Intuitive, Abstract, Neurographica Style Art – Adding colour WIP

I decided to add colour to this artwork using Derwent Chromaflow pencils and Gamsol with tortillons/paperstumps.

I loved the colour as it was, but the design looked rather flat; there was little sense of ‘volume’. So, I hope to bring that out.

So little of the coloured pencil is needed when it is blended out with Gamsol, and it is translucent enough that the underlying waterdrop texture is still visible.

Although I mostly used pink, purple and blue to create the background, I thought that teal would make a good addition. That was a good decision, in my humble opinion!

White dots and lines from a Uniball Hybrid Gel DX pen add highlights that show up much better on the more intense colours. Spots and lines of gold will also add some interest, but I need to be conscious of not overdoing it!

I was really nervous about using Gamsol with linework drawn with Dokumentus ink. I had no real need to be; the Gamsol didn’t affect the ink. I let out a huge ‘Phew!’ at that!. My TWISBI Eco fountain pen with Dokumentus ink and an extra fine nib worked beautifully on areas where coloured pencil and Gamsol had been added.

I have a lot of work to do until this design is complete. I am, however, in no rush to do that. I can work on it a bit at a time. I am likely to post updates from time to time though!

If you’d like to see how I added colour with pencils and Gamsol, then a YouTube video will be available to view from 16:00 UK time on Friday 2 June 2023.

Abstract, Intuitive, Neurographic Style Art

Earlier today, I watched a couple of videos by @_bettina_fernandez on YouTube, I really enjoyed how she created neurographic art her way, and thought I needed to give this a go.

Neurographic art is an intuitive method for making art. “Neurographics┬áis a way of drawing that recreates the outer from the inner.” – From

Intuitive art? A no brainer for me me to work with. It’s my most natural way to create art. So, I had to try it out, and I videoed it for my YouTube Channel (video available from 18:00 UK Time on 1 June 2023).

I started by creating a colourful background. I think Neurographic art usually starts with the ink lines. But Bettina used the shapes and lines created in the random colour background to draw the basic structure of the design from.

Instead of using watercolours, I used Distress Inks in various shades of pink, purple, blue and blue-greens. Splashes and a light spritz of water created interesting watermarks and I preserved the dark edges of these areas by drying them with a heat tool.

Then the real fun began. I started by drawing a kind of oval-ish shape around an area at the top left. All I did next was look for shapes and borders between colours to help me draw more lines and shapes. I made sure I ’rounded the corners’ with ink as I went, though there are, no doubt, some areas where lines connect what I’ve missed.

I wasn’t only fun, it was fascinating. I tried not to think too much, to just let the lines flow and go where they needed to in a shape that seemed ‘right’.

Once I’d got the main structure completed, which took just over an hour, I started to add texture and pattern and some white highlights. There’s a lot more to do. I may even use coloured pencils to add shade to the design. And I just have to use gold ink or paint to add some luxury and shimmer and shine to the finished design!

What do I think of it? It’s fun. It’s a personal expression. I love it’s abstract nature for sure. I think I’ll be doing more of this in the future. Indeed, I plan to work on another this afternoon (it’s 14.40 here in the UK!)

I also want to try making background with other media – watercolours, Inktense and Neocolour II come to mind! And more Distress Ink backgrounds for sure! I’m also thinking that creating these backgrounds may be a way to get me to experiment more with digital painting and textures.

Flower Buds – 29 May 2023

Flower Buds

I absolutely love the Kuretake Gansai Tambi Art Nouveau set of watercolours! I just had to get that off my chest!

I love the texture created by the watercolours – how uncontrollable it is, but it adds so much to the final drawing and it actually makes my arty heart and soul smile a tad.

This is a drawing completed, for once, in today’s YouTube video, due to premiere at 18:00 UK Time on 29 May 2023. In the video I show how to draw the design, add colour and gold and white details.

After doing this artwork, I really do think the Kuretake Gansai Tambi’s are the watercolours I’ve been searching for. They work with me, helping me to express myself. Also, embracing the imperfections of the textures in the colours as part of my self-expression rather than searching for the unattainable.

