Tuesday, 17 October 2017

More INKtober sketches

Hello friends,

I'm taking a break from portraits for the moment so here is a bit of variety for you...

Day 8/31 - I have been using these Dr Ph. Martins inks along with some Sumi ink in a few of the following sketches. I like the range of tones I can get with them.

Day 9/31 - A penguin sketched on Strathmore Tan toned paper with Sumi ink, a Pentel pocket brush pen and a few prismacolor pencils

Day 10/31 - A rat sketched on Strathmore Tan toned paper with Sumi ink, Bombay ink, and Faber-castell Polychromos white pencil

Day 11/31 - Why a frog in meditation? Well firstly, I had decided I wanted to sketch a cute, illustrative frog.  Then, after watching a documentary on George Harrison the night before with my son, and I noted that George Harrison was big into meditation and the Hindu faith so, I thought...why not sketch a meditating frog. Note the 'Peace' sign necklace she's wearing? Sketched on Strathmore Tan toned paper using ink, watercolours, and Pentel pocket brush pen for stripes.

Day 12/31 - A teddybear sketched on Strathmore Tan toned paper using Bombay and Sumi inks, a brown ballpoint pen, and gouache for highlights. The bow is done with watercolours.

That's it for now until the next INKtober post.

Scribble Picnic is tomorrow and I still haven't a clue what I'm going to do for the challenge. YIKES!

Sunday, 15 October 2017

More INKtober portraits

Hello friends,

I did a few more Sktchy portraits for INKtober. If you follow me on Instagram, you would have seen these already as I've been posting my INKtober pieces over there daily.

Day 5/31 - Kieran via Sktchy

Day 6/31 - Carolina via Sktchy

The rough pen and ink sketch first

More layers and detailing

Day 7/31 - Ellie via Sktchy

Stay tuned to see more INKtober posts....hopefully tomorrow.

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Another INKtober portrait - Aaliyah

Well, I haven't managed to post daily but I have been sketching daily for INKtober. YAY!

That said, I have been posting daily over on my Instagram profile — click HERE.

To continue where I left off...

Aaliyah was an up and rising star as a singer and an actress when, at only 22 years of age, she tragically died in a plane crash on August 25th, 2001. That day, Aaliyah and her film crew had finished filming for a music video in the Bahamas and, afterwards, boarded the Cessna plane to head back to Florida. Unfortunately, the plane had weight in excess of the allowable amount and the pilot had falsified documents so was not even qualified to fly the plane. It took off but quickly nose-dived and crashed at the end of the runway exploding into a fireball. All nine people on board died.

My son, Beau, was devastated because Aaliyah was his favourite singer/actress. He was only 14 at the time she died and he took it very hard. He was in denial for weeks and kept asking if she could have made it to safety. In his mind, he had so desperately wanted her to miraculously escape and survive...it took him a long time to come to terms with her death. I felt so bad for him and felt helpless to ease his pain. Beau still feels that Aaliyah's songs speak to him and they have helped him through lots of emotional and difficult times over the years.

Needless to say, I felt under extra pressure with this sketch of Aaliyah because, when it comes to all things Aaliyah, Beau must give his stamp of approval and — luckily for me, he did.

The first couple of layers of ink

And the final result

Tribute video - Click HERE if the video doesn't work

I will post more from my INKtober sketches tomorrow so check back then...

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Scribble Picnic - Blanket

Hello friends,

This week, the prompt for Scribble Picnic is BLANKET.

I thought I'd go for something cutesy this week. A little platypus curled up under her blanket, fast asleep. Sweet dreams, little one.

Sketched with Platinum Carbon pen, watercolours, and Prismacolor pencils in Moleskine watercolour notebook.

To see what my picnic pals have been up to for this week, click HERE.
Next week, we will have another 'Fill In The Blank'...what fun!
Click HERE, to find out how to join us.

