Gourgeously Gourdgeous Gourds (pumpkins-ish!)

Click on this link to view the accompanying #DrawWithMe tutorial video on YouTube.

Carrying on with the theme of pumpkins and gourds, today I tackled the Zentangle tangle pattern “Gourdgeous” and drew this cute pile of pumpkin-ish gourds.

Of course, as they are drawn with a Zentangle pattern, it was only right that I filled them with some Zentangle patterns – Purk, Sattuck, Crescent Moon, and B’tweed.

I drew the design on a 6″x3″ piece of grey-green mixed media paper. Tombow Fudenosuke and Zebra flexible nib pens were used to draw the main black sections of the pattern. Then, I added the patterns with 0.1 and 0.4 fineliner pens.

To add shade and light, I used some Inktense pencils – Light Olive, Madder Brown, Iron Green and Iron Blue. Oh, and Antique white for the highlights.

The white dots were added with a Sakura Soufflé pen.

This was a lot of fun to do, especially playing with light and shadow to create volume! There’s some bits I’m not happy with – the tendrils are a bit clumsy looking, some of the highlights could be brighter. But on the whole it’s not too shabby!

Swirly gourdgeousness WIPs

These are my current works in progress. They’re full of swirly curvy loveliness, along with a smattering of the Zentangle tangle Gourdgeous too, amongst a couple of others.

I’ve drawn the designs on clay-toned paper from Fabriano. It’s a warm grey, just a bit darker than in the scanned image. The soft grey does tone down the Inktense colours a tad, making them feel more vintage or metallic in some way. Although the paper isn’t designed for water, I find I can get away with a barely damp brush to activate and spread the Inktense to create gradients. The white Inktense is opaque enough to add highlights, and even to colour the grey white!

Part of me thinks that monochrome or analogous colours are the way to go. I’m not all that keen on the orangey-rusty colours. Sticking to the greens and blues would feel more coherent perhaps. But as I’m learning more about my art, toned papers, adding colours, then it’s all a process of learning!

And I do love working on the toned papers for sure. There is something fascinating about starting with the a page full of the mid-tone colour and then adding dark and light to it.

Picture Perfect Pumpkins! – A #DrawWithMe video

Click on this link to view the accompanying video on YouTube.

You can tell I love autumn! I just couldn’t resist another drawing with pumpkins and assorted autumnal motifs. In the video accompanying this picture, I get all the drawing done and start adding colour. This photo is of the completed drawing so far. There’s plenty of space for some more autumnal goodies!

As I worked on some warm, grey paper (‘Clay’ Toned Paper from Fabriano), the colours are muted and feel a bit washed out. Usually, Inktense pencils with a light wash of water are bright and vibrant, but the grey tones mute them somewhat. But I like that. It gives a vintage and nostalgic air to the artwork.

From time to time, I can circle back to drawing styles that I’ve not done for a long time. This kind of drawing, which has an etched ‘feel’ to it, is an example of something I’ve not done for what seems an age. I am, however, enjoying it very much. Exploring working on toned paper with various colouring media is fascinating for sure.

A tiny Zentangle Inpsired Tile

Please click on the link to watch it on youtube 🙂

I really enjoyed drawing this tiny tile this morning. I love the soft, muted green tones of the paper and the the way the Inktense pencils I used to add colour, shade and light work so well with it. The bright white touches of a Sakura Soufflé pen shine so bright against everything else.

The paper is a 6cm x 6cm (approx. 2.4″ x 2.4″) piece of grey-green ClaireFontaine PaintON mixed media paper.

My first step was to draw a single cell, or fragment, of the Zentangle pattern Well. and I added a variation to that pattern. To fill in the sections created, I used the tangle patterns Purk and B’tweed.

This will eventually be one of my little Random Acts of Kindness cards, once I work out what message to put on the back and whether I’m going to hand letter it or print it out. I have not practiced my hand lettering much lately, and I think it shows. But maybe I’m just being overly harsh on myself, I don’t know for sure. What I do know is that I love creating these tiny drawings as much as I do my larger ones. I love the cuteness of the size very much.

Tiny Tiles – Zentangle Inspired Art for Random Acts of Kindness.

Click on this link to view the accompanying video on YouTube.

I had an idea. It may not be a great idea. It may not be executed in the best way today. But it’s a start, but first, some background as to how this idea came about before I explain myself.

Last week, I went to a local cafĂ© for a late lunch. So late that it was almost tea time! The first time I’ve been out for lunch by myself since the start of the Covid pandemic. I’ve had lunch out three times with a friend in this time, but I still rarely leave my home for such things.

It was a lovely lunch, broccoli and stilton soup with a large pot of tea. The people working in the cafe were lovely and helpful. The food was delicious and beautifully presented. I was made to feel very welcome there.

So, it took a few days, but yesterday I woke with an idea. Why don’t I do some tiny artworks to leave for people to discover. Little notes to thank those who run a cafĂ© or restaurant. Little notes of kindness, inspiration, or compassion are on the back for strangers who may need to read them. Little notes to brighten up someone’s day. And maybe put my email address/blog address on there. Maybe. I’ve not decided if that will be a thing, yet.

