Day 3, shell 3. This time a little more complicated, or so it seems. I took some imaginative liberties with this one, and that’s fine! I’m not trying to accurately draw these shells, just get the essences that make the shell identifiable. Then, I want to add my own ideas of patterns and colours and alter things a tad.
Making those imaginative changes was an enjoyable thing to do. I hadn’t realised how much I do this in my art generally. Sometimes, it takes a while for me to have that kind of insight – this one took about 20 years!
I’m also really chuffed that my YouTube channel has hit 750 subscribers! I was amazed and humbled when I achieved one subscriber. 750 is beyond what I imagined. I’m both amazed and humbled by this. So a huge thank you to all who have subscribed.
In today’s YouTube video tutorial, I do my best to describe and show how I draw a stylised seashell or two from reference photos.
I had a request from one of my subscribers to do this. I find it hard to put into words how I do this, I don’t have conscious thoughts/words about it – I just do it. So, this forced me to slow my mind down and put into words what goes on. And I do hope those words make some sense.
The end results are good enough for my sketchbook, and the spiral shell is perhaps my favourite of all time that I’ve drawn, including realistic, diagrammatic, whimsical and stylised.
I’m particularly fond of stylised drawings. The spaces within them are perfect for adding pattern and texture. All my favourite things combined! Shading, highlight and/or colour can be the icing on the cake or shell.
This was a nice diversion from the lettering projects I have on the go. It was also something quiet, relaxing and soothing and perfect for me. Today, I’m exhausted after a stressful yesterday. It was a good kind of stress, but still stress/anxiety. I knew I’d be doing something yesterday a week ago, and so the stress built up gradually over the week. I’ll gradually recover, but today is a quiet, down-day with plenty of self-care, but not any naps as I’ll need to sleep properly tonight.
Finally, the page is as full as I’d like it to be of oyster shells! I did some hand-lettering before filming the video. I just wanted to add a quote about oyster shells and practice hand lettering.
I really enjoyed drawing all of these shells. The last one, a more whimsical one than the others, is my least favourite. It did, however, give me the chance to do something a little different when adding textures.
I really didn’t think out the layout of the hand-lettering. Maybe I’ll work that out, eventually. Maybe!
Overall, I now have a great reference page in my sketchbook as far as oyster shells are concerned.
I may do some further work on this page. Part of me wants to add words/quotes/facts as a background to at least one shell. I’ll see how I think about that after a little break from it.
In the process of drawing this page over the past five videos, I’ve gained some insights and understanding about my motivation to start a YouTube channel. I didn’t seem to have any clear purpose for making the videos, but with time and working on it all I think the pennies have finally dropped. That’s a good thing, maybe. All I have to do is to keep this purpose in mind (and remember it!). Fortunately, I’ve recorded my ah-ha moments in a journal, just in case I need to refer to them.
Now all I need to do is work out the next motif to focus on!
I felt the need to spend some time adding more pattern and texture to some of these abstract, stylised circular (ish) motifs. First, however, I added some colour to most of them. I used Ecoline Brush Pens which contain Ecoline watercolour ink. The colours are very intense and vibrant and so I use a water brush to add them to my drawings. I listened to Andy Serkis’ reading of Lord of the Rings while colouring before starting to video.
Water-based media do vex me somewhat. However, I’m beginning to see how the textures that can be achieved with them make interesting backgrounds behind the patterns/textures drawn in pen.
It was fun to experiment with dropping colours and/or water into the first layer of watercolour ink and watch them spread and mix. It’s a kind of magic and is totally mesmerising. The paper I’m using, Canson Imagine mixed media paper, isn’t the best for this, but it’s adequate. Time to dig out the watercolour paper again for sketchbook exercises like this I think.
It was a lovely way to spend a couple of hours this Saturday morning. I don’t know when I’ll add more pattern/texture with pens, or possibly metallic inks or paints with fine brushes, to the remaining motifs. What I do know is it will be both explorative and intriguing and mesmerising and magical, and I’ll work out my relationship with all these mediums a little bit more.
