This was a fun ‘Draw With Me’ drawing tutorial on YouTube. Unusually, I used a lot of Zentangle tangle patterns – Arukas variation, Crescent Moon variation, Tipple variation, Quabog, Sez and Mooka. Plus a couple I like to draw – the flowers within circles and the mechanical kind of things under the hand lettering.
It is a work in progress, however. I have no idea what will appear next on it…intuitive art is a wonderful thing to do!
I’ve finished adding all the main patterns on the cover page for my Entangled Samplers collection. I’m happy with the result, which is something I rarely say!
However, I needed a regular grid pattern to contrast with the more organic patterns and motifs. So, I added the gridded tangle to the top right.
At the bottom right is a variation of the Zentangle tangle pattern ‘Rixty’. The plain white paper behind it was crying out for some texture. So, I added some ‘Printemps’ spirals using a 0.1 light grey Unipin pen. As a subtle reminder to use colour and line thickness variations to bring interest into a drawing, this was a good idea.
I have a couple of things to decide before fully finishing the page. Firstly, how do I want to add shade/highlight/contrast to the drawing? Secondly, do I want to add a pattern to the wide border around the title text?
There’s no rush for me to decide. What’s the saying? ‘Act in haste, repent at leisure’? I can let these issues wander around my noggin until the perfect methods come forward.
Exploring ‘Lunaria’ by Ute Andresen and a wavy leafy pattern
I had some time and energy left to do some more drawing. So, I grabbed (gently) a fresh sheet of A5-ish paper and used some patterns from last Tuesday’s Tea and Tangle With Tracy.
The first one is based on waves with leaves. I like the very graphic, high-contrast leaves, for sure. Adding colour between them helps to make sense of the pattern as well.
The second one is my take on a tangle pattern by Ute Andresen called ‘Lunaria’. I like branching and organic patterns. In this drawing, I wanted to explore variations on the ‘fruits’ at the end of each branch. This is always a fun thing to do! No doubt I’ll do another branch of Lunaria explorations in the space beside this one at some point.
I’ve been working on this drawing over the past three or four days when I’m alert enough to do so. I’m pleased with the final version, especially as I kept to just a few basic motifs. It was in the deep, dark depths of last night that I finished adding the final textural patterns.
Is this entirely finished? I’m still trying to figure it out! It would benefit from shade/contrast to bring out the layers and volume of the various elements. I’m still determining how I want to accomplish that; part of me thinks digitally is the way to go, but another part considers pastel pencils may work well.
There is no rush to complete it. It is in an A4 sketchbook – Talens Creations, to be precise. Now it’s been scanned in, I can either work on it digitally or edit various sections, such as the too-dense patterns in the bottom centre and the fine, white strands with blobs on the ends.
I used 05 and 01 Sakura Pigma Micron pens and an 08 White Gelly Roll pen to complete the drawing.
I tend towards the digital for such tasks. I can try things out without the fear of messing the artwork up.
Emotional and Mental Wellbeing
However, I won’t be trying to do so today. This is because I’m zonked out and so sleepy. The higher dose of anti-depressant/anxiety meds is working, for sure. I know these side effects will subside as my body gets used to the increased levels of the meds and serotonin. So all is to the good, and onwards I go.
It can be hard to be gentle with myself at times. I know I’ve not done much regarding social media or YouTube for a few months. First, I had a severe injury to the muscles between the ribs. Although the muscles are fine now, I still have tenderness/soreness with some ligaments/tendons. That will heal in time, and it’s manageable.
Then, there was a decline in my mental and emotional health, followed by the new medication. I’m so grateful you are bearing with me during my trying time.
I know this time will pass; it did in the past with the help of meds and therapy. This time, just the meds are needed. I know what provoked the decline – too many changes at once and too many people-y times too. And last week had some people-y times – another funeral to attend and some serious bits of adulting in person.
Being gentle with myself is essential this week. I don’t want wonderful, grand, or amazing days. I need days of peace, gentleness and contentment. Then, with some awe and wonder of nature, I can feel alert and aware enough to venture forth for a walk.
The comfort of a good mug of tea, quiet and calming activities -drawing, crocheting (I’m faffing around with hyperbolic crochet just for fun and because I can), and tv/films that make me smile and even laugh.
