Category Archives: botancial art

Hello? is there anyone there?

Well, this little corner of the internet thingie has been a bit quiet recently……..Only the Wednesday Word (of a botanical nature) appearing regularly – and that’s only because it can be scheduled in advance.

I do have reasons, and they are big reasons; reasons involving a new life in the family and a death in the family and both happening within days of each other. Strange how things coincide sometimes…….  This has meant, what with being away on holiday for a while too, I have not been home much to sit quietly and draw.

Things are settling down now and I have been able to pick up my pencils again.  I bought more pencils in America (but that’s it! I am stopping now, I have enough pencils already!) and have had a lovely afternoon sorting them all out and making new colour swatches.

New Pencils ready for sorting

New Pencils ready for sorting

And I have been able to finally finish the drawing of the Callicarpa that I started way back in October.

Callicarpa - drawing by Sue Hagley

I’m happy with the way it turned out.

I am looking forward to the new year, as I have signed up for two drawing classes a week! One is a life drawing class and one is a coloured pencil class (with Janie Pirie a well know botanical coloured pencil artist) so I am going to be very busy, and I guess I will be learning loads.

On the back of that, I have another intention (inspired by a friend who may also be taking up this practice), which is to do a drawing every single day next year – that’s 365 drawings, and so that I don’t clog up your inboxes with in influx of posts I have set up a Tumblr. account where I will post my daily offering.  Watch this space, I feel scared just thinking about it…………..


Pumpkins & Callicarpa

Bit of a quickie this week…………

Started the week having a go at some pumpkins, they are satisfying to sketch with their lovely round forms.

Pencil Sketch of Pumpkin


Pencil Sketch of Pumpkin

Then my eye was caught by a Callicarpa growing in the garden, it catches my eye and my attention every year because of the glorious colour of the berries, its common name is ‘beauty berry’ and I understand why.


I decided to make this the subject of my next coloured pencil drawing….. a great excuse to use the purples that have been lurking around unused since I tried a Cerinthe back in the spring.  Lush!

Callicarpa coloured pencil drawing


A close up of how it is progressing.

Callicarpa coloured pencil drawing



Progress and Felt

Not much chance to do very much this week with a trip to London to help with a house move.  But some colouring in did take place.  I am happy with the intensity of colour I am getting, but a mysterious mark has appeared on my white paper and I am at a loss as to where it came from…. Not tea or coffee, I suspect a spider or a fly or even an earwig!  Using an eraser has not worked so I am going to have to try the Milton fluid technique.

Work in Progress

Work in Progress

There was also a meeting of our felting group this Saturday and here is the piece of felt I produced, only 3 more to go and then I shall make myself a multicoloured waistcoat, or bag, or pillow, or tea cosy – who knows? something anyway.  Circles seem to be a theme…….

Spotty Felt Panel

Spotty Felt Panel

Rose Hips and photo editing (again!)

Just a quickie again this week…..

I finished the rose hips, it was such a tiny picture (5ins x 3ins) it did not take up too much time.  But the photo I took to put in the blog was not good, photographing white paper – ARGGGH.

Scrabbling around the Internet I found reference to image editing software called Pixelmator, and I downloaded the app for a 30 day free trial.  Well, I am very happy with it, especially after my very frustrating experiences with Gimp.  Gimp ‘0’ Pixelmator ’10’!  Obviously I need to practise but there are a bunch of tutorials on YouTube so I am happy.

Finished Rose Hip drawing - Sue Hagley

So now I am learning photo editing………. Anyway at least I can cut out my image and place it on a white background thus solving the photography problem.  The colour editing tools seem good so I can colour match if I want to.  I worked on the Tangutica again and ‘beefed’ up the intensity of the colour in the drawing.  The yellow in the image is still not ‘true’ even with my photo editing.

angutica - colours strengthened

Tangutica – colours strengthened