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.
Here are my sketchbook pages for days 2 and three of Sketchtember. I’m using DecayingDots’ list of herbs and spices for this one.
I’m enjoying working in a different way to my usual entangled art. And, I’m making some awful mistakes/art in these pages. However, these are learning moments, not least of which it’s ok to do things that are grim, mainly my use of colour. But, if I didn’t try things out and learn from the mistakes I’d not progress at all.
What I think it shows me is that pen drawing, with just shading or monochrome colour is my strength, colour my weakness. As if I don’t keep saying that, yet I keep going back to using colour.
Today’s vlog focuses on Day 3 – Saffron. Tomorrow’s vlog will be a look at all the art I’ve worked on in the past week.
I’ve decided that it would be quite nice to take part in a monthly art challenge, perhaps as a warm up to Inktober next month. Maybe.
So, I looked around at the challenges I could find, and settled on one from @DecayingDots on Instagram and Twitter. Their list of prompts is all herbs/plants. That, unlike others, inspired me to take up the challenge.
It’s been a long time since I used a sketchbook truly as a sketchbook. It may take me awhile to get back into such things. I do have some lovely, pre-coloured pages to make use of as a start.
Not only will I practice my kind of sketching – which is usually with a pen – I can practice hand lettering and handwriting. My idea is not only to sketch the day’s plant/leaves, but to add notes and information. Those notes may be about the plant, or about the colours I’m using, or even recipes/uses for the particular herb.
As it’s a sketch challenge, there’s also no pressure to complete every drawing, or even to do perfect drawings. It’s all about observational drawing for me.
Now, as i don’t have green thumbs (I can kill any self-respecting plant in a matter of hours, well days maybe) and I’m not feeling able to visit shops or gardens at this time ( social anxiety is a heckofa thing), photographic references will have to do. But that’s ok.
So, here’s my page for day 1, which is all to do with sage. In today’s vlog I talk about this page, the media I’ve used, and I add some drawings to day 2’s page – Rosemary.
I’ve got some work still to do on both pages I think … but that’s the fun of a sketchbook. It’s not meant to be finished at one go, pages can be revisited and added to as needed!
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!
Friday is youtube video day. So, today I started a new drawing, called ‘passion’, and waffled on a bit about my passions.
I’m not entirely sure I should’ve, but it crept out that I have complex PTSD, though EMDR has helped me to be ‘good enough’ to live my life and cope with life’s ups and downs.
This isn’t a surprise to anyone who’s read/followed my blog. I’m not ashamed that I have experienced mental and emotional ill-health since childhood. In the past few years I’ve gradually healed from the traumas that caused it with the help of EMDR. My experiences in life, all of them, have contributed to the person I am, and I can’t hide from that, nor should I. Nor should anyone who has, or is, experiencing mental or emotional ill-health. It’s something that can strike anyone at any time, sometimes with a reason, sometimes for no apparent reason at all.
I believe that the only way to break a stigma down is to have open and honest conversations about it, and that includes mental and emotional health. After all, we all have physical health and we’re not usually embarrassed when we’re physically unwell, and physically unwell people don’t usually experience stigma surrounding their illness.
So, whether I’m right or wrong for mentioning this in the video, it’s now done and I’m sure people will leave comments if they think it’s inappropriate, or quite appropriate.
If you do take the time to view the video, I thank you. I also thank you if you like the video and/or subscribe to my youtube channel.
I’ve spent much of the day so far adding colour to my ‘Serendipity’ drawing that I completed yesterday. The whole process of drawing has been videoed and is available on my YouTube channel.
I thought it would be an idea to try to record a timelapse of my process in Clip Studio Paint Pro, which has a tool that does it for you. This just didn’t work, it caused everything to freeze up.
So, I thought I’d try the record screen tool in the Movavi Video Suite. It didn’t let me use my digital pen on the screen. So, I’m going to have to spelunk through the settings to see if I can resolve that issue, and the one with Clip Studio Paint Pro. A couple of things to sort out along with how to add a voice-over to a video!
So, after getting another mug of tea, I settled to starting colouring the image digitally. I wanted to use the rich colour palette I’d used for this week’s ‘Template Thursday’ design.
I’ve only got part of the design done. It’s taking me a little longer to add colour in CSPP (Clip Studio Paint Pro) than in Sketchbook as I’m not familiar with the tool layout yet.
Again, I’m taking this as an opportunity to learn more about CSPP, in very tiny, tiny steps. I seem to have found a watercolour brush I like that adds an interesting texture to the colour. Usually, my work is characterised by rather smooth colour gradients. To have such a textured finish is unusual for me, but I quite like it.
I have a lot more of this particular drawing to do, and as I’m working digitally I can always try a different colour palette or way of working.
I think I’m going to take some time away from the computer now, and return to ‘analog’ forms of art. If you’ve watched my video, I gave a short look at one of my collections of patterns and motifs. That notebook is almost full, so I had a new Leuchtturm1917 A5 notebook delivered yesterday. It turns out I’d managed to order a square grid rather than a dot grid. No problem. If anything it may work out better.
I’m not going to transfer the entirety of the nearly full notebook to this new one, just the motifs/patterns I use the most, and start to add others. They really are books full of inspiration, mostly images but sometimes words/notes too.
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.