We’re all under too much pressure to be ‘productive’ and have a ‘grand day’ every day. That’s not possible. Even during dark days, I can find things that bring me some contentment and peace, sometimes awe and wonder at nature and the universe. Those small moments mean far more daily than the colossal mountain of a ‘wonderful day’ or ‘grand day’.
A gentle and good-enough day. Good enough, such an important ideal, especially from an inveterate hyper-perfectionist! I’ve been learning in the last decade or more that being good enough is good enough! Perfect is unattainable. Accepting our imperfections in whatever sphere of our lives is necessary. They are part of us.
Recently, I’ve realised I wear a mask to cover up my ‘imperfections’. Quirks or individuality could be a better way of saying imperfections. But it’s exhausting to keep that mask up. That’s part of why I’m so exhausted after being around people.
The mask I wear is from very early in childhood from the ‘don’t do that’ and other messages that made me perceive I was not good enough and just plain weird. How many of us have experienced that? So the mask was to help me fit in and not receive those criticisms. It had layers added to it over my lifetime, so much I don’t really know who I am; always trying to be the person everyone else wanted me to be rather than myself.
Again, how many of us are like this?
I discovered during EMDR that I am good enough, warts and all. So, I started to uncover the real me and show it to someone I’d built trust with. But it was just a start. Now, it’s time for me to discover more about myself and what my mask is hiding from me and learn that there is nothing I need to be ashamed of. If I can embrace my geeking out over Star Wars, steam locomotives, art, and many other things… Well, I can start to embrace those parts of me that have been hidden as they were deemed different, weird, odd, and quirky to others in some way.
It’s a process, and I’m still determining how much I’ll achieve it. But if I can accept my style of art is good enough and an expression of what goes on in my mind and heart, then I can discover and accept the other bits of me.
A genuinely unsettling time, yet one with the hope of finally answering some questions about who I really am, which is not really the person I’ve been forced to be by other people’s expectations. It’s both causing me anxiety and depression, but also it’s exciting me. Yes, we can hold more than one conflicting emotion at any time!
And, again, how many of us are like this? I do know I am not alone in such a journey.
It’s a gloomy, wet Saturday here in the Valleys of South Wales, and the weather matches my mood. My inner sun touchstone of contentment is still there; I can sense it as a constant beneath the clouds and know that it is there the same way I know the Sun is behind the clouds (or the Earth at night). All storms, or successions of storms, eventually pass, and I know that the stormy inner weather is related to something(s) I’m having to work through and sort out. I will get there. I was reminded today that I’ve got myself through such times in the past and that I’m quite capable of doing so again (thanks to my friend for reminding me!).
To use my metaphor, I’ll weather the storms that come and go, and art will help me do so.
When I sit and draw, my mind empties of all the thoughts the negative self-talk likes to shout at me, the sunny touchstone shines through the clouds a little more and the contentment increases. For a while, I have a break from it all. And when I stop drawing, I feel better, even if the storm starts up again.
I will be fine; I am in many ways. And there’s always art. And writing. And music. And Star Wars!
Oh, the page above. I worked on it last night and today. I’ve done as much as I want on the page. Partly coloured or shaded, and some areas with a darker background. It is, to me, a way to suggest what I could do. That’s why I like pages like this. Unfinished, or inconsistently finished, with possibilities and potential and inspiration.
I used 05 and 01 Sakura Pigma Micron Pens to draw the design. To add some shade and the background, a Warm Grey III Pitt Artist Brush pen was used. And various Graphitint pencils and a water brush added colour to other motifs.
I’ve been asked several times if I’d make my visual dictionary, pattern and motif collection, journal or art zibaldone available for others. I’ve shown it a few times in videos. It’s my go-to reference when I need some inspiration for my art.
So, today, I thought I’d take some elements from a current WIP and start to put a page together.
I used a piece of A5 dot grid paper with holes punched in it for a six-ring binder. However, I may use an A5 dot grid notebook. To draw the design, I used an 05 Sakura Pigma Micron Pen. Shade was added with a 2B matt Pitt graphite pencil and paper stump/tortillon.
I enjoyed doing this. It was fun to add alternative ways of approaching various elements. That’s how I like to work in my visual zibaldone. And, of course, the variations are not exhaustive! No doubt more will appear in time, either in the zibaldone or in some artwork.
