watercolour and photography

I am so happy to be back doing some watercolour painting! I don't know what it is about it that I just love so much! I really love playing and mixing the colours and the fact that it takes lots of "bits of" time to build up an image/painting, that suits me fine! I never knew I had so much patience, in the past I would want everything done/completed now! But alas these days it is just not possible with a very active toddler jumping around... so it's good that it does take lots of little "bits of" time!

My landscape watercolour from this post, is coming along really well... I still have loads more layers to do!! :)

:: landscape - some tree backgrounds

:: landscape -  some more tree details

I have decided to join in with The Paper Mama's photography challenge "Favorite photo from August"... seeings I have a new camera! It should be fun even though I still don't know how to use my camera very well :)  So this is my favourite photo from August: My little man helping me make orange icing for a birthday cake... his crazy hair and the look in his eyes is just SO sweet, I cried when I saw this photo! :)

The Paper Mama

note: apologies for the lighting in the watercolour photos... I'm still trying to work out the best way to photograph them and other drawings... lighting can be a bit rubbish at my place... it's driving me a bit crazy... anybody got any ideas they can share?

Hope you are all having a great week so far :)

drawing course: week 6

Portraits this week... we had to bring in a mirror so we could draw our own face... wow what a challenge! I actually really enjoyed this class! Though it was a bit confronting drawing my wrinkles!!! I ended up looking really old... yikes!

We first started off with the basics of where things go on the face and doing a basic sketch in pencil.

:: self portrait - pencil on A2 paper

Then we did a left handed continual drawing, where you don't take the charcoal off the paper while you are drawing! I really loved doing this one, such great fun! This one is my favourite out of them all, though I'm not sure it looks like me, but I love it :)

:: left handed continual self portrait
- willow charcoal on A2 paper

Next... we did a right handed continual drawing with charcoal. I really stuffed up my first attempt... what was my brain thinking and I nearly got into trouble by the tutor... she said if I had continued with that drawing she would have told me to start again doing it left handed... she was kidding... I think??? This is the best one I did of them!

:: right handed continual self portrait
- willow charcoal on A2 paper

The last one we did was a more detailed right handed, charcoal drawing which still needs more work done on it. I'm really pleased with how it's going,  though I do look A LOT older... maybe I should give myself a little face lift and removed some of those wrinkles!!

:: self portrait - willow charcoal on A2 paper

And here is a photo of me in my glasses so you can see what I actually do look like as a comparison! I only wear glasses for close up work and on the computer! I didn't draw them in the first and last drawings as they got in the way of the detail/wrinkles :)

:: me :)
It was such great class this week, I have learnt so much! I really love the look of the continual drawings and their strong dramatic lines, love it! 

Next week... life drawing!!!

my creative space: dreams and stamps

I have to tell you about a funny dream I had about a week or so ago.. I just haven't stop thinking about it and laughing!!!

my dream...
Somehow I ended up in "CRAFT JAIL"! I don't know why... ha ha ha! There I was walking around "Craft Jail"...each cell had their own different craft... crochet, knitting, embroidery etc... just like they were stalls at a market but in jail cells! Everyone was sitting in their little cells doing their crafts, happily! At the end of all the cells there was a new comer with their cell door shut and we were all hanging around, in anticipation, waiting to see what new the craft crime might be... we were all very excited! Unfortunately I woke up and didn't get to find out!

So funny... who wouldn't want to be in THAT jail!!! Anyway back to the real world!

This week has been pretty quiet, which is nice for a change but I still managed to do a bit of stamp carving of my little wobbly cars! I really love carving stamps, they are such a quick and easy craft to do... very satisfying! I'm planning on using these car stamps on some bed sheets (and probably many other things) for my little man :)

:: sketch design and trace onto stamp block

:: trim stamp block and carve outline of car

:: carve out the remaining, test stamp and fix all the stray bits

:: play with stamps :)

Hope you are having a great creative week!
There are loads more creative people over at our creative spaces...

a bit of watercolour

With all the craziness of the last few weeks I still managed to squeeze in a little watercolour painting time.. a bit here.. a bit there! A few weeks ago, as part of  my drawing class we had to do some homework - drawing something in our kitchen. I drew my little teapot and the grater! I thought I would also try and do a watercolour of them both. They are still a work in progress and I'm quite happy with how they are looking! I am thinking that I will have to do the teapot a darker grey to make it stand out more!

