Seasons of Art: Spring

Seasons of Art: Spring

Seasons of Art: Spring 2023

Group Meeting

Learn more about the recent Seasons of Art group meeting.

See more about the Seasons of Art group here.


Satvvir’s Artwork

Below is Satvvir’s artwork (Instagram @theambivertsbb). She used watercolor and combined orabges and yellows with a lot of texture in this piece.

Arwynne’s Artwork

 Here is Arwynne’s finished artwork. You can see more of her work at IG @mspinkdotcom.

Gillian’s Artwork

Below is Gillian’s finished artwork. I first meyt Gillian when she led a watercolor class at the Elephant Studio in Vancouver. Follow Gillian at IG @gillianpearsonart.


Alison’s Artwork

Below is my artwork of the still life done in watercolor. I tried to create something in the center which I couls later frame and hang on my wall. The main horizontal is slightly out which I adjusted when placing it in teh frame.


Seasons of Art Group YouTube Video

I complied a YouTube video of the evening’s activities and you can check it all out by clicking on teh video below. 

Seasons of Art Group: The Gals

Our group photo taken at the end. frome left to right Gillian, Satvvir, Arwynne and Alison. We had a really nice evenign and I look forward to doing it again soon.

Alison Hazel

Author Bio: Alison Hazel

Alison Hazel is a hobby artist and she shares her ongoing journey about becoming an artist later in life. She creates simple art that anyone can make. She hopes to inspire you to reach your creative potential in the area that suits you.

Read more about Alison’s story.

Send Alison a quick message.

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Author: Alison Hazel   –   Published:  January 2023   –   Revised:  February 2024

Gifts for You

As a strong creative and arty person, for many years, I have generated countless free resources on Alison Hazel Art. These guides, lists and templates are to help you get back to art, get to grips with being a hobby artist and build your art micro side business.

But these freebies are scattered all over my website and so, to help you out even more, I have put all my Alison Hazel Art Freebies in one place, right here. From now on you can easily look through all of them and get the ones you want and need right now.

Face of Jesus Guide

  • How to draw the Face of Jesus – This is a guide I made to help get the facial proportions correct and for a starting point to draw Christ. Use your intuition when using this guide.

Fibonacci Shell Template

  • Fibonacci Shell Template – This is a quick template to draw the dynamic natural Fibonacci shell which is, let’s face it, a tricky design to get your head around. 



Alison Hazel

Author Bio

Alison Hazel is a woman who shares her ongoing journey about becoming an artist later in life. She creates simple art that anyone can make. She hopes to inspire you to reach your creative potential in the area that suits you.

Read more about Alison’s story.

Send Alison a quick message.

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Weird Gourds – Colored Ink Art

Weird Gourds – Colored Ink Art

Oh, My Gourd!

I was in my local grocery store yesterday and spotted these weird looking gourds in the pumpkin section.

This is not a vegetable I usually prepare, cook and eat, but I thought maybe this time, as I wanted to add a drawing to my Perpetual Nature Journal, I would see what I could do.


Hi, I’m Alison and I call myself a hobby artist.

I am on a journey to get better at art and I’m doing this for self-care.

In a digital world I find that slow-paced activities which are creative support my drive for a slower lifestyle.

You can read about my journey.

Art Supplies

Get Your Stuff

I urge you to use the paper, sketchbooks, pencil, inks and paints which you have at hand.

I believe that artists already have what they need and there is no requirement to let not having the exact equipment I used to stop you from creating art.

No excuses here.

Look around and gather your art tools.

Specific Art Supplies

These are the exact art supplies which I used for this artwork.

Part 1 – Drawing the Outside

Perpetual Nature Journal

I added this drawing to my Perpetual Nature Journal on the October page.

This is the first sketch I have for October as I only began this journal earlier in the year in May.

Pencil Sketch

Once I had handled the gourd and rolled it around to find a good side, I lightly sketched the gourd out.

I used my favorite pencil which has a 2H lead. The 2H describes light lines on the page which are easier to erase later.

I took care to get the knobby bits and the color changes as patches as well.

