Lettering practice, 23 July 2022

I’ve had a funny couple of days, not necessarily in the funny ha-ha way, though!

I had a migraine yesterday, so no video nor post was possible. I’m feeling better today, just still very, very tired.

Today, I had plans. I was awake around 5am, again, and so did some pencil lettering ‘sketches’; the finished result of one is in the photo.

I thought I’d start to digitally ink the lettering in and add colour before turning my attention to a YouTube video. And the phone rang, and it was a friend. So, during the over two-hour-long chat, I managed to mostly get this done! Yup, I can ink in a sketch and so on while chatting. I just can’t chat and sketch, generally.

My plans to record a video this afternoon were then scuppered as I couldn’t keep my eyes open! So, on waking, I completed this particular piece of lettering and doodling.

It really is practice for me. I’m not only practising my lettering skills, but I’m also trying out new brushes and tools and so on in Clip Studio Paint. That is a constant practice for me. I tend to learn how to do something when I need to do that something!

This one is probably as good as it’s going to get. Time to move along to the next mini-lettering project and learn and practice more!

Coloring page, 21 July 2022

This week’s colouring page (colouring template) is a fun one. From time to time, I like to create a page like this – full of whimsy and cuteness and doodles and tangle patterns.

It’s perfect for trying out new colour combinations, new mediums, or new techniques as each image is self-contained yet part of the whole.

Also, it’s perfect if you only have a little time and struggle with leaving something partly finished. There are so many elements here that can be completed quite quickly.

Mandala/Zendala No.3 Part 2

Link to the accompanying #DrawWithMe YouTube video.

Phew! It’s another scorcher already! I feel so drained, and it’s not even 11am. Mind you, I have been awake since around 5am, again.

Waking early has it’s benefits in this seriously hot weather; it’s cool enough to get some things done early on. Such as today’s video where I draw some more of this mandala.

I’m quite happy with how this mandala is taking shape. I know that shadow/highlights, and/or colour will really bring some dimension to this design. But first, I need to finish drawing it. And work out how to set my scanner up so the background colours don’t get washed out…

Today is not the day for that. It’s way too warm, and I need to retire very soon to a cooler part of the house.

#DrawWithMe – A #Mandala or #Zendala

Link to today’s YouTube video tutorial

In today’s YouTube video, I show how, step by step, I draw a mandala, or zendala, with traditional media. And the help of the Markus Operandus for Mandalas from Zentangle.com! A nifty printable that helps set out a mandala!

I’ve used two tangle patterns in this design – tripoli and between. I’ve taken inspiration from each to complete the outer ring.

To start with, I pre-cut a piece of ClaireFontaine Paint On mixed-media paper using an 11cm circle die, and a Sizzix Big Shot die cutting machine. In fact, I cut four at 11cm and four at 9cm in size, so I have a few that are good to go.

Next, I coloured one large and one small circle with Distress Inks. Then, I set about using the Markus Operandus to lay out the basic bones of the mandala.

Only then could I start to draw the design, though I had no idea what I was going to do.

The photo above is the final mandala. I used Arteza Everblend markers to add shadows to the zendala. A white gel pen was used to add dots of white for highlights. A silver Gelly Roll pen was used to add silver to the fine ring borders, to the circles and to the darker areas in the tripoli pattern pieces.

I’m quite happy with the outcome. More so, as it’s been a very long time since I drew a mandala without using digital tools.

Today’s video is rather long – well over an hour. It’s kind of a celebration that I’ve reached 900 subscribers on my YouTube channel! I never thought I’d get even one subscriber. So, a huge thank you to you if you’re one of my subscribers.

#DrawWithMe – Botanical Motifs

In today’s YouTube video, I started to draw the design on the right. While the video was uploading, I finished drawing it. Also, I drew some motifs on a separate piece of paper so I could practice using alcohol markers (Arteza EverBlend).

Colour combinations do vex me, continually. And they certainly do on this practice sheet! But it’s best I practice somewhere before adding colour to my completed drawing. But first I’ll scan that drawing in so if all else fails I can add colour digitally!

Either way, it’s been lovely to spend time drawing and adding colour just for the joy of it. It is far too warm to do anything else.

Fineliners, alcohol markers and contrast – hints and tips video

The past couple of days have seen me creating videos that go in a slightly different direction to my usual.

Yesterday’s YouTube video was a look at using and blending coloured pencils – not a skill I’m great at, especially when it comes to choosing colours.

I carried on experimenting with my drawing and trying out various media either alone or in various combinations – coloured pencils, Inktense, and/or graphite. I quite like the way graphite dirties up the colours and creates an almost metallic feeling. Not a shiny metallic, but a dull kind of one.

