Today, I’ve been drawing little flower motifs and borders to go along with a lovely quote about flowers and hope.
The line art was drawn using Tombow Fudenosuke pens on ClaireFontaine dot grid paper. Colour, typography and background texture have been added digitally using Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, Microsoft Surface Pen and Microsoft Surface Studio.
Flowers are some of my favourite things to draw, whether they be highly stylised or more realistic.
My snowdrops and crocus have the feel of being wood cut or lino cut and printed, that kind of vintage feel. The flexible nibs on the Fudenosuke pens help me achieve this look. Also, the fairly simple colouring and addition of texture help too.
I’ve left the colouring as is, maybe for now. However, I now have these motifs ready to use in other projects, as they occur to me. Colour certainly helps to lift them off the background and bring them to life.
I had the need to draw, just for the pleasure, comfort, and soothing that creating art brings. This quote perfectly expresses that need in me.
I drew the artwork with a Pigma Sensei 04 and Pigma Micron 005 pens from Sakura on ClaireFontaine dot grid paper. Pure intuitive art. I didn’t think about it, I just let it flow as it needed to do so. Working this way always soothes my soul, but it also usually works out really well. It’s when I over-think my art that things go wrong.
I digitally removed the dot grid and cleaned up a couple of smudges. I also make the centre and edge or the artwork transparent so that a pink ombre background would show through.
I have an introvert ‘hangover’ today after a get together last night. It’s not as bad as I expected it to be, but I still need a quiet, soothing time today.
I like this week’s prompt for #Inktober52 – Shadow. I like to work with quite high contrast colours/shades to give the illusion of dimension. So, I thought I’d take one of my borders, add it to a very shadowy background, add colour, light and shadow, and finally I’ll put a quote about shadow on to it. My only problem with adding a quote is which one to choose! There are so many fine quotes about shadow and light.
It’s nice to have a whole week to work on the prompt. I’ve already spent over two hours adding colour to that little section of the border design, just to give you an idea of how long it takes me to work in colour.
What this means is that I can use my Inktober52 project as ‘warm up’ or ‘comfort’ art over the next few days if I wish.
The colours I’m choosing are quite ‘dull’ for me – they are hues that have a lot of black/ in them and they do give a quite vintage or grungy feel. However, against the dark background they glow.
They’re not my usual choice of bright, pure colour. I think that’s simply because it’s taken me a long time to work with them and become comfortable with them too. That’s another reason why Inktober52, and Inktober, are so good – I end up trying things out that I wouldn’t necessarily do for my publishers.
I love Star Wars. It’s one of my go-to self-soothing, self-care kinds of series of films to watch. I’m also steadily working my way through the books related to the films, that fill in the gaps and build a rich galaxy of tales, myths, and great deeds. I can lose myself in them, and escape from everyday life into realms where good eventually overcomes evil.
The same is true for Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter for me too, amongst others. Worlds where there seems so little hope of overthrowing evil, yet hope remains kindled and the underdogs overcome an overbearing, cruel order.
There are so many wonderful quotes from these books and films.
Of course, I’m on the side of the rebels, the underdogs. The Jedi, wizards and witches, the fellowship and all the free peoples of Middle Earth.
I can apply the metaphor to my own journey to recovery from cPTSD. I’m rebelling against all the programming I had from a young age that made me believe I was stupid, useless, weak, a failure, unlovable, ugly, friendless, worthless and more.
For a long time, I held on to the hope that EMDR would help me overthrow the dominion of my past. Now, that hope has turned int a trust that I have done that and will overthrow the last vestiges of the erroneous and harmful views and beliefs I have of myself.
I’ve been a rebellion of my own, rebelling against my past and becoming the person I was always meant to be and not limited by the self-serving beliefs of others who sought to control and manipulate me.
About the art
I used one of the borders from yesterday’s collection to decorate the background for the quote, which I typeset in Affinity Publisher.
I do like a dark, grungy background, and this one just felt ‘right’ to use. I chose colours from the background to add colour to the border design. I used Autodesk Sketchbook Pro to add the colour and highlights/shadows to the text and border. The border was drawn with Uniball Unipin pens on ClaireFontaine dot grid paper.
