Small, entangled drawings.

I really needed some structure to my artwork yesterday and early this morning. This kind of work has really hit the mark. The smaller size also meant I wasn’t feeling overwhelmed by the task. The symmetrical nature of the patterns/designs really soothed me. All these things let me find that sense of peace and contentment that I needed from art.

Making square ’tiles’.

I cut some 100% cotton watercolour paper into squares of different sizes, trying to get the most out of each sheet. These squares are either 4½” x 4½” or 3½ x 3½” in size (approx 11.5 cm x 11.5 cm or 9 cm x 9 cm).

Next, I used Tea Dye, Old Paper, Vintage Photo, Rusty Hinge, Gathered Twigs, and Old Burlap Distress Inks to colour the tiles. I used one colour only on each tile. On the watercolour paper the colour wasn’t even, and I really like the aged, distressed look that gives, along with the darker edge.

I set out a net of pencil lines to help keep my designs fairly symmetrical. I did draw the lines free hand rather than using a ruler. The result is perfectly imperfect symmetry. I then set to creating patterns/designs with 05 and 01 black Pigma Micron pens.

Other materials used.

In the bottom left tile, I used Carbothello pencils and a Prismacolor Ebony pencil to add colour and shadow to the design, smoothing them with a paper tortillon.

In some of the other tiles, I used Chameleon and Triplus fineliners to add detailed patterns to the design. A happy accident resulted in me using a waterbrush to see what I could do with it. The ink flowed to colour the space, but the pattern was still visible, but more subtle. I liked the effect! So, I made use of it in the designs.

That led to me experimenting with Inktense pencils and a waterbrush. These pencils are great for adding intense, waterproof colour to areas.

A white gelly roll pen was used to add highlights to all the designs. Also, a gold gelly roll pen was used to add metallic highlights to a couple of the designs.

Reflections

I like all of these tiles for different reasons. But I can see how I could add more shadow and highlight to the designs to bring out an illusion of depth and dimension. I may turn my attention to that in a short while.

There’s an antique feel to all the tiles, which is an unusual thing for me. But I do like it! Working on a coloured background really prompts me to play with shadow and highlight.

I do want to scan in the blank, coloured tiles to use as backgrounds in digital art. It’s the distressed nature of the colour along with the darker border that really appeals to me.

Now, I need to work out what to do with these little works of art. Also, my mind is trying to work out how I can convert these designs to coloring pages/templates. But, these will have to be looked at later on today. I’m really needing to sleep. I was up at stupid o’clock again, and I’m now beginning to flag, a lot.

Out of sorts art…

I’ve been feeling out of sorts for the last day or so. It’s gradually intensified. A broken night’s sleep really hasn’t helped. House freezing cold (deliberately so!), Angela boiling hot in waves (not illness, just age).

I did draw in the darkest parts of the night when I couldn’t sleep, but what I produced was just a reflection of my ‘out of sorts’ mood. I added words and reflections to the drawings to try to elucidate where this has come from. And then that went to how I could use art in a journal, could I create journal pages, little areas for thoughts/words of meaning, and so on. So I jotted those ideas down.

The larger drawings I was doing in the night just overwhelmed me. The more work I did, the more overwhelmed and dissatisfied I felt. So, in an attempt to create some art that would soothe rather than disturb, I decided to create some small pieces of art and some borders seemed the right thing to do. This quartet of drawings is the result of that solution I sought to help me with my mood and my attitude to my efforts at drawing.

Monday Mandala

Today’s mandala includes a couple of Zentangle patterns – Taiga by Tomas Padros and a variation on Fescue, an original Zentangle pattern. Plus some ‘orbs’.

This was fun to do. It’s not often I use such a large area of a pattern, but Taiga is such a lovely pattern and it’s taken me a long time to work out how to do it well. I didn’t think I’d managed it this time, until I added shadow and highlight. Then, it just became so dimensional and, to use the crafty vernacular, ‘popped’.

Today, I just wanted a mossy, spring-like green. There’s still snow lying on roofs and hilltops, cars and shaded pavements. The days are noticeably growing longer, and the bright sunlight today is most welcome after the fog of yesterday.

It won’t be long until I see brave snowdrops and crocuses breaking the winter-hard ground. They herald that the return of spring is nigh!

