Showing posts with label drawing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label drawing. Show all posts

May 02, 2017

Flowering Tea

Hi everyone, 

 Happy May!  We've been having a few lovely warm, sunny days. It's so liberating to be out and
about without winter clothing.  I've been traveling without my camera, so I don't have any pictures other than cell phone pics of the wild flowers. They are everywhere this year and in places where I haven't seen wildflowers before. A bumper crop. Lovely!

 Since I love tea and flowers, it will come as no surprise that I like blooming tea.  Normally, I brew two pots from one flower ball, but apparently you can brew three. I love the colour and if you like green tea it's tasty, too.

 Transcending Beauty ~ Green tea, jasmine and lily flowers.  It takes 45 minutes to tie a flowering tea ball.  Once you add hot water, a quarter sized ball quickly unfurls in the pot before your eyes.

For the drawing board, two fresh sprigs of reasonable priced Tiger Lilies from the florist.


Art for art's sake...

                              Hawthorn berries The frost-bitten berries turn bright orange in the fall.

   Trying out Bockingford hot press 300g/140lb. watercolour paper.  I decided on a practice run before I start a Crab Apple painting. I've transferred the drawing to the Bockingford paper, but since I have one good Fabriano block left, I think I'll stick with the tried and true. In the meantime, I'll keep practicing on Bockingford. I'm trying to familiarize myself with it because the Fabriano company is still working out some issues. 
Bockingford is nice and sturdy. You can lift colour well too, but just at the right time. I found it's tricky to add more colour to a wet into wet wash that, because of a fraction of a smidgen of too much water, doesn't like to be disturbed.
 I've also tried Moulin du Roy hot press by Canson.  It's very smooth much like illustration board so it's easy for a wet into wet wash to dry out too quickly.  Windsor and Newton's Blending Medium slows the drying time. I haven't tried mine yet.  Recently, I heard that some people are having great success using the wrong side of the Moulin du Roy.  My O my, the intrigues of paper!

I am enjoying Season 4 of  When Calls the Heart. If you haven't seen it, it's a wonderful Hallmark production.

Thanks for reading. Enjoy the week...

November 08, 2016


November 8, 2016
We had a heavy, feathery snow fall last week, but as you can see it disappeared and I am still kicking through the leaves on the trails. On this trail, there are bird feeders every so many feet. I was dropping seeds into one when when I heard the tiniest of peeps. After scanning the trees, I spied a wee chickadee. Clearly excited she swooped down several times to investigate, but wouldn't stay long enough to grab a seed. She did, however, check the ground just in case I may have dropped one. Nope not one! Then she flew up to branch at eye level and looked me in the eye. After that she flew across the path to a tree where she teetered on the limb and continued to crisscross the path from tree to tree, making, as she flew, a great flourish of it. When she reached the bottom of the hill, she chirped loudly and watched me ascend. Once I was safely at the bottom, a black and white blur whirled by overhead. I turned and looked up the hill;  I could faintly see her feasting at the feeder. Well done birdie!


I'm drawn to moss. It's always looks so fresh and green.

 I'm gathering the sketchbooks.  I think there must be one or two somewhere with bits and bobs inside. I like smooth paper, so if it isn't smooth enough I turn it into a journal. I do draw in the margins though.

As you can see, my sketchbooks are not watercolour friendly.
Calendar dreaming...maybe next year.
I find it difficult to use black ink. I prefer blue.
On the needles..

The Violet Cap: a lacy hat from the 1st issue of Making Magazine.

For those who asked, unfortunately The Maestro will not be made into a print at this time because it's too large for my scanner. It needs to be scanned in parts and photo shopped...above my capabilities just now. I could have the printer scan it but it costs a lot. So very sorry.

Thank you for reading along.

 Enjoy the week...

August 02, 2016

Icelandic Lattice Lace Scarf, BBs, Sale

August 2, 2016
Lava Lace Scarf. An fun knit and easy to remember pattern. Raverly post here.
If you've been reading along for awhile, you will remember that I planted a Gloriosa Lily last year and several of you wanted to see it. (I had wanted to grow one for many years but I couldn't find any bulbs.) Unfortunately, the wind knocked it down last year, so I am happy to finally say TA DA... here it is. It's about 5 feet tall. Although it was hard to do, today I picked one for the drawing board.
Another favourite...Queen Anne's Lace.

Doodles of the Botanical Blue kind. My new Micron pen is not the quite the same beautiful blue as the other one. It's close but not quite. I'm searching for just the right colour.

In honour of my birthday this month, there's a 20% sale on in my shoppe. Just type in SALE at the checkout. 

Enjoy the week...

December 29, 2015

Happened Upon...

