Monday, 19 March 2012

Sepia Fritillary

I have picked  the first fritillary flower from my garden and some buds of this beautiful flower.   It is quite early this year as it usually does not flower until  the end of March and throughout  the month of April.  Each year I add another hundred  of the tiny white bulbs, I planted them in November to flower in spring.
 I have been drawing  in my square book with sepia Calligraphy ink and a dip in pen and nib.  I photographed it and then decided to colour in the background with a paintbrush and the same ink.
It changed the look of the drawing, the white shapes of the leaves seem to jump out of the page and  gives the leaves a three dimensional feeling.  The leaves cross over and make such lovely interesting shapes, this is how they grow in clumps and the sweeping leaves tangle up with each other.
The flowers are called "Snakehead Fritillary",  ( Fritillaria meleagris).   It is the wonderful chequered pattern on the flowers that attracts me and makes them one of my favourite flowers.   They are a delicate flower and only last a few days. I try to go and see them each day and enjoy watching them appear. You will notice it features on my blog header.  The bees love them and when they are out in full  flower, it is alive with buzzing  as the bees weave their way around the flower heads.

This is a photograph taken last year showing the flowers and you will see we have white ones too.  I am hoping for the same beautiful show this year.   At the moment there are just a few flowers out,  most of the plants are just growing and look like a strand of grass.  A heavy rain shower or a windy stormy day spoils them and blows the petals off.

Which do you like the best, the white background or the sepia ?
I will be drawing more of these beautiful flowers, hope you  like them.
Thank you for the lovely comments which I always enjoy reading.  Until next week Happy drawing .         Millyx

Monday, 5 March 2012


Last week I collected lots of snail shells from the hedgerows.  They are empty shells and have faded colours of blues and grey and brown.   This is the common garden snail and you  usually see them as brown patterned shells, but over the winter this brown skin peels off  and reveals the paler blue colours. The shells are quite fragile and easily break.  I washed the empty shells in soapy water and put them in a large glass jar.
I chose them one at a time to draw and hoped to capture some of the colours and patterns on my page.  It is getting more and more of a strain to draw all the fine lines.  So as my eyes became tired I decided to make some  larger than life size at the bottom of the page.  I was working in my acrylic inks and using a paint brush.  Then for the last shell I decided to try one with my  pencil crayons and also  recorded my progress.

I first sketched it in pencil and chose to work in Derwent coloured  pencils.
I carefully recorded the patterns and colours.  I actually used seven different coloured crayons.
Then I had a little visitor....who walked right across my page.

So tiny . I think the sunshine pouring through my window had woken her up.
Then along the edge of my book.
Perhaps like me, she liked the smell of the pale yellow Hyacinths flowers I grew from bulbs I planted before Christmas. . My husband placed her safely back into the garden.  He found her walking around on his shoe.
 So seven snail shells sitting serenely in my square sketch  alliteration or a little tongue twister....trying saying that fast.   Snails... love them or hate them?   I hope you like my drawings.
 As always,  thank you to all of you who visit my blog and those who kindly leave a comment,  I always enjoy reading them.         Millyx