This index card #ICAD2020 #DYICAD2020 was a bit of fun to create.
I used a mixture of Distress Oxide inks to colour the 6″ x 4″ index card. The colours I used were Old Paper, Bundlesd Sage, Dried Marigold and Chipped Sapphire. I built the background up in two layers, with chipped sapphire lightly dragged across the texture that the spray of water from the first background created. A final spray of water, a dab with some paper towel to leave some bleached areas and the background was done.
I decided I’d go with the typography theme today, so hand-lettered monograms for each letter. I used pieces of Canson XL Bristol paper coloured either with Distress Inks or Distress Oxide inks. After spraying the paper with water, I squished some cling film onto the surface to create abstract patterns in the colour.
Anyway, I used 06 and 03 Sakura Pigma Sensei pens to draw the monograms. Once I was happy with the designs, I edged the monograms with Ground Espresso Distress Ink. Then, I glued them to some brown-ish card, and cut them out with a border. I edged the brown paper mat with Ground Espresso Distress ink.
I then set to adding pattern and colour with Paul Rubens metallic watercolour set. Tiny dots and highlights were sparingly added to the monograms. Then, I used the same 01 brush to draw patterns around each monogram in colours that picked up the background colours of the monograms.
My final step was to edge the index card with Ground Espresso Distress Ink.
This was a perfect little project to practice my hand lettering as well as trying out the Paul Rubens paints. It was also good practice at using a fine brush to draw patterns. I do think a finer brush would’ve worked better.
The scan hasn’t picked up the sparkly, shimmery gorgeousness of the metallic paints.
This was a really nice way to come round after I’d slept off yesterday’s migraine-y stress-come-down headache. It was a small project that I didn’t feel overwhelmed by and there was no pressure on me for it to be perfect, as would be the case for my contracts for coloring books. So, it helped me calm and settle and find that sense of contentment, for a while at least.
I took an index card and used Dried Marigold and Bundled Sage Distress Oxide inks to colour it. I spattered on water to create some bleached spots. Then, I edged the card with Ground Espresso Distress Ink.
I knew I wanted to draw a marigold, which is what I did. In fact, I drew a few. The large one is a French Marigold (Tagetes sp.). The others are pot marigolds (Calendula sp.)
All the drawings are quick, loose, sketchy ones using an 04 Sakura Pigma Sensei pen. I did use a pencil to roughly sketch out the flowers.
As the theme for week one of the ICAD2020 challenge is typography, I added some hand lettering. I also looked for a couple of quotes about marigolds, which I hand lettered.
Finally, I added a wash of iridescent orange and yellow watercolours to the flowers, sage-y green to the leaves. I also added some graphic lines in iridescent orange to the letters. And I couldn’t resist spattering some of the iridescent paint on the card itself.
I think I may add the ICAD2020 creations into my journal, or maybe make one from them as time goes along. No need to make a decision today, I’m not really thinking straight at the moment.
Experimenting with watercolours
I woke with another raging headache this morning. So, some art was in order until the pills kick in and I can sleep the dregs of it off.
I thought I’d try some ways of adding texture and interest to watercolour backgrounds.
Putting some clingfilm (saran wrap I think it’s called in the US) onto wet watercolour creates a lovely texture. It’s not easy to see but I used it on the pieces at the top middle and top right. This is something I will definitely be experimenting with going forward.
I also tried salt again, on fairly damp, less damp and almost dry. The darker pink tile under the Marigold ICAD was where I added salt to rather damp watercolour and the blooms are just beautiful.
I also tried using white gouache. I spattered it onto a couple of tiles, but I also used it mixed with water to paint into wet watercolour. It adds a really interesting effect, the opacity of gouache looking intriguing against the transparent watercolour.
Finally, I used a straw to blow drops of watercolour around. That was a lot of fun and really created random, abstract patterns.
I added these to my journal with notes on how I achieved the effects so I can reference them in future. Today, I may not remember much about what I’ve done, all thanks to the dratted headache. All due to stress/anxiety/worry yet again.
Over the past couple of days I’ve been playing around with watercolours. Apart from fun, it’s trying to work out how I can get them to work for me, and here you can see some of my experiments.
As well as continuing with the Domestika course, I found a book on my Kindle called “The Art of Creating Watercolor : Inspiration & Techniques for Imaginative Drawing and Painting” by Danielle Donaldson.
I’d forgotten I’d bought this, but on rediscovering it and looking at it I found it inspired me, particularly when it comes to drawing people.
What was reassuring, is that Danielle Donaldson is someone else who likes to work on a small scale! She also uses a very fin (0.3mm) pencil to draw with, but also to add line and pattern to her drawings instead of pen. I wanted to try that out.
