Posted in art, creativity, mental health, Mindfulness, watercolour painting, wellbeing, wellness

Watercolour design pad: a simple red robin

A few weeks ago, I picked up a design pad containing line drawn images for watercolour painting. As I find drawing really difficult, I though this was an ideal way to practise my watercolouring skills without needing to draw my own pictures.

The pad contains 24 A4 size pages with 12 designs so you get two copies of each image. When I purchased it, I wondered why there was several of each image but as I messed up the first robin, I was glad of a second chance!

The pad contains animals and birds and one floral image.

I chose to start with the robin design as I love birds and we have had a robin visiting our garden each day for the past few weeks nibbling on the fat balls and seed mix I put out.

The paper in the pad doesn’t appear to be proper watercolour paper but I did find it easy to paint on and I was able to get the paper quite wet without it going soggy or wrinkling as it is quite dense.

I thoroughly enjoyed having a few quiet hours mixing and applying the paint and was pleased with the results on my second attempt which you can see below. I might add some highlights to the robin’s feet using my Posca paint pen or a white gel pen but I’m waiting a while and may do a test on a piece of paper as I don’t want to spoil my work.

My finished robin and my very messy paint palette!

I’m trying to find more time for doing creative activities as a way of boosting my mental health and after I’d finished painting I felt so relaxed and happy with what I had achieved. If you love getting creative, I can well recommend doing a little watercolouring as a way to wind down after a busy day as a change from sitting watching TV or mindlessly perusing the internet on your phone.

If you live in the UK and are interested in buying the watercolour pad, I picked mine up in Aldi but have also seen it at a slightly higher price in The Range shop. If you want to find out more about my watercolour set, click here for my previous post.

Posted in art, creativity, Planning and journaling, watercolour painting

Setting up my bullet journal for October

Hi everyone. Hope you’re all well and enjoying the beginnings of Autumn. We’ve finally got some okay weather this morning so I’ve been able to take some bright enough photographs of my BuJo set up for next month and thought I would share them with you.

I decided to keep my spreads relatively simple and to a minimum this time as I found that I was tracking far too much in September and couldn’t keep up with it all and got quite overwhelmed. I’ve just done a quote page, a cover page which features a little watercolouring piece that I did, a double page monthly calendar and a planning page for my blog.

For my quote, I chose a simple Autumnal reference and as I was writing it, I had a vague feeling I’d used it before. I checked back in one of last year’s Bujo and there it was. I figured it didn’t matter and that I must really love it!

3 bright and juicy Crayola supertips plus a drop shadow using the grey tip of my Tombow dual brush pen

This watercolour was created using my new Daley Rowney Aquafine Travel Set. I followed an online tutorial and although the results don’t look the same as those done by the professional artist that created the step by step, I’m pleased with the results as I’m a total beginner. If you want to have a quick look at the tutorial, you can find it here.

Autumn tree produced on an A4 sheet from a watercolour pad

I then spent about two hours working out how to scan the image into a format that I could shrink to stick into my BuJo. After much perseverance (and a glass of wine which was most helpful ha ha!) I got it sorted. I ended up sticking a piece of paper over a mistake I made with my brush lettering but I think it looks okay now I’ve made it into a border for my picture.

October cover page

And here’s the two pages together. I think the bright colours look lovely. What do you think?

For my monthly calendar, I chose to decorate with some Autumn leaves and berries. I’m not wonderful at drawing but I think it looks okay. I used coloured pencils to shade them in but the only problem I seem to have it that when I write on the next few pages of my notebook the colour transfers. I’m not sure if there’s a solution to this, maybe I press on too hard? If anyone has any ideas, I would be grateful to hear them.

And finally, my blog planning page. On here I’m going to record days when I’m planning, reading researching as well as the titles of my actual posts.

I hope you’ve enjoyed looking at my spreads for October. I would love to hear about your chosen themes for the month and what you have planned for the Autumn. Let me know in the comments if you get the chance.

Posted in art, creativity, watercolour painting, wellbeing, wellness

Creative time – using my new watercolours!

In my last blog post, I talked about my new Daler Rowley watercolours. Yesterday, I put them to good use on a simple painting project which I found in a magazine. The magazine, pictured below, is a creative special from the makers of Project Calm which includes ‘a carefully curated collection of wonderful creative projects for you to try at home using easy to find art supplies. Following a quick flick through the pages, I decided it looked like the perfect mag to provide inspiration and some easy projects to get me started with my watercolours and also some cheap Gouache paints that I picked up in TKMaxx a few weeks ago.

The magazine, which retails at £12.99 and can be purchased from Sainsburys and probably a host of other retailers, includes artists stories, information about useful art tools and supplies, a range of projects, plus a 64 page sketchbook and paintable postcards.

I decided to start with one of the postcards. The idea is you choose seasonal paint colours to fill a floral, paint by numbers, image. I decided to choose the summer one and therefore selected bright and intense colours for my design. On the reverse of the postcard, you add samples of your chosen colours and this becomes your palette.

My chosen colour palette

To be honest, this seemed like a good idea in theory, but in reality, you were unable to see the samples whilst painting on the front and you needed to carefully select the colours you chose for the paint by numbers system if you wanted a good looking image where the stems of the flowers were a green colour! I remedied the samples situation by taking a quick shot on my phone to refer to as I painted.

Although the results aren’t perfect, mainly because I could have done with a much tinier brush to keep within the lines, I did enjoy the process and found it very therapeutic. We all need some ‘me time’ and for me personally, nothing beats a little relaxing creative project.

I hope you enjoyed this quick post and it has inspired you to indulge in some creative me time or spend a few minutes doing something you find relaxing. On that note, I would love to hear about your favourite way to spend your ‘me time’ and why? Let me know in the comments.

Until next time…

Much love, Laura xx

Posted in art, creativity, watercolour painting

My new Daler Rowney Travel watercolour set

My lovely new watercolours 😀

In a previous post, I shared some pages I’d done in one of my TN inserts using Tiger watercolour paints. They were really cheap, and had quite a chalky finish on the paper I used but at the time, I just wanted to give watercolour painting a go as I used to enjoy doing it at school and found it really relaxing.

Now that I’m more experienced, although still very much a beginner, I decided to buy a small set of higher quality paints. This travel set looked ideal as it contains quarter sized pans and 24 gorgeous colours so only basic mixing is required. Plus it was discounted at The Range so I grabbed it (along with lots of other bits and pieces that I couldn’t resist!).

Before I start using them for projects, I decided to make a swatch of the colours to tape into the lid so I could see what each paint pan looked like on watercolour paper. I cut down an A4 sheet from a pad and then rounded the corners so it would fit nicely.

I’m really pleased with the colours and look forward to using them creatively. You can use lots of water to get a washy colour or build up the colour to create something more opaque.

The only issue I had with them was that the images on the plastic which had the colour names and numbers on came off onto some of the pans. This didn’t cause too much of a problem but it obviously a bit of a fault in the design.

Overall, it’s a cute little package and you get plenty of colours in a neat tin. There’s a handle on the back for easy holding if you didn’t want to place them down on a surface but obviously I haven’t tried this out yet as I was working at my dining table!

If you have any questions which you would like answering about the set that I haven’t covered here, drop me a comment and I’ll do my best to respond and provide a suitable answer. Also, if anyone has watercolour tips either as part of their blog or as a YouTube video, leave me the link and I’ll check them out.

I hope you find this post useful and I look forward to hearing from you in the comments.

Until next time…

Laura x