Snowdrop Fairies, 10 inches square, painting in watercolour by Nancy Farmer

Snowdrop Fairies refined (the painting, not the actual fairies!)

I have refined the snowdrop fairy picture, in terms of execution and composition. The fairies themselves are still the twats they were in the original drawing. Had to get this one finished while the flowers were still out, or wait another 11 months for them to flower again. Drawing flowers from photographs is never very effective because you can’t get a feel for their structure, and obviously the fairies do not show up in photographs at all. There have been famous photographs of fairies, but as the Cottingley girls admitted sixty years later, those photographs – belief in which so…

Snowdrop Fairies are twats

Snowdrop Fairies are twats

So, you complained that I haven’t been drawing enough fairies recently… sorry this is only a very quick sketch but here’s some seasonal ones I spotted, and you have to be quick to catch them: Snowdrop fairies. Do your snowdrops dangle? Chances are that you have a snowdrop fairy infestation. This isn’t the way the flowers are meant to be, it’s because snowdrop fairies are, basically …twats. They like nothing better than to swing on the flowers until all their heads are dangling down. The only way to protect your plants to sneak out by moonlight and spray the plants…

Cider Apple Fairies

I have finished the Cider Apple Fairies with two days to go, in time to get them into the Somerset Arts Weeks brochure. So that’s me signed up for Arts Weeks (17 September to 2 October 2016), and one more Alternative Flower Fairies picture ticked off. And a decision: next year there shall be a Flower Fairies calendar! I now have 10 Alternative Flower Fairies paintings, just two more needed. I shall also be doing another swimming calendar as this year’s was delightfully popular. So, pictures of the Cider Apple Fairies – after a long line of Poison Flower Fairies…

Sketching Cider Apple Fairies

I have been Drawing Cider Apple Fairies! The sketch is now as complete as it’s going to get, next stage is to get it onto watercolour paper and get the paints out. This was done on a tablet – not as nice to draw on as paper but what it loses in tactile pleasure it more than makes up for in the ability to move and alter different elements of the drawing until they work together. You can’t see much of this process here, but there was a lot of faffing at the start once I had a pose for…

The strange characters of the Fairy Barge

The Fairy Barge

I have been doing a lot of painting and rather less updating of the blog lately, getting a collection of paintings together for my Ilminster Exhibition – ‘A Westcountry Bestiary’. Another one I finished early this year and have yet to show you is this: “The Fairy Barge”. Don’t ask where this odd little group sprang from, I couldn’t tell you, I simply started off with the idea of a barge (as in a flat-bottomed boat suitable for shallow waterways) travelling along the drainage ditches and rivers of The Levels. Of course they are not usually spotted, because they are…

The Opium Fairies - sketch

Papaver Somniferum

There are gaping holes in my ‘Poison Flower Fairies‘ painting series. This suspicious selection of characters so far includes some toxic, medicinal and aggressive types of fairies, but I have yet to add two blindingly obvious ones. One of the omissions is Atropa Belladonna, a.k.a Deadly Nightshade, both notorious and medicinal, and this is partly because I don’t know anywhere hereabouts where it grows though it must be somewhere around, and I do like to draw a plant from life even if it’s sometimes hard to track down the fairies. The other one is almost so obvious you wouldn’t believe…

Frolicking Fairies II

Misbehaving, as clear as Black and White…

I have one more silhouette drawing to show you, which I completed before the Octoparty – I snuck the latter in out of sequence because there really have been a lot of fairies lately, and more to add to the blog. Some years back I did a series of drawings called ‘Fornicating Fairies’… they need no more explanation than that. I then added a drawing to the series where, well, you just couldn’t quite see if…they weren’t… or were they…? You get my drift. I called that one Frolicking Fairies. There was much frolicking. This is along the same lines:…

Two's Company - pencil silhouette drawing

Two’s Company

One of the first of some silhouette drawings that I have been doing. I have to say that I thought this picture was rather too sweet for me, but when I posted it on my Facebook page it got more likes than anything has for a very long time, so there, maybe I should be sweeter! I’m not going to change though 😉 Personally, I particularly like the dandelions in the grass, being a bit of a fan of dandelions. I cannot currently think of an excellent title for this so it is going by the name of ‘Two’s Company’ unless…

'Three's a Crowd' - drawing in pencil and gold leaf

‘Three’s a Crowd’

Finished artwork in pencil and gold leaf. This is a relatively simple piece, expanding on the series of ‘gold fairies’ I have been drawing. I am rather aware that Somerset Arts Weeks is fast approaching, so it is not the time to get started on a long complex piece of work that will not be finished in time. Now, in this lovely summer weather, it seems a good idea to fill gaps in the gallery walls with some simple gilded glamour. Of course, my pictures are never THAT simple, but I am doing my best to get a few new…

first piece of gold leaf on the gold size

How to apply gold leaf to paper – part 1

I took some step-by-step photos of this ‘gold fairy’ as I did her. Couldn’t say I’m an expert gilder, but I have had a bit of practice by now and I’ve learnt one or two things, so I thought I’d write a little explanation for anyone interested. Here (below) is the outline drawing. The circle is to be entirely gilded. To gild on paper you need to stick the gold on with something. ‘Gold size’ is what the proper glue is called that the gold leaf is stuck on with, but the actual sort of gold size you use depends…