Welcome to Polly's Blog

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

Sunday, 18 December 2016


I cannot believe that I haven't posted for so long.  I do most of my posting on Facebook and have started crafting and generally enjoying other things, so I have less time to indulge in my blog.  I intend to post once a month or more. So here is a Christmas Greeting for all of you,  and a little bonus for Brusho followers.  The subject could be leaves, etc

I wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy and Healthy New Year.  Greeting from Annie Arkwright too for those of you who have met her. ha ha.

Before I show you may I say this is Joanne Boon Thomas 's inspiration, the method shown on her Brusho Secrets DVD. Her Tuition is second to none. All I know about brusho is due to her. There is a short trailer on YouTube, Brusho Secrets Trailer, also free brusho and watercolour videos, which I recommend you watch.

Here's my step by step process, instructions with each separate photo. 

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Here are some of the different colours I tried

Here goes!

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A4 size. Circles drawn in permanent ink I used a Sharpie. (feint pencil would be lost in the brusho) Waxed in strings for baubles and patterns with either candle or crayon. Sprinkle on brusho, notice how few crystals are needed.

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Spray with water close up to the paper on the left hand side for maximum water effect, higher up on the right hand side to secure the brusho on the paper. Tilt the board. Dab out puddle with kitchen roll

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Use brusho like w/c in your palette (shake out only a few crystals and add water)  to add colour to middle bauble or to add shading,  and just add brush loaded with water and join together some of the speckled brusho on the right hand bauble.

Happy brushoing if you try it. And thanks to Joanne Boon Thomas for the fun I have with brusho <3

Wednesday, 6 July 2016


Did ya see that!!! Annie Arkwright from Accrington, being carried off Centre Court at Wimbledon and on TV.  Did you see our Annie?  She didn't have a ticket but lucky for her she found a ball girls security pass and walked in 'as bold as brass', borrowed a uniform and actually managed to get onto Centre Court for Andy Murray's match. But Kyrgios from Australia, his opponent, lost his rag. Whacked the ball so hard it ended up in Annie's mouth. Whereupon Andy rushed over to see if she was alright, gave her a big beaming smile and she swooned and fainted, flashing her purple thong in the process! Sexy minx.  That was the last she saw of Andy's luscious muscly body, and it was only the first set. She will never forgive Kyrgios for that!!!! Eeeh Annie lass tha' does get into some scrapes. Never mind, ya managed ta get in fer a wee while Annie

Friday, 10 June 2016


I was privileged to be asked to join Joanne Boon Thomas and a group of other like minded people, just to paint together on the Isle Anglesey (North Wales), this included Judith Farnworth - and do check out her blog, her story of the holiday makes very interesting reading.

Joanne is the Queen of brusho, but there wasn't any brusho in sight,  as she is a queen of watercolour too. Thanks for asking me Joanne.

Judith was my partner in crime if you like.  She was my chauffeur and my nemisis at the same time, as I had to be nice to her or I wouldn't have got a lift home!  Well suffice to say I got home in one piece.

First day, we visited Moelfre a lovely small coastal village just long enough to do a painting and visit the pub, before we had to scarper because of a storm. So finished off sketching back at the hotel.

A quiet corner of the tiny harbour, grey clouds gathering

Sketching back at the hotel.  Yes you guessed the sun came out as we returned!

Quick sketch of lavender and my most fun of the holiday, sploshing and splashing about
Second day, First stop Church Bay where there is a restored very old thatched cottage at Swtan. Followed by a stop in Caemes Bay (I think that is what it is called) where I battled on painting buildings and boats - boy was it a struggle.  I was perched high on a sea wall to get the view I wanted.
Large Heavy rusty old kettle done on khadi paper with watersoluble pen going to paint it again with oomph this is proper pastey

Khadi paper but this time with Elegant Writer Pen, which is so quick

The lovely restored cottage, much longer than this section, with a roaring fire inside

Back to my Elegant Writer and Khadi (small pad) a view of an old cottage from the garden of the restored cottage.

You can see why I battled - multitude of house AND boats
Finally we went to a Hidden Garden which are near Beaumauris. Cant find the name of the place, but it was lovely, like a small Bodnant Garden. And then home. Such fun painting with like minded people.  I think there is a market for this as well as proper art courses. You learn from each other and don't feel an idiot painting on your own.  A wonderful few days. Thanks for your hard work Joanne, for organising such a great trip.

Oh and finally Annie Arkwright from Accrington, popped up at the hotel and loved the Cricket gnomes in the grounds, well you know what she's like where there are men, any kind, she couldn't keep her eyes off them.  Can you spot them??

Hwyl fawr - goodbye on Welsh

Tuesday, 19 April 2016


I love being an Urban Sketcher, it is fun, fun, fun.!  Perhaps there is a group near you.  Our latest adventure was to Albert Dock in Liverpool.

I urge you to look for a group near you and join.  It is great fun meeting, chatting and sketching with like minded people.

Albert Dock, Liverpool

Inside the Tate cafe in Liverpool.  Eating lunch and using an ordinary pen to try and c apture the Mozart musicians. The nerve of people who kept getting in my way!
I used An Elegant Writer Pen which is great for quick sketches.  

Couldn't wait to do a sketch and add colour.  By the time I had finished this the end of my fingers were painful, it was sooooo cold.

Since joining in October, every week has been freezing cold and damp.  Fingers crossed that the next meeting will be warm and sunny.

Sunday, 10 April 2016


Hi.  I've joined a life drawing group.  What a challenge!  Actually it is a theatrical life drawing group. Well I'm not that good at drawing the body so I practiced like mad before I went. Cramming and more cramming.  Here's some of my practises, some of the life drawing class and some brusho fun because I got bogged down with all the practising.  I feel the cramming paid off.  Pity I didn't do it more when I was at school!

