Draw With Me | Pattern Exploration – Arch Motifs

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Step 1 – Create a Gesso and Neocolor II background

Yesterday, I had a delivery of Finnabair Art Basics Clear and Heavy White Gessos, made by Prima Marketing. Neocolor II backgrounds are a lot of fun to make, but they do leave a smooth, waxy finish to the paper. I like drawing on it, but my pens aren’t too keen.

So, I wanted a way to seal the Necolor IIs into the paper and a surface I could draw on. Yesterday, I tried some glassy gel medium from my stash. It worked well, and the colours appeared more vibrant. It was OK to draw on, but the pen took a long while to dry, and I’m not sure how permanent the Micron ink would be on it.

Synchronicity-like, some suggested videos cropped up on YouTube where gesso had been used to prepare the paper and then seal in the Neocolor IIs, even using the gesso instead of water.

I have used gesso in the past, but it always felt very rough and gritty. However, the Finnabair Art Basics gessos had reviews that suggested they are smooth and chalky in feel. So, I had to try them.

I’m glad to say that they are smooth and chalky! I did spend a little time last night testing them out and gessoing some “polaroid pops” image tiles.

In today’s video, though, I wanted to quickly show what gesso is and how I’m thinking of using it, particularly in my sketchbooks with paper that won’t take much water.

I covered a page in my Hahnemuhle D&S sketchbook. The paper in this book is for drawing and sketching and is not designed for water-based media. I can get away with a barely damp brush on the paper, but only one, maybe two layers are possible before the paper starts breaking down. Gesso solves this by sealing the paper’s surface and creating a thin, flexible layer that can be worked upon. I used the heavy white gesso to do this.

Gesso dries really quickly, but a craft heat tool (or hairdryer) can help to speed the process up.

The next step was to add colour with the Neocolor IIs. I used water to activate them, though I could’ve used gesso. I wanted to create an uneven, weathered or worn kind of background. I started with the browns, sealed them with clear gesso. After this had dried, I added the blues and finally another layer of clear gesso.

Then, I was ready to try drawing on this.

2. Drawing on the gesso surface

I really didn’t know what would happen. I know I’ve used gesso in the distant past, but couldn’t remember if I’d used pens to draw on it or not.

As it happens, it was really lovely to draw on! The Sakura Pigma Sensei 04 pen did feel like it caught on the tooth of the gesso from time to time, but nothing more than a rough-surfaced paper. It may be my imagination, but the ink seemed darker on the gesso, perhaps because it dries on the surface and doesn’t sink into it, like it would with paper.

I did a test to see if, once dry, the ink would be affected by water or gesso. There was a tiny amount of pigment that seemed to move, but nothing noticeable.

3. The arch motifs/fragments

I really love round arches! It stems from my love of Romanesque architecture. I use them a lot in my artwork. So, I thought it was about time I explored individual arches as if they were fragments of a tangle pattern.

4. Reflections

I’m so glad I rediscovered gesso. I’d forgotten how it could be used. I know the rough grittiness of the gessos I’d used in the past really did put me off using them again. However, this lovely, chalky smooth gesso is really nice to draw on. It also opens up more ways to create backgrounds and use colour. I’m sure I’ll continue to experiment and explore it going forward.

Pattern Exploration – Kangular by Tomàs Padrós CZT

After getting my daily quota of sketches done for the next Creative Haven book, I turned my attention to some sketchbook work. This time I chose to do a tangle pattern exploration of Kangular by Tomàs Padrós CZT.

I love all of Tomàs’ patterns, and Kangular is no exception! It’s a charming, geometrical pattern with lots of possibilities for variations. And there’s only a small number here.

Adding shading really brings volume to the individual fragments and overall pattern, as does the use of fairly high contrast.

I enjoyed my time with this pattern, and you can see my explorations in today’s YouTube video.

Draw With Me … Tangle Pattern Exploration of ‘Nova# by Beth Gaughan

Click on this link to view the video of the tangle pattern exploration on YouTube.

It’s a funny old day today. I think I’ve overextended myself in exploring/experimenting with art. I just felt I needed a bit of ‘comfort art’ today. It’s like comfort eating, but healthier! Something familiar, not too taxing, soothing to the senses and mind. So, some pattern exploration fitted the bill!

The pattern I chose to look at is Nova by Beth Gaughan. It’s a lovely pattern but not one that I would ordinarily choose. Just challenging enough to make things interesting, but not so challenging that I get more and more disheartened with artwork.

It turns out that Nova was a good choice. There are some interesting variations to be explored for sure.

