Watercolour Experiments

Click here for today’s vlog

I’ve been experimenting with water-based media over the past couple of days. I’ve finally completed a watercolour painting that I’m fairly happy with. Apart from the bright pinks and dark purples. Note to self – analogous colour schemes with a pop of complementary colour are the way to go!

The painting on the left was done using a variety of media – Phoenix pan watercolours. Mijello Mission Gold watercolours, Zig clean colour brush pens, Tombow Dual Brush markers, and Ecoline brush pens. All applied and/or blended out with either a waterbrush or a damp brush.

The Ecoline brush pens are new to me. I purchased them to replace the Zig pens I made a right mess of when I spilled a whole mug of coffee everywhere. I thought I’d missed the tin with them in, but I hadn’t. It wasn’t a great loss; the pens were old and beginning to dry. So, maybe a serendipitous accident with the coffee!

The Ecoline brush pens contain concentrated liquid watercolour inks. The pens are really juicy too! Even when really diluted, the colours are still vibrant on the paper. Also, as they dry they don’t lose much vibrancy, if any! They’re taking a while to get used to, as any new medium does. But, using them is making me smile…a lot!

As soon as I started using them to complete some of the remaining elements in the abstract botanical painting, I just knew I was going to love them! So, I ordered the second set of pens to complete the whole colour range. It may very well be that as the pens run out, I’ll replace them with the bottles of Ecoline watercolour ink/paint. Or, I may look at other options.

Fairly quickly, I worked out that a waterbrush wasn’t the way to either apply or spread out the colour. I tend to create detailed drawings, so traditional brushes where I can control how much water/colour I apply are the way to go for me.

I’m beginning to think I may have found my traditional media of choice! Digital art is my strength when it comes to colour, but these pens, this type of medium, may be the equivalent in traditional media.

The downside of the Ecoline paints is that they are dye based so are not lightfast. However, as I tend to scan in my art to sell on products, then that won’t be a problem.

The insect was something I just had to try. I do have a fair bit to learn. If I keep adding layers of colours, the earlier ones get spread to the edges and create dark areas. Those, however, may work for me. I’ll see. I’ll also see if I can lift some of that colour in a selective manner to lighten them up again.

Template Thursyay! Adding colour to the template…

Yesterday, I shared a partly digitally coloured version of this week’s coloring template. Today, I’ve coloured some of the original template using Tombow Dual Brush markers with a waterbrush.

The template is now available in the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group.

I filmed this process and turned it into a vlog. I speeded the footage up, as the original colouring took over an hour and a half.

I then spent another half hour or so experimenting with fineliners and white, metallic and glitter gel pens to add texture and pattern to the coloured areas. I didn’t film that though, but the results are in the photo above.

I set myself three intentions for this morning:
a) enjoy the process of working with the media
b) experiment with fineliners and pens to add pattern, highlight/shadow and texture
c) to not invest in the outcome or fret about colour choices

I think I achieved those intentions.

Sometimes, often even, just enjoying the process of creating, with no expectations or pressures of any particular outcome is so important. To be able to relax and enjoy the process, the colours, the way the media work is as valuable an experience as producing for a specific purpose.

It’s nice to be able to take the time to do this, without worrying about any particular project. Being able to put aside the “I should be doing x, y and z” and realising that just taking time to do something that makes me smile inside is as important as doing projects that fulfill a contract or business thingy.

Template Thursday… on a Wednesday?

Full Vlog | Time Lapse Video

This morning, I drew this week’s coloring template / coloring page. The template itself will be available in the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group tomorrow.

I did film the process, and two videos are available on Youtube. Both show the process of drawing, not adding colour. One is a vlog of the process, with about half in time lapse. The other is the time lapse version.

It was lovely to spend time drawing in a style that is very familiar to me. It’s lovely as a bit of a break from the more challenging explorations into abstract art I’ve been doing.

And of course, while the videos were uploading and processing, I decided to start to add some colour to the template.

Abstract, entangled, zentangle inspired coloring pages are not just fun to draw but to colour. They’re non-representational so any colours at all can be used.

