It’s going to be an ultra speedy post this week as I’m right in the middle of painting trees on the Thames map!

Here’s a little peek of how the colours are going on so far. The green was by far the hardest, because to get a smooth colour with watercolour you can’t let it dry in the middle when you’re painting a large section. I had to work steadily from one side of the map to the other, painting around each obstacle as I went.

illustrated map of the thames

It took a solid five hours to paint all the green! Tonight I’ve been working on the red rooftops of the houses.

Last week we were in Cornwall and in the evenings it was lovely to relax and doodle something which didn’t require any thought. I created a mandala which I shared in my last post, and since then have drawn another one in biro.

mandala doodle

This time I used a compass to draw the rings and sketched out spokes underneath to give it a more symmetrical structure. You can just about see them in this photo.

mandala doodle

I like the biro as it’s possible to achieve different tones, but I think I prefer solid ink lines, like the very first one I did below.

mandala doodle

I did this one completely freehand, starting in the middle and working outwards by eye, hence why the spacing is a little dodgy in places!

Finally I’ll leave you with these photos from Newquay Zoo which we visited on Friday on our way back up from Cornwall.

These capybaras are actually a lot bigger than they look in the photo!

capybara Newquay Zoo

The zoo was really quiet and most of the animals were snuggled up inside – who can blame them really! These mongooses (mongeese?) were very inquisitive though and came out of their little hut to observe us watching them!

mongoose Newquay zoo

I remember the red panda’s at Paignton Zoo being very elusive one time we went, but this little guy just sat around while I took his photo.

red panda Newquay Zoo

Last but not least, these were my favourite little critters of the day; the otters. They were playing tug of war with their straw bedding in their little hut, tumbling and squeaking. Then they went outside for a swim!

otters Newquay Zoo

Thank you to all of you who voted for my blog in the UK Blog Awards, voting is now closed and you will be the first to know when I hear anything!

Today I’m linking up at Handmade Harbour and Paint Party Friday.


Those mandalas are just gorgeous – really wow!
And Newquay Zoo, I have photos of me there when I was about 2, rocking a rather fetching burgundy crimpolene jumpsuit, I do believe! I wonder if it’s changed much.
Fingers crossed in the blog awards.

Wow you art work is amazing. I’m going to let a fellow blogger know about you blog she will love your mandalas. She’s an art teacher so she will enjoy visiting you. The Thames map looks great, it’s wonderful to see how it’s progressing. Glad to animals came out for a photo shot, brave of them as it’s getting rather chilly. Have a lovely week.
Ali xx

How wonderful – the Thames map is awesome and I am sooooo impressed you managed to get that green so smooth 😀
GORGEOUS Mandalas – I confess I LUV both of them equally 😀
Thank you for showing the the pikkies of those gorgeous critters 😀

IKE xxxxxxxxxxx

The map is looking fantastic! Your patience is amazing, sounds like one hell of a job doing the green in one go like that, I can imagine I would end up with numerous dry lines! Glad you had fun at the xx

Lovely artwork. I had dabbled in Zentangles which my students loved doing.
By the way i am the art teacher that Ali Bee refered to. I live in Cornwall near the Eden project so Newquay zoo is a place we visit. Lovely pictures some of those animals are so cute!

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