Adding a bit more colour to the bookmark

Accompanying colour with me video on YouTube.

I so love Inktense pencils! However, I noticed that a lot of graphite was picked up by the brush and dissolved Inktense when I was adding colour. I had a sudden flash of insight; try using a grey Faber-Castell Pitt Artist brush pen to put in the shadows. So I did.

The Pitt artist brushes have india ink in them; when the ink dries it is waterproof. If I was working on larger areas, I’d use a damp brush to soften the edge of the shadow before the ink dries. That wasn’t an option for me with this small drawing.

As I added Inktense, I could tell the colour was much more vibrant, but the shadows subtly show through. There was such a difference between the latest sections added and the ones in my previous video/post that I went back and added another layer of colour to these areas. That then matched the vibrancy and clarity of colour across the whole coloured area.

I decided to add some jewel-toned blue. Though I’m not sure that was a good idea at this point, it kind of works as it is kind of a complementary colour to all those yellow-orange-red tones! I also added the blue to the green areas, which seemed to make them more vibrant too.

I always find it easier to add colour to more abstract artworks, using a fairly limited palette too. I have started adding colour to the Entangled Botanic drawing in my previous blog post. I’m really not sure about the colours at all. Fortunately, I scanned the drawing in before setting to it with Inktense pencils and waterbrush. I also know that if some of the colours are a bit garish, I can always tone them down with a layer of another colour. I also think I may add some golden texture/dots to the design too.

Today, I spent a rather lovely couple of hours swatching all my Inktense pencils, including the new set of 24 released this year. There are some beautiful colours in that set and they fill in some holes in the original colour palette. I may very well scan my swatch in and use it to create a colour palette in Clip Studio Paint.

The pot I keep all my Inktense in is a tad small for them all, so I’ve splurged on a case that will hold all of the Inktense and my set of Chromaflow pencils (as long as I weed out the duplicate Inktense pencils). Putting them in order in the case will reduce the frustration of not being able to find the pencil I need in the pot they’re in now!

For now, I think I need some tea!

Entangled Botanica 21 May 2023

The need came over me to draw something botanical in nature. So, I picked up an 01 Sakura Micron Pigma pen and a piece of Canson Imagine mixed media paper approx 10cm x 21cm (4″ x 8.25″). I let the ink flow from the pen to form all the various stylised, imaginative botanical motifs.

It has been a lovely few hours drawing this small (in size) and intricate design. I now need to decide how to add shade and colour to it. But there is no rush on this. I’m accumulating a sizeable number of drawings that all need to be coloured either traditionally or digitally. This drawing I really do want to scan in before I start to attack it with traditional media, just in case I seriously mess up.

My favourite medium to use on the Canson Imagine paper is Inktense by Derwent. I love the vibrancy of the colours when they are activated with water. Tomorrow, I should have the new colours in the range delivered. So, I will definitely hold off adding colour until I’ve familiarised myself with them.

For now, it’s on to the next piece of small art, probably with a botanical theme, though who knows what kinds of patterns will fill the space too!

An Entangled Colouring Page

This week’s colouring page for the Angela Porter’s Colouring Books Fans facebook group is a typically ‘Angela’ entangled design. I enjoyed the process of drawing it, very much.

The design was drawn with a medium nib TWISBI Eco fountain pen filled with Documentus Ink on an A4 sheet of Canson Imagine mixed media paper.

I’ve added colour digitally, so making this tradigital art! Why digital colouring? Well, partly because I can, but also I can try different colours out.

Adding colour was interesting it seems. I started thinking I’d use softer, more muted, less saturated colours. But that soon changed, without any conscious decision, to richer and glowing jewel-like or metallic colours.

As I tend to work very intuitively, whether drawing or adding colour, what appears in my creation is an expression of my unconscious, inner self. I’m sure there’s a message of some kind here for me about me!

Intuitive, Abstract, Entangled Art Bookmark – WIP

I easily forget how much I enjoy drawing ‘small art’. A small piece of paper is less overwhelming, and the creativity is no less soothing to heart, soul and mind.

Drawing with pen on paper is never overwhelming. It is a contented, peaceful, delighted experience for me, especially when I work intuitively. The flowy, abstract patterns, with various patterns and textures are always a joy to draw and work with. Starting with just one shape and allowing the design to form, not knowing what will appear from the nib of my pen, is a think of wonder, surprise and magic.

