Christmas Roses, The Sequel.

Christmas rose sketch 5
Christmas rose sketch The shadows on the petals work nicely in the top flower.

Hi there, how are you?

This week I have been feverishly drawing my Christmas rose, trying to capture each flower before it drops off. I’ve tried sketching, drawing and painting them on various types of paper, just experimenting to see what works for me.

A small watercolour painting on a watercolour postcard.

First I used watercolour, I was trying to do the negative painting thing where you paint around the flowers and paint in the shadows. I like how it turned out but It looks a lot better in person.

It was painted on a watercolour paper postcard. I’m not sure where they came from but they are ideal for small studies and when I have finished I could even post it to someone. Maybe have to seal it first though.

Christmas rose sketch 2
Watercolour painted into my sketch book.

Watercolour in my sketch book was not as good. This paper is not good for watery washes. Again I was trying to paint around the flowers and it sort of worked. The pencil didn’t show up in the scan again so it looks a bit washed out.

christmas rose on brown paper packaging
A Christmas rose painted onto some brown packaging paper.

I wanted to try toned paper thinking the white flowers would show up better but I don’t have any so I used a piece of brown packaging.  ( you could have ironed it first mum!  Meh.) I used Chinese white watercolour paint mixed with the other colours so effectively turning it into a kind of gouache. I like the effect maybe I’ll invest in a small toned pad eventually.

For Christmas I bought myself a new pen. It’s a platinum preppy, they’re very cheap fountain pens and I wanted to see if I could draw with one. I’ve see other people draw with lammy’s etc but they’re a bit on the expensive side. I’ll wait till I learn how to use one.

I really like it, the ink cartridge holds a water based ink and if you touch it with a water brush the ink bleeds into the water. These last three pages were drawn with this pen and I love that if I just touch the edge of a petal and drag it in the ink looks like the little shadows on the flowers. Have to be careful though or it will turn into an inky blobby mess.

Christmas rose sketch 3
Sketching with a fountain pen. The greens were a little acidic here.
Christmas rose sketch 3
Christmas rose sketch I like the green leaves better in this one.

Well this plant turned out to be the best Christmas gift ever! Thanks mum.
Thanks for taking the time to stop by. Till next time, have fun x


Snails And Castles

A happy bunch of snails looking for something to eat.

Hi there, how are you.

We’ve had rain here and that brings out the snails. To be honest I don’t like ‘em. They eat the berries and leaves and you can bet the minute I plant some thing lovely they join with their cousins the slugs and munch it down to the ground.

Snails are oddly fascinating.

Having said that, I do find them oddly fascinating. So before I evict them to the near-by woods (I don’t like them but I don’t want to kill them either) I take a few photo’s. I could just stand there and draw them but I find I get better detail from the photos.
These guys were drawn from my photos and one from a picture search on the internet. I’m practicing my hatching/cross hatching.

Weeping Window Poppies at Caernarfon Castle.

This week the daughter and I visited Caernarfon Castle. They were having an exhibition called Poppies: Weeping Window it’s made from hundreds of handmade ceramic poppies. Originally it was installed at the tower of London 2014 and was used to commemorate Armistice Day on 11 November.

They decided to keep the exhibition together and show it around the country so people who didn’t live in or couldn’t get to London could see it.

Thinking about what the poppies represent and seeing it in person is very moving. We would have liked to see it on the 11th but there weren’t any tickets so we waited and saw it a few days later.

There were also the tiny wooden crosses laid by members of the families of the deceased service men and women. So many lives lost it’s heartbreaking.


A picture taken from the top of one of the towers at Caernarfon Castle.
Here we are walking across the ramparts to the next tower.

Later we went on to explore the castle. It’s huge, and what my daughter calls a real castle. It’s a ruin but very well cared for. We climbed the steps to the tops of the towers and took in some stunning views, although if I had been alive back in the day standing on the top of those towers with my bow and arrows I would definitely be wearing my thermals. Oof talk about cold and windy!
Thanks for stopping by. Till next time, have fun x


A Trip To London

View from a train seat, sketching food.

Hi there, how are you?

This week we spent a few days in London. We have family there and we often go for a week or so. We had a good time and managed to fit quite a few things in.

The train journey can be a bit dull so we occupied ourselves with music and drew in our sketchbooks. I decided to draw what was directly in front of me, my drink and a half eaten packet of Maltesers, I would have drawn my sandwiches too but I had already eaten them.

We visited the Tate modern. There is a really good exhibition of Georgia O’Keeffe paintings. It’s well worth the money to see her amazing art work. I also saw the Wifredo Lam exhibition. He was a Cuban artist who made some strange but interesting art .

Sketch of Louise Bourgeois Spider 1994

We had a good look around the rest of the Tate, the one piece that stood out most to me was a large seven or eight foot bronze spider. I did a little sketch of it in my sketchbook with a micron pen, I find I remember things better when I draw them.

The view from the Tate Modern viewing platform.

At the top of the Tate is a viewing platform. You can see right out across London in all directions. This was a panorama picture I took on my iPod from one side of the building.