I also did my INKtober portrait sketch for Day 4 of 31 but I will post that tomorrow along with whatever I do for Day 5...probably another portrait. I wanted this post to be all about Scribble Picnic.  You can check back on previous posts to see what I've been up to for INKtober.

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

INKtober - Day 3 of 31 - Sktchy portrait

Hello friends,

I'm afraid I haven't been well today...we've had rain for a few days and also a cooler change. The moisture in the air seems to have flared up my asthma.

I did manage a quick Sktchy portrait though.

I sketched this with ink pen, Sumo ink and brush, and a Pentel pocket brush pen.
Her name is Jessica Aguirre.

I'm hoping to continue with the 'Gone but not forgotten' portraits when I'm feeling better.

Stay tuned...

Monday, 2 October 2017

INKtober - Day 2 of 31 - Selena Quintanilla-Perez

Hello friends,

I figured that, since I did Amy Winehouse yesterday, I might stick with a theme for the first week of INKtober.

You have most likely heard of Selena Quintanilla-Perez — the American singer songwriter, also known as the Queen of Tejano music.  Selena was tragically shot and killed by the president of her fan club, Yolanda Saldivar, on March 31st, 1995. Selena was only 23 years old at the time of her death. She was a beautiful, giving person with an infectious smile and was loved by many.

They made a movie about her titled, Selena, and she was played by Jennifer Lopez.  It portrays her life from childhood to stardom — a beautiful movie with a tragic ending.  Another that I'd highly recommend if you haven't already seen it.

A loose pen sketch to start with

Then some Sumi ink and my Pentel pocket brush ink pen to finish her portrait

Here is the official tribute video to Selena. It's one of my favourite songs performed by Selena.
You can click HERE, if the video doesn't play for you.

Stay tuned for more ink sketches...

Sunday, 1 October 2017

INKtober - Day 1 of 31 - Amy Winehouse

Hello friends,

Well today marks the start of INKtober! I didn't complete it last year (got to 19 if memory serves me correctly) but I thought I would try it again this year. (Just checked and I actually made it to 24.)

Recently, my son and I watched a documentary on Netflix titled, Amy.

I must admit that I'd never heard much of Amy Winehouse apart from the occasional news segment about her doing drugs and then, of course, her death at only 27 years old. I didn't even know what type of music she performed but, after watching the documentary, my heart broke for her.

Amy was a young woman who adored music and even wrote her own songs. Amy classified her music genre as a mix of jazz and hip-hop. She had an amazing voice!  Sadly, Amy was not prepared for all the fame and media attention that stardom would bring her. She was overwhelmed by it all. She fell for the wrong guy who ended up marrying her and then introducing her to hard drugs. On top of that, she was bulimic since her teens which didn't help.  Amy adored her father who appeared to enjoy the limelight more than she did — even starred in his own reality show about being Amy Winehouse's father.

She had a few very close friends who saw the self-destructive path Amy was on and, at one stage, they pleaded with the father to encourage Amy to go into rehab but her father said she'd be fine. They also begged her father and manager to not let her tour but they both seemed more interested in the tour bookings and not wanting to cancel. It was clear that his daughter needed help. At one point, Amy didn't even want to go on tour but they bundled her up and sent her anyway.

The media/photographers had a field day and, seeing it all unfold in the documentary, their harassment of Amy reminded me very much of what they did to Princess Diana. I'm sorry but I'm of the opinion that, just because someone becomes famous, it does NOT mean their private lives should be available to one and all. They are not demi-Gods, people, so leave them alone and allow them some privacy!

Not long before her death, Amy had told a close friend that, if she could give up all the fame and go back to the life she had before, she would.

Amy did go to rehab and was drug-free at the time of her death.  However, she did indulge in alcohol and that is what killed her in the end.  An autopsy report showed that Amy was something like five times over the safe limit and her heart just stopped beating.

I would definitely recommend this documentary...in fact, I watched it twice because it affected me that much.

In honour of Amy and her amazing talent, I chose to kick off INKtober with a sketch of her.

