Create with me | Collage and Zentangle Patterns

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This was a lot of fun to do earlier today. Before I filmed my process and thoughts, I made some collage papers using Paper Artsy Fresco paints, which are chalky, soft acrylic paints. I remembered I had some in my stash after watching a video about collaging by Art With Em. I suspect I have other acrylic paints somewhere, but the Paper Artsy paints were the ones I liked – they dry quickly, the opaque ones act like a coloured gesso, and they have nice flat, ‘soft’ surfaces which you can write/draw on.

Next, I made some A6 (approx 4″ x 6″) background panels. I added colour with Distress Inks and used a stencil to add some background patterns.

Creating a collage ‘cluster’ was my next step. So, as well as using a torn piece of one of the Paper Artsy papers, I used some digital papers and a quote I’d printed.

The quote didn’t stand out on the damask patterned paper, so I used some Inca Gold Alchemy Was from Imagination crafts to add a sheer layer of gold. When the light hits the gold just right, that’s what you see. Otherwise, the pattern is partly hidden by a dull, gold-brown. I quite like the ghostly look of the print on the paper this way.

As I put this three-layer ‘cluster’ onto the background, I didn’t like the blue-green against the yellow-green of the background panel. So, I used the Inca Gold Alchemy Wax to colour the area behind the panel. And that felt so much better!

Next, I drew some Zentangle style patterns above and below this central collage cluster. To do this, I used olive green and rusty brown Arteza Inkonic fineliners. With the leaves on the Fleavy pattern, I used a damp brush to kind of fill them in with some of the colour. Then, I wanted to bleach out parts of the panels with water splatters. A paper towel picked up the water with some of the ink – pen and Distress- and I ended up with a ghostly kind of pattern. I did the same with the rusty patterns, one of which is the Zentangle pattern Tripoli.

I wanted to add some Peeled Paint and Shabby Shutters Distress Ink to replace some that had been lifted off. Then, to finish it off, I splattered little drops of gold watercolour .

This is so different for me, yet I like it. I know that I’m in my early days exploring and experimenting with this kind of technique. One thing I really do want to do is practice, practice, practice and develop a hand lettering style that will work well with this.

Draw with me – Tangle Patterns. A Sketchbook Page

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I’m fine, but feeling a tad out of sorts today. So, I needed some art that would be self-soothing for a bit of selfcare. Nothing is better than starting to fill a page with tangle patterns, and all of these are new to me!

From top to bottom, the zentangle patterns I used are:
Wigwag – Jody Genovese CZT
Moonrice – Ilonka Weerts
QuaSahnt – Heidi Kay

I coloured the page with Distress Inks (Wild Honey, Spiced Marmalade) then added some Ripe Persimmon through a stencil.

Happy Lunar New Year!

Today marks the Lunar New Year celebrated in China and other Asian nations. It is the year of the Tiger.

I thought I’d draw a design based on some of the symbols associated with the New Year celebrations held by Chinese and Asian communities worldwide.

To start, I used various Distress Inks – fossilised amber, ripe persimmon, spiced marmalade and aged mahogany – to colour a 14cm x 14cm (5.5″ x 5.5″) piece of Canson Imagine mixed media paper. Tigery colours!

After marking my border guides in pencil, I drew in the outer border of stylised plum blossoms.

Next, a layer of coins, all with the square hole characteristic of Chinese coinage, but many with imaginative patterns within.

I then realised I hadn’t put a tiger anywhere! So, I popped a cute and whimsical tiger head at the centre, all smiling and happy.

Finally, as far as drawing was concerned, I put some bamboo overlapping in a Zentangle Hollibaugh manner to fill the space.

Then it was time to tackle adding colour. The part that always vexes me. I used watercolour pencils in this instance. I discovered I liked working in a loose, just let the paint and water do what they will, kind of way. I got some interesting textures and patterns, particularly in the spaces between the bamboo.

