Sketchbook Saturday

What’s new?

I know, it’s that page in my Arteza watercolour sketchbook again! However, there are some changes, most noticeably the bottom left design.

I have added some depth and contrast in colour using coloured pencils to parts of the designs, and left other parts as just watercolour. I have used a blending solution and paper torchon to blend the pencils in most instances, but not all. Sometimes the blending just isn’t needed.

The bottom design was done today. It took around three hours to complete. Drawing the design with Pitt Artist pens, followed by the background washes of watercolour, finally the coloured pencils.

What I’ve learned

I like using coloured pencils on watercolour paper, and over a watercolour wash.

I find it really difficult to get the intensity of contrast with watercolours alone. Using coloured pencils makes that a cinch, especially on paper with a good ‘tooth’ to it, like watercolour paper.

I got a good sense of satisfaction as I completed the bottom design. I’m not all that happy with some of my colour choices, but that wasn’t my main consideration today; that was trying coloured pencils on watercolours on watercolour paper.

Small ‘aha’ designs

Lots of little drawings.

Over the past couple of days I’ve been drawing small designs in pen, including plenty of line detail to add volume and shadow.

Today, I scanned the drawings in and printed them out (after cleaning them up a tad digitally) so I could try colouring them.

I wanted to print them on mixed media paper, which I know my printer will take. However, even with clean scans, the prints were really messy. However, when printed on ordinary paper, the prints were pristine.

I wasn’t happy as I wanted to use a paper with a bit more ‘tooth’ so I could make use of the Derwent Colorsoft pencils. But, I persevered and the results are above.

The first I coloured is in the top middle. My colour sense isn’t always wonderful. Lots of colours, but it just doesn’t feel coherent in any kind of way.

So, I moved on to the next design. This time, I thought I’d use analogous colours (colours next to each other on the colour wheel), with a touch of a complementary colour to add brightness. Complementary colours are opposite each other on the colour wheel.

I like this second one much more. It feels cohesive, like everything belongs together. And the little bursts of yellow/orange just lift it all.

The third design I’ve been colouring is only partly done. I’ve veered away from entirely analogous colours, but I am trying to keep the colour palette simple and with, perhaps, an autumnal feel to it.

As I was working on printer paper, I needed to use some way to blend the colours. I remembered I had some ‘Zest-It’ blending solution and some paper torchons. They worked well. The big frustration was that I couldn’t lay down intense colour. However, as these are prints, I’m not too worried. I do need to find some toothy paper which will go in the main paper drawer of my printer. I do have some cartridge paper here somewhere which should go through it.

Of course, scanning the drawings in means I can also work on adding colour digitally. It means I can try things out until I’m happy with the results.

Pesky printers

I never have much luck with printers. Inkjet printers die on my quickly, even the more expensive professional ones. I thought I’d try a laser printer, but I seem to have problems with this one now not giving clean prints when I use the sheet feeder for specialist papers.

I don’t print much out, to be honest, but it’s frustrating when I want to print artwork out on specialist paper.

A note to self about colour.

What I have learned is that I like to watercolour the designs, but then the addition of coloured pencils to intensify the colours and add shadows works really well for me. I like the intense contrasts that I can get with coloured pencils that I just can’t seem to achieve with watercolours.

Of course, I can always colour digitally, which lets me play with colours, change them, until I get something I really like.

Today, I’ve had a reminder that limited palettes, particularly of analogous colours, seem to be working rather well for me, especially with those accents of complementary colours.

I really do need to put a big ‘note to self’ where I can see it to remind me of this. I can get carried away with colours

Little drawings

img_0564

Today, I’ve taken a bit of a break from drawing doodle art and played with Distress Oxides and other media.  The photo above shows just a couple of the small pieces of art I’ve created.

The top two are drawn on Strathmore Bristol paper with a vellum surface which was prepared with Distress Oxide inks brushed on using a stencil brush.  That worked really nicely!  I used a Faber-Castell Pitt Artists pen to draw the design on and then I used Inktense pencils to deepen colours and add shading, before adding just a few metallic highlights here and there.  I really enjoyed drawing these ones, and I have some more pieces of the inked paper ready to draw on – that’s the rest of my evening sorted then!

The bottom two are from some experimenting I did earlier in the day. Both were drawn using a Sakura Glaze pen.  I used Derwent Color Soft pencils to add colour to the design drawn on Kraft paper, and Inktense pencils with a damp brush on the other.

I also had some 3D Crystal Lacquer made by Sakura Hobby Craft arrive today, so I added dots of that to various elements in the bottom two to see what it’s like.

I have been trying out watercolouring with the Distress Oxides, and they end up with a finish that is similar to gouache.  I’m not sure I like using them in this way, however.

Energy Flow1

Energy Flow 1 © Angela Porter 2012

16cm x 8cm.  Sakura Glaze pen in black, Derwent colorsoft pencils, Derwent metallics pencils and Cosmic Shimmer iridescent/metallic watercolour paints on black card.

I started this one before my return to work a fortnight ago.  I noticed as I was completing it this weekend that it’s a little disjointed in places which may symbolise how I was feeling about the return to work.  The photograph really doesn’t show the colours properly, nor the shimmer and shine of the metallics.  However, you do get an idea of what it looks like.

Returning to work.

I made it back to work for the start of the Summer Term.  My voice, however, is still not right.  Work have referred me to occupational health and for speech therapy.  Also, there’s a microphone/speaker system on order for my room so that I won’t have to raise my voice.   My doctor has referred me to ENT to have my voice checked out.

The worst thing of all, is I still can’t sing.  I love to sing, have always sung with one choir or another since I started secondary school.  I join in the singing at any gathering where there is some.  This bout of laryngitis has affected that part of my voice, and I really, really do hope it will return properly and fully.

Not the car, again!

The handbrake broke on the car a couple of days ago.  As I’m writing this, I’m waiting for my nephew, who’s a whizz with cars, to come and see what needs to be done.

This is on top of a water leak from the toilet cistern a couple of weeks ago that came through the downstairs ceiling.

The ‘earphone’ on my mobile has stopped working too.

I hope that’s the triad of breaking done with!