26 December 2014

A very penguin Christmas...

I hope you've all had a very merry Christmas! Here's the card I did for my other half - it's a little painting of the small collection of penguins that we've somehow accumulated :-) (they live in an alcove in the chimney breast, of course...). Wishing everyone a very happy 2015!
Ink and watercolour Christmas penguins

10 December 2014

Feed the birds

Here's a small ink and watercolour I did for a Christmas card exchange on the Painting Friends forum. This is a Great Tit, a small bird fairly common here in the UK. They seem to have had a really good breeding year - there are lots on our feeders (and I had one on the windowsill the other day, tapping at the window!). I'm also doing a linocut based on this image, so watch this space!

Great tit ink and watercolour painting

30 November 2014

Yorkshire dales collagraph prints

A couple of months back I did a printmaking workshop with Sherry Rea, and following on from that she very generously offered the workshop group a day of open access in her studio. So we reconvened a few weeks later and got printmaking again!

I decided to try another collagraph, this time a landscape inspired by my wonderful week in the Yorkshire Dales earlier in the year. I pulled several prints from the same plate, trying out different colours, different amounts of wiping/leaving ink on the plate, etc. I was really please with the results - my landscape efforts thus far in other media have been somewhat disappointing!

So, here they are...

Collagraph printmaking landscape Yorkshire Dales

Collagraph printmaking landscape Yorkshire Dales

Collagraph printmaking landscape Yorkshire Dales

Collagraph printmaking landscape Yorkshire Dales

Collagraph printmaking landscape Yorkshire Dales

Collagraph printmaking landscape Yorkshire Dales
 I need to pick a favourite to get framed, but I don't know which one I like best!

And here's the collagraph plate...

Collagraph plate printmaking landscape Yorkshire Dales

09 November 2014

Drypoint cat

Here's a little drypoint of the cat, completed a few weeks back... I printed some like this, with two ink colours, and some in just black. I also printed some in black then added some watercolour. Had fun playing around!

Drypoint print tortoiseshell calico cat

24 October 2014

Linocut lizards...

I enjoyed a fab lino printing workshop a couple of weeks ago with local printmaker Nina Sage (http://www.ninasage.co.uk/workshops - you can see me lurking in some of the photos!) Here's what I did and have been working on since...

This first one is the 'key' block - the image printed in black. It's based on a pic I took in France.
Lizard linocut on monoprinted background
 Next is the image printed onto a monoprinted background. Back home I carved a second block so I could add some body colour,  and printed onto more monoprint backgrounds. I can see I am going to have fun with the colours here!

Lizard linocut on monoprinted background
Lizard linocut on monoprinted background

09 October 2014


At last, a new drawing in my somewhat neglected natural world journal...

Horse chestnut conkers drawings
These are conkers - the fruits of the horse chestnut tree. A sure sign that autumn is here! The top drawing was done with coloured pencils, and the bottom group is in watercolour. Nice to explore the different qualities of these media!

27 September 2014


A couple of weeks back I went to a most excellent collagraph workshop, run by printmaker Sherry Rea who, rather conveniently, lives in a village just up the road from me. The five of us who attended all enjoyed the workshop immensely!  Here are some of the prints I came away with (the sheepy one inspired by my holiday in the Yorkshire Dales!)

Swaledale sheep collagraph print

Swaledale sheep collagraph print

Feather collagraph print

25 September 2014

Inky lemur

Here's another ink sketch, done on Eco handmade paper, a slightly smoother surface than the sheep sketch in the earlier post.  The reference photo is from artbyjune on WetCanvas - thanks!

Ink sketch ring tailed lemur on Eco handmade paper
Sepia acrylic ink, plus water applied via a spray bottle (a bit random, but there's the fun of it!)

21 September 2014


Here' a quick inky drawing, done with a dip pen, water brush and spray bottle, on a sample of Eco Handmade paper from Jackson's Art, which has a fab textural surface...

Ink sketch of a Swaledale ewe
It's only a little one, postcard size. But fun to draw!

18 September 2014

Sketches from the Yorkshire Dales

I've just had a lovely week's break in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales - unexpectedly good weather too, warm and sunny all week! We were mostly walking, taking in the stunning scenery, but I did find time for just a few sketches (and loads of photos of course, lots of inspiration!)

