Archive for July, 2014

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

Cute Caravan Drawings

Simple and cute drawings of caravans

trailers 3 Cute Caravan Drawings

I have a love affair with retro caravans. Not that I have one or want to live in one but I love their shapes and the colors of them. I’ve been drawing them for years and I even make them into Photoshop brushes. So, on my other blog at you can also find and download free retro caravan brushes for Photoshop. These are free for personal use and commercial licences are also available.

Today, however, they are just here for your enjoyment:

trailers 1 Cute Caravan Drawings

The images are all sketched in 2B pencil. I use a mechanical pencil which I buy and then empty out the leads – they’re generally HB so they are too hard for me. I buy 0.7mm 2B leads and refill the pencil with them – it’s a bit tricky to do this as you have to shove the lead back down the tube but in 5 minutes I have a custom pencil that works great. I’ve also been able this way to continue to use the same mechanical pencils for around 15 years, which is great since I bought some great BIC ones in Australia years ago – they are crimson and purple and emerald and purple and I love them.

Used lightly these marks rub off easily using a white eraser – I use a Staedtler Mars Plastic – which is my preference for everyday use.

Once I’ve sketched the caravans and I’m happy with them, I ink them with a Sakura Pigma 005 or 01 black pen. I love the very fine Sakura pens because, with deliberate heavy use, they tend to bend and flex so they end up being a soft sort of 05 or 08 diameter pen. I get the wider line I like but with a flexible (albeit damaged) tip!

The other thing to like about the Pigma pens is they dry really quickly so you don’t get a lot of ink on your hands and it doesn’t smudge on your work.

I still leave the images to dry overnight usually before carefully erasing the pencil marks.



trailers 2 Cute Caravan Drawings

Helen Bradley

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Friday, July 25th, 2014

A Tip o’ the Nib to Ed Emberley

blue ship1 A Tip o the Nib to Ed Emberley


If you’ve never read Ed’s books – it’s time to do so  now!

I was never exposed to Ed Emberley’s books or his work until around 6 months ago. It was then that his work first came to my notice.  And as often happens, once I noticed him the first time I kept on seeing his work and references to him – all of a sudden he was everywhere.

If you don’t yet know who Ed is – he is an artist and he teaches drawing. He teaches it in such a way that you don’t use an eraser (which I think is great!) and he builds images little piece by little piece. You make one or two simple lines in each step and, then step by step even a very complex image gets built up.

Many of his books are color based – the Big Purple Book of Drawing, the Big Green Book of Drawing, the Big Orange Book of Drawing and so on. I bought Purple and Orange and his Faces book. I like Purple and Orange best – the orange one is jammed full of Halloween fun and the Purple book has this wonderful pirate ship in it. This ship is the most complex of all of the how to drawings – so it’s where I started!

Above is my second ship – the first was a bit squashed up but still great for a first try. Then I did it a second time (above) and it worked out great.

After this I wanted to change the view of the ship. You see the drawing in the book is behind the sails so you look past the masts into the back of the sails. I wanted to draw a ship from the other direction. I confess to needing a rough pencil outline for this but seriously it was done in about an hour and I was really pleased with the result.


ship1 A Tip o the Nib to Ed Emberley


If you want to learn how to draw a range of things then I totally recommend Ed’s books.  I have filled pages full of cars, trucks, cats, halloween witches, haunted houses and more! It’s fun and achievable. Thanks Ed!


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Sunday, July 20th, 2014

How to Draw a Kawaii Cloud

cloud small How to Draw a Kawaii Cloud

Learn how to draw a kawaii cute cloud – step by step

Today’s drawing is one in a series I am doing on Kawaii style objects. This is a cloud – a cute cloud and you can draw it in so many ways. This one has an outline you can draw with a light marker – I use a warm grey (or cool grey) prismacolor marker which gives great results. It is thin one end and thick the other so you can use it for small or large drawings.

Oh! and if you were curious – Kawaii is the Japanese word for cute!


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Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

How to Draw My Cat Molly in 6 Steps

molly 6steps How to Draw My Cat Molly in 6 Steps

How to draw my cat Molly

Today’s drawing is very close to my heart – it is of my cat Molly. She is a rescue cat and probably an Egyptian Persian and she is fluffy and white. She also has a lot of attitude.

So, here, step by step, is how to draw Molly. Of course, if you color your cat a different color it will be your fluffy cat and make it smooth if your cat isn’t fluffy!

As always, my how tos are step by step and don’t require an eraser so you can dive right in with a pen or marker if you like. Enjoy!

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Saturday, July 12th, 2014

Drawing row houses in an industrial setting

power lines Drawing row houses in an industrial setting


My love affair with drawing row houses

I love to draw row houses – I think it harks back to my love of Australian terrace houses and those that you find in the UK too.

Here I’ve combined row houses with electricity pylons. We used to drive by really big pylons when we were kids and en route to our holiday destination and I really love their size and majesty. I shot a lot of them too in the UK on a canal boat trip – they started to appear as we got closer into London.

So here is yet another image in my row house series. Houses and pylon – rendered in ink using Sakura Pigma markers.

 Helen Bradley

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Thursday, July 10th, 2014

Hedgehog Studies – how to draw

hedgehog studies Hedgehog Studies   how to draw

Once you can draw a hedgehog, now see how to draw different poses

In my last post I showed you how to draw a hedgehog in 6 simple steps. Once you are done with that and you can confidently knock of a quick hedgehog sketch, then it’s time to try some different poses. Hedgehogs roll up into a ball when frightened so you can draw them rolled up or from front on. If you look up hedgehogs on Google you’ll find that when they are small they also lie on their backs showing off a cute tummy and little feet – that’s another awesome pose.

Here are some of my recent Hedgehog studies. Have fun with your hedgehog drawings.

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Friday, July 4th, 2014

How to Draw a Hedgehog in 6 Easy Steps

hedgehog 6steps How to Draw a Hedgehog in 6 Easy Steps

Learn how to draw a cute hedgehog

Today’s how to draw step by step project is a cute hedgehog. This is one of my all time favourite projects and this little guy has even appeared in a magazine! Yep – I made him as a needle punch project and he looks so damned cute.

This how to is really simple and the results are so much fun. Enjoy!

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Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

Fun with Line Design drawing

colors Fun with Line Design drawing

Tip o’ the nib to Mr E and his line design project

A while ago I saw some line design drawings on Pinterest. I didn’t make a note of where I found them and, to my chagrin, that haunted me! I spent a lot of time trawling doodle boards trying to find the design. In time, thankfully I found it and more research took me to the wonderful Mr E! His website – is a treasure trove of art ideas for teachers. But it is his line design which is all over Pinterest having been picked up by a lot of pinners.

So, above is my second line design – it took a second go to really do it the way I wanted it to look. First one I colored with Prismacolor markers but this one is colored with Prismacolor pencils. These pencils are wonderfully waxy so they blend like a dream and the results are wonderful.

The entire exercise is very zen. There is a rhythm to it and it is very relaxing and fun to do. If you are interested – click the link above to go direct to the detailed instructions for making your own Mr E style Line design drawing.

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