The hope of a butterfly

When my neighbours selected ‘insects’ as a theme for a lockdown painting, I thought I would try. Using a wildlife book from the shelf as a source, I was happy with the initial pencil sketch of this swallowtail butterfly and tempted to leave it as such, but the yellow is so striking that I had…

Unmistakable in blue: the swallows of summer

It is a delight to see swallows darting through a blue sky in the summer months. It is always an excitement to see the first of the year, as we know that the warm weather is arriving. This year, I was surprised to see a solitary swallow in late March on a telephone wire. It…

A sea-themed week of lockdown art

Keeping occupied in lockdown has led me to experiment with different art materials and use what is available. I’ve been mixing it up with leftover ink, as well as paint, charcoal and pencil this last week and trying many different styles. The sea theme came about as a suggestion by my neighbour in our ‘lockdown…

Walking a mile in another’s shoes

The saying “you can’t understand someone until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes” acts as a reminder to people not to hastily judge others, for you never know what someone else has been through before reaching the current point in their life. The origin is unknown for sure, but seems often to be attributed to the Native…

A Wildflower Day

I went for a local walk and there were so many types of wild flowers I thought that I would try and document every type of flower I could see. On one hand, it was good timing as the rain came later, but on the other hand I could have picked a less breezy afternoon…

Bold as a blackbird

The blackbird is a favourite in our garden, boldly sitting on the fence, watching us, or hopping close by as if not bothered by our presence. The blackbird song is distinctive, and they often seem to be the loudest voice in the evening chorus as the light starts to fade. “You have heard it often,…

Drawing the humble bumble bee

This little ‘buff tailed bumble bee’ provided inspiration for me to make a drawing. Charcoal seemed the perfect medium. This drawing was made early morning, in the sunshine, when everyone else was still asleep. That is a good time to draw, with the birdsong for company and no interruptions.

Fixing charcoal drawings

I recently discovered fixative for charcoal drawings. A charcoal drawing can ruin quickly if not stabilised in some way. I was told hairspray was an alternative, then read about this causing yellowing and didn’t want to take the risk of this. In lockdown many art materials seem in short supply and I struggled to find…

Sketching the dog

The greyhound is a calm, knowing creature.  She walks beside me gracefully, until an open space allows her the freedom to run with the wind.  Another enjoyment of hers is to find a square of sunlight and lie down within it, sleeping, dreaming, stretching and curling with the stories in her dreams.  This morning I…

Doves of peace

I felt inspired to draw my own peaceful dove using charcoal.