Exploring media and papers

Today’s vlog is all about me trying out various media on different papers, particularly the Zig Clean Colour brush pens on Fabriano Toned paper.

Exploring different ways of working is important to me; it’s how I learn and work out what works for me. Often, I’ll return to media and techniques I may have tried in the past that didn’t work for me then, but now I can see how they could work for me, particularly in the context of a sketchbook.

In my disc-bound sketchbook, I’ve assembled various kinds of paper, mostly toned. Now, I’m working out what media would be good to have in a pencil case for sketching while out and about (when I finally become comfortable with out and about again!).

The Zig brushes and Tombow markers work really nicely on the Fabriano paper.

Watercolour Experiments

Firstly, let me apologise for the poor photo. I’ve tried a couple of times to take a photo of the artwork, but I just can’t seem to get it in focus across the paper. I did video all but one of these experiments, and a timelapse video is available on my YouTube channel.

I had a delivery yesterday of Canson Imagine mixed media paper. I mistakenly ordered A4 instead of A4, but no problem, it can be used in my disc bound sketchbook.

I wanted to see how various media would work on the paper so, I used
*Derwent Inktense Pencils
*Mijello Mission Gold Class watercolours
*Kuretake Zig Clean Colour brush pens
*Tombow Dual Brush Pens

In each case I used a barely damp brush; I’d already found out that using rather wet colours left edges of colour rather than the smooth colour I like.

I didn’t draw the designs with pen, just an 0.3mm, 2H mechanical pencil.

The inktense are Ok. The colours spread a little patchily as the pigment/ink grabs onto the paper very strongly quite quickly. As they dry permanent, it’s easy to add a glaze of colour to adjust the patchiness. The colours aren’t as bright as I would’ve expected from Inktense. Maybe the off-white colour affected them, or maybe the pigments/dyes sank into the paper more as they dried.

A dry brush technique is needed for the Mijello paints, and they move too easily on the paper with water. The paper doesn’t really grab them, which is surprising as it’s not watercolour paper. I didn’t really enjoy working with them on this paper. Also, the colours are so dull… the colour of the paper, or perhaps the colours sink into it?

I loved using the Zig Clean Colour pens! The ink moved so easily with the barely damp brush. Getting a gradient was so easy. Also, adding a bit more colour to the still damp area helped with this too. I also tried blending one colour into another, and that worked really well. The colours are so vibrant, I loved working with them. My only regret is I forgot to press record for them! However, I’m sure you’ll see more of them in future videos.

The Tombows aren’t my favourite pens to work with. But, in this instance I really did enjoy working with them. The colour grabbed onto the paper more than the Zigs. This made both blending out to a gradient and blending colours more difficult. The colours though are really vibrant.

I did write notes next to each little experiment with a 0.3 Unipin pen. It was a pleasure to write on this paper, and I think I’ll enjoy drawing on the paper too, so it will definitely be a good addition to the disc bound sketchbook.

Watercolour Experiments

Two watercolour experiments in the photo.

The leaves I did yesterday afternoon, just playing with colour, wet into wet, and then adding patterns to the leaves with metallic watercolours. It was relaxing, soothing, and the way the colours flow into each other is just … magical!

The watercolour process was helped by the paper I used – 100% cotton rag Khadi paper, which I just tore into a squarish shape.

The bottom one was this morning’s play around with watercolour in a Doodleworlds kind of way.

I started off with a pencil drawing – you can faintly see the pencil lines of the rest of the design. I wanted to try adding watercolour to the pencil drawing, no black line.

But, as I’d completed add colour as far as I had, I wasn’t sure I liked it. So, I used a Signo DX .38 pen to add some fine, waterproof, lines.

The black lines do help to define the elements of the design, but the drawing ends up a bit cartoonish, which is fine as it’s Doodleworlds.

Of course, I did video this morning’s session with watercolour. When I was looking back on it, the colours looked a lot more vibrant than I thought they were to my eyes, and also the painting looked better at such a distance.

So, I’m torn between whether to add line or not! I think I need to add some more colour to this drawing, without adding black lines, to see which I prefer for sure.

Template Thursday…On a Wednesday?

It’s Wednesday, so one of my main tasks is to create a colouring template for the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group. And as I drew this for my morning warm up art, I recorded it.

It took me over 1 hour and 20 minutes to draw the template and the full length video is here.

The time lapse version, which is about 15 minutes or so long, can be found via this link.

Yesterday, I wasn’t at all well. The usual upset stomach followed by a headache that needed sleeping off. The upset tummy had kept me up most of Monday night. What had caused it this time, I dunno. All I know is I slept a bit better last night, though I’ve been awake since 4:15 am and I’m beginning to feel rather tired again and my digestive system is still a bit tender. I’m sure I’ll be tickettyboo once again tomorrow.

