Draw With Me | Embrace Beautiful Chaos – Part 2

Please click on the ‘Watch on Youtube’ option. Cheers!

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

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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.

Sneak peek at this week’s coloring template

Over the past few days, I’ve been creating YouTube tutorials on drawing my style of whimsical things – fish, flowers, circles filled with patterns, fungi, and leaves. So, I thought I’d use some of these for this week’s template. And for some reason, I wanted to add a fishy totem pole, or three maybe.

Whimsical things do make me smile. And with whimsical, imaginative kinds of line art, it gives permission to use any colours that seem fun. I add colour digitally, and the colours are often vibrant and cheerful when I add them to such cute drawings.

Of course, the drawing has to be completed, but you can watch me draw this section by clicking on this link. Maybe even draw along or create your own version!

As far as I am concerned, there’s never enough whimsy in life. This kind of art lets me escape into a cute world of my own making and, at the same time, take a break from the sad, bad, heartbreaking news that can flood in from all directions. Art is something I do have some control over and, for a while, I can imagine that I’m journeying in a world that has none of our earthly problems.

Draw with me… “Siros”, a Zentangle pattern by Simone Menzel CZT

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Siros is a lovely, stylised flower Zentangle style tangle pattern. It was deconstructed by Simone Menzel CZT.

It’s a totally new pattern to me, so in this video I share how to draw it, along with some of my explorations of the pattern.

Cheery colours for a grey and damp day.

This week’s coloring page/template for the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group.

I used variations of the Zentangle tangle patterns Ginili, Gingo and Fragment D5, plus the little seeds/stones.

Not only did I use a limited number of patterns, but I’ve also used a limited colour palette too. That’s what I seem to do best with when it comes to colour.

As it’s grey and damp and a bit miserable out in the world here in the Valleys of South Wales, UK, warm, bright colours are very much needed. They serve as a reminder that spring is almost upon us!

Sneak Peek of this week’s Coloring Page

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

This week’s colouring page (or template) is drawn and I’ve added a little colour to it. I decided to feature some of the tangle patterns I’ve been exploring in the last couple of days. These are Ginili, Gingo and Fragment D3.

It’s really unusual of me to stick to a fairly limited number of patterns/motifs in my drawings. It was a really good experience!

I was so tempted to use the space between the stems of the Gingo leaves to add various blues, making it a bit like stained glass. I didn’t this time. Maybe for tomorrow. I’m not too keen on my colour choices today. Perhaps I really do need to get to grips with the idea that a limited colour palette is best for me and to stick to it!

That’s if I can drag myself away from the hand lettering course and practice that I’m so enthused about. I quickly show the pages completed so far in my lettering sketchbook in today’s video.