Intuitive Abstract Art

The last couple or so days I’ve been immersed in drawing intuitive, abstract art. I really wanted to bring one to life with colour, but the ones drawn on A4 paper just felt too much to do.

My solution? Cut some paper into smaller pieces and use one of them! So I did. The paper is 14cm x 7cm and is Canson Imagine mixed media paper. To draw the design I used a TWISBI Eco filled with black Dokumentus ink and fitted with an extra fine nib.

I just let the lines flow as they needed to, each one leading to the next, doing whatever felt right.

Then, it was time to add colour and I dug into my Inktense pencils. This time, I layered colours to get the intensity of colour I wanted and added highlights with a white pigment gel pen from Pentel.

Oddly, I didn’t want to add much in the way of patterns or details in the sections. I just thought they were just fine as they are.

I’m left puzzling a little as to why eyes so often appear in my intuitive art. I don’t even realise I’m drawing or have drawn them until the drawing is done!

As it’s intuitive art, it speaks for what is going on within me. The shapes and lines and colours chosen represent my inner wellbeing in terms of my mind and emotions. Or maybe they speak about what I need at this time. Blue for peace, calm, tranquility. Pinks for gentleness, compassion and kindness towards myself. The purple is more to do with the wonders there are in nature and the universe and life. The threads of gold … well … light, warmth, sunshine that supports the vast majority of life on this planet…child-like joy, pleasure, wonder with what I have in my life, the things that are precious, golden, to me.

It’s easy when the traumas of the past rear their heads and do their best to drag me down into a dark abyss of the heart and mind. I think I needed to do this drawing today to help remind me of what there is in me and what I need at this time.

My intuitive, entangled, abstract art is perhaps the most personal kind of art I share with people. It comes from within, from my heart and soul, not my head. And today was the day I fully realised that this is why I create art like this, and almost face palm at how long it’s taken me to realise it! Almost facepalmed…as I also know these insights and realisations come when we’re ready for them.

All the same, I feel kind of exposed when I share this kind of art as you get to see past the mask I wear to try to fit into a world where I feel out of step, awkward, clumsy, weird, different, a square peg in a world that only has round holes for round pegs. I’ve always felt that way and I’m on a journey to discover why that is.

Through this kind of art, I get to express my sense of wonder and emotions that aren’t easy to access. The visual-hoard of patterns and shapes and forms that is stored in my subconscious flows out naturally and easily in ways that are pleasing to me, and I’m really chuffed if you find them pleasing too!

Adding a bit more colour to the bookmark

Accompanying colour with me video on YouTube.

I so love Inktense pencils! However, I noticed that a lot of graphite was picked up by the brush and dissolved Inktense when I was adding colour. I had a sudden flash of insight; try using a grey Faber-Castell Pitt Artist brush pen to put in the shadows. So I did.

The Pitt artist brushes have india ink in them; when the ink dries it is waterproof. If I was working on larger areas, I’d use a damp brush to soften the edge of the shadow before the ink dries. That wasn’t an option for me with this small drawing.

As I added Inktense, I could tell the colour was much more vibrant, but the shadows subtly show through. There was such a difference between the latest sections added and the ones in my previous video/post that I went back and added another layer of colour to these areas. That then matched the vibrancy and clarity of colour across the whole coloured area.

I decided to add some jewel-toned blue. Though I’m not sure that was a good idea at this point, it kind of works as it is kind of a complementary colour to all those yellow-orange-red tones! I also added the blue to the green areas, which seemed to make them more vibrant too.

I always find it easier to add colour to more abstract artworks, using a fairly limited palette too. I have started adding colour to the Entangled Botanic drawing in my previous blog post. I’m really not sure about the colours at all. Fortunately, I scanned the drawing in before setting to it with Inktense pencils and waterbrush. I also know that if some of the colours are a bit garish, I can always tone them down with a layer of another colour. I also think I may add some golden texture/dots to the design too.

Today, I spent a rather lovely couple of hours swatching all my Inktense pencils, including the new set of 24 released this year. There are some beautiful colours in that set and they fill in some holes in the original colour palette. I may very well scan my swatch in and use it to create a colour palette in Clip Studio Paint.