:: teapot - willow charcoal on A2 paper

:: teapot - watercolour an A4 (in progress)

:: grater - graphite on A2 paper

:: grater - watercolour on A4 (in progress)

I have also started doing a watercolour of my landscape I did last week in my drawing class...  quite a challenge and it's looking good so far. I never thought I would ever do a watercolour landscape, I actually quite like it :)

:: landscape - image source Cuba Gallery

:: landscape - watercolour on A4 (in progress)

I'm using Heather Smith Jones' book Water Paper Paint as a guide -  Project 22: Working from a photograph.  I love this book, there are so many helpful tips for whatever watercolour painting you want to do... I use it all the time.

:: Water Paper Paint by Heather Smith Jones  

Note: Apologies for the rather dark watercolour photos... I've been waiting around all day for a little bit of good light... but it has been raining on and off here all day!! There also a bit of a weird blur on a few as it seems I have a bit of dust in my camera (on the sensor)... arghhh!!

Everything was driving me a little nutso today!!

Hope you are all have a great day :)

drawing course: week 5

This week - Landscapes! We had to bring in a picture of a landscape that we wanted to draw. It was hard trying to find just one... there are so many amazing images out there! I did a massive search on Google and Flickr, printed out quite a few and finally decided on this one from Cuba Gallery.

:: image source Cuba Gallery

I was really drawn to the composition - power lines going to a lonely little shack, the open spaces and a spattering of trees. The tutor wrote up on the board a little list of the steps for us follow when creating our landscapes.

I printed the image in black and white so much easier to see where the shading would go! I also cropped some of the image to make it the same shape as my page. After drawing the basic outline in pencil and I spent a lot of time building up the background layers with willow charcoal... in fact too much time... it got to 8.30pm and I hadn't done any trees so I have 30min to get some detail in there!

:: building up layers with willow charcoal

:: a few trees by the end of class... phew!

I finished it at home the next night... I think it does need more work but I'm quite pleased with how it turned out! I really love my trees, the power lines a bit wobbly but I do quite like that!

:: landscape in charcoal on A2
I learnt a lot from this class... I feel like I am a lot more confident, relaxed at experimenting, letting go when drawing and not worrying about making everything so perfect! I really enjoyed this class a lot.. luckily there weren't that many straight lines :)

Next week.... portraiture... help!

my creative space: birthday city

It has been birthday city around here lately and this week has been a crazy busy week! I have had to be super organised, though I was a little all over the place at first.. jumping from one thing to another and gibbering to myself "Arghhh... how am I going to get everything done!" but then I decided I better write a big list and worked through it one thing at a time! Hooray... so much better than being a muddled mess.... Love a good list!

Here are a few things from my list - yes there was a lot more but way too boring to blog about!

1. Baked a cake with "M" for pop's birthday... he love's helping with the icing and could wait to lick it - which he did... that part of the cake was his!

:: getting ready to give the cake
 a good licking!!

2. Screen printed a tea towel for my dear friend who is a LEGEND! It's her favourite word and she just loved it!


3. Screen printed a onsie for friend who has just had a little baby and a top for "M" - poor thing, I finally managed to make something for M :)

:: M adding to the traffic jam

4. Knitted a cute little bunny for friend's (same as above) daughter who is a big sister now. Knitted while watching "M" eat his meals... I love making these!
(knitting pattern from Petite Purls on Dolls and Daydreams little blog -  I've altered the pattern slightly to make it a bit bigger)

:: bunny bits

:: bunny together

5. Made lots of birthday cards with "M" for everything above and also for a few other gifts too! I love his little art work, I think I'm going to screen print one as a cushion!

:: a masterpiece

6. Cleaned the house! eeeerrrr hmmmm unfortunately that didn't get done... that is on tomorrow's to do list!

sorry... no photo's of  the messy house :)

Phew... I'm amazed I got so much done... now I can relax a bit... hooray!!

Hope you are having a great creative week!
There are loads more creative people over at our creative spaces...

drawing course: week 4

This week my drawing course wasn't very exciting I'm afraid! We learnt about perspective - vanishing points, two point perspective and one point perspective! It was quite interesting but I have to say my head really wasn't in this class.. it was somewhere else! I just couldn't concentrate at all, maybe it was all those straight lines!?

