Inktober Tangles 2021 Day 23 and Sketchbook Saturday

Inktober Tangles 2021 Day 23 “Ple-A” by Apple Lim CZT

This was a new tangle to me, but not any more!

It took a while for me to understand it’s basic structure. Then, it was experimenting with it to fill (mostly) a page of my A5 sketchbook with just a few possibilities.

I did start adding shadow and highlight, but went on to focus on patterns in both black and colour. I may return to add those shadows and highlights to increase the illusion of volume.

Sketchbook Saturday – My week in art

It took nearly an hour for me to look back on my week in art. I didn’t think I’d done this much as I’d been unwell for a few days and needed to sleep a lot.

In the video, I share with you my observations, reflections and lessons from all of this work.

Inktober Tangles 2021 | Day 22 – “Paradisum” By Oswaldo Burbano CZT

Today, I thought I’d share part of my explorations of Oswaldo Burbano’s lovely organic tangle pattern “Paradisum”.

It’s not easy for my to vocalise my thought processes, as my thoughts are not in words, but in symbols, images and feelings. But I try, and making videos forces me to vocalise them.

Tomorrow, I’ll be sharing all the art I’ve done this week in a vlog, so you’ll see the whole of this page if you don’t get to see it on my other social media.

Inktober Tangles 2021 | Day 20 “Oysteroid”

This tangle, with it’s use of heavy lines for shadow/dimension is just up my street. Or so I thought. I ended up experimenting with how the thicker lines can change whether the layer appears to be growing up from or digging down into the page.

I enjoyed varying the inny or outy nature of each layer in the pattern, but I’m not entirely sure I’ve got the shadow and highlight right for the innies!

I’m going to put it down to sheer tiredness. I had a poor night’s sleep again. I’ve been up since before 5am and I’ve done nearly a day’s work already, and I still have more to do. But first I really do need to go sleep for a while. I’m just about falling asleep at my desk.

Template Thursday … on a Wednesday?

Wednesday is the day give a sneak peek of this week’s colouring page/template for the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group.

I’ve only done part of the template so far, and the video is in real time and I try to vocalise my thought processes as I draw.

Inktober Tangles 2021 | Day 19 “Oopsmie by Hanny Nura

Oopsmie, by Hanny Nura CZT, is an organic tangle that reminds me of a feather. I’m glad I created many variations on the Oopsmie theme here. I gained a better understanding of this tangle, even if I haven’t worked out how it really can work for me yet.

I think the key for me, as I look at the sketchbook page on the screen, is to start with drawing the ‘seed’ – it’s shape and size – and then work from that out. I need some more time with this tangle to explore that idea more.

Today may very well be the perfect day for such a journey. It’s wet and grey out. I’m tired after a poor night’s sleep and early waking. I’m not up for the challenge of working on templates for ‘Adorable Dogs’ today. I need do to comforting art that gently challenges me to stretch my visual vocabulary.

The grey, wet, gloomy day isn’t helping my energy levels or mood. I think more tea is required, lots more tea!

Inktober Tangles 2021 | Day 18 “Moonpie”

Moonpie

Moonpie is a tangle pattern by Zentangle Inc. It’s based on crescent moon, another pattern by Zentangle Inc. In keeping with that, I divided the triangular segment up in the way that crescent moon is drawn – in circular arcs. Next, the addition of patterns to the segments.

This motif is something that is a familiar feature of my art, usually nestled betwixt arches or other elements of the design. The variations are endless.

Shadow and highlight, and/or colour really helps to bring these drawings to life.

I thought it would be fun to add stems to some of the moonpies. Some end up looking like flowers, others like very architectural seedpods! And, of course, I started the whole page with a couple of wobbly moonpie pies!

Matt graphite pencils?

I have long disliked using the humble drawing pencil to add shading to drawings. It’s also rather reflective, giving a sheen to the drawing that obscures the pen lines, no matter how carefully the graphite is blended out.

