This is the final installment of the frame/background I’ve been creating as my morning warm up art.
Today, I finish adding colour and also apply Distress Microglaze to bring out the colours.
Thanks to everyone who’s taken some time to watch my videos, leave a comment, like the videos and/or subscribe to my YouTube channel.
It’s nice to be able to share my art in process, but also to share insights into myself, my artistic processes. Indeed, giving voice to my thoughts makes me aware of them. As I work, I’m usually oblivious to the thoughts that happen as I create. Either they’re mostly in my subconscious, or so ephemeral and passing that I don’t notice them.
I know, not another video. But yes, another. In this one I start to add colour to my drawing, and chat about my method and what makes me smile in terms of colour, and the struggles I have in coming to terms with that.
I’m going to go and work on a mandala now, for Mandala Monday of course!
Natural Paint-on paper by ClaireFontaine approx 8.25″ x 8.25″ (21cm x 21 cm ) Flower motif – Tim Holtz’s Ephemera Various other papers as mats. Black fine Uniball ‘Eye’ pen Gold Sakura Gelly Roll pen White Sakura Souffle pen White and brown pastel pencils
Today’s offering is another entangled/zentangle cartouche around a piece of vintage ephemera.
I’m trying to learn lessons of past attempts at these kinds of frames or cartouches. The layers of borders seem to work well for me. They’re balanced and cohesive. Also, the colours used help to bring them together as well.
It’s Monday. A bright sunshiny early spring morning, but with plenty of dove-grey clouds floating in the sky.
I’ve been working on this drawing and ‘cartouche’ idea and I realise that I need to consider the idea of proportion. Either the focal point piece of ephemera needs to be bigger, or the background piece of paper and drawing smaller. Still, you have to try things to learn from them, eh?
This kind of drawing really harks back to past work I’ve done. Thicker lines, clunkier details, very little white space. It feels crowded, overwhelming with detail and pattern. I think that describes how I’ve been feeling too lately, and it’s reflected in my artwork.
What I do with this drawing now is uncertain. It may just sit in the archives, digital and physical, an example of a lesson to be learned.
Over the past two or so days, I’ve not been feeling quite right. I’ve spent a lot of time cwtched up in bed, and about the only art I’ve felt like doing is small projects that I don’t feel overwhelmed by.
I saw the idea of zentangle cartouches on the Zentangle YouTube channel a little while back and wanted to give them a go. I’d done one a little while ago where I’d used some vintage rose ephemera from a set of Tim Holtz’s Field Notes ephemera on a piece of natural coloured mixed media paper. I wasn’t at all sure with what I’d ended up with. However, I did want to revisit this idea once again.
So, I decided to explore the idea of cartouches once again. This time, I used smaller pieces of creamy Fabriano Medioevalis paper, which comes sized to 3.3″ x 5.2″ (85mm x 132mm), with lovely rough edges. This is really soft paper, the surface is easily damaged by using a tortillon too roughly.
I added the focal points, again from the Field Notes ephemera by Tim Holtz, along with some little quotes. The quotes are from the sets of ‘chit chat’ stickers, again by Tim Holtz. These items are in my stash from the days I messed around with mixed media, before I realised it really wasn’t quite for me. I admire what people can do with mixed media, but I just never seem to have found my way with it in a way that I’m happy with. I’m much happier wielding a pen (on paper or digitally) with love and a creative heart, than getting rather messy and frustrated with mixed media.
My Reflections on these Cartouches
Anyways, I’ve had mixed results with these experiments in cartouches. My favourite is ‘trust your crazy ideas’, closely followed by ‘be you, bravely’, then ‘treasure. ‘stay curious’ and ‘don’t forget to fly’ are very close to these in how much I like them.
‘trust your crazy ideas’ just seems to have colours and patterns that work harmoniously both with each other and with the mushrooms. Perhaps I got a little close to the motif with the pen work, something for me to consider with future projects of this ilk.
‘trust your crazy ideas and ‘be you, bravely’ are both designs that have a small number of different patterns on them.
