Having fun today, combining drawing and cardmaking! Zentangle inspired drawing of course.
This card is 2½” x 7″ in size, and the paper I drew on is a 2½” x 6″ piece of Canson Imagine paper.
I chose to use Sandswirl and Holly tangle patterns in the design. After all, they were my tangle pattern and fragment of the week! Plus a couple of other bits and bobs – flowers, crystals, a bit of mooka and a sprinkling of flux.
I did make a boo-boo though. I didn’t let the silver ink dry long enough before I used an eraser. I checked that it was touch-dry, but it wasn’t eraser-dry. Ho hum, dash and darn it!
I used the same metallic silver to draw a border and add a little bit of embellishment. The embellishment is under my fingers, duh!
The sketchy diagram to the right are the dimensions for making an envelope for the card. Red means cut out, blue add glue.
This card is now almost finished. I have learned some things from yesterday’s debacle. Mainly that I’d make a much wider border for the embossed background.
I did add Speckled Egg Distress ink to this embossed background, but it’s such a lovely, subtle colour the camera hasn’t picked it up well.
The embossed layer is so tactile! I used some Micro Glaze to seal it so that being touched won’t affect the distress ink.
Actually, I used Micro Glaze on the top layer too!
I could only find cream coloured card blanks and envelopes, and these layers really didn’t look too good on them. So, hopefully I’ll remember where my card blank stash is, or I’ll make a blank and envelope.
In the video I try embossing an envelope – a case of ‘envelope art’. I’m glad I did. The embossing works well. However, the areas where the flaps are glued together on the back of the envelope make indents in the front. Distress Ink brings these out so much. So, I’ll be sure to emboss the front of the envelope, and colour with Distress Ink, before I glue it all together!
All in all, I’m much happier with this card. Mind you, I do have ideas for others! Probably too late for Christmas now, but … there’s always lots of other reasons for sending greetings cards, including ‘just because I can’.
Winter solstice 2021 Mandala
Winter Solstice Greetings and Wishes to you all to the north of the equator! Summer Solstice Greetings and Wishes to you all south of the equator!
Some sunshine on a chilly, dull Winter Solstice day here in the Valleys of South Wales, UK.
Actually, the title should be ‘How Not to finish up…’. I had a bit of an accident. More about that in a minute.
This morning, I decided to work on finishing up one card design. I knew I wanted to add another layer beneath the panel already finished before gluing it to the cream-coloured card blank.
I dug out some scrapbook paper from my stash. Nothing felt right. The colours were just ‘off’. That’s when I realised I needed to use Distress Inks to colour the lower panel.
I could have used them to colour the panel, then use pens (black, fineliner or metallic) to draw a pattern on it. Instead, I decided to try to emboss the pattern into the paper using a dotting tool / parchment craft ball tool / embossing tool.
Before I did this, I experimented on some scrap paper to see how I could colour the paper (more on this in today’s video).
I decided to emboss the paper first, then add Distress Ink (pine needles) with the black side of a piece of Cut ‘n Dry foam. That kept the embossing white. I found that if I used a blending brush (aka make-up brush!) more ink settled in the embossing. That is also a lovely look, but not what I wanted.
Inside this border, I added some gold ink to create a gold border around the upper panel.
That looked fine and dandy. The horror story came with the next step…
I added some foam tape to the back of the upper panel to add some dimension to the card, along with some glue so I had some wiggle time to make sure I got the panel centred.
The glue was the mistake I think. I had the panel nicely centred until I turned it over to add some pressure to get it to stick firmly. It must have wiggled and become de-centralised.
And when I noticed it was very firmly stuck.
I was so annoyed with myself as I know this is something that nearly always goes wrong when I try to make cards.
The only way I can ‘fix’ things is to cut out that central panel and re-make the embossed border and reassemble the card once again. This time I’d consider having the embossed pattern going under the central pattern so that if it is a little off it won’t be quite so noticeable.
I’m not, however, going to do that. This time, I’m going to make notes in the card about what I did, the media used, what I like, what I don’t like, and what I need to be very, very mindful of the next time I make a card.