I’m not entirely sure this was all a good idea, mind you. Part of me really wishes I’d drawn this on plain paper, or maybe coloured paper, but left the colour at that. Some shading.

And I’ve just realised that I haven’t really done any shading in this design! It would be awkward now as I’ve added gold and white gel pens to the design. Oh well.

I’m not all that happy with this drawing. I may spend some time doing a version of it, but on plain white paper. Just to see the difference.

There’s always something to learn from each drawing that is done. Always. However, I don’t always learn those lessons, such as how I feel I struggle with colour when it’s traditional media or the importance of contrast/shadow to bring depth and dimension to a design.

I definitely need to make a list of things to consider when drawing in my commonplace book.

Pen and Wash | Entangled Art | WIP

Link to today’s vlog on YouTube.

A very small penny dropped yesterday. I realised that what I’m doing is pen and wash, or ink and wash, or line and wash. I’m not entirely sure that a label is required, but it seems to fit.

I’m adding watercolour of one kind or another – Inktense, Ecoline, Mijello Mission Gold, Distress Inks, etc – to a pen drawing. Why I haven’t made that connection to the description of the method/process? I have no idea! Still, I have made that connection and a realisation that it gives a sense of artistic legitimacy to my work. That is a function of my insecurities when it comes to my artistic espression.

Yes, that’s right. Insecurities. Lack of confidence. Lack of belief in myself. Self-questioning about what on Earth I’m doing.

It is always nice for me when pieces of a rather abstract, metaphoric jigsaw fall into place, giving me a more coherent view of my method, my artistic voice.

These pieces always fall into place at the right time for me. I’m ready to accept that line and wash is what I do well, when I work within ‘an elegance of limits’ to quote the team at Zentangle. In this case a limited palette of colours harmonious with the background.

As well as working on this particular drawing, I have included some views of recent work in my sketchbook in today’s vlog. This other work shows me trying to work out how to add more contrast to the wash of colour. Fine ballpoint pen, graphite pencil and tortillon or coloured drawing pencils/chalk pastels are what I’m exploring. Eventually, I will settle on a method that I particularly like. I’m not happy with any of these at the moment.

I will continue to explore an figure it out. That’s what I’ve done with adding colour to my drawings, and that’s what I’ll do when it comes to increasing contrast with shadows and highlights.

Of course, I’m talking here about traditional art. When it comes to digital art, I think I have found a way I’m comfortable with in adding colour to pen drawings. I’m not quite there yet with traditional media, as well as finding the traditional media I like to work with.

Saturday Sketchbook

The newest drawing in my sketchbook

Link to Sketchbook Flip Through Vlog on YouTube

Sketchbook Saturday is upon us once again. I’ve created a vlog for YouTube where I flip through my current sketchbook.

The drawing at the top is now finished. I used a Tombow Fudenosuke ‘hard’ pen to draw the design on paper that has been coloured with Distress Inks. The sketch book is 21cm x 21cm (approx 8″ x 8″).

Drawing on coloured paper is something that is pleasurable to do. The colours add mood to the drawing and are an inspiration for any colour scheme I may use, should I choose to add colour.

The grungy, distressed nature of the page is also interesting; already depth and dimension are added to the artwork.

I’ve enjoyed drawing on coloured paper so much, that I actually have coloured quite a number of pages in my sketchbook and you can see them all in the vlog. What I can’t remember is exactly which colours were used for each page.

Some of the pages I like so much that I really do need to scan them in so I can use them as backgrounds for digital art, social media posts and so on going forward.

The colour choices I’m making are often veering away from the bright, saturated colours that were so characteristic of my earlier work. Such colours are still used for my colouring templates / pages and that’s not likely to change much going forward. However, for my more personal art, less saturated, vintage, even grungy, are what I am drawn to so much at the moment. Also, I seem to favour analogous colour schemes, sometimes with a pop of complementary colours.

