Sketchtember | Days 6 to 10

Over the past three or four days, I’ve been quietly working at Sketchtember. I’ve veered away from the list of herbs to enjoy drawing, and colouring, all kinds of seed pods – real and more imaginative.

Working with alcohol markers – Chameleon and Arteza – is the only way to get to grips with them. Marker paper does make it a little easier to blend. But not much more than the drawings on the SeaWhite all media paper that I’ve been using.

Adding highlights, lowlights, and embellishments with various Sakura and Uniball gel pens is a lovely thing to do. I have, possibly, gone a bit over the top on the poppy seed heads! Still, it’s all experiencing and learning from it.

I have quite a few more seed pod drawings done to add colour to, though not enough to see me through to the end of Sketchtember. So, I may change my theme for daily sketches when I start to come to the end of them.

Template Thursday…on WIP Wednesday?

Link to today’s vlog on YouTube.

Wednesday is the day when I create the coloring page / coloring template for the members of Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group. And I film and upload the process of drawing to YouTube.

This week is another page that is different. Someone said that they’d love it if I could create a drawing with a space for a photobooth image. So, I’m creating two such designs, in my signature Entangled art style.

I only have photobooth images from the Tim Holtz Idea-ology range, which I have in my stash. I’ve looked on Amazon Uk, and there are a few sets left, but not the pack I have. I think I’m going to have to trim the photo of the bloke down a bit.

Of course, if you don’t have photobooth images, you can use other photos, trimmed down, magazine or book images, stickers, or even buttons, coins, jewellery, and more attached to a sturdy piece of card sized to fit the frame. I’ll show some ideas, hopefully, in tomorrow’s video.

Entangled Art and Sketchtember

Entangled Art WIP

Adding more colour to the entangled drawing on the left has taken quite a bit of time this morning. As well as using the Arteza Ever Blend markers, I used some of my Chameleon Color Tones pens too. There were some colours that I wanted to use that aren’t in the Arteza set.

It’s going to take quite a few hours more to finish adding colour to this drawing. That bright green section in the bottom left is going to need toning down! But that’s easy enough to do by ‘glazing’ with a duller colour. I also went over the pods on the bottom right with the colours again to intensify them a little, and added some deeper shadows as I did so.

It’s coming along nicely, apart from that bright green! Ho hum, I really do need to pay more attention to which colour I’ve actually picked up to use rather than just assuming it’s the colour I wanted to use.

Sketchtember Days 7 to 16

Yesterday evening and this morning, I spent time drawing small drawings featuring various seed pods. I’ve decided to take a different direction for Sketchtember and abandon the prompt list I’ve been following.

Why? I was a bit bored with drawing leaves, the occasional whole plant, the odd flower and various enlarged views of the various parts of flowers.

I love plants. I do. But I really love capsules, pods and seeds! So, I went with this idea

After splitting the large 9″ x 12″ sheet of Arteza marker paper up into smaller rectangles and squares, I used Copic Multiliner, Tombow fudenosuke and Uniball Unipin pens to draw the designs.

When the drawings were complete, I went to scan the sheet in and realised it wouldn’t fit on the glass plate of my A4 scanner/printer! Duh! But not a problem, I just split the page up into smaller pieces.

Next, I spent some time adding colour to a couple of the designs using the Arteza Ever Blend markers to test out the Arteza marker paper.

This paper is noticeably thicker than the Canson XL marker paper I’ve been using. But it works just as well with markers. It’s also as nice to draw on with the various pens I used.

The only thing I wished is that I’d remembered my scanner takes paper that is a little bigger than A4, but not this big! Not a problem though.

Entangled Art | Arteza Ever Blend Markers

Link to today’s vlog on YouTube.

This morning has been an arty filled one. I woke around 5am and have been artsy-busy since then, apart from when having breakfast!

I spent time in bed drawing this design and listening to podcasts. An 0.5 Copic Multiliner on a sheet of Canson XL marker paper were used.

Next, it was time for some breakfast. Then, fuelled up, I did some pen sketches of bay leaves for Sketchtember Day 7. You can see this page in today’s vlog.

