Welcome to Polly's Blog

Welcome to Polly's Blog
Watercolour, humour, this and that

Thursday, 28 February 2013


I've been having such fun this week, experimenting with Brusho in class. A friend brought some in for me to try that she had used for textiles. Here is a taster of Brusho. Polly style. You may have heard of it. It is like table salt.  I am going on a course in August with Joanne Boon Thomas (check out her site, her work is fabulous). Well I had no idea what to do with it.  I soaked the paper and picked up a few grains and dropped them onto the wet paper like you would salt on watercolours. Woosh! It  looked like fireworks on the paper.  But what to do with it next?  The first pic I made into a tree from La La Land.  I realised that if I put the paper upside down it would run and look like grass, well sort of.  The second I just used two colours, or was it three, and then when dry I used negative shapes to make flowers and added some raw sienna watercolour.
It's a happy tree! (Brusho w/c branches)

Brusho colours Turquoise, red and blue then added raw sienna watercolour

I took the Brusho home and was so worried about the mess I painted outside. I did the same but decided not to use my fingers as they were still blue and purple so picked up a few grains on a brush and dropped them on the wet paper (my hands were still a mess when I'd finished) sprayed some water on the painting and put it vertical. Then I put screwed up cling film on the top and left to dry. My hands were cold and painful by this time but I was determined to finish.  This painting is in progress ......

My idea was that I didnt want to use it like watercolour, what's the point, might as well use watercolour! So wanted to do something completely different, for me!  Talk about exciting.

Brusho explosion! This is what it looks like after dropping in just a few grains of and dried flat! I didn't have to do anything else.
Cling film added

Hope you enjoyed reading about brusho.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013


I saw on facebook someone using ox gall when for an effect when painting a beautiful red cardinal bird. So, what did I have to do, go and buy some!!!  Here are my exercises and comments, for anyone who hasn't come across it.  Don't ask me what it's made of I've no idea.

The above were dropped into mainly dry washes, staining colours and non staining.  I found different speeds and reactions with different colours.
Getting more adventurous here.  These were all wet washes.  The best reactions were the bottom two, where a softer line is shown using ox gall on a brush directly into the mixed colour wash, and the second a mixture of ox gall and water wash, where I put in lines of fairly neat paint or pen.

I painted this black bird then painted  neat ox gall on his back and head for highlights.  
This was playing with brush strokes into a wash of  water and ox gall.  All the lines are soft and haven't dispersed very much.

As far as I am concerned most of what I tried could be done with water.  Probably there is less risk of a run back. But sometimes I love those cauliflowers that you get.

 Conclusion: Possibly a waste of money.  Would be pleased if anyone has something more to add.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013


Just look at this delicious shop window!  Isn't it scrumptious.  Found it down a side street in Venice.  Was devastated cos it was our last day and and it was Closed!!!  These pure pigments took my breath away.  Had to take the photograph, but it's taken me over 18 months to pluck up the courage to tackle it.  Took me longer than my usual paintings, had to concentrate and be fairly accurate with the drawing.  But oh I have enjoyed painting it.    In fact, I didn't use as many colours as you might think.  It's 16 x 10.  I think it may be finished!

Don't know if the background is OK

I've been spending far too much time on  facebook, and decided today was the day to start my withdrawal from the addiction!  I have put this on facebook to prove that I have done some painting.  

If you are going to Venice you must at least look in the window of this wonderful shop.  It is near the Rialto Bridge

Monday, 18 February 2013


What a difference a few weeks make.  This is our conservatory now rebuilt and showing my own little corner.  I overlook bird feeders and used to overlook the dreaded Leylandi trees that for years have depressed me, just a few feet from the window and so high as to block out our light. Unexpectedly the neighbour has chopped them down, for his own reason and not because we asked him (I had in the past).  Whatever the reason I am over the moon.  I can't explain to you what a difference it will make.
I can see the sky .......... we will have the sun in our garden all afternoon and into the evening.  For 2 days thick white smoke has been blowing our way, and I have been burning candles to mask the smell of the burning in the house.  But I don't care about the burning, the trees are gone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   WOW

Friday, 15 February 2013


Hi Mike and Barbara Roth, I hope you see this post.  Yesterday I received my Elegant Writer Calligraphy pens from Amazon UK via Jeffersen USA, with no delivery charge!  Have done these quick sketches in a small A6 sketchbook and I definitely love these pens already.

They are lovely to use, with thick and thin edges, each stroke of the pen releases lots of colour and the colours are soft blue with hints of pink, less harsh than the grey of the stabilo pens I use now.  The pack had 2 fine, 1 med and 1 broad, so they will last me a while. £7.98 is a bargain.  I will put them in my little sketch pack for when I travel near and far.  I am ever so chuffed with them.

Thank you so much for bring them to my attention, and also for the offer of help to obtain them.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013


A good old challenge for me as I don't like painting animals really, because if you have say the eye in the wrong place you ruin the whole thing.  Well Sharon Whitley has a monthly challenge (check her blog great animal artist)  This month it is these geese.

Because I struggled with the drawing I used trace down paper.  I painted in some of the markings of the feathers and others I washed out (I think this worked better).  You can see I tried a small picture without drawing, just for the fun of it.

I splattered snow, which you can't really see.  Too late as the sun has now melted the snow !

Thursday, 7 February 2013


Today I went to see my latest Great Niece Harriet, and my hubby and I are smitten.  This little bundle sleeping in my arms, a little miracle.

As soon as she was born I made two cards, one for the brand new Mum & Dad, and one for the new Grandparents (my sister and her hubs)

For the New Mum and Dad


I enjoyed painting every brushstroke

Tuesday, 5 February 2013


This was an experiment we did in our art class.  I did two of these one was a pair of sunglasses with coloured reflections in the lens, this was the other.  I used a piece of watercolour paper and printed a black and white picture on it and then used watercolour to add the people and the odd hint of colour here and there.   I wouldnt try it again, but thought someone out there in the cyber world might like to give it a try

Oh, and by the way, good news.  Someone contacted me with the name of someone to do prints for my friend for Nuggleton By the Sea and we have been today to discuss her requirements.  She is bursting with excitement. There's some lovely people out there in blogland.  Thank you Sue!