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.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

NEW Scribble Picnic Challenge starts tomorrow!

I'm quite excited to be taking part in a new weekly illustration challenge hosted by Michael Macvean over on his blog.  Michael has titled his challenge — Scribble Picnic — what a fun name!  To read the guidelines for the challenge, click HERE.



You will find a list of weekly themes in the sidebar of Michael's blog.  Easy-peasy!  This week's theme is — Octopus. You can post your illustration on your blog and then add your static post link to Mr. Linky which Michael will provide on his blog and/or share to social media with the tagline - #scribblepicnic

Michael is also offering a fabulous giveaway for his start-up launch. Check it out HERE.

Check back tomorrow to see my illustration for this week's challenge. I hope you will join in the fun too.

Sunday, 19 February 2017

A trail walk and some sketches

Yesterday, Bradley, Aaron, and I went on a day trip to Mount Tamborine. It turned out to be quite a hot and humid day up on the mountain. We decided to go on a trail walk to Cameron Falls — a 2.6km return walk.  The trail had lots of rocky steps and was quite narrow in areas with a steep drop on one side.  That made Bradley quite nervous but he held onto my arm the whole way so I could guide him through it.



A concrete bridge across a small creek bed

Some huge and interesting trees along the way

Root mass of a palm tree

It was quite dense in areas and we even came across the odd flower or two

and the occasional scrub turkey

We made it to the lookout but we were a little disappointed to find that Cameron Falls was little more than a trickle off the cliff face at this time of year.


Beautiful views though. We weren't looking forward to the trek back as it was mostly uphill, rough in areas, and it was still very humid.

We headed home mid-afternoon, worn out from our trail walk but filled with a sense of satisfaction.

Below are a couple of sketches from my week. 

First up — Lemons!

Bradley had an Occupational Therapy appointment on Wednesday and his therapist mentioned that an Irish entertainer would be performing in the Mater Mothers hospital foyer at lunch-time so we stayed around to see it.

I did the following pen sketch from a photo I took of Shane playing the guitar and singing.

And finished him up with some watercolour and coloured pencils.

I'm linking up with Sunday Sketches this week hosted by the amazing author/illustrator, Alexandra Macvean. To see the work of other participants, click HERE.

We are getting some rain at the moment and I sure hope it cools things down. It's very muggy right now. I hope you are enjoying a lovely weekend.

Friday, 17 February 2017

Sketches from my week

Thankfully, we had a little rain through the week which gave us a reprieve from the horrible heatwave temps.  The forecast says tomorrow's temperature will be 34°C/93.2°F — not quite heatwave temps but hot, nonetheless.  I know I'm a whiner when it comes to high heat and humidity but I can't help it. What can I say — I'm a winter gal at heart.

So, I have more pen sketches to share for Paint Party Friday.  To see the work of other participants for this week, click HERE.

I forced myself to be super-duper-fast when sketching the wheelie bins below. Loose, simple, and not a lot of detail. It happened to be 'bin collection day' hence my choice of subject. The yellow-lidded bin is for recycled stuff.

We often enjoy a healthy snack of Medjool dates and Brazil nuts.  Dates are high in potassium and Brazil nuts help lower cholesterol. I used to hate dates many years ago but then I discovered the fresh, fleshy Medjool dates and now, I'm hooked on dates.

Long-nose pliars are a must in my tool box. They have come in so handy over the years. Funny, in school we were taught to spell it as 'pliars' but now, 'pliers' seems to be the go. Which way do you spell it?

My son's folding white cane — an aide for the blind that he could not do without.

I ended up sick with asthma after last Sunday's heatwave temps so relied heavily on my inhalers. I'm doing much better now thanks to these babies.

I don't think I mentioned it but the results from my lung function test were good. No signs of emphysema so it seems that asthma could well be the reason for why my lungs showed as slightly enlarged on an X-ray and during the actual test. Phew!

It's been a busy week with appointments so I'm looking forward to a restful weekend.

I hope you all have a lovely weekend whatever you are doing.

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Dealing with a heatwave...and a sketch

Well, our area did in fact hit 42°C/107.6°F today.  There was no way we were going to sit at home without air-conditioning so we didn't need to be asked twice when Mum invited us over to her place to spend the day. YES! She has air-conditioning! I made a yummy tofu satay noodle dish to take over for lunch. We packed the doggies in the car and off we all went to visit Mum and to enjoy her gloriously cool air-conditioning! So, SO grateful we didn't have to suffer the dreadful heat — even Cody and Jack, our doggies, savoured the coolness at Mum's place.

Of course, we all had to head home some time and, even at 4pm, it still felt like we were in living in a sauna. Some vegan vanilla ice-cream with mango sorbet helped cool us down a little. It looks like we are now in for a hot, muggy night but at least it has cooled down a little to what feels like 33°C/91°F.

