Here’s a plethora of small drawings I’ve done over the past couple of days when I’ve woken up repeatedly through the night and needed to cool down before I could sleep again..
The various sizes are : circles – 8.5 cm and 10.5 cm diameter squares – 7 cm x 7 cm and 7.5 cm x 7.5 cm rectangles – 12.7 cm x 7.7 cm
Media used : Sakura pigma micron and sensei pens Distress Inks to colour the backgrounds Inktense pencils and Kuretake Zig Clean Colour Real Brush pens – colour spread with a damp brush Claire Fontaine Mixed Media Paper and St Cuthbert’s Mill Bockingford watercolour paper.
I sure do have a lot of colour, shadow and light to add to these! It takes me a lot longer to add colour and so on than it does to draw them!
Also, I have a larger drawing that is a work in progress. I think I’ll turn my attention to that one for a while.
I often say to myself, “Angela, what on earth were you thinking?” This is one of those times.
I started with hand lettering the words. Ok-ish Good enough to mess around with. And mess around them I did – with an “aura” and pattern, then more patterns and repeated motifs … until I’d mostly filled a square sketchbook page.
The drawing was OK. I liked some bits, others I didn’t.
Then, I thought, “What would it look like with colour? Let’s try Inktense and water!”
How often have I mused here about how I struggle with colour? All was going OK-ish with just pinks and greens … and then I added blues and browns…
The geometric pattern at the bottom were colours that didn’t fit well. So, I added watercolours to glaze the colours. Big mistake. I lost any sense of shadow and highlight …
So, I used a white graphite/chalk pencil to try to add the highlights back in …
So, I put it to one side while I did some other stuff and had lunch.
Then, it caught my eye and with fresh eyes I thought that maybe it’s not as bad as I thought it was .. maybe.
I constantly do this – try to add colour with traditional media and fail. Monochrome seems to work best for me. Monochrome where I can play with shadow and light. Monochrome colours that are added digitally seems to work the best of all.
No matter how often I tell myself this, put notes up to remind me of this, I still insist on trying to use traditional coloured media.
I just think that I hope one day that something will just ‘click’ with me. Today wasn’t that day it seems!
So, back to either white or simple coloured backgrounds, and adding monochrome colours for the sense of dimensionality I like. And I have no hopes that I’ll remember this in a day, a week, or a month or two and I’ll end up asking myself the exact same question; “Angela, what were you thinking?”
The end result may be something I’m unhappy with, but adding colour was enjoyable. I just seem unable to stick to just one or two colours, with variations in their intensity and tone. Then, I descend, bit by bit, into insecurity and self-doubt and incredulity that I did it again!
Ho hum! Not to worry, it’s only pen, paper and some other media. It’s yet another experience to help me, hopefully, learn more and be more comfortable with my artistic style. If we did everything perfectly every time we’d never learn and grow.
So, back to a blank piece of paper with pens I go, and may make some art to remind me, “Angela, monochrome is best!”
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.
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.
I spent yesterday colouring yesterday’s drawing in. That was an interesting experience!
I started out with graphite and coloured drawing pencils. But, as I coloured more and more I got frustrated with them
So, I switched to Inktense pencils and paints and a water brush. That was better, but the results were rather chalky and obscured the black lines a little. So I tried some watercolour paints. Better, but still weren’t feeling right.
Finally, I dug out my set of the Kuretake Zig Clean Colour Real Brush pens, and they hit the spot!
With each type of media I did my best to remain true to the limited colour palette of earth tones, but the more organic parts really did need that muted olive green for some variety. That decision really has helped to tie everything together in this design.
Surprisingly, The whole variety of media seems to work well together. I expected a whole hot mess from my messing around with media. Whatever I did, it’s brought the drawing to life, and there’s a lot of interest in the variations of intensity and vibrancy of colour throughout it.
I’d expected the mixed media paper to be a bit difficult to work with Inktense, watercolours and the brush pens. It wasn’t, it worked really well! Perhaps because I didn’t do much in the way of working in colour layers.
I still have some work to do to this. I want to add some gold accents in places, as well as using a white Gelly Roll pen to add dots of bright white here and there. Oh, I need to remove the margin guidelines, as well as that pesky bit of dirt that is on my scanner!
I really am smiling when I look at this piece of artwork. There’s lots of open space, yet it works. I think it’s done, though I may add some ‘ruins’ peeking above the froth of vegetation. I’ll see what happens over time.
