Flowers are things I really enjoy drawing, particularly whimsical and stylised ones. So, today I drew a few for a drawing tutorial YouTube video.
“Slowpoke” Inktober Tangles 2022, Day 18
Slowpoke, by Cris Letourneau CZT, looks complicated, but it’s actually quite simple to draw, one step at a time! The fun comes in adding embellishments, which I did with a gold Uniball Signo gel pen. The central coloured panel with Slowpoke on is the only part that I did during today’s video on YouTube.
I coloured the paper with various Distress Inks before I started to draw. In person, the colours aren’t so garish, honest!
Around the panel with Slowpoke on, I’ve added a border of stylised flowers and leaves, all in a very Arts and Crafts Movement style. I need to fill out a couple of areas a little more, but I quite like the simplicity of the coloured panel with the black and white and rather dense border around it.
Tiny Tiles – Zentangle Inspired Art for Random Acts of Kindness.
I had an idea. It may not be a great idea. It may not be executed in the best way today. But it’s a start, but first, some background as to how this idea came about before I explain myself.
Last week, I went to a local café for a late lunch. So late that it was almost tea time! The first time I’ve been out for lunch by myself since the start of the Covid pandemic. I’ve had lunch out three times with a friend in this time, but I still rarely leave my home for such things.
It was a lovely lunch, broccoli and stilton soup with a large pot of tea. The people working in the cafe were lovely and helpful. The food was delicious and beautifully presented. I was made to feel very welcome there.
So, it took a few days, but yesterday I woke with an idea. Why don’t I do some tiny artworks to leave for people to discover. Little notes to thank those who run a café or restaurant. Little notes of kindness, inspiration, or compassion are on the back for strangers who may need to read them. Little notes to brighten up someone’s day. And maybe put my email address/blog address on there. Maybe. I’ve not decided if that will be a thing, yet.
So, the first step was to see what sizes of little envelopes I could buy. I really wanted glassine ones, so the tile is protected but visible. But the only tiny ones I could find were 6.5cm square (that’s 2.5″). So some have been ordered, and some watercolour card has been cut into pieces 6cm square, ready to use! The tiles in the image are 6cm square in size. So quite tiny!
The others I found are so sweet. They have a heart fastening on the rear flap and are made of kraft paper. Perfect! That way, what’s inside will be a surprise and, hopefully, a pleasant one for those who find it. These are a bit bigger at 10.5cm x 7 cm (approx 4.13″ x 2.75″), which is about the size of a gift card, business card or credit card. So, I cut paper to 10cm x 6.5 cm to fit these envelopes.
For this morning’s video, I decided to use two of the small squares. I started by colouring one side with Distress Inks. Then I drew the designs with various black fineliner pens. Next, I added more colour with Inktense pencils and a water-brush. Finally, highlights were added with white gel pens and a gold gel pen on the Aquafleur design. Not sure the gold pen was a good idea; I might have been better off using a dip pen and gold ink. It’s all a learning process!
Then, it was time to hand-letter a message on the back and decorate. This is where I think things went a tad to pot. In hindsight, I wish I’d coloured the reverse of the tile too, as, the white looks so stark. But they’ll do. My hand-lettering isn’t the best, but again it will do. My biggest problem is not letting the ink dry fully before erasing pencil lines and/or adding Inktense pencils. But they’re not too shabby…possibly.
What I may try doing, as these are test pieces, is using some Microglaze to seal them. Not only will it seal the Distress Ink, but will give a glossy finish that will bring out the colours more. The problem with Micro glaze is that it smears the black pen lines. But as these are test pieces, if that happens, I’ll learn not to do it again in the future, or use different kinds of pens. I wonder how the Dokumentas in the Twisbi’s will react to Micro glaze? That is an experiment I need to try out!
My only problem once I’m happy with this, apart from learning how to take better photographs of my work, is finding the courage to leave these things. The intense embarrassment and shame I know I’ll feel will be great. That will come out of the old fear that no one will like what I do or appreciate it or understand that it comes from a place of unconditional love and gratitude for our connections. And this is the reason why I’m dithering about whether or not to include my email.
I’ll work it out. I usually do, eventually! Until then, I have a small pile of tiles to decorate, Micro glaze and different pens to experiment with, and how to put messages on the back… part of me thinks printing them out and glueing them on could be a way to go. I have actually turned one of my hand-lettering styles into a font! Something else for me to think about.
Create with me | Collage and Zentangle Patterns
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
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.
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.