For those who want to draw or paint flowers, or just look at beautiful books these two books fit the bill. I borrowed these books from the library, however, I wish I owned them because they overflow with information and are truly uplifting. Since they are an inter library loan, I can't renew them, but I  do wish I had more time with these treasures.

For me, it has been a productive drawing year, I've nearly filled five sketchbooks with "the good, the bad, and the ugly." :) It's been so much fun to get lost with a pencil in hand. Besides being meditative in a concentrated way, drawing has made me really look at things. For example, now when I look at flowers, I really look at how they fit together: where the stems and leaves attached, how the veins flow, and the list goes on. I read somewhere that drawing does make you look at the world differently. I do think that's true.

So if you want to draw, pick up a pencil and begin. It's never too late, {or too early} to ignite the creative spark in any area that you choose.

Inside the cover of my kraft covered sketchbook.

Before I sign off for the year, I'd like to say that I've enjoyed following your wonderful blogs this year.  Also, a big thank you for reading along with me.

And I'd especially like to wish you all a New Year filled with joy!

Happy New Year!

December 15, 2015

For the Birds

"All is Bright"

If you've been reading along, you will know that I love birds. I'm always happy to go to the woods to watch them or just sit somewhere and listen to them sing. In the winter the world is quieter, but, just now, the little chickadees are still singing their happy song. 

You may remember this little fellow. I originally painted him last year using mostly FW inks; however,  because he tickles my fancy so much, I decided to give him another go using mostly watercolours.

I've drawn five birds recently. Four of them border on the exotic; two are from Africa, and all have bits and bobs from my imagination. I hope to start painting them early in the New Year.

The Maestro
A preliminary sketch also to be painted in the New Year. I outlined this little fellow in red  so that he would show up better. A steady hand helps. Mine wavers as soon as I concentrate on drawing a straight line. It's like carrying a large tray of tea and looking down at it and then, sometimes, it can be all over but the crying. :)

But I digress... I think this birdie is about to conduct The Magic Flute, or is that lyre?

Lady Slipper with bluebells on Fabriano Artistico 300lb (640gsm) hot press paper. I'd like to scale this up and add more flowers...some day.  This is the first time I used Fabriano's heavy paper. What a difference in how the paint flows on different weights and makes of paper.
There's also a small drawing of a part of my Christmas Cactus ready to be painted on a cold pressed watercolour card for someone.

 If you are preparing for Christmas, I hope all is running along like clockwork. Things are ticking along here and I am having fun. I'll be making cookies etc. this weekend. It's  such a lovely time of year! 


September 02, 2015

Dog Days of August/ Knitting

I put my files in order so here are a few pictures of the countryside that I wasn't able to post in August.
Because the sky was such a beautiful blue that day, I spent a long time admiring it.
Loosestrife. Invasive but pretty.

Bull thistle.

The path taken.
A few cattails.

In the past, I am sure I've mistaken the pink flower for milkweed, but I believe that it is Sweet Joe-Pye Weed. It certainly does smell sweet!  I love to hear those tall rushes in the background rustle in the wind.

Off the needles... Rosetta Mitts

 I finally finished knitting and writing up my Rosetta Mitts pattern.  They are knit with Classic Elite Yarns Fresco, colourway Rum Raisin; I'd like to knit a pair using Madelintosh yarn, too.  They can be made in three different lengths, but I like my fingerless mitts long. I am looking forward to wearing these mitts later this fall.  I only have the ends to sew in and the  blocking to do. 

I am also happy to say that I kept my commitment to draw everyday for two months. I filled one whole sketch book and part of another.  Several birdies are among those drawings.  I can't wait to start painting them.

 'Til next time....enjoy.

August 05, 2015

Nature Studies

Drawing recently from nature, Queen Anne's Lace or wild carrot. To me, it's not your average weed. It's intricate and delicate and before it blooms it's wrapped in a wondrous package.
I found wild coneflower, or echinacea too.

To answer a request, I'm including a list of the art supplies I use and a few tips that I've learned.

Staedtler pencils. 2H-6H, (H for hard) but I prefer the 2H, although, occasionally, I use soft leads or B pencils, especially 2B.
FW acrylic inks.
Kneaded Erasers and plastic erasers.
Tracing paper ~ a must, unless you draw straight onto your watercolour paper.
Sketchbooks ~ look for good quality paper.

After researching watercolour paper and trying several different brands, I prefer hot pressed paper for painting.  Fabriano Artistico and Arches are acid free and 100% cotton. I use140 lb weight. (The higher the weight the thicker the paper.) I prefer Fabriano, but I am getting use to Arches. It requires a light hand, but can take several glazes.
I use watercolour blocks that are glued on all four sides; the paper doesn't require stretching.  (There's a small hole at the top of the block, you insert a thin knife and go around the block to remove the sheet from the block when your painting is completely dry.) I also buy large single sheets. It's cheaper that way, but the paper requires stretching or it will buckle and it takes time to cut the sheets into the sizes you want. ( A scary breath holding activity!)