Reflecting on the card creation
I know I’m fairly happy with the design. I like the central motif of holly leaves. The sutble pattern in the border around it is nice too, as is the embossed border.
I do wish I’d not used chalk pastels to add colour to this panel. There’s something dusty and muted about it that I’m not at all sure of. I think that keeping things mostly monochrome on a coloured background works best for me, with touches of gold and white, with some shading perhaps.
It’s that thing again. I love colour, but making use of it always has me feeling that it’s where I mess things up, unless I keep the colours really simple. Simple as in black, white, the background colour, and a shadow colour, and maybe touches of metallics for some sparkle and shine.
I do better with colour when I work digitally, but in traditional media I always feel like I struggle.
It’s always a learning experience, more so when things don’t go as planned or when I’m not entirely happy with what I produce. My problem is I try the same kind of thing over and over and expect it all to improve. I think I’m hoping that I’ll work out how to make the various media work for me at some point.
I say, often, I’m going to stick to monochrome, and then go and try working with colour, often with the same kind of feeling at the end. The feeling I like the pen drawing, but the colour/media isn’t what I’m looking for.
Perhaps time for me to make use of this colour printer and add colour digitally and print it out!
I was awake way too early this morning, but just couldn’t get back to sleep. So, what am I going to do? Art of course, after a while of tossing and turning that is.
Completing the holly design.
I spent some time yesterday adding colour with various chalk pastels. I finished off the last few areas with fineliner pens. Then, I added another layer of gold to the stars and inked around their outlines again.
To finish the holly design, I wanted to seal the surface. I’d done some experiments to see how a multi-media gloss finish and micro-glaze would work. With both, there was very little shift of any of the media I’d used on my test pieces – chalk pastels, graphite pencil, tinted charcoal, and Ecoline watercolour inks. The only difference was the gloss medium was a bit glossy, while the micro glaze lacked any brush strokes.
I decided on the microglaze. It helped to bring out the colours, as well as stop them being rubbed off. There’s also less chance of me making a total mess of things too.
All in all, I’m fairly happy with this panel for a card. Despite all my doubt and misgivings during the process of drawing the design, it’s turned out quite OK.
Notes on the mistletoe design
For this design, I decided to create a separate centre panel. I also painted a square of gold beneath where this panel would go.
I used Ecoline watercolour ink to add colour to the drawing on the Distress Ink coloured panel. Then I attached it to the base ’tile’.
Next, it was time to decide what to do with that big border around the mistletoe. I went with the tangle pattern Diva Dance Rock and Roll.
I knew this tangle pattern would add a lot of black to the border, but I think I wanted that to be the case. The black helps the central panel to stand out, I think.
I still have some work to do on this panel, but I to focus on inking in more of the last couple of templates for Adorable Dogs.
I know, I know, I’m really late, but … so much else seems to have got in the way this year. Still, I thought I’d share the drawing process of one design today.
I just started with the idea of having a small focal area on the 4″ square ’tile’. I also had decided that holly would be the motif I’d use. The rest was really not thought about, until I started working.
In the video I share not only how to draw the card, but my thoughts and reflections. I start with a plain piece of paper and end up with this design.
This isn’t finished yet. Colour, shadow, highlight, and, perhaps, more gold need to be added to really lift the design. That’s for another arty session.
For now I need to work on the last few templates for ‘Adorable Dogs’ and get them nailed before the weekend is out!
My vlog today is a flip through of all the art I’ve been doing in the past week, both in sketchbooks and on paper.
The image above shows my bedtime drawing last night. I’m not happy with it, but it is what it is. Finishing the drawing followed by the addition of colour and shadow/highlight may change my mind about it. As may the passage of time and a fresh view of it.
This is but one of quite a few drawings done this week. The rest can be seen in today’s vlog.
Instead of one large image, I created a sheet of eight, slightly smaller than ATC sized drawings.
ATCs (Artist Trading Cards) are 3½” x 2½” in size. The original idea was for artists, crafters, creatives to make small pieces of art and to swap them with other artists as a way to share and collect art. The idea was to swap and not sell, though people do sell them now, but many more do swap and collect work from other artists.
