Inktober Tangles 2021 | Day 3

This Zentangle tile contains the first three tangle patterns of the Inktober Tangle 2021 prompt list. They are Lunar Flux, Naaki and Dewd, by Debbie New CZT, Nadine Roller CZT, and Zentangle Inc. respectively.

I’ve used Lunar Flux in a similar way to my tile for Day 1. I just think it’s lovely as sprigs of foliage. Dewd works well as a filler pattern behind Lunar Flux. Finally, I used Naaki in the square to create a border.

A 15cm x 10.5cm (approx 4⅛” x 5⅞”) piece of Bristol board coloured with Rusty Hinge Distress ink was the base for the design. The line drawing was completed with a 0.3 Unipin pen. Pastel pencils added colour and shadow to the drawing. Finally, Sakura Souffle and Sakura Metallic Gelly roll pens were used to add highlights in white and gold.

A monochrome colour scheme of warm and cool browns was the way to go here. They worked harmoniously with the Distress Ink background colour. For highlights, I didn’t use a white pastel pencil as it didn’t make much of a difference. Instead, I went with dots of white.

It’s all a bit wibbly and wobbly; well, I did draw it sat in bed whilst coming around from a deep night’s sleep.

I do have a couple more sketchbook pages of explorations of Naaki from yesterday. I do want to do similar for Dewd. I’m finding this an interesting experience. Creating variations and iterations of a pattern or motif isn’t something I’ve done much of, but I’m sure I will be doing so going forward with lots of art.

There’s also the question of whether I tackle today’s official Inktober 2021 prompt, which is “vessel”. I dunno. I’ll see how I feel about that later today.

Hello October and Inktober!

The first day of a new month, and the first day of Inktober to boot!

This year I’m definitely going to the Inktober Tangle 2021 prompt list of Zentangle patterns. I’m going to try to combine the official Inktober 2021 prompt list with them.

Today, I’ve managed that. ‘Crystals’ is the prompt from the Inktober list. The tangle pattern for today is ‘Lunar Flux’ by Debbie New CZT.

I dug out a piece of paper coloured with Distress Inks from my stash of such paper. It’s a rather grungy kind of green, which appealed to me first thing this morning.

0.1 and 0.3 Unipin pens were used to draw the design. Next, a variety of green and white chalk pastels were used to add colour, shadow and highlight to the design. Finally, embellishments were added with white Sakura Soufflé, yellow/gold Sakura Stardust, and clear Sakura Glaze pens.

There were a number of times through the process where I wondered what on Earth I was doing and was going to give up. The first was when I started to dislike the coloured paper. The next was when I thought the pen work wasn’t looking too good, I didn’t have the space to add a third stem of lunar flux (I like groups of odd numbers). Finally, adding colour with the pastels felt like I was making a bad job worse.

I’m glad I didn’t give up. I’m actually quite pleased with the finished drawing. There’s some volume to the elements, and a sense of layers too. The highlights and shadows really helped to lift the colours and the design.

It’s been a lovely, if a tad frustrating at times, way to spend a couple of hours this morning.

Yesterday evening, I spent some time playing around with the basic idea of Lunar Flux and came up with a sketchbook page full of variations. I’ll show this in tomorrow’s Sketchbook Saturday vlog.

For now, I’m going to get a fresh mug of mocha, and spend sometime drawing, making use of Lunar Flux. I’m still not feeling quite right after my upset tummy Wednesday and yesterday. I had a horrible night’s sleep, with two vivid nightmares that had me wrenching myself awake from them. I have no idea what caused them, but the unease and fear they provoked in me is lingering today, along with a sense of exhaustion too. So, self-care time is very much needed today for sure.

Chameleon Color Tones Coloring

Link to today’s vlog on YouTube.

After filming yesterday’s vlog, I decided to try using marker pens with a drawing I’d done on a Distress Ink background. The drawing on the left is the result of this experiment.

To add colour, I used Chameleon Color Tones marker pens. I chose colours that would be similar to those in the background.

I really enjoyed adding colour to this drawing. I’d forgotten how much I enjoy using the Chameleon pens and the ease of achieving gradients with these pens.

I completed the drawing with embellishments of white and yellow Sakura Soufflé pens, muted Sakrua Gelly Roll Moonlight pens, and some shiny areas of clear Sakura Glaze pen.

I was so happy with the result, that I started work on the drawing to the right, some of which I do in today’s vlog.

I really love the way that the background tones down the brighter colours of the marker pens. Which shouldn’t surprise me as marker pens are transparent! But it did surprise me!

Something else that I was struck with was how similar using markers is to how I add colour digitally. I haven’t made that connection before, but it is likely to inform me on my way forward in adding colour to my artwork. I may be trying to force water-soluble media and coloured pencils into behaving like markers, which is something that they’re not meant to do. I find it hard to work with the looser, possibly more chaotic water-based media, even though I love the effects that other seem to achieve with them. No matter what I do, I’m never totally happy with the end result, something I’ve blogged and vlogged about an awful lot.

Working with alcohol markers has shown me that I can work well with colour, with the medium that matches my artistic style – precise and controlled. The more chaotic, loose, aspects of this work come from the Distress Ink coloured backgrounds.

Now, if only I can accept this and focus on using markers in my work more than other media. Well, apart from digital coloring that is!

Sunday Morning Entangled Art

Link to today’s vlog on YouTube.

A late summer, rather cool and sunny start to the day is something I’m luxuriating in, and that means arty pursuits.

