Draw With Me – A pattern and motif sampler.

Link to today’s video on YouTube.

This seems to be the natural progression of my work earlier this week where I put motifs in boxes and added background colour only.

When looking at Rebecca Blair’s artwork, which I absolutely love, I got inspired to create the first ‘sampler’ on the left. I say sampler because splitting space up in this way reminds me of needlework samplers created to practice different stitches.

This is a lovely way for me to indulge my love of hand-lettering, patterns, stylised motifs, colour, shadow, texture and boxes split into boxes!

Colour continues to vex me. I think my favourite is the centre example in a monochrome colour scheme. No chance of any weird colour combinations with that one!

I keep saying this about me and colour, don’t I? But I really need a huge sign that lights up and flashes to remind me to stick to monochrome colours, possibly analogous, and with tiny flashes of a complementary colour. Actually, I need the sign to detect when I reach for colour and shout this advice at me!

Of course, I wanted to share my experiments with the world; well, a few hundred people may be, who may find this an interesting idea to try. If you’d like to see the video then click on this link!

It’s been a quiet day for me. My digestive system is playing up, and self-care is the order of the day. That means not doing anything that has to be the best I can do. I know today that it’ll be harder for me to get things done because I’m under the weather. Fingers crossed, I’ll be fine and dandy again tomorrow.

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.

Draw With Me… Whimsical flowers and foliage – an idea for a sketchbook page

If you’d like to see how I created this partial page for my sketchbook, take a look at this video.

I spent an hour or so doing some warm-up drawing before turning my attention to inking in some colouring pages for “Fanciful Birds”, my next colouring book in the Creative Haven series.

Whimsy is always a welcome thing, flowers and foliage in particular. I also wanted to work with colourful backgrounds for each motif.

I really wasn’t fully awake and didn’t think through the type of paper I was using. I knew I wanted to use alcohol markers to add colour gradients to the background. Did it occur to me to use marker paper? Nope! Of course not! So they bled a tad – the Ohuhu brush markers I used for some of the backgrounds are rather juicy, too juicy for the paper. I liked the backgrounds, however, and knew I could fix the bleeds with a white gel pen.

So, I thought I’d switch to Inktense pencils and a damp brush. Not quite sure that they sit well next to the alcohol marker backgrounds. There’s lots of textureand an unevenness in the colour and gradient. Again, partly down to my choice of paper (all media paper from SeaWhite of Brighton).

So, for the last couple of images, I used some Arteza EverBlend markers for the blue and warm brown backgrounds. The bullet tips let less ink flow onto the paper, minimising the bleed. There was still some bleeding, which I made worse by trying to ‘erase’ it with a colourless blender pen.

I made use of the magic of a white gel pen to cover up these bleeds.

I definitely need to write some reflections for myself to add to this page when it gets put in my sketchbook. For now, I’ll just say that I like the last two I completed the most. Those are the blue and brown backgrounds on the bottom row. I do like the other alcohol marker backgrounds too, but there’s something about the more neutral backgrounds. I just can’t put my finger on what it is.

Right then, time to finish my mug of tea and get some more inking of colouring templates in!

Draw With Me… Even More Whimsical, Imaginative, Stylised Sea Plants

This sketchbook page is now complete! I had so much fun doing this one for sure. There’s a whole host of plants to populate any number of whimsical worlds. There’s a third video tutorial showing how to draw, step by step, the last row as simple line art as well as the start of adding colour and pattern.

Some of the motifs look a bit ‘flatter’ than I like them to, and a couple I’m not quite happy with in terms of pattern/texture. But still, it’s a page full of inspiration and possibility, something I can look back on for inspiration.

Draw With Me … More Whimsical, Imaginative, Stylised Sea Plants

I continued the theme of sea plants today with a row of clusters of variations on a shape. Seriously, just one basic shape with small variations from cluster to cluster. The YouTube video that accompanies these drawings takes you through how to draw them, one step at a time.

Of course, I don’t stop with the main shape being varied. It was a lot of fun to add simple patterns and textures to these plants (or creatures if you will).

Alcohol markers in an analogous colour scheme of violet, blue, blue-green and yellow-green were used. The yellow greens were a late addition as I felt the first cluster needed an extra colour. The yellow-greens also link this row to the first one done yesterday.

The final steps are adding the detailed patterns and textures using both a black 0.1 fineliner and a white gel pen.

Oh, I did use a couple of cool greys to add shadow to the drawings before I added colour.

I’ve just realised I haven’t put any drop shadows behind these plants, or sea squirts, or… Maybe I’ll do that before tomorrow’s video session!

Draw With Me | A sketchbook page of oyster shells – Part 3

Click on this link to view the video tutorial for drawing the fourth oyster shell on YouTube

I’m about halfway through filling this slightly smaller than A5 sketchbook page with different kinds of oyster shells. Today’s even has a pearl in it!

I’m using the same peachy-pink and warm grey alcohol markers, but with the addition of a pale dusky kind of mauve colour for the shadow inside the shell.