I used single colours for each section, except for the larger leaves. And that seems to have worked out well for me.

I love how the gold and green to the right seem to glow like sunlight shining through stained glass.

The only thing I wish I’d done was coloured the paper with Distress Inks before starting the drawing. I know that so little Distress Ink is added to the background that it won’t affect the colours in a noticeable way. So that will be my next arty experiment today!

Oh, and I wish I’d remembered to erase the pencil line before starting to add the watercolour!

Again, I used Canson Imagine mixed media paper(9.5cm x 10.5cm or 3.75″ x 4.25″) and it seems to make it so easy for me and the Gansai Tambi paints to work well together.

I’m absolutely amazed that I’m embracing imperfection! I never thought I’d get to that point, or let it be part of my artistic voice.

I’m actually smiling here. I really am. And a smile that is felt in my heart and soul too; something I’ve not done much for a long while.

A sudden realisation

I had a sudden revelation today, of a practical nature. I suddenly realised I tend to create art in sizes that require custom made frames and/or mats. So, I thought I should try to get a selection of ready cut mats in standard sizes and use them to cut paper and create the right sized art to fit the mat. So that’s what I did.

I can be such a numpty, feeling quite daft it had taken me this long to work that out! But then again, perhaps the time wasn’t right before now. I’ve thought for a while now that I could sell my art, particularly the more abstract, flowy, intuitive art. Next step is to work out how to do that and ‘promote’ it/me. And that is the problem, the promotion… it fills me with horror. But maybe I’ll work it out. Time will tell for sure.

Intuitive Abstract Art WIP

It’s been a funny few days here, culminating in a bit of shopping therapy yesterday. One of the items I bought was a set of the Art Nouveau Kuretake Gansai watercolour paints.

I’ve been eyeing them up often since I knew they were a thing. Yesterday, I finally splurged out on them, as well as various metallic (mostly gold) acrylic paints and inks and some beautiful ramen bowls. Well, even an artsy person has to eat!

This little drawing was done in my latest video, all for the purpose of trying out the colours and the paints.

I absolutely love the colour palette and I need to recreate it digitally for sure!

I get so frustrated with watercolours, perhaps because I’m trying to do it the way other people do watercolour rather than trusting my own way of expressing myself with colour. So, I did my very best to let go of any preconceptions of these watercolours as I worked with them.

I love the way some delicious textures appear spontaneously. How different for me to like this compared to my usual very smooth colour blends. I find the randomness, the spontaneity and magic with which they appear quite fascinating. It’s something I can’t control, and I find that I don’t want to control it. I want to be surprised!

Oh, before adding the Gansai Tambi, I used a Payne’s Grey Inktense pencil and a waterbrush to add some shade to the areas I’ve added colour to.

The Gansai Tambi colours are transluscent enough to let the shading show through. Indeed, they fade gradually and wonderfully as they are blended out in an area.

The other thing I did, well one of them, was to add colours to the sections before adding any texture patterns. That worked nicely; the paint does seem to have a chalky residue that shows up on the black lines. Must remember to make the gaps between lines big enough for my favourite paintbrush! Or, just use traditional brushes and a jar of water; but with that comes the danger of clumsy me knocking the water over…

I tried out a white pigment ink gel pen (Pilot choose) to draw with, as well as a gold Pentel Hybrid Dual Metallic pen.

This drawing really is an opportunity for me to try things out, with no stressing about wrecking an original drawing. I’ve already managed that with one drawing that will now be kept for trying out different colours, media, mixes of media and so on. Luckily, I had scanned that one in before I attacked it with Inktense pencils and gold acrylic paint! Tradigital it is for that design then …

It’s so nice to feel comfortable with a medium I’ve struggled with so much -watercolour. Doing it my way seems to be somethign I need to accept as being acceptable. Art is a personal expression, as such is there a wrong or right way to create? I know in my videos I often mention ‘this is how I do things, it’s not the only way and if it helps you find your way, then that’s fantastic!’.