Ink and watercolour sketch Yorkshire Dales National Park
 This was the view from our front window, of the cottage across the road in the very quiet village where we stayed.

Ink and watercolour sketch Yorkshire Dales National Park
 Sketched this fab tree on a walk up Naughtberry Hill

Ink and watercolour sketch Yorkshire Dales National Park
And here's our cottage for the week.

Happy sketching all!

13 August 2014

Happy birthday G!

Here's a quick watercolour and ink sketch of my niece, who is 18 today. Happy birthday G!

Watercolour and ink sketch portrait

06 August 2014

Little owl drypoint

Here's another print for my 'Bird list' project, inspired by the birdlife I see/hear around the house and garden.

Little owl Athene noctua drypoint print
This is a Little Owl (Athene noctua). I sometimes see these guys flying about at dusk, but more often hear them - they can be quite noisy!

27 July 2014

26 July 2014

Aloe flowers and clematis

Hello again!

Here are the next two studies in my 'natural world' sketchbook project.

Aloe plant flower watercolour study
 The first is a flower spike on one of our Aloe plants, on the windowsill.

Clematis watercolour study

And next, the clematis growing in the back garden.

Slowly filling the lovely Stillman & Birn sketchbook up!

20 July 2014

17 July 2014

Out and about at Anglesey Abbey

I managed to sneak out for a few hours a couple of affternoons ago, and I went to the National Trust's Anglesey Abbey, near Cambridge. Managed to do a bit of sketching too.

Ink and watercolour, Lode Mill, Anglesey Abbey National Trust
 Lode Mill
In the rose garden

13 July 2014

Drypoint sparrow

More inky fun - another drypoint, inspired by the birds I see and hear around the house and garden. Here's a cheeky house sparrow.

drypoint house sparrow printmaking
Printed area is approx. 6 by 8". This one was printed from an acrylic plate, which is more robust than the acetate sheets I've been using up to now. Again, it's the wiping and leaving of ink on the plate for tone that really makes the image for me, and I love the fresh sketchy feel you can get with the actual etching.

28 June 2014

Goldcrest drypoint and chine colle

I've been playing with the baby etching press some more...

I printed an edition of six; because the plate is inked and wiped for each print, they are all slightly different (plus I was playing around with varying the amount of ink I left on the plate). The chine colle is the gold crest of the little bird. Printed area is approx. 5 by 8".

Goldcrest dryoint etching print
This was the first print, nice crisp lines.

Goldcrest dryoint etching print
This was the last of six. The lines aren't so dark and crisp after six inkings, wipings and journeys through the press. You can see as well the difference you can make in how much ink you wipe, and how much you can vary the tone.

I was fairly pleased with the way these turned out, but it's not easy to judge just how much ink to wipe off! I guess it comes with experience, so I'll keep on keeping on with these!

I'm planning a series of prints, using various techniques, based on the birds I see and hear from the house/garden here in Cambridgeshire. Calling it the 'Bird List' project, not very inspired I know! (Let me know if you think of a better name...) Should keep me going for a while...

23 June 2014

France sketchbook

I did a holiday sketchbook as a birthday pressie for my sister - some pics were done at the time, others from photos...

St Emilion rooftops pen and watercolour

Wine bottles watercolour, ink and collage

Grapevines watecolour ink and collage

Aeroplane wing in biro

My niece in ink
Done in an A5 sketchbook, sorry abut the shadow - from the scanner...

19 June 2014

Fungi from the garden

Fungi from the garden, growing in the lawn round about where we (that's the 'royal we' ;)) chop logs. Don't know what they are - there's a couple of elderly specimens, plus a couple of youngsters.

Watercolour painting of fungi

13 June 2014

Dog roses for the natural world journal

Next page in the natural world journal, this time it's dog roses - when the swifts are screaming in the sky and the dog roses are blooming, then it's definitely summer! These were from a hedgerow out in the farmland here.

Natural world journal dog roses watercolour
Still loving the Stillman & Birn sketchbook/journal, these will be on my Christmas wish list this year for sure!
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