Towards the end of last week, a video popped up You-Tube for some pencils that claim to be matt graphite pencils. These are the Pitt Graphite Matt pencils by Faber-Castell. I watched the video and the review for them seemed to be fab. So, I had to get some to try.

In the same video, Staedtler Mars Lumograph Black pencils were mentioned as having less shine than traditional graphite drawing pencils. So, I thought I’d try those out too.

The result? They are a lot less shiny than traditional graphite pencils! They don’t blend out as far as traditional pencils do, which is fine by me as it really helps to keep the shading in the area you want it.

There’s still a little shine with them; graphite is a shiny material. When I was a science teacher, it was always surprising to myself and my students how slippery a piece of shiny-grey graphite feels. It really is shiny too. So that doesn’t surprise me. So, it’s not the graphite that’s less shiny itself, it’s what is included in the mix.

Carbon and charcoal pencils are duller, but messier and impossible to erase if you need to. I think this may be one of the ingredients in the pencil ‘leads’ in both makes. The Mars Lumograph Black also seem waxier, though I’m not sure of that yet.

I’ve only been using these for a couple of days, and so far I much prefer them to traditional graphite pencils. Time and use will tell if they become my go-to drawing pencils for shading.

Inktober Tangles 2021 | Day 16 “Ecstatic” by Jem Miller

I wondered what I was going to be able to do with this tangle, which is essentially a series of zig=zags that become broken and smaller so that they seem to be wearing ‘hats’.

Surprisingly, I found it a really interesting tangle to work with, especially with the addition of shadow and highlights. They really bring the tangle alive.

It is, however, fun to add ‘dangle’ elements to the peaks of the design, both above and below, or ornaments that act like finials atop roofs.

I think there’s a lot more exploring of this pattern.

Inktober Tangles 2021 Day 16 “Moonesque” and Saturday Sketchbook – My week in art.

“Moonesque”

Today’s tangle pattern is the lovely grid based tangle ‘Moonesque’ by Leslee Feiwus CZT.

Grid based tangles are often my favourites, though during Inktober I’ve discovered that I really like other tangles too.

All grid based tangles are full of opportunities for variations, and so a page full of them was the most natural thing for me to do. And there’s only a few possible variations here.

Sketchbook Saturday – My week in art.

It’s become my habit to take a look back at my week in art with you via a video. It’s a really good way for me to reflect on my recent art and insights gained about myself and my arty journey.

This week, I think it’s discovering how valuable it is to work on variations of a motif or pattern. This aids in understanding the design, but also leads to variations that, perhaps. are more my style. I really think I’m going to do this with more of my favourite motifs and patterns going forward too. The result could be both a library of inspiration for myself, and a regular art practice too.

I wondered if people would like me to share that daily (or almost daily) practice with them, explaining how I draw various patterns and motifs. If it’s something you’d like to see, leave me a comment!

It’s also been a surprise that I’ve enjoyed drawing motifs and patterns on a larger scale than I would usually. That gives me much more space, both on the page and in my mind, to explore and experiment. That’s saying something from me, who tends towards the small and highly detailed, fussy kind of line drawings!

Discovering that using graphite pencils for shading can be useful and attractive is another surprise of the past couple of days. I’m not entirely convinced it will be something I use regularly in any work I do; I think it’s likely to depend on my mood at the time as well as the colours/media upon which I add it. Still, it was a surprise!

Inktober Tangles 2021 | Days 14 and 15

C-Knots by Valli Ganti CZT

This is an absolutely lovely tangle. Curves that are interwoven. Those delightful c-shaped arcs that create fan shapes that remind me of ginko leaves. The finished tangles remind me so much of medieval brooches.

It took me a little while to work out how the placement of the starting grid influences the final shape of the pattern. That was an interesting way to give my analytical mind a bit of a work out.

I did struggle finding different ways to complete the design, though I have started on a second page in my sketchbook just for this tangle. I also haven’t tried turning it into a border or repeating pattern…yet. As much of my signature art includes motifs rather than patterns, it’ll be a really useful pattern going forward I think.