I think we have to try lots of different things and eventually we circle in to what are the ways that really express something of ourselves creatively. It means many attempts that end in frustration or disappointment or failure. But these aren’t really failures; the lesson is that this may not be right for us at this time, if ever. They aren’t a failure if they spur us on to try out something new.

And that is why it’s important to take time to create more personal art, just for the joy of creating and exploring and trying things out. It freshens us up, even if, as I have done recently, we return to way of drawing that is is so familiar it’s comforting to do.

And perhaps art that gives us that comforting, satisfying feeling along with true self expression is the place where our arty heart wishes to reside, with trips out to add inspiration and blow the cobwebs out of the vault of motifs, patterns, textures, themes, techniques and materials. And that trip out can be physical or through looking at books or online or even through dreams and daydreams or the view from a window, music or stories, films or tv programs, and more. Not all journeys are physical ones, are they?

My brain now hurts, so I need some tea to drink soon! Just some social media posts to finish first…

Intuitive Abstract Art

The last couple or so days I’ve been immersed in drawing intuitive, abstract art. I really wanted to bring one to life with colour, but the ones drawn on A4 paper just felt too much to do.

My solution? Cut some paper into smaller pieces and use one of them! So I did. The paper is 14cm x 7cm and is Canson Imagine mixed media paper. To draw the design I used a TWISBI Eco filled with black Dokumentus ink and fitted with an extra fine nib.

I just let the lines flow as they needed to, each one leading to the next, doing whatever felt right.

Then, it was time to add colour and I dug into my Inktense pencils. This time, I layered colours to get the intensity of colour I wanted and added highlights with a white pigment gel pen from Pentel.

Oddly, I didn’t want to add much in the way of patterns or details in the sections. I just thought they were just fine as they are.

I’m left puzzling a little as to why eyes so often appear in my intuitive art. I don’t even realise I’m drawing or have drawn them until the drawing is done!

As it’s intuitive art, it speaks for what is going on within me. The shapes and lines and colours chosen represent my inner wellbeing in terms of my mind and emotions. Or maybe they speak about what I need at this time. Blue for peace, calm, tranquility. Pinks for gentleness, compassion and kindness towards myself. The purple is more to do with the wonders there are in nature and the universe and life. The threads of gold … well … light, warmth, sunshine that supports the vast majority of life on this planet…child-like joy, pleasure, wonder with what I have in my life, the things that are precious, golden, to me.

It’s easy when the traumas of the past rear their heads and do their best to drag me down into a dark abyss of the heart and mind. I think I needed to do this drawing today to help remind me of what there is in me and what I need at this time.

My intuitive, entangled, abstract art is perhaps the most personal kind of art I share with people. It comes from within, from my heart and soul, not my head. And today was the day I fully realised that this is why I create art like this, and almost face palm at how long it’s taken me to realise it! Almost facepalmed…as I also know these insights and realisations come when we’re ready for them.

All the same, I feel kind of exposed when I share this kind of art as you get to see past the mask I wear to try to fit into a world where I feel out of step, awkward, clumsy, weird, different, a square peg in a world that only has round holes for round pegs. I’ve always felt that way and I’m on a journey to discover why that is.

Through this kind of art, I get to express my sense of wonder and emotions that aren’t easy to access. The visual-hoard of patterns and shapes and forms that is stored in my subconscious flows out naturally and easily in ways that are pleasing to me, and I’m really chuffed if you find them pleasing too!

Intuitive, Abstract, Entangled Art Bookmark – WIP

I easily forget how much I enjoy drawing ‘small art’. A small piece of paper is less overwhelming, and the creativity is no less soothing to heart, soul and mind.

Drawing with pen on paper is never overwhelming. It is a contented, peaceful, delighted experience for me, especially when I work intuitively. The flowy, abstract patterns, with various patterns and textures are always a joy to draw and work with. Starting with just one shape and allowing the design to form, not knowing what will appear from the nib of my pen, is a think of wonder, surprise and magic.

