Tag Archives: coloured pencil

Fairy Wax Flower

Fairy Wax Flower Coloured Pencil and Ink

Fairy Wax Flower Coloured Pencil and Ink

Still running around taking photos of the wildflowers in the bush, it has not let up and with still more varieties coming into bloom.  We have not had such a bumper year (or a wetter one) and I am still finding new flowers to add to my collection of photos.  I will have so many photos to inspire my drawings, I hope they will last all year.

This one is the Fairy Wax flower.  It is so very photogenic, just about every photo I have taken of these flowers have worked and the white flowers against the dark green leaves really stand out.  I never realised that flowers could be photogenic, but for me it is the case.  Some photograph well enough but just don’t look as good as others.  Of course this would have nothing to do with my ineptitude at photography or lack of real equipment  (Ha ha).  I am still taking all my photos on the Iphone with the Camera+ app.  I love the ease and I know that I would not have the patience to faff around with setting up a lot of equipment and give up taking photos.  Here are some of what I have taken lately.

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Pink Fingers Orchid

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Pink Bells

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Large Sundew

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Castlemaine Spider Orchid

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Castlemaine Spider Orchid

We have planned a beautiful poteger vegetable patch with raised beds, formal layout and walls of wire mesh to climb things up.  It will be a staged event, with the beds going in this year and the walls next.  But we have had the wettest September on record, instead of 60mm of rain we have had 160mm.  this is really slowing down progress.

I will leave you with t Rosie watching the rain.  She is growing so fast, but seems to do it in stages, one moment her legs have grown and she is all gangling, then her ears will grow and she looks like a fox.  Never had a dog do that, but it is very funny to watch.

Rosie watching the rain

Rosie watching the rain

Karen

Greenhood Orchid

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Greenhood Orchid Coloured Pencil and Ink

 

Spring is finally ‘officially’ here and I have been torn between walks in the bush to find flowers, drawing and gardening.  I feel like the puppy, excitedly running from one to the other, not settling at anything.

It is such a busy time and as the weather tries to warm up, you just want to be out there.  We have just finished planting the roses and lavender in the front garden bed and made a huge seed order for the summer vege patch.  Not sure where they are all going to go, but it was impossible to be restrained with all these amazing heirloom varieties that sound so wonderful.  Vegetables such as Flageolet Flagrano Bean, Paris market carrots, Costoluto Genovese tomatoe, one of the oldest Italian varieties and Rosa Bianca eggplant.

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Little Greenhoods in the bush

The little Greenhood orchids are still flowering and I finally found time to complete a drawing of one.  Such gorgeous little things only a 1-2cm long flower and the stand no more than 7-8cm high.  I am not usually fond of green flowers but these are so crisp and fresh and who can resist such a bizarre shape.

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Lynette and the dogs, searching for orchids on a spring morning

I have found a couple of new orchids this year, which is always exciting.  There is the Leopard Orchid all yellow and brown, Lynette thinks it looks more like a dragon and the Yellow Moth orchid with its stunning, clear, yellow petals.  The good thing about being a beginner at this, is there are so many new plants to discover.  Every walk is an adventure.  I now have my sister hooked and it is better with two people searching, as all these flowers are very small.  (Tap/click the image for the orchid name.)

Karen

Early Nancy – First of the Spring flowers

Early Nancy  Coloured pencil and ink

Early Nancy Coloured pencil and ink

The weather has been beautiful for the last few days and I have been out enjoying it as much as possible.  Loads of wild flowers blooming and I have been working in the garden getting more garden beds ready for the spring growth.

Here is my latest flower portrait, I have decided to call them portraits as it is how I tend to draw and think of my flowers.  I like to show these little flowers with all their beauty and charm.  They are not botanically correct, though I do try for a reasonable amount of accuracy.  They are portraits with an emphasis on what makes them amazing to me.  With this Early Nancy it is the shape and ‘twiningness’ of their leaves and the vibrancy of the little circlet of purple on every petal that I like.

