Drawing Lots Of Poppy Pods

Hi there, how are you?


Watercolour poppy pod

The poppies have finished flowering now and all that’s left are the pods. Luckily I really like the pods and started to draw them.

I’ve been a little bored with myself lately, everything is very samey, so I set about finding lots of different drawing and painting media to see if I can push myself to make something different.

The poppy above is the last thing painted. It’s watercolour (the Mungyo paints from last week) some of the paints are pastels and opaque, it’s the colour the pods turn just before they dry and turn brown. So far this is the favourite.

I’ve had water-soluble graphite pencils for ages and never really used them. I drew them out as I would with a regular pencil then ran a paint brush over the top to dissolve the graphite.

I love the result! I should definitely use these pencils more often.

Poppy pod drawn with water soluble graphite

Ink brush pens are always fun to use. I don’t really have the right colours for these pods; placing the green over the top of a grey gives a lovely effect. More experimentation needed.

Poppy pod drawn with ink brush pens

Negative painting. It’s not really a win but it is quite striking. I tried this on a few paintings but I really need to find some cotton paper for this technique.

Poppy pod, negative painting

Not all of the poppy pod drawings were successful, there are many treble drawings and paintings and I think the failures taught me as much as the successes.

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


Pink Poppies, You’ve Got To Be Quick To Catch Them

pink poppy flower

Hi there, how are you?

This week I have been carefully watching the pink poppy buds, waiting for them to open.

Then finally one morning out one popped but I didn’t have time to draw it so took a few photos on my phone to draw later.

When I did have time I went out, sketchbook in hand all hopeful, this is what I found. All of the petals had dropped off in the wind!

All of the petals blew off!
All of the petals blew off!

I drew the pod anyway, they are still interesting although not as pretty without the petals.

Here’s one drawn from the photos taken earlier.

A pink poppy before the petals blew off
A pink poppy before the petals blew off.

At the top of the post is an ink sketch with a loose wash of watercolour.

The next day there is one pod and two buds slowly opening, maybe I’ll be quicker off the mark and get to draw them this time.

Waiting for the next poppy to open
Waiting for the next poppy to open.

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

Cat Amongst The Poppies

cat amongst the poppies
Cat amongst the poppies

Hi there, happy Mothers Day every one.

This was the card I painted for mum this year. It is based on an old Inktober drawing from 2020.

I’ve tried several times to make a coloured version and so far this is the one I like best.

Its difficult to get vibrant reds with watercolour (I’m probably using the wrong colours) so it’s mixed media on watercolour paper; watercolour for the background, ink brush pens for the poppies and Indian ink for the cat.

Below you can see the original in black and grey ink drawn on smooth cartridge paper.

It was drawn as part of the 2020 inktober challenge. This was a good year for ideas and I’ve used many of the ideas from this year for cards.

20 cat
Cat amongst the poppies 2020 inktober

Sending best wishes to all mums everywhere whether it’s an official day or not.

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

Inktober 2021 – Acrylic Ink Week 5

19 lotusl 2021 inktober
19 lotus 2021 inktober

Hi there, how are you? Last week of Inktober whew!

I didn’t make it to 31 but it’s been an interesting month.

Lotus –(above) the flower was OK but the thing I like most about this one was the leaf, both the texture and the colours.

Betta fish – these fish are so beautiful but put two males in a tank together and they fight to the death, yikes. They are almost floral in appearance so no wonder I love painting them.

20 betta fish 2021 inktober
20 betta fish 2021 inktober

Bamboo – my first attempts at bamboo with acrylic ink were pretty poor. Getting the lovely dry brush breaks in the stem is incredibly hard. The butterflies were intended to be more two toned, the ink mixes incredibly fast on the brush so they are very well camouflaged.

21 bamboo 2021 inktober
21 bamboo 2021 inktober

Poppy – an experiment trying to paint a poppy with a bold background; interesting textures.

22 red poppy 2021 inktober
22 red poppy 2021 inktober

Not posted but I’m counting them anyway:

I have done a lot of experimenting this month trying to see what works and what doesn’t. These weren’t posted as I wasn’t sure that I liked the way they turned out but these were the best of the bunch.

Wild poppies – The page was splattered with ink from the big red poppy painted on the left side of the sketch book and to stop myself from fiddling as it dried I painted a few loose poppies on the right hand page. It’s better to distract myself than run the risk of ruining the page.

loose poppies 2021 inktober
loose poppies 2021 inktober

Blue poppies – last week I drew blue poppies or rather painted them. I had planned them to be line work but didn’t like the way it turned out so I started again and painted them.

blue poppies 2021 inktober
blue poppies 2021 inktober

Tiny landscapes – this was an experiment to see how the ink flowed. (I was following a tutorial by Nick Stewart, he uses fountain pen ink to make wonderful art.)

I mixed the colours to see if it would separate with water, it did a little but the acrylic ink doesn’t flow as freely as fountain pen ink so not quite as pretty. (this is two pages put together, the landscapes are roughly two inches in size)

tiny landscapes 2021 inktober
Tiny landscapes 2021 inktober

Another experiment testing the flow of the ink, it’s interesting but not what I was looking for. (again this is two pages put together)

landscape 2 2021 inktober
landscape 2 2021 inktober

As I said it’s been an interesting month, I’ve learned a lot about the way these inks work and found some of the properties very useful, the ability to put complimentary colours next to each other without them muting each other out for instance. In some cases I’ve managed to mute the vivid colours and on occasion I’ve enjoyed them.

The thing I don’t like is having to clear space and spend time getting all of the bottles out and then putting it all away at the end, I find watercolour much easier to use even sitting on the sofa with the family but I think I will enjoy it on the occasions that I can spend a longer period of time painting , I need to set up a dedicated space up maybe.