I lose myself in the intricacy of the drawing. then, there’s the addition of colour and contrast to bring the drawing to life. What was flat now appears to have volume to it. The colours may evoke emotions or memories. There is a story to be told in the drawing, but not one that is obvious as an illustration would make it. This is an inner story, an inner expression of my creativity, emotions, thoughts, and what shapes, lines, patterns, textures and items that make me smile.

If my art makes you smile, or brings you joy, peace and/or calm, then it’s done it’s job. There is enough in this world to make us think, to make us feel uncomfortable. We’re assaulted by such things constantly through the media. Time and space to have a break from all of that, to remind us that there is still wonder and beauty, kindness and compassion and creativity in this world is important. It’s also important to remind ourselves that us humans have a great capacity to create these important qualities that heal and soothe and connect us, help us to feel we belong as a member of humanity.

I’m not sure I got all the words I could say out there. Hopefully you’ll understand what I’m trying to get across.

I think what I’m trying to say is that I hope my art reminds you that beauty and wonder, times of peace and contentment, joy and belonging are essential to each of us. That’s still not right. Perhaps once day I’ll manage to express these feelings succinctly in words.

Adding colour, however, is a another tale. I get overwhelmed by the process at times. I doubt my choice of colours, and soon regret what I’ve decided to do. I always try to remember to scan my drawing in before I start to apply colour with traditional media; if I mess up at least I have a clean copy I can add colour to digitally.

Also, there are many times where I just get fed up of the process of adding colour and give up before completion. I can find it a very tedious process. Yet, when I complete the process and it all comes together I’m often really surprised and pleased with the end result. The frustration comes in because it takes so much longer to add colour than it does to draw a design!

Having said that, there have been a couple of pieces of artwork I’ve done recently where I’ve partly coloured them and I really like the effect, especially one where I’ve added shade first. That is something for me to consider going forward for sure.

There is a ‘Draw With Me’ video on my YouTube Channel, available to view from 1900 UK time this evening (19 May ’23).

Here’s a list of the materials I used in the video.

  • Canson Imagine mixed media paper – 6.3cm x 21cm (2.5″ x 8.25″)
  • TWISBI Eco fountain pen, extra fine nib
  • Faber-Castell Pitt Graphite Matt pencil, 4B and a paper stump (tortillon)
  • Derwent Inktense Pencils – Madder Brown, Red Oxide, Sienna Gold, Willow, Mustard, Shiraz, Poppy Red, Leaf Green and Fern.
  • Kuretake Zig Waterbrush, fine tip.

Entangled Art WIP

A new month today, and with it I’m adding colour to this drawing.

The drawing was done with pen on paper (05 Unipin fineliner). I’m adding colour with Clip Studio Paint. So, this makes this #tradigital – a combination of traditional and digital methods.

It’s taken me several attempts to settle on a colour palette to use. The brighter, more vibrant colours represent the way the world is starting to come alive this spring, for us in the Northern Hemisphere at least. Nature is quickening and lacy leafy green delicately cloaks the the skeletal winter trees and the ground. All the wonderful shades of green of spring make a beautiful tapestry , with texture added by the darker trunks and branches still peeping through. I delight in the variety of greens, that will soon darken to the truly monochrome green of summer.

Colouring Page Mandala

This is the central panel from this week’s colouring page for the Angela Porter’s Colouring Book Fans facebook group.

It is a mandala, just not a round one! I enjoyed drawing this, and adding the softer colours too. It never ceases to amaze me what a difference colour makes to my line art.

A nice way to spend a few hours this and art always keeps me company.

Tangle Pattern Sampler

YouTube #DrawWithMe Video Part 1
YouTube #DrawWithMe Video Part 2

About the pattern sampler

This little pattern sampler has been fun to do! I’ve used patterns inspired by the work of Rebecca Blair, some Zentangle style tangle patterns, and possibly some variations of my own too.

