Drawing And Practising My Shading

poppy pencil drawing

Pencil drawing of poppies

Hi there, how are you?
A whole month of watercolour painting and I somehow feel the need to draw things. It’s not that I didn’t draw in July but the watercolour does most of the heavy lifting when painting.

I watched a skillshare class by Isa Down called Shading 101: Your Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Dynamic Shading in Your Drawings
Shading is something I find difficult when drawing with a pencil (or pen for that matter)
I drew the first flower along Isa in the class and then drew a poppy from my own photos to see if I could replicate the technique. Not too shabby me thinks it does actually look like a poppy.

There’s a huge splot on the first flower, I think I was a little too enthusiastic with the pink paint on another page! (Sometimes life just happens)

We had one or two days of sun so out I went with my little stool and drew the hollyhock before it started to fade. I used a Preppy fountain pen EF nib filled with deep dark green ink and thoroughly enjoyed myself, no reason really I just spent half an hour or so loosing myself in the details. I really like the fact that the green isn’t as harsh as black ink, it’s my new favourite.

hollyhock fountain pen drawing

Hollyhock fountain pen drawing

The foxglove came into its own this week so I set about drawing it in pencil.

foxglove pencil drawing

Foxglove pencil drawing

I love the shapes of these flowers, so a few days later I took my stool outside and quickly painted it.

foxglove watercolour sketch

Foxglove watercolour sketch

The scanner does not like this pink apparently and the bottom half of the flower spike faded into nothing so I cropped it a bit. It’s not a brilliant painting but it does give me an idea of the colours. Sometimes the colours in photos and on screens aren’t as close to the real colours and can be misleading.

The foxgloves are definitely paying for its spot in the garden though and as a plus the slugs have decided not to eat it so a big whoot from me!

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

Still Trying To Paint Landscapes

zoo stall at the islands

island stall scenery at the zoo


Hi there how are you?

I am yet again trying to paint landscapes, (here’s some  I painted earlier). A while ago I was following a course by Nathan Fowks a while ago and I’m trying to apply his lessons in my paintings. When he’s not painting digitally Nathan Fowks paints with a mixture of watercolour and gouache. Gouache is not my favourite painting medium but slowly I am getting used to it.

The first picture was painted from a photo I had taken at the zoo. They have lots of lovely scenery around the tropical part of the zoo this view is from a small boat on a river. (It’s all very picturesque)

It is painted on white paper with gouache and is about 3 ½ x 2 ½ inches in size. Nathan uses a small A6 size sketchbook and does his paintings small so I’m trying to do the same.

Moel Famau painted in gouache

Moel Famau painted in gouache

The picture above was taken from a recent photo of Moel Famau, it is situated at the top of a hill in Wales and is a mile and a half walk to the top. There is a fantastic view from the top of this monument but boy was it windy!

It is painted in gouache in my craft paper album. The monument came out a bit boxy, something to work on but overall it’s OK.

atumn walk watercolour

An Autumn walk watercolour


The last two were painted using the same reference picture taken from the interwebs. They were both painted on white paper.

The first one was painted with watercolour it came out looser and less detailed than the second one which was painted with gouache. It’s interesting to see the difference between the two.

autumn walk Gouache

An Autumn walk Gouache


There is so much to think about when painting landscapes and it’s taking quite a long time to work it all out but with more practice I’m sure I’ll get there.

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



More Bees – Breaking Out The Watercolour Paper

watercolour bumble bee

Hi there, how are you?

I had drawn quite a few bees in my sketch book recently(you can see them here) so I decided to break out the scary paper again and see if I could do something that looked a little more finished.

I keep saying I’m going to use watercolour paper more often but I don’t, how will I learn to use it if I don’t use it?

So here is a nicely painted bumble bee, on watercolour paper, It’s not perfect but I’m really pleased with the way it turned out.

Ok so that was the good, now gird yourself for scary bee. I wanted to paint one of those lovely splodgy painterly bees that you see around the internet, after putting down the colours all I had was a splodge!

3 watercolour bees

Three little watercolour bee studies.

I was going to throw it away in disgust and then thought “eh, if it’s going in the bin any way I can play with it some more”. I did the thing where you take a damp brush and pick the colour off to highlight the legs and eyes. It’s not beautiful but it was effective and it does look like a bee so I decided not to throw it out after all.
The other two bees were me getting in some valuable practice, as we can see I need it.

My favourite quote this week was from a book by Carl Purcell – Painting with your artist’s brain.
“Use plenty of water and paint, the purpose of painting is not paint conservation.” I think that applies to paper too.

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

Negative Painting

nagative painting 3 shoots

Painted with 3 shoots (that’s what I’m calling the shape) got a bit muddy. I used too much paint on the first layer so adding more layers everything started to meld together.

Hi there, how are you?

I would like to make better use of my watercolours. I use watercolour all the time for colouring in my little sketches but I don’t use watercolour paper, just the paper in my sketch book.

I’m not saying I’m afraid of watercolour (because that would be stupid right?) I just think to myself “when I get better at this art stuff I’ll use the good paper.

The thing is the sketch book I use is made with white note-book paper and I’ve become used to how ink, watercolour and numerous other art products work with this paper.  Watercolour paper on the other hand is a complete mystery to me, knowing how much paint or water to use to make the marks I want is something I still need to learn. Also using a paint brush instead of my usual water brush is something else I’m struggling with.

I have decided to start using watercolour paper more and learn to use it properly. I went to the library and picked out a book to learn from. The book I picked is Watercolour: painting outside the lines by Linda Kemp. Adding shadows or depth to my art has been a struggle and I thought that if I followed some of the exercises it would become a bit clearer and also a lot of fun.

nagative painting 4 shoots

The 4 shoot version was the second attempt. It came out a little better than the 3 shoot version, the layers of paint were lighter and I used the recommended colours from the book which worked quite well together.

nagative painting shoot

Going around the edge of a shape with 3 colours and letting them all blur together, leaving the shape of the shoot unpainted.

nagative painting hills

Draw a wavy line near the edge of the painting. Paint a wash of colour from the line to the edge of the paper and leave to dry. Continue leaving a small layer of the previous layer and again paint to the edge. Repeat to the top of the page. It makes a hilly landscape.

nagative painting leaves

I got a little lost on this one. The shapes of the leaves behind are supposed to show through the holes on the top (white) leaf.

This is a good book but it does contain an epic amount of information not only on negative painting but colour and composition. I will have to either renew it or borrow it again in the future to fully take it all in!

I also watched a few YouTube videos with Linda Kemp demonstrating some of her techniques. She makes it look so easy, she definitely knows her stuff!

NB: All of the paintings are exercises from the book and painted for practice purposes only. Linda Kemp owns the ideas and I claim no ownership of them.

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