Art quote

A small drawing/painting, repeated to make a simple border for one of my favourite Kandinsky quotes. Kandinsky is one of my favourite artists, not just his art but his philosophy of art.

All artists and creatives put something of ourselves into our creations, whether we are aware of it or not. Colours, words, shapes, lines, textures, tools, media, and more are how we express our uniqueness – both in how we create our work and how we relate to the world that surrounds us, but also to our inner worlds of imagination, thoughts, dreams, emotions, and our subconscious minds.

Everytime an artist or creative creates, they share something of themselves with others. What that something is, is there for those who take the time to look for it.

When we dream…

Another ‘pen went for a walk drawing’ along with a quote today.

After I’d exhausted my creativity for coloring templates yesterday, I switched to playing around with digital art for a short while to create this border.

To go with it, I chose a quote from Hundertwasser.

I remember reading somewhere, somewhen, that the intricate swirls and abstract patterns of prehistoric rock art may have been representations of those shapes and patterns we see when we close our eyes, when we fall asleep. Or even what is seen in psychedelic visions.

So, this quote about dreams seemed to fit just nicely with the design I created yesterday.

The colour I chose for the artwork reminds me of verdigris – the dusty surface that copper or bronze gets when it’s weathered and aged. It’s a calming, soothing, peaceful kind of colour, and that is the mood I am reflecting through my art at the moment.

In the evening, I sat with sketchbook and pens/pencils and just drew abstract patterns. I really enjoyed using pencil to draw with. I all too often draw directly with pen and I forget how pleasant and ‘soft’ working with pencil feels.

Quote by Kandinsky

Last night, I went to bed a bit earlier; I wasn’t feeling all that well again. I wasn’t ready to sleep, but I wanted the comfort of being in bed, as well as the comfort of drawing.

So, I sat in bed and just let my pencil take a walk on the page. No preconceived ideas. No idea of what to draw in my head, only the desire to draw before settling to sleep.

This design was what appeared. In pencil on off-white mixed media paper. It reminds me of the designs on the Nazca Plains of Peru, but also some hints of Hundertwasser trees. Maybe even prehistoric rock art.

It was nothing other than a bit of self-soothing and self-care.

This morning, I knew I wanted to re-draw it digitally and make it look like it was kind of carved into rock. I’m not sure I’ve pulled it off, but I’m happy with it as it is, for now. I think I used too smooth a pen to re-draw the design. I’ve not got the right settings for that illusion of depth and dimension.

I wanted to add shadow and highlight to the design, but I’ve run out of steam again and my brain is fogging over. I think I’ll be returning to this design (along with others) in the coming days, weeks and months. This is something I don’t often do – create iterations of designs and artworks to put into practice observations, ideas as well as to try out new things with the same design. Perhaps this is what I’ll do in the next couple of weeks as I focus on completing a contract, but still make time for personal projects. I’ll see how I feel.

The design is purely abstract. As my favourite abstract artist is Wassily Kandinsky, I thought I’d add a quote from him. This one seemed to fit my drawing today. It’s not meant to represent anything other than what brought me peace and comfort when I wasn’t feeling too grand last night.

Saturday Mandala

It’s Saturday. I woke early and got to work in one of my sketchbooks where I’m drawing thumbnails and design elements with a focus on things starry. I needed a break from that, so turned my attention to creating a mandala.

Pink seems to be a bit of a thing at the moment, today it being a dusky shade of pink.

Oddly, the mandala has a star-shaped motif in the centre. That was not a conscious decision!

Anyway, it’s been a nice way to spend an hour or two while listening to podcasts. But, after another mug of mocha, I’ll be going back to work in my sketchbook. Which is also pleasurable, but in a different kind of way. My drawings are definitely sketchy, but that’s the whole point! Just getting ideas down. A nice way to spend a lockdown day.

In the pink

It’s funny how colours seem just right one day, and the next day I wonder what on earth I was thinking at the time.

Yesterday’s mandala, with it’s kind of yellow-brown background just doesn’t seem ‘right’ today.

I often mention about how I feel I really struggle with colour at times, but feel much better if I stick with simple color palettes, even monochrome ones, more or less.

So, this morning I wanted to draw a mandala, as is so often the case. They give me a chance to practice drawing digitally and using pattern and texture within them too.

The drawing was just fine and dandy, nearly always a pleasurable experience and I end up with a design I like well enough.

Then, there’s the coloured background. Today I wanted a soft pink colour. I like the colour I’ve chosen. Black lineart would look start on it, to my mind, but a soft, warm, cream was just perfect. It looks almost like lace.

And I can breathe a sigh of relief as my faith in my colour sense is restored somewhat. Monochrome is the way to go, unless it’s coloring templates. Though perhaps I should try a monochrome colour scheme for them, or at least analogous colours with a pop of complementary here and there. I’ll see what happens.

For the rest of my day, I’m going to be gathering sketches of ideas and elements for the coloring book I’m working on, and creating a mandala has got me somewhat in the right frame of mind to do this.

