Don’t compare. I create differently because I am different.

In today’s video on YouTube, I draw the leafy and berry-loaded kind of tangle pattern with Arteza Inkonic pens. Then, I use a brush and water to dissolve, move and blend the ink to give a watercolour feel to the pattern. Finally, I splatter water over the drawing to bleach the Inkonic ink as well as the background Distress Ink.

Away from the camera, I added a phrase that I’d printed out on some digital, vintage lined paper. I didn’t want to wreck this one with my clumsy hand lettering!

I’m quietly fairly happy with this particular artwork. I have never really felt comfortable drawing in colour. But, blending the inks with water and the softer, almost painterly look I find I really like. That has really, really surprised me! I even quite like the collaged papers. I can even say that this is now done, though I do have a bit of an urge to splatter some gold paint on it. I will reel in that urge and it will pass.

Start of a new page in my lettering sketchbook

Again, I woke before 5am today, even though I didn’t go to sleep until nearly midnight. This is getting ridiculous!

What else to do until I’m either ready to sleep again or give up on sleep and start my day proper? Oh, art of course!

So, I decided to divide a page up in my lettering sketchbook. Then, I coloured the vertical sections with distress inks. The colour themes from left to right are blue, pink and green, with bits of crossover.

Next step? Collage some papers to create areas for hand lettering to go. That squared paper needs to be toned back a bit – white gesso will be just the ticket!

Then, I did some hand lettering and added some patterns. I thought I’d use some fineliners – Inktonic Pens from Arteza to be exact. the collaged paper does like to soak the ink up when just the edge of the pen nib touches it.

Fineliners are not my favourite pens to colour in with. But, they usually have water-soluble ink in them. So, on the lower panel, I used a damp brush to move the ink around to even out the colour.

On the upper panel, I splattered some water on it and used a paper towel to lift the water up. That created a nice splatter pattern. Then I had a thought, “What would happen if I sprayed water on it, lightly and used a paper towel to pick the water up?” I lost the pretty water-bleached spatter patterns. But, some of that ink really bled into the edge of the collaged paper. That was unexpected and rather interesting.

So, some more interesting experiments with this idea I’m working with.

Oh, the letters of lacuna had colour added with a deep indigo Inktense pencil, brush and water.

Oh, I did use a pencil to write out the letters and position them, and I still made a pig’s ear of the ‘And still I rise”. Sheesh! Perhaps I’m being way too critical of my own lettering and what is there. I focus on all the imperfections I perceive, rather than taking a step back and trying to see what I’ve drawn and lettered through someone else’s eyes.

Time for tea and breakfast it is, I think.

More lettering practice … WIP

I managed to get myself totally engrossed in creating these small designs in my lettering sketchbook.

I much prefer the quote in a band across the whole design, though I do have to work on weight of line, the arrangement of words and so on.

This leaves, of course, plenty of space for bands of patterns and different colours and so on. which has been fun and kind of interesting to do.

I don’t know how many of these I had to redo the quote as I misspelt ‘believe’ in ink. Another note to self – pencil in the quote first and then check the spelling and adjust the arrangement of the words!

The one at the bottom left isn’t finished yet.

My two favourites, I think, are the top two. Monochrome colour schemes, no surprises there!

Lettering Practice WIP

Lettering WIP

I woke before 5am today and so I did what I do until I’m ready to go back to sleep – letter and/or draw.

Today, this quote from the wonderful Maya Angelou appeared on my Facebook newsfeed. So, it deserved to be used in some way.

This lettering thing is still vexing me. Today I thought I’d try using some vintage, grungy lined paper from a digital download from WhichCraft Do You Do.

Yes, lined paper. Because, why not! Not that it’s made much of a difference to me feeling a bit better about my lettering. But, you gotta keep trying things out until you find what just sits right, yes?

Next step, after gluing the quote in what seems a suitable space on my sketchbook page, was to add patterns to the background. I started with the border of the Zentangle pattern Crescent Moon around the quote. Then, I added the river of Diva Dance upon which the quote floats. The tangle pattern at the bottom is Crazy ‘Nzeppel.

It seem that looking at and creating some work inspired by Rebbeca Blair has influenced me here. Instead of splitting the background up into smaller sections, like a quilt, I’ve worked in layers that look a bit like torn paper. Now that is an idea to explore further.

I’ve started to add colour with Inktense pencils – Red Oxide and Deep Indigo so far, but I will use some Mustard too. I also intend to add some gold to design, probably in the narrow channels either side of the rusty red section and a few ‘Nzeppel ‘pebbles’.

I think I prefer the torn paper edge of the quote panel, though I may re-try this with straight cut edges.

Digital Downloads

Using digital downloads is a bit new to me. Well, in this fashion at least. I have used digital backgrounds a lot in my digital art, and still do. But printing them out is something I’ve not considered before.

I do think I could make my own papers, going forward, to use in this way. All I need to do is remember to scan them in before using the paper! Easier said than done though. We’ll see.

Having some papers already in my digital stash is a worthwhile start to experiment and see where this leads me.

Draw With Me – A Whimsical Bird, Part 3 – Starting to add colour.

Today, I’m experiencing some emotional ‘weather’. I know what the trigger for this is. I know what to do. And I also know that being creative will help me greatly. So, I decided to start to add colour to this bird drawing.

This may not be the best time for me to tackle colour. I feel I struggle with colour at the best of times. Still, I worked with a limited colour palette of blues and turquoises, as well as yellow, orange and red.

