Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Scribble Picnic - TREE

Hello dear Readers,

My entry for Scribble Picnic this week will only be a rough sketch and far from complete. Lucky for me, works-in-progress are happily accepted. Why not come along and join in on the fun each week. To find out how, click HERE.

This week's theme is - TREE. I adore trees and I often sketch them. One of my favourite trees is the Queensland Bottle Tree.  It's botanical name is Brachychiton rupestris and this is one I sketched on location way back in 2010. 

I decided to go with Queensland Bottle trees for this week's theme too. This is as far as I have managed but I have a lot more elements to add, including some Aussie wildlife....to be completed and posted at a later date so stay tuned... I sketched this with ballpoint pen and my trusty Platinum Carbon fountain pen, when it doesn't decide to leak into the lid, that is. I love sketching with fountain pens!

To see the work of other Scribble Picnickers for this week, click HERE

Last week, two of my sons and I took a trip up to Tamborine Mountain, one of our favourite destinations. The weather was a bit iffy but we didn't let it stop us.  

As I've said before, I adore trees and love to sketch and photograph them. Check out this tall boy.

What could be better than a rain-forest trail walk with trees galore?!

We walked to Curtis Falls

Rocky area beside the falls

Mountain views 


Bradley, my eldest, with Aaron, my youngest. 


Sculpture - Visiting Earth Angel 

After a lovely day on the mountain, we headed home.  I'm so glad we didn't let the forecast of rain stop us as there was only one light rain shower the whole time we were there. 

I hope you are all enjoying a beautiful week!

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Scribble Picnic - LADDER

This week's Scribble Picnic theme is LADDER hosted by Michael Macvean on his blog.

This week, I have another work-in-progress sketch for you. I figure that I will, at some point, add colour to all my unfinished Scribble Picnic sketches and post them at a later date.

I honestly didn't give the theme much thought until a couple of days ago because life has been pretty busy of late. When I had time to sit and ponder the LADDER theme, right off the bat, I pictured a tree-house with a rope ladder in my mind. I grabbed my Moleskine journal and did a very fast, scribble in pen so I wouldn't forget.

I always loved the idea of having a tree-house as a child but it never happened. One of the homes we lived in had a wooden cubby house in the back yard and, as kids, we spent many hours playing in it. We named it 'Rose Cottage' and I have fond memories of the time spent there. However, for my ladder theme, I was thinking more along the lines of boys and their club-houses. I drew another rough pen sketch, a little more refined but still quite rough.

I looked for inspiration online and I refined my take on the theme even more.  This is as far as I have come with it. I will definitely colour it and add more detail but I kinda like how the initial ground work developed into this. The darker areas are done with black fountain pen while the lighter lines are ballpoint pen.

To see the work of other Scribble-Picnickers, click HERE.
Next week's theme is 'TREE'.  Come along and join in on the fun! To find out how, click HERE.

Thanks so much for the continuing well wishes for my Mum. She has her good and bad days. Mum manages to cope but is very limited now to what she can do...something she gets quite down about. She loves her independence but we do keep a regular check on her and visit frequently.

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Scribble Picnic - Rabbit

Hi everyone,

A very quick post for now so I can squeeze into the Scribble Picnic deadline.

I thought I would miss it altogether with more doctor's appointments and helping my Mum out at her place yesterday (Wednesday) but I did manage a quick ballpoint pen sketch.

A work-in-progress at the moment.  So much more shading and detail to do yet but I didn't want to miss the deadline.


To see the work of other Scribble Picnickers for this week, click HERE.
Scribble Picnic is hosted by Michael on his blog. Next week's theme is LADDER.  Come along and join in on the fun. To find out how, click HERE.

I may add more to this post later but need to rush and post it now so I can add the link to Michael's post before his Mr Linky gadget closes. I hope nobody minds me being late.  It's funny because I felt exactly like Michael's 'Rabbit' illustration/video for this week...I'm late, I'm late, for a very important date! hehe

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Cyclones, Emergency room visits, and Scribble Picnic

Hi friends,

The past ten days have been crazy with Brisbane being battered by the backlash of Cyclone Debbie which had previously caused massive destruction further north of us on Tuesday, March 28th.  It continued to move further down the coastline and, by the time it reached us on Thursday, it had been downgraded from a cyclone.  However, we weren't out of danger.  The severe weather system brought tons of torrential rain which caused flash floods here in Brissie and outlying areas — and right across the New South Wales border.  We were pounded by torrential rains on Thursday and severe winds on Friday, and it was enough to cause a lot of destruction.

If that wasn't enough to deal with, my 81 year old Mum had to be taken to the Emergency Department on Thursday, March 30th...yep...the day of the severe weather crisis in Brisbane. What rotten timing! On that day, schools were closed for the first time since 1974 and businesses were closing by noon so staff could get safely home before the worst of the severe weather was expected to hit. Over 200 roads ended up being closed due to the flash floods. It was an absolute nightmare! Five people died due to the severe flooding. It was heartbreaking! Some areas are still flooded as the water has been slow to recede.