I thought I’d start Sunday morning off with some experiments with my tiny botanical drawings.
I apologise for the photograph quality – I’m really not a good photographer, something I really do need to work at! The pale colours really don’t help at all.
The artwork on the bottom right is one where I applied rectangles of watercolor on 100% cotton rag paper. Then, I used Sakura Pigma Micron pens to draw designs in the windows. Finally, I added some watercolours to the designs to help bring them forward from the background.
I don’t think I messed the drawings up at all, which was my worry. Mind you, I do have to be careful what colours I do add so I don’t make weird colours.
That led to me wanting to try watercolour pencils and Inktense pencils on different watercolour papers: top – 100% cotton rag paper middle – Canson Moulin du Roy paper bottom – Daler-Rowney Smooth watercolour paper.
On each paper, I drew four rectangles, two of which I coloured with a wash of watercolour.
I used the same colours of Derwent Aquatone and Inktense pencils to draw the stylised/abstract floral design and a waterbrush to activate the pigment. I did my best to apply the same amount of pencil in each case. However, I noticed that the papers grabbed different amounts of pencil even though I was using the same kind of pressure.
The amount of pigment grabbed, however, wasn’t at all indicative of how vibrant the colours would be.
The 100% cotton rag paper seemed to have the smallest amount of pigment from the pencils, yet it gave the most intense colours of them all. This paper is quite ‘hard’ in feel and very textured and I was surprised it didn’t seem to take as much pigment. Appearances are deceiving it seems. This paper also allowed me the longest ‘wet’ time to move the coloured pencil pigment around, and to lift some of it where it had got too intense.
The Moulin du Roy paper was a softer texture and it was lovely to colour with the pencils on it. The resultant drawings have a soft quality to them too that I rather like.
The Daler-Rowney seemed to grab the most pigment, yet the colours are not as vibrant, except the for the Inktense on the watercolour background. I think that’s because the watercolour background was still very slightly damp and Inktense pigment activates with the tiniest amount of water. I also think that’s why this one was the hardest to blend the colour smoothly. This was the paper that was the hardest to add the watercolour background to as it dries so darned quickly, or water just puddles on the surface with a tiny bit more water.
The cotton rag paper is, again, my favourite for working with watercolour and Inktense pencils. The vibrancy of the noticeable too – much less pigment is needed to get a rich colour on this paper.
For the other two papers, I did enjoy drawing the flowers on the plain paper and activating the pigment with a waterbrush. I partiuclarly like the Moulin du Roy paper for this technique, though the Daler-Rowney gave a pleasing result on the plain paper.
Another day, another drawing/artwork/illustration/design. This one is only a little one; it’s approximately A5 in size.
I used some new watercolour paper from Canson – Moulin du Roy. It’s smooth, slightly off-white, pure cotton mould made and seems to work nicely with Intense pencils and a waterbrush.
I’m waiting for some metallic paints to arrive so I can add some highlights to this – there are places where a dot of gold will really work nicely, but not too many places methinks.
Also, I chose just seven colours to be my palette – sherbert lemon, apple green, iron green, lagoon, violet, red-violet and sienna gold. I thought that a smaller number of colours could result in a more cohesive feel to the design, and I think that it may have done so!
For this one, I drew the design first in pen then added colour.
When I draw first I do tend to fill the space with drawings. When I add colour shapes first I end up with more white space and a more random ‘edge’ to the design.
Why that is, I don’t know, other than it may have something to do with me filling spaces in with pen and ink habitually.
A habit I need to modify I think.
All the same, it’s nice to do little designs. I already have another drawn out waiting for colour!
This is what I’ve done with one of the Distress Oxide coloured circles I blogged yesterday.
It’s essentially finished, though I may add a few metallic highlights, and maybe some drops of 3D Crystal Glaze.
The Distress Oxides give a lovely soft feel to the paper and it is lovely to draw on. The mixed media paper on it’s own is quite hard and bumpy and not a surface I enjoy working on with pen; the Distress Oxides and water spray have changed that.
I still have a few circles to draw on, but shortly I need to turn my attention back to things of an eerie nature.