‘treasure’ is similar in that respect, but it feels unbalanced. I think I need to consider where I put the central motif; more centrally may work in my favour. ‘stay curious’ is a much more balanced design than ‘treasure’, because I consciously decided to mirror the patterns used, even though the motif was not placed centrally.
‘don’t forget to fly’ is just not a coherent design at all. I like the borders and the seed pods around the motif, but then it all goes weird.
However, I’m really not at all pleased with ‘live gently upon this earth’. It’s incoherent, too many colours, and the words and motif are just not balanced at all. I would’ve been better with not adding the words to this one in the first place.
Actually. It may be that I don’t add the words until the design is finished, at the bottom as a kind of plaque or border, or floating over an area of the cartouche with a border around them, or just not use them at all. I need to experiment with these.
My own ephemera designs?
I also know I’m quite capable, I think, of drawing my own ‘epehemera’ to add as focal points. However, as I tend to draw at a much bigger scale, I’d either need to scan my drawing in, or draw digitally, and reduce the scale before printing them out. At this time, I have a laser printer, which is great for printing documents and so on but not so much for artwork. It changes the surface properties of the paper used. Also, I can’t use specialist art paper with the printer. If I’m going to go down this route of arty expression I think I need to consider changing this printer for an inkjet printer again, especially one that has waterproof, or at least water resistant, ink.
What to do with my artwork?
My home is increasingly becoming filled with my artwork. Most of it I have digital versions of them – either scans or photographs. I do need to decide what to do with my artwork as I really do need to let it go to new homes. Any suggestions, drop me a comment!
Also, I have a problem with putting a price on my artwork, if I were to sell it. I have absolutely no idea of what it’s value could be to other people, or even if anyone would want to purchase it. Again, any suggestions, drop me a comment! Any help or advice would be much appreciated.
Two drawings today, both done over the night as I couldn’t sleep as I really wasn’t at all well.
The larger one is a Zentangle ‘cartouche’. The central floral image is from one of Tim Holtz’s Ephemera packs. The paper is natural coloured mixed media paper by ClaireFontaine. I used a mixture of black, gold and rusty-red pens to draw the frame around the image. To add colour and shadow I used a mixture of pastel and graphite pencils, along with some tortillons. The design is approx. 12.5cm x 16cm (approx 3″ x 5″).
The smaller design is approx. 13cm x 8.5cm (3.3″ x 5.2″) in size. The paper is a piece of Medioevalis paper by Fabriano. This is lovely soft, gently textured paper that has a high cotton content. It’s easily damaged by the use of tortillons, however. So, I did add some shadows with a graphite pencil, but then added colour with Inktense pencils, brush and water. The paper really works well with wet media it seems. To draw the design I used a black fineliner, a brush pen and white and gold gelly roll pens.
I saw the ideas of cartouches, as a decorative frame around writing or image, and Zentangle designs on a youtube video and wanted to try it out. I decided to do that in the dark depths of the night when I wasn’t able to sleep. I may very well experiment with this idea as time goes on – particularly using drawings of my own as the focal point. I’ll see how it goes.
Just trying out new 05 fineliner pens in vintage tones.
The central motif/pattern was worked on a small square of cotton watercolour paper (2″ x 2″ or 5 cm x 5 cm) coloured with Tea Dye Distress Ink. The larger panel beneath is a piece of Bristol Board (6″ x 6″ or 15.5cm x 15.5cm) coloured with Rusty Hinge Distress Ink.
I used various shades of Carbothello chalk pastel pencils and a paper tortillion to add colour and shadow. Gold higlights and a border around the central motif were added with a metallic gold Gelly Roll pen.
I’ve just noticed I really didn’t do a good idea at adding my initials so they were oriented harmoniously! Still, this really was just a trying out something kind of thing. I’d seen a Zentangle video about the use of cartouches – frames around writing or an illustration. And thought I’d try it out, in my usual clumsy kind of way.
I do like the idea of creating frames around other small pieces of art or precious items. That may be something I do going forward.