Colored Ink

When working with these inks you do need to shake the bottles beforehand, but you also must wipe off the screw tops before you close them otherwise the stick and you can’t get the lid off next time.

There is an art to looking after your Windsor and Newton inks pots as well.


I began with some Canary Yellow ink in my palette and thinned it down quite a bit with water.

I like to keep the paper quite dry and not add too much water, but it is a balancing act.

It seems I prefer to work with the wet on dry technique and not the wet on wet. One.

This opinion may change, but for now it is my selected method of working with colored ink.


Next, I added some Orange to the palette and dabbed it in where the gourd was much darker.


The green was the Emerald Green to which I added a little Canary Yellow to make it more like a sage or olive green.

I watered down the ink mix quite substantially and then slowly built up the color after each drying.


I let this artwork dry in between and then added more color with a light touch.


Finally, I went over the whole drawing with a 0.3mm black pen to define the main outlines.

With this pen I held it loosely and let it wobble a little.

The pen part does give this a flavor of an ink and wash piece.

Part 2 – Drawing the Sliced Half


After I’d completed the outside painting of the gourd it occurred to me to look inside.

I struggled considerably to cut this vegetable in half.

I tried my main straight-blade kitchen knife, but to no avail.

Then I got out my big South African cleaver forged from one piece of steel and heavy, oh so heavy, and I managed to push the blade into the gourd.


Next, I set about sketching and inking the sectional slice of this gourd.

To be honest there were some interesting seeds in the main cavity, but not much flesh on the gourd only about half an inch of orange pulp.


Cooking the Gourd

After finishing the painting, I tried to cook with the gourd.

I had so much trouble chopping this vegetable up that I gave up.

The skin is so tough.

In the end I had about six one-inch cubes of flesh which I added to the pan with my other roast red potatoes, onions and other vegetables which I was cooking that night.

A gourd is not a vegetable that I am likely to buy to consume again.

However, I am likely to buy them for still-life autumnal center pieces which I love to create and draw.

You can see this year’s Seasonal Art Group story here.

Aspiring Artist Activity


This is an activity which can be done by anyone who has vegetable, which I’m assuming is everyone.

Get the kids involved as well.

Find a knobby vegetable that is interesting, perhaps with multiple colors or is a weird shape, which you want to draw.

In your Perpetual Nature Journal and on the appropriate month’s page please do the following:


  • On the appropriate month’s section find a suitable page.
  • Draw a light pencil sketch and remember that we are not engraving.
  • Color in or wash with watercolor, colored ink or your favorite art medium.
  • Pen over to add definition to your artwork.
  • Write the name of the plant in pen below.
  • Sign and date somewhere near the bottom left.


Daily Life

This is not the most exciting painting you are likely to create.

Rather, it is a part of paying attention to the world around you and noting the details that go in to make up daily life.

Sketch Journal

This sort of activity can also be created in your sketch journal as a drawing about your day.

If you are the sort of artist who constantly draws your coffee cup in your sketch journal, then doing a gourd will spice things up a little.

Celebrate Seasonal Changes

Celebrate the changing seasons with this type of painting.

It could be a part of your Phenology Wheel as well where you observe nature around you and, during Autumn, the fruits and vegetables ripening into maturity.

Thank You

Thank you for spending part of your day with me.



Alison Hazel

Author Bio

Alison Hazel is a woman who shares her ongoing journey about becoming an artist later in life. She creates simple art that anyone can make. She hopes to inspire you to reach your creative potential in the area that suits you.

Read more about Alison’s story.

Send Alison a quick message.

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Sketching English Bay Beach, Vancouver

Sketching English Bay Beach, Vancouver


This week I went down to English Bay in Vancouver to do some sketching.

I was down there rather early around 9:00am because it promised to be a scorching day and I knew that the beach would fill up soon with people enjoying the good weather.

With coffee and a sandwich and sat on one of the benches on the promenade.

The seagulls were cawing and kids were playing and screaming in the surf.

