Sunday, 7 December 2008

Red Berries and Cotoneaster

It is grey and foggy. The ground is white with frost. I look out of my window and I can see the lovely red berries on the cotoneaster. The birds have eaten so many of them,  but that is why I grew them in the first place, to attract the birds and as a winter food for them.  I do love red berries and often include them in my drawings.
This drawing is perhaps a little unusual for me, it just kind of happened. I had broken off the branch and brought it indoors to draw. The little blue dish was already full of red berries and they just looked so nice together. At first I was using the dish to lean the branch against but then decided to include it. Blue and red always look so good together. I sat and drew it and then painted it with acrylic paints.  I did it last year at this time. It looks very seasonal and brightens up this gloomy day. Hope you like it.
Press picture for close up, you will see it as work in progress, not the finished one.

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Peppered Moth

This moth came into my sisters house during a storm. It stayed for days as it seemed to like it in the sunshine in her sunroom and didn't seem to want to leave. She showed it to me and it was so beautiful I had to draw it. The spotted patterns are so lovely and it was fascinating observing the moth close up. I looked it up and found it is a Peppered Moth and that it has two versions. My light coloured wings with dark markings which lives in the countryside. Then the opposite one with dark coloured wings with light patterns which adapted to live in the town, in the days of sooty black buildings. My light coloured moth likes trees and is camouflaged so well on the tree bark. I used a fine ink pen and a little paint to make the wings slightly off white. My drawing measures about 6inches across. Like so many everyday things we don't see them close up, this was fascinating to look at and I did need to use a magnifying glass to get all the detail. Press picture for a close up.

Monday, 29 September 2008

Red Berries

Well autumn has arrived.  I love this time of the year as the hedgerows are full of red berries. Rose hips, hawthorn and mountain ash are all glowing red and each time I go for a walk I stop to gaze at them and then pick a small branch to draw.  Today the wind is so strong the berries will be blown off and the road will be littered with them.  I like the hawthorn berries and have a favourite tree where I pick them throughout autumn and winter.  They hang in little groups on the delicate stalks and each little branch has its own curved or twisted shape.  Over the months they change colour, from the bright red to a deeper bugundy colour. The green leaves change to dark brown and they have such a pretty shape. I am posting one of my little drawings of the hawthorn berries. I never grow tired of drawing them, they are so beautiful with their simple shapes. Hope you like them. Press picture for a closer look.

Saturday, 2 August 2008

My display of natural finds.... Feathers

I have a huge collection of natural finds.  Feathers are one of my collections and I just can't resist picking them up when I see them. I find them on the sea shore, in the fields and on my walks.  One of my best finds was a lovely little blue striped feather which I found along one of the lanes in my village. It is a jays feather.   A letter arrived this week from my friend and she had popped a little striped feather in the envelope. It was from one of her hens, you see I always go around the field collecting nice feathers from her hens. See how people think about me, send me feathers , not flowers or chocolates....feathers.  I had a present off my little two year old friend, you guessed, "A feather for you to draw".  Then his five year old sister sent me a feather, found this for Eileen to draw.  Gifts of feathers are sent to me all the time, they see a feather and think of me! In the display cabinets at my exhibition this was one of the shelves, with some of my feathers displayed,  and two of my art cards, the six striped feathers and sycamore seeds with three red berries.  I was painting a red rosehip yesterday, another of my favourite things are bright red shiny berries.  Today I am just going to get started on a feather drawing for a present so I am looking through my feather collection to see which ones to draw. So many to chose from.
The three feathers are drawn with Derwent coloured pencils, three feathers collected from the sandy beach near me.
Please note.... I always wash my found feathers in soapy water to make sure they are clean before I draw them.

Sunday, 22 June 2008

From little acorns

Last autumn I collected these acorns and leaves from a lovely old oak tree. I planted some of the acorns and have been watching them grow. The little oak trees have grown and have about four or five leaves and my lovely little oak leaves now measure about six inches high. It is going to be such fun watching them grow. I need to find a suitable place to plant when they start to grow bigger.
I love oak leaves and they are one of my favourite subjects along with the tiny acorns. I have lots of different drawings of oak leaves, some in paint and others in derwent coloured pencils and some detailed pencil drawings. Leaves and acorns all the same but different, each one has its own unique shape. And it still amazes me to think that a beautiful oak tree started off as one of those tiny acorns.

