A motley miscellany of mushrooms.

Link to today’s time-lapse video

Before it gets too hot in my studio area, I decided to finish off the mushroom watercolour I’d been working on.

I have really enjoyed working with the Ecoline watercolour ink from the brush pens. The more I work with it, the more I work out the techniques I like to use to apply colour.

I’m fairly happy with this artwork. I’m not so sure about the dotty embellishments added using Sakura Soufflé gel pens. I did use some white, but I thought I’d try different colours too.

This is all a learning experience for sure.

I woke with a stinking headache this morning. It’s still not lifted. So, today’s video is a timelapse of how I added colour and embellishment to this motley mushroom miscellany!

More Mushrooms! Watercolour explorations

Link to today’s vlog

Ecoline watercolour inks, insects and mushrooms

As you can see, I finished the insect painting. I’m really quite happy with this artwork, even more so as it’s the first one done entirely with a new medium to me – Ecoline watercolour inks.

Of course there’s a lot more exploring and working with them to come, including a rather cute bunch of mushrooms!

I started drawing the mushrooms with a grey unipin pen. Then, I had a flash of inspiration; try using watersoluble fineliner pens instead and see if the line will disappear even more!

So, I dug out a fairly pale Chameleon fineliner pen (NU4), which was darker than I thought it would be. All the same, it would suit my purposes for this experiment.

The pen didn’t react with water/ink as easily as I thought it would. Perhaps that’s because I’m working on watercolour paper…maybe. Or perhaps because I’m using a fairly dry brush with the watercolours. If there’s too much wetness, the colour migrates to the edge of the wet area and the centre becomes pale to colourless.

No problem now I have recognised this. I just use a paler fineliner in future explorations.

I am still really enjoying the Ecoline watercolour inks. I know I said I thought I’d found my water-medium of choice with the Mijello Mission Gold watercolours. The Mijello’s are great, the best watercolour paints I’ve used so far. But, the Ecoline inks just seem to work so much better for me and my style of art.

Am I going to abandon the Mijellos? Nope! But for a while they’ll be put to one side as I work with Ecoline inks. It may be that I work out how I can best work with the Mijellos as a result of using Ecoline inks. Perhaps I’ll end up using them in concert from time to time. I don’t know for sure!

Of course, I won’t be abandoning digital art/coloring. Ideas, techniques, inspirations flow from one medium to another.

Sketchbook Experiments and Arty Vlog

Saturday is becoming sketchbook Saturday with a vlog on YouTube!

As well as showing the most recent page(s) in my sketchbook and talking about the media/techniques/inspiration, I spend some time working on the current, higgledy-piggledy page.

I’ve become intrigued with using the humble biro / ballpoint pen in art, especially as they are waterproof. There’s some amazing portraits and other work out there by seriously talented artists.

However, I’m working out how they may work for me, especially in my sketchbook when out and about (when that finally happens!).

As well as talking about the various techniques and inspiration for the art on this page, I also talk about how I want to include more writing in my sketchbooks. I’m intrigued with using creative writing record my experiences, feelings, thoughts and the presence of place alongside any sketches done when visiting somewhere.

I’m also thinking that if I take photographs of what interests me, then sketches and further work could be done later. This is going to be important when I’m not by myself and don’t have the luxury of spending as much time as I’d like.

I’d like to create a story that is in words and pictures, recording my whole experience. Perhaps, I may want to share this with others, so that they can get a glimpse into my mind and emotions.

I’m not too bothered about creating a work of fiction, but to capture all those abstract feelings and observations and communicate them with others…

Actually, it would be about sharing them with myself by becoming more aware of them and giving an outlet for those abstract thoughts and impressions I rarely verbalise as I’m unaware of them unless I’m asked to verbalise them.

Something else I’d like to do is to revisit typographic art with all of this in mind. Finding a way to incorporate words and imagery that expresses who I am, rather than taking quotes from other people.

I do love words, always have. During this past year, I’ve had so few opportunities to speak out loud, that I’m finding it hard to dredge up the right word at times. Previously this was so easy for me. So, it would be good to give my vocabulary a good work out as well as add new words to it!

It’s going to be a work in progress for sure. I doubt I can do this, or that it will be interesting to others, or that it will be any good at all. However, if I don’t take the first tentative steps on this strand of my life’s tapestry, then I may never discover if it is something I can do, nor will I discover where it will lead me.

