Sketchtember days 4 and 5

Continuing with DeadlyDots’ prompt list for Sketchtember. Thyme was day 4’s prompt, and Basil is today’s. I’ve got the title for tomorrow done (Bay leaf).

Plenty of pen drawing and some coloring with Chameleon color tones markers. A little bit of messing around with patterns on the thyme page.

It’s an enjoyable process, though today I think I’ll take a little break from it and turn my attention to projects that need some work done on them, and maybe new drawings to be done.

Sketchbook Saturday | Sketchtember Day 4

Link to today’s vlog on YouTube – A flip through of my sketchbooks and this week’s art.

I’ve had fun creating art this week. Here’s some highlights.

The rediscovery of how much I love my Chameleon markers was a wonderful thing. I love the way I get a smooth gradient of solid colour from them. Such a stark contrast to my bumbling, chaotic attempts with other media.

Taking up the Sketchtember challenge was a good idea to dust off some of my neglected drawing/sketching skills and ways of adding interest to a sketchbook. It’s also made me try to think differently to how I would when creating entangled art.

Hand lettering, and some typographic art today, has made a reappearance in my work. That’s a good thing; it’s something I would like to do more of.

Adding a rectangle of colour behind a drawing and adding handwriting to create texture is something I’ve not done before, but I like the results.

Thyme is the herb for today, day 4 of Sketchtember and my offering is in the photo at the top of the page.

There’s been some real lowlights too. Colour choices, mediums and doing things that seemed like a good idea when I started them! There’s a lot more about this in today’s vlog on youtube.

Even with the facepalm moments, it’s been lovely to spend time just drawing with no expectation of a finished project, polished work, or even perfection.

It’s hard work trying to convince myself that it’s ok to make mistakes, to mess up things as long as I learn from them.

Passion – Part 4

I finished drawing ‘Passion’ this morning. The original is black pen on white paper, but I’ve manipulated it a little for the social media post. I kept to a relatively small number of motifs in the design, which gives it a bit more of a coherent ‘feel’.

Adding colour to the design was on my mind as I completed the design. This can be seen in the larger motifs that I’ve drawn.

In fact, I did start to add colour during my morning drawing vlog – and to a disastrous effect, in my opinion. I’m just so glad that I scanned the drawing in before adding colour. Now, I can work on it at my leisure digitally.

I may very well start another drawing in the series tomorrow morning. I don’t know what word I’ll choose yet. Maybe you’d like to leave a suggestion or two in the comments!

Here’s the vlog I recorded this morning:

Passion – Part 3

I’ve got some more of this design done as I had my morning mocha! It’s coming along and next week should see the drawing completed.

I have created a YouTube video of the drawing process, along with me talking about all kinds of stuff.

Drawn with 08 and 05 Unipin pens on Bristol Board.

Video Friday

This week, I finish this particular drawing, apart from a few bits and bobs.

Partway through the video, the microphone just stopped recording. I have no idea why. So, for the last part of the video, I’ve sped my drawing up 5x and just put some music to go with it.

Guess I’m going to have to learn to do voice-overs as well as learning the new digital art stuff!

I’d appreciate likes for this video, as well as new subscriptions to my channel.

Nature

Nature – an entangled artwork. It looks like batik, silk painting or stained glass!

The design was drawn in pen on bristol board and then coloured digitally in Clip Studio Paint Pro using a textured watercolour brush.

I’m determined to find my way around this piece of software, along with Affinity Designer at some point. The effects are the same as Sketchbook, but just not quite so easy to find the tools I want to use at first. It’s all a case of familiarity and I’m definitely outside of being familiar with the software at the moment.

Having said that, all that I’ve learned about layers, the various effects that can be applied, brush settings and so on, apply to all digital art platforms. It’s just finding my way around the software and learning more about it.

The one thing that’s top of my list at the moment is setting up a custom colour palette.

I’ve discovered that Clip Studio Paint has symmetry tools – phew! And these tools do a thing or two not available in Sketchbook as well as working slightly differently (and making certain things a lot easier for sure.

So, onwards and upwards I go.

So frustrating!

It’s been a frustrating few hours. I scanned these two drawings in, went to edit and colour in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, only to find that Autodesk has cancelled the pro, subscribed version and the only one available is the free version.

The free version doesn’t allow me to alter contrast, or work at different dpi, and it is a tad unstable it seems.

Also, there was no warning of this and I had no chance to save all my own custom brushes.

To say I’m gutted is an understatement. Sketchbook Pro has been my pathway into digital art and I absolutely love its intuitive interface.