Starting with a loose pencil sketch

Then inked using a Platinum Carbon fountain pen

To finish off, I used Sumi ink with a brush and also a Pentel Pocket brush ink pen

To end off this post,  I thought you might like to watch/listen to one of my favourite songs performed by Amy Winehouse. And the direct link if the video doesn't work for you...click HERE.

NOTE - I'm not sure yet but I will probably post a weekly update with my INKtober sketches as I don't think I'll have time to post daily.

Stay tuned...

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Scribble Picnic - Radio

Hello friends,

This week's Scribble Picnic prompt is RADIO.

I had a few different ideas running through my head for this one:

Our own digital radio playing music while a goldfish danced in its bowl beside the radio.
Or a mouse dancing on top of a radio to the song, Billie Jean, in Michael Jackson style clothes.
Or perhaps a 70's roller-skater carrying a boom box combo as he skated along the promenade at the beach.

So, what did I end up sketching? 

I started out with a rat on rollerskates carrying a radio/CD player combo — sketched roughly with pencil

Which I changed to this groovy rat rollerblading along as his radio/CD player combo belts out some funky tunes. Is he off to skate along the promenade, I wonder?

The finished illustration - Ink, watercolour, and Prismacolour pencils in Moleskine sketchbook

I have to say how thrilled I am to be able to draw directly from my imagination all thanks to Michael's Scribble Picnic prompts each week. They really get my mind thinking and imagining all sorts of scenarios.

Of course, I do have a studio muse but, as you can see below, he really isn't any help at all


To check out the other contributions for this week's picnic, click HERE.
To find out how to join in on the fun each week, click HERE.
The prompt for next week is BLANKET.

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Scribble Picnic: Watch Out!

Hello friends,

The Scribble Picnic prompt for this week is WATCH OUT! 

It is Spring here in Oz and the bird nesting season is in full swing so I immediately thought of swooping magpies.  While they aren't the only species of bird to swoop at perceived intruders to their territory, they seem to hold the record for being the most persistent and aggressive. I remember my son, back in primary school, bleeding from just below his eye due to a magpie swooping at him.  I remember being swooped at myself many years ago when I was trying to hang out the washing in the back yard. They are fast, catch you unaware, and they do make contact if you're not fast enough to duck. It's very common in our area, warning signs are in place, and sometimes, people (particularly cyclists) wear funny hats with soft, long, skinny spikes sticking out in all directions to hopefully deter a magpie attack. Magpies see anyone as fair game, no matter the age...you walk into their territory and WATCH OUT! Here, magpies are a protected species which I'm very glad of as I'd hate to think of people harming them simply because they are protecting their young.

That said, magpies are very clever and will actually recognise faces and come to know the humans who mean them no harm.  In a previous home, they would gather twice a day for their treats and, quite often, one or two would come into the house, sit on our dining table and watch my son or I cut up their food. We have never been swooped/attacked since we started making friends with them.

I still get magpies bringing their babies to my door for their daily treats. Their babies can be very loud and demanding and, by that stage, are nearly as big as their parents. They are brown in colour unlike the typical black and white of the adult magpies. I love to watch them! 

SO, getting back to the prompt, I only managed a rough pen/ink sketch...not yet finished. The bird in the sketch will be a magpie when the piece is fine-tuned and coloured in.  These sketches are done completely from imagination and I made it into a cartoon-like sequence. Can you tell what happened?



NOTE : No sweet, old ladies were harmed in the making of this sketch.




Next week's prompt is RADIO. To join in on the fun, click HERE to find out how.
This week's contributions to our picnic can be found HERE.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Scribble Picnic: Black & White

Hello friends,

This week's Scribble Picnic theme is BLACK & WHITE.

Numerous thoughts rushed through my mind — A white sketch on black paper, a Zentangle Wolf, a black ink sketch on white paper, a chess set, a zebra etc.

The Zebra is what stuck in my mind so I did a rough pencil sketch to start with. I wanted to create a cute, baby-like Zebra...a character in my mind, if you will.