I do love Rebecca’s work. I can see the influence of medieval manuscripts on her work and her love of pattern, texture and a wonderful use of textured lines too! The simplicity of her colour palettes and the myriad of ways she combines her signature patterns/textures is wonderful! I really do suggest you take a look at her work on Instagram.

I used a piece of Ohuhu marker paper that measures 4″ x 7″ ( approx 10cm x 1.7cm) and marked out the basic sections with a Uni Kuru Toga 0.3 mechanical pencil (and a ruler for the straight lines). The pencil lines were just a guide for me.

In the first video, I did most of the black line work using an 03 Sakura Pigma Micron pen. In part 2, I added colour using Winsor and Newton Promarkers in Ivory, Sandstone and Caramel.

After that, I added some fine line work and some colours using three Stabilo Point88 0.4 fine pens. These had olive-green kind of tones to them that worked well with the soft browns of the Promarkers.

I also added some black lines in places using a 0.1 UniPin fineliner pen.

Finally, I added highlights using white gel pens.

I really like the more monochrome, subdued colours of this finished drawing. The various panels really do have the feel of a needlework or cross-stitch sampler; hence the name!

I spoiled myself with a set of Promarkers last week, and I don’t feel a bit guilty about it! I was getting frustrated with the Ohuhu markers – way too many bright, in your face, vibrant colours and not enough subtler, less saturated colours.

I’ve also found that as nice as the Ohuhu marker paper is (and it is lovely and smooth and fab to draw on), I much prefer Winsor and Newton, Daler-Rowney or Canson Marker paper for my alcohol marker work; the ink doesn’t sink into the paper as much and the colours are more vibrant. Also, you use less ink in creating the artwork!

Organising a new pattern, texture and motif ‘repository’ and a bout of illness

I keep faffing about with this. After getting frustrated with a six-ring A5 ringbinder and the limited number of pages that can be stored within, I discovered there’s such a thing as A5 landscape lever arch files! So one was bought post haste! I still can’t draw/write directly in it, but it makes it so much easier to store paper and finished pages. So, I’m one happy bunny.

I’ve spent quite a bit of time in the last couple of weeks starting to put together my collections of patterns etc. Especially as I’ve not been too well. I had been in contact with some people who subsequently tested positive for Covid. I had a nervous few days wondering whether I’d get it. I didn’t. Instead I had runny nose, slight cough, and a mild case or tonsillitis!

I’ve not had tonsillitis for the best part of twenty years. The last time I was getting it 4 times a year and was referred to an ENT surgeon. Let’s just say he didn’t need to use the tongue pressor thing to see my tonsils – they’re permanently large and have lots of tunnels (crypts) inside them from all the tonsillitis I’ve had from a young age. Seeing the surgeon seemed to scare the tonsillitis away; I elected not to go through with surgery to remove the tonsils. There are potentially serious complications that can arise in an, ahem, older person.

Anyhoo, It was a mild case. All covid tests for over a week were negative. But I’m left feeling run down from being ill. I’ll recover gradually!

Losing myself in reorganising and redrawing patterns etc was just what I needed. I’ve barely made a dent in my collection, especially as I’ve added loads more variations as I go! I know it’s going to be a long term project, for sure.

Other arty stuff

I have done other arty projects since my last post here. But the fatigue has been strong and my concentration and focus weak. I will post a gallery of them in the next day or two!

Colouring Page – 14 April 2023

I’ve created an unusual, for me, colouring page for members of the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group. It’s a tesselated/tiled pattern created using one of my recent mandalas.

It’s a lot of fun to use my artwork in an app called Repper and create new, geometric patterns from it.

I did have to redraw the basic unit (tile) of the pattern to clean it up and remove some tiny details. But that let me adjust the pattern a little too.

For my coloured example, I used a palette of medieval illuminated manuscript inspired colours – red, green, gold and blue almost jewel tones.

The colour really does help to make sense of the pattern. It also brings out different ways in which the different layers and motifs are joined together, which really makes me smile!

It’s not until I look at it now that I can see the way the contrast and highlights have added a lot of layers and depth to the design.

I may have to do more of these in the future; they’re just so much fun!