Draw With Me – A pattern and motif sampler.

Link to today’s video on YouTube.

This seems to be the natural progression of my work earlier this week where I put motifs in boxes and added background colour only.

When looking at Rebecca Blair’s artwork, which I absolutely love, I got inspired to create the first ‘sampler’ on the left. I say sampler because splitting space up in this way reminds me of needlework samplers created to practice different stitches.

This is a lovely way for me to indulge my love of hand-lettering, patterns, stylised motifs, colour, shadow, texture and boxes split into boxes!

Colour continues to vex me. I think my favourite is the centre example in a monochrome colour scheme. No chance of any weird colour combinations with that one!

I keep saying this about me and colour, don’t I? But I really need a huge sign that lights up and flashes to remind me to stick to monochrome colours, possibly analogous, and with tiny flashes of a complementary colour. Actually, I need the sign to detect when I reach for colour and shout this advice at me!

Of course, I wanted to share my experiments with the world; well, a few hundred people may be, who may find this an interesting idea to try. If you’d like to see the video then click on this link!

It’s been a quiet day for me. My digestive system is playing up, and self-care is the order of the day. That means not doing anything that has to be the best I can do. I know today that it’ll be harder for me to get things done because I’m under the weather. Fingers crossed, I’ll be fine and dandy again tomorrow.

Draw With Me… Hand-lettering and Zentangle Inspired Patterns

I had a request from one of my subscribers on YouTube asking how I create this kind of art. Well, a nice request has to be met with a response, in this case, a YouTube video.

I’d tried out this way of working a week or so ago. I’m trying out different ways of combining hand-lettering with my kind of entangled kind of abstract art. In fact, I’m trying to work out my hand-lettering artistic voice. It’s very much a work in progress.

I’m really rather pleasantly surprised with this page. It’s not finished but is a melange of different ideas and pen types. There are a lot of ideas to take away from this and a lot to think upon.

I particularly like how I eventually worked out I could have patterns weaving in and out of the letters, again messing around with volume/dimension/space. I’ve yet to work out how this could work, but I’ve made a start.

My fingers are itching to get to work on something similar to this. I am, however, feeling totally exhausted. I didn’t sleep well last night, and my eyes are constantly on the point of closing as I fall I asleep where I sit.

I have a delivery due soon, I hope. And after that, I’m going to crash and have a nap. Then, I’ll see what happens this evening, as far as art goes!

Looks like yesterday and today are my ‘weekend’ this week. I do know, from past experience, that if I try to do some serious work while falling asleep, I’ll just mess up and have to repeat it again. So, time for self-care for sure.

Draw With Me – A background for a slow stitched panel

Please click on the “Watch on YouTube” button. Cheers!

After a very broken night’s sleep, I woke with a headache, again. So, first breakfast was some painkillers. Second breakfast was kiwi fruit, banana and scones! Yup, I’m the best part of six feet tall and like a hobbit!

Anyways, while I was waiting for the painkillers to kick in even just a tad, I did a little bit of slow stitching. I found a small piece of black felt that had some blue, turquoise and green fibres needle felted on its surface. So, it got attached to a larger piece of a rather bright green felt with some slow stitching.

I then thought I’d rather like to see if I could create a tangled background to place the textile panel on, when it’s finished.

I happened to have this piece of paper I’d coloured with Neocolour II water-soluble wax pastels lying around and it seems to harmonise quite nicely with the felt panel.

I wanted to take inspiration from the shapes and/or patterns in the textile panel to create the background. And that’s exactly what I did in today’s video.

The background isn’t finished as I want to complete the slow stitched panel first. But I’m fairly pleased with it so far. I do intend to add metallic/iridescent gold, blue, green to the background to tie it in with the panel.

I have no idea whether this will work out. I often ask myself, “Angela, what on earth were you thinking?” when I get part-way through a project. And I’m at that point now. Still, I shall persevere and see how it works out at the end. If I learn nothing else, combining slow stitching and pen drawing may not be the best idea, or perhaps it will be an interesting idea that needs a bit more thought.

For now, I’m going to put this to one side and continue working on some hand lettering and slow stitching.