So we started of with two point perspective, drawing a street corner - quite a challenge to do all those buildings and windows using two vanishing points!

:: two point perspective on A2 paper 

Next - boxes were set up at the front of the class room to draw and find their vanishing points. We drew the top box first, then drew the rest and found each of their vanishing points. I quite like my boxes :)

:: boxes vanishing points on A2 paper

:: set up of boxes in classroom
Next - we used our classroom to draw our one point perspective. I didn't do this one quite right... it looks like I would have to be very, very tall or standing on a heap of boxes for that vanishing point (top dot in the middle of the page)... but I got the idea :)

:: one point perspective room on A2 paper

:: our classroom

I am really glad we did the perspective stuff.. it was quite interesting but I was relieved when it was over! :)

Next week is landscapes...

playing with stamps

Wow.. I'm really lucky to have my wonderful in-laws move in, right around the corner in the next street a few weeks ago! Today was the first time they took my little man for the morning.. my partner works on Saturday mornings which meant I had the whole...WHOLE morning to myself! I think my brain nearly exploded at the thought... what to do with all that precious time!

First I had a little cry after saying goodbye to my little man.... I haven't left him in others peoples care very often, so I was a bit emotional (I'm such a sook)! Then I got out my new toys and carved some stamps! Yesterday, I watched a few YouTube tutorials, just to see if I could pick up some pointers which I did! So... I carved some practice ones to get use to using the tools... I was really happy with how they turned out! I don't have any stamp pads yet, so I just mixed up some paint I had and brushed it on the stamp to test them out, I quite like the effect!

My little plane stamp still needs a few adjustments, but it's looking good so far too... I went a bit crazy stamping it over loads of paper every which way... Love it :)

I also got to play with my other favourite toy, my camera!! It was so much fun this morning and it was so nice to have no interruptions... though I did miss the "little" interruptions... a lot! :)

Hope you are all having a great weekend :)

my creative space: knitting and a stamp

Hooray... I have finally finished my scarf! It ended up being a lot bigger that I thought it was going to be, but I love it! There is a hell of lot of sitting around knitting while watching my little man eat his breakfast and lunch in that scarf! Only problem now is that the weather is warming up and I probably won't be able to wear it much... bummer!! But at least it may be used for other things ... a knitted road ? :)

:: scarf... road?

I'm also working on a little paper plane stamp with my new toys... I'm very excited!!!

:: paper plane stamp in the making

Hope you are having a great creative week!
There are loads more creative people over at our creative spaces...

pin the cherry on the cupcake!

A little while ago I screen printed a cupcake tea towel for my lovely mother-in-law Norma, to take to New Zealand as a gift. The other day I received a lovely email from the recipients - Mercedes and her daughter Liberty, saying how much they loved the cupcake tea towel. The colours perfectly matched Liberty's bedroom which is pink and yellow! Apparently the tea towel hasn't made it into the kitchen, which happens a lot with my tea towels :) Recently it was Liberty's birthday and they used the cupcake tea towel for a game of "pin the cherry on the cupcake" ... how gorgeous!

:: pin the cherry on the cupcake
-photo courtesy of Liberty Biberty

They have a lovely little blog Liberty Biberty!  It looks like Liberty had the best birthday, such gorgeous decorations too! Their blog is mainly about miniature doll houses, they do some amazingly gorgeous detailed things! I just love the little Shabby bakery... those little cakes are amazing... I just want to eat them! Norma also has a gorgeous little miniatures blog too - make mine mini ! It just amazes me some of the things people can make in miniature and how life like they can be!!! They put so much work/time into them! Amazing!

