Supermarket Tulips

4 watercolour tulipsLoose watercolour tulips

Hi there, how are you?

At the supermarket this week we found a small bunch of tulips in the reduced section. They were only slightly wilting and we thought with some care they may spring back a little.

They did and were still going strong a few days later; they were the muse for this weeks drawings.

I started with loose watercolour, it’s quick and gave me a feel for the shapes.

Next I drew some tulips with a fountain pen (below) and pulled out the ink with a damp brush, then used a brush pen filled with grey ink to colour them.

tulips ink
Tulips in black and grey ink

Tidying through some papers I found a toned sketchbook (it’s amazing what you find when you’re not looking for it), I was just going to use ink and a white gel pen but there was a palette of gouache by my side and I thought it would go nicely on this paper and it did,

tulips gouache on toned paper
Tulips in ink & gouache on toned paper

This last one is a combination of brush pen, black watercolour and white gouache. I like the effect of the black watercolour on this paper, especially where the paint is thin and it looks like a dark brown. I’ll have to try that again.

tulips ink & gouache
Tulips in ink watercolour & gouache

Not too bad for a small bunch of wilting tulips, they’ve kept me busy and happy all week.

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



red freesia buds
Red freesia buds

Hi there, how are you?

This week at the supermarket I spotted some freesias in amongst the flowers. They were still in tight buds but the promise of that gorgeous smell was enough for me to pop them into the basket.

When I bought them they were all green so the colour would be a surprise; turns out there is one red bunch and one purple bunch. A bit of a colour clash so they’re in two vases

I managed a little sketch of the red flowers in bud before they had opened, it was fun, drawn with a brush pen and coloured with watercolour.

By the next day everything was starting to open and smelling wonderful so I drew them again this time without the brush pen, trying to make them a little less cartoony.

red freesia flowers
Red freesia flowers

The purple flowers opened a little later, I drew them as they opened.

purple freesia flowers
Purple freesia flowers

I’m not to happy with this next one, it looked OK as I drew it but when the colour was added it kind of got away from me.

They look a little better in the book but the greens have scanned a lot brighter, Maybe the pink confused the scanner.

purple freesia flowers
Purple freesia flowers

Over all the freesias have been lovely models this weekend maybe if they last a little longer

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


Hellebore (Christmas rose)
Hellebore (Christmas rose)

Hi there, how are you?

The Christmas rose is still going strong and more flowers are growing so I have been drawing them in my sketch book.

I have trouble composing flowers into little arrangements so the drawing above was me trying to put the flowers together, it still needs work but I like the way it turned out.

The drawing below is drawn as they are in the pot, it looks a little sparse as I just drew the parts I was interested in and left out most of the leaves. As the flowers age they turn green and flatten out.

Hellebore (Christmas rose) 2
Hellebore (Christmas rose)

They are drawn with the usual black and grey brush pens, a scratchy white pen and this time a green brush pen to add a little colour.

Outside in the garden I noticed some hellebore flower stalks. I had planted them last year but didn’t think they’d survived. That was a lovely surprise. I picked one of the stalks and brought it inside to draw.

Hellebore flower

Its not as pale as the Christmas rose (also a hellebore) with blushes of pink on the petals. The leaves are a little bigger although that might be the difference of growing situations. They are the only flowers growing in the garden at the moment. Something pretty to look at through the window.

I’ve drawn my little stalk from different angles with a black brush pen and coloured them with watercolour.

This paper doesn’t like watercolour much so I tried not to use too much water but it meant I was able to be a little more subtle with the colours.

Hellebore in ink and watercolour
Hellebore in ink and watercolour

This last drawing I used a fountain pen and a water brush to pull out the ink from the edges. I thought the ink was brown but as I pulled the ink out it turned out to be dark red: a happy accident. Its a bit feathery, I don’t mind I just wish I’d thought to do this sooner.

Hellebore red ink sketch
Hellebore red ink sketch

Next time I go out into the garden I’m going to poke around and find the snowdrops. Were not out of winter yet but spring is on it’s way.

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

Otterly Sketchy

watercolour otter sketches
Watercolour otter sketches

Hi there, how are you?

I watched a tutorial by Liz Chaderton this week. She was showing how to paint little otters in watercolour and made it look quite easy.

Liz is a full time artist and paints otters all of the time, me not so much. I tried just painting by eye as she did, clearly I didn’t know what otters look like and decided to sketch some out in the sketchbook first and show my brain what its aiming for.

ink pen otter sketches 1
Ink pen otter sketches 1

As usual I drew otters from as many different angles as possible.

ink pen otter sketches 2
Ink pen otter sketches 2

I mostly used photos I had taken at the zoo, they have a small pool in the indoor enclosure and otters love to show off their amazing swimming abilities to people. Such a beautiful sight to see. Hopefully we’ll get back to see them soon.

ink pen otter sketches 3
Ink pen otter sketches 3

I filled several pages, not all pages were worthy of scanning but these are the pages I like best.

Then I tried the watercolour again (see top image). To be fair I did rough them out a little with a watercolour pencil. They’re not brilliant but they do look like otters this time and not weird seals.

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

House Plants

yellow and pink orchid
Yellow and pink orchid

Hi there, how are you?

This week I have been drawing house plants.

Two of our orchids are currently flowering, the white one (I’ve drawn this one before) and a newer yellow and pink one.

I received the yellow and pink one last summer for our wedding anniversary, full of beautiful flowers. The flowers all dropped and the plant was placed in the bathroom window sill (kitchen window sill is full!) last week it started to flower with not one but two flower stalks, how luck are we?

I think it really likes the bathroom, must be all the steam.

I drew it a few times, this is the only one I like. Maybe I’ll have another try using colour.

