Thursday, February 9, 2012

The 'Capsule' Leaf.

A few weeks back, my family and I went for a nice break in the countryside.  We stayed in a great little cabin which was connected to the main 'camp' by a small forest which featured a fast flowing stream which we crossed over a little bridge.  It was so nice to just be able to stop, listen to the sound of the forest, and look closely at all the different plants and insects.

It is interesting how, in the city, the animals are wary of the humans and don't hang around for too long when we are about.  It is often difficult even to hear them...but it is a different story in the forest.  The forest is theirs and as soon as humans arrive, you can hear the birds all calling loudly to each other to announce that there are intruders.  They are quite bold and come close on the nearest branch to check you out and then fly back to their mates and report what they have seen.  I can just imagine what they are saying: 'Hey, I just saw the strangest birds...they are as big as a tree...and one of them has such a huge beak, if you can call it that.  It's the funniest thing I've ever seen...HAHAHAHA!!'.  Then there are the animals of the eight legged variety.  'Hey, Bob...let's wait 'til it's nearly dark, build a huge web right across that pathway, and then one of us will sit in the middle of it and see what happens when they walk through it...I feel like a good laugh!  Why don't you sit in the middle?'re bigger than me.'  You really get the feeling that you have walked into another world, and I love it.  My children love it too because everything is amazing to them.  They notice the smallest details, too.

In this beautiful forest were the most amazing ferns, I had never seen them before, and I am not sure what they are called or whether they are native to New Zealand...perhaps someone out there might know more...please let us know in the comments.  I have shown them in the image above.  On each leaf there are hundreds of tiny capsule-like bumps, and if you turn them over you can see that these hold small brown seeds.  If you run your finger along them you can feel an interesting texture, a bit like reading braille. 

My daughter was obsessed with collecting these leaves and we ended up with them all over our cabin, so one night I got out my sketchbook and drew one, which you can see in the image above.

Do you have any nature sketches/artwork you would like to share?  I'd love to see them!

Happy drawing!

Monday, February 6, 2012

GARDENABLES! Episode #1 'Trev's New Look'.

Please click the comic page to see a larger image.

Please click the comic page to see a larger image.
Two days ago I decided I needed to draw an online comic strip, and...Voila!  'GARDENABLES' was born!  Here is the first exciting episode, entitled 'Trev's New Look'  (exciting? Ok I will leave that up to you to decide hehe).

Anyway it's just a bit of fun, and I hope you enjoy it.  It's the first time I have ever done an online comic strip, so I would love to hear what you think of the first episode.  Please add your comments, ideas, and helpful suggestions below.

Should I keep going and make episode #2?  Or should I just kill it now and put it out of its misery?  Perhaps you have suggestions for characters or storylines?  Let me know.

I have also recorded the drawings and will be posting them on my YouTube channel very soon.

Oh...and make sure you subscribe so you don't miss out on any of the fun!

Happy reading!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Spiffy Up Your Journal!

The other day I paid a visit to a place in Wellington called 'Uncle Bill's'.  No, he's not my uncle...just one of those shops that you can buy just about everything from at a very inexpensive price.  Buy at your own risk, mind you, and make sure you check that everything works before you leave the shop.  I went there to buy gel pens, but ended up buying everything else instead, as I tend to do in this type of shop. 

They had some interesting art equipment there...not the sort of thing you would expect you to last a lifetime, but I bought myself a pretty decent paintbrush.  It's called a 'Taklon Liner' and it has really long, thin bristles which are great for doing fine curly flourishing lines.  Once I got the hang of it I just couldn't stop, and began painting everything in sight with some white gesso I found at the back of my art cupboard.  I will have to work out how to fix the paint on somehow, perhaps some spray varnish will do the trick...otherwise the whole lot will just scrape off.

As you can see, my art journal with its smooth black cover was just asking for a spruce up.  I have video recorded some other little curly paintings I did on some dark surfaces with white paint, and when they are all nicely edited I will post them on my YouTube channel so you can see how I did them.  I can't wait to show you. 

In the meantime, I have posted a video about the materials I used to decorate the cover.

If this takes your fancy, make sure you subscribe to my blog and YT channel so you don't miss out on the rest of the series.


A Pleasant Surprise!

While checking my email this morning I received a pleasant surprise!  As my eyes scanned through the list of inbox subjects, on in particular caught my eye.  One of my YouTube subscribers had sent me a message of congratulations for winning the Shoo Rayner Drawing Competition!  Then I found a message from Shoo telling me I had won his competition, and asking where to send the prize.  WOW!  I never win anything...hehe.  I hardly ever enter competitions.  However, I enjoy Shoo's entertaining drawing videos so much I felt keen to submit something this time...and I'm so glad I did!  I won, among other things, a signed copy of one of Shoo's children's story books that he wrote and illustrated himself.  I will enjoy reading it to my children, who also love to watch his drawing videos.

You can view Shoo's contest announcement video above, which shows all the great entries that he mentions (make sure you visit them all and give them a 'thumbs up/like' and a comment).  Below is my own video, and the winning drawing.

Thanks soooooo much to all who watched and 'liked' my video, I'm sure it all helped me to win the competition.  Welcome, also to all the new YT and Blogger subscribers who have recently discovered my little corner of the internet, I hope I can continue to make more videos that you can enjoy.  I have so many ideas in my head...if only there were more hours in the day!  Right now it's 1am in my part of the world (the only time I get any peace and quiet in a house with 3 children aged 5 and under hehe)...staying up far too late...AGAIN!!!  But it's worth it when I receive all your wonderful comments.  Thanks again!


My winning entry - Ink on paper, coloured digitally with the help of my trusty drawing tablet.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Cast Your Vote for a Dangerous Doodles Pattern Tutorial Book

Thanks to everyone who read and commented on one of my previous articles, 'A Dangerous Doodles Pattern Book?  Suggestions Welcome.'  There have been some really positive comments and many people have expressed interest in buying a book if it was created.  I have been busy drawing a whole new collection of exciting  patterns, and looking into the best format and layout for a
how to' style book.  I am thinking of making something that looks more like a booklet or 'zine' which will cost people less to purchase, and not too hefty for shipping.  I'm still open to different options and ideas, though, so please feel free to add your comments below.

To give me a better picture of how many people are interested, I have added a quick and easy poll on the left sidebar of this blog.  Please cast your vote, share this article with as many people as you can think of, and hopefully this will help move things along a bit.

By the way if you haven't already seen the DD tutorials on YouTube, you watch them here.

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