Draw With Me… Fungi and other organic things. An idea for a sketchbook page

I had to revisit this idea by using the correct kind of paper for alcohol markers. And bullet tipped markers.

I really enjoyed doing this. Adding the details made a difference for sure, as did adding some shadows to the motifs.

If you’d like to see me draw these and, perhaps, draw along with me, then take a peek at this video on YouTube.

Draw With Me… Whimsical flowers and foliage – an idea for a sketchbook page

If you’d like to see how I created this partial page for my sketchbook, take a look at this video.

I spent an hour or so doing some warm-up drawing before turning my attention to inking in some colouring pages for “Fanciful Birds”, my next colouring book in the Creative Haven series.

Whimsy is always a welcome thing, flowers and foliage in particular. I also wanted to work with colourful backgrounds for each motif.

I really wasn’t fully awake and didn’t think through the type of paper I was using. I knew I wanted to use alcohol markers to add colour gradients to the background. Did it occur to me to use marker paper? Nope! Of course not! So they bled a tad – the Ohuhu brush markers I used for some of the backgrounds are rather juicy, too juicy for the paper. I liked the backgrounds, however, and knew I could fix the bleeds with a white gel pen.

So, I thought I’d switch to Inktense pencils and a damp brush. Not quite sure that they sit well next to the alcohol marker backgrounds. There’s lots of textureand an unevenness in the colour and gradient. Again, partly down to my choice of paper (all media paper from SeaWhite of Brighton).

So, for the last couple of images, I used some Arteza EverBlend markers for the blue and warm brown backgrounds. The bullet tips let less ink flow onto the paper, minimising the bleed. There was still some bleeding, which I made worse by trying to ‘erase’ it with a colourless blender pen.

I made use of the magic of a white gel pen to cover up these bleeds.

I definitely need to write some reflections for myself to add to this page when it gets put in my sketchbook. For now, I’ll just say that I like the last two I completed the most. Those are the blue and brown backgrounds on the bottom row. I do like the other alcohol marker backgrounds too, but there’s something about the more neutral backgrounds. I just can’t put my finger on what it is.

Right then, time to finish my mug of tea and get some more inking of colouring templates in!

Draw With Me – A background for a slow stitched panel

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After a very broken night’s sleep, I woke with a headache, again. So, first breakfast was some painkillers. Second breakfast was kiwi fruit, banana and scones! Yup, I’m the best part of six feet tall and like a hobbit!

Anyways, while I was waiting for the painkillers to kick in even just a tad, I did a little bit of slow stitching. I found a small piece of black felt that had some blue, turquoise and green fibres needle felted on its surface. So, it got attached to a larger piece of a rather bright green felt with some slow stitching.

I then thought I’d rather like to see if I could create a tangled background to place the textile panel on, when it’s finished.

I happened to have this piece of paper I’d coloured with Neocolour II water-soluble wax pastels lying around and it seems to harmonise quite nicely with the felt panel.

I wanted to take inspiration from the shapes and/or patterns in the textile panel to create the background. And that’s exactly what I did in today’s video.

The background isn’t finished as I want to complete the slow stitched panel first. But I’m fairly pleased with it so far. I do intend to add metallic/iridescent gold, blue, green to the background to tie it in with the panel.

I have no idea whether this will work out. I often ask myself, “Angela, what on earth were you thinking?” when I get part-way through a project. And I’m at that point now. Still, I shall persevere and see how it works out at the end. If I learn nothing else, combining slow stitching and pen drawing may not be the best idea, or perhaps it will be an interesting idea that needs a bit more thought.

For now, I’m going to put this to one side and continue working on some hand lettering and slow stitching.

Draw With Me … Some Whimsical Flowers and Plants

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This was a lovely way to spend an hour or so at lunchtime today. I’d finished the last couple of sketches for my next colouring book and just wanted some quiet, chilled, relaxing time drawing with no pressure at all. I woke with another migrainey headache today, and it’s left me so tired yet again.

Anyway, flowers and plants, and some rocks, were the perfect thing for me to draw during this time. I started to add pattern and colour to some of the motifs as well, with a surprising discovery!

Time to take a nap, I think, and sleep off this blasted post-migraine exhaustion.

Draw With Me – Whimsical Houses #3 – Starting a village

This was a lovely way to spend an hour or so on a sunny Saturday morning! I’ve often said it and will say it again and again, I do enjoy drawing things of whimsy.

Houses are one of my current themes. As they’re all imaginary, I can ignore any architectural/structural rules. Towers I love, in particular. I’d love to be able to afford to buy or build a wonderful, quirky tower to live in. I’d like a dome on top so I can watch the night sky or thunderstorms clearly. For now, though, I can dream of living in a tower and create what I can imagine on paper with pen and ink.

I hope you’ll join in and try your hand at whimsical buildings and create your own village full of peace and harmony!

Draw With Me … Whimsical Houses #2

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We all need some whimsy in life at one time or another. Given all that’s going on in the outside world, I definitely need a huge dose of whimsy! So, today, I drew three whimsical houses, one step at a time.

These are more ornate than the first set of whimsical houses I did (https://artwyrd.com/2022/05/06/whimsical-houses-and-other-stuff/), but how complex they are is entirely up to you if you choose to draw along!

