Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Rosa 'New Dawn'

Rosa 'New Dawn'
Originally uploaded by Spinneretta

I know, I know... I've drawn it before. But not from life and not with a bloom AND a rosehip :) In fact it is one of only two roses we have blooming now!
I took the opportunity to draw while outside- 66 degrees is very cold to us right now- I was wearing a hoodie and my daughter got out her 'Hello Kitty' knitted hat!


So my husband is doing the driveway- making cobblestones and laying them. Today we had a 10 ton delivery of stone dust- the kids were in alt! They thought it was their very own playground!
*I* decided to draw them 'helping'.

Plus a couple of things they were supposed to be drawing for nature study ;) The rules: draw three DIFFERENT things that are red, orange or yellow. I drew two of the offerings- you know, just to show a good example ;)

Sometimes the synchronicity in life amazes me :)
While I am outside feeling like I am channeling Susan Branch (mostly because the writing made me think of her), a friend is emailing me to remind me to 'friend' Susan Branch on facebook! Fun :)
As some artist friends pointed out- who doesn't love Susan Branch? Her cookbooks are lovely artistic inspirations, as well as great sources of yummy recipes :)

Monday, September 28, 2009

Practise, Practise, Practise...

So I decided to follow the old saying. It pretty much came about after I decided I would REALLY like to draw a picture of the kids- and COLOUR it :) So far, I have NOT done that ;)

So out came the coloured pencils. And the watercolour pencils. And the variety of pencil sets I have. And then I realised - I have a LOT of pencils :) But not always the RIGHT colour ;)
So I decided to start practising- I have never coloured skin colours before. Lucky for me, I own a couple of Lee Hammond books, and following through her directions I did the facial features below.

I admit it- I did not follow her to the letter. Firstly, I was drawing in my favourite coloured pencil notebook- which just so happens to be a Cachet Earthbound. It has tan coloured pages, which means that leaving white highlights is impossible- so I added those in with my white pencil :) Secondly, I didn't have ALL the colours she stated- so I just used what looked good :) Not a bad result ;)

So next I decided to try a landscape. I have been dying to draw this view ever since I took the photo a couple of weeks back. It was a glimpse through the trees of the Blue Ridge Mountains (we were up at Madison, VA) and the view was stunning. I always enjoy colouring the Blue Ridge in various blues :)

Then while out in the yard I went looking for autumn. I didn't really find much evidence of it here- a few leaves are beginning to turn, and a few have fallen, but we really wont see much of the turning of autumn until the middle of October. In the meantime, the garden was FULL of gnats- thousands of them! And I drew a couple of brown leaves (in watercolour pencil), and some of my jalapenos (in coloured pencil). They actually have lines over their skins- I think I let them sit on the plant too long! Oh well, they look prettier when I draw them ;)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Birthday Boy

Birthday Boy
Originally uploaded by Spinneretta

He turns 10 today- seems like such a short time!
I actually managed to figure out that a PHOTO might suffice to get a picture of him drawn- he is much more still then ;)
Not a perfect picture- but better than the others I have tried to draw of him ;)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Monthly Sketch Project -flamingo

MSP 2: September 09 -flamingo
Originally uploaded by Spinneretta

The second monthly sketch project...
I was torn between messing with dip pens and my colour pencils. So I chose to try out the dip pens... which of course ends up with the kids trying to join in, my fingers black and blobs in unwanted places :) Still- I had fun ;p

This is the mini project for September 09.

Monday, September 21, 2009


Originally uploaded by Spinneretta

As the summer ends, and autumn draws near... the gardens and farmer's markets sport a cross-over of vegetables and fruit from BOTH seasons.
The pepper is from my garden, the apple is from the store- but they are both locally grown :)

The autumnal equinox happens tomorrow- and after that, the nights start getting longer here in the Northern Hemisphere... lots of things to look forward to though :)

ETA: Jeanette over at Illustrated Life is hosting an apple challenge- so get your pencils ready and draw these delicious autumnal fruits!

HT to Robyn at Have Dogs, Will Travel for the heads up...