I have made a few in progress shots of the steps I take to share with you.

Pencil and initial ink outline Early Nancy

Pencil and initial ink outline Early Nancy

First I do an initial pencil sketch and then I will trace it and transfer it to the good paper, which in this case is Somerset rough press in a beige/sand colour about 300gsm. I like the toned paper as it makes the white petals pop.

Early Nancy - Ink layer

Early Nancy – Ink layer

Next I use my sennelier inks to block in the colours.  Having the ink underneath really makes the pencils glow.  I used to use acrylic, but the transparency of the inks make a difference and the paper still manages to glow through both the ink and the pencil.  The ink also makes it quicker with the pencils, as I don’t like any of the white showing through of the paper and it covers much quicker.

Early Nancy - Coloured Pencil and Ink

Early Nancy – Coloured Pencil and Ink

Finally the coloured pencil layer and once all that is finished I will go over with black ink to redo the outline.  After much trial and error and more dead fine-liner pens then I care to mention, I use a dip pen for this outline.  The wax in the pencils will clog a pen very quickly and that is the end of it.  I use a wider nib in my dip pen so I can get a range of widths in my lines which create more movement or interest in the drawing.

Rosie is growing so fast, almost daily I can notice changes.  She is three months now so no longer a little puppy.  She is learning fast and has settled into our family so well.  She is so gentle with Mum, who is getting very frail now, they just love each other as you can see.

Rosie curled up in her bed

Rosie curled up in her bed

Rosie and Hannah

Rosie and Hannah

Grandma and Rosie, best of friends

Grandma and Rosie, best of friends

I will leave you with some more photos of the wildflowers that I have taken in the last few days.  Karen

Early Nancy 'Wurmbea dioica'

Early Nancy ‘Wurmbea dioica’

Happy Wanderer 'Hardenbergia violacea'

Happy Wanderer ‘Hardenbergia violacea’

Greenhood Orchid

Greenhood Orchid

Buttercup 'Rununculus lappaceus'

Buttercup ‘Rununculus lappaceus’

The Start of Spring Flowers

Chocolate Lily Coloured Pencils and Ink

Winter is still with us and it has been a very wet and cold one this year, I can’t wait for it to warm up and to have some sun again.  You know that spring is just around the corner though as the first spring wild flowers are starting to appear.  I love this time of year and my walks in the bush are so exciting as I scan the ground trying to find the first of the orchids to bloom.

It should be a good year for the wild flowers as there has been plenty of rain. For the first time I have spotted a Greenhood orchid, so hard to spot in fact, that when I went back to take another photo, I couldn’t find it again even though it was right beside the path.  There are lots of Scented Sundew flowers this year, they are such a big flower for a tiny, little plant.

Green Greenhood Orchid

Scented Sundew flower

 

It has been a long time since I have done a big, coloured pencil, flower drawing and it was lots of fun to do one again.  In celebration and in anticipation of this years wild flower season, I have drawn one of last years Chocolate Lilies.    I am going to do a series of the local wild flowers, so there will be more to come.

The new puppy is settling in very well and Hannah has decided she really is alright and they play together most of the day.  Hannah is going to be a lot fitter than she was, as well as happier to have a little mate. Though it will only be a couple more weeks until she is bigger than Hannah.

Rosie and Hannah watching me to see if I am going to come out and play with them.

Rosie and Hannah watching me to see if I am going to come out and play with them.

 

We have  some more household members and are proud owners of four chickens.  We decided on some good old fashioned names for our girls, Madge, Mabel, Violet and Dot. Can’t tell them apart yet but I am sure we will get to know them better soon.  I haven’t got a good photo of them yet, but I will be drawing them as well.