There were six to eight large vessels lining up to enter the harbor to the right. The ships to be just hanging on the distance horizon.

I particularly wanted to get the background mountains as they had very interesting shades of greys and purples through the haze.

English Bay Vancouver

Field Art Supplies

I took my A6 field sketchbook with me a 2B and a 2H pencil.

These fitted conveniently in my little belt bag and I had my phone with me as well, so I could take some photos.

I had my hat and sunglasses because it promised to be a really hot day this is now the middle of summer in Vancouver and the beach is a popular destination.

Loads of people were jogging along the promenade riding their bikes and pushing their kids in their buggies.

There were still the remains of the Pride parade ribbons which was the previous night.

This was Sunday morning.


I started to sketch out with my horizon line and then the edge of the surf. The sea here is very common at English Bay in Vancouver and the waves just lap at your ankles.

In fact, I’ve never seen a storm on this coast at all, but maybe that’s just because I haven’t been down there when it’s been raining.

Three Sections

Anyhow I did my sketch.

I divided the page into three horizontal bands with the sky, the sea and the sand.

I wanted to make sure to pick up the three distant mountains in the background.

On the far right there was the small curve of a cove which was slightly raised with boulders and had a few fir trees at the edge of the drawing.

There was a huge log of a Redwood tree that the city plonks on the beach for people to sit on and there happened to be one right in front of me, so I just drew it.

There was plenty of people on the beach, but I didn’t add them into my sketch.


I did attempt to show the clouds in the sky.

It was very difficult with just my pencil.

Clouds are subjects that I find challenging to draw.


The sea was mainly low flappy wave and I added plenty of little horizontal lines going across the page indicating the motion of the sea.


For the beach sand, I really drew many dots (and I think it is called pointillism) just to show the texture of the sand.

Although it was very smooth sand, it still had a grainy texture that’s why I tried to express it with dots.


The three areas on my page, the top, middle and bottom the top being the sky with the clouds, the middle being the ocean with the waves little horizontal dashes and then in the foreground the beach with the dots.

There probably are other ways of depicting these textures, but this is where I am in my art journey.

I added a signpost which I couldn’t read that was stuck in the sand.


I did enjoy the hour I sat at the beach. It was glorious fresh air, lovely sunshine and it wasn’t too hot although it was promising to be 28C degrees today.

I didn’t want to be there much longer.

Studio Sketch

When I got home, I made a cup of tea and took a bit of a rest.

Then I got out my perpetual nature journal because this is where I wanted to add this drawing.

To me nature is all the outdoors on the Earth where we live. It is the environment we live in and our relationship within it.

I don’t believe that nature journaling is required zoom in on one little ladybug or a leaf, it can certainly be the landscape around us as well.

With my 2H pencil I just sketched out in the bottom right hand of my August page in my perpetual nature journal.

I sketched out the main structures in this drawing.

I then went over it with a 0.5mm black pen just to give the shapes some form.

Colored Ink

As I am continuing to work with my Windsor and Newton drawing inks as my current favorite medium, I wanted to once more practice working with them.

I used my inks to colour in the sea, the trees, the mountains and the beach.

I was very aware of watering these inks down.

Inks are unforgiving and once you’ve laid them on the page you really can’t move the color.

In this way inks are not at all like watercolors.

I used a very small brush, I think it was a number 4 and slowly added the impression of the landscape that I was drawing.

Black and Grey Pen

After leaving it to dry I went back in with my black pen.

I also had a grey pen just to add some textures to the log to the sand to the water and to the trees in the distance.

Improvement as an Artist

I would like to be a better artist.


I know that if I keep practicing, I probably will be better, but the art I can do today is the best I can do.

I would love to be able to do a pond of waterlilies like Monet, just for the hint of the image in the painting and I do admire his work.

I’m also a huge fan of Van Gogh’s work with all his many brushstrokes.

Hobby Artists and Colored Inks

At the moment I’m still learning art as a hobby artist.

I’m getting better with my pen work and I’m getting a little better with my colored ink work although that still is going to require a lot of effort.

