Flower Buds – 29 May 2023

Flower Buds

I absolutely love the Kuretake Gansai Tambi Art Nouveau set of watercolours! I just had to get that off my chest!

I love the texture created by the watercolours – how uncontrollable it is, but it adds so much to the final drawing and it actually makes my arty heart and soul smile a tad.

This is a drawing completed, for once, in today’s YouTube video, due to premiere at 18:00 UK Time on 29 May 2023. In the video I show how to draw the design, add colour and gold and white details.

After doing this artwork, I really do think the Kuretake Gansai Tambi’s are the watercolours I’ve been searching for. They work with me, helping me to express myself. Also, embracing the imperfections of the textures in the colours as part of my self-expression rather than searching for the unattainable.

I used single colours for each section, except for the larger leaves. And that seems to have worked out well for me.

I love how the gold and green to the right seem to glow like sunlight shining through stained glass.

The only thing I wish I’d done was coloured the paper with Distress Inks before starting the drawing. I know that so little Distress Ink is added to the background that it won’t affect the colours in a noticeable way. So that will be my next arty experiment today!

Oh, and I wish I’d remembered to erase the pencil line before starting to add the watercolour!

Again, I used Canson Imagine mixed media paper(9.5cm x 10.5cm or 3.75″ x 4.25″) and it seems to make it so easy for me and the Gansai Tambi paints to work well together.

I’m absolutely amazed that I’m embracing imperfection! I never thought I’d get to that point, or let it be part of my artistic voice.

I’m actually smiling here. I really am. And a smile that is felt in my heart and soul too; something I’ve not done much for a long while.

A sudden realisation

I had a sudden revelation today, of a practical nature. I suddenly realised I tend to create art in sizes that require custom made frames and/or mats. So, I thought I should try to get a selection of ready cut mats in standard sizes and use them to cut paper and create the right sized art to fit the mat. So that’s what I did.

I can be such a numpty, feeling quite daft it had taken me this long to work that out! But then again, perhaps the time wasn’t right before now. I’ve thought for a while now that I could sell my art, particularly the more abstract, flowy, intuitive art. Next step is to work out how to do that and ‘promote’ it/me. And that is the problem, the promotion… it fills me with horror. But maybe I’ll work it out. Time will tell for sure.

Intuitive Abstract Art WIP

It’s been a funny few days here, culminating in a bit of shopping therapy yesterday. One of the items I bought was a set of the Art Nouveau Kuretake Gansai watercolour paints.

I’ve been eyeing them up often since I knew they were a thing. Yesterday, I finally splurged out on them, as well as various metallic (mostly gold) acrylic paints and inks and some beautiful ramen bowls. Well, even an artsy person has to eat!

This little drawing was done in my latest video, all for the purpose of trying out the colours and the paints.

I absolutely love the colour palette and I need to recreate it digitally for sure!

I get so frustrated with watercolours, perhaps because I’m trying to do it the way other people do watercolour rather than trusting my own way of expressing myself with colour. So, I did my very best to let go of any preconceptions of these watercolours as I worked with them.

I love the way some delicious textures appear spontaneously. How different for me to like this compared to my usual very smooth colour blends. I find the randomness, the spontaneity and magic with which they appear quite fascinating. It’s something I can’t control, and I find that I don’t want to control it. I want to be surprised!

Oh, before adding the Gansai Tambi, I used a Payne’s Grey Inktense pencil and a waterbrush to add some shade to the areas I’ve added colour to.

The Gansai Tambi colours are transluscent enough to let the shading show through. Indeed, they fade gradually and wonderfully as they are blended out in an area.

The other thing I did, well one of them, was to add colours to the sections before adding any texture patterns. That worked nicely; the paint does seem to have a chalky residue that shows up on the black lines. Must remember to make the gaps between lines big enough for my favourite paintbrush! Or, just use traditional brushes and a jar of water; but with that comes the danger of clumsy me knocking the water over…

I tried out a white pigment ink gel pen (Pilot choose) to draw with, as well as a gold Pentel Hybrid Dual Metallic pen.

