Scrap Happy July 2020 – Fifty Shades of Green

A couple of weeks ago I painted this frog…


I was happy with the picture, but I had a bit of a mishap when mixing the paint for it; Not owning any green I mixed the greens needed from yellow and blue on a dinner plate. Unfortunately I used way too much blue and ended up adding a lot of yellow to make the two suitable greens – way too much green for one frog.

When I had finished the frog I decided to keep the plate of green (with some daubs of other unused colours around the edges) in case I could use the greens it again.

I used a small amount of the lighter green on the blue tit I painted,


Then I started taking part in Maria Raczynska‘s 21 days of summer; a challenge to paint pictures taking a maximum of 20 minutes to paint them.  I used some of the greens for the palm tree in the first challenge picture…


I mixed bits of other left over colours from the edge of the plate into the greens for the grass and background of the second 20 minute picture…

Day 200

… and mixed/used some more for one of maria’s longer tutorials…

20200713_18192200The more I mixed and used the colours on the plate the more the original greens got merged and new greens arose, giving greater depth and interest to the colours I was using. Suddenly my scrap plate of paint changed from being left overs to a palette I was picking up when I needed green.



I’m going to have to add some new paint to this soon, but up until now my scraps have gone a long way and using up leftovers has led me to find a great tool/process for making shades of green and (hopefully) more interesting paintings in future.

If you like the idea of using your scraps, click on Kate or Gun (first two names in the list  below) and join us on the 15th of every month – or just those months you feel like joining in.  Here’s a list of both frequent and occasional Scraphappiers (?) if you want to see what everybody else is doing.

KateGun, TittiHeléneEvaSue, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan,
Moira, SandraLindaChrisNancyAlysKerryClaireJean,
Joanne, Jon, HayleyDawnGwen, Connie, Bekki, Pauline,
Sue L, Sunny, Kjerstin and Vera

Until next time,

Bekki x


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