Illustrated Journal Page and Lettering Practice

Sunday morning (and Saturday evening, which was when this page was started) is the perfect time to practice my lettering, a quirky kind of illustrated journal page, and digital art practice.

I had intended to use just three, maybe four, basic colours for this page, but the vegetables threw me a tad!

I drew the page on paper with a fine Zig Mangaka Flexible pen. The Colour was added digitally after scanning the page. And I had a lot of fun as ideas clicked into place to add colour to the lettering.

Admittedly, some of the inking work is a tad clunky, but that could be fixed if I wanted to. It is a sketchbook page, and so perfection isn’t required. Giving myself permission to work with what I deem as less than perfect is an important lesson I’m trying to learn. Expressing myself in this wobbly, wonky, imperfect, quirky, eccentric, whimsical kind of way is a work in progress.

Oh, I’ll still draw detailed, intricate black and white pen designs. But I suspect I’ll do much more of this style of art. I have much to learn about it, using colour with no black lines, for instance. But I know it’s all a process, and I’ll get to where I need to be. I know that I’m really enjoying the combination of traditional ink drawing with digital colour – tradigital?

I’m not sure my Doodleworlds critters belong, but I just couldn’t resist popping them in to fill an awkward space!

Template Thursyay! Doodleworlds.

It’s Thursday, so that means it’s time for a new colouring page (template) for the facebook group Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans.

I was in a bit of a whimsical mood this morning, so spending some time visiting Doodleworlds was just perfect. I also got a tad lost in adding colour to this template.

These are a lot of fun to draw, and to colour. Because of their cute, whimsical and imaginary nature, any colours go! These are drawings I find easy to add colour to; it seems the brighter, more vibrant and varied the colours are the better! Unline a lot of my other art,w which can become confused and incoherent looking.

So, I lost myself in adding colour to this drawing, even though I’ve not totally coloured it in.

Sneak Peek of this week’s Coloring Page

Click on this link to view today’s video on YouTube.

This week’s colouring page (or template) is drawn and I’ve added a little colour to it. I decided to feature some of the tangle patterns I’ve been exploring in the last couple of days. These are Ginili, Gingo and Fragment D3.

It’s really unusual of me to stick to a fairly limited number of patterns/motifs in my drawings. It was a really good experience!

I was so tempted to use the space between the stems of the Gingo leaves to add various blues, making it a bit like stained glass. I didn’t this time. Maybe for tomorrow. I’m not too keen on my colour choices today. Perhaps I really do need to get to grips with the idea that a limited colour palette is best for me and to stick to it!

That’s if I can drag myself away from the hand lettering course and practice that I’m so enthused about. I quickly show the pages completed so far in my lettering sketchbook in today’s video.

Time for the creative soul – A Zentangle Inspired Bookmark WIP

Slowly, I’m learning about using colour digitally, and I love it! I’m beginning to understand how I can use layers effectively. Bringing dimension to my ‘flat’ pen drawings is so fascinating!

I realise now that I need to spend more time working with colour digitally. I’m finding getting that feeling of volume in my artwork is relatively easy. But, choosing colours isn’t my best skill for sure! So, once the process of layers is incorporated into my mental “muscle memory”, I need to learn more about how to choose colours.

I’ll get there. It may be that monochrome is the way to go for me. But only time will tell.

For now, I need a bit of a break from the computer as well as another mug of tea!

Doodleworlds Critters – Part 2, partly coloured

Have you ever lost hours engrossed in an activity? It happens often, doesn’t it? This afternoon, I’ve lost seven or eight hours adding colour to this Doodleworlds drawing. Yet, contentment oozed out of every pore of me.

I think I’ve finally found the perfect digital brushes during this time. That made adding colour such an enjoyable and engrossing activity today. So much so, that I kept saying to myself, “Just one more,” or, This one will be the last.”

I think I’ve only come to a stop for now as I need some food and drink. Also, I really need to get my Welsh Lesson done on Duolingo.

I had planned to pop out this afternoon, but I got so lost in art the afternoon has flown by!

The bonus is that not only have I enjoyed this time, but I’m pretty pleased with what has been produced. I’m even considering that it may be time to find a good cause to gift a lot of my traditional media to. I’ve not quite decided on that step yet.

I tried adding colour to this drawing yesterday, using traditional media. Unfortunately, I was so disappointed with what I produced that I re-drew the picture. Yup, I forgot to scan the partly drawn version in. Ho-hum.

I feel I’m OK adding shadow to my drawings with chalk pastel pencils. But adding colour with traditional media…

So, I’ll sit with this decision, focus on drawing with pen and adding colour digitally. In most cases that is.

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!

Abstract WIP 5 Jan 2021

The drawing

I’ve been working on this drawing for the past three days. I’m not sure if it is finished yet; I’m undecided about all the open spaces to the right. I’m beginning to understand the need for some space for the eyes to rest on, but my inner inclination is still to fill my drawing with pattern and complexity.

This one has been drawn with a black Uni Emott pen in my A4 Artway Enviro sketchbook. The Emott pen has a hard plastic tip and although it has become worn during the work of drawing, I’ve found the uneven, patchy, varying line widths that result most useful in achieving different weight and character of line in the drawing. Not that this shows up well in the reduced size and resolution image of the work. Neither does the texture of the colour applied digitally.

