Sketchtember Days 2 and 3

Link to today’s vlog on YouTube.

Here are my sketchbook pages for days 2 and three of Sketchtember. I’m using DecayingDots’ list of herbs and spices for this one.

I’m enjoying working in a different way to my usual entangled art. And, I’m making some awful mistakes/art in these pages. However, these are learning moments, not least of which it’s ok to do things that are grim, mainly my use of colour. But, if I didn’t try things out and learn from the mistakes I’d not progress at all.

What I think it shows me is that pen drawing, with just shading or monochrome colour is my strength, colour my weakness. As if I don’t keep saying that, yet I keep going back to using colour.

Today’s vlog focuses on Day 3 – Saffron. Tomorrow’s vlog will be a look at all the art I’ve worked on in the past week.

Sketchtember 2021 | Day 1

Link to today’s vlog on YouTube.

I’ve decided that it would be quite nice to take part in a monthly art challenge, perhaps as a warm up to Inktober next month. Maybe.

So, I looked around at the challenges I could find, and settled on one from @DecayingDots on Instagram and Twitter. Their list of prompts is all herbs/plants. That, unlike others, inspired me to take up the challenge.

It’s been a long time since I used a sketchbook truly as a sketchbook. It may take me awhile to get back into such things. I do have some lovely, pre-coloured pages to make use of as a start.

Not only will I practice my kind of sketching – which is usually with a pen – I can practice hand lettering and handwriting. My idea is not only to sketch the day’s plant/leaves, but to add notes and information. Those notes may be about the plant, or about the colours I’m using, or even recipes/uses for the particular herb.

As it’s a sketch challenge, there’s also no pressure to complete every drawing, or even to do perfect drawings. It’s all about observational drawing for me.

Now, as i don’t have green thumbs (I can kill any self-respecting plant in a matter of hours, well days maybe) and I’m not feeling able to visit shops or gardens at this time ( social anxiety is a heckofa thing), photographic references will have to do. But that’s ok.

So, here’s my page for day 1, which is all to do with sage. In today’s vlog I talk about this page, the media I’ve used, and I add some drawings to day 2’s page – Rosemary.

I’ve got some work still to do on both pages I think … but that’s the fun of a sketchbook. It’s not meant to be finished at one go, pages can be revisited and added to as needed!

Pen and Wash | Entangled Art | WIP

Link to today’s vlog on YouTube.

A very small penny dropped yesterday. I realised that what I’m doing is pen and wash, or ink and wash, or line and wash. I’m not entirely sure that a label is required, but it seems to fit.

I’m adding watercolour of one kind or another – Inktense, Ecoline, Mijello Mission Gold, Distress Inks, etc – to a pen drawing. Why I haven’t made that connection to the description of the method/process? I have no idea! Still, I have made that connection and a realisation that it gives a sense of artistic legitimacy to my work. That is a function of my insecurities when it comes to my artistic espression.

Yes, that’s right. Insecurities. Lack of confidence. Lack of belief in myself. Self-questioning about what on Earth I’m doing.

It is always nice for me when pieces of a rather abstract, metaphoric jigsaw fall into place, giving me a more coherent view of my method, my artistic voice.

These pieces always fall into place at the right time for me. I’m ready to accept that line and wash is what I do well, when I work within ‘an elegance of limits’ to quote the team at Zentangle. In this case a limited palette of colours harmonious with the background.

As well as working on this particular drawing, I have included some views of recent work in my sketchbook in today’s vlog. This other work shows me trying to work out how to add more contrast to the wash of colour. Fine ballpoint pen, graphite pencil and tortillon or coloured drawing pencils/chalk pastels are what I’m exploring. Eventually, I will settle on a method that I particularly like. I’m not happy with any of these at the moment.

I will continue to explore an figure it out. That’s what I’ve done with adding colour to my drawings, and that’s what I’ll do when it comes to increasing contrast with shadows and highlights.

Of course, I’m talking here about traditional art. When it comes to digital art, I think I have found a way I’m comfortable with in adding colour to pen drawings. I’m not quite there yet with traditional media, as well as finding the traditional media I like to work with.

