Friday 18 December 2009

Fragile Oak and Fern

It is really cold and frosty. I went for a walk and under the giant oak tree I saw all the oak leaves pale and flattened, thin and fragile in shades of creamy yellow ochre. Some of them so thin and fragile they remind me of tissue paper. The fern is the colour of raw umber, stands alone in the empty banks of the hedgerow.
This year I only found a single acorn under this giant tree. I was puzzled as I always find them here each year. Maybe when I went searching I was too late, Or, as my husband suggested, Did the squirrels collect them all early because they knew it was going to be a cold winter. I don't have the answer, but it is certainly very, very cold and the snow is here.
Anyway this little drawing was done from specimens I collected last year. The many different interesting shaped acorns, their little cups, some oak leaves and a little fragile piece of Fern.
I have used my Derwent coloured pencils, colour soft or artist. The colours remind me of this time of year and a walk on a frosty day.

Monday 14 December 2009

Carolina shells

As promised I am posting the drawing of shells I completed for Carolina. She was the one who won my give away, and she requested shells. I posted "the original", all the way to Peru and nearly three weeks later Carolina left a comment to tell me it had arrived safely, three minutes earlier. I think it is fair to say she seemed very pleased with her prize.
Also, I now know these shells are called "Haitian tree snail shells", thanks to another blogger telling me. So I googled them and discovered they are also known as "candy striped" and "rainbow" shells. It was the lovely coloured stripes which attracted me to buy them from the craft shop.
They have been painted in their true colours, I matched them as near as possible for both colours and patterns. They are so lovely, a joy to draw and paint.
So now somewhere in Peru, one of my original drawings is giving pleasure to someone else, that is a really nice thought.

Friday 4 December 2009

Red Berries all in a row

I love red berries and they are always popping up in my drawings. When I am out for a walk it is impossible to pass them without picking a little bunch. Sometimes they are recorded, but if I am not quick they soon lose their glossy skins with the heat indoors. Sometimes they are the star of a picture, as they just seem to add the finishing touches to a little arrangement of leaves or shells. Then I always throw them outside for the birds to find.
When I bought this Moleskine zigzag book I knew it had to be full of red berries. I started it last Autumn and returned to add more to it this year. It is a little hard to photograph, because of the long shape, so I am posting several little sections. I quite like the way you just see little glimpses of different pages. The berries are Hawthorn and rosehips from the hedgerows. Some have been coloured using acrylic ink, some with acrylic paint and then there are a couple of pencil studies. I think it might look nice spread out as a Christmas decoration. I have started a second zigzag book of sycamore helicopter seeds. Hope you like the red berries all in a row.

Wednesday 2 December 2009

Shells by candlelight

It was such a wild stormy night over the weekend. The lights were flickering and we thought we might lose our electricity, one part of the village did last week. So I lit candles and put one next to me as I was drawing. I was only playing, seeing what the shells would look like on the brown tags.
I painted them in acrylic paint, which was a little thick and didn't spread too well on this "new" paper. So I just carried on, not seeing too well, paint not mixed too well and colour matching by candlelight. It gave me a sense of what it must have been like years ago, writing and drawing in the evening.
So three painted tags, I could improve them but decided to leave them, they are what they are....painted by candlelight. Press for close up.
Thank you for the lovely comments, it is so nice to read them.