Draw With Me – Whimsical Houses #4

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My page of whimsical houses is now done. Well, the drawing is at least! I think I’d be happy to live in any one of them, except perhaps the one that has a loooooooong ladder to climb up to. Need to have that changed to an elevator!

It’s always a happy and joyful time to draw houses of whimsy. In fact anything whimsical. It always makes me smile.

I’ve started adding colour to this drawing with Inktense pencils and a damp brush. I have a plan as to how I’m going to add colour – I talk about that in my video. All I have to do is remember what that plan is! Having said that, this is a sketchbook drawing so whether it gets finished or not is another matter. Colouring is not my favourite thing to do, nor an activity I feel I do well. Still, leave a comment if you’d like to see it finished!

In the video, I show, step by step how to draw the last couple of houses. Draw along with me! Follow my steps or change, adapt, or invent as you fancy. I’d love to see what you come up with, so tag me on social media.

Draw With Me | Embrace Beautiful Chaos – Part 2

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I spent some lovely time adding a bit more to this drawing. In the video, I share how, step by step, I draw some of the motifs so you can use them too!

Peace, calm, and just creating for the contentment it brings me.

Neocolor II and a Zentangle Tile

Please click on the ‘Watch on YouTube’ option.

Yesterday, I recieved my tin of 40 Caran d’Ache Neocolour II watercolour wax pastels. I finally gave in to a long-held urge to try them. I kept telling myself, “I don’t need them. I have watercolours, distress inks, water-soluble pencils, distress oxide inks, and more”.

However, a couple of suggestions of videos about the Necolor IIs popped up on my YouTube feed. I looked, and thought that these could be perfect for backgrounds for my hand lettering, or drawings, or even for using like watercolours.

The colours stay nearly the same vibrancy when dry, even the rather watered versions. They can be opaque to fairly transluscent, though not transparent. This is great for layering as the translucency still lets the lower layers show through us much or as little as you want.

Although they can always react with wither, drying with a craft heat tool seems to help set them a bit; perhaps by melting the ‘wax’ into the paper. And of course, not working too hard with a brush helps with preserving the layers.

Brush? Did I say brush? I find that adds way too much water for my liking. So, I used a piece of cut ‘n’ dry foam, black side down, to add small amounts of water and blend gently.

I have had a lot of fun playing with them for sure. In this video I make the pinky background seen behind the Zentangle tile. I already have a use for that background!

I used one of my first experiments with Necolour IIs from yesterday to turn into a Zentangle tile (3.5″x3.5″ or approx 9cm x9cm) and to draw this monotangle on it. Instead of using a graphite pencil or chalk pastel or any other medium to add shadow I used varying line thicknesses and pattern to do this. I really didn’t want to take away the vibrancy of the colour, even in the shadows.

Of course there was another reason why I wanted to draw on a Neocolour II background – to see what it was like to draw on the surface with fineliner pens.

It was actually lovely! The Necolour IIs add a slight slickness to the paper that is just noticeable. That made it a bit nicer drawing on the fairly textured mixed media paper for the tile. The points of my pen didn’t catch as much on the texture, though I still got some wobbly lines thanks to the more bumpy bits!

All I need to do now is to remember to scan the background in before I work on it. That way, I will always have a background I love available for use in digital art or, perhaps, for printing out.

Draw With Me | Stylised, whimsical, imaginative seashell No.3

Click on this link to view the YouTube tutorial video.

Day 3, shell 3. This time a little more complicated, or so it seems. I took some imaginative liberties with this one, and that’s fine! I’m not trying to accurately draw these shells, just get the essences that make the shell identifiable. Then, I want to add my own ideas of patterns and colours and alter things a tad.

Making those imaginative changes was an enjoyable thing to do. I hadn’t realised how much I do this in my art generally. Sometimes, it takes a while for me to have that kind of insight – this one took about 20 years!

I’m also really chuffed that my YouTube channel has hit 750 subscribers! I was amazed and humbled when I achieved one subscriber. 750 is beyond what I imagined. I’m both amazed and humbled by this. So a huge thank you to all who have subscribed.

Lettering sketchbook pages

I’m thoroughly enjoying exploring hand lettering that’s for sure. I’m still trying to find my way for how best to express myself using words and letters, or perhaps the best ways would be a better description!