Yesterday, I had a delivery of Arteza Ever Blend Architectural Tones marker set. I bought these markers with my own money. I’m not paid, gifted anything nor sponsored by any product/company I mention. Just dropping that in here!

Anyways, I started by doing a swatch of the colours before starting to make today’s vlog.

This set appealed to me because of the more earthy, muted, vintage-y colours in the set. They were affordable, and so I bought the set, thinking that it could be useful for pens to add to an out and about sketching kit.

I had hummed and hahhed about getting the set for a while. After all I have a set of Chameleon color tones (and the color tops). And a set of Copic Ciao markers. Did I really need any more markers?

Well, the Chameleons are my favourites, but they don’t have many earthy colours. It seemed to me that these would fill in the gaps in my Chameleons.

I’m no expert on marker pens, nor in assessing their quality and so on. But they seem to work well on marker paper. They blend well, either on the paper or in the ‘tip to tip’ method.

I have no idea how long they’ll last in terms of ink. Unlike the Chameleons and Copics, they aren’t presently refillable, even though replacement nibs can be bought. Maybe that is something that Arteza is thinking about in the future.

The other thing that I’d like is a brush nib instead of the chisel nib. A brush nib that is more like the ones on Copics than the Chameleon so that I can get into teeny-tiny spaces in my artwork. The fine/bullet nib is OK for this, but won’t work on the tiniest spaces in my art.

Other than that, they do what they’re supposed to do! Color, blend well, and have a nice range of colours, apart from R13 Red which is glaringly bright against the other pens in the set. Personally, I would’ve liked another muted orange, or perhaps a soft greyish mauve or lavender.

Another bit of nit-picky-ness; a colourless blend would’ve been nice in the set. I find them useful, especially if I want to fade a colour out to practically colourless. That is something that is really easy to do with the Chameleons. No doubt I’ll try this out with a tip-to-tip experiment with either a Copic or Chameleon colourless blender to see how things go.

Oh, the pens have a triangular barrel, which means they don’t roll around the desk. My small hands do find it a bit chunky and a bit awkward to hold. That’s only because I’m used to slimmer barrels on pens/pencils/brushes/digital pens that I do most of my work with.

So, overall I’m really pleased with the pens for the price I paid. I’m sure I’ll use them an awful lot, as much as the Chameleons and Copics no doubt, especially as I’ve rediscovered markers and how much I enjoy adding colour to them.

Sketchtember days 4 and 5

Continuing with DeadlyDots’ prompt list for Sketchtember. Thyme was day 4’s prompt, and Basil is today’s. I’ve got the title for tomorrow done (Bay leaf).

Plenty of pen drawing and some coloring with Chameleon color tones markers. A little bit of messing around with patterns on the thyme page.

It’s an enjoyable process, though today I think I’ll take a little break from it and turn my attention to projects that need some work done on them, and maybe new drawings to be done.

Sketchbook Saturday | Sketchtember Day 4

Link to today’s vlog on YouTube – A flip through of my sketchbooks and this week’s art.

I’ve had fun creating art this week. Here’s some highlights.

The rediscovery of how much I love my Chameleon markers was a wonderful thing. I love the way I get a smooth gradient of solid colour from them. Such a stark contrast to my bumbling, chaotic attempts with other media.

Taking up the Sketchtember challenge was a good idea to dust off some of my neglected drawing/sketching skills and ways of adding interest to a sketchbook. It’s also made me try to think differently to how I would when creating entangled art.

Hand lettering, and some typographic art today, has made a reappearance in my work. That’s a good thing; it’s something I would like to do more of.

Adding a rectangle of colour behind a drawing and adding handwriting to create texture is something I’ve not done before, but I like the results.

Thyme is the herb for today, day 4 of Sketchtember and my offering is in the photo at the top of the page.

There’s been some real lowlights too. Colour choices, mediums and doing things that seemed like a good idea when I started them! There’s a lot more about this in today’s vlog on youtube.

Even with the facepalm moments, it’s been lovely to spend time just drawing with no expectation of a finished project, polished work, or even perfection.

