Value Studies

orchid value sketch
Orchid plant

Hi there, how are you?

This week I have drawn a few flowers from around the house and garden, plus octopus. (left over thoughts from last week maybe) They were simple line drawings drawn with a brush pen; they looked OK but a little boring so I found a grey brush pen and a white gel pen to make some value studies.

I’m not sure why I haven’t done this earlier to be honest, it is toned paper after all. So at almost a hundred pages into my blue sketch book I’m making value sketches.

My little pink orchid is flowering again, it flowers about two or three times a year and it is always fun to draw or paint. I really like the way the flower stalk is curling around the plant at the moment.

Mum gave us a piece off her agapanthus plant this spring and I dutifully planted it thinking it would be next year before we had flowers. Surprise they grew this year and they are stunning although every day I go out to admire it some of the flowers are missing (rotten slugs!) got to draw it before they all disappear.

agapanthus value sketch
Agapanthus flowers

The petals on these flowers are based loosely on the st. johns wort. I am trying to work out how to make small compositions of flowers.

Usually I just draw what I see and end up with a page of disjointed looking flowers.

This is two little groups and I quite like how they turned out. Some flowers are harder than others though so it’s going to take a lot more practice.

flower value sketch
Some flowers loosely based on st, johns wort

I also drew octopus. I had painted a lot of octopuses in gouache last week, this week I drew two with a brush pen, (they must still be in my head). Again they were simple line drawings so I decided to jazz them up a little.

octopus value sketch

I think the extra tones have defined the flowers a little and brightened them up.

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


Painting Gouache Octopus

octopus gouache sketches brown & blue
Octopus gouache sketches brown & blue

Hi there, how are you?

This week I’ve been having a tidy up. I seem to have accumulated a lot of drawings and paintings over the last few months and they were all stacked up in one corner.

I looked through them dividing them into piles, keep recycle etc. Some were happy memories others practice pieces as I tried to work out the shapes. The recycle pile wasn’t that big really, have to go through them in a few more months and weed a couple more out.

I found a page of small octopus doodled with a brush pen in red ink. It’s not a beautiful page, they were each about two inches in size, drawn on printer paper with lots of black ink smudges from some other drawing. Possibly for Inktober last year.

When I’m sketching like this cheap printer paper is better as it allows me to think on the page without worrying about “wasting paper” the back of an envelope works too, hehehe.

octopus ink sketch
Octopus ink sketch, not pretty but full of ideas.

This was the little guy that I ended up using in October.

I’m still using my blue sketch book and although I do use watercolour a lot on these pages it’s not the best medium for this paper so I switched to gouache, it sticks to the paper better and doesn’t need as much water.

octopus gouache sketches 1
Octopus gouache sketches 1
octopus gouache sketches 2
Octopus gouache sketches 2

I didn’t know what colour they should be, looking at pictures on the internet octopus can be many colours so I used the colours that were already on the pallet and layered them up.

octopus gouache sketches yellow & green
octopus gouache sketches yellow & green

It’s possible I got a little carried away as they were so much fun to paint.

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

Giraffe Sketches And A Birthday Card

giraffe drawn with brown inkGiraffe drawn with brown ink

Hi there, how are you?

It was the youngest younglings birthday this week, I decided to make him a card.

We all like to make birthday cards for each other; it’s a bit more personal and a whole lot better than the over priced cards in the shops.

I always struggle with guys cards so with much head scratching I thought he might like a giraffe.

I sketched out a few in my sketch book; I concentrated on the heads as drawing the whole giraffe was a little daunting.

giraffe drawn with a brush penGiraffe drawn with a brush pen

I drew them with a brush pen a fountain pen or painted them with watercolour. The paper of the sketch book was a little damaged by the excessive amounts of water and over working but it was enough to give a general idea of what I wanted.

watercolour sketch of a giraffeWatercolour sketch of a giraffe

I picked the one I liked best and traced it onto watercolour paper, maybe you can tell which one I’d chosen. I made the neck a little longer; it is a giraffe after all. The background was a rather pretty blue for the sky but as usual it didn’t scan.

giraffe birthday cardGiraffe birthday card

He liked his card and the cake I’d made in a rough shape of a giraffe (nailed it hehehe) he knew what it was without me having to tell him so I call that a win.

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

Watercolour Fish And Jellyfish Doodles

gold marble veiltail angelfish watercolour painting
A gold marble veiltail angelfish painting on watercolour paper.

Hi there, how are you?
I’ve borrowed a different book from the library this week; it’s a DK book about aquarium and pond fish. I like DK books, they’re chock full of information and have lots of really good pictures to draw. The only problem is which one to do first.

Top of the post is a gold marble veiltail angelfish, (that’s what you call a name). There are a few angel fish but this one is so pretty and I wanted to see if I could make the tail and fins look as delicate as the ones in the photo. They didn’t come out too bad although I did have to paint them twice because they were far to pale to scan the first time.

