Don’t compare. I create differently because I am different.

In today’s video on YouTube, I draw the leafy and berry-loaded kind of tangle pattern with Arteza Inkonic pens. Then, I use a brush and water to dissolve, move and blend the ink to give a watercolour feel to the pattern. Finally, I splatter water over the drawing to bleach the Inkonic ink as well as the background Distress Ink.

Away from the camera, I added a phrase that I’d printed out on some digital, vintage lined paper. I didn’t want to wreck this one with my clumsy hand lettering!

I’m quietly fairly happy with this particular artwork. I have never really felt comfortable drawing in colour. But, blending the inks with water and the softer, almost painterly look I find I really like. That has really, really surprised me! I even quite like the collaged papers. I can even say that this is now done, though I do have a bit of an urge to splatter some gold paint on it. I will reel in that urge and it will pass.

Start of a new page in my lettering sketchbook

Again, I woke before 5am today, even though I didn’t go to sleep until nearly midnight. This is getting ridiculous!

What else to do until I’m either ready to sleep again or give up on sleep and start my day proper? Oh, art of course!

So, I decided to divide a page up in my lettering sketchbook. Then, I coloured the vertical sections with distress inks. The colour themes from left to right are blue, pink and green, with bits of crossover.

Next step? Collage some papers to create areas for hand lettering to go. That squared paper needs to be toned back a bit – white gesso will be just the ticket!

Then, I did some hand lettering and added some patterns. I thought I’d use some fineliners – Inktonic Pens from Arteza to be exact. the collaged paper does like to soak the ink up when just the edge of the pen nib touches it.

Fineliners are not my favourite pens to colour in with. But, they usually have water-soluble ink in them. So, on the lower panel, I used a damp brush to move the ink around to even out the colour.

On the upper panel, I splattered some water on it and used a paper towel to lift the water up. That created a nice splatter pattern. Then I had a thought, “What would happen if I sprayed water on it, lightly and used a paper towel to pick the water up?” I lost the pretty water-bleached spatter patterns. But, some of that ink really bled into the edge of the collaged paper. That was unexpected and rather interesting.

So, some more interesting experiments with this idea I’m working with.

Oh, the letters of lacuna had colour added with a deep indigo Inktense pencil, brush and water.

Oh, I did use a pencil to write out the letters and position them, and I still made a pig’s ear of the ‘And still I rise”. Sheesh! Perhaps I’m being way too critical of my own lettering and what is there. I focus on all the imperfections I perceive, rather than taking a step back and trying to see what I’ve drawn and lettered through someone else’s eyes.

Time for tea and breakfast it is, I think.

More lettering practice … WIP

I managed to get myself totally engrossed in creating these small designs in my lettering sketchbook.

I much prefer the quote in a band across the whole design, though I do have to work on weight of line, the arrangement of words and so on.

This leaves, of course, plenty of space for bands of patterns and different colours and so on. which has been fun and kind of interesting to do.

I don’t know how many of these I had to redo the quote as I misspelt ‘believe’ in ink. Another note to self – pencil in the quote first and then check the spelling and adjust the arrangement of the words!

The one at the bottom left isn’t finished yet.

My two favourites, I think, are the top two. Monochrome colour schemes, no surprises there!

Lettering Practice WIP

Lettering WIP

I woke before 5am today and so I did what I do until I’m ready to go back to sleep – letter and/or draw.

Today, this quote from the wonderful Maya Angelou appeared on my Facebook newsfeed. So, it deserved to be used in some way.

This lettering thing is still vexing me. Today I thought I’d try using some vintage, grungy lined paper from a digital download from WhichCraft Do You Do.

Yes, lined paper. Because, why not! Not that it’s made much of a difference to me feeling a bit better about my lettering. But, you gotta keep trying things out until you find what just sits right, yes?

Next step, after gluing the quote in what seems a suitable space on my sketchbook page, was to add patterns to the background. I started with the border of the Zentangle pattern Crescent Moon around the quote. Then, I added the river of Diva Dance upon which the quote floats. The tangle pattern at the bottom is Crazy ‘Nzeppel.

It seem that looking at and creating some work inspired by Rebbeca Blair has influenced me here. Instead of splitting the background up into smaller sections, like a quilt, I’ve worked in layers that look a bit like torn paper. Now that is an idea to explore further.

I’ve started to add colour with Inktense pencils – Red Oxide and Deep Indigo so far, but I will use some Mustard too. I also intend to add some gold to design, probably in the narrow channels either side of the rusty red section and a few ‘Nzeppel ‘pebbles’.

I think I prefer the torn paper edge of the quote panel, though I may re-try this with straight cut edges.

Digital Downloads

Using digital downloads is a bit new to me. Well, in this fashion at least. I have used digital backgrounds a lot in my digital art, and still do. But printing them out is something I’ve not considered before.

I do think I could make my own papers, going forward, to use in this way. All I need to do is remember to scan them in before using the paper! Easier said than done though. We’ll see.

Having some papers already in my digital stash is a worthwhile start to experiment and see where this leads me.

Various patterns – getting a design ready for some handlettering!

Click on this link to see a video showing how these designs were drawn.

I needed a break from digital drawing this afternoon. So, I did some traditional drawing!

I want to hand letter a quote in the top left corner, but first, panels of patterns are going to be completed. They weren’t all done in the video and I’ve yet to add any more. But I will!

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 – 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.