The pot I keep all my Inktense in is a tad small for them all, so I’ve splurged on a case that will hold all of the Inktense and my set of Chromaflow pencils (as long as I weed out the duplicate Inktense pencils). Putting them in order in the case will reduce the frustration of not being able to find the pencil I need in the pot they’re in now!

For now, I think I need some tea!

An intuitive, abstract, entangled piece of small art

Link to the accompanying Draw With Me video on YouTube

I had a lovely couple of hours this afternoon drawing and then adding colour to this small artwork. And small it is; the paper I used is an approx 10cm x 10cm (about 4″ square) piece of Canson Imagine mixed media paper.

I chose this paper as I enjoy drawing on it with a fountain pen. Today’s pen was an extra fine nibbed TWISBI Eco pen filled with black Documentus ink. This particular ink is archival and waterproof. Perfect as I had decided to add colour using Inktense pencils and a waterbrush.

The more muted, earthy tones do suit my present mood. I’m feeling rather tired, flat and disconnected from everything. Perhaps the earthy tones represent a need to spend more time with the physical world rather than in my head, imagination and creativity?

I do know what has caused this mood – too much adulting, people-ing and a couple of other things that I’m not going to share (sorry!). Out of sorts is what I am and have been for a while. I know it’s a temporary thing for me, a readjustment to changes that are ongoing.

The daily dose of anti-depressant/anti-anxiety meds keep me from sliding down into a dark pit of despair and tsunamis of tears. I know they only mask the anxiety I feel when I’m around people, whether one or many. My hands shake, my vision is different as the hypervigilance kicks in. Getting home means time relax and rest and it can take me days to recover from each people-ing.

All I’ve wanted to do for the past couple of weeks (or even few months) is to lose myself in art, audiobooks, music, and interesting tTV.

And, to circle back, my art tends to reflect this in one way or another.

I am learning to embrace the imperfections that appear as I use Inktense pencils and a water brush to add colour. I’m starting to accept that the imperfections create intriguing textures.

Discovering interesting shapes and patterns in my drawings is also fascinating to me. I need to remember to use a ‘viewfinder’ as I did two decades ago when my art journey began. Isolate a section of a drawing to re-draw on a bigger scale and work on developing it as a new work.

Hanging on my walls are three oil paintings I did about twenty years ago. They are abstracts of patterns from the robes of a Romanesque angel sculpture, the cogs from a diesel locomotive and the worm screws from a steam locomotive. I used a view finder to isolate the sections of my photographs/drawings to enlarge and recreate as abstract paintings. The colours I used for each painting reflected my emotional response to the original items and places where I found them.

Each of these oil paintings have a lot of contrast and trick the eye into thinking they are three dimensional. I didn’t realise I’d done that until the art exhibition at the end of my AS course. People kept touching these paintings and I didn’t know why. So, I asked a friend. She said she expected to feel ridges and valleys and was surprised to find they were totally flat and the illusion was purely optical.

Once she’d pointed it out to me, I could see what she meant!

That love of using high contrast to bring out dimension hasn’t left me. I’m not sure I’ve achieved a great level of contrast in this small drawing; there are some areas where shapes appear to curve up or down and where layers are more apparent. I may revisit this little artwork to increase the contrast at some point in the future. Maybe.

More Mushrooms!

I thoroughly enjoyed drawing this design. I’m fairly happy with the colours, but not the extra pen work to add shading/texture. I’m just feeling very tired – peopled out after brunch with my niece and older sister today. Mind you, it was the brunch – I had garlic mushrooms on toast – that inspired the drawing. Well, my love of mushrooms did.

There is a #DrawWithMe video on Youtube you can watch if you want to draw this design along with me.

All the P’s! Pods, poppies and poppy pods!

Click on this link to watch the accompanying Draw With Me video on YouTube.

I really enjoyed creating this small design. And it is a small design. The tag it is on is just 12.5cm x 6.8cm (that’s approx 5″ x 2.75″).

I chose to mix seed pods, poppies, and poppy pods in this drawing. Lots of Ps for my surname! A different way to create a ‘monogram’ – all motifs beginning with P (apart from the leaves … but I think I can be forgiven for that).