Getting back to Mum, she had suffered double vision for about a week prior and a CT Scan via the Eye ER on the Wednesday showed a possible aneurysm behind her eye.  On Friday, she had to get an angiogram but suffered an embolic shower during the procedure. This means that oxygen was blocked from getting to parts of her brain which controlled the eyes and this caused little mini strokes.  The procedure was stopped immediately when Mum told them she had lost some of her sight. There was about 50% loss of vision in her right eye.

They were able to see that her double vision is caused by a Carotid Cavernous Fistula.

Some of her vision returned by the end of the day and she was allowed to go home on the Saturday...still dealing with double vision as well as 25% vision loss caused from the angiogram. Unfortunately, with all Mum's health issues, they can't do anything more for her.  She is too high a risk because she also has an aortic aneurysm on top of this new issue. All they can do is monitor her condition and will only intervene if a life-threatening emergency arises.

Needless to say, I'm still not in a good head-space right now as I'm quite worried about my Mum. This month marks the two year anniversary of my Dad's passing. I still miss him terribly and I can't bear the thought of losing Mum too.

I wasn't able to participate in Scribble Picnic last Wednesday because I was up at the hospital Eye Emergency department all day with Mum and felt totally exhausted by the time we got home at 8 o'clock that night. This week, I have only managed to produce a pen sketch. I will colour it and add more detail later.

Anywhoo, this week's Scribble Picnic theme is Grandfather Clock.  It made me immediately think of the song we learned in school about a 90 year old man dying and his Grandfather Clock stopping short the moment he passed. Do any of you remember it? I've linked the video below. Not a song you would expect for children but then, some of the old nursery rhymes such as 'Ring Around the Rosy' have a darker meaning. In addition - I actually don't see this song as being dark or not suitable for kids because I believe it teaches them in a nice way that death is a part of the life cycle and not something to fear.


No, my sketch is not an old man but rather a little girl looking up at the Grandfather Clock...could she be wondering why the clock hands have suddenly stopped? Sorry if that creeps anyone out but I can't get the Grandfather Clock song out of my head. Perhaps she is just listening to the chimes?


To see the work of other Scribble Picnic participants for this week, click HERE.
Next week's theme is RABBIT.  To find out how to join in on the fun, click HERE.

Hopefully, things will get back to normal by next week — well as normal as they can be.

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Sunday Sketches: A portrait

I've missed the last couple of Sunday Sketches but I'm back on board this week. YAY! I'm also another year wiser as I recently had a birthday.

I was a little worried I may not have been able to participate this week because our internet service provider is doing major system upgrades and we couldn't access the net at all last night. Apparently, there may be further disruptions until Tuesday.  So this will be a very quick post for fear I will get cut off.

I did another quick portrait using a reference image on Sktchy.  I sketched her directly with ballpoint pen then followed up with a Lamy Joy ink pen. Then added some Sumi ink which was painted on with a brush. I am loving Sumi ink at the moment because I can get so many shade variations.


To see the work of other participants for this week, click HERE.
To find out how you can join us each week for Sunday Sketches, click HERE.

Happy Sunday to you all!

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Scribble Picnic giveaway goodies arrived!

You may remember that I was lucky enough to win the Scribble Picnic giveaway a few weeks back and I was over the moon when the goodies arrived yesterday. Whoo hoo!

Photo is courtesy of Michael Macvean

Naturally, I had to put them to use right away! It was lunch-time after all so I threw together a few goodies. It's been a rainy week so I opted for a picnic spread indoors. Note the beautiful card that Michael included featuring a hedgehog family out on a picnic. Perfect!


The cheese was vegan along with some vegan dip, garlic hummus, crackers, French bread, and some other goodies, which were washed down with some Lancashire tea. What a serendipitous tea it was too being that I was born in the Shire County of Lancashire which Michael never knew about. We don't have milk or sugar in our tea, or coffee for that matter, so Bradley and I were happy to find that the tea was not bitter and had a very nice flavour to boot. My non-vegan son, Aaron, made short work of those chocolates.


We had such a fun 'picnic'! Thank you very much for this lovely gift, Michael! It was the highlight of our day.

Now, onto the theme for this week's Scribble Picnic - FAIRIES.

I'm quite disappointed that I don't have a finished piece to show you this week. I was really behind the eight ball on this one. An idea didn't actually come to me until late last night and, a busy day today, didn't allow me any time to start on my sketch until after dinner.

For some reason, the theme didn't quite gel with me probably because fairies aren't really my thing as you will be able to tell from my sketch. hehe That said, I did love reading about fairies as a child though. I particularly loved stories by Enid Blyton and Hans Christian Andersen.