It’s hard work trying to convince myself that it’s ok to make mistakes, to mess up things as long as I learn from them.

Sketchtember Days 2 and 3

Link to today’s vlog on YouTube.

Here are my sketchbook pages for days 2 and three of Sketchtember. I’m using DecayingDots’ list of herbs and spices for this one.

I’m enjoying working in a different way to my usual entangled art. And, I’m making some awful mistakes/art in these pages. However, these are learning moments, not least of which it’s ok to do things that are grim, mainly my use of colour. But, if I didn’t try things out and learn from the mistakes I’d not progress at all.

What I think it shows me is that pen drawing, with just shading or monochrome colour is my strength, colour my weakness. As if I don’t keep saying that, yet I keep going back to using colour.

Today’s vlog focuses on Day 3 – Saffron. Tomorrow’s vlog will be a look at all the art I’ve worked on in the past week.

Sketchtember 2021 | Day 1

Link to today’s vlog on YouTube.

I’ve decided that it would be quite nice to take part in a monthly art challenge, perhaps as a warm up to Inktober next month. Maybe.

So, I looked around at the challenges I could find, and settled on one from @DecayingDots on Instagram and Twitter. Their list of prompts is all herbs/plants. That, unlike others, inspired me to take up the challenge.

It’s been a long time since I used a sketchbook truly as a sketchbook. It may take me awhile to get back into such things. I do have some lovely, pre-coloured pages to make use of as a start.

Not only will I practice my kind of sketching – which is usually with a pen – I can practice hand lettering and handwriting. My idea is not only to sketch the day’s plant/leaves, but to add notes and information. Those notes may be about the plant, or about the colours I’m using, or even recipes/uses for the particular herb.

As it’s a sketch challenge, there’s also no pressure to complete every drawing, or even to do perfect drawings. It’s all about observational drawing for me.

Now, as i don’t have green thumbs (I can kill any self-respecting plant in a matter of hours, well days maybe) and I’m not feeling able to visit shops or gardens at this time ( social anxiety is a heckofa thing), photographic references will have to do. But that’s ok.

So, here’s my page for day 1, which is all to do with sage. In today’s vlog I talk about this page, the media I’ve used, and I add some drawings to day 2’s page – Rosemary.

I’ve got some work still to do on both pages I think … but that’s the fun of a sketchbook. It’s not meant to be finished at one go, pages can be revisited and added to as needed!

Chameleon Color Tones Coloring

Link to today’s vlog on YouTube.

After filming yesterday’s vlog, I decided to try using marker pens with a drawing I’d done on a Distress Ink background. The drawing on the left is the result of this experiment.

To add colour, I used Chameleon Color Tones marker pens. I chose colours that would be similar to those in the background.

I really enjoyed adding colour to this drawing. I’d forgotten how much I enjoy using the Chameleon pens and the ease of achieving gradients with these pens.

I completed the drawing with embellishments of white and yellow Sakura Soufflé pens, muted Sakrua Gelly Roll Moonlight pens, and some shiny areas of clear Sakura Glaze pen.

I was so happy with the result, that I started work on the drawing to the right, some of which I do in today’s vlog.

I really love the way that the background tones down the brighter colours of the marker pens. Which shouldn’t surprise me as marker pens are transparent! But it did surprise me!

Something else that I was struck with was how similar using markers is to how I add colour digitally. I haven’t made that connection before, but it is likely to inform me on my way forward in adding colour to my artwork. I may be trying to force water-soluble media and coloured pencils into behaving like markers, which is something that they’re not meant to do. I find it hard to work with the looser, possibly more chaotic water-based media, even though I love the effects that other seem to achieve with them. No matter what I do, I’m never totally happy with the end result, something I’ve blogged and vlogged about an awful lot.

Working with alcohol markers has shown me that I can work well with colour, with the medium that matches my artistic style – precise and controlled. The more chaotic, loose, aspects of this work come from the Distress Ink coloured backgrounds.

Now, if only I can accept this and focus on using markers in my work more than other media. Well, apart from digital coloring that is!