I lose myself in the intricacy of the drawing. then, there’s the addition of colour and contrast to bring the drawing to life. What was flat now appears to have volume to it. The colours may evoke emotions or memories. There is a story to be told in the drawing, but not one that is obvious as an illustration would make it. This is an inner story, an inner expression of my creativity, emotions, thoughts, and what shapes, lines, patterns, textures and items that make me smile.

If my art makes you smile, or brings you joy, peace and/or calm, then it’s done it’s job. There is enough in this world to make us think, to make us feel uncomfortable. We’re assaulted by such things constantly through the media. Time and space to have a break from all of that, to remind us that there is still wonder and beauty, kindness and compassion and creativity in this world is important. It’s also important to remind ourselves that us humans have a great capacity to create these important qualities that heal and soothe and connect us, help us to feel we belong as a member of humanity.

I’m not sure I got all the words I could say out there. Hopefully you’ll understand what I’m trying to get across.

I think what I’m trying to say is that I hope my art reminds you that beauty and wonder, times of peace and contentment, joy and belonging are essential to each of us. That’s still not right. Perhaps once day I’ll manage to express these feelings succinctly in words.

Adding colour, however, is a another tale. I get overwhelmed by the process at times. I doubt my choice of colours, and soon regret what I’ve decided to do. I always try to remember to scan my drawing in before I start to apply colour with traditional media; if I mess up at least I have a clean copy I can add colour to digitally.

Also, there are many times where I just get fed up of the process of adding colour and give up before completion. I can find it a very tedious process. Yet, when I complete the process and it all comes together I’m often really surprised and pleased with the end result. The frustration comes in because it takes so much longer to add colour than it does to draw a design!

Having said that, there have been a couple of pieces of artwork I’ve done recently where I’ve partly coloured them and I really like the effect, especially one where I’ve added shade first. That is something for me to consider going forward for sure.

There is a ‘Draw With Me’ video on my YouTube Channel, available to view from 1900 UK time this evening (19 May ’23).

Here’s a list of the materials I used in the video.

  • Canson Imagine mixed media paper – 6.3cm x 21cm (2.5″ x 8.25″)
  • TWISBI Eco fountain pen, extra fine nib
  • Faber-Castell Pitt Graphite Matt pencil, 4B and a paper stump (tortillon)
  • Derwent Inktense Pencils – Madder Brown, Red Oxide, Sienna Gold, Willow, Mustard, Shiraz, Poppy Red, Leaf Green and Fern.
  • Kuretake Zig Waterbrush, fine tip.

An intuitive, abstract, entangled piece of small art

Link to the accompanying Draw With Me video on YouTube

I had a lovely couple of hours this afternoon drawing and then adding colour to this small artwork. And small it is; the paper I used is an approx 10cm x 10cm (about 4″ square) piece of Canson Imagine mixed media paper.

I chose this paper as I enjoy drawing on it with a fountain pen. Today’s pen was an extra fine nibbed TWISBI Eco pen filled with black Documentus ink. This particular ink is archival and waterproof. Perfect as I had decided to add colour using Inktense pencils and a waterbrush.

The more muted, earthy tones do suit my present mood. I’m feeling rather tired, flat and disconnected from everything. Perhaps the earthy tones represent a need to spend more time with the physical world rather than in my head, imagination and creativity?

I do know what has caused this mood – too much adulting, people-ing and a couple of other things that I’m not going to share (sorry!). Out of sorts is what I am and have been for a while. I know it’s a temporary thing for me, a readjustment to changes that are ongoing.

The daily dose of anti-depressant/anti-anxiety meds keep me from sliding down into a dark pit of despair and tsunamis of tears. I know they only mask the anxiety I feel when I’m around people, whether one or many. My hands shake, my vision is different as the hypervigilance kicks in. Getting home means time relax and rest and it can take me days to recover from each people-ing.

All I’ve wanted to do for the past couple of weeks (or even few months) is to lose myself in art, audiobooks, music, and interesting tTV.

And, to circle back, my art tends to reflect this in one way or another.

