The Eyes have it, pastel doodling..

As i continue with my quest to become somewhat better at art, i keep finding more products that helps in the process to gain satisfaction and  pleasing results, but as always it comes at a price.

I have not done that much with pastels, either soft nor pencil  at all in concideration to the amount of time they have adorned my cupboards. I have to be fair, had some success with them  even selling  a couple of pictures i once did of animals some time ago, and if you look at my other pastel pages you will see some of them there.

I did back then enjoy the process of painting a picture with them, but i did find (being a virgo) i needed more detail to my work, but the paper i was using just wouldn’t let me attain that level, however i carried on but was never completely satisfied with what i had produced, so i kind of set it to one side and moved on to other mediums.

It came to my attention recently that there is a new boy in town, this one goes under the name of Clairefontain Pastelmat. You can buy it in pad form or loose sheets, and for me it has made a great change to my work. I can now get several layers onto the paper, which has a slight rough texture to it, allowing the build up of fur or hair, but probably  best to use a paper stump to blend rather than your finger, unless you like short fingers that is.pastelmat1337256802_476

The pads come in a variety of sizes and with different coloured papers inside too, but if you only want to use a single colour then its best to buy single sheets of it, which also come in different sizes. This is the pad i bought and it cost me £17 delivered, which is a great saving on a lot of art sites that are charging £25 for it.

I wanted to start doing wild life again, so i got a photo of a leopard and set about putting it onto a small piece of Pastelmat i had been given some months ago but had never bothered with it,  i was amazed at just how nice this paper was to use, and using it gives you lots more layers than the Ingres paper and derwent paper i had used before.

This is my first picture using pastelmat before finding out that you need to start with dark layers and build up to the light colours, just like you do with oil paints, so hopefully from here on in my pictures will get better.pasteljaguar

The second piece of art came with more knowledge of the layering techniques , i did a couple of studies of eyes, tigers and leopard, really enjoyed it too. Looking forward to improving my technique and doing some better work..eyes

Warm day, sowing has started..

Welcome to the new followers..

Its 2.30 pm and we are all excited, why , because we have been to the plot and started the new seasons bounty off. On such a lovely day with a slight breeze and 13° C temperature we didn’t want to miss this chance, especially as they have forecast rain for tomorrow and according to the Seed Parade website, where we bought the seed from incidentally, we can start these off now under cover, and as there seems less interference from our local resident mouse ,  we went ahead.

First we set about checking over the other bits and bobs we have in there, sweet peas, eating peas, hope we don’t mix them up, a couple of Rhubarb plants and several seed trays of assorted flowers for her indoors, we are also planning more for the bees later on.

Started off with Beetroot Bulls Blood, this is a beetroot not grown for its fleshy root,(although you can grow them on) but for the beautiful deep red/green leaves to enhance a salad, with beetroot flavour as well as colour, should be able to cut and come again after about a month, we’ll hold fire on that part for now.

Seeds set

We next set a couple of small trays of sweet peppers, just about a dozen or so of each variety for now of California Wonder (red and green) and Di’Asti Giallo (yellow) planted in individual cell trays, we want to try to keep this type of planting as it means less root disturbance and less time pricking out too.

We have tried a few other peppers but from an old batch of seeds, to which we have lots of varieties of veg, so hopefully if they germinate we could have quite a bit going on. One thing we have to think about is space to put all the trays when we start, although the tunnel is about 50 ft long and 30 ft wide i don’t really want to fill the floor space with trays all over the floor.

We still had Red onions growing on in cell trays, so we gathered them up and planted them outside with the others out there, they should be fine.

Annie planting onions..

Took a peek into the broad bean fleece tent, really pleased how these have put up with the wind, rain and snow we had last week, in fact they look amazing, being in this BioCanna compost they seem to love it.beanfleece

Until next Time, thank you for following..

Reflections in a Tumbler..

At this time of year my paid work is cut down so i find myself with a little bit more time on my hands with which to create a bit of art work. I started this a couple of weeks ago and put it to one side to keep looking at it to see what else (if anything) needed to be done to class it as finished, so today i darkened a few areas and highlighted a few others and now i am happy enough to class it as done.

Painted using Windsor and Newton Alkyd oil and a few Georgian oil paints, which incidentally i am changing too as i can never put the lids back on the alkyd paint so they dry up too quick in the tube, but i now find i want to do more pastel work until the weather gets better as its quite cold in my cabin, even with heaters on.applesdone

Brown hare’s eye, Pastel on Pastelmat..