I never claim to be an expert at colouring. However, using a very limited colour palette works in my favour, that’s for sure! The end result is good enough, which is what I always aim toward these days. Perfection is something that is unattainable. So good enough is just great!

I’ve been wintering on, both in speech and typing, about the purpose of my YouTube channel. Synchronicity struck today as two quotes about art appeared on my Facebook newsfeed today:

“Go into the arts. I’m not kidding. The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possibly can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something.”

Kurt Vonnegut

“The one thing that you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So, write and draw and build and play and dance and live only as you can.”

Neil Gaiman

These two quotes eloquently sum up what I think I want to bring to YouTube, my social media, and to you.

Confidence to create art just for the pleasure of it and in your own way too.

Building self-confidence is the first step, and sometimes that needs help, instruction, step by step methods, and suggestions for variations and making it your own.

We all can draw. We just have to unlearn that drawing isn’t always about photographic representations. It’s about self-expression, and each of us expresses ourselves differently. Maybe in a similar way to others, but uniquely our own.

To have a bit of confidence to do this, in a sketchbook, where no one else has to see until you’re ready to share in a supportive environment, is all that is needed. I wasn’t lucky enough to have a supportive environment for creating art until I was in my 40s. If I can provide a supportive environment here, around social media, on YouTube, and perhaps in a closed Facebook group or some such place, then I will.

It’s nice to find a purpose, don’t you think? I do, and I’m glad I’ve found that purpose for YouTube at the very least.

Draw With Me | A Sketchbook Page of Oyster Shells – Part 1

Click on this link to watch the video tutorial showing how to draw this motif over on YouTube.

I’ve been having a lot of fun filling sketchbook pages with variations on a basic motif/pattern. It’s time, I think, to fill a sketchbook page (A5-ish) with variations of just one motif. Variations that include filler patterns, colours, shading and media used. I’m not sure that makes sense, but sometimes it’s easier to show rather than tell. Or perhaps tell while showing what I’m doing/thinking.

The video is much shorter than usual, at less than 30 minutes. I think that looking at drawing just one motif is a bite-sized activity, whereas a whole sketchbook page in one go can be a bit overwhelming.

There, I’ve got to a clear explanation of my intention behind this video!

So, I’ve decided to start with a page of variations of oyster shells. I start with line art in an Oysteroid style. Oysteroid is a tangle pattern by Eni Oken. I make sure that I use thicker lines to give the illusion of depth.

Next, add colour. I used two pale warm grey marker pens to add shadows. (Ohuhu WG1 and WG3). Then I used two peachy pinks to add colour (Ohuhu R18 and R21).

Using an 01 fineliner, I added the textural patterns. I decided to use a different one in each layer of the motif. Perhaps a bit too much pattern.

Finally, I added dots of white gel pen for the highlights.

I completely forgot to add a drop shadow beneath the motif to lift it off the paper a little. I’ll add that at a later point in time I’m sure.

The patterns added complexity to the simple colour/shadow. They also masked where my impatience meant the black pen hadn’t dried fully and the ink smudged a bit with the alcohol marker.

I do hope you’ll take a look at the video, get out pen, paper and some coloring medium and draw along with me.

My current sketchbook page

This page is just a kind of doodleart that I’m exploring, along with working with alcohol markers and trying to understand how I can best work with them.

All these ‘doodles’ turned out kind of organic in a kind of mechanical way, possibly. I’ll be turning my attention to them again this evening.

A Zentangle Inspired Card

Today, I made a greetings card! The top layer can be seen in the picture.

I chose to create a Zentangle Inspired tile for the card. I’m actually fairly happy with the end result. I even managed to mount the tile on the cardblank centrally. Now that’s a first for me!

I had the devil’s own job getting the video sorted and uploaded. My head is full of mush still. This time as a result of a not nice upset tummy yesterday afternoon and evening.

All the same, I got there in the end. And that is all that matters methinks.

Here’s today’s video. If you would be so kind as to click on the Watch On YouTube, I would be very appreciative as it helps with YouTube’s arcane algorithm!

Motif Monday

Click on this link to see today’s video.

I love playing around with motifs, letting variations appear on my paper. So, having a day dedicated to exploring in such a way is, I think, a good idea for me!

Today, I chose two templates. One ‘seedling-y’, the other ‘coral-ish’. I ended up with this page (A5) full of possibilities and potential.

I worked in an A5 Arteza plain paper notebook rather than a sketchbook. I’m getting papers all over the place again. As much as I like the discbound sketchbooks I have, I just felt the time was right to dedicate a casebound book to my motif, tangle and fragment pursuits.

The paper reminds me of dot-grid notebook paper, without the dots. I didn’t expect it to work well with the washes of colour. However, as a sketchbook, it’ll be fine for me. The smooth surface of the paper is a pleasure to draw on. Also, I won’t wreck the nibs of my fineliner pens so quickly!

Oh, I also used a matt graphite pencil to add shadows – no tortillon or paper stump, just using pressure and/or layering to increase the depth of the shadow. I also worked with texture in the shadow in the blue seed-pod/sea anemone/round thing. That is something I want to look at a bit more going forward too.