I’m almost done with this first page of pattern explorations. I think I have some fussing around and embellishing left to do. However, I will take a fresh look at this page later today.
I thought I’d use Chameleon Fineliners to add some details. And I discovered some interesting effects when applying a waterbrush!
A gold Sakura Pentouch pen was used to add some small areas of dots and metallic accents. Sadly, they either don’t show up in the photo or show up as dark areas. That’s the problem with photographing metallics, especially by someone (me!) who isn’t a very good photographer.
Of course, there’s a video where you can see how I add to this page today. And here it is:
This morning, I needed to create something that wasn’t too taxing, that was meditative, that could be completed relatively quickly in a process that was familiar to me. So, I chose to create a Zentangle tile. Perfect for when I’ve woken with a stinking headache.
I cut a 4″ x 4″ square of Fabriano Sand Toned Paper and added a few pencil lines to act as the ‘string’ for the design. Next, I had a look on TanglePatterns.com for a pattern to place in the diagonal area. The latest one posted is called TIWA, designed by Ria Mattheussen, one I’ve not drawn before. So, I used that, and let the design grow from there.
To create the tile I used the following: 0.3 Unipin pen, various Stabilo Carbothello pastel pencils and a paper stump, a white Sakura Soufflé pen, and a BR3 Chameleon fineliner for the spiral pattern (Printemps in Zentangle-speak!).
I need a quiet, restful, and possibly nap-filled rest of the day. As the headache is beginning to fade, it’s leaving me feeling exhausted in it’s turbulent wake. I do think I may do a little more drawing first.
I filmed this process and turned it into a vlog. I speeded the footage up, as the original colouring took over an hour and a half.
I then spent another half hour or so experimenting with fineliners and white, metallic and glitter gel pens to add texture and pattern to the coloured areas. I didn’t film that though, but the results are in the photo above.
I set myself three intentions for this morning: a) enjoy the process of working with the media b) experiment with fineliners and pens to add pattern, highlight/shadow and texture c) to not invest in the outcome or fret about colour choices
I think I achieved those intentions.
Sometimes, often even, just enjoying the process of creating, with no expectations or pressures of any particular outcome is so important. To be able to relax and enjoy the process, the colours, the way the media work is as valuable an experience as producing for a specific purpose.
It’s nice to be able to take the time to do this, without worrying about any particular project. Being able to put aside the “I should be doing x, y and z” and realising that just taking time to do something that makes me smile inside is as important as doing projects that fulfill a contract or business thingy.
This is one of a couple of drawings I have on the go at the moment. The scan has washed out and altered the colours a tad. The gradations of colour are a lot smoother too. But I think you get the idea.
This was was drawn with Copic Multiliners on heavy smooth cartridge paper by Daler Rowney. I’m using Staedtler and Chameleon fineliners to add texture/pattern to the drawing. The larger areas of colour were achieved with Carbothello pastel pencils and a paper tortillon.
I was going to stick to a monochrome colour scheme, but some of those tendrils, fronds and leaves just needed a touch of a muted green. And then that led me to including that central ‘orb’ of turquoise (which isn’t as pale or lacking gradient as it appears).
I’m getting to the point where I need to decide how much white space to leave in the design, and where I’m going to add colour and/or texture and pattern. I also need to think about whether some of those coloured spaces need either more shadow or lightening up a bit. That means it’s time for me to take a break from this particular artwork and go and do another or something else completely different!
Before that, there are elements in this design that I really like – the strange columns/antenna at the top and bottom left, the organic trellis of fronds in the largest part of the design. That horizontal bar towards the top. however, just jars with the rest of th design.
Started yesterday evening, worked on during my hours of mid-night waking, and on waking this morning, this measures 21 cm x 21 cm (approx 8.25″ x 8.25″) The paper is natural coloured Claire Fontaine Paint-On mixed media paper coloured with Aged Mahogany Distress Ink. The design is being drawn with a mix of 03 Unipin and 01 Sakura Micron pens.
I’m using a mixture of Stadedtler Triplus and Chameleon Fineliner pens to add colour to the design, along with a barely damp waterbrush to spread the colour out. Interestingly, some of the colour lines added remain visible, to a greater or lesser extent, depending on how much I work the colour with the waterbrush. Also, I’m finding that I really enjoy adding colour and texture like this.
The finishing bright white highlights are added using a Sakura Gelly Roll pen.
I find the fineliners used in this way give me much greater control over how much the colour spreads in the small areas in my drawing. They also don’t spread as much as, say, Tombow Dual Brush pens or Inktense pencils. That helps to control the spread of colour too.
I rather like the vintage-y look that the palette of browns and olive greens confers on the design, helped along by the background colour and texture of the paper.
Oh, I do intend to leave a ‘hole’ in this first layer of designs. I’m not sure I’ll do inside the space; a quote, more layers of design. For now I’m not sure. But once this first layer is done, I can scan it in and use it in different ways digitally.
There are lots of my favourite motifs appearing in this one, rather organic ones for the most part. What will appear from the tip of my pen in the rest of the design? I don’t know yet! It could be more of the same, or not. All I know is that the intricacy, detail and revisiting old favourite motifs is making my arty crafty heart smile.
“The state of having inconsistent thoughts, beliefs, or attitudes, especially as relating to behavioural decisions and attitude change.”
Finally, the penny dropped as to why I’m feeling so out of sorts. Oddly, it was while I was listening to a documentary about the cult NXIVM as I was drawing during the stupid o’clock hours of drawing. Don’t worry, I’m not a member of a cult! However cognitive dissonance was mentioned and that was the ‘ta-da!’ moment for me.
Cognitive dissonance causes emotional distress related to holding contradictory beliefs or values. I’ve experienced this before during breakthrough moments in therapy where I’ve had to accept that I was a victim of trauma, that I really do have CPTSD and I’m not (as my mother would tell me) making it up, for example.
I’m poised on a knife edge, wanting to make a decision to leave something, but feeling guilty about thinking that way. I need to find a way to find some clarity to help me make that decision, and it has to do with my core values and beliefs.
Recognising this doesn’t make me feel any better, but it helps me understand what is going on, and that understanding will help me work my way through it! Making a decision won’t make it any easier for me to act upon it as there’ll be a lot of guilt and the old reactive feeling of believing I’m letting other people down.
However, I can’t put other people ahead of my own mental and emotional well-being. It’s never been easy for me to say ‘no’ to people, to leave organisations or people who are contributing to emotional and mental distress in myself. But I have done so occasionally, more so in the last year or two. And I will do so this time if it’s what I need to do to find that sense of balance, harmony, peace in myself once again.