Draw With Me | Pattern Exploration – Arch Motifs

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Step 1 – Create a Gesso and Neocolor II background

Yesterday, I had a delivery of Finnabair Art Basics Clear and Heavy White Gessos, made by Prima Marketing. Neocolor II backgrounds are a lot of fun to make, but they do leave a smooth, waxy finish to the paper. I like drawing on it, but my pens aren’t too keen.

So, I wanted a way to seal the Necolor IIs into the paper and a surface I could draw on. Yesterday, I tried some glassy gel medium from my stash. It worked well, and the colours appeared more vibrant. It was OK to draw on, but the pen took a long while to dry, and I’m not sure how permanent the Micron ink would be on it.

Synchronicity-like, some suggested videos cropped up on YouTube where gesso had been used to prepare the paper and then seal in the Neocolor IIs, even using the gesso instead of water.

I have used gesso in the past, but it always felt very rough and gritty. However, the Finnabair Art Basics gessos had reviews that suggested they are smooth and chalky in feel. So, I had to try them.

I’m glad to say that they are smooth and chalky! I did spend a little time last night testing them out and gessoing some “polaroid pops” image tiles.

In today’s video, though, I wanted to quickly show what gesso is and how I’m thinking of using it, particularly in my sketchbooks with paper that won’t take much water.

I covered a page in my Hahnemuhle D&S sketchbook. The paper in this book is for drawing and sketching and is not designed for water-based media. I can get away with a barely damp brush on the paper, but only one, maybe two layers are possible before the paper starts breaking down. Gesso solves this by sealing the paper’s surface and creating a thin, flexible layer that can be worked upon. I used the heavy white gesso to do this.

Gesso dries really quickly, but a craft heat tool (or hairdryer) can help to speed the process up.

The next step was to add colour with the Neocolor IIs. I used water to activate them, though I could’ve used gesso. I wanted to create an uneven, weathered or worn kind of background. I started with the browns, sealed them with clear gesso. After this had dried, I added the blues and finally another layer of clear gesso.

Then, I was ready to try drawing on this.

2. Drawing on the gesso surface

I really didn’t know what would happen. I know I’ve used gesso in the distant past, but couldn’t remember if I’d used pens to draw on it or not.

As it happens, it was really lovely to draw on! The Sakura Pigma Sensei 04 pen did feel like it caught on the tooth of the gesso from time to time, but nothing more than a rough-surfaced paper. It may be my imagination, but the ink seemed darker on the gesso, perhaps because it dries on the surface and doesn’t sink into it, like it would with paper.

I did a test to see if, once dry, the ink would be affected by water or gesso. There was a tiny amount of pigment that seemed to move, but nothing noticeable.

3. The arch motifs/fragments

I really love round arches! It stems from my love of Romanesque architecture. I use them a lot in my artwork. So, I thought it was about time I explored individual arches as if they were fragments of a tangle pattern.

4. Reflections

I’m so glad I rediscovered gesso. I’d forgotten how it could be used. I know the rough grittiness of the gessos I’d used in the past really did put me off using them again. However, this lovely, chalky smooth gesso is really nice to draw on. It also opens up more ways to create backgrounds and use colour. I’m sure I’ll continue to experiment and explore it going forward.

Draw With Me | Embrace Beautiful Chaos – Part 2

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I spent some lovely time adding a bit more to this drawing. In the video, I share how, step by step, I draw some of the motifs so you can use them too!

Peace, calm, and just creating for the contentment it brings me.

Pattern Exploration – Kangular by Tomàs Padrós CZT

After getting my daily quota of sketches done for the next Creative Haven book, I turned my attention to some sketchbook work. This time I chose to do a tangle pattern exploration of Kangular by Tomàs Padrós CZT.

I love all of Tomàs’ patterns, and Kangular is no exception! It’s a charming, geometrical pattern with lots of possibilities for variations. And there’s only a small number here.

Adding shading really brings volume to the individual fragments and overall pattern, as does the use of fairly high contrast.

I enjoyed my time with this pattern, and you can see my explorations in today’s YouTube video.

Draw With Me | How to draw a stylised, whimsical shell using a reference – No 2

Link to the accompany video tutorial

In today’s YouTube video, I show and try to explain verbally, how to draw a different kind of shell, one step at a time.

This shell is, perhaps, a bit more challenging than yesterday’s. However, when broken down it’s not much more difficult.

Again, I add shadow to the drawings using a graphite pencil and a paper stump/tortillon or, in the case of part of the second shell, pen lines and density of pattern.

I also added some colour to the second shell, using a damp brush and lime green and turquoise Karin Brushmarker Pro pens. The graphite shading shows through the transparent watercolour inks from the pens.. I think this combination makes the image look quite metallic. Not surprising as graphite, as an element, is rather grey and shiny and metallic looking! Actually, it’s just the cool grey tones of the graphite that makes this so!

It’s really a lot easier to show than to explain in words, spoken or written. This is why I’m creating videos. It also makes that part of me that is a retired science teacher happy to use my teaching skills and feed my passion for helping others learn and grow.