This drawing really is an opportunity for me to try things out, with no stressing about wrecking an original drawing. I’ve already managed that with one drawing that will now be kept for trying out different colours, media, mixes of media and so on. Luckily, I had scanned that one in before I attacked it with Inktense pencils and gold acrylic paint! Tradigital it is for that design then …

It’s so nice to feel comfortable with a medium I’ve struggled with so much -watercolour. Doing it my way seems to be somethign I need to accept as being acceptable. Art is a personal expression, as such is there a wrong or right way to create? I know in my videos I often mention ‘this is how I do things, it’s not the only way and if it helps you find your way, then that’s fantastic!’.

I think we have to try lots of different things and eventually we circle in to what are the ways that really express something of ourselves creatively. It means many attempts that end in frustration or disappointment or failure. But these aren’t really failures; the lesson is that this may not be right for us at this time, if ever. They aren’t a failure if they spur us on to try out something new.

And that is why it’s important to take time to create more personal art, just for the joy of creating and exploring and trying things out. It freshens us up, even if, as I have done recently, we return to way of drawing that is is so familiar it’s comforting to do.

And perhaps art that gives us that comforting, satisfying feeling along with true self expression is the place where our arty heart wishes to reside, with trips out to add inspiration and blow the cobwebs out of the vault of motifs, patterns, textures, themes, techniques and materials. And that trip out can be physical or through looking at books or online or even through dreams and daydreams or the view from a window, music or stories, films or tv programs, and more. Not all journeys are physical ones, are they?

My brain now hurts, so I need some tea to drink soon! Just some social media posts to finish first…

Abstract Zentangle Inspired Art

Click on this link to watch the accompanying drawing tutorial on YouTube!

Abstract art

This was an interesting experiment. I was inspired by a video tutorial by Ellen Crimi-Trent Artist. In the video, she used a charcoal pencil to create an abstract line design. Next, watercolours were used to fill the spaces. Finally, details were added with pen.

I thought it could be a lot of fun to use this as a way to display some Zentangle style patterns. So I did! However, in true Angela style, I’d first tried not only a charcoal pencil, but a watersoluble graphite pencil, an Inktense pencil and an Inktense Outliner to create the grids on separate pieces of mixed media paper. Then I added watercolour to them to see which method of laying out the main pattern I liked the most.

As it turns out, it was the charcoal! I didn’t expect that!

I filled in the majority of the spaces with tangle patterns. Finally, I used charcoal and white chalk to add shade and highlight to each section of the design. I should say I didn’t do all the sections in the video. Oh, and I added some white highlights/patterns with a white GellyRoll pen.

The intense black of the charcoal really dials up the contrast by quite a few notches! I really did have a lot of fun playing with the illusion of volume in this design.

I’m also glad that I didn’t fill all the sections with pattern; I like that I have some simple, volumised areas whose simplicity contrasts with the complexity of the patterns.

I now have quite a few pieces of coloured, patterned paper to play with in the coming days.

Well and truly people-d out!

It’s true. I’ve not had such an intensely people-y week since well before the pandemic hit. I both feel very much by myself and a little sad about that, but also rather relieved that I get to sigh, relax and breathe for the next couple of days at least.

And with the relaxation may come the introvert hangover or social migraine! Maybe not. I’ll see tomorrow. I know as I take my time to relax, unwind, settle back into my solitary existence I will feel intense tiredness creep over me. Indeed, I can feel it beginning to extend it’s soft cloudy folds and start to enevolop me. I will give in, later. I have a few things to do first! Social media posts, a huge mug of tea, maybe something to eat. And then…I’ll see!

Draw With Me – A Whimsical Bird, Part 3 – Starting to add colour.

Today, I’m experiencing some emotional ‘weather’. I know what the trigger for this is. I know what to do. And I also know that being creative will help me greatly. So, I decided to start to add colour to this bird drawing.

This may not be the best time for me to tackle colour. I feel I struggle with colour at the best of times. Still, I worked with a limited colour palette of blues and turquoises, as well as yellow, orange and red.

