Moonpie is a tangle pattern by Zentangle Inc. It’s based on crescent moon, another pattern by Zentangle Inc. In keeping with that, I divided the triangular segment up in the way that crescent moon is drawn – in circular arcs. Next, the addition of patterns to the segments.
This motif is something that is a familiar feature of my art, usually nestled betwixt arches or other elements of the design. The variations are endless.
Shadow and highlight, and/or colour really helps to bring these drawings to life.
I thought it would be fun to add stems to some of the moonpies. Some end up looking like flowers, others like very architectural seedpods! And, of course, I started the whole page with a couple of wobbly moonpie pies!
Matt graphite pencils?
I have long disliked using the humble drawing pencil to add shading to drawings. It’s also rather reflective, giving a sheen to the drawing that obscures the pen lines, no matter how carefully the graphite is blended out.
Towards the end of last week, a video popped up You-Tube for some pencils that claim to be matt graphite pencils. These are the Pitt Graphite Matt pencils by Faber-Castell. I watched the video and the review for them seemed to be fab. So, I had to get some to try.
In the same video, Staedtler Mars Lumograph Black pencils were mentioned as having less shine than traditional graphite drawing pencils. So, I thought I’d try those out too.
The result? They are a lot less shiny than traditional graphite pencils! They don’t blend out as far as traditional pencils do, which is fine by me as it really helps to keep the shading in the area you want it.
There’s still a little shine with them; graphite is a shiny material. When I was a science teacher, it was always surprising to myself and my students how slippery a piece of shiny-grey graphite feels. It really is shiny too. So that doesn’t surprise me. So, it’s not the graphite that’s less shiny itself, it’s what is included in the mix.
Carbon and charcoal pencils are duller, but messier and impossible to erase if you need to. I think this may be one of the ingredients in the pencil ‘leads’ in both makes. The Mars Lumograph Black also seem waxier, though I’m not sure of that yet.
I’ve only been using these for a couple of days, and so far I much prefer them to traditional graphite pencils. Time and use will tell if they become my go-to drawing pencils for shading.
This week’s template has a bit of everything that is ‘Angela’ in style. Entangled art, Zentangle patterns, florals and botanicals, cute and whimsical. Something for everyone. The template is available to members of the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group.
Unusually, it’s in landscape format, and a strange set of dimensions too. I can only say I wasn’t feeling too well yesterday – upset digestive system, extremely tired. That meant I didn’t pay much attention to the size of the paper I decided to draw upon.
I am feeling somewhat better today, but still incredibly tired after another disturbed night with an upset tummy.
I know I’ll be getting my sketchbook page for Inktober Tangles 2021 Day 14 done after I’ve had a very late breakfast. I’ll post that later in the day.
This morning, I recorded drawing the final part of the template. I did some drawing yesterday evening, but didn’t record it, so there is a gap in the process. Here it is:
Inktober Tangles 2021| Day 10 “Hirari” by Midori Furuhashi CZT
It’s Day 10 already, of October and Inktober! In the past, Inktober has felt, after the initial surge of excitement and energy, like a chore to be done. Except two years ago with the skull prompts and this year with the Zentangle patterns.
It’s hard to explain why this is. I think with the skulls, it’s because my scientific background has an interest in such things, and I often combined the drawings with mandalas. Mandalas are something I love to draw, though haven’t dome many in recent months. Of course, I draw upon many patterns and motifs to create mandalas, some of which are zentangle-ish in nature.
With the tangle pattern challenge, it’s a simple pattern each day, but it’s exploring variations and developing my own style that is fascinating to me. I’ve found the creation of one (at least) sketchbook page of variations on a theme an excellent way for me to approach the challenge. Not only can I look at different ways of drawing the tangle and keep it’s essence, I can also experiment with different media to add colour, shadow and highlight. These are all things that will spill over into my usual kinds of artwork.
Hirari was a bit of a challenge. I’ve struggled with drawing it. However, I’ve worked out that the addition of shadow and highlight is what brings this tangle to life. I wanted to see how I could arrange the motif to create both floral and border patterns. The floral patterns are relatively easy; the borders not quite so. But by drawing them, more ideas come as the issues with the drawing are identified and ways to overcome them are thought of. I’ve got work to do with the borders, that’s for sure!
I also liked the way the furls of the petals looked by themselves – rather leafy or frondy. So I made a note of them too. I think they’d work well in patterns of their own.
Talking of experimenting with different media… To add colour to this page, I used some tinted charcoal pencils from Derwent. And I’m well pleased with them. The don’t spread as far as chalk pastel pencils or graphite pencils. That means it’s much easier to control how far shadow or highlight extends. They can be layered to increase contrast, both with the same colour or other shades. In doing this, they actually blend rather well too. Once encouraged gently into the fibres of the paper with a paper stump or tortillon, they don’t smudge easily either! Oh, and they don’t have a shiny aspect to them like graphite does.
