Botanical designs, or fancy fish scales?

After spending a few hours working on Adorable Dogs templates this morning, I needed a bit of a break. So, I added some more motifs to this sketchbook page.

I started off with them being kind of botanical in nature, but the shape and arrangement has reminded me of fancy fish scales! Yes, it’s only just struck me that this is the case; I can be rather slow!

Either way, they are fun to draw, even the ones that don’t quite work. It’s all part of experimenting and learning, as well as drawing practice and relaxation. After all, this is a sketchbook page.

Here’s today’s video:

Sketchbook, Draw With Me… 28 Nov 21

Link to today’s vlog.

At the top of the photo is the almost completed sketchbook page for the recent seed pod pattern explorations.

I’ve gone a bit wild with colour! I wanted to see how using graphite under-shadowing worked with Ecoline Watercolour Inks, and to see how that ‘stained glass’, fragmented background would work.

I think, going forward, I need to think more about using different sets of colours for the background and motifs. I don’t know though for sure. I do like this kind of background though.

I’ve not added pattern to any of these background sections…yet. Maybe I’ll look at that in the coming days.

At the bottom of the photo are the motifs I drew in today’s vlog. These are all based on circular/semi-circular kinds of pods, capsules, designs. Some are quite architectural in feel, but also work as botanicals.

Yesterday’s realisation that the bigger seed pods reminded me of the photos taken of horsetail plants by Karl Blossfeldt. He believed that “the plant must be valued as a totally artistic and architectural structure.”

I tend to agree with him! I often describe winter as the season where nature shows off the underlying architecture of the natural world. we can see the support structure of trees and other woody plants. Land that was hidden by foliage and flower is revealed, showing how the swathes of trees follow the contours of the land, it’s streams and rivers and so on.

I don’t like the cold of winter, nor the short days. The limited sunlight tends to lower my mood a lot, and a sunlight therapy lamp is needed on may days to stave off creeping depression and despair at my abilities. But I do like being able to see that architecture, the way the patterns in the world are so different. That makes up for the short days!

It’s hard not to see how architects of the past must have been influenced by nature. The soaring columns with arched ceilings in gothic churches and cathedrals look so much like stone trees.

It’s no wonder, when I think about how much I enjoyed exploring Blossfeldt’s work, amongst others, when I started my artistic journey around two decades ago, that I can see their influence in my work.

More seed pods … draw with me

I took a break from drawing Adorable Dogs coloring templates (nearly all done, at least in sketch form…) to do some art just for fun. And that means, at this moment in time, seed pods. The three to the top right are today’s creations.

I couldn’t remember what plant they reminded me of. I thought mullein, but that’s not right. The closest I could figure out is Banskia seed pods, and these may be a very stylised interpretation of them. But not the stems. Weird stems are my own imagination in overdrive.

Of course, the drawings need shadow, colour and highlight to bring them to some kind of life. So, as I’m enjoying using graphite pencils for shading and watercolour pencils to add colour so much, that’s what I did.

I also tried adding some black line patterns to intensify the contrast and add interest to some of the shapes that make up the pods. That was just to see what happens. After all, this page is part of a sketchbook full of pattern explorations. It’s about giving myself permission to experiment, not to have to finish anything. The end result, I hope, will be something I dip into for inspiration at times when I don’t seem to have much of it.

And I share this process via a YouTube video.

Pattern Explorations | Borders 1 | Day 3

Another day, and another small clutch of borders are added to this page. Most of these patterns are inspired by Romanesque chevron and diamond patterns, some with a twist. Though there’s a couple in there that are reminiscent of Medieval floor tiles. And poke root managed to push it’s way into one section!

I really, really am enjoying adding patterns based on a theme to this page. Not just creating the patterns, but seeing how colour, shadow and highlight bring them to life. It’s a fascinating process for sure.

I’ve also made a decision to leave the case-bound A5 sketchbook to keep my pages in an A5 discbound system. I was getting frustrated with pages not lying flat, the awkwardness of turning the book around. The discbound system allows me to use individual sheets of paper, of many different kinds and colours. It’s flexible in it’s organisation too. I’ve flip-flopped ‘twixt traditionally bound sketchbooks and discbound sketchbooks for a while. My experience with this pattern exploration project has made me aware that the ability to work on a single sheet has become so important for many, many reasons.

Here’s the video for today’s patterns.

Pattern Exploration “Eetings” Day 3

Not much space left on the ‘Eetings’ page in my A5 sketchbook. Colour, shadow and highlight still to be added.

To the right is the start of a drawing using some of my pattern variations.

Here’s today’s video showing how I drew a few of the last patterns on the page.

Pattern Exploration No.2, Day 2 | Stylised flower

More variations of stems as well as the view of the flower itself today. In today’s video, I talk through how to draw the flower and to add colour to enhance the sense of volume to the bloom.

It’s been so heart-warming to receive such kind, supportive and encouraging messages about my YouTube videos. It’s a really nice feeling, a warmth in my heart and soul, to hear that people are enjoying creating along with me, or being inspired to draw and create.

Here’s today’s video, in case you’d like to join me in drawing some pretty flowers too.

Pattern Explorations #1, Day 5.

Some serendipitous ‘accidents’ with fineliners.

I’m almost done with this first page of pattern explorations. I think I have some fussing around and embellishing left to do. However, I will take a fresh look at this page later today.

I thought I’d use Chameleon Fineliners to add some details. And I discovered some interesting effects when applying a waterbrush!

A gold Sakura Pentouch pen was used to add some small areas of dots and metallic accents. Sadly, they either don’t show up in the photo or show up as dark areas. That’s the problem with photographing metallics, especially by someone (me!) who isn’t a very good photographer.

Of course, there’s a video where you can see how I add to this page today. And here it is:

Pattern Explorations #1, Day 4 and Template Thursday.

Pattern Explorations

The sketchbook page for pattern 1 is filling up nicely! Some more variations added today. The pinky-purple and greens look nice together, adding a kind of playful feel to the drawing added today. Joining the motifs in a Morrisseau tangle pattern way also adds interest and plenty of spaces that may be begging for colour and/or patterns! Who knows what tomorrow will bring.

Here’s the video/vlog that shows the addition of the next bits and pieces of this page.

Template Thursday

Here’s the partly coloured sample of this week’s coloring template for the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group.

Sample is quite an apt word as this drawing does remind me a bit of an embroidery sampler. It’s been a while since I last designed one of these, and it’s always fun to do.

This kind of sampler template is perfect if you get overwhelmed by the thought of completing a full sized, intricate template. As this one is split up into small sections for you, you can spend as much, or as little, time as you wish adding colour.

Pattern Explorations #1 | Day 3

Day 3 and the first page of my Pattern Exploration sketchbook is about half full.

I’ve used Carbothello pastel pencils with both a water-brush and tortillon to add colour to some of the elements on this page.

Thoughts, ideas about how to embellish the individual motifs on the page are starting to wander through my head.

Of course, I filmed this mornings half-hour of art and here’s the video on YouTube: