Author Archives: Nancy Leigh-Smith

Heron

I always look for the heron whenever I drive or walk by Grassy Bay. He isn’t always easy to see, but  he always seems to be aware of me.

 

This watercolour was painted from a photograph taken during one of my early morning walks.

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Couldn’t Resist

The other week I arrived at the shopping mall early for my dental appointment. So I had time to look around the shoe store and found something I didn’t need but had to buy.

What is That?

This young fox was playing at the end of my driveway when it stopped to check out something in my yard.

 

He did catch something a few days later. I saw him as he trotted down the driveway with something in his mouth.

 

 

Keys to Drawing

I recently bought Keys to Drawing by Bert Dodson after watching Teoh Yi Chie’s review of it on his YouTube channel. I ordered the book through Teoh’s affiliate link on Amazon and have started doing the exercises in it.

 

In the first exercise I was supposed to draw my feet in a pair of shoes with laces but I didn’t have any handy so I put on a pair with individual toes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the next exercise – draw my hand with my fingers directly facing me.

Followed by a green pepper (twice) and my eyes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This last exercise took me the longest.  I find shading with pencil difficult. (Because I hardly ever do it.) I first drew the wine bottle as a blind contour. I did it quickly and used my left hand to mark the paper where things should line up.

I used an HB pencil but I would have preferred a softer one so I could have got some darker shading.

 

 

Plastic, Cheese Cloth and Sea Salt

I recently made these 12 cards from 1 large piece of 140 lbs Fabriano Artistico cold pressed watercolour paper. I divided the paper up using masking tape and painted each section. Some were done wet on wet, others wet on dry. I tried various techniques. I placed plastic wrap scrunched up on several. On two I placed some cheese cloth; on one I sprinkled sea salt. These were all left to dry as well as the three I left alone. After the paint dried I removed the plastic wrap, cheese cloth and salt. One of the ones with the cheese cloth had no discernible effect. I touched up some of the paintings with a second layer and splattered some paint on some. I then removed the tape and cut the sections and glued each one to a folded 1/2 piece of 8.5 x 11 card stock. I had printed the backs of the card stock with my name etc. before cutting and folding them.

These are a gift for a friend with whom I exchange handmade gifts.

Out the Back Window

I have two suet feeders because a few years ago one disappeared a week after I put it out. I bought another one and the next spring I found the original one at the edge of the lawn. So I put both out. One at the front of the house and the other hangs just outside the dining room window at the back. The front one is more popular. The back gets most of its activity when the Hairy Woodpecker is occupying the one out front.

This Downy Woodpecker is a frequent visitor to both.

Early Morning Fog

As the days get shorter it is easier to get up with the sun. The fog and the slanted rays from the sun made for some interesting photos. This watercolour was painted from one of them.

 

Yellow

This piece was started by needle felting wool roving on cotton. I then sewed various free motion shapes on water soluble stabilizer and once the stabilizer was dissolved out I sewed them on over the felt.

The subject was inspired by a tree I saw while driving to my cottage.

Watercolour

I walked my usual route but in the opposite direction and it looked very different.

Great Blue Heron

Last weekend I took a course given by Megan Cleland on needle felting animals. The course was given at Fibrefest in Almonte. It was a small class and Megan gave excellent instruction and demos. I chose to do a Great Blue Heron from one of the photographs taken on a morning walk. I thought I was finished when I left the class but since then I’ve done the back ground 3 times. I then removed a lot of it because it was too busy.

Needle felted Great Blue Heron.

I’ve painted the heron in watercolours several times and that helped me in doing this picture. The felting is easier but takes longer to do even if you don’t remove what you’ve needle felted in place several times.

It is now pinned up on a wall so I can look at it and decide if there is anything else I need to add or change before I mount it.

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