I made sure I had plenty of places where light was being gathered and reflected, representing the hope that is always there if we look for it, even when everything is covered in shadow.
I’m actually quite pleased with the border and the depth and dimension I’ve achieved. I could’ve made the highlights even brighter, but I wanted it to look like hope was being kindled, gently gathering in the shadow.
I do have to say I also like the limited colour palette I used for the border. I used white and four other colours (dark shades of green, raspberry, blue and purple). This isn’t something I do easily, but I think it’s really worked out well here.
Another day and another set of entangled borders! I’m enjoying drawing these. There’s something pleasing about creating small designs. Whether it’s the speed at which I can draw them, or their cuteness, different shapes and sizes to my usual art, or something else, I don’t know. All I know is that I’m enjoying it!
The pens I used to draw the designs were Uniball Unipins and Tombow Fudenosuke pens. I used dot grid paper by ClaireFontaine.
To remove the dot grid, edit some smudges and errors, add a background colour and some colour, I used Autodesk Sketchbook Pro.
Another entangled garden drawing today. I used Uniball Unipin pens and ClaireFontaine dot grid paper to create the drawing. I’ve removed the dot grid and added a coloured background texture as well as the texts and watermarks using Autodesk Sketchbook Pro.
This was, as is usual, a relaxing, calming, soothing and intuitive process for me. I also made use of some of the flying seeds from the first #inktober52 prompt.
I started to add some colour, using a messy chalk brush in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro.
I’ve enjoyed creating this sketchbook sampler page. I drew the designs with a mixture of Uniball Unipin pens, Faber-Castell Pitt Artist pens, a medium nib Schaeffer fountain pen, and an extra-fine nib Faber Castell fountain pen. I used dot grid paper from Claire Fontaine.
After scanning the page in, I removed the dot grid and added a grungy paper background. I then decided I’d like to add some colour and shadow/light to the designs. To do this, I used a messy chalk brush, so my colouring isn’t as precise as I usually like it. However, it’s loosened up my expectations of myself as I went with it.
Pastel colours were my palette of choice as I like the way they seem to almost glow against the grungy kraft background. I also like the way they help to enhance the 3-D appearance of the designs. I do enjoy playing with shadow and light.
Some of the designs are examples of my organic, entangled style of drawing. Others are repeating, geometric zentangle-style patterns. And then there’s some inspired by Medieval illuminated manuscripts.
I also enjoy working within a clear border. I like the sense of structure it brings to my work. It also satisfies some kind of aesthetic need within me. Every now and then I try work without a border, but the artwork I produce just never feels quite right to me. So, it’s time for me to accept the need for borders is part of my artistic voice.
There is a purpose for me creating these borders. I’m building up a library of them that I can use to embellish quotes and other projects.
Some of these borders would look fab as greeting cards note cards, bookmarks, and to use in other paper craft projects. They’d also work well as embellishments for BuJo, planner, diary, scrapbook and journal pages.
Others would be a great foundation for dangle designs (my book “A Dangle A Day” is a good place to start drawing dangle designs).
What I do know, is that I find drawing soothing and relaxing. So, I’m going to be spending the rest of my Sunday drawing more borders.
I’ve been listening to the audiobook of Lord of the Rings this week, as well as watching the film adaptations. They contain so many fantastic quotes, many of which are relevant to our lives and the time we live in too.
Personally, I’ve lived through dark times in terms of my mental and emotional well-being. I still have my bad days, sometimes weeks, but I’ve learned that they pass, given time and self-care, and sometimes EMDR therapy too. But they do pass.
Earlier this week, I drew a collection of designs that could be used as decorative borders and motifs for quotes. I felt that this motif would go well with a quote from a hobbit, a gardener no less.
I used Uniball Unipin pens to draw the motif, and coloured it digitally, after adding a kraft paper background, which gives it an aged, antiqued kind of feeling. I thought soft colours would work well against the brown background, and also wouldn’t detract too much from the quote.
I’d like to revisit this sometime and make the edges of the paper aged, torn, damaged. Or maybe add a border around the quote. I’d also consider adding a shadow to the entangled drawing, the illuminated part of this design.
It’s been a nice way to spend a Saturday morning. It’s also nice for me to do something with the art I create.
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.