It was lovely to spend some time this morning drawing just for pleasure. Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy drawing for my publishers, but it’s different as there’s a lot more pressure on me to create templates that fit into a particular theme and their guidelines.

My weekly templates have no of those limits on them, so it’s a different kind of enjoyment.

There’s a lot of whimsical and cute elements to this weeks design, and I think that’s something I need to lift me up as I’m feeling a bit under the weather.

It was also a great pleasure to draw with pen on paper, and I think I’m going to have to do that with the templates for the book I’m working on. I get a much better sense of scale and overview of the design. Even when I scan a sketch in, I’m not all that happy with the digitally drawn version of it, usually.

So, that’s what I’m going to settle down to do for the rest of the day, once all my social media posts are done. Pen on paper, without the frustration I can feel when drawing digitally. Simple tools to focus on drawing ‘life size’ coloring templates.

And lots of tea is called for today, I think. Lots of good tea.

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!

Weird Fish – Part 2

I’ve spent some time drawing a third weird fish and intensifying colour on the two original ones.

For the top fish, I used Derwent Colorsoft pencils to increase the colour. The watercolour underneath does add to the colour in a subtle way.

I used Derwent Inktense pencils and a damp brush to add colour to the central fish.

Finally, I’ve been adding colour to the bottom fish with Inktense pencils too.

As pretty as the watercolours were, they were a tad too subtle for my liking with not enough contrast. So, I used them as the underpainting and then added layers of more intense colour over them. It seemed to work out just fine and well.

I’ve kept the color palettes pretty similar for each of the fish.

Also, I’ve re-drawn them digitally as vectors and I’ve just started colouring one of them.

No matter how I add colour – digitally or using traditional media – it takes me a long time. I fuss around until I get things looking as I like.

This is very much a fun project, and I have no idea where it will lead, if anywhere. The important thing, however, is that I’m enjoying working with traditional media and I’m doing something a bit different too that I can learn from.

Here’s the video of today’s art. I’d appreciate it if you open it in youtube as then your views get counted.

Weird Fish?

Weird indeed are my drawings today. I had a delivery of some ultra smooth botanical watercolour paper yesterday, and so I had to try drawing on it! Yup, it’s nice to draw on. Then, trying out some watercolouring.

Instead of doing rather wet washes, I used the watercolour in a much more controlled manner, adding layers to get some shadow and highlight going. I’m either going to intensify those shadows and highlights with coloured pencils or digitally. But not now. I woke with a stinking headache and I’m just about at the end of my ability to focus enough to function. I’d like to go out for a walk to try to clear my head, but I’m not sure I’m safe to be let out to walk on the pavement let alone drive! This may need some serious sleep to clear. Ho hum.

The colours look different in ‘real life’ – the reds and oranges are more browny, and the yellows are more greenish. My problem in scanning the images in!

I did film my morning art for today’s vlog:

Truth – Part 1

“A lie can run around the world before the truth can get its boots on.” – Terry Pratchett
There are three truths. There’s your truth. Then there’s my truth. And then there is THE truth.

Today’s morning drawing is the start of this rather abstract design around “truth”. The paper is 20cm x 20cm (approx 8″ x 8″).

There is a time lapse with voice over vlog available – click here.

I’m feeling fine today, so no side effects of the second dose of the covid vaccine, yet. It’s been barely 24 hours so I’ll be cautious about side effects for a while yet I think.

Respect – Part 2 – Completing the Drawing

This morning, I completed this drawing, and filmed the process too.

I was up early after a really not good night. My sleep was disturbed by nausea, upset tummy and feeling very hot and sweaty. I woke at one time close to the time my Abel & Cole delivery comes. As I was visiting the bathroom and getting dressed, I heard the van arrive.

So, after putting my order away, getting myself a drink, I thought I’d complete this drawing until I was ready to go back to bed.

I managed to sleep, but I’m still feeling exhausted and my abdomen is still tender. So, it’s going to be a quiet, self-care day today for sure.

I said I filmed the completion of this drawing and here are the links:

Full vlog in real time and chat
Time Lapse video with music

Respect – Part 1 – An entangled drawing

My morning drawing session was a pen drawing around the word ‘Respect’. The paper is a 21cm x 21cm piece of Bristol Board. The pen I used was a Uniball Eye Micro ball.

I also filmed the process and have uploaded both a real time and time lapse versions on my YouTube channel.

I’ll most probably be finishing the drawing tomorrow morning. Then, it’ll be scanning it in and adding a background and colour digitally. That may take a while to do as I have a number of uncompleted digital projects. And a deadline looming for my next coloring book for the Creative Haven series.

I do need to, however, get out and take a walk, no matter how brief, at some point today. First check the weather forecast for the day to see if it’ll be best if I go before I settle to work or after I’ve done some work, as well as fitting it around other stuff I’m involved with today.