I also really like the whimsical nature of her art, and her people inspired me to have a go. The three people in the collection of images above are inspired by her work, one more than the others. The one that is most directly like Danielle’s work is the person to the right of the trio. I used a pencil to draw the design as well as outline it after it was painted.
With the other two, I used a very fine Pitt Artist pen to outline them once the paint was dry.
Looking at them all together, I quite like the softer quality of the pencil line.
Oh, these trio are also my way of developing a version of myself. Unfortunately I look pregnant in the middle one (I’m not!), though I rather like my hair in this one – I wish my own hair was as thick and long! I really need to work on feet and foot positions.
Watercolours have vexed me, and continue to do so though I will persevere with them. Drawing people has vexed me for longer!
I’m not entirely sure that watercolour will be the best medium for me to use…I’ll try others, including digital, to see what I can get to work for me and is in my style.
I also spent sometime experimenting with monograms and botanical themes. I really like the blue foliage, and the cute tree too.
Yesterday my art and other stuff was put on hold for much of the day; I woke with a migraine and couldn’t do much until painkillers had kicked in and I could sleep away the remnants of it. Once I woke, that’s when I found the book and did some art inspired by it.
I slept quite well last night, and woke just fine and dandy today.
All these bits of art will find my way into the journal I’m making, including notes and reflections on them.
I had an idea that I can use the little drawings I like to do as ephemera and embellishments and focal points in my art journal, rather than using ephemera from other sources like books, printables, and so on. I’m sure I’ll find more uses for them if I persevere with this project.
So, back to the tri-fold tag. It was my plan to make such a tag for my art journal. However, as usual, my plans often take a slightly different route!
I started by working out the size of tri-fold tag I wanted to make – to fit an A5 sized art journal.
I settled on a piece of mixed media paper cut down to 11.5″ x 7″, which I scored at 3.75″, 4″, 7.75″ and 8″ to create the three tags joined by hinges. I cut the top corners off each tag panel.
I coloured the front and back of the paper using Distress Oxide inks and sprayed water to distress the surface more. Then, I used vintage photo Distress ink to edge all the sides and folds to frame the panels .
I’d chosen colours that would go with some ATC s I was drawing last night while attending a webinair and listening to the speakers. However, the Distress Oxide inks resulted in a much brighter colour and I really wasn’t happy with the result. I will use this panel to use as a reference in future, not so much for sizes but for ideas for pockets and panels and envelopes and so on.
So, I started again. I used Distress Oxide inks, but this time I used tea dye and vintage photo, applying them as lightly as I could. I also coloured some copier paper using the same colours in Distress Inks, with a hint of rusty hinge added to the mix.
I was much happier with the colours this time around.
I liked the idea of using a ‘belly band’ with little envelopes tucked into it. So, I used 5″ square pieces of the coloured copier paper to make some little envelopes (2.5″ x 3″). Two of these would fit neatly on one of the panels. So, I made a 0.75″ x 7″ belly band, and coloured it with the same inks as the panels. I applied thin beads of glue to the ends and centre of the belly band and then adhered it to the panel, off-set to the right of the centre line.
When the glue dried, I had two sections that would hold one envelope each.
My next job was to rummage through my stash of coloured papers to find ones that would go together and were sympathetic with the background.
I drew some panels to add to the envelopes and also the space between them. I backed the panels with vintage book paper. Then, I hand lettered some words on a piece of coloured copier paper. I chose ‘Journal’ and ‘Reflect’ from the selection, cut them out. I used both vintage book paper and a piece of coloured paper behind them to make labels that I attached to the belly band above each envelope.
Finally, for now, I used a gold glitter Signo gel pen by Uniball to add dots and highlights.
It was then that I realised I really wasn’t happy with the tri-fold tag as I’d made it. So, I set about cutting the tags apart so I had three individual tags. I want to join them together in a different way, using hinges of some kind.
But for now, tiredness has caught up with me, as well as the need for some breakfast. So, I will put my project to one side for now and return to it later.
I’m not entirely sure where I’m going with this, not yet anyway. I kind of like what I’ve seen other people do as far as ideas go for pockets, tags, labels, envelopes, pouches and all kinds of ephemera for art journals. However, they’re also not really ‘me’. I’d like to find a way of expressing ‘me’ in an art journal.
The one I have, in an A4 sketchbook is fine, and a perfect place to try things out. But, I’d like to do a smaller art journal that has sturdier, mixed media paper in it.
I do know I want to make use of my own artwork. Today, I drew the designs onto the coloured card. However, I quite like the idea of building up a digital library of my own drawings and designs that I could print out on paper and colour accordingly.
Although I hand lettered the words I used today, part of me isn’t happy with them and wants to create them in Affinity Publisher.
All the paper I start with is bright white in colour. Perhaps I could look at using different papers and colours of paper for future projects.