And, perhaps, have a better relationship with colour!
This is one of the important functions of sketchbooks. Yes, I often do complete, polished, finished drawings in them. But finally working out that I can also practice, experiment and ‘art’ just for enjoyment in them is a bit of a revelation. One that I’m enthusiastic to share!
It’s also lovely that, through the medium of YouTube, I can ‘teach’ and encourage others to do the same. Hopefully, I make things clear and simple. And increasing someone’s confidence, the willingness to give it a go and see what happens without judgement, just learning from the experience. Sometimes the lesson to be learned is that it’s a relaxing process, a break from the outer world that can bear down on us. Other times it is trying out media or colour schemes or just practising.
I’m sure I’ve not given a comprehensive list! One of the most important things is that, just like a diary, no one ever has to look inside your sketchbook, unless you choose to share.
Creativity is part of being human. Working out the ways to express that creativity, what expresses a part of the inner self, is part of who we are. Art is one way to do that, and the only person we need to compare ourselves to is ourselves! As we journey and try things out we find out who we are by discovering who we are not. And it’s a journey that never ceases!
Today felt like the right day to start jazzing up these simple circle motifs with some texture and pattern before adding colour.
I kept the methods of adding pattern/texture really simple – just lines and circles combined in different ways. It’s amazing how just small, simple patterns can make a difference to the motifs, making them look a lot more intricate than they are.
It’s sketchbook work, so this is a pretty messy page, but that’s fine. I’m learning that getting ideas down quickly as a reference/resource for future work is a good thing. And if they’re messy, then that’s fine! Even with the messy bits, the ideas are clearly seen.
Colour is still the thing that vexes me, and the sketchbook is where I can explore colours and, perhaps, find my confidence in them.
Absolutely no apologies for drawing yet more mushrooms today. I’m a 5’10”-ish tall hobbit as far as mushrooms are concerned!
Some different kinds/shapes of mushrooms drawn, step by step, in this video, but also some watercolouring (pretty inept) and some decoration with dots too.
It’s always so lovely to draw mushrooms, or botanicals of land or water. I never tire of drawing them. Each time I draw them, other possibilities come to mind.
So, I invite you to have a go at drawing a plethora of mushrooms with me. And have a lot of fun with colour and pattern too! These are whimsical, stylised drawings that can be anything you want them to be. That’s the beauty of a sketchbook – your imagination and creativity can express itself and the only limitations and/or rules are ones you set yourself.
Well, what am I going to do with all the seed pod variations in my sketchbook? Well, create a drawing of course, including even more variations!
I also used a couple of Zentangle tangle patterns to add interest to the seed pods – between, purk, tipple and diva dance. The tangle Toodles created the foliage at the bottom of the page.
I had a lovely time this morning creating this design. I made use of a Tombow Fudenosuke, and black and brown 01 Micron pens.
It’s unusual that I use a second colour in my pen drawings, but today seemed a fine time to give it a go again.
I didn’t add shadow or colour to this drawing. Well, not this morning. I drew on marker paper so the ink does take a little longer to properly dry. I’m likely to use alcohol markers to fill this one with colour, and shadow, eventually. But not today.
It’s been a lovely day today. I’ve spent time drawing, which is always a pleasure and relaxing to boot! I had a lovely long phone chat with a pal too, partway through filming. But it was lovely to chat!
I’ve decided that on Saturdays, I’ll focus on arty projects that could be useful or gifted. All about taking time out not just to feed my creative soul, but to share that with others.
A bookmark seemed a good idea for today. It’s a relatively small project. Useful too! I’ll laminate this when I’m happy with it. I already have a recipient in mind.
Of course I’ve scanned the drawing in and I’ll be using it to practice adding shadow, colour, highlights/lowlights digitally.
There’ll be no social media posts from me tomorrow – I have a day with many pleasant online events. I’ll be back on Monday for sure!