Sketchtember 2021 | Day 20

Click on this link to see today’s vlog on YouTube.

Mushrooms. Lots of mushrooms. A sketchbook page full of simple line drawings of mushrooms drawn from memory and/or imagination, some brightly coloured with Ecoline watercolour ink.

This page was a lot of fun to draw. I wasn’t aiming for realism or detail. It was all about drawing simple, stylised, imaginary mushrooms. I planned to add colour to bring volume to the drawings.

As I used imagination to draw these whimsically wonky mushrooms, it was easier to give myself permission to forgo the pressures I put on myself to be realistic in adding colour. I could use whatever colours I wanted to for each mushroom, I could be as stylised as I wished about the colour too.

Adding colour in this way is easy when I add colour to my coloring book pages/templates. As these pages are stylised, I can add colour in a simpler, more fun way. This is especially true for my Doodleworlds style of art.

Transferring that mindset to my drawings from nature, architecture and so on isn’t quite so easy for me. I still hear that critical voice of ‘It’s not good art if it doesn’t look like photograph or like the real thing’ in my head. This is a message that is repeated to us time and time again from our earliest days of starting to draw. It was these critical messages that led to me having a belief that I was no good at art, and those messages were seared deeply into my view of myself.

In fairness to myself, I have overcome some of these critical beliefs foisted upon me by others. However, some linger and rise up from time to time. I suspect their influence is most noticed in my lack of confidence in myself when it comes to colour.

Identifying these ‘inner critics’ is the first step to dispelling them. This is a multi-step process as the inner critic is armed with many weapons to destroy my self-confidence. I’ve disarmed this critic time and time again, but it always seems to find a new weapon. Eventually though, it will run out of weapons to use.

It’s a process, a long winded process, but it’s one that’s worth doing, step by step.

Sketchtember 2021 | Day 18

Link to today’s ‘Sketchbook Saturday”, a sketchbook flip-through of this week’s art projects on YouTube.

Saturday is here again. So, over on my little corner of the YouTube universe, I do a flip-through of this week’s arty projects, and a bit of a chat about stuff at the same time.

Here, above, is my sketchbook page for Sketchtember 2021. For day 18, I’ve chosen to draw plants in pots, mostly cups, mugs, teapots and jugs it seems. They’re still plants in pots. They’re all drawn from my memory and/or imagination.

After completing the pen sketches, I added colour using Ecoline Brush Pens and a Water brush. I had to try to mix colours too, particularly varieties of green. I may have done OK with some of them. Others are abject disasters, such as the succulent style plant with red tips to it’s leaves. Ho hum.

Everything is a bit wonky, but perhaps that is no bad thing at all. A lot of my artwork is a tad wonky, and that’s part of my signature style, probably.

I’ve also used a clear Glaze pen, a gold sparkle Signo gel pen and a clear Star Sakura Gelly roll pen to add shiny highlights. A white Sakura Soufflé pen added highlights to some of the areas too.

This, like yesterday’s buttons, has been a fun project. This time, though, I’ve completed adding colour, which has surprised me no end. I suspect that increasing familiarity with Ecoline watercolour inks and how I like to apply them has helped greatly with this.

Trying to work in a more ‘illustrative’ and a bit expressive way of adding colour is helping too. It’s a work in progress, but I may just get there!

Now, all I have to work out is what to do with the rest of Saturday!

Sketchtember 2021 | Day 17

Link to today’s vlog on YouTube.

Anxiety-ed Out!

I’ve had a few days of periods of intense anxiety/stress. The come down from each of these has left me exhausted and my mind unfocused. I’m much better now that all the appointments related to the anxiety are over, and all is well. I knew it would be, but my mind and emotions have other ideas about that at times!

Anyhoo, as I had a bit of focus yesterday afternoon/evening, I decided to draw a few buttons for Sketchtember Day 17. A few turned into a whole page full of pen drawings! And some really not good hand-lettering, ho hum.

So, I thought I’d spend some chilled out time this morning starting to add colour to some of the buttons.

Ecoline and an insight..

Ecoline Brush Pens were my medium of choice this morning. A lot of the details on the drawings were just a bit too small for marker pens to cope with. Also, I thought a change of medium could be good for me, and it was!

To start with, I scribbled some colour onto a palette and then picked it up with a damp brush and worked with it like watercolour. However, as the areas dried, the intensity of colour faded.

So, I decided to brave trying to directly add colour to the page and then spread it out with a damp brush. It worked! I suddenly realised that I have a much more illustrative way of adding colour, rather than realistic. It’s about time I accepted that and embraced it too!

A page full of different objects, rather than a single illustration, has helped me to realise this, as well as put it into practice.

Now, I just have to remember this insight, which isn’t as easy as you may think!

Perhaps I should write a list of Angela’s Artwork Insights to refer to before I do any work, as well as while I’m working.

Bright and cheerful!

The other thing I really loved was working with these really bright, vibrant colours. I’ve been using a lot of more muted and vintage colours of late, and I love them. But these bright colours were just what I need during a post-anxiety funk.

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.