Trees in Winter

This week’s drawing started off more as a quick practice sketch. I had saved a photograph from an old calendar because I liked the trees in the foreground.

Unfortunately I cannot give credit to the photographer as their name was not mentioned in the calendar.

When I first started I was thinking it would be a quick pencil sketch, but after completing one drawing with my new coloured pencils I found I was itching to do it again.

I had some trouble with the tangle of branches and leaves in the top left corner, so I intentionally kept the trees in the background a little messy to create some continuity (of messiness). Overall I like the effect of the lighting and shadows on the snow, and the mix of all the different greens and blues. I also feel quite at home looking at the drawing; it is a typical scene I might encounter on any given day between December and March and I find it quite comforting.

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Safranbolu Houses

Despite having the intention to blog regularly I never seem to get around to it. Thankfully I’m a little more dedicated to my art. Here’s a small drawing I recently finished of some heritage houses in Safranbolu, Turkey.

It’s based on a photograph I took while on a family trip almost nine years ago .

I bought myself some Derwent soft drawing pencils recently and I have to say I am loving them. Usually I prefer keeping my pencil drawings black and white, but these coloured pencils are opening me up to a whole new world…

Colourful Fish

Two posts in two days? How can this be?? Because I broke my wrist last Friday and now I can’t drive, so the time I would normally spend commuting I am instead spending drawing and blogging! I was able to finish the fish yesterday afternoon before hubby got home with the kids.

It may be a while before I am actually able to frame and hang it in the kids’ bathroom because my left hand is still mostly indisposed. This is what my left hand was doing while I was drawing:

More Drawings In Progress

I haven’t made the time to update my blog in the past few months, but I have been making some time here and there for my art. So here’s yet another post of some “drawings in progress.”

A few months ago I started a drawing to hang in our stairwell landing. It was inspired by a large mirror with a thick and colourful mosaic tile frame that I fell in love with at Pier 1 Imports. I never bought the mirror and I still regret it, so I thought I would make a drawing that reminds me of it.

I divided the paper into randomly sized sections and drew a different pattern within each section. I’m still not sure how many colours I will use overall, perhaps I will choose 10 to 15 colours and use them in different variations (the mirror had a similar number of colours). Or perhaps I will just go nuts, and add a million different colours. We shall see…

I recently started another drawing that was inspired by the mirror drawing. I enjoyed making the patterns, and I thought it would be fun to also make them within a specific outline. This was around the time I was painting the cabinet in our kids’ bathroom, which is why the outline ended up being a fish to be hung in said bathroom:

It’s almost done, I just need to finish the tail…

This last drawing was mostly unplanned. One day I got a sudden urge to attempt something with watercolours, and I decided I would tackle a photograph of my parents’ house that I had been intending to draw in pencil.

There is still much to be done before it’s complete, but I am happy with the direction it’s heading in…

Maple Tree

Another “drawing in progress” is complete! We have an absolutely lovely maple tree in our backyard and I stare at it and soak it in everyday. It was particularly beautiful one morning after a light snowfall, just as the sun was rising:

maple

When I first sat down to draw all the branches seemed a little daunting, and I wasn’t quite sure how well it was going to turn out. But once I started I didn’t want to stop, and I actually enjoyed making the millions of tiny branches. Perhaps because I had a new pencil that I kept sharpening every five minutes–fewer things are more satisfying than using a new pencil.

I tried to capture the early morning light by adding just a hint of colour to the sky, the trunk and the major branches.

mapletree

The only thing I wish I could re-do is the hedge–I didn’t leave enough lighter coloured spaces so it’s lacking adequate depth. But at least the branches and blue sky draw the eye upward and away from the depth-less hedge.

Janice & Yalexy

Not too long ago I posted about the Facebook ‘Pay it Forward’ initiative I participated in.  And not too long ago I also finished the second of the surprises: I made a portrait of my friend Janice and her husband Yalexy. I quickly sifted through a few Facebook photographs until I settled on this one:

janice

They both look so happy in this photo and it seemed like it would make a nice portrait.

The first attempt didn’t go so well:

janicefirst

Yikes! Time to start over…

The second attempt was much more successful.

jan

I really struggle with portraits, so I don’t attempt them very often. Yalexy’s eyes were very difficult to capture, I think I erased and redrew them at least four times. When I look at the portrait on it’s own it seems good enough, but when the original photo and the portrait are compared side by side I feel there is a lot of room for improvement. The general shape of both their heads seem a little off, and Yalexy’s gaze appears a little cross eyed. Both of their hair gave me quite a bit of trouble too. But overall I would have to say I’m pretty happy with it. Although I think I am done with portraits for the next little while…

Framed and ready to go:

janframe

Happy New Year to anyone reading this post!!

 

Keys for Dani

Back in January 2016 I took part in the ‘Pay it Forward’ initiative on Facebook:

I want 2016 to be a kind and loving year. I’m participating in the ‘Pay it Forward’ initiative: The first 5 people who comment on this status with “I’m in” will randomly receive a surprise from me at some point in 2016- anything from a book, something homemade, a postcard, absolutely any surprise!
There will be no warning and it will happen when the mood comes over me and I find something that I believe would suit you and make you happy. These 5 people must make the same offer on their Facebook status. Please copy and paste this message in your own status (don’t share it), so that we can form a web of connection and kindness.
Once my first 5 have commented “I’m in” I will message you privately, to get your address.
Let’s do more nice and loving things in 2016, without any reason other than to make each other smile and show that we think of each other. Here’s to a more enjoyable, friendly and love filled year!

Three friends replied that they were “in,” and I have only now finished the first of the surprises. My friend and co-worker Dani likes to collect antique keys, and when I couldn’t find her an actual set of old keys I decided to simply draw some.

keys

Not having any old fashioned keys myself I had to look online for the source photograph. Credit goes to photographer Michelle Rhodes.

keys

I’m quite pleased with the end product, and I’m also proud of myself for having completed it fairly quickly (about 4-5 hours). I’m always frustrated by how slowly I draw, but the more I draw the faster I get and that makes me very happy. I’m also happy that Dani liked my drawing and promptly put it on display in her hallway:

danikeys

Crepes

We often make crepes for breakfast on the weekends. The kids love it (who doesn’t love an excuse to ingest copious amounts of maple syrup?!) and they’re very easy to make. The ingredients are simple: milk, flour and eggs. I use one cup of flour and about 3/4 cup milk per one egg. But to be perfectly honest I don’t usually measure the milk, I just keep pouring until it looks right. The batter should have an off-white colour and should pour freely and easily, but it shouldn’t be too runny.

crepes2

Beat the eggs first, then slowly add the flour and milk. In order to feed two adults and two young children I use two eggs, two cups of flour and about one and a half cups of milk. If you need a bigger serving simply throw in another egg, another cup of flour and some more milk…When making a larger batch I add the flour and milk in installments: beat the eggs first, then add one cup of flour, then 3/4 cup of milk, then another cup of flour, then another 3/4 cup of milk, etc. This makes it easier to keep the batter lump free. Also, adding a tablespoon of coconut to the batter can complement the taste of the crepes quite nicely. Or for an even more subtle hint of flavour you can simply grease the frying pan with coconut oil.

Let the pan get nice and hot before cooking.  Each crepe will take about two minutes–one minute per side or until it’s very light brown. I like to make small ones (that’s how my mother cooked them when I was young), but the batter cooks just as well with larger crepes.

crepes

My kids prefer “weird” shapes:

crepe3

I don’t care what shape they are, as long as I have a mountain of them topped with maple syrup or honey:

crepe3