The white Edding marker I used for the petals is having a moment, I liked the effect though so I carried on making the pen strokes in the direction of the petals.

This is the white orchid. I liked the scratchy marks the white marker made and used the same technique here.

white orchid flowers
White orchid flowers

Our cyclamen has been flowering since Christmas and now the flowers are almost gone. I thought I would draw the last few flowers before it is just a little pot of leaves again.

I had to move this onto a sunnier window sill because it became very stalky and the leaves are very small. Hopefully the extra sunshine will give the leaves a little boost. I can move it back when there are brighter daylight hours.


At the supermarket this week I bought a new plant, not that I have much room left to put it but it was so pretty.

It’s a Christmas rose, probably left over from Christmas. It had one flower and a few small buds, I thought it would be fun to draw; and it was.

As with all of these drawings I used a pentel brush pen, a grey brush pen and a white gel pen plus the scratchy white marker.

When it’s finished flowering I can put it out into the garden and take its chances with the usual pests hehehe.

christmas rose
Christmas rose

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

Koda The Red Panda

3 monotone panda  sketches
3 monotone panda sketches

Hi there, how are you?

This is Koda, he’s a red panda living at the zoo.

We haven’t been to the zoo in so long; on the day we had planned to go in January Boris locked the country down so no visits for us *sad face*. Happily the zoo have posted youtube “zoo days” videos of some animals.

I watched this one about red pandas. We’ve seen the pandas occasionally on previous visits, rarely they walk about their enclosure, mostly they are little balls of orange fluff high up in the tree tops snoozing. Red pandas do like a good snooze.

I thought it would be interesting to sketch koda as I watched.

These pandas are painted with watercolour and gouache. The colours aren’t quite right, i couldn’t meke the blue dark enough, the pink paper effects the colour (top right corner) and gouache is still a struggle but I do like the poses.

watercolour red panda sketches
Watercolour red panda sketches

Then I stopped fighting the paper, I used grey fountain pen ink in a brush pen and a black brush pen. For the white I used an acrylic white pen with a gel pen for the whiskers. I was starting to get an idea of the shapes by this time.

2 monotone panda  sketches
2 monotone panda sketches

Just for fun I found two pink brush pens, one slightly darker than the other and drew a few pink pandas. Pink on pink worked a lot better than I thought it would, a good experiment.

pink ink red panda sketches
Pink ink red panda sketches

I drew these pandas one or two a day, just load the video and draw along with the bits I was interested in I drew him in various positions and occasionally I slowed it down or stopped it to catch up.

It was lots fun and I learned something too from the lovely talk the zoo keeper gave in the video.

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

Foxes For A Birthday Card

practice fox watercolour
Practice fox watercolour

Hi there, how are you?

I have a birthday card to make; I decided to paint a fox. Most people like foxes and I think she will too.

It’s quite a while since I’ve drawn any foxes so first step to find some images and have a practice.

After a few ropey pencil drawings (not shown) I did the thumbnail exercise from last week thinking maybe it would generate some ideas.

I just made some splots of ink with a brush pen then tried to find the foxy shapes. They are tiny, less than an inch, It worked better than I thought it would.

fox thumbnails
Fox thumbnails

Next to find a position for foxy. There are three on this page that I liked The singing fox was favourite here.

fox gouache sketches
Fox gouache sketches

The next page has some smaller poses, I picked the one in the bottom left I thought it was cute and I’d had an idea how to use it.

smaller fox gouache sketches
Smaller fox gouache sketches

First try. (top of the post)I like most of this, its a bit sparse and the birdies didn’t work very well and the I wanted to change the colours.

Below is the finished card. I lightened the background colour (I used sparkly mica paint for the sky, it doesn’t show up.) and used a darker colour for the fox. I also switched up the birdies (I like them more now) and added a mountain and twiggy tree.

To make the card I cut a round aperture in the front and glued the painting behind, it’s not mounted but it does look a bit more finished.

finished fox card
Finished fox card

There are things I like and dislike about both of them, perfectionism is not always a good thing.

Now all I have to do is find some way of delivering it, it may be a knock and run birthday this year hehehe.

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

NB: I missed a day. Working from home, the week and week-ends all run into each other. Maybe my brain is finally dribbling out of my ears eeep!

New Year Crows

class crow studies
Class crow studies

Hi everyone happy 2021.

I was a little stuck as to what to draw this week,then I saw that David Coleman had a new class up and it was early bird half price so I decided to give it a try. He’s an illustrator and character designer for companies like Disney

It’s called animal character design and it shows the process he goes through to make new characters with animals; I’m finding it quite interesting.

To be honest most of my animals seem to find their own characters but I have no idea how to do it on purpose.

The class includes tigers, gorillas foxes and crows. It doesn’t show how to draw things though, just how he makes characters out of the animals he draws.

It got me out of a rut any way; as soon as I saw him drawing crows I was away. Drawing crows makes me happy.

I used the class reference photos for the first page (above). They’re pencilled in to get the shape then filled in with my trusty brush pen, brushed over with grey ink to add a little colour (it’s quite subtle) and highlighted with a gell pen.

This paper is giving some nice dry brush marks.

Next I drew some internet crows, same way as the crows above.

internet crow studies
Internet crow studies

The next page is drawn from photos I have taken over the years. I like to draw things in different positions as it helps me to understand things better.

crow studies from my photos
Crow studies from my photos

David also shows how he makes tiny thumbnail drawings from random shapes to find new or interesting poses. I just made bird shapes with grey ink and used a fine liner over the top to bring out the details. They are all about 2” in size.

crow thumbnail drawings
Crow thumbnail drawings

They are a bit scruffy but I like the idea and I enjoyed drawing them.

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