I decided to add colour to this artwork using Derwent Chromaflow pencils and Gamsol with tortillons/paperstumps.
I loved the colour as it was, but the design looked rather flat; there was little sense of ‘volume’. So, I hope to bring that out.
So little of the coloured pencil is needed when it is blended out with Gamsol, and it is translucent enough that the underlying waterdrop texture is still visible.
Although I mostly used pink, purple and blue to create the background, I thought that teal would make a good addition. That was a good decision, in my humble opinion!
White dots and lines from a Uniball Hybrid Gel DX pen add highlights that show up much better on the more intense colours. Spots and lines of gold will also add some interest, but I need to be conscious of not overdoing it!
I was really nervous about using Gamsol with linework drawn with Dokumentus ink. I had no real need to be; the Gamsol didn’t affect the ink. I let out a huge ‘Phew!’ at that!. My TWISBI Eco fountain pen with Dokumentus ink and an extra fine nib worked beautifully on areas where coloured pencil and Gamsol had been added.
I have a lot of work to do until this design is complete. I am, however, in no rush to do that. I can work on it a bit at a time. I am likely to post updates from time to time though!
If you’d like to see how I added colour with pencils and Gamsol, then a YouTube video will be available to view from 16:00 UK time on Friday 2 June 2023.
I started by creating a colourful background. I think Neurographic art usually starts with the ink lines. But Bettina used the shapes and lines created in the random colour background to draw the basic structure of the design from.
Instead of using watercolours, I used Distress Inks in various shades of pink, purple, blue and blue-greens. Splashes and a light spritz of water created interesting watermarks and I preserved the dark edges of these areas by drying them with a heat tool.
Then the real fun began. I started by drawing a kind of oval-ish shape around an area at the top left. All I did next was look for shapes and borders between colours to help me draw more lines and shapes. I made sure I ’rounded the corners’ with ink as I went, though there are, no doubt, some areas where lines connect what I’ve missed.
I wasn’t only fun, it was fascinating. I tried not to think too much, to just let the lines flow and go where they needed to in a shape that seemed ‘right’.
Once I’d got the main structure completed, which took just over an hour, I started to add texture and pattern and some white highlights. There’s a lot more to do. I may even use coloured pencils to add shade to the design. And I just have to use gold ink or paint to add some luxury and shimmer and shine to the finished design!
What do I think of it? It’s fun. It’s a personal expression. I love it’s abstract nature for sure. I think I’ll be doing more of this in the future. Indeed, I plan to work on another this afternoon (it’s 14.40 here in the UK!)
I also want to try making background with other media – watercolours, Inktense and Neocolour II come to mind! And more Distress Ink backgrounds for sure! I’m also thinking that creating these backgrounds may be a way to get me to experiment more with digital painting and textures.
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!
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!
The design was drawn with a medium nib TWISBI Eco fountain pen filled with Documentus Ink on an A4 sheet of Canson Imagine mixed media paper.
I’ve added colour digitally, so making this tradigital art! Why digital colouring? Well, partly because I can, but also I can try different colours out.
Adding colour was interesting it seems. I started thinking I’d use softer, more muted, less saturated colours. But that soon changed, without any conscious decision, to richer and glowing jewel-like or metallic colours.
As I tend to work very intuitively, whether drawing or adding colour, what appears in my creation is an expression of my unconscious, inner self. I’m sure there’s a message of some kind here for me about me!
I easily forget how much I enjoy drawing ‘small art’. A small piece of paper is less overwhelming, and the creativity is no less soothing to heart, soul and mind.
Drawing with pen on paper is never overwhelming. It is a contented, peaceful, delighted experience for me, especially when I work intuitively. The flowy, abstract patterns, with various patterns and textures are always a joy to draw and work with. Starting with just one shape and allowing the design to form, not knowing what will appear from the nib of my pen, is a think of wonder, surprise and magic.
I lose myself in the intricacy of the drawing. then, there’s the addition of colour and contrast to bring the drawing to life. What was flat now appears to have volume to it. The colours may evoke emotions or memories. There is a story to be told in the drawing, but not one that is obvious as an illustration would make it. This is an inner story, an inner expression of my creativity, emotions, thoughts, and what shapes, lines, patterns, textures and items that make me smile.
If my art makes you smile, or brings you joy, peace and/or calm, then it’s done it’s job. There is enough in this world to make us think, to make us feel uncomfortable. We’re assaulted by such things constantly through the media. Time and space to have a break from all of that, to remind us that there is still wonder and beauty, kindness and compassion and creativity in this world is important. It’s also important to remind ourselves that us humans have a great capacity to create these important qualities that heal and soothe and connect us, help us to feel we belong as a member of humanity.
I’m not sure I got all the words I could say out there. Hopefully you’ll understand what I’m trying to get across.
I think what I’m trying to say is that I hope my art reminds you that beauty and wonder, times of peace and contentment, joy and belonging are essential to each of us. That’s still not right. Perhaps once day I’ll manage to express these feelings succinctly in words.
