2018 Plans – New Project!

For quite some time now i’ve been wanting to do a Photo a Day project. I’ve now decided that 2018 will be the year! How exciting. Though I am trying not to underestimate what an undertaking this will be in terms of commitment…

To make things a little easier on myself there won’t be any hard and fast rules apart from the daily photo will be taken with my mobile phone (an iPhone 6 a great phone and very good camera, i’ve had mine since 2015 but they are not available new any more sadly but available fully refurbished from Amazon). I’ve decided to go with my mobile as a means of taking my daily photos as I always have it with me, I don’t want to have to be constantly carrying around bulky camera equipment.

I’ve decided on weekly theme’s to give me some purpose as I go along – I thought that this would help with motivation. I’m also hoping that I can experiment with digital image-making as I go along – perhaps trying out techniques for bigger works.

I’m going to have 13 weekly themes – enough for a quarter of the year. Each set of 13 themes will then get repeated.

I have also decided that I would like a “physical” element to this project so I will also be printing out each daily photo using my Instax SP-2 printer that I bought earlier this month. This prints out from an app on my iPhone or iPad, it doesn’t use ink but uses special paper that is exposed much in the way that the old Polaroid film was. The paper is quite small, approx 85mm x 55mm with a photo area of approx 62mm x 45mm. I’ve been quite happy with the print quality so far, perhaps a little contrasty but I think it’ll be ideal for my project.

All of the prints will be popped into my sketchbook along with a little writing about my day. By my reckoning I will need two sketchbook (see below for the type I will be using). When Jane and I have our exhibition in May 2018 I will be five months into the project and will leave the book on our display table for visitors to have a look through.

See more information about the products I will be using and also to buy on Amazon UK:-

Instax Share SP2 Printer

(note that there is now also a newer model out, the Instax Share SP-3 Printer)

Fujifilm Instax Mini Film – 20 shots

though for my project I have now bought the Fujifilm Instax Mini Film – 100 shots pack to get me started.

The sketchbook I will be using for my journal is the square, black Seawhite 140mm x 140mm 140gsm artist’s sketchbook I have bought two of these and using a page a day I reckon each one should last me 6 months.

Instax SP2 mini printer - Hebridean Imaging - Yvonne Benting - photo365 project



Fujifilm Instant Film - photo365 project - Hebridean Imaging - Yvonne Benting


30 Paintings in 30 Days – Final Day

Wow! The final day of this challenge, it’s come around so quickly and i’ve managed to be creative every single day. Feeling very pleased.

So, what next? Well, i’m going to continue to be creative everyday, it may not be painting although I have really enjoyed that – I’ve never been much of a painter, not acrylics anyway, and would love to improve (hehe, let’s face it, there’s plenty of room for improvement!).

Next week I head away, off island for a couple of months – first to England to visit my family then travelling down through France and Spain – I’ll stay in southern Spain for two months. I need to decide what art supplies to take with me – I would love to paint while i’m there so have some of the 6″ x 6″ canvases set aside. I’ll also be packing my sketchbook and watercolours. Decisions, decisions…

Anyway, my final painting is a still life, my beloved Bialetti coffee maker and a couple of coffee cups. An artist friend called round mid-painting and said “oh my goodness, why have you chosen something so difficult!” The answer being “well I like a challenge” 🙂

OK, It has issues but at the start of this challenge I would never have dreamed of  attempting something like this – I’ve been very much inspired by the amazing art that all the other participants have been posting day after day on Leslie Saeta’s blog http://30paintingsin30days.weebly.com/blog Thank you Leslie so much, i’ve enjoyed my first time with this 30 in 30 challenge and will definitely participate again!

So here it is, acrylics on 6″ x 6″ canvas board

2016 is here!

Time to do my daily painting. I have to say here and now i’m not much of a painter but really want to improve, so here goes! I’ve signed up for the 30 Paintings in 30 Days challenge as run by Leslie Saeta. As inspiration I have also been reading the book Daily Painting – Paint Small and Often to Become a More Creative, Productive and Successful Artist by Carol Marine. I’m enjoying the book a lot, haven’t quite finished it yet.

I’ve decided that the first week will be devoted to experimental painting, I haven’t decided yet on themes for the following weeks.

Today’s painting is acrylic paint on 6″ x 6″ card and is really a kind of a loose sketch of something i’m working on that will be on a 20″ x 16″ canvas and in mixed media. It was me feeling my way into the work and trying different things. The final painting will no doubt be quite different but it was very useful to do a small version.

I was up early as always on the 1st January to spend the daylight hours birding, working on the year list. The weather was pretty grim, cold and windy but it has to be done. Ended the day on 53 species, the highlights being two Golden Eagles and three Snow Buntings.

Bit of a crummy phone pic – the waves looked way more impressive than this!

The crofter was busy on the beach collecting seaweed, it will be left in a big pile to rot then will be spread onto the crofter’s plot on the machair to fertilise his crops. This time of year there is always massive piles of seaweed after the winter storms – i’ve seen it 10 or more feet deep.

75 Day Ink sketch Challenge

Finally got around to compiling the results of my attempt at the 75 Day Ink sketch Challenge.

This is a challenge that was started by artist Brenda Swenson who was one of the amazing teachers at Sketchbook Skool during 2014.

The rules are simple: No preliminary pencil sketch just dive straight in with ink, no erasing, just do it!

I believe I have pushed the rules somewhat as most times I added colour after i’d completed the ink drawing. Colour was added using a variety of media – most often watercolour but at other times Inktense pencils, coloured pencils, spray inks and a little glitter every now and then…

My personal challenge started, very tentatively, on the 19th July 2014 and ended on the 1st October 2014. I really enjoyed the challenge and although didn’t have much confidence when I started but the time the end came around, although I don’t feel that my drawing improved much, I was much more likely to tackle subjects that I never would have dreamed of tackling when I started.


This is a challenge that was started in 2013 by artist Jean Stevens – last year she had over 200 official participants. This year it is being run again. There isn’t much to it – just draw every single day during the month of August! #DrawingAugust is run primarily via Twitter, Jean is @JeanStevens4 and her website with more information about the challenge is: http://jeanstevensstudiodiary.wordpress.com I made a Twitter account for participating @YvonnesSketches but there were also some of my fellow OCA students who wanted to participate but couldn’t/didn’t want to use Twitter so they started a Facebook Group for posting the daily drawings to, it’s called #DrawingAugust2014 and can be found at:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/1460449057539996 I have compiled the 31 drawings into a YouTube slide show:-