Sketchbook, Draw With Me… 28 Nov 21

Link to today’s vlog.

At the top of the photo is the almost completed sketchbook page for the recent seed pod pattern explorations.

I’ve gone a bit wild with colour! I wanted to see how using graphite under-shadowing worked with Ecoline Watercolour Inks, and to see how that ‘stained glass’, fragmented background would work.

I think, going forward, I need to think more about using different sets of colours for the background and motifs. I don’t know though for sure. I do like this kind of background though.

I’ve not added pattern to any of these background sections…yet. Maybe I’ll look at that in the coming days.

At the bottom of the photo are the motifs I drew in today’s vlog. These are all based on circular/semi-circular kinds of pods, capsules, designs. Some are quite architectural in feel, but also work as botanicals.

Yesterday’s realisation that the bigger seed pods reminded me of the photos taken of horsetail plants by Karl Blossfeldt. He believed that “the plant must be valued as a totally artistic and architectural structure.”

I tend to agree with him! I often describe winter as the season where nature shows off the underlying architecture of the natural world. we can see the support structure of trees and other woody plants. Land that was hidden by foliage and flower is revealed, showing how the swathes of trees follow the contours of the land, it’s streams and rivers and so on.

I don’t like the cold of winter, nor the short days. The limited sunlight tends to lower my mood a lot, and a sunlight therapy lamp is needed on may days to stave off creeping depression and despair at my abilities. But I do like being able to see that architecture, the way the patterns in the world are so different. That makes up for the short days!

It’s hard not to see how architects of the past must have been influenced by nature. The soaring columns with arched ceilings in gothic churches and cathedrals look so much like stone trees.

It’s no wonder, when I think about how much I enjoyed exploring Blossfeldt’s work, amongst others, when I started my artistic journey around two decades ago, that I can see their influence in my work.

More seed pods … draw with me

I took a break from drawing Adorable Dogs coloring templates (nearly all done, at least in sketch form…) to do some art just for fun. And that means, at this moment in time, seed pods. The three to the top right are today’s creations.

I couldn’t remember what plant they reminded me of. I thought mullein, but that’s not right. The closest I could figure out is Banskia seed pods, and these may be a very stylised interpretation of them. But not the stems. Weird stems are my own imagination in overdrive.

Of course, the drawings need shadow, colour and highlight to bring them to some kind of life. So, as I’m enjoying using graphite pencils for shading and watercolour pencils to add colour so much, that’s what I did.

I also tried adding some black line patterns to intensify the contrast and add interest to some of the shapes that make up the pods. That was just to see what happens. After all, this page is part of a sketchbook full of pattern explorations. It’s about giving myself permission to experiment, not to have to finish anything. The end result, I hope, will be something I dip into for inspiration at times when I don’t seem to have much of it.

And I share this process via a YouTube video.

Template Thursday, Thanksgiving and a Draw with me video!

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you in the USA and around the world who celebrate.

I’ve created a mandala with a thanksgiving theme for the members of Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group.

In the spirit of the day, I’m so grateful for everyone who supports me in my artistic journey, who so kindly communicates with me, who brings my drawings alive in so many, different, wonderful ways. Thank you once and all!

There are so many other people in my life I’m grateful for too. And, there’s so much else I have to be grateful for.

Draw with me … Seed Pods

My day started with, unsurprisingly, some drawing. This time of some seedpods that turned out rather ornate and fancy-schmancy! Of course, I created a video showing how I did these.

Even though I’m feeling totally overwhelmed by Adorable Dogs at the moment, I still think it’s important I take the time to do art that is entirely for me. Making these videos, sharing my thoughts, materials, methods is part of that practice now it seems. I’m so grateful to all who watch, comment, subscribe, like and/or share these videos.

Sketchtember Day 13

It’s Day 13 of Sketchtember, and another seed pod style drawing, with lots of variations today. But there’s also a Zentangle style drawing using one of these seed pod variants.

Drawing the more traditional kind of Zentangle of design was actually fun to do. It helped it was on a smaller scale, I think.

I used it as an opportunity to play with a dimensional feel to the design, using black and white drawing pencils and a tortillon. The paper was already coloured; it’s a small piece of the Faber-Castell Toned Drawing Paper, which is really robust as it has 15% cotton in it.

I messed up in the bottom right area and tried a fix. Ho hum, I tried. I know ‘there’s no mistakes in Zentangle’, but it was irking me I’d messed up on the repetition of the patterns.. Still, it’s in a sketchbook and so is a reminder to me to pay a bit more attention in future.

I do need to bring out the layers by adding some more shadow. I may do that with either alcohol markers or Pitt Artist Pens. The graphite pencil really isn’t dark enough, even though I added layers of it.

Nevertheless, it’s all a valuable experience and opportunities to learn, grow, develop and practice my artistic voice.

I wonder what will appear from the tip of my pen tomorrow – day 14 of Sketchtember.

Sketchtember Day 12

I’m still on the seed-pod kick as far as Sketchtember goes. Today, I sketched out some lovely heart-shaped nuts/seeds.

After drawing and adding colour to the first couple with Arteza EverBlend markers, I re-drew more stylised versions. Finally, I had a go at designing some Zentangle style ribbon patterns. I particularly like the one on the bottom right.

A quiet Sunday morning has been had, and the afternoon is likely to be pretty much the same.

Sketchtember | Days 6 to 10

Over the past three or four days, I’ve been quietly working at Sketchtember. I’ve veered away from the list of herbs to enjoy drawing, and colouring, all kinds of seed pods – real and more imaginative.

Working with alcohol markers – Chameleon and Arteza – is the only way to get to grips with them. Marker paper does make it a little easier to blend. But not much more than the drawings on the SeaWhite all media paper that I’ve been using.

Adding highlights, lowlights, and embellishments with various Sakura and Uniball gel pens is a lovely thing to do. I have, possibly, gone a bit over the top on the poppy seed heads! Still, it’s all experiencing and learning from it.

I have quite a few more seed pod drawings done to add colour to, though not enough to see me through to the end of Sketchtember. So, I may change my theme for daily sketches when I start to come to the end of them.