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.

Sunday, 26 November 2017

Crab Apples

I'm trying out different sketchbook papers, to see which I like best. Some work much better with coloured pencils than others. Here's a study of crab apples I did on Winsor and Newton sketchbook paper. I like the brightness of the colours with this paper.

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Goldfinch on a Teasel

I'm really enjoying drawing birds at the moment. Some of them don't turn out so well but I'm pleased with this one. It's coloured pencil on sketchbook paper.

Based on a reference photo by Darren Bellerby on Flickr (CC 2.0 license)

Saturday, 26 August 2017

Geranium Botanical Study

Geranium 'Johnson's Blue' Cranesbill.

We have this plant in our garden and the bees love it. It's the first time I've used cuttings of all the different parts of a live plant in the studio (although I did take photos too, because I work so slowly!)

It's a sketchbook spread in coloured pencil.

Friday, 11 August 2017


Bumblebee sketchbook pages.

And my version of an identification guide of common British bees.  The artist of the original guide kindly gave me permission to use it as a reference guide for my coloured pencil version.

Bee on Foxglove

I've joined a challenge group on my art forum. Each month there is a theme and we all paint/draw an offering within the theme. Reference photos are provided, which we can use or not as we wish. It's good fun, and nice to feel part of a group.  This was my first month's submission. It's coloured pencil on smooth hot-press watercolour paper.