One other thing I’m doing, is keeping notes and diagrams showing templates and dimensions for various ephemera.
I’m babbling here, now. The early morning and lack of enough sleep last night is really catching up with me now. Time to post this then go get breakfast and more tea!
Yesterday, I said I’d like to make simple pockets for my sketchbook-journal to hold my artwork rather than gluing it to the pages. So, this morning, I started my day looking on YouTube for some ideas and this video by joie de fi was the top of the list.
While I was watching it, I thought I’d make an instruction sheet to go in my sketchbook (or my virtual one I’m making in One Note).
I picked up some quadrille paper and wrote and drew as I watched the method for the first pocket. I worked in ink without pencil sketches and I made quite a few mistakes. A Tipp-Ex mini pocket mouse was my friend.
When I’d finished the instruction sheet, I scanned it in and used Autodesk Sketchbook Pro to remove the square grid from the paper, clean up some smudges, and correct minor errors.
Then, I added some colour to help bring out the drawings, but also to help with the instructions.
I’ve yet to make this kind of pocket, but I’m sure I’ll be able to do so quite easily now.
Reflecting on the artwork/illustration
This was a lot of fun for me to do. It’s something I’ve not done much since my days as a science teacher, or a learner in school and university myself. I’d forgotten how much I enjoy creating instruction sheets with my own drawings on them.
Back in those days, I would’ve used a ruler to draw straight lines, pencil for the diagrams, pen for the words, and little or no colour. Here, I free-handed the drawings, wobbly lines and all. The colour also adds life and dimension to the diagrams/drawings/illustrations.
The layout of the instructions may not be the best and easiest to follow through. That’s because I did this as I was watching the first part of the video. I think that for the next one, I need to sketch out the steps and notes first, and then work on organising them more clearly.
Yes, I’m going to do some more instruction sheets like this!
I also really need to do more hand lettering! I’ve lapsed in my writing practice, that’s for sure.
Artistically, I’m feeling cute and whimsical this morning. So a little bit of hand lettering along with some simple, cute and whimsical wreaths have satisfied this feeling.
Pretty hearts with some spiral details that remind me of iced biscuits (cookies to you lovely people in America). Soft pink for love. Evergreen foliage for peace and compassionate love to grow and flourish around this planet. Purple berries to create a harmonious balance of awareness and peace.
Perhaps there’s more symbolism and messages in my art, something that belies my belief I’m just creating pretty things.
I did create this art digitally using Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, Microsoft Surface Studio and a Microsoft Surface Pen.
I managed to miss #Inktober52 weeks 3 and 4 so I thought I’d combine them into a sketchbook page along with week 5.
The prompts were *week 3 – brick *week 4 – snake, and *week 5 – balloon.
I’ve not been imaginative with those prompts. I’ve included some sinuous snake borders and bricks. Some classic brick patterns. I’ve only added a smattering of balloons, and a repeating balloon pattern.
Of course, I’ve also practised my hand lettering.
I hand lettered and drew this page on ClaireFontaine dot grid paper and I used Uniball Unipin pens to do so.
I added the kraft paper background and colour digitally. It never ceases to amaze me that, as much as I love my line art, colour really brings it to life. I especially like the way the colours seem to glow against the kraft paper.
I’ve just had a giggle. I realised I coloured the balloon that is hanging down in leaden greys, almost like it’s filled with mercury. That was a totally unconscious decision of mine!
I’ve often mentioned my ‘visual dictionary’, so today I thought I’d show you a two-page spread from it.
I’ve kept a visual dictionary for a few years now. It’s where I keep a record of my favourite patterns, motifs, lettering styles and anything else of use to me when I need a little inspiration or to add something a little different to my art.
My original one is now just about full, and I thought it was time for a bit of a cull of patterns and motifs I wouldn’t use as I start a new dictionary. At the moment I’m working my way through zentangle patterns before I add my patterns and motifs. TanglePatterns.com is a fantastic online resource for zentangle patterns.
I’m using an A5 notebook with 5mm squared paper from WHSmith. It has quite a lot more pages in it than a Leuchtturm, Midori, or other A5 dot grid or squared notebooks, which is why I went with it. The paper seems to be pretty bleed-proof, and any ghosting is relatively minimal.
The past few days have had me needing some quiet time doing comforting, soothing art. I’ve had a very ‘people-y’ time of late, and it has left me quite drained. So, sifting through and drawing patterns and motifs and adding them to my new visual dictionary was just what my arty soul and overwrought emotions needed.
Doing this has the bonus of refreshing my creativity. Not only am I being reminded of patterns I like that I’ve not used for a very long time, but I’m also creating my own variations, either deliberately or as the result of some ‘happy accidents’.
