Draw With Me | Using a coloured background to inspire a floral drawing

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Before filming this video, I primed a piece of watercolour card with white gesso. Then, I added colour using Inktense pencils and water. I added each colour separately, drying them before adding the next. Finally, a layer of clear gesso was added to seal the colours.

I had no particular idea as to how I would add the colour or what I wanted to use the paper for after this. But, as I looked at it, the pink areas just looked like very fuzzy flowers, so that was it! A floral based drawing it would be!

I do not intend to fill the whole area with flowers. I have plans for the ‘white space’ around the designs. But you’ll have to wait to see how that pans out!

In the video, I take you through drawing each flower design, one step at a time. I try to vocalise my reasons for doing certain things too.

Shrouded in Celestial Light WIP

Late afternoon yesterday, I was listening to my “Liked Songs” playlist on Spotify and “Shining Light” by Ash came on. The lyrics “Shrouded in Celestial Light” just stuck in my head, so hand-lettering had to be done, followed by some entangled art!

I wanted to put the letters of “shrouded” overlapping, cwtched close together as if they were covering and protecting each other, apart from that brave S at the front (which I may alter digitally when I’ve finished this off). And that is one of the meanings of shrouded – to be protected and/or covered.

Naturally, stars had to feature in the entangled artwork around the hand lettering. What better to represent “celestial”, though the flowers and plants and seeds are related in a roundabout way.

Our sun is the star nearest to us and the source of natural light. The moon is closer, but it doesn’t generate any light itself, the light we see from the moon is reflected sunlight. Anyhoo, most life, as we know it, on Earth depends on the sun’s energy to remain alive. Without photosynthesis in green plants, there’d be no food. Some living things can exist without any energy from the sun, but they are extremophiles and live around extreme habitats, such as the deep ocean volcanically driven ‘smokers’.

I’ve digressed and slipped into science teacher mode! The point is, that though flowers and plants and seeds don’t seem to have a link to celestial light, they do, as they depend on sunlight to produce food, which gives them the energy they need to live and grow and reproduce and so on. All of us here on the Earth are shrouded in celestial light!

I really wasn’t sure how this was going to work out without a definite frame for the words, but I think by placing clouds and drifts of other things around the lettering it kind of looks like a view through to the celestial night sky, perhaps, with a bit of fanciful whimsy.

Draw With Me | Two More Organic Motifs

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I’ve now finished this drawing by adding two organic motifs, both fairly simple.

With the trailing flowers or leaves or stones, the hardest part is arranging them to look like they’re trailing and remembering to decrease the size towards the point.

The other motif, a stack of small seeds on a stem, is easy enough to draw.

After doing this, I thought it needed some colour to bring the motifs to life. So, I dug out some of the Neocolour IIs I’d used for the background and used them a bit like watercolour paints. I scribbled a little of each Neocolor II on my plastic palette, added water, and painted.

I’m not entirely sure about my efforts with adding colour – this is where it can all go wrong for me. Part of me knows I’d most likely be better off if I were to add shadow and texture using pens.

I did use some metallic watercolours to add some sparkle here and there too.

One thing I did notice is that I was glad I tried not to paint over the black lines. The pigment ink in Micron pens is usually waterproof, but, as the Necolor IIs are wax-based and coat the surface of the paper, the pigment doesn’t sink fully into the paper and so water will move the ink.

It’s not a problem, now I’m aware of this. Oh, it also means erasers will lift some of the ink as well as pencil lines. Again, just something to be aware of.

One other thing I did was to cut the paper down to frame the design a bit better. In my clumsy way, I managed to cut it just across the tip of one of the trailing thingies. So, no border around that area.

I will keep going with adding colour and see where it leads me, hopefully not into a disaster! Still, if that happens, it’s only a bit of time, ink, paper and colour and the design can be used as inspiration for the next one. Important lessons about the Necolor IIs are being learned, which is, perhaps, the most important thing.

Template Thursyay! | 12 May 2022

It’s that time in the week again – Template Thursyay! Each week during the pandemic I’ve created a colouring page for the members of the Angela Porter’s Coloring books fans Facebook group. The template is only available to members, and it’s free to join the group and free to print the template for personal use.

It’s been almost two months since I last drew a mandala! So it’s understandable I felt the urge to create one today.

I used some of the motifs from my video in yesterday’s post. It’s always an enjoyable process using my favourite, organic motifs.

Using a limited, spring-time-ish colour palette also helped me get a coherent finish with the colours, almost. I’m really not at all sure about the purple pods!

Of course, the number of colour schemes that could be used is endless and down to personal preferences or desires at any time.

I can’t just leave a mandala on the page, there has to be a background of patterns too! The result looks like a huge dish floating above a window into some kind of sea habitat. I think that’s fun, even though I’ve only just realised that!

