Tag Archives: native flowers

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

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

 

flowers and pattern – and bravery

Sturt Desert Pea cut out on the pattern.

Sturt Desert Pea cut out on the pattern.

I have completed the second stage of my new work and I am quietly confident that the concept may work.  It was funny, I was nervous and procrastinated before I began the second step of drawing, the sturt desert peas to go over the pattern, even though they were on a separate piece of paper and did not affect the background pattern.  I was wondering why I was so hesitant and finally realised that by not doing it, it still remained a possibility in my head.  If I did it and it did not work the possibility was gone and a long cherished of idea would have to be scraped.  Of course by not doing it, the idea was also never going to get a chance of fruition.

Drawing the Peas 1

Drawing the Peas 1

This of course was not an acceptable state of affairs, I am usually fairly fearless and will leap into new things (wisely or not), the second realisation was that I was tired, the chronic fatigue is worse this year as I pressed myself too hard last year).  It is interesting sometimes when you figure out what the issues are and have a good look at them, they don’t seem so important, so away I went.

Having had this moment of moderate bravery, I took an immensely brave step and approached my first gallery, to see if they would represent my work.  I have been meaning to do this for the last year or two, but for all the same reasons as above had not been confident enough to take that step.  What if my work was not good, enough, commercial enough etc, etc, etc……..  Would my dream of being a professional artist be only that, a dream.  Nothing new or something every artist goes through, but a huge barrier I had to overcome.  But with the lovely feedback about my work I have received on this blog to encourage me, I did it.  And… they like my work and want to meet me to see my portfolio with the intent of representing me!  Many happy dances around the room.

Drawing the Peas 2

Drawing the Peas 2

So one of the main objectives of starting this blog may just come to fruition.  Thank you to all my followers, who have taken the time to comment and give me feedback on my work, know that you have made a difference and given me the confidence to take this big step forward in my artistic career.

Rough layout in Photoshop for project

Rough layout in Photoshop for project

Back to drawing at hand, I am now going to do some black and white flowers to put in the middle distance, just to give more depth and variety.  I did a some rough cutting and pasting in photo shop to see how it would look and was pleased with the idea, so on to stage 3 for this project.

Karen

 

 

 

 

I made a Book

Yvette's Coptic Bound Book

Yvette’s Coptic Bound Book

It was my good friends birthday last week and I decided to make her a journal. I had just done a short course on book binding and was eager to put the new skills to the test.

Last year I had given her one of my drawings for a significant birthday and decided to use that image on the cover of her book.  While I was at it, I decided to print off some of my other pictures as well to use.  It is great fun to see your work in another format.

I decided to use some of the other drawing of Australian Natives through out the book to give it a bit of colour.

Sturt Desert Peas

Sturt Desert Peas

Grevillia

Grevillia

Warratah

Warratah

I made the book using ‘coptic binding’, which means that it has front and back covers and these and the paper are stitched together. Found a really great YouTube site  ‘Sealemon‘ that has clear and precise instructions on a whole range of bookbinding techniques.

Coptic Book Binding

Coptic Book Binding

Coptic Book Binding

Coptic Book Binding

 

Really enjoyed making this book, off to make one for me now.

Karen