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.

More Mushrooms! Watercolour explorations

Link to today’s vlog

Ecoline watercolour inks, insects and mushrooms

As you can see, I finished the insect painting. I’m really quite happy with this artwork, even more so as it’s the first one done entirely with a new medium to me – Ecoline watercolour inks.

Of course there’s a lot more exploring and working with them to come, including a rather cute bunch of mushrooms!

I started drawing the mushrooms with a grey unipin pen. Then, I had a flash of inspiration; try using watersoluble fineliner pens instead and see if the line will disappear even more!

So, I dug out a fairly pale Chameleon fineliner pen (NU4), which was darker than I thought it would be. All the same, it would suit my purposes for this experiment.

The pen didn’t react with water/ink as easily as I thought it would. Perhaps that’s because I’m working on watercolour paper…maybe. Or perhaps because I’m using a fairly dry brush with the watercolours. If there’s too much wetness, the colour migrates to the edge of the wet area and the centre becomes pale to colourless.

No problem now I have recognised this. I just use a paler fineliner in future explorations.

I am still really enjoying the Ecoline watercolour inks. I know I said I thought I’d found my water-medium of choice with the Mijello Mission Gold watercolours. The Mijello’s are great, the best watercolour paints I’ve used so far. But, the Ecoline inks just seem to work so much better for me and my style of art.

Am I going to abandon the Mijellos? Nope! But for a while they’ll be put to one side as I work with Ecoline inks. It may be that I work out how I can best work with the Mijellos as a result of using Ecoline inks. Perhaps I’ll end up using them in concert from time to time. I don’t know for sure!

Of course, I won’t be abandoning digital art/coloring. Ideas, techniques, inspirations flow from one medium to another.

Watercolour Experiments

Click here for today’s vlog

I’ve been experimenting with water-based media over the past couple of days. I’ve finally completed a watercolour painting that I’m fairly happy with. Apart from the bright pinks and dark purples. Note to self – analogous colour schemes with a pop of complementary colour are the way to go!

The painting on the left was done using a variety of media – Phoenix pan watercolours. Mijello Mission Gold watercolours, Zig clean colour brush pens, Tombow Dual Brush markers, and Ecoline brush pens. All applied and/or blended out with either a waterbrush or a damp brush.

The Ecoline brush pens are new to me. I purchased them to replace the Zig pens I made a right mess of when I spilled a whole mug of coffee everywhere. I thought I’d missed the tin with them in, but I hadn’t. It wasn’t a great loss; the pens were old and beginning to dry. So, maybe a serendipitous accident with the coffee!

The Ecoline brush pens contain concentrated liquid watercolour inks. The pens are really juicy too! Even when really diluted, the colours are still vibrant on the paper. Also, as they dry they don’t lose much vibrancy, if any! They’re taking a while to get used to, as any new medium does. But, using them is making me smile…a lot!

As soon as I started using them to complete some of the remaining elements in the abstract botanical painting, I just knew I was going to love them! So, I ordered the second set of pens to complete the whole colour range. It may very well be that as the pens run out, I’ll replace them with the bottles of Ecoline watercolour ink/paint. Or, I may look at other options.

Fairly quickly, I worked out that a waterbrush wasn’t the way to either apply or spread out the colour. I tend to create detailed drawings, so traditional brushes where I can control how much water/colour I apply are the way to go for me.

I’m beginning to think I may have found my traditional media of choice! Digital art is my strength when it comes to colour, but these pens, this type of medium, may be the equivalent in traditional media.

The downside of the Ecoline paints is that they are dye based so are not lightfast. However, as I tend to scan in my art to sell on products, then that won’t be a problem.

The insect was something I just had to try. I do have a fair bit to learn. If I keep adding layers of colours, the earlier ones get spread to the edges and create dark areas. Those, however, may work for me. I’ll see. I’ll also see if I can lift some of that colour in a selective manner to lighten them up again.

Pebbles and Seaweed Abstract Art WIP

This is the start of a watercolour and, probably, pen artwork based on fronds of seaweed and pebbles. If you’d like to see it from the start of adding watercolour to where it is at this moment, then I did record a vlog. It’s a chatty one, about the art and other stuff.

I used my biro sketch that I did yesterday as inspiration for this. I drew from memory and intuition, using red and black fine ballpoint pens on a 16cm x 16cm (6.25″ x 6.25″) piece of Canson Moulin du Roy paper.

Next, I applied watercolour, wet into wet. I realise I need to dig out my craft heat tool to dry the watercolour quickly when it’s spread in a way I like it. Well, at least try that out! I’ve not quite learned when is the right amount of wetness for this to work to the extent I’d like it to. Having said that, I did drop clean water to push some of the darker colours back in places, though not always successfully to my taste. However, as I plan to draw on top of the colour this may not be an issue.

For the seaweed I chose to use yellow ochre no.1, burnt sienna and light red. Indigo, Van Dyke green, indigo and peacock blue are the colours used for the pebbles.

I have no idea what I’m going to use for the central part of the fronds, yet. It’ll work itself out I’m sure.

I waited from the fronds to dry before doing any neighbouring fronds. I started doing this with the pebbles, but a happy accident reminded me of how much