Trying out Vintage Gel Pens from Arteza

All my life, I’ve had a love of bright colours. I’ve shied away from the more earthy, natural or vintage tones. Recently, however, I’ve been using a lot of brown and more subdued colours in my art. When I saw Arteza had a box of vintage coloured gel pens, I thought I’d give them a go! So, I got out a sheet of bristol board and started to draw with the Vintage Grape Purple and Ginger pens.

Usually, I have huge problems with gel pens. The ink doesn’t flow smoothly due to the way I hold the pen (very upright) and it tends to blob. The pen soon stops working as well – and I don’t choose cheap pens. However, I was very pleasantly surprised at how smoothly the ink flows from these pens. No globs. It dries quickly. I can colour small areas smoothly. And the colours are rich. A bonus is I’m able to get the pen to produce thinner lines when I ‘flick’ the pen to add hatching lines.

Normally, I’d only draw in black. However, the darker tones of these pens may very well change my mind, for some projects any way.

The pens are non-toxic and acid-free. They are definitely smooth writing – the first gel pens I can say that work that way for me. And they do dry quickly, so no smudging!

So, one happy artsy me today. Always nice to have new pens that play nicely with me!

Mandala Monday

It’s Monday, so it’s time for a mandala. This one includes lots of Zentangle tangle patterns, many quite organic in nature.

I, again, chose a monochrome colour scheme, and enjoyed playing with light and shadow to add dimension to this artwork. Perhaps not quite as contrasting as I’d like, but still interesting.

Digital art – Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, Surface Slim Pen and Surface Studio.

Sunday Work In Progress

This is one of a couple of drawings I have on the go at the moment. The scan has washed out and altered the colours a tad. The gradations of colour are a lot smoother too. But I think you get the idea.

This was was drawn with Copic Multiliners on heavy smooth cartridge paper by Daler Rowney. I’m using Staedtler and Chameleon fineliners to add texture/pattern to the drawing. The larger areas of colour were achieved with Carbothello pastel pencils and a paper tortillon.

I was going to stick to a monochrome colour scheme, but some of those tendrils, fronds and leaves just needed a touch of a muted green. And then that led me to including that central ‘orb’ of turquoise (which isn’t as pale or lacking gradient as it appears).

I’m getting to the point where I need to decide how much white space to leave in the design, and where I’m going to add colour and/or texture and pattern. I also need to think about whether some of those coloured spaces need either more shadow or lightening up a bit. That means it’s time for me to take a break from this particular artwork and go and do another or something else completely different!

Before that, there are elements in this design that I really like – the strange columns/antenna at the top and bottom left, the organic trellis of fronds in the largest part of the design. That horizontal bar towards the top. however, just jars with the rest of th design.

Template Thursday

This week, I decided to create a coloring page / template that is in the ‘Angela’ Entangled style, similar to yesterday’s artwork.

I made the motifs bigger and less patterned for the coloring template, however. To add colour to my version of the template I used a mixture of brown fineliners by Staedtler and Stabilo. Instead of solid colour, I used patterns and textures to add colour and complexity. I did use a pale grey fineliner to add details to the snowdrops and leaves, but the scanner didn’t pick it up. Ho hum.

After I’ve had lunch, I may return to the drawing to add shadows to bring out some dimension and depth. I’m not sure what medium I’ll use, though alcohol makers may be the best option, perhaps. I’ll see how I feel when I get to it.

Of course this is the template of the week for the members of the Angela Porter’s coloring book fans facebook group. And this week there’s a challenge to colour this template, or another of their choice, in a monochrome colour scheme.

If you’d like to print the template and join in with the challenge then just pop along to the group!

Entanglement 17 Feb ’21

I’ve been working on this drawing for the past three or four days. I finally finished it this morning. Here’s a list of materials used:
A4 Daler-Rowney Bristol Board
Copic Multiliners (05, 025, 02)
Sakura Pigma Micron (01)
Various shades of brown Stabilo fineliners
Grey and sepia Uniball Unipin fineliners

I’m finally becoming comfortable with leaving open spaces in my art, though I still do like a clear border/edge. The spaces give a lighter, more airy feel to the design. I’m learning that I don’t have to fill every available space with pattern. I think that is a good thing.

I’m also really enjoying using shades of brown to add patterns to the design, and some grey too.

If you’d like to know where I started this drawing, it was with the small arrangement of boxes just above the blueberry-ish berries just above the left of centre. Everything else grew out from there.

I think this one is finished, though as I look at it now, I want to use a white Gelly Roll pen to add dots in places. Also, the shadows need to be tad intensified around the motifs to give the illusion of depth. I may use alcohol markers – Chameleons or Copics – to do this as the Copic Multiliners are alcohol ink safe.

Copper and teal mandala

Finished! The addition of coppery tones was a bit of a surprise, even to me. But it seemed the right thing to do. I do like the combination of copper and the verdigris tones of teals, greens and blues.

I spent some time darkening the shadows in the inner rings of the mandala, as well as adding some depth of colour. They looked so washed out against today’s additions.

Also, I changed the colour of the background. Everything was so lost against the teal background.

Digital art – Autodesk Sketchbook Pro – Microsoft Surface Studio and Surface Slim Pen.

Monday Mandala – WIP

Monday dawns and along with it is the desire to create a mandala.

This one is a work in progress for sure. I’m still playing around with various brush settings to get the depth of contrast I desire. It’s working out fairly well so far, especially as I’ve chosen a limited palette of blue, teal and green. Also, my favourite seedpod, leaf and arch shapes are very much in evidence here. There’s also lots of little orbs. It never ceases to amaze me how such a simple collection of shapes can result in a fairly complex design.

What is unusual for me, like last week’s mandala, is the lack of black lines in the design. I think that’s a bit of a rebellion by me to all the pen drawing I’ve been doing of late. Also, I love colour, but find it so frustrating to add to my pen drawings.

When I work digitally, colour seems to work differently for me. I think it may be the ability to work and rework the colour endlessly until I get something that suits me. Maybe it’s the ability to get the depth of contrast I like. Or maybe it’s something else entirely, I really don’t know.

This part of the mandala, about a quarter to a third, has taken me around three hours to do so far, thanks to the symmetry tools available to me in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro.

Little art

More small pieces of artwork today. These are perfect for when I’m feeling overwhelmed by a large sheet of paper. Also, they are sources of ideas for patterns and motifs for future work. I do need to spend some time with all this art and add some of the newer motifs and patterns to my visual dictionary/zibladone. Or, just stick them all into a sketchbook. At least then I’d know where they are!

It’s snowing outside. It’s cold outside, and warming up inside as I put the heating on a couple of hours ago. I think I may curl up in bed today with Din Djarin and Grogu. I still have three episodes of Season 2 to watch, and that sounds like a good plan to me!

Small Art

Here’s just some of the smaller pieces of art I’ve done over the past week or so. They’re all entangled, zentangle, zentangle inspired. The biggest is 9″x9″, the smallest around 3.5″x3.5″ in size.

All have been fun to created, but I’m really not sure about colour choices, the backgrounds colours of the papers I used and so on.

I have yet more in the pile created over the past two or three weeks! They’ve been comforting to do, even if I’ve doubted myself with them and what I was doing. That’s often the case when my emotions are all over the place, as they still are to some extent.

All I know is that though it is bitterly cold outside, the sun is shining and I really do need to go for a walk, take in some fresh air, and blow some cobwebs from my mind. Well, that’s my plan. It may change once I’ve showered and so on!