If you are interested in seeing the rest of this years Inktober drawings the links to the posts are below.

Week 1

week 2

week 3

week 4

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

Inktober 2021 – Acrylic Ink Week 4

13 seahorse 2021 inktober
13 seahorse 2021 inktober

Hi there, how are you? Is any one still inktobering?

It’s week 4 of inktober already, this month is racing by!

I’ve managed a drawing every day this week so am feeling very happy with myself (pats self on back hehehe).

Seahorse – I found a refillable paint pen in a draw and decided to mix my own colour to fill it with. A few drops of blue, a few drops of green and some white made a lovely shade of turquoise. I drew the seahorse with the pen and painted in some background weeds

Anemone – I was using thin washes of ink trying to build them up like watercolour. It worked quite well, very happy with this one.

14 anemone 2021 inktober
14 anemone 2021 inktober

Iris – again painting with thin washes of ink. I had a hard time mixing colours for this one. What I do like is adding the purple over the yellow the colours didn’t get muddy and grey as once the ink’s dry it can’t move.

15 iris 2021 inktober
15 iris 2021 inktober

Crested guinea fowl – I have a few photos of these and it’s always fun to draw them. The youngling said it looks like it’s dancing, who knows maybe it is hehehe.

16 guinea fowl 2021 inktober
16 guinea fowl 2021 inktober

Helmeted guinea fowl – I saw a photo on the interned and loved it. Had a chuckle to myself as I drew it, just look at that little face hehehe

17 guinea fowl 2021 inktober
17 guinea fowl 2021 inktobe

Blue poppies – I l have tried to grow blue ones before but they’re always eaten as soon as they start to shoot, too tasty me thinks. I’ll have to content myself with drawing them.

I used the paint pen for this as there was still a little ink left in the pen and I didn’t want it to dry up. I used a brush and water to pull some of the ink around the petals.

18 blue poppies 2021 inktober

All in all I’m quite happy with this weeks collection. Colour mixing has been a problem as I only have a basic set of colours but I’m learning lots which is really the point of this month.

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

Flowers And Butterflies

Hi there, how are you?

Watercolour fuchsia sketch
Watercolour fuchsia sketch

The weather has been gloriously sunny this week but there is a little bit of a chill to the air. Time to take stock of what’s in the garden and think about tidying up as the autumn rolls in.

The fuchsias have tried hard this year, they’re growing nicely but every time they fill with buds the weather changes drastically and they all fall off. This week we actually had flowers so I drew a little sketch in celebration.

There are still a few other flowers remaining so I decided to make a page of little snapshots to document some of them.

1: St. johns wort, 2: poppy seed pod, 3; a rose leaf, 4: cyclamen, 5: fuchsia 6: tiny yellow tomatoes.

watercolour garden snapshots
Watercolour garden snapshots

This week I have also been Chinese brush painting. I was trying out compositions for a birthday card, so far this was the best of the bunch.

wisteria and butterflies
Wisteria and butterflies

The butterflies were a little tricky so I had a practice painting different shapes and styles. They are all blue because I had some mixed in a small dish to use up.

blue watercolour butterflies
Blue watercolour butterflies

After practising I decided orange was a happier colour and they contrast better with the wisteria.

It’s almost September people! The whole year is moving by so fast, have to take the time to paint the flowers hehehe.

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

Tetra Pak Printing (And Failing)

tetra pak printing plate
Tetra Pak printing plate (shame I didn’t clean it first eh)

Hi there, how are you?

No pretty pictures this week, we will just be seeing my attempt to print with a Tetra Pak carton, and failing.

Tetra Pak are the brick shaped cartons we buy in the supermarket containing things like fruit juice, milk and soup to name but a few.

I had watched a tutorial on printing with them and as luck would have it I was about to throw one into the recycling so I washed it, cut it open, dried it off and set to work. I do love an experiment.

The carton is long and thin which meant my design had to be too so I chose poppies, drew them out freehand and cut out with a small craft knife (possibly my first mistake) and made the printing plate above.

I’m using blue water based printing ink and yellow water mixable oil paint. I didn’t want anything too stinky and it’s easy to clean up.

The original idea was to push the ink into the gaps I’d cut out but it seemed hard to do so the brayer came out and rolled the ink over the top. Below you can see my three print epic fail, can you tell I don’t know what I’m doing?

The middle one was best but I didn’t work hard enough on the bottom corner with the wooden spoon so the ink didn’t transfer. The last one had too much ink on it.

first ever prints
First ever prints (it can only get better right?)

I had a brainwave what if I used my die cutting machine as a printing press. Surprisingly it worked although it took a while to get the sandwich right.

The two top prints in the image below were pretty rubbish so I wondered if painting over them with watercolour would work. The ink and paint do reactivate slightly but it was worth a try.

I really like the bottom left, that was what I had hoped my little prints would turn out like “sigh”, I also like the red poppies on the far right.

playing with failed prints
Playing with failed prints before and after.

This next one wasn’t supposed to be a print at all. I had placed a piece of scrap paper on the back to push the plate down into the left over ink on the palette, there was still ink on the brayer and it gave this sort of half print, again I used watercolour and a brush pen to finish it off.

an unexpected happy accident
An unexpected happy accident, before and after.

Clean up time; I sprayed the glass palette I was using with a mister and used scrap paper to take up as much ink as I could. This gave me a strange feathery ghost print, I love the texture so I will stick it into my sketch book as it is to remind me how I did it.

ghost print texture
Ghost print texture

As I say no pretty pictures but I did thoroughly enjoy myself making lots of messes and I learned a load of things not to do when printing hehehe.

I will make another plate with the next Tetra Pak carton and using my newly found knowledge try again with hopefully better results.

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