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.


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

Staycation: Sunny Garden Drawings

loose watercolour pink roseA loose watercolour pink rose

Hi there, how are you?

This would have been our holiday week but the way things are right now we just had a few days out and have spent the rest of the time sitting in the garden drawing, so staycation for us this year.

Luckily the weather is lovely and instead of pulling out weeds I am drawing in my little book. The weeds can wait till next week hehehe.

There is a rose at the back of the garden that fancies itself a climber, I don’t have the heart to tell it otherwise so I let it push up through the ivy about 6 foot in the air and it flowers away happily.

I managed not to overwork this rose (above) for a change. Normally I get hung up on the details but this time I put down a wash then put in some shadows and stopped. It made it look a lot fresher. Must try to do this more often.

A few years ago I picked a small piece of iris up from the pavement, someone had been weeding and left a few bits lying on the path; back at home I poked the tiny plants into the garden and left them. Two years later we saw our first flowers.

They have beautiful mauve, yellow and red petals, so unusual and there were several flowers on the stalk each blooming as the previous one wilted.

I drew one with a sepia fine liner which was very meditative and calming. then painted it with watercolour to try and document the colours.

I hope they come back again next year.

iris drawn with sepia fine liner

Iris drawn with sepia fine liner

watercolour sketch of an irisA watercolour sketch of an iris

Poppies are still popping up in the pots. This one was a very interesting shape to draw. The wind had knocked some of the poppies over, this one was a fighter and it started to push it’s way back up towards the sun.

watercolour sketch of poppyieswatercolour sketch of fallen poppies

Our garden is pretty small but thankfully there are enough interesting plants and flowers throughout the year to keep me entertained.

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

Poppy Experiments With Brush Pens

wild red poppy drawn with brush pens
Wild red poppy drawn with brush pens

Last week I drew a poppy with coloured brush pens so I thought this week I would experiment with them a little more.

I like the strong colours but try to layer them up slowly because they can become very overpowering very quickly.

Trying to get the same depth with watercolour pans in difficult, the pigment needs water to move on the paper but water also dilutes the colour too so it’s a bit hit and miss.

Maybe using paint straight from the tube would work better.

wild red poppy
A wild red poppy

There are wild poppies growing in the garden at the moment, they arrived somehow last year and seeded themselves into various pots this year. I’m not complaining, I love to see the bright red flowers wafting in the breeze.

The flowers don’t last long so as soon as I see them I try to sit outside and draw them before the petals drop.

For the shadows in some I’ve used a light mauve colour which really seems to make the red stand out better.

wild red poppies
Wild red poppies

The Californian poppies have also seeded themselves from last years flowers and are looking stunning. These ink pens have worked really well on the yellows, normally I can’t seem to get the depth of colour but by layering up two colours it has worked much better.

californian poppies drawn with brush pens
Californian poppies drawn with brush pens

I really wasn’t sure I liked these pens after buying them but now I think I’m starting to get the hang of them.

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

Big Red Poppies

ink poppy sketchInk brush pen poppy sketch.

Hi there, how are you?

The poppies are flowering and I am beside myself with happiness!

I bought this perennial poppy (it’s supposed to flower every year) a couple of years ago, planted it lovingly in the garden, then the slugs saw a free lunch!

I thought I’d lost it but the next year it fought back and presented us with two lovely big poppies. These lasted two or three says unlike the wild ones that are lucky if they last 24 hours.

This year it gifted us three huge red poppies and a bud that I hope will open in a day or two; absolutely wonderful.

Of course I had to spend some time in the garden admiring and drawing draw them right away.

First I drew them with my trusty brush pen, it gives me a solid outline and I can define the shape of the petals better. Then I added watercolour, the places the brush skips and missed on the paper worked well for the highlights.

watercolour and ink poppies sketchInk and watercolour poppies sketch

This next one is painted only in watercolour, I like the orangey tones in this one but need to work on the shadows.

watercolour poppy sketchWatercolour poppy sketch

More alizarin crimson in the next one and not so much of the yellow and red.

I love the shapes the petals make as they move in the breeze.

watercolour poppy sketchWatercolour poppy sketch

This little sketch was drawn with a brown fine liner. It’s more subtle than a black ones, my new favourite fine liner of the moment hehehe.

brown fine liner poppy sketchBrown fine liner poppy sketch

The poppy at the top of the post is not from my garden. I saw it by chance at the botanical gardens this week. It was tucked away in a corner of the vegetable plot all by itself.

The petals were more jagged, the middle and stamens were a pale green instead of the usual purple/black.

I took a few photos for future reference, as you do.

It was drawn with ink brush pens and managed to get a nice deep red straight away.

Need to play with these pens more me thinks.

Looking around my garden the wild red poppies and pink oriental poppies are all starting to bud, can’t wait.

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

Red Poppies

watercolour poppy
Watercolour poppy

Hi there, how are you?

After last weeks bit of excitement I stayed out of the garden till I was sure the little birdies had gone, I didn’t want to disturb them any more than I already had.

Then I got down to drawing the poppies again. They don’t last long so I needed to get a move on.

I did a few colour studies to test out the reds in my pallet. I do have a red, it is a cheap no name brand that seems to be quite opaque, not really what I was looking for. The others are on the pink side so I have mixed the red with the pinker tones and it seems to be working.