So, this was the initial sketch roughly done from imagination. I was thinking that I wanted to maybe do some nature fairies.  I have a soft spot for daffodils as they were my favourite flower as a child. They are also the official flower for the month of March.


Okay...this is as far as I got but there is still A LOT more to do...more watercolours and detailing on what's already there, plus a background.  I will post the final result in the coming days. Please excuse the poor quality images...unfortunately, given the late hour, I had to take them under artificial lighting, something I hate to do.

To see the work of other Scribble Picnic participants, click HERE.
Next week's theme is BOATS.  Come along and join in on the fun...to find out how, click HERE.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Paper lantern

Hi everyone!

The theme for this week's Scribble Picnic is LANTERN.  Thanks again to Michael for hosting this wonderful art collective. You can check out Michael's blog HERE.

This theme had me a little worried because I had nothing right up until the day before (yesterday) the deadline.  I'd heard some good advice from a few illustrators who said to just open your sketchbook, put pen/pencil to the page, and the ideas will come. I did just that and — it worked! I was suddenly getting lots of different images in my head for the theme — kinda like visual brainstorming. I very quickly noted them down in my ideas sketchbook. They are very rough but that's okay because they are only to remind me of the original idea so I don't forget it.


I decided to go with a little Panda holding a paper lantern so took more time with that one. Do you remember making those paper lanterns in school? I used to love making them!

I transferred my sketch into my Moleskine watercolour journal and did a light outline in pen

Then added some layers of watercolour and also used a Pentel Pocket brush pen for the black fur. I'm so pleased that I was able to meet the challenge after all. That said, I'm not altogether sure that she is finished yet. If I do add any more to it, I will be sure to post the end result for you to see.

My apologies for the crappy photos. It's been raining here, on and off, so the dull, gray afternoon did not provide the best lighting for photos. I'm loving the rain though so not complaining about that.

You can check out everyone else's take on the LANTERN theme HERE.
Next week's theme is FAIRIES.  You are welcome to come and join us.  To find out how, click HERE.

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Rats! It's raining!

The theme for this week's Scribble Picnic is UMBRELLA.

I had lots of images swimming through my head for this one.  At first, I was thinking I could go with one of those umbrella style hats until — it got put to the wayside when the following idea popped into my head. 

Initially the image started out with a rat in an upturned umbrella. This is a rough sketch I did which was still in the planning stages.

It developed to this - a little rat wearing fisherman-style rain gear.

I sketched it into my sketchbook and outlined with pen, then started to add colour.

I started developing a dark, stormy sky also. I use an orange-yellow undertone for reds as it helps to brighten them.

The end result.

Will Mr Rat make it to land before his makeshift boat takes on too much water and sinks? 

I have to say that I'm loving Scribble Picnic! The weekly themes are motivating me to use my imagination. I never thought I could come up with my own whimsical designs but I'm thrilled to see them come together — from the initial image in my mind to the end result on paper. What fun! 

Thanks for hosting this wonderful challenge, Michael.

To see what the other participants have done for this week's challenge, click HERE.

Next week's theme will be LANTERN. Come join us!  To find out how, click HERE.

Sunday, 5 March 2017

A day trip to the country

I've been a little under the weather on and off over the past few days but, today, we decided to take a drive out country for the monthly Moment Catchers challenge hosted by Candace Rardon.  You can check out her beautiful blog HERE.

Rain, and even a thunderstorm, had been forecast but I'm glad we ignored the warnings because it turned out to be a beautiful, albeit very hot, day. Thank goodness we have air-conditioning in the car!

First up, we went to Beaudesert where we stopped for lunch at a small park which backs onto the town's main Jubilee Park. Jack and Cody, our fur-kids, came along too.

Bradley doing some reading in the shade...

...while I did a quick sketch of the windmill not far from where we sat. This is a work-in-progress shot and I do plan to finish it up from photos I took.

My sketch was rushed because a certain someone, who shall remain nameless, complained that they were bored and wanted to hit the road and explore the surrounding areas. He figured sitting on the car, ready to go, was a big enough hint.

So, we hit the road again and drove out Kerry way before heading home.

A quaint little country church named St. Johns. I may sketch this soon.

We pulled over at one point to take photos of the lovely view. I love those clouds!

And that was our day. What did you get up to this fine Sunday?

I'm also linking up with Sunday Sketches this week hosted by amazing illustrator, Alexandra Macvean. You can check out her blog HERE. To see the work of other participants, click HERE.

Wishing everyone a wonderful week!

