Sketchtember Day 13

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.

Sketchbook Saturday | Sketchtember Day 4

Link to today’s vlog on YouTube – A flip through of my sketchbooks and this week’s art.

I’ve had fun creating art this week. Here’s some highlights.

The rediscovery of how much I love my Chameleon markers was a wonderful thing. I love the way I get a smooth gradient of solid colour from them. Such a stark contrast to my bumbling, chaotic attempts with other media.

Taking up the Sketchtember challenge was a good idea to dust off some of my neglected drawing/sketching skills and ways of adding interest to a sketchbook. It’s also made me try to think differently to how I would when creating entangled art.

Hand lettering, and some typographic art today, has made a reappearance in my work. That’s a good thing; it’s something I would like to do more of.

Adding a rectangle of colour behind a drawing and adding handwriting to create texture is something I’ve not done before, but I like the results.

Thyme is the herb for today, day 4 of Sketchtember and my offering is in the photo at the top of the page.

There’s been some real lowlights too. Colour choices, mediums and doing things that seemed like a good idea when I started them! There’s a lot more about this in today’s vlog on youtube.

Even with the facepalm moments, it’s been lovely to spend time just drawing with no expectation of a finished project, polished work, or even perfection.

It’s hard work trying to convince myself that it’s ok to make mistakes, to mess up things as long as I learn from them.

Sketchtember Days 2 and 3

Link to today’s vlog on YouTube.

Here are my sketchbook pages for days 2 and three of Sketchtember. I’m using DecayingDots’ list of herbs and spices for this one.

I’m enjoying working in a different way to my usual entangled art. And, I’m making some awful mistakes/art in these pages. However, these are learning moments, not least of which it’s ok to do things that are grim, mainly my use of colour. But, if I didn’t try things out and learn from the mistakes I’d not progress at all.

What I think it shows me is that pen drawing, with just shading or monochrome colour is my strength, colour my weakness. As if I don’t keep saying that, yet I keep going back to using colour.

Today’s vlog focuses on Day 3 – Saffron. Tomorrow’s vlog will be a look at all the art I’ve worked on in the past week.

Passion – Part 3

I’ve got some more of this design done as I had my morning mocha! It’s coming along and next week should see the drawing completed.

I have created a YouTube video of the drawing process, along with me talking about all kinds of stuff.

Drawn with 08 and 05 Unipin pens on Bristol Board.

Coloring ‘Serendipity’

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.

Video Friday

This week, I finish this particular drawing, apart from a few bits and bobs.

Partway through the video, the microphone just stopped recording. I have no idea why. So, for the last part of the video, I’ve sped my drawing up 5x and just put some music to go with it.

Guess I’m going to have to learn to do voice-overs as well as learning the new digital art stuff!

I’d appreciate likes for this video, as well as new subscriptions to my channel.

Nature

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.

So, onwards and upwards I go.

So frustrating!

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

Serendipity Part 3 – a video

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.

Monday meanderings

Frustration

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.

Bread making

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.