I am learning to embrace the imperfections that appear as I use Inktense pencils and a water brush to add colour. I’m starting to accept that the imperfections create intriguing textures.

Discovering interesting shapes and patterns in my drawings is also fascinating to me. I need to remember to use a ‘viewfinder’ as I did two decades ago when my art journey began. Isolate a section of a drawing to re-draw on a bigger scale and work on developing it as a new work.

Hanging on my walls are three oil paintings I did about twenty years ago. They are abstracts of patterns from the robes of a Romanesque angel sculpture, the cogs from a diesel locomotive and the worm screws from a steam locomotive. I used a view finder to isolate the sections of my photographs/drawings to enlarge and recreate as abstract paintings. The colours I used for each painting reflected my emotional response to the original items and places where I found them.

Each of these oil paintings have a lot of contrast and trick the eye into thinking they are three dimensional. I didn’t realise I’d done that until the art exhibition at the end of my AS course. People kept touching these paintings and I didn’t know why. So, I asked a friend. She said she expected to feel ridges and valleys and was surprised to find they were totally flat and the illusion was purely optical.

Once she’d pointed it out to me, I could see what she meant!

That love of using high contrast to bring out dimension hasn’t left me. I’m not sure I’ve achieved a great level of contrast in this small drawing; there are some areas where shapes appear to curve up or down and where layers are more apparent. I may revisit this little artwork to increase the contrast at some point in the future. Maybe.

Entangled Art WIP

A new month today, and with it I’m adding colour to this drawing.

The drawing was done with pen on paper (05 Unipin fineliner). I’m adding colour with Clip Studio Paint. So, this makes this #tradigital – a combination of traditional and digital methods.

It’s taken me several attempts to settle on a colour palette to use. The brighter, more vibrant colours represent the way the world is starting to come alive this spring, for us in the Northern Hemisphere at least. Nature is quickening and lacy leafy green delicately cloaks the the skeletal winter trees and the ground. All the wonderful shades of green of spring make a beautiful tapestry , with texture added by the darker trunks and branches still peeping through. I delight in the variety of greens, that will soon darken to the truly monochrome green of summer.

Colouring Page Mandala

This is the central panel from this week’s colouring page for the Angela Porter’s Colouring Book Fans facebook group.

It is a mandala, just not a round one! I enjoyed drawing this, and adding the softer colours too. It never ceases to amaze me what a difference colour makes to my line art.

A nice way to spend a few hours this and art always keeps me company.

Tangle Pattern Sampler

YouTube #DrawWithMe Video Part 1
YouTube #DrawWithMe Video Part 2

About the pattern sampler

This little pattern sampler has been fun to do! I’ve used patterns inspired by the work of Rebecca Blair, some Zentangle style tangle patterns, and possibly some variations of my own too.

I do love Rebecca’s work. I can see the influence of medieval manuscripts on her work and her love of pattern, texture and a wonderful use of textured lines too! The simplicity of her colour palettes and the myriad of ways she combines her signature patterns/textures is wonderful! I really do suggest you take a look at her work on Instagram.

I used a piece of Ohuhu marker paper that measures 4″ x 7″ ( approx 10cm x 1.7cm) and marked out the basic sections with a Uni Kuru Toga 0.3 mechanical pencil (and a ruler for the straight lines). The pencil lines were just a guide for me.

In the first video, I did most of the black line work using an 03 Sakura Pigma Micron pen. In part 2, I added colour using Winsor and Newton Promarkers in Ivory, Sandstone and Caramel.

After that, I added some fine line work and some colours using three Stabilo Point88 0.4 fine pens. These had olive-green kind of tones to them that worked well with the soft browns of the Promarkers.

I also added some black lines in places using a 0.1 UniPin fineliner pen.

Finally, I added highlights using white gel pens.

I really like the more monochrome, subdued colours of this finished drawing. The various panels really do have the feel of a needlework or cross-stitch sampler; hence the name!

I spoiled myself with a set of Promarkers last week, and I don’t feel a bit guilty about it! I was getting frustrated with the Ohuhu markers – way too many bright, in your face, vibrant colours and not enough subtler, less saturated colours.

