Life Drawing Live

Did anyone catch BBC 4’s Life Drawing Live last week? It was good timing for me, because I had two days of working on getting back to sketching people a couple of weeks ago, then stopped again. Hopefully it’s put me back in the grove.

Although I didn’t watch it live, I recorded it and followed along in a couple of bursts over the weekend.

We started with warm up; drawing two 30 second poses then a one minute one…

Very pleased with the proportions given even each was drawn in 30 seconds and the one on the right less time, because they forgot to engage the pose cam.

We then moved to drawing models in iconic artistic poses:

6 minutes – Diego Velazquez’s only surviving nude…

Not sure what’s going on in the bum area.

10 minutes – Bacchus the god of wine…

We were supposed to use sanguine chalk, but I didn’t have any, so used red and white watercolour pencil – although the white is impossible to see here.

12 minutes – Augustus John’s Madame Suggia….

This was the first one I drew on the second day and I think the lack of a warm up didn’t help, but I’m very happy with the bottom half. 

15 minutes? – Carvaggio’s Narcissus…

I enjoyed doing this one most. Supposed to be in charcoal, but I have none, so used my 8B progresso  pencil and fell back in love with progresso pencils. 

18 mins – Eugene Delacroix’s Liberty Leading the People…

Progresso pencil again here.

Even though I’m not very experienced at drawing people and not very good at it, I really enjoyed this and thoroughly recommend having a go if you missed it – even if you don’t draw. The pose cam cast is available on BBC IPlayer for the next three weeks.

Until next time,

Bekki x

Sunday Sevens 2020 #16

Welcome to my Sunday Sevens; a post where I share seven or so photos from my week.

Last Friday was the 75th anniversary of VE day, but as we’re on lock down the official celebrations were scaled down dramatically and the day became one for quiet contemplation and close neighbours spending a few hours with a drink or two, sitting 2 meters from each other.

As part of my quiet contemplation I looked through the box of photographs, postcards and documents left to me when my father passed. My father was too young to sign up for military service at the very beginning of the war, but signed up during the war, once he was old enough.



He joined the 64th Squadron of the RAF and saw service in Egypt as well as Europe.



Although he talked about the war, he really told us very little about his experiences. His discharge papers also give little away as the writing is pretty much unreadable.


Inside the box I also found Dancing Charlie  – made in the 1930s.


I love the hype on the envelope and it made me think how much better previous generations were at entertaining themselves. We have so much more today and yet many people have been complaining how bored they are during lock down. Can you imagine how long today’s children would be entertained by Dancing Charlie?

For your further entertainment I thought I’d share a picture of my father as a young child….


and one of me at a similar age…


Just so you can see where I get my ridiculous wavy hair from.

And finally my seventh photo is bang up to date –  While most of our village hung union jack  bunting or flags outside their houses, one house had a rather creative take…


No Where’s Harry this week, so instead I’ll ask how many pairs of knickers can you spot in my photos?

Stay Safe (And Alert!)

Until next time,

Bekki x

Progress on this year’s goals

It occurred to me the other day that for months now I’ve been completely ignoring the goal list of I wrote at the beginning of the year. Looking back I discovered  I decided to pursue creative ‘explorations’ as well as plans and goals.

Explorations are basically following my heart during my creative time and seeing what evolves and, apart from my mojo going AWOl, so far so good.

Plans and Goals

Whilst not always completely fitting the criteria to be goals, most of my creative plans at least had time frames attached. Here’s what I planned for this year that I’ve already achieved or have started working on…

  • Take part in Scrap Happy every month – so far so good.
  • Use scraps or materials from my stash, rather than new, as much as possible this year – I haven’t bought anything new, so I must be.
  • Make a birthday present for a friend whose birthday was Jan 11th.


  • Make the cork picture I’ve save over 100 corks for.


  • Finish renovating our blanket box.
  • Dig out any UFOs and finish them before the end of the year – no photos, but I have. Maybe I should fess up to those next week.

What I haven’t achieve/started working on…

  1. Design a Christmas cardigan.
  2. Make some birthday cards by the end of January.
  3. Make secret advent present before 1st December.
  4. Make a Christmas table runner – well before Christmas.
  5. Make some Christmas table mats – well before Christmas.
  6. Make Christmas crackers – before Christmas.
  7. Santa Cowl – before Christmas

Apart from my birthday card goal – that I missed achieving – everything else is Christmas linked. The idea of these goals was to get a head start on Christmas early in the year. But right now, with the sun shinning, I’m not in the least bit inclined to work on any of them. I wonder how close to Christmas I’ll be, before I start to work on any of them?

If you set them, how are your goals going this year? And have you done anything towards Christmas during 2020?

Until next time,

Bekki x

Bringing the Outside World to Our Homes

Thought I’d share links to three great virtual experiences you might enjoy whether or not you’re not bored during lock down. They won’t cost you a penny (unless you want them to).

Here they are in order of my favourites:

Number Three

On Saturday April 11th you can join a Watch Along of Twelfth Night performed by the Royal Shakespeare Company. You can also sign up for a 30 free trial and enjoy 17 Shakespeare plays for free. You can find more info here:

Number Two

There are several live webcams at Edinburgh zoo that can be found here,

If this is something you enjoy, you might want to make a donation, since the zoo still needs to feed the animals despite currently having no income.

