Tiny Tiles – Zentangle Inspired Art for Random Acts of Kindness.

Click on this link to view the accompanying video on YouTube.

I had an idea. It may not be a great idea. It may not be executed in the best way today. But it’s a start, but first, some background as to how this idea came about before I explain myself.

Last week, I went to a local café for a late lunch. So late that it was almost tea time! The first time I’ve been out for lunch by myself since the start of the Covid pandemic. I’ve had lunch out three times with a friend in this time, but I still rarely leave my home for such things.

It was a lovely lunch, broccoli and stilton soup with a large pot of tea. The people working in the cafe were lovely and helpful. The food was delicious and beautifully presented. I was made to feel very welcome there.

So, it took a few days, but yesterday I woke with an idea. Why don’t I do some tiny artworks to leave for people to discover. Little notes to thank those who run a café or restaurant. Little notes of kindness, inspiration, or compassion are on the back for strangers who may need to read them. Little notes to brighten up someone’s day. And maybe put my email address/blog address on there. Maybe. I’ve not decided if that will be a thing, yet.

So, the first step was to see what sizes of little envelopes I could buy. I really wanted glassine ones, so the tile is protected but visible. But the only tiny ones I could find were 6.5cm square (that’s 2.5″). So some have been ordered, and some watercolour card has been cut into pieces 6cm square, ready to use! The tiles in the image are 6cm square in size. So quite tiny!

The others I found are so sweet. They have a heart fastening on the rear flap and are made of kraft paper. Perfect! That way, what’s inside will be a surprise and, hopefully, a pleasant one for those who find it. These are a bit bigger at 10.5cm x 7 cm (approx 4.13″ x 2.75″), which is about the size of a gift card, business card or credit card. So, I cut paper to 10cm x 6.5 cm to fit these envelopes.

For this morning’s video, I decided to use two of the small squares. I started by colouring one side with Distress Inks. Then I drew the designs with various black fineliner pens. Next, I added more colour with Inktense pencils and a water-brush. Finally, highlights were added with white gel pens and a gold gel pen on the Aquafleur design. Not sure the gold pen was a good idea; I might have been better off using a dip pen and gold ink. It’s all a learning process!

Then, it was time to hand-letter a message on the back and decorate. This is where I think things went a tad to pot. In hindsight, I wish I’d coloured the reverse of the tile too, as, the white looks so stark. But they’ll do. My hand-lettering isn’t the best, but again it will do. My biggest problem is not letting the ink dry fully before erasing pencil lines and/or adding Inktense pencils. But they’re not too shabby…possibly.

What I may try doing, as these are test pieces, is using some Microglaze to seal them. Not only will it seal the Distress Ink, but will give a glossy finish that will bring out the colours more. The problem with Micro glaze is that it smears the black pen lines. But as these are test pieces, if that happens, I’ll learn not to do it again in the future, or use different kinds of pens. I wonder how the Dokumentas in the Twisbi’s will react to Micro glaze? That is an experiment I need to try out!

My only problem once I’m happy with this, apart from learning how to take better photographs of my work, is finding the courage to leave these things. The intense embarrassment and shame I know I’ll feel will be great. That will come out of the old fear that no one will like what I do or appreciate it or understand that it comes from a place of unconditional love and gratitude for our connections. And this is the reason why I’m dithering about whether or not to include my email.

I’ll work it out. I usually do, eventually! Until then, I have a small pile of tiles to decorate, Micro glaze and different pens to experiment with, and how to put messages on the back… part of me thinks printing them out and glueing them on could be a way to go. I have actually turned one of my hand-lettering styles into a font! Something else for me to think about.

Monogram “b”, Zentangle Inspired

To view the accompanying video which shows most of the drawing and adding background patterns and colour, click on this link!

I’m continuing with my exploration of monograms and patterns. This one is a bit odd with the ba sitting above a pool or pebble..or something. But I quite like the patterns I’ve used to embellish it. I’m also rather fond of the background patterns, especially the very faint ones to the bottom right.

I’m not too fussed about the greens, yellows and the colours I used for the flowers. Pretty much every colour apart from the background colours and the colours of the patterns around the b!

Must write a HUGE reminder and stick it where I can see it “WORK IN MONOCHROME!”

All the same, it’s a learning exercise for me, as drawing always is. The ones that turn out not quite to my liking at the ones I learn most from. Having said that, I still haven’t learned that ‘work in monochrome’ thing yet! One day, maybe, I will.

