Page started 04.02.15

Years ago I used to like to draw and paint. Then I got interested in growing native plants and bush regeneration and we bought a bush block. Looking after that and trying to grow my own food means I don’t have a lot of time for anything else. I always wanted to have lessons in botanical art, but somehow it never happened.

Lately, I’ve been following a relatively new blog—Make-do Studio—and the author, Chris, has been showing off her artwork. It’s made me want to take it up again, so I’ve bought some materials and hope I can find the time to dabble a bit.

I unearthed some pencil drawings I did long ago. The date on a couple says ’86. OMG, no wonder I feel old!

I’ve just realised my printer is a scanner, too, so here they are :

This is my favourite, a Grey Butcherbird. Drawn from a photo taken of one we used to feed at our previous home. With great originality, we called him ‘Butch’ :



This one is the seed pod of a native banksia—Banksia serrata. I have a collection of unusual seed cases in a large bowl, mostly banksias as they are fascinating. I love collecting things from Nature :



My husband loved horses, so I drew these for him, taken, I think, from photos in the daily paper :




Added 11.02.15

This is Cheeky, one of my chickens :


I blew up her head (not literally!) :


And had a go at drawing her :


It doesn’t have the crispness of the drawings above, done 30 years ago, but hey, I’m just getting started again with drawing. I don’t think I’ve captured her insolent stare, but at least it looks like a chicken! Next job will be to repeat the drawing in watercolour pencils, something I’ve never used before.


Added 14.02.15

I traced the above pencil sketch of Cheeky the chicken and transferred it to a watercolour pad. I have two sets of watercolour pencils, one ordinary pencil type in wood, and a set of woodless watercolour sticks…solid colour, no wood exterior. I found the first set very hard; they didn’t seem to want to leave much colour on the paper. I ended up using the watercolour sticks which seemed softer.

It’s not easy. I’ve never drawn in colour before. If I tried to press hard, to darken the colour all it did was to bring up the underlying texture of the paper more. I only had a set of 12 colours, not a lot to work with and I found the kneadable eraser didn’t lift off the colour as easily as it does with graphite pencil. But maybe when I add water I’ll find I can do it that way. I’ve never used watercolours before so this is all new stuff. Here’s the coloured Cheeky :


Added 15.02.15

I’ve decided having this page is a bit cumbersome to deal with so have moved it all to a new blog called drawingnstuff. Hope to see you there!

8 Responses to “Artwork”

  1. Chris Says:

    Oh wow! Lovely drawings. I love them all.

    You have an eye for detail and compose your pictures well. When you get the chance, I look forward to seeing your new creations. I’m sure the new mediums will take some getting used to, but because they’re pencils it shouldn’t take long to master them.

    Thanks for sharing your earlier works. Such talent should be shared. 🙂


    • foodnstuff Says:

      Thanks, Chris. Even now I can’t believe I actually did them! All but the banksia were done from photos, so no marks for composition there. I do love ‘Butch’ though. If I never do anything as good I will still be happy.


  2. Chris Says:

    Oh, I like the new chook addition. Lovely detail and you’re just warming up! 😉


    • foodnstuff Says:

      Thanks, Chris. (you didn’t see the pile of scrunched-up failed attempts in the bin. LOL.) I’ve been watching lots of videos. The amount of new art materials available is mind-boggling. I’ve discovered Officeworks has a good variety of Derwent materials, so might make a visit.


  3. Dean Garraway Says:

    Very nice drawings. Your Bio is almost identical to mine. I am stuck in suburbia though, and I have not picked up a pencil in almost
    20 years. I grew heaps of Poa, Lomandra and local Arcacia and planted them all around our local creeks. Am still having trouble getting rid of the remnant indigenous stuff in my garden lol


    • foodnstuff Says:

      Thanks Dean. By the dates it looks like I haven’t done any drawing for a year or so. Why aren’t there more hours in the day? Why does time go so quickly?

      So why don’t you want indig in your garden?


  4. Dean Garraway Says:

    I have a 630 m2 suburban block, and my food plants have quickly expanded this last year. Ideally would like a property eventually, but helping to feed 5 kids is the priority right now. I have a friend with a permie property, and learning alot from him. I have a garden maintenance business, but only took an interest in permie stuff over the last 12 months


    • foodnstuff Says:

      Sounds like you have your hands full! Learn as much about permaculture as you can….you could one day expand your garden maintenance business to include permaculture design and implementation. See if you can take an on-line PDC (permaculture design course). It’ll blow your mind!


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