fine liner.

sepia fineliner peony sketchSepia fine liner peony sketch

The next two peonies were painted from photos taken at the gardens.

I decided to see how far I could push the paper before it fell apart.

After drawing out the peony then painting in the leaves and shadows I thought a background would make the petals stand out better. It did but the leaves got a little lost in the greenness so I painted a second darker layer of green over the top which seems to have pushed the leaves forward just enough for them to be seen.

The paper behaved quite well considering and only started to pill after the second layer of green.

peony painted watercolour sketchA peony sketch painted with watercolour

Happy with my experiment this next peony is painted with a mixture of gouache and watercolour, I was hoping to use slightly less water.

The background was a little flat so I tried lifting some leaf shapes out with a brush to give the impression of leaves and plants in the background.

This looks better in person than in the scan but I think you can just about see the pale leaf shapes in the background.

peony painted watercolour sketch 1A peony sketch painted watercolour and gouache

I’m hoping to go back again next week as there are lots of smaller bush peonies in bud right now and I want to get lots more photos.

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

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

Learning About Colour

watercolour anemones
Watercolour anemones

Hi there, how are you?

This week I have been learning about colour. I found a small a week long course about using colour in flower painting by Natasha Gulliford. It was a taster for a masterclass she will be teaching in the coming weeks about licencing flower artwork. I’m not doing that one but I thought as it’s only for a week I’d give the taster a go.

Natasha painted an anemone and I tried to follow along but she didn’t show the reference she used which made it difficult so I found a photo on pinterest and applied the lesson to that flower.

I painted eight or ten anemones most of which weren’t very good, these two above were my favourites.

The blue flower was intended to have a hint of pink, then the paint wooshed across the petal eeek! I put pink all around the flower to even it out.

I like the magnolia, and the scruffy little roses were fun to paint; I had intended the bigger leaves would be much bluer though. Natasha advised me to paint a blue wash over the top, it may work I’ll see how it goes.

magnolia and roses watercolour
Magnolia and roses watercolour

The next two paintings used more of the brighter colours in the palette I’d chosen, yikes!

I was running out of time to finish before the end of the course so the flowers are sort of stylised, plus I know nothing of composition, seriously it’s like building a puzzle. I found a few images and tried to fill my flowers into the spaces, it was supposed to be class about colour not composition thankfully.

colour class chrysanthemum
Chrysanthemum painted with watercolour

Peony's painted with watercolour
Peony’s painted with watercolour

This was the mood board I used, I made several. The colours in the centre were picked by me in the computer, the colours across the bottom were generated from a website that picks the most used colours. It was interesting to see what the difference would be.

I don’t usually use colours this bright, I would normally pick something a little more muted. That was the reason I chose this one. To get a little feedback on how to use these colours together.

It’s a little bright for me, I’ll have another look at the palette and see if I can paint something a little less vibrant.

bright mood board
Bright mood board

It’s a bit of a shock after working mainly monotone for October but fun and I learned something.

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