Today’s video was a response to a comment left for me on YouTube about fineliners smearing with alcohol markers. So, I thought I’d do a look at some of the various fineliners I have, the tricks I use to avoid this, and a bit more about achieving contrast, volume and blending markers.

Drawing simple flowers, leaves, #tanglepattern spoolies and adding colour with coloured pencils.

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

One of my YouTube subscribers (Chen Keith) requested I draw some simple flowers and show how I’d use coloured pencils to colour and add contrast.

Drawing, not a problem! Colouring? Yeuch colour choices! But I do show different approaches I use to adding colour with coloured pencils, or rather what I’ve done in the past. I rarely ever used coloured pencils now. Digital coloring or marker pens are my mediums of choice, with Inktense and the Karin Brush Markers close behind.

While the video was uploading and processing, I did try out other ways of adding colour and/or contrast. It’s way too hot here in the Valleys of South Wales for me to think clearly and explain things at the moment. The heat is making me feel very, very tired.

Sunday Morning Arty Things

Drawing Zentangle Tangle Patterns Spoolies and Swerve and adding contrast/colour.

What to do on a Sunday morning? Arty things of course!

So, yesterday I drew the design to the right and added some colour to it. But it was lacking something. I eventually worked out, at around the same time someone made a suggestion on my YouTube video, that it needed more contrast.

So, I set about doing just that, as well as showing/explaining how I add weight to lines to help increase the contrast and sense of volume. That’s what the greyscale drawing is all about.

For the other one, I used sepia and red oxide Inktense pencils and a damp brush to add more colour and increase contrast. I made some bad decisions in adding cross-hatching to some of the elements of that design. But that meant it was a great piece to work on improving my skills.

I’m often way too timid with contrast, at the start. But as long as I use a medium that allows me to gradually build up layers, I eventually get there.

Today’s video shows how I achieved this higher contrast finish with both line weight and colour/shadow, and you can watch it by clicking on this link.

Distress Inks and Tangle patterns

Last night when I arrived home after an absolutely visit with a dear friend, I found the postman had delivered a set of mini Distress Ink pads in the new colours released last year! It was way too late to do anything with the inks, so I decided I’d have a look at them in today’s video for YouTube.

I started by trying blends of the colours. My instincts were not to mix the salmony pink Saltwater Taffy with the other colours – Villanous Violet, Blue Ribbon and Salvaged Patina. Orangey tones with purple, blue and/or pale green-turquoise colour, would make mud, my instincts told me.

However, when I used them all for one background, I was really surprised by the colours that resulted. They were lovely! No mud! Just lovely, aged, vintage-ish colours. What a wonderful surprise!

After spraying water to create water stains, stencilling and another spray of water drops (drying in between each procedure), I edged each paper with Hickory Smoke. Then, it was time to draw!

I used an 0.1 and 0.3 Molotow fineliner pens for drawing. They’re new to me and so was keen to try them out. The ink is lovely! But, I found the pens rather light and awkward to hold. The natural place to rest my fingers was way too high up the pen to be comfortable.

I’ll use the pens until the nibs are wrecked or they run out of ink, whichever comes first. The ink is very black and very opaque. The nibs do write really smoothly on the paper I used. But, they’re just not comfortable for me to hold, and that comes down to personal preference! Otherwise, they really do seem to be great pens!

I started drawing with the tangle pattern ‘spoolies’ to the left. This is where I noticed how the grip I had on the pen was uncomfortable and making it really difficult for me to draw smooth, precise lines. I ended up doing a mash-up of spoolies and diva dance!

The pointy leaves (or shark fins or points of crescent moons, depending on how you want to see them) actually echo the pointed part of spoolies. These then were replaced by the tangle pattern swirl, which is very similar to spoolies. Finally, the pointy leaves/fins/horns of the moon returned.

As I wanted to lift these off the background, I used a crosshatch pattern to darken the spaces between them.

Then, in my not-so-clever wisdom, I decided to help the illusion of volume and layers along by adding colour using Distress Inks as watercolour inks or paints.

I’m not at all sure about the end result, which wasn’t helped as I decided to splatter gold paint over it.

I often ask myself what on earth was I thinking and will I ever learn. This is another of those occasions. I kept compounding the problem as I tried seemingly good ideas.

As I said, I wonder if I’ll ever learn …

No matter what, it was lovely to be sat drawing just for enjoyment. Even though I’m not happy with the end result, I learned a lot about these new-to-me Distress Ink colours. Also, I’ve learned that a spray of water really can make the background lovely. And it’s OK to repeat sprays as more colour or stencilling or edging colours are added.

But perhaps the most important thing is that sometimes the process, the enjoyment of creating and learning is more important than an end piece that I’m happy with. Perhaps, in the coming hours, days, weeks or months, I’ll be able to look at this with fresh eyes and see it as not as bad as I know think it is!