Ing by Zentangle Inc

This is a rather angular pattern, which are not my favourite types. About the only thing that can be done with Ink is to fill the triangular spaces with patterns. That’s what I chose to do, not sticking to one pattern on each ‘ing’, but different ones to see how they worked (or didn’t) in the spaces.

I did, however, try to use a wavy line rather than a zig zag as the foundation of the pattern. It actually worked out, which surprised me. Whereas the zig-zag ing can look like folded paper, the sinuous version is much more like a ribbon, depending on the patterns that are placed in the sections.

I took this pattern as an opportunity to work on shading and highlight. I could kick myself with the lines of gel pen I used as stark highlights on this page. Goodness knows what I was thinking! Most probably not thinking is the more correct statement. Still, it’s only by doing can I learn, eventually, about what works and what doesn’t for me.

Some reflections…

I’m surprised how much I’m enjoying drawing the patterns much bigger than I would usually do. Despite my reticence about using other patterns to fill spaces, I think I’m learning that it just depends on what pattern you choose to fill the space.

In the ING wavy variation, I really like the nested tear-drops towards the bottom of the pattern. They really seen to give a lot of volume to that part of the design. I’m sure I could use nested triangles in the ziggy-zaggy version. However, I’m not sure the effect would be quite as dramatic.

Previously, I’ve used my finger to smudge white Gelly roll lines, which gives a softer edged highlight that is brighter than white charcoal. Today, I didn’t do that. I wish I had, or at least used broken lines or dotty lines.

Surprisingly, I’m using a 2B pencil more and more for shading. Today, I didn’t seem to have that ‘it looks grimy and I don’t like it’ thought. Maybe it’s just my mood today that appreciates that kind of shading. It’s certainly useful for adding shadow around motifs/patterns if nothing else.

Inktober Tangles 2021 | Day 13 “Spynes”

I love spirals, I really do. They tend to feature a lot in my abstract drawings. So, “Spynes”, by Heidi Kay CZT, was going to be a pattern I would enjoy.

Working on variations though … I’ve got a few, but, not as many as for other tangles. Shadow and highlight is the key to increasing the dimensionality of this particular pattern.

I could’ve done square-ish, rectangular-ish, hexagon-ish, or any other shape-ish for this pattern, but I kept it to a vaguely circle spiral. Instead, I focused on how I could change the ‘spynes’. I also changed the direction of the ‘spynes’ to pointing inwards. I have to say, those variations reminded me of the Sarlacc of the Great Pit of Carkoon in the Dune Sea of Tattooine in Return of the Jedi – the sand-pit dwelling monster that Jabba the Hutt attempted to throw Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Chewbacca into. Well not Jabba himself personally; he gave the order for it to be done.

I may not have been quite so creative as I am just so darned tired and not feeling too well in the digestive system. I’ve been awake much of the night. It’s now just after 8:30am here in the UK and I’m about ready to go and try to get some sleep before I tackle Wednesday’s task of creating a new colouring template for the facebook group. Yes, sleep is a very good idea, and soon. Very, very soon.

Inktober Tangles 2021 – Day 12 “Yumemi”

Pretty flowers, yeuchy colours.

Yumemi is a lovely floral tangle pattern by Shie Naritomi. I enjoyed drawing not just the original form of the pattern, but working with variations too. Things went downhill when I started to add colour.

I know I used a piece of cut ‘n’ dry foam to add distress ink to the paper. The colour looked as soft as it does when I use make-up brushes to add distress ink. I discovered today that cut ‘n’ dry foam lays down a lot more ink, and it coloured everything.

In the flowers that look grungier, it actually reminded me of the effect you get when you use water with black Quink fountain pen ink. But not quite as colourful. I used graphitint pencils and a waterbrush for these flowers.

I switched to chalk pastels for the more colourful ones, which were a bit better but … well.

As unhappy as I am with the colours, I can learn from the process, even if it seems to be a repeating pattern for me where colour is concerned. And this reminds me of the value of working in a sketchbook – the permission to experiment, explore, make art that I’m not happy with, and even record it in writing for future reference.