I’ve spent some time over the last day or two looking at Art Nouveau flower designs. I was particularly fascinated by a thistle design.
This is my interpretation of the design drawn with Copic Multiliner SP pens (0.1, 0.25 and 0.5) on paper. Then, after scanning the drawing, I added colour digitally using Clip Studio Paint. So, this counts as ‘tradigital’ art!
I chose a simple colour palette; I was inspired by William Morris, the Arts and Crafts Movement and Art Nouveau. And, the colours are more mellow than is, perhaps, characteristic of my work.
The version on the left has just flat colours, no shade or highlight; I let the contour lines suggest volume. This is more true, I think, to the Arts and Crafts Movement and Art Nouveau.
To the version on the right, I added some shadows and highlights, but subtly for me. And even though they are subtle, they have a distinct effect, which surprised me.
These show just two of the many coloured backgrounds I tried out. This is why I love adding colour digitally! It’s so easy to try out different colour combinations, methods of adding colour, and so on.
Which version do you prefer?
I like them both, but I think the one on the right is my favourite; I like the stronger background colour which allows the flower to ‘pop’. I also think the subtle shadows and highlights do add a little something to it too.
Apart from completing the colour, I coloured over the brown section in the bottom right. I used dark and light grey Gellyroll Moonlight pens to add the crazy ‘N’Zppel’ Zentangle pattern. It needs tidying up and perhaps some highlight within the inner black spaces.
But for now, it will do. I think I need a break from it to eat and do other things for a while.
Ooh, I do love a mandala! And a flowery one is just the ticket for this week. Things botanical have been a bit of a theme for me this week, so it’s natural they’d find their way into this week’s colouring page/template for the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group.
I kept to a fairly limited palette this week, and that really does help me produce coloured art I feel happy with. And this colour palette does make me smile.
There are never enough flowers in my life. I’ve really enjoyed drawing flowers (and seed pods) over the past couple of days. So, I thought I’d make use of one of the flower motifs from yesterday to create a border on a page edge in my sketchbook.
I like the graphic contrast of the black background and the flowers and foliage. It’s going to be a lovely page to make notes or record thoughts about whatever I’m drawing in my sketchbook at this time.
The paper is 8″ x 4″ in size and coloured with various Distress Inks in shades of brown. The flowers and leaves were inspired by Medieval illuminated manuscripts, and there’s some zentangle-ish stuff going on at the bottom.
What I really enjoyed was adding contrast with pen strokes. Not graphite pencils, not chalk pastels or markers, just a very fine pen. The end results reminds me of an etching.
I have since added simple washes of colour, using the same colours I used on the paper, with the adding of Old Paper Distress Ink. I’ve mucked up a bit in trying to add shadows beneath the flowers, perhaps. I’ve also added some gold accents. This work isn’t shown in this photograph; I will show it when I’m happy with how things are. Well, happyish. I’m thinking that adding colour may not have been such a good idea after all!
The video is a long one, showing most of the drawing process. But hopefully I’ve done it in a way that if you want to ‘draw with me’, you can!
Over the past two or so days, I’ve not been feeling quite right. I’ve spent a lot of time cwtched up in bed, and about the only art I’ve felt like doing is small projects that I don’t feel overwhelmed by.
I saw the idea of zentangle cartouches on the Zentangle YouTube channel a little while back and wanted to give them a go. I’d done one a little while ago where I’d used some vintage rose ephemera from a set of Tim Holtz’s Field Notes ephemera on a piece of natural coloured mixed media paper. I wasn’t at all sure with what I’d ended up with. However, I did want to revisit this idea once again.
So, I decided to explore the idea of cartouches once again. This time, I used smaller pieces of creamy Fabriano Medioevalis paper, which comes sized to 3.3″ x 5.2″ (85mm x 132mm), with lovely rough edges. This is really soft paper, the surface is easily damaged by using a tortillon too roughly.
I added the focal points, again from the Field Notes ephemera by Tim Holtz, along with some little quotes. The quotes are from the sets of ‘chit chat’ stickers, again by Tim Holtz. These items are in my stash from the days I messed around with mixed media, before I realised it really wasn’t quite for me. I admire what people can do with mixed media, but I just never seem to have found my way with it in a way that I’m happy with. I’m much happier wielding a pen (on paper or digitally) with love and a creative heart, than getting rather messy and frustrated with mixed media.
My Reflections on these Cartouches
Anyways, I’ve had mixed results with these experiments in cartouches. My favourite is ‘trust your crazy ideas’, closely followed by ‘be you, bravely’, then ‘treasure. ‘stay curious’ and ‘don’t forget to fly’ are very close to these in how much I like them.
‘trust your crazy ideas’ just seems to have colours and patterns that work harmoniously both with each other and with the mushrooms. Perhaps I got a little close to the motif with the pen work, something for me to consider with future projects of this ilk.