Over the past few days I’ve been drawing shells, flowers, fish and fungi and sorting them out to be digi-stamps, work all done on my Microsoft Surface Book. Some have been printed, coloured using my Chameleon Color Tones and Color Tops pens, cut out and mounted on mixed media backgrounds. The photos above show the fruits of my labours.
Apart from the Chameleon markers, the media I have used are:
Distress and Distress Oxide inks
Iridescent and metallic paints from Liquitex and Pebeo.
Perfect pearls sprays
Black Archival Ink
3D Crystal Lacquer
I think that’s the complete list of media. I used mixed media paper for the backgrounds, and the paper was cut out using rectangular dies. Behind the backgrounds, I used silver mirriboard as a mat.
I’m quite pleased with them. No so sure about the kraft card bases (which are 5¾” x 4″ in size), but they were what I had.
Now, all I have to do is work out a price for them and pop them into my Etsy shop, though I think I will have to take better photos for that!
Two index cards worked on over the last day or two. The focal points are shells I drew, first on paper, then the image was worked on on my Surface book with Autodesk Sketchbook Pro and my Surface Pen,
I had to use scissors to cut out the shells (not my favourite task as I’m not good with scissors) after I’d coloured them using the Chameleon Color Tones and Color Tops marker pens. I’m really pleased with the colouring.
Lots of different techniques/media were used on the index cards – stamping, stenciling, inktense pencils, distress inks and distress oxide inks, pebeo dyna paints, perfect pearls sprays, gesso, clear holographic embossing powder from WOW!
I’m happy with them, though I’m not sure they’re quite finished, especially the little one.
Digital drawing library
I’m beginning to build up a library of my own digital drawings – fungi, flowers, shells at the moment, oh and one angler fish skeleton that I’ve not used yet (but that’s an idea for later or tomorrow maybe).
I have to decide if I put these images together as packs of ‘digi-stamps’ for sale…I’m really pleased with my shells here, but the fungi have worked out fine too. With my limited scissor skills, I’m keeping it in mind I need to keep the outlines relatively simple, but the inside of the design can be rather detailed, which is fun.
I started these 5″x 6″ cards yesterday and finished them (I think) this morning.
The focal images I drew myself on watercolour card. I used Caran D’Ache Supracolour watercolour pencils and a damp brush to colour them. I was quite happy with the colouring; I do find pencils a lot easier to use than traditional watercolours.
Nex, I cut three of them out around their edges and used a black marker to colour the white edges (and disguise my poor cutting out skills). I had to use a craft knife in a couple of places. The other two I cut out as small panels.
The drawings are a little bare of detail, mabye, but I can go back and add detail once I’ve decided what I’d like to do.
I’m not all that happy about the torn paper behind the focal images; you try things out and learn, maybe. The torn paper is Gelli printed tracing paper made using PaperArtsy Fresco paints. I then ran them through my Sizzix Big Shot in various embossing folders, and on some the embossed images have had some metallic waxes gently brushed over them. I also added some Inktense to the papers to darken the edges and add shadows.
What I am really happy with are the index cards themselves.
I started by covering them with gesso. Then, I used some foliage stamps from IndigoBlu with grey Archival Ink by Ranger to add patterns. I really liked this, as the patterns were softer and already ‘ghostly’ in the background, a much better choice than black Archival.
My next step was to add colour using ink blending sponges and Distress Oxide inks, followed by a spray of Gold perfect pearls mixed with water.
This is where there was an unexpected effect – the wet Distress Oxides were repelled from the Archival ink. I loved the result, as well as the way the colours mixed as they pooled around the stamped patterns.
Here’s a close up where you can see how the Archival Ink has repelled the Distress Oxide inks:
Then, I used Versamark Ink to stamp more foliage on some of the cards, and mini-mandala type patterns on others. I then sprinked WOW Embossing powder (clear holographic) over the ink then melted it with a heat tool. This added an extra layer of interest – a subtle layer as it can only be seen from certain angles.
I framed the cards using black Archival ink and a foam blending tool to give a distressed looking edge.
Then, it was just assembly of the focal points and so on, before sticking the index cards to some really thick card to get them nice and flat; the cards are so thin that they curl a lot when working on them, even with the layer of gesso to seal the card in. Cosmic Shimmer’s Specialist Acrylic Glue worked beautifully for this.
I had intended to make more ACEO cards, but I drew the focal images a tad too big for that format, so thought I’d try out an index card instead. I quite enjoyed working on the slightly larger scale.