Edith Holden`s sketch book.

Watercolour, Edith Holden

I found a lovely book in a second hand store that I remember from when I was young.  “The country diary of an Edwardian lady” by Edith Holden.  I always wanted to have it and so I grabbed the opportunity.  It was written in 1906 but only published in 1977. It was an enormous success and often given as a gift. According to the Sunday Times newspaper, it was the best selling book in the 1970’s and remains number 4 of the overall best seller list for the last 40 years.

Each month has notes about the important days in the month, interesting information about the month, together with some poetry, entries about the things she did, and sketches and paintings of birds, insects and animals she came across on her regular walks.

It is a beautiful example of how important a journal is. This was obviously done for her own pleasure, but someone (an artist) realized just how inspiring it was and had it published. I find this so interesting. Just think about it, of all the books in the world, one of the best selling books happens to be a beautiful copy of a sketch book! A sketch book that was never intended to be published.

This book gave me lots inspiration, and by the way, it is easy to find a second hand version on Amazon or ebay.

The winter is ending, the  plants and flowers are waking up. So now is a great time to get out there and look for them. Show us all what the new spring is bringing in your area, by drawing and painting what you find for us.

Watercolour, Edith Holden

Watercolour, Edith Holden supll

The materials I use in the video are:

  • Pentel color brush #101 (water solvent)
  • Pentel  brush GFKP Japan (water proof)
  • Molotow masking liquid.
  • Raphail brush “softaqua” imitation squirrel  -0
  • Da vinci brush, harbin-kolinsky- 6
  • Habico brush – 0.3
  • Atelier scrub brush -8

Two professional secrets for you...

The Molotow masking is the best I have ever had for protecting the page from colour. It is very delicate and is easy to use for details.

I also have to say that the Atelier scrub brush is the best I have found to rub out the masking liquid. It doesn’t leave the residue of an eraser and doesn’t risk oil stains from using  a finger. Even more important, it can remove a water colour stain quickly and easily, even the next day. It is only a brush, but it is also one of the secret tools used by professional artists for corrections…

Watercolour, Edith Holden Watercolour, Edith Holden Watercolour, Edith Holden Watercolour, Edith Holden Watercolour, Edith Holden Watercolour, Edith Holden

Watercolour, Edith Holden Watercolour, Edith Holden Watercolour, Edith Holden

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A secret sneak peek

fashion drawings

A secret sneak peek.

Some new ideas on how to be creative! I use my sketchbooks for different reasons at different times…. I told you before that breaking some rules can lead to creativity.

This time I was multitasking as I was sketching, I was in front of the TV watching “Jane the virgin” on Netflix (and by the way I have fallen in love with the show it makes me laugh out loud).
It brought me back in time to the days I did fashion design. and gave me some different ideas.

Fashion drawings like this should be fun and you should enjoy it!

Here are some tips for you to do fashion drawings.

Is this something you like to do? Do you like to getting started? Maybe this can help.

  • You can use Google to find some fashion models that you like and get your imagination flowing.
  • Think about the colours you will use. The most important thing is to have some fun. Some people will love the colours you choose, and others may not, but this is not for them! Just do this one for yourself.
  • Using the colours YOU love, will make it much more likely that you will be happy about it.
  • I always start by drawing a very light line using a pencil, and I prefer 2B. It is easy to make a mistake so have an eraser near by.
  • When you are happy with the sketch, make the lines darker and begin to paint.
  • And I am sure this can be a magical step on your artistic journey. Start with a first attempt and see where you end up. You have nothing to loose. If you dont like it, start again.
fashion drawing. 2016 fashion illustration fashion illustrationfashion illustration
fashion illustration. the best drawing
 If you would like a tutorial on sketching faces or bodies, let me know. I love to hear from you.  You can subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email, or follow on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

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Store your creative ideas for a rainy winter day

Store your creative ideasSometimes I have to save my ideas, that I don’t have time for.

By recording them somewhere safe, you know that you have them for a “rainy day” (we get lots and lots of rainy days in Norway).

  • Create a secret store of creativity. No idea is a bad idea. Maybe it won’t work for one project, but it might be perfect for another project.
  • It could be a note book where you write down all the ideas.
  • It could be a sketch book with just drawings or watercolours of what is in your mind.
  • My favourite is a box of cards with the writing on one side and a painting on the other side. Then I can pull out the ideas in any combination and mix and match the best ideas for a particular project. How to make the box   


I make this cards, from old paintings.