‘trust your crazy ideas and ‘be you, bravely’ are both designs that have a small number of different patterns on them.
‘treasure’ is similar in that respect, but it feels unbalanced. I think I need to consider where I put the central motif; more centrally may work in my favour. ‘stay curious’ is a much more balanced design than ‘treasure’, because I consciously decided to mirror the patterns used, even though the motif was not placed centrally.
‘don’t forget to fly’ is just not a coherent design at all. I like the borders and the seed pods around the motif, but then it all goes weird.
However, I’m really not at all pleased with ‘live gently upon this earth’. It’s incoherent, too many colours, and the words and motif are just not balanced at all. I would’ve been better with not adding the words to this one in the first place.
Actually. It may be that I don’t add the words until the design is finished, at the bottom as a kind of plaque or border, or floating over an area of the cartouche with a border around them, or just not use them at all. I need to experiment with these.
My own ephemera designs?
I also know I’m quite capable, I think, of drawing my own ‘epehemera’ to add as focal points. However, as I tend to draw at a much bigger scale, I’d either need to scan my drawing in, or draw digitally, and reduce the scale before printing them out. At this time, I have a laser printer, which is great for printing documents and so on but not so much for artwork. It changes the surface properties of the paper used. Also, I can’t use specialist art paper with the printer. If I’m going to go down this route of arty expression I think I need to consider changing this printer for an inkjet printer again, especially one that has waterproof, or at least water resistant, ink.
What to do with my artwork?
My home is increasingly becoming filled with my artwork. Most of it I have digital versions of them – either scans or photographs. I do need to decide what to do with my artwork as I really do need to let it go to new homes. Any suggestions, drop me a comment!
Also, I have a problem with putting a price on my artwork, if I were to sell it. I have absolutely no idea of what it’s value could be to other people, or even if anyone would want to purchase it. Again, any suggestions, drop me a comment! Any help or advice would be much appreciated.
I needed a quiet morning, again, today. So, I thought I’d dig out my Caran D’Ache Supracolor Soft watercolour pencils and try some stuff with them.
I wanted to use them to draw a flower, or two, and then use water to create a watercolour effect. The result you can see on the left-hand side card. I’ve left loads of white space on this card, which is unusual for me. I couldn’t resist, however, adding some gold dots around the flowers. The colour of the petals was so delicate that I used a 2H 3mm pencil to outline them and the leaves. Just for info, the piece of watercolour paper measures 4″ x 4″.
For the other cards, I just wanted to work with the pencils to create gradients and abstract patterns in colour. I drew on the little panels using a 0.25 Copic Multiliner SP pen and added some lines and details with metallic gold watercolour. These cards are approx 3″ x 4″ in size.
Watercolor pencils are nice to use when it comes to drawing in colour with them, then activiating the colour with water. They really glow on 100% cotton rag paper (bottom right) compared to the other cellulose papers.
Cute and whimsical cards, some very detailed, one not quite so. But a nice way to spend my morning.
Self-care time, again.
There’s a situation going on around me that is draining my emotions greatly at this time. I’m doing my best to not become overly emotionally involved in it, but it’s difficult when it’s to do with people you care about.
It all has a knock on effect with me. I’m anxious, tired verging on exhausted, really grumpy, irritable, and lacking patience at this time. I’m also not able to concentrate too well. These are all behaviours I could do without in dealing with this situation. Yet I’m exhausted by it.
I have been meditating, making sure I take time to do self-calming and self-soothing activities, such as my morning art, Though I have work to do for contracts, I need to take a day away from everything, if I can.
I know there are lessons for me to learn about myself in how I’m reacting ot the situation, stuff from my past that wasn’t processed during my EMDR therapy. If I can work out what it is, I can work through it myself now. Organising EMDR therapy isn’t possible at this time, with lockdown still very much in operation and me being very nervous of going out into the world as well.
So, I’m going to make time today to drink tea, meditate, journal and try to get to the bottom of my own issues and start doing what I can to work through them and heal the past traumas that are causing my reactions at this time.
I think I’ll also take time to crochet (I started a mosaic blanket earlier this week) and watch films or crafting shows on the TV. Eat healthily – I have a yearning for brussel sprouts, of all things! And take time away from social media and news. I may even pick up my flute and play it, for the first time in months and months.
I’ve spent several hours exploring and trying ideas out in the realms of both digital and abstract art, and this is the result.
I’m really not at all sure about it in any shape or form. I think I was influenced by watching a few YouTube videos about mixed media and abstract art.
It’s been an “interesting” time, as well as a frustrating time in some ways. I also have a bit issue with choice of colours.
I’m pleased to say that I’ve calmed down an awful lot from the stresses of the last week or so. I actually slept for nearly 12 hours last night, which happens once all the adrenaline/cortisol have left my body. It’s nice to be back to my ‘normal’ state of contentment.