I got carried away with the process of adding colour. The videos have long been uploaded and published.

Pebbles and Seaweed Abstract Art WIP

This is the start of a watercolour and, probably, pen artwork based on fronds of seaweed and pebbles. If you’d like to see it from the start of adding watercolour to where it is at this moment, then I did record a vlog. It’s a chatty one, about the art and other stuff.

I used my biro sketch that I did yesterday as inspiration for this. I drew from memory and intuition, using red and black fine ballpoint pens on a 16cm x 16cm (6.25″ x 6.25″) piece of Canson Moulin du Roy paper.

Next, I applied watercolour, wet into wet. I realise I need to dig out my craft heat tool to dry the watercolour quickly when it’s spread in a way I like it. Well, at least try that out! I’ve not quite learned when is the right amount of wetness for this to work to the extent I’d like it to. Having said that, I did drop clean water to push some of the darker colours back in places, though not always successfully to my taste. However, as I plan to draw on top of the colour this may not be an issue.

For the seaweed I chose to use yellow ochre no.1, burnt sienna and light red. Indigo, Van Dyke green, indigo and peacock blue are the colours used for the pebbles.

I have no idea what I’m going to use for the central part of the fronds, yet. It’ll work itself out I’m sure.

I waited from the fronds to dry before doing any neighbouring fronds. I started doing this with the pebbles, but a happy accident reminded me of how much

Mandala

Today was a day to create a mandala! I just felt the urge to do so as I was playing around with traditional media and abstract art.

It is lovely to change the pace and media being used from time to time. I needed this today, I think. It’s been a while since I last created a mandala. I’m also still trying to understand the symmetry tools in Clip Studio Paint.

The limited colour palette I used is this month’s for the color palette challenge for the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book fans facebook group.

I had some fun playing with contrast to create the illusion of volume, depth, dimension.

It was a lovely way to spend a couple of hours this morning, and I created a speeded up / time lapse version you can view on my YouTube channel.

I did a voice-over chat to go with the video. I updated on various things going on, and talked about my struggles with imposter syndrome, lacking self-confidence and confidence in my art too.

Abstract Art WIP

Another day, another abstract WIP. This is an iteration of the first one from earlier this week. This time, I’m using analogous colours – Fuchsia, Thistle and Mauve Inktense pencils. I’m also using Canson Moulin du Roy 100% cotton paper, which allows the inktense pigments/dyes/inks to spread far more smoothly than other papers. The photo makes it look like the gradients aren’t all that smooth, but they are much better when seen with the eye. Though, I do have a little work to do with the purple mauve areas.

There is a vlog available for this work.

Today, I’m at a bit of a loss as to what to do with myself. I’ve done all the work I can on Whimsical cats for now. There’s just one template needed to make the total up to 31. I’m awaiting the review of the one I sent over recently. Then, I’ll need to work on colouring three templates, which are yet to be chosen.

I suspect I’ll spend some time today working on art. I’m lucky that it’s both something I love to do as well as my source of income too. Today, though, I get to spend as much time as I like on some personal projects, such as these abstract art experiments I’ve been doing.

More Abstract Art…

Vlog on YouTube

Please note that I am not sponsored, paid or have products gifted to me in return for a review or promotion. I mention the products I use in case you’re interested, and my opinions are my own.

Yesterday, I finished adding colour to the abstract artwork I’ve been working on for a couple of days. I’ve spent between 5 and 6 hours on it. The paper is approx 6″ square, so that gives you an idea of the size. I do have a thing for creating small artworks!

I’m not sure if I am finished with it, however. I have a yearning to add metallic dots and patterns, but not sure I should. I’ll let it be for a while. If I do decide to do this, then it will be no big problem if I don’t like the outcome. This is something experimental for me, to try things out and to learn from.

This morning, before I turn my attention to inking in some coloring templates, I decided to use this first painting to abstract a pattern from for a new artwork.

