I love Halloween; it’s one of the few celebrations in the year that don’t fill me with deep sadness and cause emotional distraught. And, of course, when it comes to me, cute and whimsical, smiley and pretty is my preferred style of illustration.
I thoroughly enjoyed drawing this design earlier today. My whimsical heart was filled with joy as I just a few of my favourite things. I’m sure there’s a song there…
“Hats upon skull-ies and batwings on potions, mushrooms on bottles and bright orange pumpkins, Some stripy tentacles with round eyeballs, These are a few of my favourite things.”
Well, it doesn’t rhyme, but it’s a start!
So whatever you are doing today, however you are celebrating, or not, I wish you the very best!
I absolutely love Halloween; it’s the only yearly celebration that isn’t filled with triggers for emotional upsets. If I could change the date of my birthday, it would be Halloween! It’s not the horror-filled aspects that grab me, it’s the fun and laughter I associate with this time of year.
I love creating whimsical art all year round, but changing the scary for cute is a lot of fun at Halloween. It makes me smile and fills my heart with joy. As far as I’m concerned, skulls and pumpkins, ravens and potions, ghosts and ghoulies and all the other wonderful things associated with Halloween are not just for Halloween!
I do love seeds! There’s such a huge variety across the globe. Today, I chose some elm seeds to stylise for this drawing.
I also had a hankering to tackle, once again, Tomos Padros’ beautiful Zentangle pattern “Taiga”. It took me two attempts to work out how to do it, but I got there in the end. It is a beautiful woven pattern with so much volume when high contrast shade and light are used.
Carrying on with the theme of pumpkins and gourds, today I tackled the Zentangle tangle pattern “Gourdgeous” and drew this cute pile of pumpkin-ish gourds.
Of course, as they are drawn with a Zentangle pattern, it was only right that I filled them with some Zentangle patterns – Purk, Sattuck, Crescent Moon, and B’tweed.
I drew the design on a 6″x3″ piece of grey-green mixed media paper. Tombow Fudenosuke and Zebra flexible nib pens were used to draw the main black sections of the pattern. Then, I added the patterns with 0.1 and 0.4 fineliner pens.
To add shade and light, I used some Inktense pencils – Light Olive, Madder Brown, Iron Green and Iron Blue. Oh, and Antique white for the highlights.
The white dots were added with a Sakura Soufflé pen.
This was a lot of fun to do, especially playing with light and shadow to create volume! There’s some bits I’m not happy with – the tendrils are a bit clumsy looking, some of the highlights could be brighter. But on the whole it’s not too shabby!
You can tell I love autumn! I just couldn’t resist another drawing with pumpkins and assorted autumnal motifs. In the video accompanying this picture, I get all the drawing done and start adding colour. This photo is of the completed drawing so far. There’s plenty of space for some more autumnal goodies!
As I worked on some warm, grey paper (‘Clay’ Toned Paper from Fabriano), the colours are muted and feel a bit washed out. Usually, Inktense pencils with a light wash of water are bright and vibrant, but the grey tones mute them somewhat. But I like that. It gives a vintage and nostalgic air to the artwork.
From time to time, I can circle back to drawing styles that I’ve not done for a long time. This kind of drawing, which has an etched ‘feel’ to it, is an example of something I’ve not done for what seems an age. I am, however, enjoying it very much. Exploring working on toned paper with various colouring media is fascinating for sure.
This morning, the first one of astronomical autumn, I felt the need to draw things autumnal. What better than oak leaves and acorns, mushrooms and pumpkins and a smattering of berries.
This wasn’t quite what I expected to flow out of my pen. Although the elements are stylised, there’s also a lot of contour line work and stippling to bring some volume and texture to the design. It’s a bit like an etching, lino cut or woodcut. A bit.
I can see where I started adding precise contour lines, but then they became much more expressive.
I’ve just added a coloured background to my drawing for now. I’m not sure about how to add colour yet. Do I risk messing it up by using traditional media? Or do I play safe and add colour digitally? At the moment, I don’t know. But there’s no rush. The image is scanned in and saved safely on my hard drive.
All I will say, for now, is that I really enjoyed drawing this. And I quite like it, even when considering the yeuchier areas of stippling.
Today is the last day of astronomical summer; tomorrow is the autumnal equinox, the first day of astronomical autumn. Autumn is my favourite time of year. I love the warm, balmy days and the cooler, snuggly evenings cwtched up under a warm blankie. The changing colours are glorious – nature in her fiery finery!
I’m hoping that the glories of autumn will entice me out from home a bit more often, camera in hand. I can hope. I’m still finding it hard to go out and about. But little by little, I am getting out a bit more, from time to time.
Anyhoo, today’s colouring page is an autumn-themed mandala. Now I know that for those south of the equator, spring is incoming for them, but Hallowe’en and Thanksgiving and other celebrations take place according to the calendar rather than the seasons. So though I’ve coloured this template in rich autumn tones, it could be coloured in any way you wish.
I love to draw mandalas, and this one was no exception, especially the cute, whimsical mushrooms and pumpkins! And not forgetting the acorns and oak leaves too. I even managed to sneak a few hearts in there. And of course, stars and moons, berries and botanicals are always most welcome!
I decided that I’d like to turn the sunflower and wheat elements of yesterday’s drawing into a mandala. And this is the result.
I’m fairly happy with it, though I think some parts lack contrast to really give them some visual volume. But it will do, for now. I like the hint of a suggestion of the whole mandala being sun-like. it also reminds me a little of hand-coloured etchings or prints. It would have looked more like a woodcut if I’d used heavier lines and more texture. These are things to try to remember and put into practice in my next mandala like this.
Strictly speaking, Lammas, or Lughsanadh, was yesterday, but I was busy getting all the work for ‘Fanciful Birds’ finished. I know I have a break before my next colouring book contract, and my attention will be on a couple of projects I’ve already started.
Back to Lammas. Lammas comes from the Old English hlafmæsse, which translates as ‘loaf mass’. It was a mass where the first loaves baked from the first wheat harvest were consecrated in thanks for the harvest. This celebration probably reaches far back in time to the first farmers. Having a good harvest was important so that people, and livestock too, had enough to eat through the dark, cold, lean times of winter.
So, I included some ears of wheat in today’s drawing, along with a happy sunflower, which just goes with the start of August and the height of summer.
This drawing isn’t quite finished. Shadow is needed, and colour. I’m likely to do that digitally. I also may use this drawing as the basis for a mandala design as well. But not now. I need another big mug of tea before I tackle that!