Snowdrop Time

snowdropsSnowdrops

Hi there, how are you?

There’s been more poking around in the garden and I’ve discovered the snowdrops.

These small unassuming white flowers tell us that though winter is still in full swing but spring is just around the corner. The garden is preparing for new growth and the warmer weather is on it’s way.

After snapping one or two photos and I ran back into the dry warm house.

I made lots of little studies in my sketchbook, little buds all closed up in their capsule’s waiting to pop, small white droplets hanging down as the flowers slowly open.

snowdrop buds
Snowdrop buds
snowdrop

Snowdrop bud sketch

I found a small piece of arches watercolour paper, just big enough to paint on (roughly A5 in size). The paper is rough not cold-pressed a very different painting experience than usual.

I drew something simple because I didn’t want to use masking fluid.

The background was going to be dark green with blue and purple dropped in (left image). It looked OK whilst it was wet but once dried turned a murky grey.

snowdrow wc before & after
Snowdrop waterccolour before & after

Since I wasn’t really fussed about it I thought I’d experiment a little more, maybe a dark blue background would work?

Ultra marine blue and a touch of indigo, the flower shows up better not sure it’s an improvement though, but it was fun trying.

As more snowdrops pop through I’ll take more photos if for no the reason than I really enjoy looking at them.

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

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Iris Seeds Heads

Hi there, how are you?

watercolour iris seed headsWatercolour iris seed heads

Spring is about to spring so I thought I’d go out into the garden and tidy up a bit.

One or two of the spring bulbs are starting to show tiny green shoots and it’s all looking very promising, then in the corner of my eye I spotted last years iris plants.

Of course there aren’t any flowers but there are some very beautiful seed heads, the pods have burst open revealing the lovely colourful seeds ranging from red to purple, absolutely stunning.

It’s too cold and wet to sit out side and draw them so I snapped a few photos and drew them in the house.

The first two are painted with watercolour on cartridge paper, layering one light wash on top of another till it became the colour I wanted.

watercolour iris seed heads 2
watercolour iris seed heads 2
The photo for this painting was taken from the top which is why the leaves are is a strange angle

The next one is drawn with a fountain pen as I try to draw in the tones. It’s not too bad, I’ll keep on practising though.

iris seeds ink drawing
iris seeds ink drawing

Another ink drawing. I was going to leave it at that but in the end added a quick wash of watercolour over the top.

I really like it now, it reminds me of illustrations from vintage books, definitely need to do this more.

vintage style iris seeds
vintage style iris seeds

These little seed heads really cheered me up this week, it’s nice to find something unexpected in the garden a this time of year.

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

Turtle Card

watercolour turtle
watercolour turtle birthday card.

Hi there, how are you?

This week I’ve been making a birthday card using the turtle from Octobers Inktober ideas as a starting point.

Sometimes I use the actual Inktober art and adhere it to a card base but this time I wanted to see how it would look in a more realistic colour.

The original (below) was OK, there were a few things I wanted to change with the drawing. Most of the Inktober are drawn and completed in a day, getting it drawn quickly and posted is as much as I can deal with. Details get missed or glossed over.

turtle
Original Inktober turtle

I drew the original image out again in a sketchbook and painted it with watercolour to test the colours. This gave me a rough idea what colours I wanted to use (and the ones I didn’t).

turtle sketch 1
Turtle sketch 1

After a quick sketchbook re-draw I tweaked the colours a little and was happier with these choices.

This is cartridge paper, the colours are not too vibrant on this paper but it’s enough to work things out.

turtle sketch 2
Turtle sketch 2, a bit scrappy but it does the job.

As you can see the colours on the card at the top of the post are a lot more vibrant. This is in part due to me using a photo (the scan looked very washed out which can sometimes happens with blues,) and the use of cotton watercolour paper. Cotton watercolour paper always makes the colours sing.

The lighting is the sun shining low in the sky through the trees behind me.

The thing I like about Inktober is (given a good month) I have lots of ideas, admittedly not all good but enough to spark lots of other ideas to use throughout the year.

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

New Year Orchids

red orchid watercolour
Red orchid watercolour.

Hi there, how are you?

This week two of our orchid plants have flowered, a red one and a new flower with a bucket shaped flower.

The red orchid has small angular petals and the leaves seem to grow out of vertical flat bulbs.

I haven’t yet drawn the bulbs but maybe I will if only to document the whole plant.

(Above) the whole flower stalk is painted with watercolour.

The flowers are a deep burgundy colour not the purple you see here. Have tried and failed to produce this colour with any medium so far, so obviously I need to keep trying.

Below are two sets of three flowers drawn with coloured brush pens, the top three using a deep wine colour and the bottom with magenta underneath the wine colour.

For some reason the scans all look purple?

red orchid brush pens
Red orchids drawn with brush pens.

The other orchid was a mothers day gift last year. The youngling handed it to me in two parts as the flower had dropped off in transit, hehehe. I was very exited to see it bloom this week.

As I said it has a kind of bucket flower in green and pink and small green two toned leaves, very exotic indeed.

new orchid watercolour
New orchid in watercolour

I painted the whole plant first then had some fun experimenting turning the flower as I drew it to better examine the shapes.

The left side drawn with a brush pen and right has a little colour added.

new orchid brush pen
New orchid in brush pen and watercolour.