Abstract Entangled Art | 03/08/’21

This is now finished! Between drawing, adding colour and embellishments, it’s taken somewhere between six and seven hours, I think.

Materials used:
* SeaWhite all media paper, 8″ x 8″ (195mm x 195mm)
* Uniball Eye Pen – micro
* Uniball Signo DX 0.38 Pen
* Derwent Graphitint pencils
* Brushes and water
* Derwent Drawing Pencils
* Cold Grey IV Pitt Artist Pen
* White and yellow Sakura Soufflé pens
* Clear Sakura Glaze pen

I actually managed to keep some white space in the design! I may have slightly overdone the dottiness. I did mess up by trying to use the Derwent Drawing pencils to add some darker tones to the green ‘leaves’.

Overall, I think this is good enough to move on to the next project, which is likely to be Thursday’s coloring template.

It’s been nice to lose myself in some art for the sake of art. Especially as my emotional weather is still damp, dull and grey and making me doubt myself. It’s been an emotional rainy spell that’s been brewing for a while, and that’s why I’ve returned to the familiarity and comfort of my entangled art.

I always circle back to entangled art, regardless of my experiments with other media and styles and getting frustrated with colour!

My tricksy emotional weather is only exacerbating my frustrations with colour. I know I need to get the coloured plates done for the Whimsical Cats colouring book, but as I am at the moment I will only get myself into a right royal kerfuffle. So, it’s time to just enjoy drawing, maybe using some colour – time for monochrome colour schemes I think.

July Color Palette Challenge

Each month there’s a color palette challenge in the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group.

This is my completed template using the colour palette for July.

Some of the colours in my finished artwork weren’t in the palette. I mixed colours from the palette to achieve the oranges and purples.

It was a fun project that I completed rather quickly for me. I used it as an opportunity to find out more about some of the blending options for the brushes in Clip Studio Paint. I’m not sure anyone could tell the difference with how this has finished, but I started to understand how some of these options work.

It’s nearly midday, and I think it’s time for breakfast before I turn my attention to this week’s template for the facebook group. Food first!

Template Thursday…on a Wednesday?

Wednesday is the day I design this week’s template for the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group. The template will be available to group members to download and colour tomorrow.

As it’s the first day of a new month tomorrow, that means a new color palette challenge for the group members. I’ve not decided on a colour palette yet.

This week it has a botanical theme.

While today’s vlog was processing and uploading, I took the time to edit the image digitally and also to add some colour to it. That gave the opportunity to play with a different brush. I’m not sure about the effect I’ve achieved, however.

In the vlog, I share my thoughts on the artwork and what I’m thinking as I draw. This is mostly focused on the art, but I do have a bit of a grasshopper brain that will flit around from time to time.

As the vlog is rather long – 1 hr and 13 mins or so – I’ve also created a speeded up / time lapse version with music if you prefer.

Entangled Art WIP

Today, I finished drawing this entangled, zentangle inspired kind of floral/botanical design. I did start this yesterday afternoon, but continued it this morning before I settled back to sleep. I’ve had a poor night’s sleep thanks to yet another upset stomach, so after my Wednesday delivery from Abel & Cole, I drew and then settled back to sleep.

I’m still feeling very tired, my digestive system is still uncomfortable, delicate, upset. But I have to run an errand today. I’ll get to that soon enough and then I’ll see how I feel and how that dictates how I look after myself for the rest of the day. I suspect more sleep will be needed.

Anyways, this drawing is on an A5 piece of Canson Imagine mixed media paper. I used a 0.3 Unipin pen to draw the design, and I’m now adding colour using a fairly limited palette of Zig Clean Colour Real Brush pens:
*green gray
*pale dawn gray
*olive green
*deep green
*ochre
*bright yellow
*pale rose
*lilac
*english lavender

I’m considering adding a couple of browns to this palette, as well as using some olive green over the grays.