Number One

My favourite! What could be more relaxing than watching the sky above Stone Henge at night? You can get a good look at the stones from inside the circle too. And, if you don’t just want to watch, you can learn about the movements of the sun, moon and planets and to see the solar alignment at Stonehenge. The webcam is here:

Do you have you any free virtual experience to recommend?

Stay well, stay safe.

Until next time,

Bekki x

Following my Heart – who needs easy?

It’s been almost a month since I posted my first acrylic paintings…

There’s a very good reason why. While I was working on the beach hut I started two other paintings. But once I’d finished the beach hut, I couldn’t get the oomph to work on them. After they’d sat untouched on the kitchen table for about a week, I packed everything away.


To be honest I’d known from the first strokes that I didn’t like acrylic painting. Too splotchy IMO and although I do have two beautiful acrylic painting I love, they’re the exception. I’m rarely drawn to acrylic (or oil) paintings.

So why did I choose to explore acrylic? I hear you ask.


Because people who knew more about art that me advised that  if I wanted to bring colour into my work I should try acrylic first; much easier than watercolour. But when did I like easy?

However while I wasn’t acrylic painting I’d had been working on my graphite pencil portrait of Harry. I’d loved working on all that detail and wondered if I’d be happier working in coloured pencil, but I knew I wasn’t keen on the look of coloured pencil. While I explored the coloured pencil market, wondering if I really wanted to buy an expensive set of colour pencils, I spotted Derwent’s Inktense watercolour pencils. I then began to wonder if they were what I wanted.  While I dithered, a beginners’ watercolour workshop was posted at art group for February.

I love the look of watercolour. Working on all that detail on Harry had made me realise how much patience I have for this, how much I love learning more complicated things. So how could I ignore a beginners watercolour workshop?

I bought some paints last week. Watched a heap of YouTube tutorials and had a go ahead of the workshop (long story here about trying to stretch paper when I didn’t have any gummed tape, which is why the edges are rubbish) …

Wet on wet single colour gradient
Wet on wet, two colour gradient
Wet on wet playing with dabbing various colour.
Bird on a tree

They might not be very good, but I loved the technique, the way the watercolours behave and that there’s so much to learn and master.

Who needs easy? Not me when it comes to painting.

Until next time.

Bekki x

Following my Heart 2020 – Fear and Art

I have to admit to a degree of fear of the blank page over starting this painting malarkey. I spent plenty of time phaffing and way too much time YouTube tutorial watching before I started.

But being a former creativity coach, I knew making a first mark on the paper would be a big step to overcoming this. So I detached from caring about the outcome and followed a very quick lesson in painting your first painting in two colours and ended up with this…


Although I’ve added the link above this is the video of his you should watch for this YouTuber –  nothing to do with painting, but it could save you a lot of money..

I digress…

I then set myself a goal to paint a picture for my friend’s birthday present. With her birthday being 11th of January and the present needing posting this forced me to get on with it.

My dear dear friend is the closest person I’ve got to a sister and she definitely appreciates handmade. So that took away the fear of not being good enough, as I knew she’d appreciate what I’d done, even if she wasn’t so keen on the picture. And anyway, she could always use the frame for something else.

She loves the seaside and has a very seasidey house. With my lack of skill, I knew I had to pick something simple, so the subject matter wasn’t hard to choose. I got going quickly and my first goal for 2020 was completed before I even blogged my 2020 goals list. 


The process has certainly sparked some interesting thinking, but I’ll save that for another post.

Until next time,

Bekki x





Are you setting goals for 2020?

It’s at this time every year I hear the debates about whether we set goals or not. I didn’t set any goals at the start of last year. 2018 had been a difficult year and all I knew at that point with any certainty was that I wanted another dog in my life. The universe  quickly obliged and on January 12th Harry arrived to live with us as his new forever home.


Harry’s arrival meant we had to quickly cover my lovely Laura Ashley settees with boring plain throws.


Knowing they would be there for the long term, I wondered how to make my settees a little more attractive. I thought a quilt would add some interest, but I couldn’t possibly start making a quilt unless I finished the king size quilt I’d started two years earlier and abandoned. Finishing said quilt involved a lot of free motion quilting.


I absolutely love it! This led to me dabbling with free motion embroidery…


But I grew frustrated at my inability to create the images I wanted to. And so I decided to learn to draw.

I loved it!

I loved it so much that I forgot all about FME and focused on drawing.

After nearly 3 months I was ready to add some colour to my pictures. On advice from Lovely Eldest about the best medium for a beginner to try, Santa obliged with some appropriate presents.


So this is where I’m at at the beginning of this year; about to head out on a painting adventure. Should I set goals for what I want to achieve in this (and elsewhere)? Or should I just go with the flow?

Going with the flow last year took me in an unexpected direction. But maybe if I’d set goals I’d have set one to finish the king size quilt and ended up exactly here anyway. Or maybe if I’d set that goal along with others I would have had the other goals calling me so hard I’d wouldn’t have ended up here.


And wherever I’d ended up, who’s to say if it would be a better or worse place to be in? (This certainly isn’t a bad one.)

Every day we make a many many decisions. Even the smallest seemingly most insignificant can change the course of our lives forever.  IMO there’s no point looking back and wondering if we made a right/wrong or good/bad decision; we just took the choice we thought was right at that time. And for me, there’s no right or wrong in choosing to set goals; it’s whether we feel we need/want to set them or not, and how we chose to use them if we do.

Have you chosen to set goals this year? And why did you chose/not chose to set them?

Until next time (when I may or may not be setting some goals)

Bekki x