I’m hoping that like the other orchids the flowers will last quite a while so I can keep on drawing them.

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

Happy New Year 2023

best nineBest nine chosen by the algorithm.

Happy New Year everyone! It’s hard to believe we’re into 2023 already, the years are flying by.

This is a little round up post for last years artiness.

The top image is chosen by the algorithm and as expected contains many Inktober’s. If you post every day as part of a challenge they are much more likely to be shown and seen.

I like all of the images but the variety is small and chosen by a machine so I took a look at the images I have posted this year and picked my favourite nine.

Still some Inktober’s and also a few things that for one reason or another resonated with me.

my favourite nine 2022
My favourite nine 2022

Poppies always a favourite.

I love the background on the butterflies top middle.

Two little dragons on number 1 sons card made us all smile.

Goldfish facial expressions are a hoot.

A Christmas card using an experiment that turned out way better than I though it would.

A cute little bird from the zoo.

Happy Yin yang fish.

Who doesn’t love a monkey with a moustache,

and the fun loving octopus.

Different media and subjects but full of happy memories.

Thanks so much for the support last year I really appreciate you taking time out of your busy lives to visit, like and comment, I have also enjoyed visiting you, reading and seeing all of you wonderful creations.

Here’s to 2023.

I hope you have some happy memories from last year and that you make many more in the coming year.

Till next time, have fun x

Owl Thumbnail Sketches

baby owl watercolourBaby owl watercolour

Hi there, how are you?

This week I have been making lots of little owl doodles. Each of the sketches are about an inch to 1½ inches in size.

The first page (below) was drawn with blue fountain pen ink; I spilled water on this page and ruined it! One of the perils of using water soluble ink, still have the scan though phew.

blue ink owl doodles
Blue ink owl doodles

Learning my lesson I drew the second page with black waterproof ink. They’re all a little ski-wiff and lots of fun to draw.

black ink owl doodles
Black ink owl doodles

I wanted to see if I could turn these scrappy thumbnail sized sketches into something more finished, placed the scan in procreate and used some of the owls as a template to draw over the top.

My procreate skills are very basic but they are OK for a first attempt.

digital owls
Digital owls

The little owl watercolour at the top of the post was also drawn from one of the little thumbnails. I placed her on top of a tree stump in a small clearing so she’s not floating around on a white page.

The sketch had a woolly hat on and since we’re in December I turned it into a Christmas hat (trying to get into the seasons spirit.)

I can see the issues but don’t yet have the skills to fix them yet, more practice me thinks.

Backgrounds are something I suck at so I’m trying to practice using them more, it’s a start.

Who knows maybe eventually I’ll know what I’m doing hehehe.

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

Sketching Magpies

watercolour magpie  sketchWatercolour magpie sketch

Hi there, how are you?

This week I have done absolutely nothing at all. There I said it.

The week before I had planned to scan and post the few scrappy drawings I had done and then bang, I was hit by the superbug COVID!

The illustrious other half caught it at work and brought it home to share, he needn’t have bothered.

I went to bed shivering and aching and didn’t resurface until this weekend. Bleah!

So, these are the things I would have posted last week. Magpie studies.

(above)from a photo taken in the garden a watercolour painted in the sketchbook. I’m reasonably happy with the background and twiggy bits here.

Drawn in graphite pencil these magpies (below) had to be scanned in black and white as it’s not always easy to see. These are pretty much all Pinterest magpies.

graphite magpie sketches
Graphite magpie sketches

Some birds drawn with a fountain pen. It’s not easy to colour with fountain pens (I think it’s a fine nib) so I just give an impression of shading drawing the lines close together.

fountain pen magpie sketches
Fountain pen magpie sketches

Fountain pen and blue ink trying and failing to show some iridescence, it was the wrong colour blue.

By this stage the drawings are getting a little more sketchy and unbeknownst to me I was starting to get sick.

blue fountain pen magpie sketches
Blue fountain pen magpie sketches

I’m still coughing but my cotton wool head is slowly starting to clear and hopefully this week will soon be a soggy memory.

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

Doodling

two frogs
Two blue frogs

Hi there, how are you?

We’ve been away this week, dealing with home helps, shopping and general elder care so doodling is all I have really managed. I’ve just been pulling up old photos on my phone in the odd moments I could find.

They are mainly drawn with fountain pens that are still filled with red and blue ink left over from Inktober, might as well use it up.

The little blue frogs (above) were masters of disguise. From the top they are the same colour and texture as the rocks they were sitting on and incredibly difficult to see. One little frog was sitting on the glass of the aquarium and unbelievably was a lovely pale blue.

I snapped it’s picture as it hopped across the glass.

The fuchsia are all but finished now, just a few weather worn flowers hanging on so I snapped a few photos before leaving. Glad I did they came in very handy.

fuchsia doodles
Fuchsia doodles

Penguins at the zoo quickly sketched in red ink, maybe I should have used the blue?

They’re a bit scratchy but I like the way they turned out.

penguin doodles
Penguin doodles

These were flowers in the botanical gardens they are a pale yellow and looked lovely blowing in the autumn breeze.

Here they are drawn with a red crayola pencil as that was all I could find at to draw with at the time.

flower doodles
Flower doodles

These are all very sketchy and drawn mainly to occupy my mind, I find just a few minutes each day to take my mind off things, a little meditative and relaxing.

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