I hope you’ll come and join me in drawing these variations over on YouTube. This kind of exercise is good for getting the creative juices working, coming up with ideas in my sketchbook, and continuing to work with and understand how to vary tangle patterns. In turn, these things have an effect on my other art.

“Blooming Kangular” – A Tangle Pattern by Tomas Padros CZT | Pattern Variations

Come #DrawWithMe some of these variations in today’s YouTube video. Just click on this link!

I have a big fondness for Tomas Padros’ tangle patterns, particularly Taiga. Blooming Kangular is new to me, and it’s lovely as is. But, it’s fun to do some pattern exploring to understand the tangle, and it’s possibilities, more.

Some of these patterns remind me of snowflakes. Another of star anise. And of course there are plenty of flowers too!

I had a lovely time drawing these, and I hope you will go take a look at the video and have a go a drawing along with me too!

Draw With Me | Zentangle Pattern “Huggins” Variations – Part 3

Click on this link to view the video tutorial that accompanies part 3 of the series of ‘Huggins’ variations.

This morning, I completed filling in the ‘Huggins’ spaces in this drawing. As always, it was a lot of fun to do, and possibly some unusual filler patterns appeared.

Given that I’m working at a lettering course, I’m particularly pleased that I got some lettering into the grid! It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I rather like how it’s turned out.

This sketchbook page is now complete. However, I have so many more variations to look at – filler patterns, various grids, ribbons, arches and so on. I think I’ll stop bothering Huggins for a little while and do something different for my next Draw With Me video tutorial.

Draw With Me … Zentangle Pattern “Huggins” Variations, Part 2.

Link to today’s Draw With Me video on YouTube

Exploring “Huggins” is way too much fun! Actually, exploring all patterns and motifs is, but Huggins just lends itself to so many variations in lots of different ways. Even as I’m typing, another idea has come to me. It’s never ending!

I look at just a few more variations in today’s video, and I invite you to join in with me as I draw these variations.

I have lots more variations in my sketchbook, no doubt soon to have some more added!

I’m noticing that the practice of exploring, working on iterations, of these patterns and motifs is making it easier for me to do this elsewhere in my art, particularly lettering. It is fascinating how just small changes make a huge difference and lead me down paths I may not otherwise have trod, so to speak.

Becoming flexible in my creativity is something I hadn’t thought about. But here I am experiencing it and loving the process! In some ways, more than creating new artwork! I do feel, however, this is a path I need to journey down on a regular basis to keep my creativity exercised and flexible.

Zentangle Pattern “Huggins” Variations … Part 1?

Click on this link to view today’s video.

One of my YouTube subscribers wondered what I could do with the Zentangle pattern Huggins. I think Linda’s exact words were ‘I’d like to see you take on Huggins’.

So I did. This page is as far as I’ve got for now, which is further than I got in the video. But what else is there to do while a video is uploading and processing?

Huggins is one of my favourite tangle patterns (there are many). It’s always fun to play around with varying the pattern, and it’s a very good one to add variations to!

Not my neatest drawing, but it is in a sketchbook. Sketchbooks are, sometimes, the place to get ideas down quickly as they come to you. And that’s exactly what I did in today’s video.

Seed pods and flower variations sketchbook page

Click on this link to go to today’s YouTube drawing tutorial.

This was such fun to do! I mean, every drawing I do is fun, but this one is more so. I started with a tiny little motif and it inspired a whole page of variations.

Sometimes, I didn’t like what was there. However, I’d later go back and adjust or add to the design based on what I was learning from the later motifs I had drawn. I’d also talk about what was going on in my head as I was drawing.

It’s a tutorial for sure. Not just step by step how to draw these variations, but also about the mindset I have when I spend time with a page.

It would be fab if you’d pop along to YouTube to watch this video and have a go at drawing along with me! And then, see what other variations you can come up with! Of course, I’d love to see them too.

A flowery tangle pattern – Blomkoal by Maaike Terpstra CZT

Blomkoal, by Maaike Terpstra, is a tangle pattern totally new to me. It’s flowery and unusual, so I just had to do some pattern exploration!

A lovely hour was spent drawing, adding colour and trying out Distress Microglaze to bring out the colours.

If you’d like to draw along with me, find out more about the variations and so on, then here’s the link to today’s video on YouTube.

“Bilt” variations and a sketchbook page border.

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Bilt, a tangle pattern deconstructed by Lisa Skeen, is one I’ve not used that I remember. It is, however, great fun to explore variations of!

In this video, I go through how to draw Bilt, one step at a time, and then look at some variations.

A bit of a change from flowers, but sometimes change is as good as a rest!