These pens do move easily with a barely damp brush on this paper making it so easy to get a colour gradient. It’s also easy to add more colour to intensify the dark area.

I have recorded my morning art session as vlog.

In the vlog I talk about how the pressures of being constantly productive turned me into a workaholic when I was a teacher, and then fed negatively into my self-image which ultimately led to my burn-outs/breakdowns. I have learned that taking time for myself, to just be, to relax, to do things I enjoy, to look at ‘goals’ in a realistic kind of way to limit the pressure I put on myself.

I no longer have the external pressures of my career as a teacher, and one of the many hard lessons I’ve had to learn as part of my healing is how to value self-care time, and how that time can change from day to day. It’s so important for me, otherwise life’s own stresses and strains can take their toll on me and leads to physical, emotional and/or mental exhaustion or even ill-health.

Taking time to rest, to relax, is being ‘productive’, but in an important way. The productivity is investing time in one’s self and one’s own well being. And that is so very important.

This is why I take time nearly every day to create art just for myself, for the pleasure of creating, of exploring and experimenting, with no pressure on myself to create a completed work of art or for commercial gain. Just for the simple joy it brings.

Admittedly, I can fixate on art and forget about doing other things I enjoy, such as playing my flute, or learning to play my harp or tongue drum, or reading, or journalling, or even getting out for a walk, or combining my walk with sketching.

I know this is something I do need to work on for sure. But, like everything else, it comes together in it’s own way, in it’s own time, when I am ready to do so.

Have an open heart – part 2 – adding color

A time lapse video of me adding colour to yesterday’s drawing. Please click on ‘view in YouTube’ so it can count the views! If you like the video, give it a thumbs up and consider subscribing to my channel.

I’m not paid, sponsored nor gifted any product in order to promote or review any product. I show them just in case you’re interested in what I use, that’s all.

“Willingness” Entangled Art

Today’s morning art – ‘entangling’ around “Willingness”. The original is drawn on white bristol board (21cm x 21cm) with black Unipin pens (0.5 and 0.1). The word was laser printed, cut out and glued to the bristol board.

I was willing to work with a lot of new and different motifs in this drawing, though not all are new. Some familiarity is needed!

It was lovely to do and took me about 2 hours in total.

I did create a vlog of this process – link here –> Willingness vlog. The first part, up until 49:33 mins is the chatty bit, from then on, the rest of the drawing has been sped up.

It would be lovely if you’d take a look, and if you enjoy the video please give it a thumbs up and consider subscribing.

I am not willing to use traditional media to add colour and/or shadow and highlight to this drawing, though I am very willing to do so digitally!

It’s been very, very windy here over the past day or so, and it has bucketed down with rain. It’s still fairly blowy, with strong gusts. So, I’m staying indoors unless the rain stops! So, I’m more than willing to keep the hatches battened down, and to settle to coloring at least some of this design. A good decision, methinks!

I’m also feeling well out of sorts after having a very, very weird dream that woke me early, and I was having a conversation in my head with one of the characters in the dream. I really wasn’t at all happy with them and told them a few home truths! Weird, just plain weird. So, it may have a knock on effect on my alertness later today.

WIP Wednesday

I was potching around last night with how to add colour to a drawing with traditional media. You’d think I’d’ve learned not to do this by now, wouldn’t you? I was getting nowhere except to the land of frustration and feeling useless.

This morning, as I tried wrangling still further, I thought to myself, “let’s break out the Chameleon markers”. I did, and I also dug out some marker paper and started to draw. And I was happy with the design.

And then I started to add colour … and that’s where it all went to pot.

Oh the colours are lovely, individually. Just not when put together.

I’d also forgotten how much I like to use Chameleon markers. However, I really need to stick to monochrome! And, I think the Chameleons will work well in a monochrome manner. But not just yet. First I need a nap.

Lack of sleep was the usual overly hot at night stuff and also the early morning Wednesday wake-up for my Abel & Cole groceries delivery. What energy I had has now gone. I’m starting to go cross-eyed with tiredness, so I think I’ll need to nap very, very soon.