Exploring Mark Making and Pattern #DrawWithMe

Click on this link to view today’s video on YouTube.

I had a lot of fun with this sketchbook page. It’s well out of my ‘comfort-zone’ as there are absolutely no black lines, not even the lines that define the basic shapes.

This is inspired by illustrator Kate Sutton, whose Domestika course I started watching yesterday. And there’s another project I have on the go that is inspiring me to explore this kind of drawing.

I’ve tried this before, but felt so uncomfortable with it that I gave up very quickly. Today, I was determined not to use any black lines at all. Instead, I picked a colour palette of just four colours of Arteza EverBlend markers. For each colour, I chose a similar one from my set of Zig Writer pens.

I started by creating the collage of simple shapes using the markers, overlapping them so that the colours mixed. I was careful not to mix the pink and green; I didn’t want to make mud!

Once I was happy with the basic design, I used the Zig writers to add patterns made from simple marks. To begin with, this felt really awkward, uncomfortable, and just plain wrong. However, the more I did, the easier it became, and the more I liked what was happening. I’m so glad that I persevered!

I dug out a white gel pen to add some brighter, lighter marks and to play with the ‘stitching’ to the top right. The idea that I was using pen ‘stitching’ to connect shapes and patterns amused me.

Using the white gel pen reminded me I had other gel pens to use, and use them I did.

I love the translucency of the marker pens and the way that the patterned shapes seem to float. The use of monochrome colours in these shapes, along with white, just gives an airy, delicate feel to them. I can now see the value of this way of using no black line. I have a lot more exploring and experimenting to do. My mind is ticking over how I can make use of this in a project I’m developing at the moment.

As eager as I am to continue my explorations, I have an errand to do first. But when I return home, well, I’m going to try out some of my ideas both on paper and digitally and see where this takes me.

Illustrated Journal Page and Lettering Practice

Sunday morning (and Saturday evening, which was when this page was started) is the perfect time to practice my lettering, a quirky kind of illustrated journal page, and digital art practice.

I had intended to use just three, maybe four, basic colours for this page, but the vegetables threw me a tad!

I drew the page on paper with a fine Zig Mangaka Flexible pen. The Colour was added digitally after scanning the page. And I had a lot of fun as ideas clicked into place to add colour to the lettering.

Admittedly, some of the inking work is a tad clunky, but that could be fixed if I wanted to. It is a sketchbook page, and so perfection isn’t required. Giving myself permission to work with what I deem as less than perfect is an important lesson I’m trying to learn. Expressing myself in this wobbly, wonky, imperfect, quirky, eccentric, whimsical kind of way is a work in progress.

Oh, I’ll still draw detailed, intricate black and white pen designs. But I suspect I’ll do much more of this style of art. I have much to learn about it, using colour with no black lines, for instance. But I know it’s all a process, and I’ll get to where I need to be. I know that I’m really enjoying the combination of traditional ink drawing with digital colour – tradigital?

I’m not sure my Doodleworlds critters belong, but I just couldn’t resist popping them in to fill an awkward space!

Draw with me – Tangle Patterns. A Sketchbook Page

Please click on the ‘Watch on YouTube’ button – cheers!

I’m fine, but feeling a tad out of sorts today. So, I needed some art that would be self-soothing for a bit of selfcare. Nothing is better than starting to fill a page with tangle patterns, and all of these are new to me!

From top to bottom, the zentangle patterns I used are:
Wigwag – Jody Genovese CZT
Moonrice – Ilonka Weerts
QuaSahnt – Heidi Kay

I coloured the page with Distress Inks (Wild Honey, Spiced Marmalade) then added some Ripe Persimmon through a stencil.

Draw With Me … A texture and filler pattern reference page.

This morning, I woke thinking that I really do need to pop all my favourite texture and filler patterns somewhere so I can refer to them easily. So, a sampler page it is! And yes, I videoed it and you can see the video on YouTube by clicking on this link!

I’m actually looking at the artwork I’ve done in the past few days or so that has been inspired by the work of Rebecca Blair. I’m really enjoying these kinds of simple, straightforward and rather graphic patterns. As they’re new to me and I keep coming up with my own variations, my fear of forgetting things kicks in.

Athazagoraphobia is the psychological term for the irrational fear of being forgotten or ignored, or just of forgetting things. Forgetting things like patterns or textures I like. That’s why I have a number of A5 journals with collections of drawings and patterns and so on in them – my visual references. This partly comes from a desire to collect such things and have a reference at hand to get inspiration from. But it also comes as I do worry about forgetting things as well, especially when I’m exploring or learning something new.

And it’s a totally irrational fear! My memory is usually really good, but I worry about forgetting things as well. Maybe it’s a result of seeing the devastating effect of Alzheimer’s on my father. I can’t remember if I was this way before that. Actually, I was. For a long period of time I kept a journal to keep my thoughts and memories in. Oddly, I don’t really do that now. I have a large collection of journals here and my only desire is to destroy them as I don’t look through them and I really don’t want anyone else to be able to look through them either. They are way too personal for that!

Anyways, I’m making a page full of my favourite patterns from my recent artistic endeavours, just in case! If nothing else, it will be something to spark creativity at a time when I’m a tad stumped for it. It’s also a fun thing to do and a lovely way to review my recent drawings.

Draw With Me – Alcohol markers and gesso – an experiment.

Click on this link to watch my YouTube video that accompanies this post.

I’m most probably not the first to discover this, but it is entirely new to me!

Early this morning, I added some alcohol markers to a pen drawing I’d finished. I’d drawn over a Distress Ink background with some old book pages collaged and gessoed onto it.

I know gesso coats a surface with a waterproof and slightly textured finish. I do know this. But that didn’t occur to me as I added alcohol markers to the drawing.

