Dimensions : 8cm x 8.5cm (3¼” x 3¾”) Smooth cartridge paper (acid free) Uniball Unipin pens (05 and 01) Digital editing and colour in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro
I drew this little drawing yesterday, but spent some time this morning scanning, cleaning and adding colour and shading digitally.
I deliberately left some ‘white space’ so I could fill it with colour. This contrasts rather well with the graphic black and white entangled art design. The coloured background adds depth to the image, and the subtle shading by grey and textural lines adds volume to the design elements and layers.
I often think I struggle with colour, unless I use a limited palette. This is a way to make use of colour in a way that adds interest to the design without detracting from the line work.
I have been really enjoying drawing tiny botanicals in little ‘windows’. So, I combined drawing with watercolor practice.
The image on the left involved me using a pencil to draw the boxes and their contents, then watercoloring. For some, I tried painting the image in sections and with layers of colour. I really wasn’t happy with the results. I painted the rest of the boxes with washes of watercolour and then either inked or re-drew the designs in pencil. I felt happier with these.
I used Daler-Rowney Smooth watercolour paper and I’ve been struggling to get the paper to stay wet enough for long enough to mix colours wet in wet. Not even on these tiny little windows. It was becoming very frustrating.
A couple of days ago, I’d ordered a pack of 100% cotton rag paper and it arrived early evening. I used a small piece of it for the illustration on the right.
I started by painting rectangles of colour on the paper. I used a waterbrush rather than a paintbrush for this. I used the same kind of transparency of watercolour for each as I did for the illustration on the left. Oh my gosh, did the colours shine and show up so much more vibrantly! Not only that, it was so easy to mix colours, wet in wet. The cotton rag paper is an absolute joy to work with!
I was beginning to get frustrated with myself and watercolors once again. This has been a common feature of my love-hate affair with them over many years. This paper may change that totally.
This morning, after letting the paper dry, I drew tiny botanicals in each window. I used, as in the image on the left, a 005 Sakura Pigma Micron pen to draw with. I was worried it would struggle with the paper’s rough texture. The lines aren’t as uniform as they’d be on, say, smooth Bristol board. I just went with the rougher nature of the lines and was surprised at how much I enjoyed them. They meant I loosened up my drawing style a little.
I really enjoyed creating these little artworks (the one on the left is approx. 5″ x 5″, the on on the right 4″ x 4.75″). There is something I find really satisfying about creating teeny tiny drawings, in the same way I find drawing intricate designs makes something inside me smile.
What I do want to try later on today is adding some more colour to some of the design elements on both drawings using both watercolours and watercolour pencils or inktense pencils. On second thoughts, I think I’ll do some samples to experiment on, annotate and add to my journal, just in case I don’t like what transpires.
Before I do any of that, I woke with a headache. It’s beginning to shift, but as it lifts it’s leaving me feeling really tired.
I’m a day late posting this Inktober drawing. My plans for yesterday went somewhat awry as I went to help out a friend in need. So, no beating myself up for the tardiness!
The prompts of the day were a snake skull, the Schizophyllum commune fungus and the Floo tangle pattern (from Instagrammers @book_polygamist, @nyan_sun and @havepen_willdraw respectively).
I started with the fungus as I really wasn’t really enthused by snake skulls. The caps and gills of the Schizophyllum c. formed lovely shapes and lines, and so I focused on areas of them to do some small drawings using a Sakura Pigma Sensei 04 pen on dotgrid paper. All I wanted to do was capture the flow of the lines and the interesting shapes and patterns too. I wanted to keep it simple, so no shading or highlights – just pure pattern.
As I was drawing the squares filled with line and pattern I was reminded of how I used to create sketchbooks while doing my AS and A level Art exams around 15 or so years ago. I used to colour the pages or use interesting paper to draw on and collect the patterns and shapes that really interested me. I often focused on small areas of the object of interest and drew the details in squares and rectangles. I added an example of the Floo tangle pattern to a rectangle, just to make sure I’d included that challenge for the day.
So, it was a natural segue for me to add the grungy, vintage paper to the background as I turned Inktober Day 12 into more of a sketchbook page.
I was also reminded of how I used to use charcoal and white pastel or chalk to draw on coloured papers, and I thought I’d do that with the skull, but with my signature black outlines. I drew this digitally, and mimicked the process of laying down charcoal and chalk and blending the colours. I think I’ve managed to do that quite successfully digitally, though, yet again, I could have done with a bit more contrast in places.
So, rather than an illustration that combines all three prompts for the day, I’ve ended up with an interesting melange of images.
If I were to spend more time on this page, I’d add some highlights/shadows and maybe colour to some of the drawings of fungi. I’d also overlay some dot grid paper to the background. I’d also add some hand-lettered information and commentary on the drawings.
However, if I did that it would eat into my time to take on Day 13 of Inktober today, as well as get some work done for commissions/contracts.
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.
The last few days have seen me working in my sketchbook, and I may post some pictures from that later on.
I’ve spent some time the last day or three revisiting mandala drawing in my own inimitable way – definitely not symmetrical, with lots of flowing lines and intricate line patterns filling in the spaces, though not all.
I prepared the coloured backgrounds first, using Distress Oxide inks along with a light spray of either copper or pearl mica sprays. The spray adds a gentle sparkle to the background, which hasn’t been picked up in the scan.
I used various pens – UniPins, Sakura’s Pigma Sensei, and Pilot Hi-Tec pens with nibs as fine as 0.25mm!
It’s been a long while since I indulged myself in these kind of mandalas. I know that I really enjoy drawing on coloured paper.
It’s been a while since my last blog post. The reasons for this are many but include focusing on the art projects “Color Me Calm” and “Color Me Happy“, a return to work after a very extended period of illness, and now working on a book project called “Entangled” for Dover Publications.
It’s been a busy but exciting time with these projects, and I’m sure there’ll be more in the pipeline for me. I’m hoping that this will result in me posting to this blog more often, with updates and sneak previews from time to time of the projects I’m involved in.