Friday, 31 August 2012

Inspired by Nature

Had a very busy week. It's back to school for me next Tuesday and I have had a lot of preparation to do, though my thoughts have never been very far from the exciting course I am taking with Alisa Burke, Ode to Nature.

We are already in week 3 of a 5 week course and the group are producing some extraordinary work. It's the first time I have taken an on-line course and I have met some wonderful artists who are a very supportive group.

This week's theme is Creating.Nature.Inspired.Art.

Here are some glimpses of my sketchbook and field journal. The course is really stretching me out of my usual style as Alisa presents ideas then lets us get on with it. 

This page was way out of my comfort zone. Pink feathers... but I really like how they turned out.

Next up, some doodled leaves that were fun to do. 

This is a close-up of a larger leaf that is posted in the group album.

These are sketches of the passion fruit flowers in my mother-in-law's garden. They are late blooming this year due to our very British weather. I have enjoyed being surrounded by nature and bird-song this Summer. It is so peaceful. I have even been joined by a rabbit and a couple of squirrels who look quizzically at me as I sketch.

As I sketched, a ladybird landed on one of the leaves and stayed just long enough for me to draw her.

Back now to the teacher's drawing board. I will hope to post later next week.

Bye for now, Andy

Monday, 27 August 2012

Beach Collections

Hi everyone,

Had a lot of fun putting together the beach collections. I collected so much stuff, it has been difficult not to want to show it all. 

The above are digital templates from Pugly Pixel. For the cost of a cup of coffee, I got 9 templates. Just go to Resources>Freebies>Blog Photo Layouts (Part 7) and follow the link. There is also a tutorial if you are not sure how to use them.

These are drawings from my sketch book of some of my finds. I have used pens, watercolours and a tiny bit of white acrylic paint on this page. 

Below is a page from my field journal that I sketched while at the beach and I added the watercolours when I got back home. I love grasses and sometimes I feel they get overlooked even though they are a large part of our landscape.

There are more sketches in the Ode to Nature class album.

I can hardly believe we are at week three of this class. I am enjoying it tremendously. I had better make the best of it as the new school term commences next week!

Bye for now, Andy

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Beach Combing

Good Morning all.

In my last post I mentioned I was hoping to start on my collections. I am happy to say that I have finally begun!

Both my wife and I managed to take a long walk on our favourite stretch of coastline recently. I am always so inspired when I go to the beach because it constantly changes, there is always something new to explore and see.

As Week 3 of the Ode to Nature course is to create a field journal, I decided to use the sketchbook I had already started and develop it further into a journal. I haven't done an art journal for quite a while and see it as a creative challenge to write down my thoughts and make quick drawings of the scene. I am one who would rather produce more detailed work straight away and found it interesting to see if I could free myself up within the sketchbook.


We are very fortunate that the stretch of beach on which we walk passes through three different types of habitat, and I was able to produce two pages for each. I did find the process a challenge and had to be reminded that I only had a short amount of time in which to produce my sketches before heading to a new view point. But I am happy with the outcome and enjoyed taking the photographs as a second pair of eyes.

Each habitat has a different feel. I tried to demonstarte this in the way I used   the materials I had packed in my duffle bag, including Alisa's tip of using sellotape to preserve the wildlife I found.

I was so inspired by my time there that I now have a massive selection of photographs, collections, ideas and sketches that I would like to share with you. There is so much, I will have to break them down into several posts!

Before my next post, I hope to make time to view the classroom link and catch up in the inspirational gallery.


Thursday, 23 August 2012

More Ode to Nature

Although I haven't posted for a few days, my mind has been buzzing with ideas for several collections. 

First up is a group of sticks found in the garden.

I painted the sticks using coffee as the paint medium. It gives a different definition of colour and I get a buzz from the aroma!

The next collection is an assortment of finds that I have grouped together as I like the composition they make.

Here is an observational drawing of some of the pieces.

I used three different types of pens and watercolours in my sketch book.

Here is a closer look.

As the new school term draws ever nearer, I am having to write schemes of work - Grrrr - but am hoping to get to my local beach by the weekend to start my field journal and add to my collections.

There is some fantastic work going up in the classroom of Ode to Nature. The course is so inspiring.

See you next time!

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

A Bird's Nest

Managed to find some time to draw today. I have been wanting to sketch this bird's nest for a while now and there seems no time like the present as it fits so well into the course I am taking, Ode to Nature

This nest was found by my niece in the garden and I kept it. I think it was a Wren's nest as it is quite small. It is so intricate; made using hairs, feathers, lichens, mosses and grass. I couldn't fathom how busy this little bird would have been putting it together.

Click on the images to enlarge them

For this sketch, I used a variety of pens, masking tape and watercolours. I hope you like it.

I am getting together some collections and will add them to the blog soon. Thanks for dropping in.

Monday, 13 August 2012

Ode to Nature Course

For some time now, I have wanted to share my art via a blog and having recently signed up to take Alisa Burke's online course Ode to Nature, this has given me the incentive to do something about it. Although I teach art as a career, I also spend a lot of my spare time drawing, painting and taking photographs. I find the outdoors incredibly inspirational and I hope this is shown in my work.

Here's a sample of my rough journalling pages so far.

I am always fascinated by insects so when I saw this bee, his character appealed to me. 

And a walk in the garden produced these finds. It is amazing how when the head is not full of work, I can see things in more detail.

I will try and post again tomorrow.