I was absolutely delighted with the interesting variations in the intensity of colour that resulted. Also, the application of alcohol marker also brought out the texture where the gesso was patchy, even a little bit. The paper soaked up so much more colour than the gesso – duh go me for not realising that first, but that’s not the important thing – it’s the effects that result!

It’s not all that easy to see on the image to the left. But, behind the triangular pattern, I used just one soft blue marker, but you can see the variation in intensity! Usually, it would be a very flat kind of colour. The darker areas are where there is no gesso.

This is something I really want to use as I go forward. I love the crazy, random variations in colour and texture that happen. It seems to me a way to bring a little unpredictability to the rather predictable results you get with marker pens.

Draw With Me … A pattern, tangle pattern and motif sampler sketchbook page – part 3

Another couple of panels were completed on this sampler this morning. I like something like this to gently start the day and a bit of a drawing warm-up. If you’d like to draw with me, then click on this link to see today’s video on YouTube.

Today I’ve added the tangle pattern Kos, deconstructed by Anica Gabrovec CZT, known as Zen Linea. This panel is to the top and centre-right. The other panel is towards the bottom left and is one inspired by Rebecca Blair.

It’s funny how the internet seems to conspire to remind me of my early artwork nearly 20 years ago. One of my drawings turned up on Pinterest today. And it was this kind of sampler, but with patterns from Romanesque architecture, nature and textures drawn in pen and white ink on a kraft paper background. Seems I was doing this kind of thing before I’d heard of Zentangle or Rebecca Blair or many other artists and CZTs!

I keep trying to settle on a clear artistic voice, if not chorus, and it may always have been there, but I just don’t seem to accept it for some reason.

Perhaps these kinds of synchronicities are nudging me to accept this is something that I like to do and need to work more with. Time will tell, that’s for sure.

I think I’ve accepted, mostly, that I need to put watercolours and similar media to one side and focus on alcohol markers. I like the control I have over them. And using digital art to add colour, shadow and highlight too.

As much as I like the fluid, random effects you can get with water-soluble media, my ability to work with these media seems to be limited. Still, no doubt I’ll keep returning to them in the hope I’ll have a different outcome at some point in time. I’m not going to hold my breath on that, though!

I also think that I’m zeroing in on the best way for me to work with colour – monochrome or analogous colour schemes, maybe with a pop of complementary colour here and there.

Draw With Me … A pattern and motif sampler sketchbook page – Part 2

This was a lovely way to start my day. At the bottom is a tangle pattern that is new to me – Zhuer by Yuru Chen.

I also wanted to add a motif across a couple of boxes in the sample. This one ended up like a stylised ear of wheat. As I look at it now, I wish I’d had it going behind the boxes and maybe the top bending towards the left and reaching outside of the upper box. That’s something to think about for the next motif I add.

Still, it was a nice half hour or so before my attention turned to inking in colouring templates.

As well as filming adding the pattern and motif to this sampler page, I also show my slow stitched panels at the end of the video. You can view the video on YouTube by clicking on this link.

#DrawWithMe – A pattern and motif sampler #sketchbook page – Part 1

I’m really not feeling too grand again today. Tummy cramps kept waking me up through the night. I know what the cause of them is – hormones is all I’ll say. But I am so tired today, but I don’t want to sleep as that will impact on my sleep tonight. So, quiet art time it is!

I like the idea of pattern and motif sampler pages in my sketchbook. However, I like to work on paper on the worksurface rather than in a book. So, I dug out one of my Distress Ink coloured papers to work on.

I used a selection of Zentangle tangle patterns for the first row. They are, from left to right
Savana by Yvette Cambell CZT
Holly by Linda Farmer CZT
‘Nzepple by Zentangle Inc
Dorsal by Anita Aspfors Westin
Crazy ‘Nzeppl by Zentangle Inc
Pufanflower by YuRu Chen

I used alcohol markers to add shadow to the patterns and a white Gelly roll for the highlights.

This will be a series of posts with accompanying videos until the page is done.

Here’s the link to the video for Part 1 in the series.

Draw With Me… Hand-lettering and Zentangle Inspired Patterns

I had a request from one of my subscribers on YouTube asking how I create this kind of art. Well, a nice request has to be met with a response, in this case, a YouTube video.

I’d tried out this way of working a week or so ago. I’m trying out different ways of combining hand-lettering with my kind of entangled kind of abstract art. In fact, I’m trying to work out my hand-lettering artistic voice. It’s very much a work in progress.

I’m really rather pleasantly surprised with this page. It’s not finished but is a melange of different ideas and pen types. There are a lot of ideas to take away from this and a lot to think upon.

I particularly like how I eventually worked out I could have patterns weaving in and out of the letters, again messing around with volume/dimension/space. I’ve yet to work out how this could work, but I’ve made a start.

My fingers are itching to get to work on something similar to this. I am, however, feeling totally exhausted. I didn’t sleep well last night, and my eyes are constantly on the point of closing as I fall I asleep where I sit.

I have a delivery due soon, I hope. And after that, I’m going to crash and have a nap. Then, I’ll see what happens this evening, as far as art goes!

Looks like yesterday and today are my ‘weekend’ this week. I do know, from past experience, that if I try to do some serious work while falling asleep, I’ll just mess up and have to repeat it again. So, time for self-care for sure.

Draw With Me… Fungi and other organic things. An idea for a sketchbook page

I had to revisit this idea by using the correct kind of paper for alcohol markers. And bullet tipped markers.

I really enjoyed doing this. Adding the details made a difference for sure, as did adding some shadows to the motifs.

If you’d like to see me draw these and, perhaps, draw along with me, then take a peek at this video on YouTube.