I’ve spent much of the day so far adding colour to my ‘Serendipity’ drawing that I completed yesterday. The whole process of drawing has been videoed and is available on my YouTube channel.
I thought it would be an idea to try to record a timelapse of my process in Clip Studio Paint Pro, which has a tool that does it for you. This just didn’t work, it caused everything to freeze up.
So, I thought I’d try the record screen tool in the Movavi Video Suite. It didn’t let me use my digital pen on the screen. So, I’m going to have to spelunk through the settings to see if I can resolve that issue, and the one with Clip Studio Paint Pro. A couple of things to sort out along with how to add a voice-over to a video!
So, after getting another mug of tea, I settled to starting colouring the image digitally. I wanted to use the rich colour palette I’d used for this week’s ‘Template Thursday’ design.
I’ve only got part of the design done. It’s taking me a little longer to add colour in CSPP (Clip Studio Paint Pro) than in Sketchbook as I’m not familiar with the tool layout yet.
Again, I’m taking this as an opportunity to learn more about CSPP, in very tiny, tiny steps. I seem to have found a watercolour brush I like that adds an interesting texture to the colour. Usually, my work is characterised by rather smooth colour gradients. To have such a textured finish is unusual for me, but I quite like it.
I have a lot more of this particular drawing to do, and as I’m working digitally I can always try a different colour palette or way of working.
I think I’m going to take some time away from the computer now, and return to ‘analog’ forms of art. If you’ve watched my video, I gave a short look at one of my collections of patterns and motifs. That notebook is almost full, so I had a new Leuchtturm1917 A5 notebook delivered yesterday. It turns out I’d managed to order a square grid rather than a dot grid. No problem. If anything it may work out better.
I’m not going to transfer the entirety of the nearly full notebook to this new one, just the motifs/patterns I use the most, and start to add others. They really are books full of inspiration, mostly images but sometimes words/notes too.
Nature – an entangled artwork. It looks like batik, silk painting or stained glass!
The design was drawn in pen on bristol board and then coloured digitally in Clip Studio Paint Pro using a textured watercolour brush.
I’m determined to find my way around this piece of software, along with Affinity Designer at some point. The effects are the same as Sketchbook, but just not quite so easy to find the tools I want to use at first. It’s all a case of familiarity and I’m definitely outside of being familiar with the software at the moment.
Having said that, all that I’ve learned about layers, the various effects that can be applied, brush settings and so on, apply to all digital art platforms. It’s just finding my way around the software and learning more about it.
The one thing that’s top of my list at the moment is setting up a custom colour palette.
I’ve discovered that Clip Studio Paint has symmetry tools – phew! And these tools do a thing or two not available in Sketchbook as well as working slightly differently (and making certain things a lot easier for sure.
It’s been a frustrating few hours. I scanned these two drawings in, went to edit and colour in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, only to find that Autodesk has cancelled the pro, subscribed version and the only one available is the free version.
The free version doesn’t allow me to alter contrast, or work at different dpi, and it is a tad unstable it seems.
Also, there was no warning of this and I had no chance to save all my own custom brushes.
To say I’m gutted is an understatement. Sketchbook Pro has been my pathway into digital art and I absolutely love its intuitive interface.
So, I’m now looking into other software I have on my ‘puter. I learned to edit and colour and add texture layers, background and text using Clip Studio Paint.
It works well, but the interface isn’t so intuitive, it’s so much like the Adobe products, with menu after menu after menu. I can see that it’s more powerful.
Trying to look on the bright side, maybe I’d become way too comfortable with Sketchbook Pro and it’s now time for me to learn new digital skills and extend the ones I already have. So this may be a blessing in disguise.
All I know is that it’s going to be darn frustrating for a while until I get to grips with this new software.
I’m tempted to have a look at Corel Paint, but I suspect it’s user interface is as confusing and not intuitive either.
I still have access to the free version of Autodesk Sketchbook. But it is missing some of the features I loved so much about the subscription version.
Anyways, I discovered the watercolour brushes in Clip Studio and used them to add colour to the top design, and I like these ones very much. I’ll see how I get along with it, but first I need breakfast. Yes, It’s nearly 2:30pm and I’ve not had breakfast yet! So I’m going to eat and then it’ll be onwards and upwards digitally, I trust.