I occasionally use Strathmore Watercolour cards; they are cold pressed ~ not as smooth as hot pressed paper.

Watercolour paints. I mostly use Schmincke and W& N. Windsor and Newton is bright and clear.  Schmincke can look chalky sometimes and I  do like Sennelier paints as well.  I also have a set of Derwent watercolour pencils that I received as a gift. In the beginning, I was using the watercolour pencils to paint with.  Around here, they are cheaper if you buy them individually.

* If you are just starting out, I would recommend that you buy good quality watercolour paper, a few tubes or pans of professional watercolour paint/or good quality watercolour pencils. They do make a huge difference! A (sable or faux sable) #4 watercolour brush is, in my opinion, a must. They are expensive, but should last a very long time if treated well. Never use it to mix paint with. (A tall order--one sometimes forgets.)  And you will annihilate it if you use it to apply FW inks.

Interesting optional items: Masking fluid and Gum Arabic.
Masking fluid is used to cover small stamens etc, that you will paint later, or any area that you want to keep white while you are painting. When it is completely dry, you rub your fingers over it to remove it.

Gum Arabic extends the drying time of paint, adds vibrancy, and is also used to add shine to eyes, reflections etc.

In the end, it's all about personal preferences, so experiment, have fun in the process and you will  find out what works for you.

  Until next time enjoy creating...

July 29, 2015

Flights of Fancy

 I know my paint box is way too clean. The rest of it I call organized chaos.
  The flowers in the front were painted last July. I'm working on the Lady Slippers. It's a flower that I can't seem to let go of.

New addition.  It needs to be re-potted.
Life size.

I decided that I would try and draw everyday in July. I've almost kept that commitment. A few more days and I will have nailed it. Hopefully, I can do the same for August.
I had a few comments and emails regarding my last post. I think we all agree-- sometimes tentatively-- that yes most people can draw, so please don't give up. And don't worry about mistakes because mistakes are a big part of learning anything worthwhile! And if someone should laugh so what. Well, I know it's not always comfortable to be laughed at, but the following story warms the heart and points out what's possible.

Many years ago, I met a lady who was the older mother of a friend of mine.  And wow, could she paint!  She painted landscapes, ocean scenes, flowers-- the most divine silken roses, portraits--you name it. She told me that she didn't pick up a brush until she was in her fifties.  She had a wonderful studio that faced the ocean. Sand for miles, sunlight dancing over the waves, a few twirling seabirds and the salt sea breeze that begged to be inhaled as it, with a hint of mist, swirled in through the open windows. I could have stayed there indefinitely. 

After tea, she took me up to the attic where she stored her earlier works. As I stood looking at her paintings, she smiled and said, "it's laughable, now, isn't it?" Sometimes the spotlight is not the place to be. I mumbled something and shifted uneasily. Then she ask me as she pointed to a large canvas  (her first) if I knew what it was. I studied it for awhile but I couldn't come up with an answer. "It," she said, with amusement that tickled the corners of her mouth and played up the light in her eyes, "is a lady of the evening." (Abstract would not begin to cover it.) She also said she was very proud of that particular painting.  She went on to say that one evening, at a gathering, just after she had painted it she showed it to a few of  her neighbours and everyone laughed. 
I skipped down the stairs. It was time to go.  But before I left I took one last look out of her studio window at the beach and the sea in the distance and then before I left the room I looked back at her beautiful paintings and felt certain that she clearly had the last laugh, although I'm sure she didn't want it because she was so kind.

Enjoy the weekend!

April 14, 2015

Out and About

One of those divine days that I've been dreaming about all winter long finally arrived. And lovely it was. Temps 24C or 75.2 degrees F. with a warm breeze blowing from the south. So it was definitely time to throw off the winter woolies and head to the woods.

Eye of the Birch
Beautiful colour.

The plant life is just waking up so there's not much on the grow, but my son and I did meet and visit with a few hungry friends.

Mr. Chips the Chipmunk.

Yes please. I'm immensely fond of peanuts.
Peanuts? Shucks. I'd prefer a serving of sunflower seeds, please.

Er...maybe...just one, said the wee chickadee.

 * * *

On the needles ...

Increasing 7 stitches from 1 caused my frogging party :/ ( For non-knitters that means to rip it out.) Since a few of the holes were too large, I couldn't continue because I knew that the holes would never even out during blocking. The good news: I didn't have a life life but know where to begin again. Yes!

* * *
Painting... feathered friends...

One of my favourite birds: the marsh wren. They flit around in the marsh grasses and fly so fast that it is hard to catch more than a glimpse of one, so I decided to draw a couple.

Thanks for reading...Enjoy the week!

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