Poppy sketches in ink and watercolour

ink and watercolour sketch of some poppy flowers
ink and watercolour sketch of some poppy flowers
Poppy sketches

Some practice sketches of poppies. A5 pen and ink drawing with watercolour.

The Friday Squirrel

Sketch of a squirrel reading while sitting on an old log
Sketch of a squirrel reading while sitting on an old log
Squirrel has been busy collecting for winter and stops on a nearby log to read during a break.

A little squirrel doodle to start the weekend.


Goldfinch Sketch in Watercolour pencils

Sketch painting of a goldfinch bird using watercolour pencils

A little family of 5 goldfinches were feeding and exploring outside my window this morning. They were rummaging around in some rough ground, one was outside my window playing peek-a-boo. They’re small birds but you can see they have a lot of attitude. They wandered around for a few minutes then as a group they just walked off round the corner. I managed to get a photograph of one finch and drew a quick sketch with watercolour pencils.

Sketch painting of a goldfinch bird using watercolour pencils
Goldfinch sketch with watercolour pencils


Sketch of a squirrel eating, pencil on A5 paper

Two more drawings from my sketch book. The first was a close up of a squirrel eating. Around here the squirrels seem to divide their time between eating food, burying food, performing acrobatics to acquire food and playing daredevil with other squirrels and cats. Probably trying to guard their food!  I wish these were red squirrels but I find it hard to dislike grey squirrels in London, they are such entertaining little creatures. Especially when they perform acrobatics above our garden at full speed.

A squirrel eating, pencil sketch on A5 paper
A squirrel eating, pencil sketch on A5 paper

Sketching Sally the fidget monster!

After a bit of cartoon practice, I decided to get some speed sketching practice with little Sally as my model.

I’m sure whenever she notices I’m looking at her, she gets the fidgets! It took a few aborted poses before I got the second sketch.  Even then, she still moved her head and paws mid way through.

Quick sketches of Sally
Quick sketches of Sally

Horse sketches

Running - speed sketch using pencil on A5 paper

I haven’t skipped a single day of my sketch book challenge since I started.

happy dance

A few more scans for you 🙂

Horse sketch
Horse sketch – timed 10 mins outline, 10 mins basic shading then about 20 mins tarting up the shading because I was having fun 😀

Both quality and quantity are increasing already, and making myself draw EVERY day whether I feel like it or not, I’m having to find a way of working in any mood or situation.  Which was another of my goals.  I learned that being in a really grouchy mood makes for very tense, ugly work when I’m horribly critical of myself.  But after a few hours of ugly cartoon faces and a dreadful horsey, I just got to that “oh, what the hell” point and like magic a sketch flew onto the paper one bold line after another.  I look at that page with the horrible horse and the free one beside it and they don’t even look like the same person drew them.  But that day was a valuable lesson for me.  Here’s the scan so you see what I mean.

2 Horse Sketches
Left was drawn while I was all tense and grouchy, right was drawn immediately after when I relaxed and just let it happen.

I’m doing cartoon practice and also more realistic work.  I’ve always been a bit too meticulous and I love relaxing while I do very careful texturing in pencil.  You get into a rhythm and that becomes like a meditation for me.  So I have used my sketchbooks to draw quickly and choose random poses (currently horses) to challenge myself on the accuracy side too.

Sketchbook Challenge: Days 3 & 4

Well, the good news is that I’ve been drawing every day since I started my challenge.  The bad news is that I haven’t quite filled a page a day. Still progress though, and I did have good reason for being a bit slow.

My partner had one of his bikes stolen on Friday so we had police round over the weekend and I wasn’t my calmest on Saturday to sit down and draw.  What I should have done is shading and texturing because the rhythm of that is just amazing at calming me. But I was starting a new sketch of a horse, and I just got grumpy because the outline was all jagged and tensed up.  I didn’t stop to think “how can you relax yourself and draw too.  My critical mind jumped all over the sketchpad instead. Critical mind can’t even draw curtains. The horse it attempted looked like a cow after a nuclear accident so I put it out of its misery.  Learned my lesson though.

Anyway, here are 2 scans from the sketchbook. The first horse on the second sheet actually looks like the kind of freaky horse I drew as a kid.  I think he was Saturday’s freak horse come back to haunt me.  Glad it’s not Halloween!

Sketchbook Challenge Day 3 - horse sketches
Sketchbook Challenge Day 3 – horse sketches
Sketchbook Challenge: Day 4 - More horse sketches
Sketchbook Challenge: Day 4 – More horse sketches

Sketchbook challenge day 2 – Wensleydale sheep gets a rasta hat!

This is your fault, mum!   Remember that hint about wanting a pic of your new sheepy?   I might have gotten a little carried away…  Though I now expect you to knit him a proper Bob Marley hat for Christmas hehehe.

I thought I’d try drawing a sheep in striped hat, similar to one Bob Marley had.  Because black Wensleydale sheep do look like they have dreadlocks.  They just do….

So um sorry mum, but I will do a proper Marley picture later *giggles*

Rasta Wensleydale doodles

Pencil sketch of Jinty, one of my Highland ponies

Jinty - a pencil drawing of a highland pony's head in profile
Jinty - a pencil drawing of a highland pony's head in profile
Jinty – Pencil sketch of a highland pony

Jinty – Highland Pony – Pencil sketchI posted this on DeviantArt yesterday, then forgot to blog here too.  Whoops!

I’ve always found it harder to draw cobby type horses and ponies. When I was at school I spent hours sketching and painting dainty arabians because they just seemed to move like magical creatures. I learned to ride on Highland ponies, and adored them, but I’ve never been able to draw any of the stocky native breeds.

So, for some practice and a challenge I drew this portrait of my biggest (and certainly fattest!) Highland pony, Jinty. She’s a challenge just in the gold highlights of her mane and the dark stripes and spots on her face.  There’s a real satisfaction in making myself do something out of my comfort zone, if I get really brave I’ll draw the other side of her so I can get her full mane drawn.  I pity the 4 horses she stole hers from, I really do!

I’ve been playing around with my scanner and installed Simple Scan – it makes a lovely clean pencil scan, so I’ve just had to touch the levels and change to greyscale in Gimp.  In Jinty’s case I also moved the sketch into the centre of the paper so there’s a clear margin for framing.  But I’m much happier bringing my pencil sketches onto the PC now it’s just a quick tweak in Gimp.  No excuse for not scanning in my sketches now, and very useful when I start working on cartoons from my sketches.