The colours of the charcoal pencils are all rather earthy and muted, which is what you’d expect from charcoal. These kind of colours really appeal to me at this time, and they’ll work well with the Graphitint pencils, also by Derwent.
So, I’m really pleased with my flash of inspiration that led me to them.
This drawing, on the right, was a pleasure for me to indulge in. It’s a typically ‘Angela’ entangled drawing with plenty of detail and characteristic curves and swirls and arches. Some tangle patterns have found their way into the artwork, which is to be expected as I’m focused on such things at this time.
My only worry now is whether I add shadow/higlight with the charcoal pencils or leave it as it is. I will scan it in before I make any decision. I may try to do that digitally and keep the original pristine, for now. Shadows, at the very least, are needed to bring out the layers and volume of the various elements of the design. But this is for later on.
Today’s tangle is ‘Xac’ by Susan Yeo CZT. It’s another floral kind of pattern, which has plenty of possibilities for variations. This sketchbook page contains just a few. The spiral variation reminds me of a succulent. I particularly like the individual leaves/petals; they look like odd seedpods, and that is something I’d like to explore more, maybe.
Sketchbook Saturday | My week in art.
In this vlog, I look back at the first nine days of Inktober.
I’m still on the mushroom kick it seems. Today’s sketches/drawings for Sketchtember feature some mushrooms. One is a typically, perhaps, entangled style of art. The other is much more of a pen and ink drawing, making use of stippling and cross-hatching to add shadow and a sense of volume.
I used a Uniball Eye micro pen to draw on a piece of Distress Ink coloured mixed media paper from Claire Fontaine for the entangled drawing on the left.
For the drawing on the right, I used a Tombow Fudenosuke pen on a piece of Ohuhu marker paper. This paper is surprisingly nice to draw on.
I’ve yet to decide if I’m going to add colour to these drawings. I have scanned them in so that I have a record of them as they are.
Saturday is here again. So, over on my little corner of the YouTube universe, I do a flip-through of this week’s arty projects, and a bit of a chat about stuff at the same time.
Here, above, is my sketchbook page for Sketchtember 2021. For day 18, I’ve chosen to draw plants in pots, mostly cups, mugs, teapots and jugs it seems. They’re still plants in pots. They’re all drawn from my memory and/or imagination.
After completing the pen sketches, I added colour using Ecoline Brush Pens and a Water brush. I had to try to mix colours too, particularly varieties of green. I may have done OK with some of them. Others are abject disasters, such as the succulent style plant with red tips to it’s leaves. Ho hum.
Everything is a bit wonky, but perhaps that is no bad thing at all. A lot of my artwork is a tad wonky, and that’s part of my signature style, probably.
I’ve also used a clear Glaze pen, a gold sparkle Signo gel pen and a clear Star Sakura Gelly roll pen to add shiny highlights. A white Sakura Soufflé pen added highlights to some of the areas too.
This, like yesterday’s buttons, has been a fun project. This time, though, I’ve completed adding colour, which has surprised me no end. I suspect that increasing familiarity with Ecoline watercolour inks and how I like to apply them has helped greatly with this.
Trying to work in a more ‘illustrative’ and a bit expressive way of adding colour is helping too. It’s a work in progress, but I may just get there!
Now, all I have to work out is what to do with the rest of Saturday!
It’s Day 13 of Sketchtember, and another seed pod style drawing, with lots of variations today. But there’s also a Zentangle style drawing using one of these seed pod variants.
Drawing the more traditional kind of Zentangle of design was actually fun to do. It helped it was on a smaller scale, I think.
I used it as an opportunity to play with a dimensional feel to the design, using black and white drawing pencils and a tortillon. The paper was already coloured; it’s a small piece of the Faber-Castell Toned Drawing Paper, which is really robust as it has 15% cotton in it.
I messed up in the bottom right area and tried a fix. Ho hum, I tried. I know ‘there’s no mistakes in Zentangle’, but it was irking me I’d messed up on the repetition of the patterns.. Still, it’s in a sketchbook and so is a reminder to me to pay a bit more attention in future.
I do need to bring out the layers by adding some more shadow. I may do that with either alcohol markers or Pitt Artist Pens. The graphite pencil really isn’t dark enough, even though I added layers of it.
Nevertheless, it’s all a valuable experience and opportunities to learn, grow, develop and practice my artistic voice.
I wonder what will appear from the tip of my pen tomorrow – day 14 of Sketchtember.