This is probably the fifth painting I’ve done with colored inks, so I’m still learning this medium so very much.

Perpetual Nature Journal

The third thing I’m really starting to enjoy is working with my perpetual nature journal .

Where it becomes an ongoing journal.

This Year

It is divided into twelve months and each month I can do the drawing of that month within the page and date it for the year.

Next Year

Then next year in August I can come back and do another drawing and add it to the August page.

I do believe there is further potential for other types of perpetual journals and I’m looking into that as well.

I do enjoy doing these artworks.

I find it greatly meditative and relaxing.

I believe creating simple art brings mental clarity and this is what I’m enjoying as well.

Vancouver Art Map

Creating an Art Map

I have an art map for all the field sketching I do in and around my local area.

I created it by copying the map from Google and drew the outline of the coast on to a large piece of paper.

I plan to frame my Vancouver Art Map and hang it in my studio one day.


I added this week’s art outing to my Vancouver Art Map.

The position was very close to where I drew the Canada Geese and the Inukshuk pen and ink before.

Clearly, I need to venture farther afield in my sketching life soon.

Aspiring Artist Activity

Take your field sketchbook, some pencils and an eraser and go out to a local beauty spot in your area.

Field Sketch

  • Choose a composition that appeals to you.
  • Sketch it out keeping it simple spend at least 30 minutes on this sketch.

Studio Sketch

  • When you get home crack open your perpetual nature journal and start working either in pen and ink, colored inks or whatever art medium is your favorite now. For example, last year I really thought I was going to become a watercolor painter, but I did struggle with it as it was hard. This year I’ve moved onto colored inks and I’m trying to work with this medium as much as possible.
  • Make sure to enjoy what you are doing.
  • Spend at least one hour on your studio sketch and finish it off the way you like.

Thank you for sharing your day with me,


Alison Hazel

Author Bio: Alison Hazel

Alison Hazel is a hobby artist and she shares her ongoing journey about becoming an artist later in life. She creates simple art that anyone can make. She hopes to inspire you to reach your creative potential in the area that suits you.

Read more about Alison’s story.

Send Alison a quick message.

How to Draw the Face of Jesus

How to Draw the Face of Jesus

Author: Alison Hazel   -   Published: February 2024 Reference and Acknowledgement Today I'm going to show you how I draw the face of Jesus as an icon. This is not my original idea as I am following along and referencing the work of Mikhail Fadi at UK Coptic Icons and...

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Creative Projects for Aspiring Artists

Creative Projects for Aspiring Artists

Author: Alison Hazel, Original post: January 2022, Latest update: January 2024.

Creative Projects

Allow me to share with you how I manage my creative projects as an aspiring artist. I believe that being an artist, or an aspiring artist, or even a reluctant artist is a natural way to be. Maybe you were brought up to view art as fluff and something that kids do.

Or perhaps you were programmed by your early home environment to believe that to be an artist is not a real job. Personally, I was good at art at school and I had my first artwork exhibited at the tender age of nine in the local town library’s gallery.  At high school, as I scraped through maths, science and English literature I still excelled at art.

Yet I did nothing with it…

I could always draw and doodle.

The Middle Years

After school I found a job in an office, got married and had four hungry children, here I want to say, “…and a crop in the field…” My life was busy with family, family, family. Only when my youngest daughter left home in 2019, and my husband passed away, did I have time for myself.

I turned to art and signed up for a one-day Art Retreat at the Luminous Elephant art studio in Vancouver. At this time I began sketching privately and then joined the Vancouver Urban Sketchers  group and went to a few meetings.

Alison Hazel Art

I created this website to showcase my sketches and named it Alison Hazel Art. To start with I hesitated to use the word “Art” in the title. I mean, don’t artists have degrees from prestigious universities and certificate and all that? Who was I as a mature housewife type of scribbler to call myself anything “Art” but, I reasoned that I was an aspiring artist and I am on an artistic journey. My path to become an artist is different to yours and the art I create is different to yours, but it is my journey and I’m walking this road.