So, the first step was to see what sizes of little envelopes I could buy. I really wanted glassine ones, so the tile is protected but visible. But the only tiny ones I could find were 6.5cm square (that’s 2.5″). So some have been ordered, and some watercolour card has been cut into pieces 6cm square, ready to use! The tiles in the image are 6cm square in size. So quite tiny!

The others I found are so sweet. They have a heart fastening on the rear flap and are made of kraft paper. Perfect! That way, what’s inside will be a surprise and, hopefully, a pleasant one for those who find it. These are a bit bigger at 10.5cm x 7 cm (approx 4.13″ x 2.75″), which is about the size of a gift card, business card or credit card. So, I cut paper to 10cm x 6.5 cm to fit these envelopes.

For this morning’s video, I decided to use two of the small squares. I started by colouring one side with Distress Inks. Then I drew the designs with various black fineliner pens. Next, I added more colour with Inktense pencils and a water-brush. Finally, highlights were added with white gel pens and a gold gel pen on the Aquafleur design. Not sure the gold pen was a good idea; I might have been better off using a dip pen and gold ink. It’s all a learning process!

Then, it was time to hand-letter a message on the back and decorate. This is where I think things went a tad to pot. In hindsight, I wish I’d coloured the reverse of the tile too, as, the white looks so stark. But they’ll do. My hand-lettering isn’t the best, but again it will do. My biggest problem is not letting the ink dry fully before erasing pencil lines and/or adding Inktense pencils. But they’re not too shabby…possibly.

What I may try doing, as these are test pieces, is using some Microglaze to seal them. Not only will it seal the Distress Ink, but will give a glossy finish that will bring out the colours more. The problem with Micro glaze is that it smears the black pen lines. But as these are test pieces, if that happens, I’ll learn not to do it again in the future, or use different kinds of pens. I wonder how the Dokumentas in the Twisbi’s will react to Micro glaze? That is an experiment I need to try out!

My only problem once I’m happy with this, apart from learning how to take better photographs of my work, is finding the courage to leave these things. The intense embarrassment and shame I know I’ll feel will be great. That will come out of the old fear that no one will like what I do or appreciate it or understand that it comes from a place of unconditional love and gratitude for our connections. And this is the reason why I’m dithering about whether or not to include my email.

I’ll work it out. I usually do, eventually! Until then, I have a small pile of tiles to decorate, Micro glaze and different pens to experiment with, and how to put messages on the back… part of me thinks printing them out and glueing them on could be a way to go. I have actually turned one of my hand-lettering styles into a font! Something else for me to think about.

Mushrooms!

Click on this link to view the accompanying Draw With Me tutorial video on YouTube

Today was a day to draw some mushrooms! I do love them, especially the quirky, whimsical and cute ones. These fit the bill, I think, a little resplendent in their autumnal tones.

As far as I’m concerned, I don’t think there is such a thing as too much whimsy or cuteness. Ever. Though I may seemingly stray away from things cute and kawaii from time to time, it’s not long before I feel the pull to add some more whimsy to this worrisome world.

There’s such a huge variety of fungi on the Earth, so much inspiration to draw from. But today, I kept it fairly simple.

To add colour, I used Inktense pencils with a Kuretake Zig water-brush. Oh, and the ‘frame’ was coloured with iridescent gold watercolour paint. And that gave me the perfect excuse, not that I needed one, to scatter some gold dots around the background. Oh, the white dots on the ‘shrooms and foliage were applied with a Sakura white SoufflĂ© pen. Its opaque white ink is perfect for this job, especially as it doesn’t seem to pick up any underlying colours. Must remember to get some more of them.

Draw With Me… Whimsical flowers and foliage – an idea for a sketchbook page

If you’d like to see how I created this partial page for my sketchbook, take a look at this video.

I spent an hour or so doing some warm-up drawing before turning my attention to inking in some colouring pages for “Fanciful Birds”, my next colouring book in the Creative Haven series.

Whimsy is always a welcome thing, flowers and foliage in particular. I also wanted to work with colourful backgrounds for each motif.

I really wasn’t fully awake and didn’t think through the type of paper I was using. I knew I wanted to use alcohol markers to add colour gradients to the background. Did it occur to me to use marker paper? Nope! Of course not! So they bled a tad – the Ohuhu brush markers I used for some of the backgrounds are rather juicy, too juicy for the paper. I liked the backgrounds, however, and knew I could fix the bleeds with a white gel pen.

So, I thought I’d switch to Inktense pencils and a damp brush. Not quite sure that they sit well next to the alcohol marker backgrounds. There’s lots of textureand an unevenness in the colour and gradient. Again, partly down to my choice of paper (all media paper from SeaWhite of Brighton).

So, for the last couple of images, I used some Arteza EverBlend markers for the blue and warm brown backgrounds. The bullet tips let less ink flow onto the paper, minimising the bleed. There was still some bleeding, which I made worse by trying to ‘erase’ it with a colourless blender pen.

I made use of the magic of a white gel pen to cover up these bleeds.

I definitely need to write some reflections for myself to add to this page when it gets put in my sketchbook. For now, I’ll just say that I like the last two I completed the most. Those are the blue and brown backgrounds on the bottom row. I do like the other alcohol marker backgrounds too, but there’s something about the more neutral backgrounds. I just can’t put my finger on what it is.

Right then, time to finish my mug of tea and get some more inking of colouring templates in!