Saturday, 9 June 2018

Brown Hare

Finally finished this brown hare, which was actually supposed to be a tutorial project. Unfortunately the tutorial booklet turned out to be terrible - completely useless for guidance (so I won't mention the artist's name). I quickly stopped even trying to use it and just worked from the photo and the artist's original drawing. I'm pretty pleased with how it eventually turned out.

Sunday, 4 February 2018

Blue Tits

I drew these sketches of blue tits a while ago but forgot to post them. I think they are slightly too fuzzy-looking in texture, but I'm happy with the colours.

Thursday, 25 January 2018

Rose Hips

Another botanical sketch I forgot to post previously! Coloured pencils on Winsor & Newton sketchbook paper. This paper is not suitable for layering coloured pencil, so I really struggled, but managed eventually to achieve a reasonable range of tones and fairly rich colours.  The scan hasn't done it any favours though - the colours of the different types of hips look very similar here but they actually aren't.

Monday, 22 January 2018

Botanical Sketches

Some more coloured pencil sketches - I did these back ago in the autumn but didn't get round to posting them!  I was trying out different papers with these, trying to figure out which sketchbook paper is best for dry pencil and which works well with watercolour pencils (I used a wash of watercolour pencil as a base layer for the poppy seed heads).

Sycamore Seeds:

Dried Poppy Seed Heads:

Honesty Seed Heads:

Thursday, 18 January 2018

Pussy Willow Stems

I wanted to see if I could capture the fuzzy quality of Pussy Willow buds in coloured pencil. I used the embossing technique before adding colour, to retain some bright white lines. I realised afterwards that it would have been much easier to use coloured paper to make the white buds stand out, but overall I'm fairly pleased with how it turned out.

Friday, 12 January 2018

Adonis Blue Butterfly in Coloured Pencil

My first large butterfly study in coloured pencil. I found the hairy body extremely difficult to capture accurately - with such tiny pencil strokes it's very hard to retain the highlights. I loved using all my blues though - they are the least used colours in my box! (Unfortunately the scanning process has made it look all shade of blue, but actually I used everything from Light Cobalt Turquoise to Indanthrene blue.

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Colouring Books for Practice

I've just discovered that botanical colouring books are a really fun way to practice shading techniques and try out colour mixes.

I wanted to find the perfect layering recipe to achieve rich dark colours for 'black' berries like elder and blackberries in coloured pencil, so I started out just drawing circles or rough freehand berries for my experiments, but then remembered that I had a couple of  (never used) colouring books which included images of blackberries and other fruits, so I got them out and had a go.

It was great! It was so much fun that even after I figured out how to do the blackberries, I wanted to finish the page. I'm obviously not going to stop doing my own drawings, but for practice, relaxation and stress-free fun, I'm definitely going to carry on using colouring books!!

This page was from the (very beautiful and luxuriously bound...) colouring book 'The Flower Year' by Leila Duly. Her artwork is absolutely gorgeous - really inspiring.

Page from 'The Flower Year' colouring book by Leila Duly, coloured using coloured pencils.