This time I’m using a 16cm x 8cm piece of Canson Moulin du Roy 100% hot pressed watercolour paper. And it is a joy to use in comparison to the Aquafine. I’m sure there’s nowt wrong with the Aquafine, it just doesn’t suit my way of working. Which is fine. We’re all different.

After drawing the design in pencil, I started to add watercolour. I’m using my Mijello Mission Gold Class set of colours along with a Caran d’Ache water brush.

I had some hiccups with the waterbrush and working with a different paper. All part of the experimenting, exploring and learning process!

I did a little test of the Inktense pencils and the watercolours on the back of the paper. The Inktense pencils worked so much better on this paper. That is a lesson for me for sure. Time to add Moulin du Roy paper to my shopping list!

Abstract Art WIP

Full Vlog
Time Lapse version

This morning, I wanted to try out some abstract art. The picture above shows the colour to be more uneven than it really is.

Anyways, I’ve got ahead of myself here! This really carries on from yesterday’s blog entry where I discussed my relationship with abstract art, colour and expression of emotions and impressions of an experience.

I used a photo of ice melting in a shallow puddle for the inspiration for the shapes I drew. I didn’t choose to use icy colours, however. This morning I really felt that rusty, vintage, earth tones were what I wanted to work with.

I did do some experiments with both watercolours and inktense pencils on some Aquafine watercolour paper. I’m not at all fussed on Aquafine paper; I find it difficult to work with. However, as I’m experimenting, experiencing and learning it’ll do fine for starters. It did make it difficult to get smoothly blended out colour, but it will do for my purposes to begin with.

The vlog is just a few seconds short of an hour long, so I’ve also done a speeded up, time lapse version, with music.

I’ve written it before, talking as I work helps me to gain an insight into what is going on inside my creative, subconscious mind. It forces me to verbalise the thoughts that are abstract so that I can understand myself better. I also think it is helping me to hone in on my artistic voices/styles too.

Sketchbook Experiments and Arty Vlog

Saturday is becoming sketchbook Saturday with a vlog on YouTube!

As well as showing the most recent page(s) in my sketchbook and talking about the media/techniques/inspiration, I spend some time working on the current, higgledy-piggledy page.

I’ve become intrigued with using the humble biro / ballpoint pen in art, especially as they are waterproof. There’s some amazing portraits and other work out there by seriously talented artists.

However, I’m working out how they may work for me, especially in my sketchbook when out and about (when that finally happens!).

As well as talking about the various techniques and inspiration for the art on this page, I also talk about how I want to include more writing in my sketchbooks. I’m intrigued with using creative writing record my experiences, feelings, thoughts and the presence of place alongside any sketches done when visiting somewhere.

I’m also thinking that if I take photographs of what interests me, then sketches and further work could be done later. This is going to be important when I’m not by myself and don’t have the luxury of spending as much time as I’d like.

I’d like to create a story that is in words and pictures, recording my whole experience. Perhaps, I may want to share this with others, so that they can get a glimpse into my mind and emotions.

I’m not too bothered about creating a work of fiction, but to capture all those abstract feelings and observations and communicate them with others…

Actually, it would be about sharing them with myself by becoming more aware of them and giving an outlet for those abstract thoughts and impressions I rarely verbalise as I’m unaware of them unless I’m asked to verbalise them.

Something else I’d like to do is to revisit typographic art with all of this in mind. Finding a way to incorporate words and imagery that expresses who I am, rather than taking quotes from other people.

I do love words, always have. During this past year, I’ve had so few opportunities to speak out loud, that I’m finding it hard to dredge up the right word at times. Previously this was so easy for me. So, it would be good to give my vocabulary a good work out as well as add new words to it!

It’s going to be a work in progress for sure. I doubt I can do this, or that it will be interesting to others, or that it will be any good at all. However, if I don’t take the first tentative steps on this strand of my life’s tapestry, then I may never discover if it is something I can do, nor will I discover where it will lead me.

All that it will take are basic supplies, and to create a new ‘habit’ of writing throughout the day, whether I’m at home, or elsewhere, and drawing things that are of interest/importance to me at the time.

A bit of a challenge, but do-able I think.