Karen

Quick visit to Fremantle

Hampton's B&B Water colour pencil and ink Journal

Hampton’s B&B Water colour pencil and ink Journal

Last weekend I made a quick visit to Fremantle just out of Perth, Western Australia.  I had to go to WA for work, so I sneaked in a weekend in Fremantle.  It was a coincidence, as I had mentioned to a blogging friend Julie Podstolski that I wanted to visit and see her art in person, (she does the most beautiful coloured pencil drawings of Geisha).  I did not realise that in a couple of weeks time I would have to travel there for work.

Fremantle is a lovely historic port town with the most marvelous buildings, it is about 20 minutes west of Perth.  I was glad to leave the cold, grey skies of Melbourne to the warmer weather and sunshine.  Julie and her lovely friend Robyn met me for lunch and we had a great time chatting and I showed them a couple of the collaboration books I was working on as Julie had been following them.

 Mural Fremantle

Mural Fremantle

We then went to see the fantastic mural that Julie has featured on her blog and then to her house to see some of her drawings.  It is so nice to meet someone you only know through social media and to see in real life the drawings that you have watched being created through photos.  I can only say both are better in real life and that is not an easy feat.  I also was able to see Robyn’s beautiful ceramic sculptures

Duyfken 1600 sailing ship Fremantle Water colour pencils and ink

Duyfken 1600 sailing ship Fremantle Water colour pencils and ink

On the Sunday I went for a walk along the docks and tried my hand at drawing an old sailing ship, fun to draw in the sun, but they are very tricky, I edited a lot of ropes out, (sorry to any nautical readers).  I felt I couldn’t come to Fremantle without some sort of boat drawing as it did host the America’s Cup while it was in Australia’s hands.

Fremantle Page Journal Water colour and ink

Fremantle Page Journal Water colour and ink

I think that weekend of warmth and sunshine will have to tied me over through the next few weeks as this winter looks to be a very cold and wet one and the flu season has us in its grips.  Always nice to look back on these memories and sketches in my book.  Thank you Julie for your hospitality.

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.

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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

 

No Fear of Flying – Collaboration Piece

 

No Fear of Flying Dragonfly Water colour and ink

No Fear of Flying Dragonfly Water colour and ink

I am currently involved in two different collaborations, which can get confusing for all of us.  This post is about the first,  is using lovely little A5 booklets that Anna Warren found.  There are three of us involved Anna Warren, Kylie Fogarty and myself.  I have already worked in one book with a seaside theme (see here) and this is my second which has the theme ‘No fear of flying’.  Anna’s post on her drawings in this book are here.

Anna's double page spread

Anna’s double page spread

I loved the theme, but was really stumped with what to do with it.  I went through all the thoughts about flying and then I thought who are the best flyers in the natural world.  (Not being much of a people drawer I usually go to the natural world for my artistic inspiration).  For me, dragonflies are the best flyers, having the two sets of wings that can move independently they can hover, twist and do the most amazing aerial feats.  They certainly have no fear of flying and I reckon the look in their eyes shows little fear of anything.

No fear of Flying Front Page

For the front and back covers I choose images of unconventional flying.  The front cover is of a ladybird hitching a ride on some dandelion fluff and I just loved this little image, it has a real sense of adventure to it.

No fear of Flying Last Page

Flying frogs. Water colour and ink

On the last page I drew a flying frog, it is a representative for all those creatures who really have no business in flying (not having wings as such), but have managed to do it anyway.  These flying frogs are the weirdest in that strange and intrepid group.

These collaborations are really a great deal of fun and tremendously rewarding, but oh my are they intimidating. All of us have experience at doing art and at being artist, but having to draw in someone else’s book brings all my early fears back again.  What if I do this wrong, is my work good enough, their work is so much better than mine and what the hell am I going to draw!  But again the rewards of doing these collaborations and the joy of watching the amazing work the others do and to see how they respond to our themes outweighs the trepidation of setting pen to the their books.  Also the response from our readers has been fabulous and everyone is so supportive and interested in what we are doing.

I hope I have done this little book justice and have not sent the theme in a wrong direction.

Karen