I’ve completed one drawing, which I kind of review at the start of today’s vlog over on YouTube. I’m not too happy with the colour I’ve added at all. I started with Ecoline watercolour inks, but they felt too bright and jarring with the distressed, grungy, quite dark background. So, I then tried out distress inks, but I’d already gone down the rabbit hole of poor colour choices. When I’d finished adding colour, I had some rather dull, uninspiring colours that really didn’t fit in with other parts. So, I tried using coloured pencils to lift the colours, with not much success. Finally, I tried some chalk pastels, which helped somewhat. Finally, I added embellishments with a variety of gel pens,w hich helped to lift the colour somewhat, bu kind of seem over the top.

So, to shift my disgruntled arty mood, I thought I’d go back to an earlier drawing and use a really simple set of colours – cerise and purple – to add colour and shadow to the drawing. And white to help bring out highlights if needed, though I will use various gel pens to embellish this when I’m done. This is the drawing you can see at the top of the post.

I’m liking what’s happening with this drawing. I do have to layer the chalk to get an intensity of colour when using the tortillon to blend the colour out as well as working the chalk into the paper. I’m enjoying the way the different colours will blend nicely with each other. And I like the simple colour choices too.

I keep saying I’m going to complete drawings with monochrome, or nearly monochrome colour palettes. And I keep forgetting to do this when I leave a host of colours near me!

I shall persevere with this particular drawing, and see how I feel about once it’s all coloured.

As to the other one, well it’s being put to one side for a few days so I can return to it with fresh eyes and a fresh mind. Perhaps I’ll see it in a different way then.

Saturday Sketchbook | A Week Ink Art

Link to today’s vlog on YouTube.

My vlog today is a flip through of all the art I’ve been doing in the past week, both in sketchbooks and on paper.

The image above shows my bedtime drawing last night. I’m not happy with it, but it is what it is. Finishing the drawing followed by the addition of colour and shadow/highlight may change my mind about it. As may the passage of time and a fresh view of it.

This is but one of quite a few drawings done this week. The rest can be seen in today’s vlog.

Pen Drawing and Distress Ink Background

Link to today’s vlog on YouTube.

I woke to morning sunshine and the lovely coolness of an autumn morning. I feel so much more alive on mornings like this. The coolness is so refreshing, invigorating. Although we’re not quite into autumn yet, there are hints it is on the way. Hints of leaves changing colour. Sunlight is much more golden rather than the bright quality of summer light. It really is wonderful!

It put me in the mood to create a coloured background (or two) to draw on. This time, I’m using a vintage brown gel pen from Arteza. Usually I’d use black, but I’m starting to explore the possibilities of other colours, particularly on such distressed, grungy backgrounds.

Today’s vlog starts with the creation of two coloured backgrounds, then starting to draw the design. This drawing isn’t finished, yet. When it is complete, then it’ll be time to add colour and/or contrast and highlight. Finally, it’ll be time to add embellishments.

I know that when these gel pens are dry they are water resistant, so the world of coloured media is open to me. I am likely to keep the colours with in the green and brown palette of this background, however.

Pen and Wash | Entangled Art | WIP

Link to today’s vlog on YouTube.

A very small penny dropped yesterday. I realised that what I’m doing is pen and wash, or ink and wash, or line and wash. I’m not entirely sure that a label is required, but it seems to fit.

I’m adding watercolour of one kind or another – Inktense, Ecoline, Mijello Mission Gold, Distress Inks, etc – to a pen drawing. Why I haven’t made that connection to the description of the method/process? I have no idea! Still, I have made that connection and a realisation that it gives a sense of artistic legitimacy to my work. That is a function of my insecurities when it comes to my artistic espression.

Yes, that’s right. Insecurities. Lack of confidence. Lack of belief in myself. Self-questioning about what on Earth I’m doing.

It is always nice for me when pieces of a rather abstract, metaphoric jigsaw fall into place, giving me a more coherent view of my method, my artistic voice.

These pieces always fall into place at the right time for me. I’m ready to accept that line and wash is what I do well, when I work within ‘an elegance of limits’ to quote the team at Zentangle. In this case a limited palette of colours harmonious with the background.

As well as working on this particular drawing, I have included some views of recent work in my sketchbook in today’s vlog. This other work shows me trying to work out how to add more contrast to the wash of colour. Fine ballpoint pen, graphite pencil and tortillon or coloured drawing pencils/chalk pastels are what I’m exploring. Eventually, I will settle on a method that I particularly like. I’m not happy with any of these at the moment.

I will continue to explore an figure it out. That’s what I’ve done with adding colour to my drawings, and that’s what I’ll do when it comes to increasing contrast with shadows and highlights.

Of course, I’m talking here about traditional art. When it comes to digital art, I think I have found a way I’m comfortable with in adding colour to pen drawings. I’m not quite there yet with traditional media, as well as finding the traditional media I like to work with.

Painting with Distress Inks

Link to today’s vlog on YouTube.

I woke with a stinking headache this morning. So, spending some time adding colour to an entangled drawing, along with a couple of headache pills, was just what was needed. And listening to a podcast or three.

I decided to use Distress Inks as paints, along with a Caran d’Ache waterbrush. Here’s a list of the colours I used:
Forest Moss, Fossilised Amber, Weathered Wood, Broken China, Dusty Concord and Seedless Preserves.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing, and I think I really should’ve stayed away from Dusty Concord and Seedless Preserves – the purple and pink colours. Either other analogous colours and/or browns/greys would’ve worked so much better.

I keep doing this with colour. I’m so used to choosing complementary colours that I still reach for them. In this case it’s understandable as I chose some of the colours that were in the background.

Note to self – monochrome-ish or analogous colours!

To help tone these brighter pink and purple colours down, a liberal use of dot highlights from a white Sakura Soufflé pen was needed! I’ve not finished adding embellishments yet.

Nor have I started intensifying shadows. I’m not sure whether to use biro or either a graphite pencil or a chalk pastel and a paper tortillon. My head isn’t clear enough to decide about that! As the headache is wearing off, my need to sleep the last of it off is increasing.