Monogram ‘B’ (and a couple of others!)

Click on this link to view today’s video tutorial that goes with this design!

Watching some arty videos yesterday, I stumbled upon one that involved creating “Polaroid Pops”, part of a challenge hosted by AALL and Create back in January 2022. In this challenge, you had to create mixed media polaroid ‘photos’ using stamps by a specific artist in the AALL and Create range.

I really liked the format of the images created and thought it could be fun to try this for myself!

Polaroid photos have the following dimensions:
The image is 3.1″ x 3.1″ (approx. 8cm x 8cm)
The whole photo is 3.5″ x 4.2″ (approx 9cm x 11cm).

So, yesterday I cut up some of my Neocolour II backgrounds to 8cm x 8cm and got to drawing on them!

I really like the square format. At 3.1″ x 3.1″ (8cm x 8cm), they’re only a wee bit smaller than a standard Zentangle tile. And they do look fab when mounted on the white card to create the polaroid.

After drawing a kind of botanical scene in silhouette (not quite my thing, but you have to try, you know.), I tried popping a hand-lettered monogram into the square and using Zentangle patterns to fill in the negative space.

That was much more ‘me’. And in today’s video, I continue with the letter B, though it looks like an R because I deliberately drew it as bigger than the ‘photo’. Duh, didn’t check for it looking weird before inking it in. Luckily, there’s space on the white background to write in what it is!

While the video was uploading and processing, I drew the ‘H’.

I think I may make an alphabet collection for future reference and inspiration! So, if you fancy having a go take a look at today’s video on YouTube.

“Embrace Beautiful Chaos”, a work in progress

I had the hand-lettered part of this sketchbook page completed a couple of days ago. I didn’t really know what else to do with it. I knew adding colour with traditional media was likely to be a disaster.

This morning I woke up knowing what to do with this, along with other things. So, I spent some time adding a border around the lettering and starting to add patterns and motifs. And arches, lots of arches!

I then thought it would be nice to share some of the drawing process through a video, which you can see by clicking this link.

It feels like a long while since I did any entangled style art. The hand-lettering isn’t perfect, nor is the frame around it. But that’s OK. I think it goes with the ‘chaos’, the imperfection, the touch of an imperfect human hand.

A couple of months ago, I may have tried to do something like this, and would likely have been really dissatisfied with the result. Mainly because I wasn’t at all happy with my hand-lettering attempt. But now, after just a couple of months of working in lettering sketchbooks, working with different ways to form letters and finally accepting that whatever lettering I do doesn’t have to be perfect – good enough is good enough!

I’m using variations in the density of pattern and ink to create shadows and highlights in the design. I have no intention of using pencil or markers to add grey shadows to this one. If I decide to add colour, it will be in the style of a linocut or hand-coloured print, perhaps with some extra shadow and highlight added by the depth of colour. Perhaps. Maybe. And if I do, digital is the way I’ll go! First, though, I have to finish drawing this design.

What you create … Hand lettering practice

I had fun creating this design in my lettering sketchbook, well one of my lettering sketchbooks!

The main quote is something I’ve found difficult to accept throughout my time exploring and developing my art. I’d bought into the belief that for something to be good it has to be ‘perfect’.

I’m finally accepting that a piece of art I create only has to be good enough, and that means it’s OK to be perfectly imperfect. Just as I had to accept that I am good enough as a person, imperfectly perfect as we all are, then I’m recognising that I’m doing the same thing for my art.

I can accept now, most of the time, that it’s fine if there are imperfections in it, even mistakes that become part of the design. These imperfections, rather variations, add character to the work and make it uniquely mine. Even if others work in a similar way, each is unique.

Art is a practice, a life-long process of learning and developing, and self-discovery too. Is perfection possible? I don’t know, but I’m happy to settle for this is the best I can do now and it is good enough.

This drawing is finished, with cool grey shadows added. Now, I have to decide whether to leave it like this or add colour. If I add colour, do I go with alcohol markers or digital art? I’m not sure, yet. But there’s no rush to decide.