I’m later than usual making my post to this blog today. For good reasons. The last couple of days have been a tad crazy. Here, where I live in South Wales, UK, we’ve had some really bad flooding thanks to Storm Dennis. The River Taff overflowed its banks in many places. The town centre where I live was under water.
Fortunately, no flooding or damage to my home, but it’s heartbreaking to see the devastation for others homes and businesses. The emergency services and Rhondda Cynon Taff Council, councillors and many, many others have worked hard, long and done amazing things. Communities have come together to help one another.
The rain has, finally, stopped, but the wind is very strong again. And we have another weather warning for rain on Wednesday evening into Thursday, so there’s a potential for flooding once again.
But today, the sun sets, turning the mostly cloudless sky lavender and pink.
I’ve been helping as I can, in my own ways, and that’s why I missed a post yesterday and am late with one today.
So, to calm, relax, I’ve done some art. I had no idea what was going to result, I’m not entirely sure I like the result, particularly the foliage in the background. However, I’m not entirely surprised that seed pods have emerged!
It has let me play around with different brushes and effects in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro.
I’ve been busy this morning, working out how to video record the screen of my computer as I draw digitally.
I found a YouTube video about using OBS Studio to do this. I followed the instructions, problem solved, and after three attempts I had a poor quality video that I wasn’t happy with.
So, I went to Movavi, a video editor I’ve used previously. It has an app that will record the screen, easily. It’s a one button click to launch. A simple, small, and minimalist control panel sits in the bottom right corner of the screen. I can record, pause, start again easily.
I recorded myself drawing the mandala above. The video is currently processing and being saved. I’ll then need to edit it. The still of the video I can see while this is happening is of a fab quality it seems. So fingers crossed the video will be too!
I didn’t think to look at Movavi before Googling for advice on recording the screen. I did have to buy the software, but it wasn’t extortionately expensive and I’m sure that it will meet my needs.
So, once the video is saved, I can spend sometime today editing it and I hope to upload it tomorrow, as long as the recording is of a good quality.
Yesterday, I had a day out with my friend Liz. We visited Hay On Wye for a walk around and lunch. It was one of those glorious winter days where the sun shines warmly and the air is crisp and cool. It was mild enough for me to walk around without a bulky coat.
This is a drawing I did late last night as I settled down to sleep. It feels quite disjointed in places, which was how my mind felt in it’s state of tiredness. Even though I was tired, I wasn’t ready to sleep.
I thought I’d work with it, adding a background and colour to it. I wonder if adding colour will resolve the disjointed areas as it breathes life into the design.
I’ve only taken a short time this morning to ad some colour. I do have to do other things today. The colour certainly helps to lift it from the background, as well as adding dimension to the design.
I’ve chosen fairly dusky, dusty, pastel colours which seem to glow against the darker background. The pinks remind me of faded Victorian velvets.
I drew the design traditionally, using a Tombow Fudenosuke pen and ClaireFontaine dot grid paper. The flexible nib of the fudenosuke pen results in lines of varying thicknesses, and a drawing that reminds me of linocuts or woodcuts.
After scanning the drawing, I removed the dot grids and cleaned up the drawing digitally before adding a background.
I felt this needed quote to go with it, and this one spoke to me today. For the typography, I used Affinity Publisher. The rest of the digital work is being done in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, using a Surface Pen and Surface Studio from Microsoft.
My art is always ‘pretty’, it’s how I express myself artistically. Some of my inspiration for patterns and motifs comes from things that other smay not consider ‘pretty’, such as rust, run down old industrial machines, ruined buildings.
My art does, I think, speak of who I am. It shows what I’m interested in, what patterns, motifs, shapes, textures, colours, and so on that I find aesthetically pleasing. It also shows, to those who look and think a bit deeper, what things interest me, from prehistoric art to Romanesque architecture to La Tene and Celtic art to Illuminated Manuscripts to flora, foliage, fungi, and lichen to fossils and shells to nature in general, and more besides.
I work very intuitively. It’s when I think too hard about what I want to do that things go to wrack and ruin.
By letting my intuition flow, then drawings have a way of coming together in a way that expresses how I’m feeling and what is fascinating me or soothing me at that time.
This drawing is an example of how my feelings come out. It’s only now I can recognise how disjointed I was feeling within myself last night, how I was out of sorts. I think that’s why the art jars with me today as that feeling has now passed by, like clouds in the wind. It’s a drawing that shows the weather my emotions were experiencing yesterday, weather that just happened and has no real source for it.
Abstract flowers with a simple mandala/wreath in the background. Created digitally using Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, Microsoft Surface Studio and Microsoft Surface Pen. Simple. Stylised. Satisfying to create.
I finished this artwork off this morning, finding a perfect quote about shadow, this week’s prompt for #inktober52.
Border design drawn using Unipin pens on dot grid paper. Typography was done using Affinity Publisher. Colour, background and composition were achieved in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro using a Surface Pen and Surface Studio by Microsoft.
I managed to get a fair bit of colouring done yesterday and this morning. It never ceases to amaze me how colour can add so much dimension to the design, particularly as I use quite high contrast. It’s possible to see the dimension in the line art, but colour really brings it out.
There are areas that look a little flat, but I can sort those out later on by adding more shadow and highlight.
So far, I am pleased with how it’s working out. I’m also enjoying the hybrid art that results from traditional drawing and then the application of colour digitally.
Today, I have another entangled drawing for you to enjoy. I worked on it over the past couple of days. I think it’s taken me around six or seven hours to complete.
Because of all the floral and botanical motifs I’ve called it an Entangled Garden. A garden that has grown from my intuition and imagination.
I’m enjoying drawing these kind of illustrations at the moment. I really do have a fondness for botanical motifs, but also for arches and patterns inspired by Romanesque and Gothic architecture. There’s also some influence from Zentangle patterns too.
I’ve not added any shading to increase depth and dimension. There are places in the design that could benefit from a hint of shadow. However, I’m happy with it as it is.
As a drawing, it is a bit too fussy with intricate details to work as a coloring page as far as traditional media are concerned. However, I do know some colourists who would love the challenge of colouring a design like this!
Having said that, this kind of design, with less details, would be perfect for my next coloring book which I do need to start work on soon. I need the cover done for the publishers by the end of this month. So, I can take inspiration from the drawings I’ve been doing recently, though I do have some other ideas rattling around my brainbox too.
I used Uniball Unipin pens, along with ClaireFontaine dot grid paper. The size of the drawing is approx. 7.5″ x 10″.
I added the background colour and texture digitally, after removing the dots from the dot grid paper.