The first layer of watercolour

And the end result

I wonder if anyone else thought of a black and white zebra?

Michael hasn't put the page link up for this week yet so I will come back and add it when he does.
Next week's prompt is WATCH OUT! To find out how to join in on the fun each week, click HERE.

Okay, just checked, and our illustrious leader has put up the post for this week so you can click HERE to see the contributions from my fellow Picnickers.

I thought you might like to see a couple of my zebra art pieces from years ago.

This one was done with acrylic paints on an ACEO card made from matte board

And this one was a love job for one of my sons. I called it 'Zebra Sunset' and painted it with acrylics on a 36" x 24" gallery-wrapped canvas.

I'm still dealing with back and hip pain...some days are good, some are quite bad. I feel like I'm developing a permanent limp but I will give the physiotherapy more time to work.

I hope you are all enjoying a beautiful week!

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Scribble Picnic - Tie It Up

Hello friends,

I'm running late but I had a good excuse — explained later.

As hard as it would have been, I very nearly let this Scribble Picnic pass without doing anything. I went off to bed very tired after a long day but — an image came to mind and I just had to do a very rough scribble of it — straight from my imagination. I'm so glad I managed to do something after all. Obviously, lots of refining is needed as the rectangular shapes on the roof-racks will be turned into suitcases...but I think the idea is cute and will look better with ink and some watercolour.

The theme for this week was 'TIE IT UP' but for some unknown reason, my tired brain was thinking 'TIE IT DOWN'. Both can pass for the same, I guess.

After making sure all their belongings were securely 'tied down/up' on the roof-racks, these two besties were off on an adventure to the big city — a new life awaited. How exciting!


To see what my fellow Picnickers have done for this week, click HERE.
To find out how to join in on the fun each week, click HERE.

I had a bit of an adventure myself yesterday when my two sons and I decided to take a trip to The Spit, Main Beach at the Gold Coast to capture some photos of the sunrise. We woke up at 1:30 AM to get organised and were off on our adventure by 3 AM. It takes just over an hour to get there. It was dark and cold when we first arrived being that we have only just started spring.  I was so grateful that Aaron had packed some blankets for us. Plus I had taken some Thermo mugs filled with hot coffee. It was heaven!

So here is the sunrise in sequence, taken with my Samsung Galaxy Note 5.





I was so excited to see a couple of pelicans on the beach so naturally I had to get a pic of one

Isn't he/she beautiful?! I adore pelicans! There were lots of seagulls about too waiting at the waters edge as the tide moved in.

We had a beautiful, fun morning! I was a little worried that the fine, dry Aussie sand would have caused my hip and back to flare up but, while I experienced a little pain later, it wasn't as bad as I thought it might be. The physiotherapy must be helping. YAY!  Walking in soft, fine sand can be very hard on the legs and hip, particularly uphill, and especially when you're not used to it.

While the sand looks dark and reddish in this pic, it's purely from the glow of the sunrise, as the sand is actually a white-grey colour in the dry sandy parts of the beach.

We will definitely do that trip again. Needless to say, after a spectacular start to the day, the lack of sleep caught up with me by evening so I went off to bed around 9 PM — and did my Scribble Picnic sketch too before lights out.

I hope you all enjoy a beautiful week!

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Scribble Picnic - Curly

Hello friends,

This week, Michael's prompt for Scribble Picnic is CURLY!

I just knew I had to sketch my doll, Bess. She was given to me for my first Christmas when I was only nine months old. She is now 58 years old and a little worse for wear after all these years.