Elytra Filament Pavilion at night.

We also visited the V&A museum. We had heard the robot in the garden would actually be working and we wanted to see it in motion. (I’d seen it before but that time it wasn’t working) It collected data about the people moving around in the garden. Where they stood, their speed and motion, how many were there etc… It then translated the information into weaving large carbon hexagonal shapes which were hung and displayed in the garden

Next day we went back to the V&A at night to hear a piece of music composed by Dimitrios Skylas called abyss based on some ceramic casts from Spode factory moulds. Just before leaving we noticed the robot had been beautifully lit up, so I took a few snaps on the way out.

Of course there was shopping and eating out because, well London right? You have to do these thing properly don’t you hehe. We’re back now and I think I need a week to slow down and relax from our little weekend getaway.

Thanks for stopping by. Till next time, have fun x


Hawthorn Blossom


Hi there. Hope you’re well.

In my quest to learn to draw I’ve been taking lots of photos of blossom. All kinds of blossom, quince, cherry, apple. I love it all. I saw a hawthorn tree and off I went to photograph it.

It wasn’t until I looked back at the pictures that I realised (here’s the science bit) the anthers on the filaments were pink and not black like in the photo above. (thank you google)


I went back to the tree and had another look. They do start off pink and the pollen is inside the tiny pink sacks. They burst open and the pollen folds out onto the anther then as the flower is pollinated they turn black.
Seems I always get to them after pollination has taken place, plus like every one else I wander through life oblivious to the wonders of the world we live in.


Turns out learning to draw is not only fun but educational too. Who new?

Thanks for dropping by. Till next time, have fun x

Learning To Use My Camera #3 (Heart Shaped Bokeh)

Christmas Tree Heart Shaped Bokeh

Hi There. How are you? Some photo’s today, lots of them (just to warn every one).

Christmas 2015 I tried and succeeded in taking a few bokeh style photos. I also managed to take a few outside in the garden during spring using raindrops. Their not fancy, just blurry lights but I enjoyed taking them.

After seeing some tutorials on the internet I thought I’d give it another go. This time I wanted shaped blurs and the tutorials all say to make a lens cover.

The lens cover is a circle of black card with alens cover tiny shape punched into the middle of it. The punch was really tiny so I cut the shape out fo a small piece of card and taped it into a hole in the middle of the bigger one.

It has two tabs, one each side so I can attach it to the camera with an elastic band. (I don’t want to damage my camera doing this) The cut-out shape needs to go into the centre of the lens cover otherwise the bokeh shape distorts. (It’s functional not beautiful but it works.)

Out of the photo’s I have taken the top five were the prettiest. The lower ones are a little different, maybe more cartoony but I like the way they turned out.

Heart Shaped Bokeh

Heart Shaped Bokeh 2

Heart Shaped Bokeh 3

Heart Shaped Bokeh 4

2016 Bokeh

Bokeh 2

Bokeh 3

Bokeh 4

That’s it from me today, thanks for taking the time and stopping by. Till next time, have fun x


Quince (fruit)Hay there.
I love quince.
They can’t be eaten raw like other fruit. They are very hard with an astringent, acidulous taste. They need to be cooked to make them palatable. Mainly I make them into jam or jellies. You can also bake or roast them, either way they are delicious.

A few years ago I bought a quince tree. It was very young, almost a twig really. I wasn’t sure what type of quince it was, gardening is not something I do well. I just knew I wanted to grow some in my garden. It grew a little taller but no flowers and no fruit.

Last year a single flower appeared but again no fruit. This year there were at least half a dozen flowers and then two fruits, whoot! One dropped off almost straight away. This is my one and only quince. It’s a little smaller than my fist, fluffy and waiting.

I think they’re supposed to be ready by the end of October, so I wait and I watch. They taste so good I know the wait will be worth it.

To anyone stopping by to read my ramblings, thanks.
Till next time, have fun x


Marigolds Before And After

Marigold Flower

Hi there.
How are you?

Here are some photo’s I’ve taken in the garden. They’re Pot marigolds (Calendula officinalis. Yes I had to look this up : )

The flowers dot themselves around the garden each year. They don’t require any planting or looking after. The kind of gardening I’m good at.

Marrigold Green Seed Heads

When the petals drop off they turn into pale green seed heads which ripen, darken and when they are dry and brown the seeds drop off. Then the cycle starts all over again.

Marrigold Seed Heads

You really have to admire nature some times when she can turn seed heads that looks so alien into something so beautiful.

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

Red Red Robin

RobinHi there. Hope every enjoyed thier Easter/weekend depending on what you’re celebrating.

For us it was Bank Holiday and surprisingly the weather was beautiful so, pottering about in the garden time. I decided to take some pictures (none of which was up to much). I turn around to find this little guy checking me out. He didn’t bat an eye, just watched me for a minute and then went about his business.

This has to be the all time favorite nature pic I’ve ever taken. Just look at that little face, awwww.

Thanks for stopping by, till next time have fun x