Saturday, 4 March 2017

Paint Party Friday: Energy Saver bulb

I was feeling quite sick yesterday so was not going to sketch at all for Paint Party Friday but then, when 10 o'clock hit last night, I started feeling a little guilty despite having a good excuse. I had been very pleased with myself in meeting the different art challenge commitments the past few weeks and I just couldn't let it slide.  So I dragged my sick bod over to my art desk and chose to do a quick ink sketch of the spent Philips Energy Saver light-bulb sitting on my desk awaiting disposal. I couldn't take a decent photo with the artificial lighting last night so I quickly snapped one this morning. Still not a good photo but time is of the essence as I'm already running late by Aussie time.

Sketch - Philips Energy Saver light-bulb sketched directly with pen then followed up with some sumi ink which I painted on with a brush for shading.

OH my! I just went to get the current link from the Paint Party Friday blog for this week, only to see that one of my sketches has been featured in their post. How lovely! Thanks, Kristin and Eva!

Now, I'm even more relieved that I didn't let this week slide by due to sickness. 

To see the work of other participants for this week, click HERE. Come join us next week for a special 'Party' theme to celebrate them starting their seventh year with the Paint Party Friday challenge. YAY!

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Scribble Picnic theme - CABIN

The Scribble Picnic theme for this week is CABIN.

I was inspired yet again this week by one of my previous pieces of art — an affirmation card that I painted back in 2009. You can read the associated post for it HERE.



Initially, I was thinking that I would paint a cabin along the pathway in the distance until a different scene suddenly popped into my head. I wanted to keep the girl but, this time, I would place her on a path in the woods with a cabin ahead of her.

I used a mechanical pencil for the planning stage.

First layer of watercolour

The final layer of watercolour with some pen detailing

The caption I made up for the illustration 
Simone was excited to be spending the next month at the little cabin in the woods. It was her refuge, a break away, from her crazy life and busy work schedule. Here at the cabin, she would be able to relax, savour the peace and quiet, and maybe even start the book she had always dreamed of writing one day.

To see the work of other Scribble Picnic participants, click HERE.
To find out how to join in on the fun each week, click HERE.

I'm looking forward to seeing everyone's take on the theme. What fun!

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Sunday Sketches plus I had a WIN!!!

I am SO excited to share the news that I won the giveaway over on Michael's blog. He hosted the giveaway to celebrate the launch of his new weekly art collective - Scribble Picnic. I can't believe my luck! Thank you so much for your wonderful generosity, Michael. 

Even more good news is that, for a while yet, Michael will be offering a monthly giveaway for Scribble Picnic participants. How cool is that?!

I wanted to show off the wonderful prize that I won so I sure hope Michael doesn't mind that I nabbed this picture from his blog. I thought it interesting to note that the giveaway included some Lancashire Tea because I was born in Thornton-Cleveleys which was/is a part of the Shire County of Lancashire. What are the odds?!

This week's theme for Scribble Picnic is CABIN and I haven't even started mine yet. YIKES — I better get a move-on...

I did get some sketching done for Sunday Sketches. To see the work of other participants for this week, click HERE.

First up is a very quick sketch of my son snoozing in the lounge-room while we watched Netflix.  I definitely need to work on perspective when drawing people from life.  Unfortunately, Brad decided to wake up and move position so some of the sketch was finished by guesswork.

Second up is another Sktchy model. I did a quick ballpoint pen sketch of Zaneta first.

Then followed up with some liquid Sumi ink which I painted on with a brush.

I lost the likeness but I still like how she turned out.

Happy Sunday to you all.

Friday, 24 February 2017

Another Sktchy portrait

It's been a while since I've done a Sktchy portrait but the urge took me this morning so I dived right in and chose a 'victim' from the tons of reference images available. I love Sktchy!  It's only available for IOS but it's a great tool for artists. It's basically a library of reference images, mostly people pics, that are uploaded by other artists. Artists painting other artists — too cool!

I sketched Marissa directly in pen, then added some watercolours trying to be loose and messy.


Linking up with Paint Party Friday again this week. To see the work or other PPF participants, click HERE.

I hope you all have a beautiful and fun weekend.

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Octopus for NEW Scribble Picnic challenge

This is the very first week for the new art challenge - Scribble Picnic - hosted by Michael Macvean over on his blog. Each week, we are given a different theme to play with.

This week's theme - Octopus! 

Okay, this was a tricky one for me because I'm an artist who usually draws what I see in front of me whether in real life or from actual photos of things.  For this challenge, I wanted to do something more whimsical and illustrative so it involved something even more scary...drawing from my imagination!  The artiste extraordinaire, sketched below, was one of the images that first came to my mind. Then, I had to mull over what sort of setting to place her in...perhaps she is a French octopus on vacation?


I opted for a beachscape — drawing inspiration from one of my old acrylic paintings pictured below

Keeping it illustrative, of course

And this was the end result. I kinda like how it turned out.

To see the work of other participants for this week, click HERE. Next week's theme is CABIN.  To find out how to join in on the fun each week, click HERE.
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