Category Archives: Flowers from the Garden

More from Bali

Balinese Door  Water colour and Ink Bali 2015 Journal

Balinese Door Water colour and Ink Bali 2015 Journal

Although I am now back from Bali, I still have some more drawings that I want to do in my journal.  I had a great time there, relaxing and so beautiful.  I really like the Balinese they are very welcoming and have a great sense of humour.

Breakfast over looking the rice fields  Ubud Bali

Breakfast over looking the rice fields Ubud Bali

One of the things that I enjoyed in our stay in Ubud was having breakfast in the outdoor restaurant overlooking the rice fields and watching flocks of little birds feasting on the just ripening grain.  It took us ages to find out what they were as there were two different colourings of the same bird.  So here is a drawing of a cinnamon munia, but there were also ones that were dark chestnut and cream.

Cinnamon Munias  Water colour and ink  Bali 2015 journal

Cinnamon Munias Water colour and ink Bali 2015 journal

The gardens at the resort were beautiful and these following two drawings were at the resort.  There were loads of heleconias, one of my favourite group of flowers as they are so architectural.  I have seen some of them in florists, but this is the first time I had seen them growing, truly bizarre shapes.

Heliconias  watercolour pencil and ink Bali 2015 Journal

Heliconias watercolour pencil and ink Bali 2015 Journal

The first drawing in the post is of a doorway leading up to on of the villas at the resort, they had different doorways for some of the villas.  The carving and colours were just so beautiful I had to draw one.

Karen

Sketchy Breakfast

Banksia Flower Journal Page Water colour pencil and ink

Banksia Flower Journal Page Water colour pencil and ink

I am minding a friend’s house while she and her partner go touring around the Kimberly (Outback Northern Australia) in their 4WD.  An amazing trip through the wilds down the Gibb River Track from Kununurra to Derby.  So while being envious of their trip, I am enjoying some inner city living.  The house is in Northcote with plenty of great food and coffee, if you can get past the hipsters.  Lots to smile about here.

So to get into the lifestyle I have been going out for breakfast on the weekend and taking my sketch book with me.  Today as I was walking to the café, I passed this lovely Banksia tree and the lemon yellow flowers had caught the autumn sun.  So I stopped to snap a couple of pictures to draw.

Banksia in the autumn sun

Banksia in the autumn sun

I wanted to try a looser and quicker style, as I had slowed down again with all the cross hatching I had been doing.   I decided to start with the colour and map out the main areas then go over them with ink for some loose details, but first where is the coffee?

The banksia flower

The banksia flower

Adding in the leaves

Adding in the leaves, water colour pencils before the addition of the water.

It is fun to just lay the colour down and not get to fussed over the precise layout of the leaves and great to work quickly.

First ink outline

First ink outline

Once the paper had dried I added the first inky outline.  I was a bit nervous opening up my pencil case, as I had just flown to Sydney and back for a quick work trip and realised that my fountain pens were in the case.  I had only cabin luggage so they were pressurised, but I was bit nervous on how they had made the trip.  The Lamy safari with the EF nib had no leakage at all and worked just fine.  The Noodles Ahab did leak into the cap, but cleaned up ok and no spillage.  Felt lucky at that moment.

IMG_1716

Slight break for breakfast. Yum, avocado, feta, bacon and poached eggs on sourdough

After contemplating the drawing through breakfast and discussing it with the wait staff, (also artists as well, most of Northcote is creative), I went back in with some more coloured pencil and then thickened up the outline in places to give more variety to the line.

Finishing off the drawing with my last coffee.

Finishing off the drawing with my last coffee.

Not my greatest drawing ever, but a fun and quick exercise that played with a few techniques.  Took me about an hour, food included and such a fun thing to do, hope you enjoyed coming to breakfast with me.

Karen

 

High Spring in my Garden

IMG_1366.JPG

Love-in-the-must, intense pencils and ink journal page

I know that I have been posting away on my walks in the bush and all the lovely wildflowers in bloom, during this time my garden has been blooming its little heart out, and is demanding some of the attention!

 

After much attention (not all of it mine)and a nice wet winter, the flowers are doing really well this year. (Warning, skip down to the next paragraph if you are not into gardens). The roses are blooming with abandon, I have roses galore, souvenir de la malmaision, which has finally made it above the grapevine and is romping over the garage roof, Pierre de Ronsard on the side of my house which hasn’t balled for once and the beautiful Peace rose for my mother, it was in her wedding bouquet. The yellow gold bunny rose is climbing up my verandah posts with some lovely clematis. My bearded irises grew beautiful leaves but totally failed to bloom, but I have cornflowers, pinks, love in the mist, aquilegia and the lavender is about to start. Oh yes the Dutch irises are making up for the other irisis.

IMG_1237.JPG

Pierre de Ronsard Climbing Rose

IMG_1241.JPG

Souvenir de la Malmaision gone feral through the grape vine. Not sure that is appropriate behaviour for such a french aristocratic rose, but things go wild in the colonies!

I have planted a lot of gardens but usually move before the become established or the one time I didn’t we had a 10 year drought of the century, hardley conducive to great gardening. But this time I have it right.

IMG_1232.JPG

Clematis, this makes me wish I would keep the plant tags, as I have forgotten it’s name.

So here is the art work to go with the flowers. I am trying to use more design in how I lay out my journal pages and still grappling with the writing.

IMG_1367.JPG

spring flower journal page. Ink tense pencils and ink

Here are some birds of paradise that I did last week, also from my garden. I tried a couple of different versions of them, to mix it up.

IMG_1328.JPG

Bird of paradise. Gouache and ink journal page

IMG_1326.JPG

Bird of paradise. Watercolour pencils and ink journal page

Hope this brings a bit of spring into your northern hemisphere falls.  This was done on my iPad, which I don’t usually use, but I forgot to bring my power cord for the laptop, and so needs must, hope it is ok.