I’m quite heavy handed with pens and tend to wreck the more delicate Unipin and Pigma Micron pens (and others of a similar ilk) rather rapidly. The Pigma Micron PN pens weather my heavy-hand better as well. I don’t favour one over the other. I just choose what pen I feel like drawing with at the time – be it Unipins, Microns, Micron PN, Rotring Rapidograph, Tombow Fudenosuke, or traditional fountain pens.

Digital drawing is a challenge for me, even though I love the Surface Slim Pen and the way it glides on the screen of the Surface Studio. The challenge for me is the sense of scale, proportion and perspective. A sheet of paper gives me a well defined shape and size and as I can’t zoom in, there’s a limit to the tiny details I can add.

Sleeplessness

Saturday night into Sunday was another very broken nights sleep and it left me wiped out yesterday. I had various meetings to attend online during the day and evening as well. In between them, I had to sleep. I was overtired and that makes me emotional and teary. Sleep is the only cure for tiredness. Hence no blog entry yesterday.

So, this meant little time for art and stuff yesterday.

I did have a better night’s sleep last night, though I woke part way through. These night ‘sweats’ (I just get incredibly hot, no sweating as such…yet) are no fun! I wake up absolutely blisteringly hot, and it takes me ages to cool down, even though my bedroom is really cold. If these carry on into the warm/hot months when sleep is difficult anyway, I don’t know what I’m going to do! It seems perimenopause is moving along with me; age doesn’t come by itself. As well as the hot flushes during the night and day I’m finding more periods of fuzzy headedness and difficulty concentrating.

As I let the house go cold during the night in an effort to better cope with these night sweats, and I don’t know when I’m going to wake up in the morning if I do get back to sleep, I don’t have my heating turn on at a specific time. So I wake up to a cold house. Which is great if I’m in the throes of a hot flash. So, on these cold mornings, my habit is to go put the heating on, make breakfast, and take breakfast back to bed. That way I can keep warm while sitting in bed, having breakfast and faffing around with email and so on as well as my personal drawing projects.

What I’m realising is that I’m going to have to change my approach to working hours as perimenopause affects how my mind and body functions. I have no idea how long it will last; a year to many years apparently. I hope this will settle down into a pattern that I can work with, or that I can be more flexible with myself about when I work and when I don’t, and recognised when I need to take self-care time.

It won’t last forever, thank goodness. One of the plus sides of it is that I don’t feel the cold as much as I used to, at certain times of day anyway.

Monday Mandala

This week’s mandala is a tad different. I decided to take my entangled assemblage drawing from yesterday and create a ring mandala behind it. The patterns in the mandala are in keeping with the focal image.

I’ve not finished colouring the focal image, yet. But I have done a little bit more since yesterday. Just a little bit more.

I rather like the contrast of teals and turquoise with browns and coppery tones, hence my colour choice for the mandala.

All in all, a fun way to start my arty work day. It’s always nice to do some warm-up drawing before I get to drawing coloring templates.

Focal design drawn using 0.35 Rotring Rapidograph and acid-free cartridge paper.
Autodesk Sketchbook Pro used to add colour the to focal point, the background texture and to draw and colour the mandala.

Strata

Arty musings

I’ve been awake since silly o’clock. I have a delivery due before midday, so while awaiting it I have been arting.

This started off as a simple line drawing of patterns from the strata of rock formations of Raplee Ridge, Utah. Then, I added some patterns between them, zentangle or entangled style. I used fineliner pens on paper to do this drawing (left image).

My next job was to scan the drawing in and tidy it up digitally. Then, I thought I’d colour the design in. I kept to fairly earthy tones for this (middle image).

Finally, I thought I’d do a pure colour study of the line art. And I really like this one. I’ve played with shadow and light to give a sense of dimension to the artwork (right image).

I’m really pleased with the pure colour image. Not just for choosing a fairly pleasing palette, but for finally discovering how to use textured brushes to draw, colour and texture the different areas.

I’ve done work like this with traditional media, but have never really had much success digitally. It seems I have found some confidence here.

It does remind me of work I did some 15 or so years ago while studying for A level art as an adult, and how much pleasure I got from that. Now, as back then, I used simple colour palettes.

I suspect I’ll be doing more work like this – line art of patterns, followed by a coloured interpretation of those patterns. My mind is ticking over whether I could include some typography in these kinds of artwork too.

Moody mutterings

My mood is better today, I’m pleased to say. I’m not sure if it’s rest, self-care, Star Wars, knitting, art, or a combination of all these things that has helped lift it.

I know that my mood has weather, just as the world does. And in Wales, the weather can be changeable and varied! But like all weather, the gloom passes and sunshine returns. Though I wouldn’t say I’m sunshiny, I am content with a soft glow within. That is good enough for me, and for today as it’s rather wet and gloomy outdoors.

WIP Wednesday

I spent the morning, before running some errands, drawing tomorrows colouring template for the members of Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group. On my return, I scanned it in, cleaned it up and started adding some colour to it.

So, today, I thought I’d share a sneak peek of part of the template. Tomorrow, it’ll be revealed in all it’s, ermm, entangledness, and will be available for members of the facebook group to print and colour.

Drawn with Unipin pens on Canson marker paper. Colour added digitally using Autodesk Sketchbook Pro.