I could probably use yellow but that’s opaque too so I’ll stay with what I have for now. It’s not perfect but it will do for now till I can find a better mix.

testing reds for poppies
Testing reds for poppies

It’s been a bit windy this week so the petals are flapping around a lot, I tried to remember the position and put the paint down, there wasn’t really time to use a pencil line first.

Some flower heads trying to be quick as the petals flutter about.

3 poppy heads
3 poppy heads

This is a sketch book page. The watercolour doesn’t like this paper and the paper doesn’t like the watercolour so, not one to be beaten I just smoosh it about until it sticks. For all its faults I really like the way this turned out.

poppies, quick sketch
Poppies, quick sketch

Apart from the sketch book page these are all painted on watercolour paper, I painted lots, some worked and some not so much. The fun was mainly in the painting really, not just the end result.

It’s only one plant but it has lots of flowers and buds and as the wind catches it they make some very nice shapes, these were a few I managed to capture.

watercolour poppy studies
Watercolour poppy studies

The petals are have now blown away leaving their tiny pods, I will cut these off as there are lots more buds and flowers to come.

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

Sunny Poppies And A Tiny Visitor

poppy drawn with fountain pen
Poppies drawn with a fountain pen

Hi there, how are you?

This week I have mostly been drawing poppies. I can’t resist, no matter where I see them I have to draw them (or take photos to draw later hehehe)

I drew some out in fountain pen and ink, I think it was green ink, it’s very dark so it’s hard to tell. I like the shapes the stringy little stems make.

We had one or two Biro’s sitting on the table, (probably something the other half brought home from work) red, blue and black, I thought it would be fun to sketch a poppy with them. This kept me quiet for a good half hour, all of those little folds and creases very relaxing and interesting to draw.

poppy drawn in biro
A poppy drawn in biro

This poppy was drawn with a fine liner and coloured with distress markers, I found them in a draw and am trying to use them up. The highlights are white jell pen.

red poppy coloured with distress markers
A red poppy coloured with distress markers

This is the point where all poppy sketching stopped. Whilst I had been drawing I’d heard a high pitched peeping but thought it was one of the many birds fluttering around the garden. I looked down to see a little ball of fluff and feathers padding across the path peeping loudly for mum. What to do!

I called to one of the kids to look at R.S.P.C.A on the internet and we went through the check-list

1 does it have feathers – yes

2 is it injured – no

3 is it in any immediate danger – no, not yet?

It was possibly a fledgling, I hadn’t realised they left the nest so soon, the advise was to wait up to two hours to see if mum comes to feed it. two hours! We backed away, took all our stuff inside and waited.

Five or six minutes later mum flew down with a feed and lots of cheapage. The little ball of fluff padded under cover at the back of the garden, luckily I haven’t gotten around to weeding back there yet so it had lots of cover.

baby blue tit (fledgling)
A baby blue tit (fledgling)

I’d taken a quick photo whilst waiting for the kids on the internet, I just had to draw it to keep the memory. He looks quite peeved here hehehe

Next day I heard high pitched peeping again but couldn’t find it, too well hidden. It’s the most excitement we’ve had all week.

No doubt there will be more poppies next week, hehehe

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


poppy drawn with a brush pen
Poppy drawn with a brush pen

Hi there, how are you?

The poppy bud popped open this week and now we have a lone beautiful red poppy to draw.

The last sketchbook filled up very quickly and now I’m working in a new one which has blue paper (that’s right folks blue, no need to adjust your sets hehehe) it was an old note book rescued from the younglings recycling pile. She hated the paper so threw it out!

To be fair the paper is really thin and blue, brush pens fountain pen ink and fine liners all leak through to the back of the page, watercolour beads up and it gets wrinkly with too much water. Pencil and biro are fine. I suppose it’s a little like the old airmail paper mum used to buy for sending letters abroad.

I’ve made an executive decision and I’m going to use just one side of the paper for now with scrap paper behind to protect the other pages and I will use all of the things I like to use and hang the leakage hehehe.

I know your asking why such a bad paper? Well, because it makes me happy, it’s a challenge and the wonder of “what would happen if”. There can be no preciousness on this paper.

I don’t know if you have heard of Roz Stendahl, she is a brilliant artist who loves to paint portraits, hair, beards and animals: she also loves drawing on many different types of paper. I love to see her paintings on note book or lined paper and reading her blog is always an education.

Back to the poppies. Drawn with a pentel brush pen and watercolour. (see above) Paints skips and slides across the paper and stops where it will. The highlights look almost yellow in the bright sunshine. So much fun to paint!

I’m still painting Californian poppies, I thought I’d planted yellow flowers but no they are a deep orange. More brush pen and watercolour. I like the orange colour here better than last week, this was a burnt orange and gamboge hue, it makes a very acceptable deep orange.

red californian poppies
Red Californian poppies

More Californian poppies, this time just watercolour. I wanted to see if I could paint them without the dark outline.

another page of californian poppies
Another page of californian poppies

Painting the poppy from a slightly different angle, again only in watercolour. It’s so hard to capture the papery delicacy of poppies but I like the way this one turned out.

watercolour poppy
Watercolour poppy

Unlike the pink oriental poppies that sporadically appear in the garden and whose flowers only last a day before the petals drop this flower has bloomed for several days and looks like I might last a few more if I’m lucky.

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