In today’s vlog, I colour and embellish one of the designs. Then, I turn it and another into first ATC cards and then into greeting cards.
This idea came about through a conversation with a group member who asked permission to create ATCs from my coloring templates for the group.
I do not have an Angel Policy for any of my templates in the group to allow them to be sold in any form. However, gifting or swapping them, or items made using them, is fine so long as the artist (me) is credited and the items are not sold.
For the individual coloring books, terms and conditions are mentioned in the books and should always be referred to.
It was a morning for some simple art. Art just for fun, relaxation and self-soothing. So, I thought that small watercolour gradient panels with really simple drawings on them and metallic and pearlescent paint highlights would be perfect.
For the first time ever I managed to create smooth colour gradients with watercolour. The secret, for me, was using a mix of water and gum arabic to wet the paper before applying the colour. Of course, working on such small pieces of watercolour paper helped. Still, it’s a personal achievement!
Once the panels were all done, itseemed a good idea to mount the little panels on some 4″ x 4″ blank cards. So I did just that and added a few more cards to my stash.
Stress and self-care
I had a really poor night’s sleep after the stress of my trip out to the pharmacy yesterday. I woke around 2:30am with a splitting headache and found it hard to get back to sleep. When I did, my alarm went off and woke me with quite a jolt.
I’d set my alarm last night as Wednesday is my delivery day with Able & Cole, and I like to get the deliver in and stored asap.
Once the delivery had come, around 6:30am. I had breakfast and then went back to bed to sleep.
I’m feeling a bit more centred and content now, but I’m still exhausted. So, today will be a quiet, self-care kind of day for me. I’ll be doing my best not to give in to the temptation to take a nap this afternoon so that I can sleep myself our properly tonight.
I needed a quiet morning, again, today. So, I thought I’d dig out my Caran D’Ache Supracolor Soft watercolour pencils and try some stuff with them.
I wanted to use them to draw a flower, or two, and then use water to create a watercolour effect. The result you can see on the left-hand side card. I’ve left loads of white space on this card, which is unusual for me. I couldn’t resist, however, adding some gold dots around the flowers. The colour of the petals was so delicate that I used a 2H 3mm pencil to outline them and the leaves. Just for info, the piece of watercolour paper measures 4″ x 4″.
For the other cards, I just wanted to work with the pencils to create gradients and abstract patterns in colour. I drew on the little panels using a 0.25 Copic Multiliner SP pen and added some lines and details with metallic gold watercolour. These cards are approx 3″ x 4″ in size.
Watercolor pencils are nice to use when it comes to drawing in colour with them, then activiating the colour with water. They really glow on 100% cotton rag paper (bottom right) compared to the other cellulose papers.
Cute and whimsical cards, some very detailed, one not quite so. But a nice way to spend my morning.
Self-care time, again.
There’s a situation going on around me that is draining my emotions greatly at this time. I’m doing my best to not become overly emotionally involved in it, but it’s difficult when it’s to do with people you care about.
It all has a knock on effect with me. I’m anxious, tired verging on exhausted, really grumpy, irritable, and lacking patience at this time. I’m also not able to concentrate too well. These are all behaviours I could do without in dealing with this situation. Yet I’m exhausted by it.
I have been meditating, making sure I take time to do self-calming and self-soothing activities, such as my morning art, Though I have work to do for contracts, I need to take a day away from everything, if I can.
I know there are lessons for me to learn about myself in how I’m reacting ot the situation, stuff from my past that wasn’t processed during my EMDR therapy. If I can work out what it is, I can work through it myself now. Organising EMDR therapy isn’t possible at this time, with lockdown still very much in operation and me being very nervous of going out into the world as well.
So, I’m going to make time today to drink tea, meditate, journal and try to get to the bottom of my own issues and start doing what I can to work through them and heal the past traumas that are causing my reactions at this time.
I think I’ll also take time to crochet (I started a mosaic blanket earlier this week) and watch films or crafting shows on the TV. Eat healthily – I have a yearning for brussel sprouts, of all things! And take time away from social media and news. I may even pick up my flute and play it, for the first time in months and months.