I’m most probably not the first to discover this, but it is entirely new to me!
Early this morning, I added some alcohol markers to a pen drawing I’d finished. I’d drawn over a Distress Ink background with some old book pages collaged and gessoed onto it.
I know gesso coats a surface with a waterproof and slightly textured finish. I do know this. But that didn’t occur to me as I added alcohol markers to the drawing.
I was absolutely delighted with the interesting variations in the intensity of colour that resulted. Also, the application of alcohol marker also brought out the texture where the gesso was patchy, even a little bit. The paper soaked up so much more colour than the gesso – duh go me for not realising that first, but that’s not the important thing – it’s the effects that result!
It’s not all that easy to see on the image to the left. But, behind the triangular pattern, I used just one soft blue marker, but you can see the variation in intensity! Usually, it would be a very flat kind of colour. The darker areas are where there is no gesso.
This is something I really want to use as I go forward. I love the crazy, random variations in colour and texture that happen. It seems to me a way to bring a little unpredictability to the rather predictable results you get with marker pens.
Today, I focused on getting coloring templates inked in. I’m taking a break now, until tomorrow, and my attention turned to what I could do.
I tried some stuff out, disastrously. So, I thought I’d turn to adding colour and embellishments to this sketchbook drawing.
Not sure how well it’s turning out; it’s deuced difficult for me to capture the golden and white highlights/embellishments on this drawing. But, it is what it is now.
I decided to use Arteza Ever Blend alcohol markers, along with gold and white Sakura Gelly Roll pens for this.
The paper’s not the best for alcohol markers – they bleed just a bit. I’d prefer a more opaque white for the details, and a much finer gold. I have that in hand, possibly.
I’ve been looking at Illuminated manuscripts lately, at the patterns used and how colour was made use off too. That’s what’s inspired me to experiment in the way I have done today, not all that successfully to my mind. This gives me food for thought though, and perhaps pushes me in a different direction for the use of colour.
Colour, the thing I love and that which vexes me most in my arty expression! Still, I do persevere, even if I keep going down a road that leads to a similar dead end. It may be that monochrome-ish work is my forte and I need to accept that.
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.
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.
This week, I ran with a kind of request from a member and created two drawings which feature a rectangular area into which a photobooth photo would fit. Or anything else you can think of putting there – a precious button or coin mounted on card, a single earring kept for sentimental value, a ticket, a clipping from a magazine or newspaper, a tiny piece of embroidery, or needlefelting, or polymerclay, or fossil, or a tiny envelope containing a precious note/letter, or, or, or. You’re only limited by your creativity, and the sizes of the nested rectangles!
I’m going to be intrigued to see what people produce with these. I can be tagged in posts as @Artwyrd on Instagram or Twitter. And as Angela Porter on Facebook.
I’ve also added a geometrical pattern in the middle of the sets of nested rectangles if you don’t want to add anything to this space.
Both images would fit on an A5 card (metric/UK size), or a folded letter sized sheet of card for those of you in the US. They also could be mounted on card and framed if wished.
I’ved used Arteza Ever Blend markers from the Gray Tones set to add colour to the designs. And, for the design on the left, I’ve added white highlights with a Sakura Soufflé pen.
In today’s vlog on Youtube, I talk about the designs, and add the highlights to the left hand design.
Adding more colour to the entangled drawing on the left has taken quite a bit of time this morning. As well as using the Arteza Ever Blend markers, I used some of my Chameleon Color Tones pens too. There were some colours that I wanted to use that aren’t in the Arteza set.
It’s going to take quite a few hours more to finish adding colour to this drawing. That bright green section in the bottom left is going to need toning down! But that’s easy enough to do by ‘glazing’ with a duller colour. I also went over the pods on the bottom right with the colours again to intensify them a little, and added some deeper shadows as I did so.
It’s coming along nicely, apart from that bright green! Ho hum, I really do need to pay more attention to which colour I’ve actually picked up to use rather than just assuming it’s the colour I wanted to use.