Below is a paradise fish; I love the colours of this one. It seems to look more brown than the brilliant orange in the book but overall I was happy with the way it turned out, especially the fins and tail.

paradise fish watercolour painting
A paradise fish painting on watercolour paper.

The last two are what I call “envelope doodles”. When I’m in the kitchen and have just a minute or two to wait whilst things cook I grab an envelope from the recycling box and practice a few brush strokes, nothing grand just blobs and lines, then later sometimes if I like the marks made I turn them into things. Sometimes roses or butterflies, this time they are jellyfish. It’s all good practice.

watercolour envelope jellyfish 1
Jellyfish 1 painted with watercolour on the back of an envelope.

They were finished off with some jelly roll pens whilst watching the TV.
Jellyfish have been floating inside my head for a while now (was that pun intended hmmm) now they’re on a page so there’s more room in my head for other things.

watercolour envelope jellyfish 2
Jellyfish 2 painted with watercolour on the back of an envelope.

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

Perfect Gifts For Mother’s Day

red rose sketch

Hi there, how are you?

Last week was Mother’s Day and I was very blessed to have received flowers and a shiny new orchid plant, (also boxes of chocolates but we won’t mention those as they are no longer with us, shhh) Thank you kids.

The white orchid we had just lost its last bloom so that was lucky. The bunch of flowers contained roses and gerberas, both were stunning, which t draw first?

Roses are always tricky, the buds I can manage but fully open roses hmm. It didn’t turn out too bad, slightly better than usual which makes me happy.

gerbera sketch 1

The gerberas “oooff” I drew quite a few and these were the ones that turned out the best.

gerbera sketch 2

pink orchid sketch

I have decided I like drawing orchids, I’m not saying I’m brilliant at drawing them but I do enjoy drawing them. I think it will be interesting to see if having some colour to the flowers changes the way I put the shadows into them.

Beautiful and useful what more could you want.

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

Sketching Fish – The Next Adventure

goldfish Sketch
Some sketches of goldfish.

Hi there, how are you?

Here are some goldfish sketches drawn from random photos off the internet. I drew one in with my pentel brush pen during inktober, (you can click on inktober in the keyword cloud for posts on #inktober.) I wanted to sketch a few and add some colour.

I’m getting in practice you see because next year (January to be precise) our zoo year pass runs out. We could just renew it and we may but we don’t fancy standing around in the cold drawing stuff. Yes I know were light-weights.

We do want to draw something during the winter months so we decided the local aquarium was the answer. It’s a lot cheaper than the zoo and it’s indoors, so warm.

This is me saying there will probably be lots of fishy drawings next year. Lots. Maybe in the spring or summer we’ll get another zoo pass maybe something else, who knows.

There are also plenty of parks and places of interest to visit; next year could be a very interesting one. It’s something to look forward to.

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


Sketching Crows


Hello, how are you.

I have been doing quite a bit of sketching lately and I’m slowly filling up the pages of my new sketch book.

This year my daughter and I bought year passes for the zoo. We’ve been quite a few times, taken lots of photo’s and tried to sketch the animals we’ve seen. I find this incredibly hard to do at the moment, sketching in public when most of the drawings aren’t very good but I suppose I’ll get used to it and the practice is good for me.

There are a lot of crows around the zoo, I really like them so we have a lot of pictures of crows, so I decided to try to draw them from the pictures we had taken. They turned out better than I thought they would.

Some crows have blue eyes and some have black eyes, I’m not sure if this is the way the light shines on them or maybe, just like people they have different coloured eyes. This is something I wouldn’t have even thought about if I hadn’t been drawing them. That’s what I like about drawing, it helps me see things I wouldn’t have even thought about before.

They are all painted in shades of blue and purple. I’ve tried painting them in black but they looked very dull, lifeless and grayed out. Crows do have a blue purple iridescence to them but I still need to learn how to make a decent black out of the colours I have.

That’s it for now.
Thanks for stopping by. Till next time, take care and have fun x

Start Of The New Sketck Book

Hi Folks. Hope you’re well.

Last week I finished off my old sketch book so this week I’ve been breaking a new one in. It’s another cheap book with stitched signatures this time instead of spiral bound. I still don’t feel comfortable drawing on anything too expensive whilst I’m learning.

The paper is thick enough to take watercolour but it’s quite absorbent so again not good for watery techniques. Once the paints down it’s down no messing about.

I have decided this time I’m only going to draw with a pen, no pencil. With a pencil there’s always the option to rub out mistakes and fiddle with things. I’m hoping that with a pen I’ll just get on and draw. I think it’s working. The pen goes down and if it’s in the wrong place I either have to work round it or accept it and carry on.

The first picture is of some japonica quince flowers from the garden, drawn with a biro and coloured with watercolour.

These penguins were drawn with a micron fine liner. They’re just some odd penguins from a few photo’s taken at the zoo. I was trying out some crosshatching.

Last but not least are marigolds. Looking lovely in the spring sun.

I’ll see if my little experiment stops me faffing about.

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