Draw With Me … Five of my favourite organic motifs

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In today’s tutorial video, I enjoyed drawing on one of my Neocolor II backgrounds. And I’ve just remembered I forgot to scan the background before cutting and drawing on it. Oh well. I’ll just have to make another one!

Anyhoo, I sometimes forget how much I enjoy working on a coloured background. The colours add an instant “feel” to a drawing. This one reminds me of sunrises and sunsets and the joy and awe that I experience when I see them. So, it was natural I’d choose a few of my favourite motifs to start filling this A5-ish sheet with pen drawings.

Of course, it’s lovely to share how to draw these motifs with others, helping them along their arty journey.

Template Thursyay! 05 May 2022

Thursdays are fun days! I release a new colouring template for the members of the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans Facebook group, which is free to join.

This week, I chose a rather stylised, whimsical kind of floral theme. Big, bold motifs, with some smaller details and elements.

If you’re into adding tangle patterns to designs, this one will lend itself well, even though it’s geared towards being coloured.

In adding colour, I’ve taken the opportunity to try out various colour combinations, as well as get some shading practice in.

I drew the design with an 05 Uniball Unipin pen on acid-free cartridge paper. Colour was added digitally using Clip Studio Paint.

On Template Thursday, I don’t release a video on YouTube. But there’ll be a new video tomorrow for sure!

Template Thursyay!

Here’s this week’s template, full of whimsy and smiles. I’ve combined some of my favourite things to draw – flowers, foliage, fish and fungi! This time, I have sky-fish swimming in a sky filled with happy bubbles above a garden. And why not? This is my world of whimsy after all.

Sky-fish. Who would’ve thought it? Well, apparently I did, and no doubt many, many others too.

Draw With Me … Whimsical Floral Motifs

Click on this link to view the YouTube video that shows, step by step, how I draw and add pattern to these motifs.

On Wednesdays, I draw the weekly colouring page (or template) for members of Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group. As this week’s template (and next weeks too) has a fair few floral motifs in it, I thought I’d make them the focus of today’s video over on YouTube.

The flowers are all rather whimsical and stylised, but that’s no bad thing. I’ll never stop thinking that we need some more whimsy in this turbulent world (and that’s putting it mildly!). If I can create a little world of beauty and whimsy with pen on paper, then I think that’s a good thing. And it’s even better if others can use colour to bring the worlds to vibrant life, or can learn how to draw their own whimsical worlds too.

I was a science teacher for 28 years, until I left to focus on my mental and emotional well being as well as art. My desire to help others gain confidence and inspire them to learn new skills, to find enjoyment in this process, then that’s a good thing too.

Sneak peek at this week’s coloring template

Over the past few days, I’ve been creating YouTube tutorials on drawing my style of whimsical things – fish, flowers, circles filled with patterns, fungi, and leaves. So, I thought I’d use some of these for this week’s template. And for some reason, I wanted to add a fishy totem pole, or three maybe.

Whimsical things do make me smile. And with whimsical, imaginative kinds of line art, it gives permission to use any colours that seem fun. I add colour digitally, and the colours are often vibrant and cheerful when I add them to such cute drawings.

Of course, the drawing has to be completed, but you can watch me draw this section by clicking on this link. Maybe even draw along or create your own version!

As far as I am concerned, there’s never enough whimsy in life. This kind of art lets me escape into a cute world of my own making and, at the same time, take a break from the sad, bad, heartbreaking news that can flood in from all directions. Art is something I do have some control over and, for a while, I can imagine that I’m journeying in a world that has none of our earthly problems.

Adding colour to some whimsical flowers

Click on this link to watch the video where I add colour to some of the whimsical flowers in my sketchbook.

I took a short break from social media over the last couple of days. I had other things that needed to be done, not least a trip out for brunch in a local cafe with a friend. That’s the first time in over two years I’ve eaten out!

I was highly anxious and stressed, but had a lovely time. The cafe was quiet, thankfully. The food and drink were delicious. It’s our new favourite cafe to go to, one that’s close to us both as we, like most people, are mindful of the cost of fuel at the moment.

The comedown from anxiety and stress leaves me exhausted, and unable to focus my mind. So, some simple colouring of my whimsical flowers sketchbook page from my last blog was just the thing I needed. Nothing to tax my mind. Sketchbook work is a place to experiment, practice, and enjoy the creative process with no pressure for anything to be perfect!

To add colour I used a mixture of Pentel Brush Sign and Tombow Dual Brush pens, along with a water brush. Both of these pens are filled with water-soluble inks and so work a bit like watercolours. I feel I have much more success with these media than I do watercolours, especially as the colours are so bright and vibrant – saturated I think the arty term is.

Just a bit of colour brings the line art to life. It’s its own kind of magic.