Even though I’m trying to keep the pages neat and ordered and the patterns mistake-free, I find I’m not stressing if I make any mistakes. I find a way to either create a new pattern or to incorporate it into the design in some way. This is good for me as I tend to be hyper-perfectionistic if I’m not too careful.
Jake Parker, the originator of Inktober, has come up with #Inktober52 – a year-long series of weekly drawing prompts.
I’ve completed Inktober in the last two years and really enjoy having a prompt list to work to, all for fun. It is crazy, full-on for that whole month. I most probably will do Inktober again this year, in October.
#Inktober52 will be less pressured as the prompt lasts a week, so plenty of time to think and draw. Of course, it could result in a series of drawings on the same theme each week.
The first prompt of the challenge is ‘Flight’. It took a little while, but then a flash of inspiration came, and I wanted to draw seeds that fly!
I do like botanical things a lot. And though this may not be way outside my usual themes of drawing, it’s still a good one to do. I also thought it would be nice to do a sketchbook page of drawings of these seeds, trying out slightly different ways of drawing with different scales and so on. Oh, and I got a little bit of hand lettering practice in as a bonus!
I drew the seeds with a mixture of Uniball Unipin, Faber-Castell Pitt Artist and Tombow Fudenosuke pens on ClaireFontaine dot grid paper.
After scanning my illustrations, I removed the dots, added a kraft paper background, and used a rough chalk brush to add some shadow and light to some of the seed pods. Add that hint of shadow and light does seem to bring them to life for sure.
I enjoyed creating this page of illustrations. I needed some time to relax and destress today. Yesterday turned out to be a bit of a day. The engine warning light went on in Binky, my SmartCar along with a quick flash of a malfunction warning when I turned the engine off. Luckily I wasn’t far from home and managed to get back quite safely.
A call to Mercedes, then to Smart Assist and within an hour, an AA patrol was at my home to see if they could find and rectify the issue.
It turns out there’s an error in the turbocharger (yes, I have a turbocharged SmartCar).
The patrolman did his best to work out what the problem was, but with no luck. So, he towed Binky to the Mercedes dealership and garage in Cardiff to be fixed. Luckily, Binky is still under warranty, so it should be repaired free of charge.
Before doing that, the Smart Assist cover also provides me with a hire car for three working days, and he arranged for that for me too.
So, by around 4:30 pm, I’d been given an almost brand new hire car to use until late on Tuesday at least, and I was on my way back home to try to breathe, calm and destress.
I worried about driving a car that is much bigger than my SmartCar. However, I surprised myself at how confident I was. Mind you, I’ve not been anywhere where I have to park the hire car in limited space!
Unfortunately, the anxiety this caused is causing me to worry and get scared of all kinds of random stuff. I woke up stupidly early worrying about things I don’t need to worry about!
When this happens, it shows me just how far I’ve come in my CPTSD recovery. So, despite the elevated anxiety, it is already fading as the day proceeds. Creating art has helped with that.
Feeling in a festive mood? Fancy getting a little creative? Well, there’s no better way than creating some dangle designs to decorate your own Christmas and holiday projects. They’re also a great way to practice hand lettering and drawing cute, whimsical and simple designs.
Being creative is also a great way to relax and take some time out of the hustle and bustle that can overwhelm us at this time of year. I always find it relaxing to sit down with some pens, dot grid paper and a big mug of tea (or mocha as it’s the last days of autumn here in the UK) and just draw for enjoyment. Mind you, all my drawing work is enjoyment, but drawing for just the pleasure of drawing, with no specific brief to work to is a different kind of joy for me.
I’m finding that I need a focus, a project to be creative at the moment. I’m in between contracts and need some time out as I’ve had a crazy few weeks. However, settling to do anything not connected to a contract can cause me some issues. I still feel the need to create for a purpose, and sometimes that simple joy isn’t enough. I still have some issues to work through in therapy it seems. However, I am now aware of them and can work towards releasing these limiting attitudes and behaviours.
Anyway, today, I’ve created a sheet of some examples of design elements, hand lettering and examples of dangle designs to use as is or just to inspire you. There’s plenty more to inspire you in my book “A Dangle A Day”.
My drawings today are a bit rough, ready and wobbly, as is my hand lettering. I coloured them in very loosely, not worrying about keeping inside the lines or perfect coverage or blending. Colour really does make a difference, doesn’t it? It brings the designs alive!
However, this is a page of sketches, ideas. Maybe I’ll use some of them another time, or maybe I’ll leave it as a page of drawing and hand lettering practice, a page that I enjoyed doing with no real reason other than enjoying the process of creating.
I had thought about doing a video of this page – if you’d like to see videos of me drawing pages like this, then leave me a comment.
I used a mixture of Tombow Fudenosuke brush pens and Faber-Castell Pitt Artist pens to draw the designs on ClaireFontaine dot grid paper. I coloured the images digitally.