Tag Archives: ink

Vegetables and Experiments

Bok Choy Farmers Market ink and watercolour pencils

Bok Choy Farmers Market ink and watercolour pencils

Still having fun drawing the produce of the local farmers markets.  This last couple of weeks has seen the addition of Bok Choy and I just finished the Cumquats yesterday.  I have been snuggling down on the coach with my heater and little Hannah as company as the rain comes bucketing down outside.  You can tell she is working hard and clearly having a bad hair day.


Hannah supervising the writing of the post

Experiment 1

I have been experimenting with different waterproof inks for my Lamy safari pen.  I had been using Noodlers black ink, but it isn’t as waterproof as I would like.  These two drawings were done with Platinum Carbon Black.  I did notice an improvement with this ink, it is smoother in the pen and is much more waterproof.  The down side is that it does have carbon particles in the ink and they might block up my pen, (though it hasn’t done so in the  three weeks it has been in there and I haven’t used it every day, I don’t want to mess up my new pen).  I have just ordered some De Atrementis black archive ink which is also supposed to be good so I will see how that goes.


Cumquats Ink and water-colour pencils


Experiment 2

I have also been playing around with gessoed boards to try to find some different ways to present this work.  I love working on paper, but I am not as happy with framing and putting the work behind glass. I would like to find a way to present the work similar to how oil paintings are with thick sides that can be hung on the wall.

When I did the  pieced patterns, I covered them with a varnish that had UV filters.  I am conscious of the fact that some colour pencil colours are not as light-fast as needed and that water-colour pencils are worse.  These UV filter coatings are getting very sophisticated so I am confident that the combination of varnishes from Golden will give me the dust and UV protection I will need.  I used Golden Gel Topcoat w/UVLS which I brushed on and Golden Archival varnish with UVLS which is a spray.  I used a combination of Gloss and Matt as the gloss gives a stronger finish and the matt top coat stops it being too shiny.

There is no doubt that these varnishes change the way the work looks and gives it a slight plastic finish and I haven’t decided if I can live with that yet.  I will take some photos of the process as I go along with these different experiments and of course share the outcomes with you.




Farmer’s Markets and Vegetable gardens

Fresh Peas Farmers Market Ink and Watercolour

Fresh Peas Farmers Market Ink and Watercolour

I am still working on images from the Farmer’s Markets I visited a couple of weeks ago.  I was not only captivated by the wonderful fresh produce, I liked the various ways that stall holder’s displayed their wares.  This lovely old bucket was just gorgeous and very aptly labelled.  The colour went so well with the vibrant snow peas.

Tute's Cottage Vegetable Garden Ink

Tute’s Cottage Vegetable Garden Ink

I have an unfinished drawing of Tute’s vegetable garden in Castlemaine that I visited earlier, (see here) which I thought I would share with you.  It is still only a line drawing as I haven’t decided how to colour it, I have not had the results I wanted from water-colour (more my lack of skill rather then the medium), so not sure if I will return to colour pencils or water-colour pencils.  I really enjoy water-colour pencils and use them I lot in my sketch book, but I am always mindful of the fact that they are not very colour fast.  It is disappointing that so many of our art supplies are still not colourfast in this day and age.  I wish manufacturers would be mindful of this point when they develop new products.

I have had a lousy week with flu and now Autumn seems to have run away already and we have moved into our cold, grey winter.  I have been trying to do some drawing for a friend of mine and they are just not working out.  Well that is my moan, I will go back to working on the collaboration books, they always make me smile and snuggle down onto the coach with the heater on.


Farmers Market and a new name for the blog

Fruit Harvest Ink and water colour Sketchbook

Fruit Harvest Ink and water colour Sketchbook

It has been perfect autumn weather the last couple of weekends and the farmer’s markets are just bursting with produce.  I have been to two, one in Castlemaine and the other in Melbourne.  I adore these markets and always come away with too much, but the produce is soo tempting.

This sketch is of an organic fruit stall in the Castlemaine market, don’t you just love the colours of the apples and pears.  I have tried to capture the crispy freshness of it all, displayed so beautifully in the old fruit boxes.  The styling of the market stalls has come a long way.

Market Stall Castlemaine Growers Market

Market Stall Castlemaine Growers Market

Here is a work in progress of the sketch, I took the photo in the evening so I apologies for the quality of the colour, but it gives you the idea.  I have used my new Ahab fountain pen from Noodlers with this.  It has a flexible nib which allows you to vary the width of the line depending on how hard you press.  I am starting to get used to it and it worked well with this drawing and I got some nice line variation in the outline of the fruit.

Work in progress.

Fruit Harvest Work in progress.

I am tempted to do some larger colour pencil drawings of all this produce, see how much time/energy I have.

This weekend I am in Melbourne and as I was still excited by markets, went to the Collingwood Children’s Farm Market.  This is right next to the Abbotsford Convent where I did a sketch of the market there see here.  It is a working farm only a couple of kilometers from the city centre beside the river and it is a place where you can children to see where their food comes from.  There are all the usual farm animals and great fruit and vege gardens.  A magical place.


Collingwood Children’s Farm Market

The farmers market is big and busy, but when you walk around you would not believe you are in the city.  I took lots of photos so there will be some more drawings coming up.

Well my blog has a new name, Karen Bailey Studio which is also my domain name.  I like occasionalartist, but as I draw nearly every day now, I thought it was time to move on.  I am gradually learning what to do to set up this new web site, but it will be a slow progress.  Any link to occasional artist will be kept and redirected to this new domain.  I tried so many names but I thought Karen Bailey Studio gave me plenty of breadth to do different things, while still linking firmly to me.

Enjoy your weekend


My Latest Love (in Art Materials)

Sennelier Inks

Sennelier Inks

Santa was very clever this year (well really my brother and sister-in-law took the none to subtle hint) and I received a bunch of lovely Sennelier Inks for Christmas this year.  Oh bliss and many bright, shiny, colourful things.  Actually it was an Artistic Christmas with my sister, niece and nephew giving me many A1 Plastic sleeves to protect my completed art work. (not sure if they are dog proof.  See August Post)

It is ironic that when I visited Sennelier Art Store in Paris in May (See Paris Art Shop May), I did not know about their inks.  It was not until I did a drawing class in November that I found out about these fabulous inks.  They are a traditional shellac based ink with a transparent satin finish, with colours that just glow.  They blend and dilute beautifully and when put on neat they even have a slight shine to them.

Sennelier Inks

Sennelier Inks

I am thinking of using them for the backgrounds for the pencil drawings as well as with black ink outlines.  So much opportunity, don’t you just love new art materials, they are such an inspiration.


Budburst in Champagne

Budburst Champagne

Here is a quick sketch I did of the champagne vines, they are just starting to put out their leaves and you could still clearly see the old twisted trunks.  The contract between the bright green of the new leaves and the grey, old trunks was lovely.

The vines here are much shorter than Australia, they would not have been more than 3-4 feet tall while ours are around 5 feet.  I think that these grapes when they grow up will become Moet-Chandon Champagne, such a fine future they have in front of them.  Years of resting and cosseting in the caves and then being sent off all around the world for people to drink in celebration of their life special moments.  I bought a bottle of vintage champagne from the Champagne house where we stayed to drink later in the year for my special moment, my 50th birthday.

Japense Ink pen

I also managed to buy a couple of pens at my favourite Paris art shop, and one of them was a Japanese ink pen.  It has a brush on either end, one black and the other grey.  It is very lovely to draw with and I was happy with the lines it made.  I wish I could tell you the name of it, but it is all in Japanese.