The Distress Ink on the paper reactivates with water, so there is some ‘greening’ of the blues. I’m fine with that. The mixing of colours will lead to a bit more harmonious outcome, I trust.

Oh, I’m using Karin Brushmarker Pro pens to add colour. They have watercolour ink in them, so I’m scribbling them onto a white plastic palette and using them from there. This way, I have a bit more control of the intensity of colour and how they blend and mix.

So far, so … OK I think.

I now need to work out how to tackle the body of the bird. Do I use masking fluid to cover the dots before or after painting the body? Should I use something like a gel medium to seal the dots once I’ve coloured them in before tackling the body? Or what about a clear glaze pen, even though the dots will be slightly raised and shiny?

I don’t have any masking fluid, but I’m not sure what I want to do. So it’s time to sit and let the possibilities be worked through in my subconscious to come up with a decision.

One thing’s for sure, however. I will not be starting work on the flowers and leaves until the bird is finished! And I will need to be careful about the colours I choose. That’s where it can all go totally wrong.

For the rest of the day, I’m going to lose myself in some hand-lettering practice in my hand-lettering sketchbook. There’s a lot swirling around in my emotions, my mind and my subconscious.

Pen and Wash | Entangled Art | WIP

Link to today’s vlog on YouTube.

A very small penny dropped yesterday. I realised that what I’m doing is pen and wash, or ink and wash, or line and wash. I’m not entirely sure that a label is required, but it seems to fit.

I’m adding watercolour of one kind or another – Inktense, Ecoline, Mijello Mission Gold, Distress Inks, etc – to a pen drawing. Why I haven’t made that connection to the description of the method/process? I have no idea! Still, I have made that connection and a realisation that it gives a sense of artistic legitimacy to my work. That is a function of my insecurities when it comes to my artistic espression.

Yes, that’s right. Insecurities. Lack of confidence. Lack of belief in myself. Self-questioning about what on Earth I’m doing.

It is always nice for me when pieces of a rather abstract, metaphoric jigsaw fall into place, giving me a more coherent view of my method, my artistic voice.

These pieces always fall into place at the right time for me. I’m ready to accept that line and wash is what I do well, when I work within ‘an elegance of limits’ to quote the team at Zentangle. In this case a limited palette of colours harmonious with the background.

As well as working on this particular drawing, I have included some views of recent work in my sketchbook in today’s vlog. This other work shows me trying to work out how to add more contrast to the wash of colour. Fine ballpoint pen, graphite pencil and tortillon or coloured drawing pencils/chalk pastels are what I’m exploring. Eventually, I will settle on a method that I particularly like. I’m not happy with any of these at the moment.

I will continue to explore an figure it out. That’s what I’ve done with adding colour to my drawings, and that’s what I’ll do when it comes to increasing contrast with shadows and highlights.

Of course, I’m talking here about traditional art. When it comes to digital art, I think I have found a way I’m comfortable with in adding colour to pen drawings. I’m not quite there yet with traditional media, as well as finding the traditional media I like to work with.

Abstract Entangled Art | 31 July 21

This is, I think, finished.

It certainly was a task and I needed to persevere at the beginning. I was really hesitant about adding colour and seriously disliking the colour as I started to add it. The more I did, the more comfortable I became with adding colour.

I think what helped with the colours was the use of a limited colour palette. Indigo, prussian blue, gold ochre, burnt sienna and bronze green made the basic palette up. Mixing the colours gave me plenty of variation in colours and tones while at the same time keeping a coherence.

I started adding shading with a biro. As this drawing was a testing ground for various ideas, I used a cool grey Pitt Artist pen to add the rest of the shadows. I found the result pleasing, particularly after adding colour. A darker grey may have worked more to my tastes of high contrast, but this is a starting point.

Indeed, I rather like the combination of biro and pitt pens. I did end up adding some cross hatching to some areas to intensify the dark areas betwixt the elements of the design. That darkness helped to lift the colours somewhat.

