The days are slowly lengthening here in the Northern Hemisphere. The first signs of nature waking up can be seen in the form of snowdrops and crocuses. It can also be heard in the raucous and beautiful birdsong.
To the template. I drew this on Rhodia dot grid paper using a Sakura Pigma PN pen. For my partially coloured version, I added a coloured background and colour digitally.
I managed to miss #Inktober52 weeks 3 and 4 so I thought I’d combine them into a sketchbook page along with week 5.
The prompts were *week 3 – brick *week 4 – snake, and *week 5 – balloon.
I’ve not been imaginative with those prompts. I’ve included some sinuous snake borders and bricks. Some classic brick patterns. I’ve only added a smattering of balloons, and a repeating balloon pattern.
Of course, I’ve also practised my hand lettering.
I hand lettered and drew this page on ClaireFontaine dot grid paper and I used Uniball Unipin pens to do so.
I added the kraft paper background and colour digitally. It never ceases to amaze me that, as much as I love my line art, colour really brings it to life. I especially like the way the colours seem to glow against the kraft paper.
I’ve just had a giggle. I realised I coloured the balloon that is hanging down in leaden greys, almost like it’s filled with mercury. That was a totally unconscious decision of mine!
A simple, monochrome mandala today, using some of my favourite patterns (plus a couple that are entirely mine).
Drawing mandalas is so soothing, mindful, meditative. The repetitive nature of drawing patterns is part of that relaxing experience.
It was also nice to use some of the patterns from my ‘visual dictionary‘ or ‘visual zibladone’ in some art.
I have some new patterns and motifs to add to my visual dictionary; they spontaneously appeared as I was drawing. I like when this happens, when I don’t over-think things and just go with my instincts.
I wanted to add a colour gradient to the mandala. However, when I tried to do so, it just didn’t feel right. So monochrome it is.
Drawn digitally using Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, Microsoft Surface Pen and Microsoft Surface Studio.
I’ve often mentioned my ‘visual dictionary’, so today I thought I’d show you a two-page spread from it.
I’ve kept a visual dictionary for a few years now. It’s where I keep a record of my favourite patterns, motifs, lettering styles and anything else of use to me when I need a little inspiration or to add something a little different to my art.
My original one is now just about full, and I thought it was time for a bit of a cull of patterns and motifs I wouldn’t use as I start a new dictionary. At the moment I’m working my way through zentangle patterns before I add my patterns and motifs. TanglePatterns.com is a fantastic online resource for zentangle patterns.
I’m using an A5 notebook with 5mm squared paper from WHSmith. It has quite a lot more pages in it than a Leuchtturm, Midori, or other A5 dot grid or squared notebooks, which is why I went with it. The paper seems to be pretty bleed-proof, and any ghosting is relatively minimal.
The past few days have had me needing some quiet time doing comforting, soothing art. I’ve had a very ‘people-y’ time of late, and it has left me quite drained. So, sifting through and drawing patterns and motifs and adding them to my new visual dictionary was just what my arty soul and overwrought emotions needed.
Doing this has the bonus of refreshing my creativity. Not only am I being reminded of patterns I like that I’ve not used for a very long time, but I’m also creating my own variations, either deliberately or as the result of some ‘happy accidents’.
Even though I’m trying to keep the pages neat and ordered and the patterns mistake-free, I find I’m not stressing if I make any mistakes. I find a way to either create a new pattern or to incorporate it into the design in some way. This is good for me as I tend to be hyper-perfectionistic if I’m not too careful.
I wanted a circular frame in which to put quotes. So, I started by drawing some pencil guidelines for the circle and the outer borders on some dot grid paper.
I used 08 and 02 Uniball Unipin pens to draw the circle of flowers and foliage. Then, to start filling the space around the flowers with entangled designs.
It’s very much a work in progress. Part of me thinks I could’ve left an empty border around the circular flower and foliage arrangement to separate it from the background. The other part of me likes it as it is.
I want to try to get a balance of less detailed areas with the more densely detailed sections so that there’s space for the eye to rest.
I also suspect I’ll be adding colour or, at the very least, shadow and highlights to the design to bring it to life.
After doing some statistics for a friend, I turned my attention to art. I noticed I had the desktop version of Repper pro and thought I’d have a play around with one of my Entangled Gardens drawings.
Repper pro is an app that allows me to make repeating patterns from my own artwork quite easily. I made a few, including the border above, in a short time. It’s now available online, for a monthly subscription.
I like to use a border of my art against a favourite quote, I thought I’d do that today, though I did take some liberties with the quote and replace “his” with the gender non-specific “their” as not all artists are male!
I do like repeating patterns, and I particularly like this border. I also like that I can make use of my artwork in different ways.
I know that my art reflects my soul, my heart, what gives me pleasure in drawing and in seeing too. Even this border makes me smile gently, both on my lips and eyes and in my heart too. I think I may give more of myself away than I realise when I create art. I think all artists and creatives do.
As I grow and develop my artistic voice, there’s still that quality of line, colour, composition that is distinctly me. Others may work in a similar way, but there’s still something unique about each of us, things about our art that set us apart from each other. These differences can be obvious or subtle, but each is a unique calling card for each artist or creative.
Abstract flowers with a simple mandala/wreath in the background. Created digitally using Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, Microsoft Surface Studio and Microsoft Surface Pen. Simple. Stylised. Satisfying to create.