So, I’m now looking into other software I have on my ‘puter. I learned to edit and colour and add texture layers, background and text using Clip Studio Paint.

It works well, but the interface isn’t so intuitive, it’s so much like the Adobe products, with menu after menu after menu. I can see that it’s more powerful.

Trying to look on the bright side, maybe I’d become way too comfortable with Sketchbook Pro and it’s now time for me to learn new digital skills and extend the ones I already have. So this may be a blessing in disguise.

All I know is that it’s going to be darn frustrating for a while until I get to grips with this new software.

I’m tempted to have a look at Corel Paint, but I suspect it’s user interface is as confusing and not intuitive either.

I still have access to the free version of Autodesk Sketchbook. But it is missing some of the features I loved so much about the subscription version.

Anyways, I discovered the watercolour brushes in Clip Studio and used them to add colour to the top design, and I like these ones very much. I’ll see how I get along with it, but first I need breakfast. Yes, It’s nearly 2:30pm and I’ve not had breakfast yet! So I’m going to eat and then it’ll be onwards and upwards digitally, I trust.

Now I’ve had my moan, here’s some info about the drawings:

14.5cm x 14.5cm Bristol board
Faber-Castell fineliner pen
Colours and textures added digitally using Clip Studio Paint

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!

Entangled Monograms

I’ve enjoyed doing these! The squares are 3.25″ x 3.25, 3.5″ x 3.5″ or 4″ x 4″ in size. The circles are almost 3.5″ in diameter.

The tiles were cut from a variety of papers – watercolour, bristol vellum and heavyweight smooth cartridge paper. I used Distress Inks to colour the paper tiles before drawing on them.

I’ve used Sakura Pigma Micron pens (05 and 01), along with some brown and one blue-green Stabilio fineliner pens.

I like them all, But my favourites are the ones that are much more geometric in nature – my initials and the A in particular. My least favourite is the E; the background to the letter just feels disjointed. I think that’s why I like the more symmetrical, geometrical designs more.

I’ve enjoyed using one or two tones of colour to add variety, interest and ‘dimension’ to the tiles. I’ve not added any shadow or highlight to these. That’s when things tend to go wrong for me as far as traditional media is concerned!

It also occurred to me that if I were to draw these on a different shaped paper, I could add dangle designs to them. (My book “A Dangle A Day” is still available). Maybe I’ll try that out in a while. Of course, I’d like to get a full set of monograms done too.

Be gentle to yourself

I often say to myself, “Angela, what on earth were you thinking?” This is one of those times.

I started with hand lettering the words. Ok-ish Good enough to mess around with. And mess around them I did – with an “aura” and pattern, then more patterns and repeated motifs … until I’d mostly filled a square sketchbook page.

The drawing was OK. I liked some bits, others I didn’t.

Then, I thought, “What would it look like with colour? Let’s try Inktense and water!”

How often have I mused here about how I struggle with colour? All was going OK-ish with just pinks and greens … and then I added blues and browns…

The geometric pattern at the bottom were colours that didn’t fit well. So, I added watercolours to glaze the colours. Big mistake. I lost any sense of shadow and highlight …

So, I used a white graphite/chalk pencil to try to add the highlights back in …

YEUCH!

So, I put it to one side while I did some other stuff and had lunch.

Then, it caught my eye and with fresh eyes I thought that maybe it’s not as bad as I thought it was .. maybe.

I constantly do this – try to add colour with traditional media and fail. Monochrome seems to work best for me. Monochrome where I can play with shadow and light. Monochrome colours that are added digitally seems to work the best of all.

No matter how often I tell myself this, put notes up to remind me of this, I still insist on trying to use traditional coloured media.

I just think that I hope one day that something will just ‘click’ with me. Today wasn’t that day it seems!

So, back to either white or simple coloured backgrounds, and adding monochrome colours for the sense of dimensionality I like. And I have no hopes that I’ll remember this in a day, a week, or a month or two and I’ll end up asking myself the exact same question; “Angela, what were you thinking?”

The end result may be something I’m unhappy with, but adding colour was enjoyable. I just seem unable to stick to just one or two colours, with variations in their intensity and tone. Then, I descend, bit by bit, into insecurity and self-doubt and incredulity that I did it again!

Ho hum! Not to worry, it’s only pen, paper and some other media. It’s yet another experience to help me, hopefully, learn more and be more comfortable with my artistic style. If we did everything perfectly every time we’d never learn and grow.

So, back to a blank piece of paper with pens I go, and may make some art to remind me, “Angela, monochrome is best!”