Bess was made in England and has the word 'RODDY' imprinted at the back of her head. She is 17" in height. I did a little research a while ago and it seems 'RODDY' dolls were made in the 1950's and are now classified as 'vintage'. She has a hard, plastic body with soft, vinyl/rubber head and arms.....when you squeeze her head, Bess squeaks. She has sleepy eyes too which means they close when you lie her down and open when you stand her up. One of her eyes are a little wonky now and she's lost a bit of hair around the forehead. Her tootsies are a little worse for wear too which goes back to when I was still just a toddler and one of our German Shepherds decided to snack on Bess. Thankfully, she was saved from the jaws of death just in the nick of time...with just a few teeth indents to mark the experience. I've had a lot of different dolls growing up but Bess is the one I chose to hold onto...maybe it was that garish yellow hair?...but I loved her dearly!




I have sketched Bess a few times over the years...this one was done back in 2009


And today's effort. I plan to add another layer or two and blend her face more but I'm pleased to see my sketching skills have improved a bit.

To see what my Scribble Picnicker friends have done for this week, click HERE.
The prompt for next week is TIE IT UP....why not come along and join in on the fun? To find out how, click HERE.

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Scribble Picnic: Fill in the blank

This week's Scribble Picnic was a 'fill in the blank'.

Michael gave us the following image to work with...


I had a couple of ideas....key/s or diagonal-slotted wine racks within a cube.  I ended up going with a key, mostly sketched from my imagination.  It's not quite finished yet but almost there. 
Sketched with ballpoint, graphite and ink in Strathmore Toned Gray sketchbook

I'm keen to see what my fellow Picnickers have come up with for this one. To see the entries for this week, click HERE

Next week's prompt is CURLY. To find out how to join us, click HERE

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Scribble Picnic - Flower Bed

Thanks so much for all the well wishes on my hip ailments. I will be attending physiotherapy this Friday which will hopefully help my hip and my chronic back condition. It's been a pretty rough week in more ways than one so the Scribble Picnic challenge has been a pleasant distraction from it all.

The challenge theme this week is FLOWER BED.

I decided to sketch up a flower bed featuring daffodils which has been my favourite flower since childhood. Mrs Katy Koala is watering the daffodils as I type.


To see the entries of other Scribble Picnickers for this week, click HERE.
To find out how to join us each week, click HERE.

Our challenge for next week is a FILL IN THE BLANK...we must create a piece that includes at least 'one square with an X inside it touching each corner'. Time to get the thinking caps on...

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Scribble Picnic - Buttons

The theme for this week's Scribble Picnic is BUTTONS BUTTONED (Amended)

I wasn't thinking of the traditional sew-on buttons but rather the buttons on remote control units. Namely, remote controls for garage doors.  This week, our Landlord replaced two of our ten year old, falling-apart, remote controls so we now have brand-spanking-new ones and they look pretty darned cool! 

This is the first house we've had remote-controlled garage doors. I think back to a time when we used to have to get out of the car to unlock the roller door with a key, then manually open it. We're so spoiled nowadays. 

So, I sketched the old and the new.  I love that the new remote has a slide to cover and protect the buttons when not in use. 


I thought I'd also share an older sketch I did of 'Buttons' using mostly ballpoint pens and a touch of coloured pencil. 

To see the work of other Scribble Picnickers for this week, click HERE
To find out how to join in on the fun each week, click HERE

SO, it wasn't until I got to this point of my post that I realised I had misread Michael's prompt which was actually BUTTONED, not BUTTONS. Ooooops, sorry...

I will blame it on a pain-filled, cloudy-headed week. Thanks for all the caring words last week re. my illness etc. I received the results of last weeks X-ray and Ultrasound and it turns out that I have a torn Gluteus Medius tendon and Hip Bursitis. The most recent fall I had was at the local shopping centre back in October last year which makes sense because my hip started hurting in early November.  I just didn't tie the two together and put it down to my chronic back pain instead. I ended up having to go to the doctor because the pain was getting worse and I was developing a permanent limp.  Treatment is anti-inflammatory and pain medication, rest, and some physio...all recommended to avoid getting an Ultrasound Guided injection into my hip...sounds nasty, doesn't it?

On that note, I wish you all a happy week. 

P.S. - Next week's prompt is FLOWER BED, right? hehe
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