The Distress Ink on the paper reactivates with water, so there is some ‘greening’ of the blues. I’m fine with that. The mixing of colours will lead to a bit more harmonious outcome, I trust.

Oh, I’m using Karin Brushmarker Pro pens to add colour. They have watercolour ink in them, so I’m scribbling them onto a white plastic palette and using them from there. This way, I have a bit more control of the intensity of colour and how they blend and mix.

So far, so … OK I think.

I now need to work out how to tackle the body of the bird. Do I use masking fluid to cover the dots before or after painting the body? Should I use something like a gel medium to seal the dots once I’ve coloured them in before tackling the body? Or what about a clear glaze pen, even though the dots will be slightly raised and shiny?

I don’t have any masking fluid, but I’m not sure what I want to do. So it’s time to sit and let the possibilities be worked through in my subconscious to come up with a decision.

One thing’s for sure, however. I will not be starting work on the flowers and leaves until the bird is finished! And I will need to be careful about the colours I choose. That’s where it can all go totally wrong.

For the rest of the day, I’m going to lose myself in some hand-lettering practice in my hand-lettering sketchbook. There’s a lot swirling around in my emotions, my mind and my subconscious.

Various patterns – getting a design ready for some handlettering!

Click on this link to see a video showing how these designs were drawn.

I needed a break from digital drawing this afternoon. So, I did some traditional drawing!

I want to hand letter a quote in the top left corner, but first, panels of patterns are going to be completed. They weren’t all done in the video and I’ve yet to add any more. But I will!

#DrawWithMe – A Whimsical Bird and Flowers – Part 2

Please click on the button “Watch on YouTube”. Cheers!

I had a really, really cruddy, broken night’s sleep. So, doing art that doesn’t have a bit more than good enough was in order.

Getting the pen drawing done for this cute bird I started a couple of days back was just the thing!

It’s always interesting to look at my art, whether finished or, like this one, a work in progress after a day or so’s break from it. With fresh eyes there’s a different perspective. With this drawing, I needed to alter the design and size to get it to work. Not sure I’ve got it right, but it’s better than it would’ve been if I’d carried on as I originally planned.

The next decision to make, and the trickiest, is whether to just add shadow and highlight or whether to go with colour. The next tricky decision is what media to use to this.

I’m so aware that my colour choices can be … quite dire. And so I am tempted to add colour digitally initially. Maybe. Perhaps.

A little break from it will be in order before I make that decision.

Draw With Me – Whimsical Bird and flowers part 1

Link to the YouTube video that goes with this image and post.

I’ve been busy inking in colouring pages (or templates if you prefer) for my next book – “Fanciful Birds” in the Creative Haven series. But at lunchtime, I took a break to do some drawing. And I drew another bird!

Actually, I started to plan out and draw an A5-ish-sized pen drawing that includes a bird, flowers and so on, all done in a whimsical, fanciful style.

In the video, I explain my thinking process as I lay out the basic design in pencil. And I do it all one step at a time, including the inking in the section I’ve already done.

Of course, the drawing isn’t finished… yet. This is but part 1 of a series. And given I have to focus on the inking in of templates, my videos may be more sporadic than usual, as will my social media posts. So please bear with me!

I seriously need some more tea and probably something to eat; it’s just about tea-time here as I type!

Draw with me – Tangle Patterns. A Sketchbook Page

Please click on the ‘Watch on YouTube’ button – cheers!

I’m fine, but feeling a tad out of sorts today. So, I needed some art that would be self-soothing for a bit of selfcare. Nothing is better than starting to fill a page with tangle patterns, and all of these are new to me!

From top to bottom, the zentangle patterns I used are:
Wigwag – Jody Genovese CZT
Moonrice – Ilonka Weerts
QuaSahnt – Heidi Kay

I coloured the page with Distress Inks (Wild Honey, Spiced Marmalade) then added some Ripe Persimmon through a stencil.

Draw With Me … A texture and filler pattern reference page.

This morning, I woke thinking that I really do need to pop all my favourite texture and filler patterns somewhere so I can refer to them easily. So, a sampler page it is! And yes, I videoed it and you can see the video on YouTube by clicking on this link!

I’m actually looking at the artwork I’ve done in the past few days or so that has been inspired by the work of Rebecca Blair. I’m really enjoying these kinds of simple, straightforward and rather graphic patterns. As they’re new to me and I keep coming up with my own variations, my fear of forgetting things kicks in.

Athazagoraphobia is the psychological term for the irrational fear of being forgotten or ignored, or just of forgetting things. Forgetting things like patterns or textures I like. That’s why I have a number of A5 journals with collections of drawings and patterns and so on in them – my visual references. This partly comes from a desire to collect such things and have a reference at hand to get inspiration from. But it also comes as I do worry about forgetting things as well, especially when I’m exploring or learning something new.

And it’s a totally irrational fear! My memory is usually really good, but I worry about forgetting things as well. Maybe it’s a result of seeing the devastating effect of Alzheimer’s on my father. I can’t remember if I was this way before that. Actually, I was. For a long period of time I kept a journal to keep my thoughts and memories in. Oddly, I don’t really do that now. I have a large collection of journals here and my only desire is to destroy them as I don’t look through them and I really don’t want anyone else to be able to look through them either. They are way too personal for that!

Anyways, I’m making a page full of my favourite patterns from my recent artistic endeavours, just in case! If nothing else, it will be something to spark creativity at a time when I’m a tad stumped for it. It’s also a fun thing to do and a lovely way to review my recent drawings.