I’ll be waiting until the snow has mostly disappeared before I go and take a walk.

Sketchbook Page

These are two drawings I’ve been working on over the past three or so days. The whole page is A4 in size.

To draw them, I’ve been using Pilot Kakuno fountain pens with black ink. To add shadow and colour I’m using a mixture of Stabilo Carbothello, Daler-Rowney Artist’s Drawing and Prismacolor Ebony pencils. Along with some paper tortillons to blend the colour out. I’m also keeping the colour palette pretty limited – graphite black, two green Carbothello and Sanguine and Sepia Drawing pencils.

It’s fun to draw with a fountain pen. It’s also a lot of fun to use graphite and colour to bring depth and dimension to the drawing on paper rather than digitally for a change. I like to work both digitally and traditionally. Art is art!

I suspect the rest of the day is going to be filled with artsy pursuits, including finishing adding colour to these drawings.

We had snow overnight and the air is filled with a white fog too. Even though the layer of snow is just a couple of centimetres thick, it’s enough for me to want to stay inside. Snow is pretty to look at, but my sense of balance means it’s safest for me to stay cwtched up in the warm!

Insomniac Art 20 Jan 2021

It was one of those nights. I woke way too early feeling way too hot, even though the windows were open in the Welsh Winter. Hot flashes, again. So, the only thing to do was to draw until I was cool enough to get back to sleep. That took until nearly 8 am, GMT.

These are the little drawings I completed during my insomniac hours. My Sakura Pigma Sensei 04 pen is nearly done – either the nib is too worn to work properly or the ink is mostly gone, I’m not entirely sure which. I know I have a heavy hand with pens and tend to wreck them before all the ink has gone.

Anyway, I witter. I’m still trying to figure out how to add words into my drawings. I’m not entirely sure I’m being successful in this. No doubt I’ll keep on trying though!

These were drawn on A4 acid-free cartridge paper in one of my current sketchbooks. I added the background colour digitally.

A page of small drawings

This is a page from one of my A4 sketchbooks. Six small drawings, a couple I’ve shown before, the rest are new. Some tweaks here and there as well.

All drawn with Sakura Pigma Micron or Sensei pens on white acid-free cartridge paper. The background has been added digitally.

No shadow or highlight on these, yet.

Monday Mandala

After doing some admin work this morning, I felt the need to create a mandala.

I decided to use one of the stylised bird heads from my recent drawings as a starting point, and, well, the design just grew from that.

There’s some zentangle-style patterns, and some that seem to be inspired by Meso-American architecture.

I think the drawing is done, just the shadow/highlight work to be continued with and completed. The small area I’ve done really lifts the design. It’s just working out how to get the digital brush settings just right!

I’m quietly pleased with it, so far, but I need to put it to one side for a while. This afternoon I need to work on the cover for my next colouring book for Creative Haven. The one thing both projects have in common is that they make me smile. And that is a good thing, a very good thing!

Zentangle – y art

The result of a duvet day…zentangle entangled type of art. Lots of botanics and abstract patterns.

Materials:
6″ square Strathmore Artists Tile – Smooth Bristol Vellum coloured with Distress Inks
05 and 01 Sakura Pigma Micron pens
Sanguine, light sepia and white Daler-Rowney Artists Sketching pencils and some tortillons.

Duvet Day

Do you know the kind of days where it’s hard to get out of bed? Days when your body and soul need a day cwtched up safe and warm in bed? Well that was today for me.

A day spent doing very little. A bit of art. Watching geology videos on youtube. Playing games on my phone.

I’m now vertical, at my desk. I’ve scanned in one of my little drawings (approx 3¼” x 4″, or 8cm x 10cm) and digitally added a background, shadow and highlight. The shadow and highlight are a tad patchy, but they do help to bring the drawing to life.

A little entangled drawing

Simply because sometimes drawing small is just what the soul needs.

The original drawing is about 3¼” x 4″ in size. I used 05 and 01 Sakura Pigma Micron pens in a Seawhite sketchbook. Background colour and colour added digitally.

Today I’ve been busy with administration, inking the illustration for the cover of my next book in the Creative Haven series, so my blog was pushed down the list of ‘to-dos’ a bit. But I’ve got here!