I didn't sketch today so will need to catch up as I am still determined to meet my goal of 365 sketches for 2017.  For now, I thought I'd post a sketch that I did on our trip to Wellington Point a couple of weeks ago.

I always love visiting the bayside area. Stonefish are the most venomous fish in the world so, despite the hot day, I decided not to wade into the water.  However, Aaron decided to play daredevil and waded in, bare feet and all.


Bradley and I weren't that crazy so we shared a spot under the shade of the beautiful Moreton Bay Fig trees...

along with some of the birds.


I threw out some oats and sunflower seeds around the picnic table for them so they could dine in style.

While there, I sketched this tree in my large Moleskine watercolour sketchbook with both permanent and water-soluble ink pens.

I did more work on it at home with ink and a brush

I'm linking up with Sunday Sketches again this week.  To see the work of other participants, you can click HERE.

I hope you are all enjoying a beautiful weekend regardless of weather conditions.

Friday, 10 February 2017

More sketches for Paint Party Friday

We've experienced another week of unbearable heat and humidity and, to top it off, we are expecting a heatwave this weekend where temperatures could reach 42°C/107.6°F in our area.  It's times like this that I wish we had air-conditioning but I guess I'll be grateful when the electricity bill arrives. Looking for the positives, people... It's the humidity I can't handle — give me a dry heat any day.



Below are some messy pen/ink sketches from the past week or so. First up is Cody, my baby. He will be 11 years old this year and I love him dearly.  He is a Maltese/Shihtzu/Chihuahua mix but looks mostly like a Maltese.


And here he is having a good stretch after a nap


This is an extra large kennel which sits by our back sliding door. Cody and/or Jack only ever go in their kennel when they come inside with wet paws so they are only in the kennel long enough for their paws to dry off — which can be anything between five to thirty minutes. Both detest being put in the kennel yet, sometimes, I will wonder where Cody or Jack are and yep, you guessed it — I will find one of them curled up inside the kennel fast asleep. Crazy dogs! 


A messy, loose sketch of my foot


And lastly, my mobile phone


I'm linking up with Paint Party Friday again. To see the work of other participants, click HERE.

I'm having trouble with my hands again. Aaron (son) and I were refurbishing our old dining chairs and I was spraying them with a can of paint.  Well, the pressure of having to hold the nozzle down kept seizing my hand to the point where I would have to swap the spray-can back and forth between hands repeatedly. Now, I'm feeling quite a bit of pain in both my hands, particularly the right one. I'm finding it difficult to do simple tasks like opening or closing a peg, squeezing out toothpaste, lifting the water jug, using hairspray type nozzles, etc. I'm hoping it's just muscular as the pain travels all the way up to my elbow. Either that or arthritis.

I haven't had much luck with my hands over the past five years. My regular readers will know that I had carpal tunnel surgery on both hands last year at different times due to long term issues.  I then went and fell in a puddle of water at a local shopping centre a few months after the surgery on my left hand which happened to take the brunt of the fall. Major OUCH!

I'm hoping the pain will settle down soon with a bit of rest.

Have a lovely weekend, everyone.  I hope those of you suffering our heatwave conditions somehow manage to stay cool.

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Sketching by the lake

We've had another horrible week of high heat and humidity. The nights are hot and muggy too so no relief. I dream of faraway places with snow...

This weekend marked the second month for the new Moment Catchers project over on Candace Rardon's BLOG. I was considering a trip into the city for some Urban Sketching but opted for Forest Lake instead.  It is a man-made lake smack-bang in the middle of suburbia. It is home to quite a few species of waterbirds, turtles, etc.



It was such a hot day so I found a shady spot on a park bench to sketch this tree.


Then a splash of watercolour with more pen detailing

Next up was the water dragon sculpture in the lake.  The heat ended up getting the better of me and we headed home where I finished the sketch off with watercolour.

See below for more daily sketches from the past week or so.

I find sketching with ballpoint pen so versatile. It can be soft enough to almost have the appearance of graphite, yet with more layering, it can be quite dark. Of course, it can't be erased but I can live with mistakes.

I thought you might like another process sketch this week.  A rooster to mark the Chinese Year of the Rooster — the Fire Rooster to be precise. According to Chinese astrology I'm going to be in for a tough year and I can believe it if the beginning is anything to go by. I was born in the Year of the Earth Pig and I have always found the Chinese Astrology to be uncannily accurate. Which Chinese sign are you born under?

A pen sketch to begin with

First pass of watercolour

Final stage with more watercolour and detailing

I'm linking up with Sunday Sketches again. To see the work of other participants for this week, click HERE.

I hope you are all enjoying a beautiful weekend.
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