Now I’ve had my moan, here’s some info about the drawings:
14.5cm x 14.5cm Bristol board Faber-Castell fineliner pen Colours and textures added digitally using Clip Studio Paint
Friday is YouTube video day for me. Before I’d even had breakfast, I was filming the next part of this video series. I did get myself a mug of mocha first, in an insulated mug so it stayed nice and hot throughout the filming.
I changed the pen I used today. I’d bought a couple of Faber-Castell Grip 2010 fineliner pens to see what they’re like. I like them. They’re refillable and the ink is document safe but not waterproof I will use them for art that I’m planning to scan in. Oh, I’m not being paid or sponsored in anyway to mention this pen.
Anyway, the video is nearly an hour long and I chat away as I draw, particularly about Romanesque architecture/sculpture and it’s influence on me, along with mentions of La Tene/Iron Age/Celtic art and others.
This is my current drawing. I’m adding tiny patterns to various areas of the ‘skeleton’ of the design. That’s making me feel a little happier about it, but I’m still not all that satisfied with this drawing.
It just feels disjointed, incoherent. Just a tumble of bits and pieces that just happened to fall together. I started with the monogram “a”, thinking I’d do a series of drawings with little monograms like this kind of hidden in the design. But I don’t think this has worked out at all.
I think this drawing is a snapshot of that shows I’m feeling out of sorts with my art at the moment, and that is a reflection of me feeling out of sorts with myself.
I know I can be hard on myself when it comes to art, or anything actually, and I’m sure others will view this differently to how I do. Maybe there’s even a story in the drawing of how my emotional weather has shown itself in how I’ve put together the patterns and motifs.
This happens from time to time – I get into a funk with my art. Eventually, however, I find my way again, often a slightly new way, and off I go again! So I’m not worried about this. I just know I need to be kind to myself and perhaps take a little break from arty stuff, though with what I don’t know. Whatever I’m trying at the moment is irritating me, even digital art.
“This, too, shall pass,” shall be my mantra until it does pass.
One thing that’s not frustrating me is my foray into baking with a bread machine. I’ve had success with a delcious spelt flour loaf. At first I thought it was a disaster as it was flat on the top. But, it’s absolutely fine when cut – pleasantly moist, as airy as proper wholemeal bread can be, and nutty in flavour.
I’ve also just baked a spiced fruit loaf, the second I’ve done, and I know how delicious it will be! My home is filled with the delicious and heart-warming smells of sweet spices and yeasty goodness.
That’s all the baking I’ll need to do for a couple of days, however. There’s only so much bread I can eat! And I really don’t want either to go to waste.
I’ve enjoyed doing these! The squares are 3.25″ x 3.25, 3.5″ x 3.5″ or 4″ x 4″ in size. The circles are almost 3.5″ in diameter.
The tiles were cut from a variety of papers – watercolour, bristol vellum and heavyweight smooth cartridge paper. I used Distress Inks to colour the paper tiles before drawing on them.
I’ve used Sakura Pigma Micron pens (05 and 01), along with some brown and one blue-green Stabilio fineliner pens.
I like them all, But my favourites are the ones that are much more geometric in nature – my initials and the A in particular. My least favourite is the E; the background to the letter just feels disjointed. I think that’s why I like the more symmetrical, geometrical designs more.
I’ve enjoyed using one or two tones of colour to add variety, interest and ‘dimension’ to the tiles. I’ve not added any shadow or highlight to these. That’s when things tend to go wrong for me as far as traditional media is concerned!
It also occurred to me that if I were to draw these on a different shaped paper, I could add dangle designs to them. (My book “A Dangle A Day” is still available). Maybe I’ll try that out in a while. Of course, I’d like to get a full set of monograms done too.
Here’s just some of the smaller pieces of art I’ve done over the past week or so. They’re all entangled, zentangle, zentangle inspired. The biggest is 9″x9″, the smallest around 3.5″x3.5″ in size.
All have been fun to created, but I’m really not sure about colour choices, the backgrounds colours of the papers I used and so on.
I have yet more in the pile created over the past two or three weeks! They’ve been comforting to do, even if I’ve doubted myself with them and what I was doing. That’s often the case when my emotions are all over the place, as they still are to some extent.
All I know is that though it is bitterly cold outside, the sun is shining and I really do need to go for a walk, take in some fresh air, and blow some cobwebs from my mind. Well, that’s my plan. It may change once I’ve showered and so on!