Adding colour, however, is a another tale. I get overwhelmed by the process at times. I doubt my choice of colours, and soon regret what I’ve decided to do. I always try to remember to scan my drawing in before I start to apply colour with traditional media; if I mess up at least I have a clean copy I can add colour to digitally.
Also, there are many times where I just get fed up of the process of adding colour and give up before completion. I can find it a very tedious process. Yet, when I complete the process and it all comes together I’m often really surprised and pleased with the end result. The frustration comes in because it takes so much longer to add colour than it does to draw a design!
Having said that, there have been a couple of pieces of artwork I’ve done recently where I’ve partly coloured them and I really like the effect, especially one where I’ve added shade first. That is something for me to consider going forward for sure.
There is a ‘Draw With Me’ video on my YouTube Channel, available to view from 1900 UK time this evening (19 May ’23).
Here’s a list of the materials I used in the video.
Canson Imagine mixed media paper – 6.3cm x 21cm (2.5″ x 8.25″)
TWISBI Eco fountain pen, extra fine nib
Faber-Castell Pitt Graphite Matt pencil, 4B and a paper stump (tortillon)
Derwent Inktense Pencils – Madder Brown, Red Oxide, Sienna Gold, Willow, Mustard, Shiraz, Poppy Red, Leaf Green and Fern.
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.
Over the past two or three weeks, I’ve been gradually decorating my A3 drawing board. The board is made from compressed wood chips and has a dull, pale brown colour. That means I chose colours that would work well on this brown.
I drew the black lines with a Tombow Fudenosuke brush pen, which is now almost empty of ink! The brush tip is a tad worn but functioning well all the same.
I added colour with Arteza EverBlend marker pens. The white highlights were added with a white Posca pen.
There are only two things left for me to do. Firstly, use a spray varnish on this side to protect the drawing. The second is to decorate the other side too!
It has taken me many hours of work, some of them when I wake in the middle of the night with my mind whirring. Eventually, my mind calms down, and I can get back to sleep. Lying in bed, tossing and turning, is useless to me. I much prefer to do some intuitive art like this. Something I don’t need to think about, just let it happen, and that in itself quietens my mind down.
It’s been a funny old day. A load of deliveries were scheduled today. I’d woken way too early, and by the time I’d drifted back to sleep, well it was time to get up ready for the Abel & Cole delivery, which didn’t arrive until after 11am. If only I’d known, I could’ve had a couple hours more sleep! Ho-hum.
Still, I pottered around with different colours on yesterday’s ‘Give Peace A Chance’ drawing, as well as adding colours to some other drawings.
Finally, all my deliveries had arrived, the last one being my order from CultPens, which included a pair of D&S A5 landscape Hahnemuhle sketchbooks. So I just had to try one out.
The paper is quite thick, has some tooth to it, but not too much. You can very, very faintly see the pen drawing through the paper, but that’s not a problem at all. And adding some tinted charcoal to the drawing was a pleasure as it was gently eased into the paper fibres by the careful use of a paper stump.
I’ve tried some Graphitint pencils and a damp brush to see if that would be ok on the paper. So far so good!
This drawing is a work in progress. I started it yesterday and filmed it’s continuation this morning, and I’m enjoying the process very much.
It’s another blessedly cool day here. The skies are, again, grey. I find the coolness and freshness of the air invigorating.
I did get out for a walk yesterday and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was a delight to listen to the sussuration of leaves in the strong breeze. The remaining dampness brought out colours that seemed so bright against the grey skies. The wind caused tree trunks and branches to creak and groan. It was an absolute pleasure to be moving my recently indolent body surrounded by all these wonders.
Smiles, both on my lips and in my heart and soul, accompanied this feeling of awe and wonder. With my first steps from my car, I felt my whole body exhaling and relaxing, continuing the process started with the breaking of the heatwave.
Even now, as I write about my walk, I find those smiles returning and a sense of relaxation returning.
Caution in walking was my focus, however. I wasn’t sure if my foot had recovered from my last tumble. I was aware that on certain paths I needed to watch where I was putting my feet. But soon, I was on more even paths and roads and could look around, and even take a few photos of interesting textures, patterns and colour combinations.
Haunting the local cemetery again was a pleasure. You’d think I’d be bored with the place after all the times I’ve walked there in the past year. I’m not. Each walk is different. The presence of place is determined by the weather, time of day, season, my mood, my wellness, and the route I choose to take around the necropolis.
Pleasure may seem a strange word to describe visiting a cemetery. Yet that is how I feel each time I visit. It’s a peaceful place, full of interest both from artistic and social commentary/history points of view. Each time there, I notice new and different things. It’s also one of the few places I feel safe when alone. There are no crowds of people. It’s quiet and calm, meditative and reflective, and familiar.
I’m eager to go for a walk again today. It will be later this afternoon, as long as the rain holds off.