Sketchtember Days 7 to 16
Yesterday evening and this morning, I spent time drawing small drawings featuring various seed pods. I’ve decided to take a different direction for Sketchtember and abandon the prompt list I’ve been following.
Why? I was a bit bored with drawing leaves, the occasional whole plant, the odd flower and various enlarged views of the various parts of flowers.
I love plants. I do. But I really love capsules, pods and seeds! So, I went with this idea
After splitting the large 9″ x 12″ sheet of Arteza marker paper up into smaller rectangles and squares, I used Copic Multiliner, Tombow fudenosuke and Uniball Unipin pens to draw the designs.
When the drawings were complete, I went to scan the sheet in and realised it wouldn’t fit on the glass plate of my A4 scanner/printer! Duh! But not a problem, I just split the page up into smaller pieces.
Next, I spent some time adding colour to a couple of the designs using the Arteza Ever Blend markers to test out the Arteza marker paper.
This paper is noticeably thicker than the Canson XL marker paper I’ve been using. But it works just as well with markers. It’s also as nice to draw on with the various pens I used.
The only thing I wished is that I’d remembered my scanner takes paper that is a little bigger than A4, but not this big! Not a problem though.
This morning has been an arty filled one. I woke around 5am and have been artsy-busy since then, apart from when having breakfast!
I spent time in bed drawing this design and listening to podcasts. An 0.5 Copic Multiliner on a sheet of Canson XL marker paper were used.
Next, it was time for some breakfast. Then, fuelled up, I did some pen sketches of bay leaves for Sketchtember Day 7. You can see this page in today’s vlog.
Yesterday, I had a delivery of Arteza Ever Blend Architectural Tones marker set. I bought these markers with my own money. I’m not paid, gifted anything nor sponsored by any product/company I mention. Just dropping that in here!
Anyways, I started by doing a swatch of the colours before starting to make today’s vlog.
This set appealed to me because of the more earthy, muted, vintage-y colours in the set. They were affordable, and so I bought the set, thinking that it could be useful for pens to add to an out and about sketching kit.
I had hummed and hahhed about getting the set for a while. After all I have a set of Chameleon color tones (and the color tops). And a set of Copic Ciao markers. Did I really need any more markers?
Well, the Chameleons are my favourites, but they don’t have many earthy colours. It seemed to me that these would fill in the gaps in my Chameleons.
I’m no expert on marker pens, nor in assessing their quality and so on. But they seem to work well on marker paper. They blend well, either on the paper or in the ‘tip to tip’ method.
I have no idea how long they’ll last in terms of ink. Unlike the Chameleons and Copics, they aren’t presently refillable, even though replacement nibs can be bought. Maybe that is something that Arteza is thinking about in the future.
The other thing that I’d like is a brush nib instead of the chisel nib. A brush nib that is more like the ones on Copics than the Chameleon so that I can get into teeny-tiny spaces in my artwork. The fine/bullet nib is OK for this, but won’t work on the tiniest spaces in my art.
Other than that, they do what they’re supposed to do! Color, blend well, and have a nice range of colours, apart from R13 Red which is glaringly bright against the other pens in the set. Personally, I would’ve liked another muted orange, or perhaps a soft greyish mauve or lavender.
Another bit of nit-picky-ness; a colourless blend would’ve been nice in the set. I find them useful, especially if I want to fade a colour out to practically colourless. That is something that is really easy to do with the Chameleons. No doubt I’ll try this out with a tip-to-tip experiment with either a Copic or Chameleon colourless blender to see how things go.
Oh, the pens have a triangular barrel, which means they don’t roll around the desk. My small hands do find it a bit chunky and a bit awkward to hold. That’s only because I’m used to slimmer barrels on pens/pencils/brushes/digital pens that I do most of my work with.
So, overall I’m really pleased with the pens for the price I paid. I’m sure I’ll use them an awful lot, as much as the Chameleons and Copics no doubt, especially as I’ve rediscovered markers and how much I enjoy adding colour to them.