Karen

Holiday Project

Box decorated with Johanna Basford design from the Secret Garden that I coloured in.

Box decorated with Johanna Basford design from the Secret Garden that I coloured in.

Finally back for 2014, I have had a much needed break and rest and finally feel ready to start in the New Year.  After last year I was too tired  to do much art or think through any major artistic issues.  I still wanted to do something and I finally found something that was pleasant, easy and non-challenging to do.  Colouring in!  What I loved to do as a child still holds a sweet fascination for me as an adult.

Johanna Basford design from the Secret Garden that I coloured in.

Johanna Basford design from the Secret Garden that I coloured in.

I found the perfect project on the Derwent facebook page. They had a link that went to the Guardian that allowed you to download some intricate, magical drawings from Secret Garden by Johanna Basford. I have since purchased the book which is just packed full of these lovely whimsical ink drawings just waiting to be coloured in.

 

The Secret Garden Book by Johanna Basford

The Secret Garden Book by Johanna Basford

 

I coloured in one of the drawings, then colour photo copied it to use in decorating on of the many shoe boxes that I use for storage.  (I have a thing for shoe boxes, and just can’t throw them out, of course this does not even go into the amount of shoes that I purchase to acquire these boxes.)

A box covered with a Johanna Basford design from the Secret Garden that I coloured in.

A box covered with a Johanna Basford design from the Secret Garden that I coloured in.

Really pleased with how this worked out and as I have many more boxes I have decided to design some patterns of my own to use.  More on this next post.

I hope all my readers had a lovely Christmas and New Year, my was peaceful and lovely.  F0r those of you who have just weathered brutal winter storms in the northern hemisphere, we in Melbourne have just had a heatwave that consisted of five days when the temperatures where, 38c (100f), 43c (109), 43c, 44c (111) and 44c   I have never seen temperatures so high.  Thank goodness is has cooled down again and we can emerge into the outdoors again.

Karen

 

Hydrangea 1 reworked

Hydrangea 1 take 2

Hydrangea 1 take 2

I have gone back to the first Hydrangea and added the petal veins (I think that it what you call them) into it.  Sitting it beside the second Hydrangea painting showed how necessary it was and I am very pleased with the result.  I can tell you I was very nervous painting on the white viens, hoping that I was not about to stuff the whole thing up.  Sometimes you really have to be very brave as an artist.  I painted the veins on in white paint then went back over them in pencil to knock them back and work them into the painting.

Hydrangea 1 Detail

Hydrangea 1 Detail

Making this change has sorted out a couple of problems for me.  The colours had dominated the picture and it was a little rainbowish.  The white veins have broken the colour up and given more movement and definition to the petals and little flowers.  It has also given them a more crinkled look and it sits much more comfortably with the second painting in the series.

Hydrangea 1 Detail

Hydrangea 1 Detail

Here is a comparison of the two together for you. The second photo is much better quality than the first.

Hydrangea 1 take 2

Hydrangea 1 take 2

Hydrangea 1

Hydrangea 1

I have started the third one which will be more purple, I have given you a sneak preview of it though it is just at the underpainting stage.

Hydrangea 3 underpainting

Hydrangea 3 underpainting

I am still keen to do some more 3d work, but I will keep focused on this series and not get distracted.  So I am being good and strong, till after these last two are done, then I will have a little play.

Karen

Hydrangea 2

Hydrangea 2

                               Hydrangea 2                                                                                   30cm x 30cm Coloured Pencil, Acrylics and Ink

Here is the second in the Hydrangea series.  A more pastel rendition this time, not a colour palette I am used to working in, so a challenge in itself.  I added the veins into these petals, not sure if I am going to go back and add them into the first one.  I will wait until I have finished the series before I go back and do the last fiddle with them all.  I would like them to work together as a set, but we will see as they are completed as to how cohesive they are.  The area on the right behind the petals needs some work, just not sure what to do with it yet.  it seems too pale, I may make it darker, just need to ponder on it for awhile.

I really like the details in this painting so I thought I would share with you some of my favourite bits.

Hydrangea 2 - Detail

Hydrangea 2 – Detail

In my previous post I was talking about our lovely autumn weather, well I spoke too soon,  It has been hot, really hot for a lot of days now, I think we may go to 10 days straight over 30C  (90F) and today and tomorrow will be 36C (100F).  Now I love the hot weather but this is taking it a bit far.  I will have to go and immerse myself into the cool hydrangeas again.

Hydrangea 2 - Detail

Hydrangea 2 – Detail

I am thinking of taking a little detour in my techniques and looking at combining my pencil work, with some paper embossing and creating a little 3D work.  It is an idea I have been kicking around for awhile so I may have something new to show you.  Thank you Karen for your encouragement and Michelle I hope you like this installment.

Karen

 

 

Hydrangea 1

Hydrangea 1

Hydrangea 1

We are moving into my favourite time of year, Autumn in Victoria.  The heat is still with us, but there is a crispness to the air which speaks of the fine sunny days and cool clear nights.  I have painted one of my favourite summer flowers Hydrangeas.  My mother always had Hydrangeas growing and I loved their great blousy flowers that glowed in the summer shade, reminding me that there were still cool greens around.  But as we move into autumn the blues are touched with a purple as they slowly fade.

This was a great deal of fun to do, it is small for me 30cm square and it was a challenge to move the colours in the petals through from yellow, to blue and then purple.  There are some really lovely parts of this painting where the colours really sing.

My thoughts when I started this was to do four different hydrangea pictures, I am going to start on my second now, so I might make it.

Karen