One of my lovely YouTube subscribers asked if I could look at some zentangles by Patrica Aragon (myzenarts.ctz on Instagram) and see if I could do some artwork inspired by her work. As a YouTube drawing tutorial, of course, he asked.
Well, I looked at the artwork and then did my own version. It took a little over an hour to get to where it is in the drawing above. And there it remains until I decide how to complete the picture. If I’m going to, that is.
It was an excellent way to spend Saturday lunchtime.
William Morris, one of the primary founders of the Arts and Crafts Movement, is one of my favourite artists. I love the ornate botanical and nature-inspired designs of quite stylised motifs. I also love the way that colour is used simply in them. That is definitely something I can learn from!
It can take a while for pennies to drop with me, and I don’t know how it has taken so long before I took a look at Morris’s work.
Like myself, Morris was inspired and influenced by Medieval manuscripts. That explains a lot!
I use some motifs from Morris’s designs in this drawing. I applied colour with chalk pastels to the pen drawings, with subtle white highlights from white charcoal. I’m quite happy with the result; I’ve not decided what to do about the background.
Where is this study going to take me? I don’t really know! But I know it’s going to be an interesting one. I’m particularly interested in how Morris used colour, and I hope that will make me comfortable with my own simple way of adding colour to my art.
I do love seeds! There’s such a huge variety across the globe. Today, I chose some elm seeds to stylise for this drawing.
I also had a hankering to tackle, once again, Tomos Padros’ beautiful Zentangle pattern “Taiga”. It took me two attempts to work out how to do it, but I got there in the end. It is a beautiful woven pattern with so much volume when high contrast shade and light are used.
I love seed pods, and here is a small selection of my favourite ones, just pen sketches with some light washes of Inktense added to some.
I don’t know what it is about seed pods and flying seeds that I love so much. Maybe it’s their shapes, or the association with autumn, or the architectural and aeronautic nature of these seeds. Or it could just be they appeal to my sense of aesthetics!
Either way, they are fun to draw, adapt and use as focal points in drawings.
Carrying on with the theme of pumpkins and gourds, today I tackled the Zentangle tangle pattern “Gourdgeous” and drew this cute pile of pumpkin-ish gourds.
Of course, as they are drawn with a Zentangle pattern, it was only right that I filled them with some Zentangle patterns – Purk, Sattuck, Crescent Moon, and B’tweed.
I drew the design on a 6″x3″ piece of grey-green mixed media paper. Tombow Fudenosuke and Zebra flexible nib pens were used to draw the main black sections of the pattern. Then, I added the patterns with 0.1 and 0.4 fineliner pens.
To add shade and light, I used some Inktense pencils – Light Olive, Madder Brown, Iron Green and Iron Blue. Oh, and Antique white for the highlights.
The white dots were added with a Sakura Soufflé pen.
This was a lot of fun to do, especially playing with light and shadow to create volume! There’s some bits I’m not happy with – the tendrils are a bit clumsy looking, some of the highlights could be brighter. But on the whole it’s not too shabby!
These are my current works in progress. They’re full of swirly curvy loveliness, along with a smattering of the Zentangle tangle Gourdgeous too, amongst a couple of others.
I’ve drawn the designs on clay-toned paper from Fabriano. It’s a warm grey, just a bit darker than in the scanned image. The soft grey does tone down the Inktense colours a tad, making them feel more vintage or metallic in some way. Although the paper isn’t designed for water, I find I can get away with a barely damp brush to activate and spread the Inktense to create gradients. The white Inktense is opaque enough to add highlights, and even to colour the grey white!
Part of me thinks that monochrome or analogous colours are the way to go. I’m not all that keen on the orangey-rusty colours. Sticking to the greens and blues would feel more coherent perhaps. But as I’m learning more about my art, toned papers, adding colours, then it’s all a process of learning!
And I do love working on the toned papers for sure. There is something fascinating about starting with the a page full of the mid-tone colour and then adding dark and light to it.
You can tell I love autumn! I just couldn’t resist another drawing with pumpkins and assorted autumnal motifs. In the video accompanying this picture, I get all the drawing done and start adding colour. This photo is of the completed drawing so far. There’s plenty of space for some more autumnal goodies!
As I worked on some warm, grey paper (‘Clay’ Toned Paper from Fabriano), the colours are muted and feel a bit washed out. Usually, Inktense pencils with a light wash of water are bright and vibrant, but the grey tones mute them somewhat. But I like that. It gives a vintage and nostalgic air to the artwork.
From time to time, I can circle back to drawing styles that I’ve not done for a long time. This kind of drawing, which has an etched ‘feel’ to it, is an example of something I’ve not done for what seems an age. I am, however, enjoying it very much. Exploring working on toned paper with various colouring media is fascinating for sure.
This morning, the first one of astronomical autumn, I felt the need to draw things autumnal. What better than oak leaves and acorns, mushrooms and pumpkins and a smattering of berries.
This wasn’t quite what I expected to flow out of my pen. Although the elements are stylised, there’s also a lot of contour line work and stippling to bring some volume and texture to the design. It’s a bit like an etching, lino cut or woodcut. A bit.
I can see where I started adding precise contour lines, but then they became much more expressive.
I’ve just added a coloured background to my drawing for now. I’m not sure about how to add colour yet. Do I risk messing it up by using traditional media? Or do I play safe and add colour digitally? At the moment, I don’t know. But there’s no rush. The image is scanned in and saved safely on my hard drive.
All I will say, for now, is that I really enjoyed drawing this. And I quite like it, even when considering the yeuchier areas of stippling.
Today is the last day of astronomical summer; tomorrow is the autumnal equinox, the first day of astronomical autumn. Autumn is my favourite time of year. I love the warm, balmy days and the cooler, snuggly evenings cwtched up under a warm blankie. The changing colours are glorious – nature in her fiery finery!
I’m hoping that the glories of autumn will entice me out from home a bit more often, camera in hand. I can hope. I’m still finding it hard to go out and about. But little by little, I am getting out a bit more, from time to time.
Anyhoo, today’s colouring page is an autumn-themed mandala. Now I know that for those south of the equator, spring is incoming for them, but Hallowe’en and Thanksgiving and other celebrations take place according to the calendar rather than the seasons. So though I’ve coloured this template in rich autumn tones, it could be coloured in any way you wish.
I love to draw mandalas, and this one was no exception, especially the cute, whimsical mushrooms and pumpkins! And not forgetting the acorns and oak leaves too. I even managed to sneak a few hearts in there. And of course, stars and moons, berries and botanicals are always most welcome!