Zentangle Inspired Monogram WIP

Click on this link to watch the Draw With Me tutorial video on YouTube

This morning, I thought I’d share how I’m exploring creating some Entangled art, particularly monograms, via YouTube.

This little drawing is 11cm by 11cm, which is approximately 3.5″ square – took about an hour or so to get to this point. I wasn’t sure of the green, but I think it’ll work out just fine. There’s quite a way to go yet, but that will have to wait for another time.

The materials I used are:
* 03 black Sakura Pigma Micron
* Various Arteza Everblend marker pens
* Various fineliners in grey and green
* A white Sakura Gellyroll pen
* A metallic gold Uniball Signo pen

Illustrated Journal Page and Lettering Practice

Sunday morning (and Saturday evening, which was when this page was started) is the perfect time to practice my lettering, a quirky kind of illustrated journal page, and digital art practice.

I had intended to use just three, maybe four, basic colours for this page, but the vegetables threw me a tad!

I drew the page on paper with a fine Zig Mangaka Flexible pen. The Colour was added digitally after scanning the page. And I had a lot of fun as ideas clicked into place to add colour to the lettering.

Admittedly, some of the inking work is a tad clunky, but that could be fixed if I wanted to. It is a sketchbook page, and so perfection isn’t required. Giving myself permission to work with what I deem as less than perfect is an important lesson I’m trying to learn. Expressing myself in this wobbly, wonky, imperfect, quirky, eccentric, whimsical kind of way is a work in progress.

Oh, I’ll still draw detailed, intricate black and white pen designs. But I suspect I’ll do much more of this style of art. I have much to learn about it, using colour with no black lines, for instance. But I know it’s all a process, and I’ll get to where I need to be. I know that I’m really enjoying the combination of traditional ink drawing with digital colour – tradigital?

I’m not sure my Doodleworlds critters belong, but I just couldn’t resist popping them in to fill an awkward space!

Lettering practice, 23 July 2022

I’ve had a funny couple of days, not necessarily in the funny ha-ha way, though!

I had a migraine yesterday, so no video nor post was possible. I’m feeling better today, just still very, very tired.

Today, I had plans. I was awake around 5am, again, and so did some pencil lettering ‘sketches’; the finished result of one is in the photo.

I thought I’d start to digitally ink the lettering in and add colour before turning my attention to a YouTube video. And the phone rang, and it was a friend. So, during the over two-hour-long chat, I managed to mostly get this done! Yup, I can ink in a sketch and so on while chatting. I just can’t chat and sketch, generally.

My plans to record a video this afternoon were then scuppered as I couldn’t keep my eyes open! So, on waking, I completed this particular piece of lettering and doodling.

It really is practice for me. I’m not only practising my lettering skills, but I’m also trying out new brushes and tools and so on in Clip Studio Paint. That is a constant practice for me. I tend to learn how to do something when I need to do that something!

This one is probably as good as it’s going to get. Time to move along to the next mini-lettering project and learn and practice more!

Sunday Morning had lettering and doodles.

Sunday morning, I drew this in pencil. Today I finally got it inked in by hand and colour added.

I’m quite pleased with how this turned out. I may actually be finding my way with this hand lettering lark!

#DrawWithMe | Patterned letters – “h”

I’ve finished inking all the templates for ‘Fanciful Birds’! So how to I celebrate? I hand letter a lower case h! And video the process too.

I added the ‘g’ early this morning. I woke way too early and did some drawing until I was ready to go back to sleep.

#DrawWithMe | Patterned Letters

Phew, what a day! First, I focused on getting some of the final templates for “Fanciful Birds” done. I have just two left to do tomorrow.

After several hours working at a computer screen, I needed some time working with pen and paper. So, I continued with this page from my hand-lettering sketchbook.

I started this page yesterday and completed the ‘e’ and ‘f’ in today’s YouTube video.

The ‘e’ is completed in a dusty blue Chameleon fineliner pen. For the ‘f’ I used a rusty brown Staedtler Triplus fineliner.

I’m not at all fussed on the lilac ‘e’ on the top line. I much prefer either black or the more vintage, muted tones. That seems to be a bit of a theme with a lot of my art.

It was lovely and relaxing to just draw for the pleasure of drawing, and it was really comforting to return to this kind of intricate, abstract, patterned kind of art too.

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.

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.