Template Thursday

I was in the mood for a mandala this sunshiny morning in the Valleys of South Wales, so that’s what I created for this week’s coloring template for the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group.

Some Mayan-style glyphs have been appearing in my sketchbook lately, and I felt I needed to incorporate them into a mandala design. So I did.

I also chose colours that reminded me of golden stone and primary coloured gems/paints/inks, including the golden-sand coloured kraft paper background. It has lovely warm, desert feel to it.

As usual, the uncoloured template is available to members of the facebook group. Membership is free, as are the pandemic templates, just some simple terms and conditions of use need to be adhered to.

Monday Mandala

Weird, weird art.

I have absolutely no idea what I was thinking as this mandala was created, nor why on Earth I chose these colours.

As it’s digital art, I could use digital tools to re-colour the image, but I’ve decided to leave it as is.

I know I wanted to do something that used similar techniques to the digital abstract paintings I’ve been exploring lately.

Similar. Perhaps. But definitely not the same kind of thing.

It’s like something out of a weird nightmare, or some bizarre, manufactured virus.

I think I can safely say my artistic mind is out of sorts today!

Fantasy Genesis

I think it may have had something to do with a book I briefly scanned yesterday. It’s called “Fantasy Genesis – A creative game for fantasy artists.” by Chuck Lukacs.

This is the introduction to the book:

Welcome fantasy geneticists! Here is a practice place of the imagination, a place where infinitely diverse forms and patterns will create concepts in infinite combinations, which you will bring to light with pencil and paper. One of the most important jobs we have as artists is to create inventive new ways of watching and documenting this beautifully diverse planet that allows us to live on it. We’re expected to see the world—from our cultures, habitats and technologies to the vast diversity of wildlife and plant life to the pores in our skin—in a slightly different light. Like scientists, we’re expected to experiment with new ways of expression, new sounds, new interpretations of old ideas, new solutions to old problems and new inspirations for images and change.

Fantasy Genesis – Chuck Lukacs

It caught my attention. As did the use of dice and tables for combinations of features appealed to me.

Not that I’m a fantasy artist. But it has sections to do with plants and landscapes and machinery and buildings. Things I am interested in. Creatures and characters not so much. I admire people who can draw such things, and create amazing artworks. However they really don’t have much interest for me artistically, apart from pattern, shape and texture.

I thought it may be a way for me to extend my drawing and imagination, as well as making more use of a sketchbook. I also thought that once I get my head around this kind of thing, I could create my own lists, incorporating patterns and favourite kinds of motifs to use too. I’ll see about that.

I know that my signature style of art is ‘entangled’ with some cute and whimsical elements from time to time and mandalas. I like working with abstract patterns and colours too. But exploring other genres, ideas, styles can only develop and add to my artistic skills and visual vocabulary. Even if I discover that some things are not for me, they will lead me down artistic avenues I may never have traversed.

So, one of my tasks today is to take time to properly read this book and work out how I can make the ‘game’ work for me!

Sunday Morning Art

This was a lovely way to spend the first three hours or so of Sunday morning. Abstract digital painting. Chilled out music playing on Spotify. A slow sunrise behind the grey, rain-dropping clouds.

Again, the pattern was inspired by rocks and geology. Some of the patterns I’ve added remind me of rocks and shells, others are a bit too geometric.

It’s always nice to play around with pattern, texture and colour. And when I limit my palette to just a couple of colour families I get much better results. Today, I used the B and YR Copic colour families from the Copic palette included with Autodesk Sketchbook Pro.

While not reminiscent of rocks, the colours remind me of sea and sand. This year, I’ve not been able to get to the coast, other than once way back in February. The colour choice is a subconscious desire for the sea and shore, a liminal place, a boundary between one element and another.

The coast is a place where I feel my whole body exhale and relax. Sadly, it’s not possible to visit at this time, maybe not for a long while. However, the pandemic won’t last forever and the coastline will still be there.

Anyways, creating this artwork was a lovely way of spending some time on a Sunday morning. I can see where I’ve been clumsy with the patterns, making the layers look flatter than I wanted them to.

Abstract Strata

This morning’s warm-up art is another abstract digital painting inspired by patterns in rocks and strata.

It’s a very soothing process for me to create art like this, even though it lacks the intricacy and detail of my more usual ‘entangled’ style. Simplifying and stylisation is a feature of my entangled art; this artwork takes those processes a few steps further along.

I started the day sketching some simplified patterns taken from geology in general. I scanned them in and chose one to turn into a painting.

Layer by layer, I added colour and texture, choosing earthy colours. I paid attention to shadow and highlight making sure that there’s an illusion of dimesion in the painting.

I’m still experimenting with this style of digital painting. In this one, I think I’ve chosen one or two colours too many, and a couple of them are a bit brighter than the others which makes them stand out more.

I also need to work with different color palettes, limiting the colours to produce a cohesive design.

The ragged edges created by the brush texture I used make the layers look a bit like torn paper. However, I would like to try a smoother edge in future experiments.

It’s been a nice way to spend three or so hours this morning. It’s now time for me to breakfast!