My emotions are still all over the place. But I’ll get back to a stable footing, for a while at least. Drawing is always a soothing thing for me, especially when the motifs or patterns I’m drawing are familiar. Familiarity is soothing. Drawing. Star Wars. Various books and audiobooks, and TV series. No change in the story or relationship with me. Not at all difficult to navigate as the world of actual humans. Having said that, each time I watch a film, re-read a book or listen to it once again, or watch a familiar TV series, I gain something new. An insight here and there, a connection, some piece of understanding.

Knowledge. Insight. Understanding. Important things for me.

Whimsical Flowers – Creating Variations

Please click on the “Watch on YouTube” button to view in Youtube. Cheers!

Flowers are things I really enjoy drawing, particularly whimsical and stylised ones. So, today I drew a few for a drawing tutorial YouTube video.

Inktober Tangles 2022 – Day 14 “Slidehat” by Karin Frank

Click on this link to view the accompanying drawing tutorial on YouTube

I had a lovely time drawing many variations of Slidehat by Karin Frank earlier today.

Although not all the ‘hats’ worked out well, they were still fun to explore as possibilities. As this is a sketchbook page, the permission to experiment, explore, and try things out is implicit. A sketchbook is a place to do all these things and more. You can finish a piece of art or not. You can show people or not.

A safe place to be artful, that’s how I think of my sketchbooks more and more. I put too much pressure on myself to always finish a drawing, to have it polished and “imperfectly perfect”. If I don’t finish something, I can beat myself up. But I’m learning that in a sketchbook, I can do all I need to learn, grow, and develop. And sometimes that includes knowing when enough has been done!

It may take me a long while to be able to set aside my perfectionism to fully embrace this, but like everything in life, it is a work in progress!

#Inktober #InktoberTangles2022, Day 9 “Sumu”

Click on this link to watch the accompanying YouTube drawing tutorial for ‘Sumu’.

Suma (to the bottom and left of the drawing) is a lovely, lovely pattern, deconstructed by Lin Chiu CZT. It very much reminds me of Medieval manuscripts and architectural sculpture. So, it was a given that I’d love it, just like Tomàs Padrós’ “Snack” in Day 8 of the Inktober Tangles 2022 challenge.

Although Lin Chiu has given many possible variations, just as Tomàs did for Snack, I kept it simple, repeating the basic form around the bottom and left of the Heartfully ‘rug’. It also had to have that architectural, sculptured, carved ‘feel’ to it. Not sure I’ve quite managed it, but it’ll do!

My design is looking a bit higgledy-piggledy at the moment; I’m just going to trust the process and see how it works out at the end of Inktober.

Seed Pods and Flying Seeds

Click this link to view the accompanying drawing tutorial on YouTube.

I love seed pods, and here is a small selection of my favourite ones, just pen sketches with some light washes of Inktense added to some.

I don’t know what it is about seed pods and flying seeds that I love so much. Maybe it’s their shapes, or the association with autumn, or the architectural and aeronautic nature of these seeds. Or it could just be they appeal to my sense of aesthetics!

Either way, they are fun to draw, adapt and use as focal points in drawings.

Gourgeously Gourdgeous Gourds (pumpkins-ish!)

Click on this link to view the accompanying #DrawWithMe tutorial video on YouTube.

Carrying on with the theme of pumpkins and gourds, today I tackled the Zentangle tangle pattern “Gourdgeous” and drew this cute pile of pumpkin-ish gourds.

Of course, as they are drawn with a Zentangle pattern, it was only right that I filled them with some Zentangle patterns – Purk, Sattuck, Crescent Moon, and B’tweed.

I drew the design on a 6″x3″ piece of grey-green mixed media paper. Tombow Fudenosuke and Zebra flexible nib pens were used to draw the main black sections of the pattern. Then, I added the patterns with 0.1 and 0.4 fineliner pens.

To add shade and light, I used some Inktense pencils – Light Olive, Madder Brown, Iron Green and Iron Blue. Oh, and Antique white for the highlights.

The white dots were added with a Sakura Soufflé pen.

This was a lot of fun to do, especially playing with light and shadow to create volume! There’s some bits I’m not happy with – the tendrils are a bit clumsy looking, some of the highlights could be brighter. But on the whole it’s not too shabby!