Store your creative ideas, How to be creative, tips. Your artistic journey Store your creative ideas, How to be creative, tips. Your artistic journey Store your creative ideas, How to be creative, tips. Your artistic journey Store your creative ideas, How to be creative, tips. Your artistic journey http://wp.me/p5k29Q-r9Store your creative ideas, How to be creative, tips. Your artistic journey Store your creative ideas, How to be creative, tips. Your artistic journey http://wp.me/p5k29Q-r9

Make a box for the cards:

box DIY


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Messing around


testing watercolours
Over the last few days I have been in a creative process that has taken up  a lot of my time. It has taken priority over chores such as washing up, tidying up, laundry, etc. My kitchen, living room and bedroom are a bit a mess, but you have to break eggs if you want to make an omelette. I will catch up on the chores tomorrow.
I just got a fun commission from the town hall, they are organising a summer festival, and, at the last minute they asked me if I could do some nice small illustrations for this festival.
I am using this as an opportunity to test some watercolours that I got from Jane Davenport watercolours called “Nicholson´s Peerless Transparent Water Colours”

testing watercolours

They are made by soaking clear, brilliant, concentrated pigments into card swatches and each swatch is hand-made! These water colours are so vibrant and yet transparent. They are pigment-rich and flow easily. And today they were perfect for painting my flower.

testing watercolours


They came in a nice little sachets, each containing 60 swatches ( each about 4 by 6 cm  = 1.5″ by 2″). This must be the lightest watercolour “box” you can get.

To make them easy to use, I cut about 1/4 of each swatch and glued them onto a sheet of cardboard. Then I added a brushstroke of each water colour above the swatch so I can see what colour it produces. You can see the result in the photos above.


I really like them because they combine transparency with vibrant colours and I really like the fact that it is just small rich pigments on little cards, that you can put inside your sketch book and bring absolutely every where. The only down side for me is is that I can’t order them from a local source and found the shipping a bit pricey. But you may be able to find a source near to you.




10 ways to stay creative

10 Ways to Stay Creative

 Creativity block? Where’s my creativity gone?

How I stay creative

I have always been creative and always wanted to do work that is related to art and design, but sometimes I suffer from the dreaded creative block.

It happens to all artists, everything is going well, it is fun it is great, you are floating and you forget to fill up your creative storage and you reach that mental block !!! And then BOOM! You crash and you think it´s all lost. It is not lost – it is still inside you, and you just need to know the secret that will let it out again. Sometimes all it takes is a simple bit of joy and inspiration to get motivated and keep on working. However sometimes it is much more complicated. But you cannot simply wait around for inspiration. Consistent creativity needs discipline, hard work and openness.

Creativity is not a solid substance, from time to time it varies. No one is always 100% creative, just as no one is always being smart.  Over the years I have found different things that trigger my inspiration. They have truly transformed the way I live as an artist. And now I will share some of my experience and secrets with you.

Don’t “play it safe” try to let go and be brave

Sometimes your art finds a style or medium that works, but when everything gets slow then you need expand to keep on developing. Try something new or a new variation of what you have been doing. Let go of  thoughts like: “my style is  …” “I always been  …. “ “ I only like…..” If you want to get over the block you got to climb over it or dig under it or go round or whatever it takes to get to the other side, it will NOT be easy, but it will be fun and rewarding. When you start to use new tools it will give your work depth by continually evolving and trying new things. Take a look at some of the tips and begin your journey to your creativity .Please let me know how it is for you.

1  Reserve a couple of hours every week for you to do what YOU want to do – with no interruptions from work or family, or chores.

2  Meditate  ( … and if you don’t know how – learn – Youtube has very good   lessons).

3 Do a walk. Leave lots of time, bring some food, a drink, and camera or a sketch book.

4 Do somthing you have never done, but have always dreamt of doing.

5 Go and meet positiv thinking pople. They will back you up.

6 Bring a new smell in to you home, what ever makes you happy.

7 Writhe lethers to your gran grand (grand) child.

8 Set time for a new hobby. Dancing? Cooking? Learn a language? Play some music? Listen to some new music? Write a short story? Knitting? woodwork?

9 Get your self a nice sketch book and carry it with you at all times. so that   you don’t lose any precious ideas

10 Contact an old friend and, talk and talk.

 I got one more for you

11 Learn how to eat an elephant.  It seems impossible, but you have to take the first bite.  Then it is easier. Take one more bite and there is less elephant. If you take one bite and one more bite, then one more, soon it will not seem impossible. And before you know it – you will see that you have made progress.  So – how do you eat an elephant – now you know – one bite at a time!


Have a look at:

how to mix colors , free course . art course for free