Tag Archives: pen and ink

Seasons of Colour – April

Autumn Red - Watercolour pencils and ink

Autumn Red – Watercolour pencils and ink

Here is my contribution for April.  The ornamental grape-vine that shades the my house from the hot north sun, is starting to turn.  It is not cold yet and only a few of the leaves turned bright red, the rest are more of a russet-brown.  We will need a frost to really get the colours to brighten up.

I like the way the grape-vine twines around itself and the grey trunk contrast with the bright red leaves,  I have tried to convey the texture of the rough trunk and the smooth leaves, the pattern around it almost give it a medieval feel and the tones are the quintessential autumn colours.  Not sure if it needs more work, but as these are supposed to be quick works and  have already spent half a day on it, I think I will leave it there.

Autmn Leaves

I took a few photos of the sun shiny through the leaves and as one turned out quite well I will share it with you, just realise that I make no claims at being a photographer.  These are happy snaps with my iPad.



Bourges Cathedral

Bourges Cathedral

Today is my last day, tomorrow I drive down to Paris to catch my flight home, so it will be full of packing, travel and getting onto flights, with the underlying anxiety that entails.  I never relax until I am checked in and waiting at the departure gate. (I always seem to get the departure gate right at the end, and have to walk miles around the airports)

Today is my last day to soak up the french countryside and small town life.  So I am sitting here in bed writing this post and drinking my morning cup of coffee, trying to decide how to spend it.  I want to do it all and cram in all the things I haven’t done yet.  I always plan to do so many things that it never can be fitted in.  I want to spend the whole day drawing, because I wont have the luxury when I get home, I want to fit in more sights and I want to finally have my picnic.    Its tough on holidays.

This cathedral I went to see a couple of days ago, in the town of Bourges, (thank goodness I am writing this as I never got the pronunciation of this town right, though my bonjour and au revoir are doing rather well!).  I love the sheer massiveness of the building and the amazing size.  Apart from the stained glass windows there was no colour inside and I thought I would do this one in ink.  I haven’t played with cross hatching for a while.  A bit tricky with the perspective but happy with the overall effect.


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.



Grevilleas, Grevilleas, Grevilleas

I have become the obsessive artist of late, nothing of the occasional about it.  I have not posted the latest work as I am still tweaking it and my sister is working over time to get the images ready for posting.  I will have to bite the bullet and get Photoshop so I can do the scan prep myself.

I am working on three Grevillea paintings at the moment and although they are not finished I am going to give you a sneak preview.  I love seeing artworks  in the making, I hope you do too.

These are in the same style as the Sturt Desert Peas, I am doing a collection of paintings on Australian Native Flowers.  I want to show their vibrancy of colour and the amazing shapes.  I have stylised the flowers to highlight their shapes.  I am not interested in botanical correct paintings as that is not my style and there are plenty of others who do this with such amazing skill.  I am trying to show their shape, colour and flow.  I adore gracefully curved lines and have tried in these works to make every line beautiful.

Grevillea 1

Grevillea 1 Progress Underpainting complete

Grevillea 1 Progress 2

This one is almost finished though I am not convinced that the white background is doing it justice.  I have gone back once and filled in some more of the flower to give it balance and will have the finished scan ready soon,  These are a couple that were scanned along the way.

This is a larger drawing 50cm x 50cm and you only have a segment of it here.  The first one shows the underpainting that I do.  I find that underpainting gives my pencil work added vibrancy, I have used acrylic, but I am keen to try other mediums as I experiment.  This painting is on on 300gm Canson CP paper.  I liked the texture on the paper and the coloured pencils had plenty to grip onto.  The roughness of the paper was a bit of a challenging when inking in the outlines but I managed to keep them fairly smooth.

Grevillea 2

Grevillea 2 Progress Waiting for the background

Grevillea 2 In progress segment

This is my largest so far and is a full A1 sheet.  I have finished the flower pretty much and am taking a deep breath before I go to the background.  I plan to show a couple of leaves in the background in a darker green, in a more muted style.  Just to give the background more interest than a plain background and more interest in the painting as well.  large area of plain colour in pencils is not exciting to do.  Love the way the flower almost writhes, love that sense of movement.  (Sorry about the quality of the photos, as these are Iphone photos not scans)

This is on Canson 300gm HP.  It is a very smooth paper and I have not worked on it before.  The pencils reacted quite differently, not sure if a like it for this type of work, but it made the inking in easier.   The wax of the pencils built-up very quickly and I couldn’t get as many layers  down, but the effect looked more like oil pastels which I enjoyed.  Will have to experiment some more.

Grevillea 3

This one is in its early days, I have done the pencil drawing and have only just started to ink in the outline.  It will be a black and white ink drawing, with just the mouths of each flower in deep pink.  It was just going to be black and white, but the vibrancy of the flower could not be ignored and I hope just flashes of colour will work.  Love this image so I might do a couple of variations on it.  I have also scaled back and this painting is only 30cm x 30cm.

This painting is on Canson 300gm HP, the smoothness of the paper would work will with this ink drawing.

As soon as they are completed I will post the finished work for you.