I just love hearing stories about my little tea towels journeys and where they end up :)
Hope you are all having a fabulous day!

birthday happiness

It was my birthday yesterday (Monday)... Woo Hoo and I am one lucky lady (I can't say lucky girl anymore...I'm a little bit old now)! I had such a wonderful day, lots of lovely birthday wishes, flowers, cards and best of all... I hang out with my little man! We went to play group in the park, we made a lemon and mandarin cake - he loved licking the lemon and eating the icing, he helped decorated it with strawberries and candles! He said happy birthday to me all day which was just beautiful! I don't think he really understands what it all means yet but knows it's a nice thing to say! I feel very lucky :)

:: yummy lemon and birthday cake
- taken with my new camera :)

I received such a fantastic birthday present this year... a Canon 550D camera! I was so excited!! It has been hiding under the bed for the last month! I've known it's been there and it's been totally killing me!!! Paxton's Photographic had a sale on about a month ago, Chris was working and we didn't want to miss out so I dashed into the city, bought it and then stashed under the bed for my birthday - sounds slightly crazy hey! Talk about torture though! Chris said why don't you just use it now! I said no way... I want to wait for my birthday... it just makes it more special! Man... I don't know how I did it! I now have it in my hot little hands and I am LOVING my new camera, but I have to learn how to use it now :)

:: me and my new baby - a new obsession!

I also received some birthday money from my gorgeous grandma and cousin (love them)! I have been dying to buy some lino cutting equipment and make some stamps, for ages - like I need to add something new to my "to do" list but I just can't help myself! I went to Art on King in Newtown where I have a reward card and they gave me $30 off my purchase!! I was so thrilled... anyone in the shop would have thought I had won the lotto :) I am so happy with my new toys, can't wait to get carving!

:: love my new toys

I feel like a very lucky duck!! But now I need to find some time to learn how to use my camera and make some stamps... hmmm I'm sure I can squish it into my day somewhere :)

drawing course: week 3

This week we did a still life and also work on the composition of our work. There were quite a few different "still life" set ups on the table in the middle of the room and we could choose which one we wanted to draw. I chose a bottle and fruit. I really like the shape and colours!

:: Still life

My first sketch was a bit of a disaster... yet again my proportions were totally out! I think my brain zooms in what I'm drawing at the time and forgets the rest of the picture! I really like my fruit but.. Oh dear...the vase height looks quite stunted!

:: Still life - first sketch - graphite on A2 paper

With my second sketch I decide to do it portrait, to give me more room for the bottle! The tutour showed me how to measure the still life proportions by using the "thumb and pencil" method which really helped. I first did a basic sketch, then just kept adding more shading and detail. We also worked on composition, I added part of a window and edge of a table. I'm really happy with my second sketch! It's not quite finished yet, I have quite a bit to do still :)

:: Still Life - second sketch - graphite on A2 paper

During the class the tutor gets us to go around and have a look at what everyone is up to! Is is really great seeing everyones work and seeing the different styles of drawing! You can really see how much everyones drawing has improved... so inspiring!

Next week we will be doing architecture and perspective... can't wait!

my creative space: painting and decorating

There are a lot of birthdays around here this month, which means lots of creating... I love it!

It was my partners birthday on Tuesday, and I like to make something with my little M for his daddy, so I decided we would paint a mug for him (I accidentally broke his favourite mug a few weeks ago... whoops). It is also M's Pops birthday next week too, so I thought we would make him a mug as well!  I bought some Pebeo Porcelaine 150 paint in green and blue and two plain porcelain mugs.

Firstly, I cleaned the mugs with methylated spirits, then let my little man loose with the paint! I am actually amazed we didn't get that messy! I wasn't happy with our first attempt as the paint went on too thick and started running down the mug all over the place! The great thing about this little project is you can wash it off and start again!

:: looking very sweet in the middle of
a painting frenzy

The second attempt went much better we used smaller brushes so there were less paint blobs everywhere on the mugs! We let them dry for 24 hours, then baked them in the oven for 35min at 150°C and then left them to cool down in the oven... so easy! The hard thing was keeping it a secret from my partner! I really love how they turned out and M's daddy loves his new favourite mug :)

:: M's art on mugs

We also baked a cake for daddy's birthday, which M loved helping with (forgot to take a photo of the complete mayhem in the kitchen... bummer!) We had so much fun and M especially loved decorating the cake.. which most of it ended up in his mouth :)

:: yummy cake decorations

:: M can't wait for daddy to get home!!

It was a great little birthday celebration, M even sang at bit of happy birthday to his daddy too... so cute! I love the fact that M is old enough now so we can create some special things together! It's just too much fun :)

Hope you have all had a wonderful creative week!
There are loads more creative people over at our creative spaces...