I’ve also found that as nice as the Ohuhu marker paper is (and it is lovely and smooth and fab to draw on), I much prefer Winsor and Newton, Daler-Rowney or Canson Marker paper for my alcohol marker work; the ink doesn’t sink into the paper as much and the colours are more vibrant. Also, you use less ink in creating the artwork!

Organising a new pattern, texture and motif ‘repository’ and a bout of illness

I keep faffing about with this. After getting frustrated with a six-ring A5 ringbinder and the limited number of pages that can be stored within, I discovered there’s such a thing as A5 landscape lever arch files! So one was bought post haste! I still can’t draw/write directly in it, but it makes it so much easier to store paper and finished pages. So, I’m one happy bunny.

I’ve spent quite a bit of time in the last couple of weeks starting to put together my collections of patterns etc. Especially as I’ve not been too well. I had been in contact with some people who subsequently tested positive for Covid. I had a nervous few days wondering whether I’d get it. I didn’t. Instead I had runny nose, slight cough, and a mild case or tonsillitis!

I’ve not had tonsillitis for the best part of twenty years. The last time I was getting it 4 times a year and was referred to an ENT surgeon. Let’s just say he didn’t need to use the tongue pressor thing to see my tonsils – they’re permanently large and have lots of tunnels (crypts) inside them from all the tonsillitis I’ve had from a young age. Seeing the surgeon seemed to scare the tonsillitis away; I elected not to go through with surgery to remove the tonsils. There are potentially serious complications that can arise in an, ahem, older person.

Anyhoo, It was a mild case. All covid tests for over a week were negative. But I’m left feeling run down from being ill. I’ll recover gradually!

Losing myself in reorganising and redrawing patterns etc was just what I needed. I’ve barely made a dent in my collection, especially as I’ve added loads more variations as I go! I know it’s going to be a long term project, for sure.

Other arty stuff

I have done other arty projects since my last post here. But the fatigue has been strong and my concentration and focus weak. I will post a gallery of them in the next day or two!

An Artsy Catch-up

Link to YouTube Video “Stylised Flower and Diva Dance Background WIP”

Link to YouTube Video “Tangle Pattern Bellah as a string”

Link to YouTube Video “Tangle Pattern Bellah as a string – Part 2”

It’s been a while. First, here are three images of the videos I’ve made since my last post. They’re all exploring how I can make colour and colour pens work for me. There’s also been some exploring of filler or textural patterns too; some are zentangle patterns, others are more classic pen drawing textures, and others are inspired by the work of Rebecca Blair.

I’m not quite sure where this is leading…yet. But I do know I’ll work things out.

I do like drawing a design all in one colour ink, such as a rich red-brown, or olive green, or blue-grey. But I also like drawing in black over a coloured background (like the stylised flower drawing).

Figuring out what medium I like to use to add colour is a tricky one. Of course, tradigital art (design traditionally drawn on paper with pen, colour added digitally) is a way I love to work. However, I do enjoy working in sketchbooks on ideas.

Today, I settled on Karin Brushmarker Pro pens and a Kuretake Zig waterbrush. I like to use a waterbrush. There’s a steady flow of water to the brush. I find it much easier to achieve a nice gradient with this brush. I love the vibrancy of colours in the Brushmarker Pro palette, and there are enough earthy ones to keep me happy too!

As well as working in my sketchbooks, I’ve started to sort my collection of patterns, tangles, textures and motifs into an A5 six-ring binder. I thought it was time to make sense of it all and to have a more systematic way of organising them to help in finding inspiration.

And I’ve been sleeping…lots. I’m not sure if the sleep is part of the healing process from the burnout earlier this year, the antidepressant/antianxiety medication I’m taking. My emotions are more stable, my mind is calmer, in the greater part; that is a good thing for sure.

So, thank you for bearing with me while I’m managing the changes with me at this time.

Colouring Page – 1 April 2023

Drawn with Unipin Fineliner pens on A4 Canson Imagine paper.
Colour added digitally using ClipStudio Paint.

This is such a typical ‘Angela’ style of entangled art, kind of Zentangle Inspired too. Unusual colour choices for me. I particularly like the moss-green and cream in the arches towards the top right. Though the dusky blues filling in the basket weave pattern to the top left I find nice too. I felt like using coppery tones for the fine borders in the arches rather than gold this time.