To add highlights, a white Sakura Soufflé pen was used. I also had a hankering to add some metallic highlights too, so a gold metallic Gelly Roll came in useful.

Using flat colour washes and letting the grey shadows add volume seems to have worked well enough. I may, later, try out some coloured pencils to add more shadowing. But not until after breakfast!

Abstract Watercolour Art WIP

Watercolour Art WIP

Yesterday, I took some time to add more to my abstract watercolour work in progress. I’m continuing to work with the Ecoline brush pens, which are filled with watercolour ink. Through this process I’m learning the value of using larger brushes for larger areas.

Timing when to add wet into wet is something I’m starting to get to grips with, possibly. I like the way the colours have played with each other in the pebbles.

Once the pencilled in pebbles are coloured, I then will have to decide how I add detail and interest to other areas of the design. Do I do more pebbles?

I’m really not sure. All I am trying to be sure of is that this is something I can do to learn from, to explore this medium, and to explore abstract watercolour art in a style that is in my style.

Once the colour is added, I then will have another choice to make concerning pens. Do I use pens to add detail and/or contrast? If I do decide to use pens, what kind /colour do I use?

I think I need to do some smaller test pieces to try things out on. I’m liking how this particular painting is working out, so testing ideas out elsewhere may be the way for me to go.

Today’s Vlog.

Today’s vlog was suggested by a comment left by Jennifer Miller. She asked if I could do a flip-through of my visual dictionary / zibaldone. So that’s what I’ve done! You can see it by following this link.

Just a quick catch-up

Link to today’s vlog

It’s been way too darn hot to do much the past couple of days. Yesterday morning, even in early on, it was way too hot to work in my usual space. So, I spent some time tidying up the downstairs room at the back of the house. It’s a north-facing room, shady, cooler. Not my favourite room to work in, but at least I can do some work there.

I didn’t do much. Between the tidy-up, making sure my Surface Book had up to date versions of Zoom and other apps, as well as all the passwords for my day to day business, there wasn’t much time. But, I’ve made a start on the tidy-up and declutter. The rest can wait now for cooler weather!

In the time available, I carried on working with the Ecoline watercolour inks from the Brush pens. I had received the second set on Monday and had swatched them in the cool of the evening. The colours are so beautiful and vibrant. It’s the vibrancy that really attracts me to them.

The abstract painting I started (photo above) is just to try out what I can and can’t do with them. There’s plenty for me to learn yet.

In my vlog, I show the colour swatches for the Ecoline inks, some whimsical art I’ve been doing as well as this abstract and talk about stuff.

A motley miscellany of mushrooms.

Link to today’s time-lapse video

Before it gets too hot in my studio area, I decided to finish off the mushroom watercolour I’d been working on.

I have really enjoyed working with the Ecoline watercolour ink from the brush pens. The more I work with it, the more I work out the techniques I like to use to apply colour.

I’m fairly happy with this artwork. I’m not so sure about the dotty embellishments added using Sakura Soufflé gel pens. I did use some white, but I thought I’d try different colours too.

This is all a learning experience for sure.

I woke with a stinking headache this morning. It’s still not lifted. So, today’s video is a timelapse of how I added colour and embellishment to this motley mushroom miscellany!

A fishy vlog …

Link to the vlog

It’s fishy because today I fancied drawing and painting some cute and whimsical fish! I drew the fish before I started filming.

Also, I wanted to try the Ecoline watercolour inks from the brush pens on a piece of the Canson Imagine Mixed Media paper. The watercolour ink works well enough on the paper, which is nice to know going forward.

Yesterday, I spent most of the day in the cooler realms of my downstairs living room. It was so hot, and it’s forecast to be so again today. A fair amount of time was spent filling pages in my sketchbook with drawings of whimsical birds and fish, simply because I could.

Today, it’s forecast to be as hot. It’s already almost insufferable upstairs (for me anyways). So, I’m going to be downstairs as much as possible today, except for three zoom meetings spread throughout the day. More time for drawing and sketching methinks. Perhaps using non-watercolour media to add some colour to the sketches. I’ll see how I feel.