Sunday, September 20, 2009

A Pick of Pepper

A Pick of Pepper
Originally uploaded by Spinneretta

When DD brought this pepper in, I couldn't resist drawing it. But then we had to leave 1/2 way through- so I decided to photograph it. DD helpfully moved the pepper first, so I replaced it then photographed it... and finished this later :)
I decided I liked the contrast of the oil burner behind it, and added it in :)

Saturday, September 19, 2009


Well having been inspired by Kate Johnson's sketch pages, I actually drew the car dealership while I waited ;)

And then I perfected some new colour pencil techniques... which was fun :)

This is the same pumpkin as before- just a different technique... :)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Seasons are changing...

I thought I might try and catch up with a few EDM Challenges... here you can see #237 and #241:
Draw what is under your bed...
Not really much there- with the exception of a few dust bunnies! The bed is WAY off the ground (antique beds seem to do that) and anything under is is just a little too visible ;)

Draw what you see out of your kitchen window:
It really depends on what position you are in- and which direction you face. Most of our views from this window are pretty, but not really easy to appreciate- either you stand there and get the best views or sit and get a mediocre one... I was not about to stand indefinitely drawing this- I had enough of that with the plughole from the other day! So I dragged a chair in, found an interesting angle and drew. You can see the pawpaw trees, the pomegranate tree (with the single pomegranate from this year LOL) and the hummingbird feeder. I think the hummers are beginning their migration because I haven't seen them for the past few days...

Autumn is less than a week away, but the first signs of it here in the South are the piles of pumpkins the stores are stocking.
DD called the one at the local grocery store 'Pumpkin Island'. I promised her a pumpkin- and made good with this little pie pumpkin. yes- I have plans for it (other than drawing it ;))!

Monday, September 14, 2009

A Weekend in Nature...

well, sort of :)
When my husband felt a stinging on his arm this weekend, he went searching for the culprit- and believed this to be it. A Saddleback caterpillar (caterpillar for the saddleback caterpillar moth).
The side spines are slightly poisonouse and will sting if touched.

These are delicious- I drew some that are currently ripening in the fridge :) From a tree in the backyard! We had originally thought the squirrels were throwing them down- until I did a bit more research and realised that pawpaws do not change colour when they ripen :)
They were somewhat like a vanilla flavoured mango...

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Challenge Time!

Since the Virtual Sketch Date has closed it's doors, a new virtual sketchblog has started up, thanks to Jennifer Rose :) I caught it just in time and now have my first sketchblog entry for September!I chose the peacock because I like them lol and because Glamis (pronounced Glahms) castle made me want to be too fussy ;)
After that, I was feeling pretty good and so did this week's EDM Challenge while I was at it!

First time I did that on time in a while! This is my favourite Faber-Castel graphite pencil- sitting on the tablecloth (which you can also see in the old aubergine painting further down). Drawn with another pencil and my prismacolours lol.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

A Few Challenges

Well two challenges and one non challenge really ;) First up is a buckeye butterfly. It is not a great picture- my model was a sadly crumpled and dead buckeye butterfly my daughter found- and in my attempt to make it look better I made my art look worse. Oh well, it's better than SOME of my stuff lol...

A much better offering is my picture of rosehips... I painted these last year about this time. Rosa virginiana is a prolific producer of hips- and I can never quite resist them ;) they look so lovely. I think this years version is better though :)

And EDM Challenge #239: Draw something that scared you...
Yes, a plug hole. When I was very small, I was always scared I'd go down it with the water. I blame this song:

But any way you look at it, I was SURE I'd go down there too! I can still remember being brave enough to stand on the plug hole- my sister (who was sharing the bath) screaming at me because SHE thought I'd go down it too ;) (Yes I infected her lol)

Tuesday, September 01, 2009


Originally uploaded by Spinneretta

Our new (antique) pine jelly cupboard... bought as a pantry cupboard for my kitchen :) The jars on top are mason jars full of flour and grains, and the whole thing gives my kitchen a feel of a farmhouse kitchen- I love it!!