Thursday, 10 April 2008

edm 166 fish

I have posted two drawings of fish. The coloured fish was done in pastels quite a while ago. It was the one of the few things I have ever done using pastels, the tin of Derwent pastel crayons remains unused. The pencil drawing feels more like me .

Fish were a favourite subject for an art lesson when I was teaching young children. I would go to the supermarket and buy all different fresh fish, choosing them for their colours and shape and pattterns. What a great art lesson they made and the children always were so inspired and did beautiful drawings. For most of the children this was so exciting as it the first time they had touched a fish and had first hand experience of looking at fish close up. I wasn't too popular with all the other staff, the whole school stunk of fish by the end of the day. There would be a wonderful display of drawings in the classroom and the children learnt the names of the fish.
The coloured fish is a rainbow trout. I bought it at the supermarket and chose it because of the wonderful colours. Hope you like it.
Press pictures for close up.

Sunday, 6 April 2008

My display of natural finds.

As it has been a while since I posted here I thought I would post lots of little drawings in one go. This is actually a photograph of one of the little displays at my exhibition last year. I always draw from real natural objects, the cabinet holds some of my little drawings and some objects from my collections.
I wanted people to see the real feathers, shells, seeds, leaves, insects etc which I draw and inspire many of my drawings. So here is a little glimpse into the sort of things I collect, usually from the countryside or beach near to where I live. They are just everyday objects to me , found while I am out and about.
Hope you like it, click to see the bigger picture.

Thursday, 28 February 2008

Edm challenge 116 Draw something green

I collect feathers and love drawing them. They are usually feathers that I find on the sea shore from sea birds. I thought I would try a peacock feather bcause of the beautiful colours and bought this one from the garden centre. It was tricky matching the colours with my Derwent studio pencil crayons. This is the finished result. It is on a piece of A3 size paper. As it is mostly green I am using it for the Edm 116 challenge.

Friday, 8 February 2008

Three oak leaves

I have been working on these three oak leaves. I started off using Derwent graphitint pencils to draw out the shape and details. Then I used a paint brush and wet the graphitint, my first time at doing this. It gave quite a nice leaf, the colours became brighter and the original drawing stayed true, but I felt it was just a foundation for what I hoped to achieve. After painting over it with acrylic paint and a bit of experimenting with Derwent coloured pencils and more painting, this is the finished drawing of the three oak leaves.
I like playing around with different materials and mixing them with each other. You can often discover new ways of working with your materials. The drawing is on A3 size paper.
I am really pleased with the finished result and the lovely rich colours. I love the shape of oak leaves and everyone is unique. They were collected from a beautiful old oak tree in my village.

Monday, 4 February 2008

My first Moleskine 2008

Well I just had to go and find a shop that sells Moleskine. So this is my first one. It felt a little strange working on the small size page, I usually work on a larger size piece of paper. I have decided to make it a nature journal and hope to use it throughout the year. Here is one of the first pages, red berries and leaves which I found and Collected in January. I like the creamy yellow colour of the paper which again is a change as I usually work on white. So my very first Moleskine with one of my first drawings, in pencil and acrylic paint for the red berries and brown leaf.

Sunday, 13 January 2008

Edm challenge 153 Draw something wrapped in plastic

I saw these three peppers in the shopping and thought they would be ideal for the challenge. I really enjoyed drawing them with all the detail in the reflections of the plastic. I was sitting next to a lamp in the evening.
The drawing of all three peppers is done in pencil which I love working with. As I really intended to us colour , I decided just to paint one of them using acrylic paint. It was an interesting challenge. Press the picture to enlarge.

Saturday, 5 January 2008

Edm challenge 116 Draw something green

I had a beautiful boxed set of Derwent Coloursoft for my Christmas present. It has two layers with seventy two different colours to choose from. I searched around for something to test out my new crayons on. This green leaf was something I had collected and brought home a few weeks ago . It is a sycamore leaf with the black spotted pattern , some kind of fungi which attacks the leaf. I used twelve different crayons to capture the shades in this autumn leaf. It is lifesize , drawn on a piece of A3 paper.
I like the coloursoft crayons, especially the colour shades which are earthy and ideal for natural objects. They are soft and good for blending but a bit soft if you want to draw a thin line. I was pleased with the leaf. I think these crayons will see me through the year and the changing seasons. Looking forward to some more Drawings from Nature. Click on picture for bigger image.