I hope to get better over time. In the past two years I’ve accumulated some markers, watercolour paint, pencil crayons, acrylic paints from my daughter’s school leftovers, ink and pens.

Perpetual Nature Journal

In May 2022 I happened upon the Daily Nature Journal channel on YouTube and my direction shifted. Starting a perpetual nature journal I began to relish journaling. Discovering International Nature Journaling week (which is every June 1st to 7th) was another sign, I mean, who knew?


I wonder what I will do next. I have some ideas about personal energy management as I do seem to get tired easily these days.


I like to have projects on the go and the main reason to have projects is that it is good to have something to get out of bed for every day.


I began with Morning Pages like Julia Cameron earlier this year and I decided my Morning Pages needed their own journal. I discovered that, as I had so many interests, I preferred to have a variety of journals. I’ve subsequently moved onto multiple journals.

Now, I have a journal for:

  • General life with a yellow cover.
  • A family memoir with a taupe cover.
  • A grimoire with a dark ocean blue cover.
  • An art journal with a sage green cover.
  • A crochet journal with a Wedgewood blue cover and a crocheted cover.
  • A perpetual nature journal with a black cover.


After struggling along with one A5 sketchbook where everthing went in, I decided that to have more than one sketchbook is a better plan and this works well for me.

Now I have sketchbooks for:

  • Field sketches size A6.
  • Field sketches size A5.
  • Watercolour size A5.
  • Grey toned paper size A5.
  • Beige toned paper size A5.
  • Black paper size A4.
  • Handmade paper which is 10cm square.

I do prefer smaller sketchbooks like A6 and A5 rather than the bigger A3 and A2 sized ones. This may be because I like to finish each artwork in one day and I can do that better with a pocket sketchbook. In a way, my art supplies seem to be breeding all by themselves.

Explore more >>> Art Supplies I Use

Quarterly or Seasonal Projects

A quarter of the year is three months or around just under 100 days. Quarters can be related to the seasons as well Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. When you divide the year into four segments it provides you with a good chunk of time to get something worthwhile done.

Some ideas for quarterly projects which I’m toying with are:

  • Making a large painting.
  • Creating an online course that I can teach.
  • Planning and organizing a weekend art retreat.
  • Writing or designing a book.


Monthly Projects

Mid-size project are my monthly projects.

In this section my creative projects maybe:


Weekly Projects

Small quick projects which can be easily completed in a day or two are my weekly projects.

In this category my projects could be activities such as:

  • Recording a weekly video for YouTube.
  • Writing a weekly blog post for my website (like this).
  • Creating a simple drawing or painting.
  • Shopping for art supplies.
  • Swatching my paints, coloured pencils or inks.
  • Tiding up and organizing my creator studio.
  • Attending a weekend art retreat.
  • Going to an urban sketching meetup.
  • Planning an art date with my daughters.
  • Visiting an art gallery in my city.
  • Going to the beach to sketch.

The idea is to have three different projects on the go at any one time and these are a large one, a midsized one and a small one. It is enjoyable to be able to chop and change between three different ongoing projects.

Quarterly, monthly and weekly projects provide me with creative choices depending on my mood. I don’t always have the energy for intense creation for an extended period.

If I’m honest, this is the reason I believe I, and you, will benefit from having a variety of projects on the go at once. Let me know what you think.

Pin this image to your Pinterest board.

Aspiring Artist Activity

This activity is to help you sort out your thoughts and feeklings about the direction you want your art life to go.

In your art journal and, thinking about what you would like to try on your art journey, please do the following:


  • List three large substantial quarterly projects.
  • List three medium sized monthly projects.
  • List three shorter weekly projects.


  • Choose one from each time frame and start.

In this way you will have three different projects to get your teeth into.

Now you will have a variety of activities to keep you going and you can start to plan the next trio of projects as well.

Alison Hazel

Author Bio

Alison Hazel is a woman who shares her ongoing journey about becoming an artist later in life. She creates simple art that anyone can make. She hopes to inspire you to reach your creative potential in the area that suits you.

Read more about Alison’s story.

Send Alison a quick message.

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