It's a new challenge and I'm loving it. There's always something new to try.  Isn't being an artist a wonderful world to belong to?

Have a lovely week, see you soon.

Sunday, 3 April 2016


Well our Annie Arkwright from Accrington, had a very busy Easter, indeed to goodness.

First of all she had a couple of days in Spain. She dashed off to the loo and when she got back to the Easter Parade one of those carrying the icon had fainted with the heat, so our Annie stepped in to help you.  Don't you just dread this happening.  Eeeh Annie your bloomers are on show for all to see.

Then our lovely Annie went to an Easter Parade, dressed in her very best Easter finery.  But Eeeh lass I think you have your costume on upside down.  Hope she doesn't do a hand stand or we might see her bloomers again.

And then, for a treat, Annie went to the Zoo.  You know how she loves to wear very fashionable clothes.  Well this year stripes are in, as you know.  Excitement was rife at the zoo, as the new baby zebra was to be shown to the public. Well, the photographer thought he was seeing a funny shaped zebra, but guess what, it was our Annie stroking the new baby Zebra.  Now you see her now you don't.  What a special snapshot.  

I hope you all had a lovely Easter.

Thursday, 17 March 2016


Annie Arkwright from Accrington got a lift yesterday,to Liverpool with Dan Druff her 99 year old neighbour.  She got the 9.30 ferry to Dublin and hot footed it to The Leprechauns Rest in Ballybunnion, to take part in the St Patricks Day Celebration. But, oh dear, she got the date wrong so she was the only one that turned up for the Irish Dancing Competition. Eeeh Annie lass what an eejit! Good news is she had lots of spectators watching only her, including May O'Nays and Paddy O'likely (he's on the front row). Enjoy the craic Annie and the black stuff!

 Happy St Patricks Day to Annie and you all

Sunday, 6 March 2016


I'm sorry not to have been blogging for a long while.  I have hardly painted anything. Strange how you can lose that inspiration. Well I am now back on track. I have paintings in my head.  You know the feeling.

I did, however, challenge myself to try one of these DIY  FREE websites for my art.  Well they say it's easy, you just drag and drop blah de blah.  I have no one to help me so this was done all by myself through trial and error. Bit by bit I struggled through, forgetting from one visit to the next how I did each action. Did I literally sweat over this.  Well I did it!  Me!  I wrote my own web site.  I will absolutely panic if anyone gets in touch though, but oh I feel so proud of myself.  Perhaps you will take a look and give me some feedback on here.  http://artbypollybirchall.weebly.com

Now here is a happy story.  My friend Annie Arkwright from Accrington has found a new home. (The picture was my first ever of Annie - just to put you in the picture - has been bought by a friend of mine).

You see Annie was a gentle, quiet, kind, motherly type of figure, who everyone called Auntie Annie.  She was a good artist, in particular painting weird and wonderful abstracts, she baked lovely cakes for special occasions, like weddings, special anniversaries and for Christmas. A right clever devil really. Until, one day she picked up a book by accident off the shelf in the library.  She thought it was an instructional art book about colour mixing. She really needed help with her greys.

Annie here is reading Fifty Shades of Grey!   She has now decided to grow old disgracefully.  She's going to ditch the yellowed bloomers and thermal vest and buy a black and red basque from Evans, and has joined a northern dating agency on t'internet, who claim "We'll get yer a bloke lass". I say, Go Girl!!!
Here's her journey to her new home

Before she read 50 Shades of Grey, Annie Arkwright from Accrington, was a staid old fashioned librarian who wore pleated skirts and long lace trimmed bloomers. Well the Old Annie has found a new home with Olwyn in Carlisle. Annie, bold as brass, said she were going ta cycle all th'way there. Look at her face - she doesn't like those bumpy cobbles! And aye up, beware, way up there in Carlisle, lock up ya men, she's got 50 Shades of Grey in her front basket. Ta ta our Annie, you will be very happy further up north, they're a reet grand family. Ta ra Lass. I'm getting all emotional ...... 

Now you are up to date on Annie and myself.

Thank you for popping over to my blog.
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Monday, 21 December 2015


First of all I'd like to wish you all a Merry Christmas or whatever Merry time you wish. And a Happy and Healthy and Hopeful New Year.

A new venture for me and something others have taken up on their blogs that I know of.  It's a great idea and I am loving every moment.  I have become a member of an Urban Sketching Group - Liverpool Urban Sketchers.  We meet once a month and sketch around this lovely city.  Here's a small idea of what we have done.

You may have seen the ceramic poppy display at the Tower of London, well Liverpool has a much smaller one, called Weeping Window.  

This is of George's Hall and drawn from The Walker Art Gallery

These two sketches were done at the Christmas Market in Liverpool at night!!  Not that easy.  Great atmosphere though

Have fun and Take Care of Yourselves.

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Annie Arkwright from Accrington has been depressed since 2 hunky Swiss men turned down her proposal of marriage. So, off she went down south to stay with her cousin, Fag Ash Lil. She lives next door to a lovely couple who have a dog. Ann was upset when Annie told her the sad story, and Ann said that Annie could take their dog for a walk. Then, in posh south country style gear, Annie met William the Lurcher, and he took her for a walk. What a tonic. 

Thank you Ann Hyde for cheering our Lancashire Lass up. She is now in love with William, as we all are!!!! (p.s. Ann hope you don't mind me copying William just this once - well now it's twice because I featured him on Facebook too.
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