That is what I love doing. Varying and shifting the pattern or motif into something new and different.
Of course, I have filmed myself drawing this page so far, and you can draw along with me by clicking this YouTube video link.
This was an interesting experiment. I was inspired by a video tutorial by Ellen Crimi-Trent Artist. In the video, she used a charcoal pencil to create an abstract line design. Next, watercolours were used to fill the spaces. Finally, details were added with pen.
I thought it could be a lot of fun to use this as a way to display some Zentangle style patterns. So I did! However, in true Angela style, I’d first tried not only a charcoal pencil, but a watersoluble graphite pencil, an Inktense pencil and an Inktense Outliner to create the grids on separate pieces of mixed media paper. Then I added watercolour to them to see which method of laying out the main pattern I liked the most.
As it turns out, it was the charcoal! I didn’t expect that!
I filled in the majority of the spaces with tangle patterns. Finally, I used charcoal and white chalk to add shade and highlight to each section of the design. I should say I didn’t do all the sections in the video. Oh, and I added some white highlights/patterns with a white GellyRoll pen.
The intense black of the charcoal really dials up the contrast by quite a few notches! I really did have a lot of fun playing with the illusion of volume in this design.
I’m also glad that I didn’t fill all the sections with pattern; I like that I have some simple, volumised areas whose simplicity contrasts with the complexity of the patterns.
I now have quite a few pieces of coloured, patterned paper to play with in the coming days.
Well and truly people-d out!
It’s true. I’ve not had such an intensely people-y week since well before the pandemic hit. I both feel very much by myself and a little sad about that, but also rather relieved that I get to sigh, relax and breathe for the next couple of days at least.
And with the relaxation may come the introvert hangover or social migraine! Maybe not. I’ll see tomorrow. I know as I take my time to relax, unwind, settle back into my solitary existence I will feel intense tiredness creep over me. Indeed, I can feel it beginning to extend it’s soft cloudy folds and start to enevolop me. I will give in, later. I have a few things to do first! Social media posts, a huge mug of tea, maybe something to eat. And then…I’ll see!
A day or two ago, I started to add colour to this drawing using Pitt Pastel Pencils from Faber-Castell. I thoroughly enjoyed using these pencils, possibly more than alcohol markers! That was a big surprise! I think the paper makes all the difference. I drew the design on ClaireFontaine PaintON mixed media paper in a natural colour. This paper has a ‘tooth’ to it which the pastel pencil can be worked into to ‘fix’ it somewhat.
I tend to approach adding colour as a way of adding another layer of pattern. It’s not about representational art and giving a realistic look. For me, it’s about playing with layers and volume using contrast. If I keep this in mind, then colouring can go reasonably well.
I kept to a simple palette of three browns and two greens. Oh, and a white pastel pencil too. I also used gold ink on the ‘beads’ and found that I could add shade to it with pastel left on the paper tortillon.
I will finish adding colour to this design; it will find its way into my accordion art journal. But I won’t be finishing it today.
Overwhelmed and overwrought
My emotions are all over the place for reasons I’m not going to go into. But, just to say, it’s been a tough few days, and I’m now officially exhausted.
I’ve had to push through with work to get the first drawings for my next colouring book revised and inked in. I still have one template for Whimsical Houses to colour, which is my plan for tomorrow. Not today. I can barely keep my eyes open.
I need to be gentle with myself and give myself some quiet, relaxing time and plenty of opportunities to sleep so my brain and emotions can reset. Some Star Wars may be in order … Yes, a good dose of Star Wars always does me good!
I thoroughly enjoyed drawing this design. I’m fairly happy with the colours, but not the extra pen work to add shading/texture. I’m just feeling very tired – peopled out after brunch with my niece and older sister today. Mind you, it was the brunch – I had garlic mushrooms on toast – that inspired the drawing. Well, my love of mushrooms did.
It’s been a while, but it’s nice to be back. I’ve had to take a break due to an injury. I damaged some of my intercostal muscles, and drawing, sitting, and typing has been almost impossible for nearly four weeks. But I am slowly getting better.
I have missed being able to create so much, yet I’m so rusty at doing so as well! I may not often post for the next couple of weeks or so as I continue to heal and improve, but … as time goes on, I’ll get back into the swing of things for sure!