Small ‘aha’ designs

Lots of little drawings.

Over the past couple of days I’ve been drawing small designs in pen, including plenty of line detail to add volume and shadow.

Today, I scanned the drawings in and printed them out (after cleaning them up a tad digitally) so I could try colouring them.

I wanted to print them on mixed media paper, which I know my printer will take. However, even with clean scans, the prints were really messy. However, when printed on ordinary paper, the prints were pristine.

I wasn’t happy as I wanted to use a paper with a bit more ‘tooth’ so I could make use of the Derwent Colorsoft pencils. But, I persevered and the results are above.

The first I coloured is in the top middle. My colour sense isn’t always wonderful. Lots of colours, but it just doesn’t feel coherent in any kind of way.

So, I moved on to the next design. This time, I thought I’d use analogous colours (colours next to each other on the colour wheel), with a touch of a complementary colour to add brightness. Complementary colours are opposite each other on the colour wheel.

I like this second one much more. It feels cohesive, like everything belongs together. And the little bursts of yellow/orange just lift it all.

The third design I’ve been colouring is only partly done. I’ve veered away from entirely analogous colours, but I am trying to keep the colour palette simple and with, perhaps, an autumnal feel to it.

As I was working on printer paper, I needed to use some way to blend the colours. I remembered I had some ‘Zest-It’ blending solution and some paper torchons. They worked well. The big frustration was that I couldn’t lay down intense colour. However, as these are prints, I’m not too worried. I do need to find some toothy paper which will go in the main paper drawer of my printer. I do have some cartridge paper here somewhere which should go through it.

Of course, scanning the drawings in means I can also work on adding colour digitally. It means I can try things out until I’m happy with the results.

Pesky printers

I never have much luck with printers. Inkjet printers die on my quickly, even the more expensive professional ones. I thought I’d try a laser printer, but I seem to have problems with this one now not giving clean prints when I use the sheet feeder for specialist papers.

I don’t print much out, to be honest, but it’s frustrating when I want to print artwork out on specialist paper.

A note to self about colour.

What I have learned is that I like to watercolour the designs, but then the addition of coloured pencils to intensify the colours and add shadows works really well for me. I like the intense contrasts that I can get with coloured pencils that I just can’t seem to achieve with watercolours.

Of course, I can always colour digitally, which lets me play with colours, change them, until I get something I really like.

Today, I’ve had a reminder that limited palettes, particularly of analogous colours, seem to be working rather well for me, especially with those accents of complementary colours.

I really do need to put a big ‘note to self’ where I can see it to remind me of this. I can get carried away with colours

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