This was just a little eye I worked on the other day when I found myself a bit of spare time. I had never used this type of paper before and I was given a few small pieces from a friend to try.

It is sort of a sandpaper with being too rough and it’s rapidly becoming my favourite paper as you can layer so much and lay light on top of dark too, I like this method of working far better than the coloured pencils I also use.

I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to draw but having been given a hare cutting block tile, I kind of liked the picture so made a study of an eye for detail.

Hope you like it, as there will be more like this coming over the next few days as time allows.

Seed trays, Snowdrops & Spiralizer

After being inspired with blogs that i follow showing everything from their plots and produce  to re-landscaping and beautiful flowers (those that blog from abroad) it has got me fired up and ready to start for the season.

Today the sun was out but a very cold wind was  blowing, we have been to the plot to check on the seedlings we have started off, and make sure all is well. We noticed in the tunnel that things had dried up a tad, so water was the first point of call although as we have the doors shut dont want to put too much about in case of mildew forming because of low air flow.

Checked the planted seeds and no further damage had occured so we went about and planted some old broad beans , coriander and parsley but purely as experiments with older seeds, if they germinate its a bonus, i also covered the top with clear plastic too.

I did notice that in one of the tubs we planted a mates spuds in, signs of life were sturing, albeit small, its still there. These spuds are planted indoor in pots but the rest are outside in the beds, hopefully they will be ok until later in the year..

dougs spud
Dougs Spuds

All the fruit trees buds are starting to swell and the peach buds are really looking good for the time of year, we will have the paint brushes on standby for the pollination when it arrives, oooh its like waiting for a baby to come..

One thing we did whoop about was the fact that walking towards the beds Annie noticed a small clump of snowdrops, well we were delighted, then looking around we noticed even more clumps, will have to watch where we are walking now, its brilliant..snowdrop

So we have bitten the bullet and succomed to the latest fad or gadet, the Spiralizer, we are going to try and invent some new food for ourselves over the next few weeks, unless someone out there already has recipes for us to use. We also bought 12 new plastic trays to use at the plot, really good quality ones to be re used and only 89p each from this company The Greenhouse People  Just as an aside i do not work for these people nor am i gaining anything from advertising them. We have just sent for a few more seeds, some of which can be started off now under cover, cant wait till they arrive and we can start proper, until then ……

Spiralizer and trays

Thank you, and a puzzle..

I am going to start today by saying a big THANK YOU to a few new followers, the interaction has been lovely for me and makes this blog so much more worth doing. There is not much happening at the Plot as yet so deciding what to write to make it sound interesting is challenging, so hoping folks will stick around until we get into full swing, just a couple of weeks away (hopefully)

Called in at the Plot today, it was early (ish) about 8.15 , still quite dark and very quite, such a tranquil place at that time before the business of the day. Checked over the beans in their fleece tent, they look as snug as an audience camping out at Gladstonebury, minus the hangover and music.

On inspection of the tunnel however, something has been sniffing around , i noticed the other week, just after i planted some more bean seeds  and we had snow, a disturbance in the trays, looked like it was trying to get to the beans under the compost, i chose to ignore it at the time as i had quite a few planted.

I did then set  some onion seeds , i have quite a few bulbs already planted so i thought i would give a few seeds a try, as according to the packet it was their time. Todays once-over brought to light another disturbance in the trays, something is definately sniffing through what is planted there, not sure if it is a mouse, rat or squirrel, anyone have any ideas, and how to stop it, dont want to kill it unless it is a rat.onion_opt

Apple, Coloured pencil drawing..

What with christmas, new year and work as well as the plot, everything seems to merge into each other and time shoots by at an incredible rate of knots, but sometimes you just have to stop the bus and get off for a while.

Christmas was quite fortunate for me, things were slack at work, we had bought and wrapped all the presents , i had a feather in my cap from selling a painting at a local gallery and  i found myself with that very rare comodity, time..

Having joined an online tutorial to learn about oil painting, a thing i would love to do well, i noticed one of his paintings would make a great coloured pencil picture, so without further ado i decided to go ahead and paint it..

Not having used them for a while, it takes a bit of practise to get back into the habit of using them, but at the same time its a wonderful feeling creating something from virtually nothing. After an hour of loosening up i started on the picture, and over the next few nights i managed to get it completed, i will however paint this one day too..