I’ve absolutely loved creating these two pages. The top one was done first and is OK. I think colour may improve it somewhat.

I much prefer the bolder lines and higher contrast in the lower drawing. This one isn’t quite finished, and then I’ll have to decide whether I add colour or not.

I really like the imperfections that there are in this way of hand-lettering. Those imperfections make the lettering human and uniquely mine. This is definitely something I want to embrace, whatever directions my lettering journey goes in. And of course, combining lettering with my style of drawing is going to so important to me. I just have to figure out how to make it work for me!

I have a lot more exploration to do, but it’s a fun process and I kinda know I’ll get there!

Draw With Me | Part 4 of a sketchbook page full of oyster shells

Click on this link to watch today’s video on YouTube.

In part 4 of this video series, I draw a couple of oyster shells, one of which I add colour, shadow, highlight and pattern to. The other I’ve left until my next video.

I really enjoyed drawing these oyster shells. The one I’ve completed has used a kind of variation of the Diva Dance tangle pattern to construct it.

I’m really quite happy with how this one has turned out. I actually think I’ve done a fairly good job on adding colour – so unusual for me! Alcohol markers really do seem to be working well for me. Something to seriously consider going forward, that’s for sure.

I like how the areas of dense black add a lot of contrast. But I like how I’ve added white dots to soften the harshness of them and make them feel they belong in the pattern.

As I was wittering and musing during filming, I realised how much I enjoy creating line art. I enjoy the elegance of simplicity, focusing on the key elements that make the drawing instantly recognisable. This hearkens back to my time studying science and then the 28 years I spent as a science teacher. In science, observational drawings have to focus on the essence of what you see, making sure you get the essential identifying features correct. I was always a bit of a maverick going a little further than the bare essentials and even adding some colour! I got a tad chastised for that, but it didn’t stop me.

Now, this love of focusing on the essentials, the basic line art, shows in my artwork so much. In fact, it’s essential for me to do this otherwise I try to incorporate everything I can see into the drawing. Then, the drawing ends up so detailed it’s not really recognisable!

There seems to be a lot of sudden realisations and connections being made with my relationship to art and my particular style lately. Signs, I hope, that I’m finally settling into what is ‘me’ and recognising where my artistic roots lie and what I really enjoy doing.

Speaking my thoughts and reasoning out loud for the videos brings this process into awareness. I’ve often written about how I don’t think in words, but in feelings or abstractions. I have to be forced to put them into words by being given the opportunities to speak them out loud to people, or sometimes to write them in journals or blogs.

I hope that by sharing these thoughts and processes with others it will help them to find ways to discover and become comfortable with their own artistic style, as well as gaining some confidence in expressing themselves artistically just for the pleasure of creating art.

The other thing that working with the bare essentials line art style is that there are plenty of spaces for me to get creative with pattern and texture! I’ve learned over time how not to become overly ornate. What I like about today’s artwork is how I didn’t try to fill every section in with intense and intricate pattern. Oh, there’s plenty of white highlight dots scattered around, but the tangle pattern style of textures are thoughtfully placed and not too many of them.

This is something I’m still developing – not to overwhelm the drawing with pattern/texture. How much to use, and how much ’empty’ space to leave.

Draw With Me … Tangle Pattern Exploration of ‘Nova# by Beth Gaughan

Click on this link to view the video of the tangle pattern exploration on YouTube.

It’s a funny old day today. I think I’ve overextended myself in exploring/experimenting with art. I just felt I needed a bit of ‘comfort art’ today. It’s like comfort eating, but healthier! Something familiar, not too taxing, soothing to the senses and mind. So, some pattern exploration fitted the bill!

The pattern I chose to look at is Nova by Beth Gaughan. It’s a lovely pattern but not one that I would ordinarily choose. Just challenging enough to make things interesting, but not so challenging that I get more and more disheartened with artwork.

It turns out that Nova was a good choice. There are some interesting variations to be explored for sure.

I hope you’ll come and join me in drawing these variations over on YouTube. This kind of exercise is good for getting the creative juices working, coming up with ideas in my sketchbook, and continuing to work with and understand how to vary tangle patterns. In turn, these things have an effect on my other art.