Entangled Frame WIP

Having a bit of a break from the weird fish today. Instead, I drew this abstract, entangled frame and started to add some colour to it.

I’m working on A5 Arteza mixed media paper which has been coloured with Aged Mahogany and Rusty Hinge Distress Inks. The pen drawing was completed with a 0.38 Uniball Signo DX pen, which is both a consistent, fine line and is waterproof. I’m adding colour with Inktense pencils ( Red Oxide, Baked Earth, Crimson, Deep Blue and Sienna Gold).

I may add some more pen work as I work out if I’m happy with the inner space; I hope to add quotes to that space once the design is finished.

As far as the weird fish go, I have scanned them in and re-drawn them digitally using the vector drawing option in Clip Studio Paint. I’ve been experimenting with adding the shadows and highlights first then using different layer to add colour to the sections. I’m bumbling around with this at the moment, but I expect I work out how to get it to work in a way I like.

Yes, I know there are going to be tutorials out there that will show me how it can be done, and lots of ways of doing the same thing. However, by me bumbling and bimbling around the software, I’m learning more about it on my own terms.

Oh, I also filmed my drawing and adding colour this morning and the video is below. If you do choose to watch the video, then please choose to view it in YouTube as your view then counts to the channel stats, along with thumbs-ups! Cheers!

Have an open heart – part 2 – adding color

A time lapse video of me adding colour to yesterday’s drawing. Please click on ‘view in YouTube’ so it can count the views! If you like the video, give it a thumbs up and consider subscribing to my channel.

I’m not paid, sponsored nor gifted any product in order to promote or review any product. I show them just in case you’re interested in what I use, that’s all.

Adding colour

I was awake just before 5am today. So, as I waited for my weekly Abel & Cole delivery I decided to add colour to yesterday’s drawing.

I used a selection of Kuretake Zig Clean Colour Real Brush pens, along with a paintbrush and water to do this. Finally, I added some details to the flower petals with a white Uniball Posca pen.

I kept my colour palette sympathetic to the Rusty Hinge and Chipped Sapphire Distress Inks I’d used to colour the background.

I always seem to forget how I like to use these pens to create a gentle gradient of colour. Also, they move so easily with a damp brush on this paper.

I’m quite happy with this drawing. In fact, I may use it as a basis for this week’s coloring template for the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group members. And, I think I’ll video my drawing process again. I have an idea what I’d like to do already!

Of course, I created a vlog of the colouration of this drawing. If you’ve enjoyed the video, please pop along to YouTube and give it a like. A subscribe to my channel would be most appreciated too.

Morning drawing – failure and recovery?

Yesterday, I worked to add colour to my drawing using Distress Inks as watercolours. I was soon really disheartened and disappointed with the colours.

This morning, I decided to finish adding colour and then to try adding details with a white Posca pen and various fineliners and gel pens to see if I could achieve something I felt was OK. Also, I used it as an opportunity to learn.

I’m still not at all sure of the partly finished artwork, but it is what it is.

Saturday Morning Art

This morning, I decided to use Distress Inks to colour a 20cm x 20cm piece of smooth heavyweight cartridge paper and then to draw upon it. I also recorded all of this process as a youtube video (see below).

The paper is a bit more coloured than in this photo – the camera washed the colours out a bit. I will scan it in before I do anything else with this drawing for sure.

It’s always so nice to draw on a coloured background. White is such a stark colour, but a necessary one for so much of my work.

I just wanted to draw for the joy of drawing this morning. I had no fixed idea of what I was going to do or motifs and patterns I wanted to use.

Now, I have a drawing with a background colour that I’d like to add more colour to. That gives me the opportunity to use Distress Inks a bit like watercolours. And as blues form the background, I can use a monochrome palette of some of the blues I used – Tumbled Glass, Broken China, Peacock Feathers and a touch of Evergreen Bough (I know, it’s a green, but it is a blue-green!).

Here’s the youtube video for today