All that it will take are basic supplies, and to create a new ‘habit’ of writing throughout the day, whether I’m at home, or elsewhere, and drawing things that are of interest/importance to me at the time.

A bit of a challenge, but do-able I think.

Mushrooms and Insects!

Today’s Vlog (approx 33 mins long)

Watercolour Mushrooms!

I finished the mushroom painting! I was so engrossed in the magic of watercolour and wanting to complete this work that I spent most of yesterday working on it!

I’m really quite happy with the outcome. It was very much inspired by Danielle Donaldson, but I think I may have given it some little twists of my own too.

I’m also beginning to think that I can make watercolour work for me, with a mix of ‘tight’ shapes, the magic textures achieved by wet into wet, and details with gel pens and drawing pencil.

I added the dots with a mixture of white Posca, Uniball Signo and Sakura Gelly Roll pens. I also tried adding dots of gold from a metallic Gelly Roll pen. I like the metallic dots, though they don’t photograph well.

There’s only one thing better than mushrooms, and that’s more mushrooms!

I enjoyed this so much that I thought I’d do a smaller version on some of the Canson Imagine mixed media paper. That’s the work on the top left. I used Zig Clean Colour brush pens and Caran D’Ache Supracolour watercolour pencils on this one to see how they could work. I’m happy with some of the effects I achieved, but in other ways I’m not at all happy.

Surprisingly, I rather like the softer colours of the Supracolour pencils on the mushrooms at the top. I found I could get a ‘painterly’ effect with them too.

The dye inks in the Zig brush pens will reactivate with the slightest touch of water, which meant I had some interesting colour bleeds.

I think what I like most about this experiment were the different colours, particularly those peachy pink colours! I have a lot to learn about colour mixing of my watercolour set for sure!

Insects!

Well, I thought I’d have a little play around with some cute insects, the start of which is at the bottom left.

I used a 0.3mm pencil to draw the design on Canson Imagine paper and then set to adding colour with Mijello Mission Gold watercolours. I’d forgotten that I wasn’t fussed about using them on the Imagine paper. However, I carried on working with them and worked with how they interacted with the paper. I definitely wasn’t working in the prescribed way of watercolour work. But, I ended up with some effects I rather like.

Small Art

I often revert to working on a small scale. It’s something I’ve done throughout my art journey. I’ve never really been happy with working on a huge scale, except when working with pastels and charcoal.

Even when I create A4 art, which is the biggest I do in traditional media nowadays, my artwork is full of tiny details – the size of those details varies depending on whether it is personal art or art for a colouring book.

I get a lot of pleasure from creating small, precious works of art. If I were to frame them, I’d be tempted to put the tiny art in the centre of a huge frame to give that feeling of preciousness. But that would be very pretentious of me, wouldn’t it?

Mushrooms! A Watercolour WIP

Two versions of a video of this artwork are available:
Full, 45 minute video with chat
Speeded up 10 minute version with music

This morning, I continued with a watercolour painting of mushrooms. This is very much a work in progress. It is inspired by an illustration in a book by Danielle Donaldson called ” The Art of Creative Watercolour: Inspiration and Techniques for Imaginative Drawing and Painting.”

As I am continuing to explore watercolour, I am dipping into books in my stash to absorb more ideas and information and try various exercises out.

In this video, I talk about how I think there are no right or wrong ways of being creative, as what is ‘right’ for one person may not be the way for another. We’re all unique people, creatives, and how we express ourselves, the techniques , media and styles is a very personal kind of expression. We can all learn valuable lessons by watching other artists work, taking courses, reading books, doing exercises. The most important lessons learned are those that show us who we are by helping us work out who we are not.

And this will change throughout our lives as we experience new things that change us too. And that is no bad thing at all. It’s all part of the rich tapestry of our lives.

I think that as long as your joy and passion and personality shows through in your art, then that is the most important thing of all. It makes your art uniquely yours, and that is, as far as I’m concerned, a wonderful thing. It may not be my thing, or to my taste, but then my art isn’t to everybody’s tastes either.

And, that is all fine and well and good. It doesn’t mean one is bad the other
good. It just means we are different, and that is what makes life so wonderful. It would be so boring if we were all clones of each other, wouldn’t it?

This chatter was inspired by a video I watched this morning by The Art of Watercolour, and you can see it here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LFMlh3EP1MA

I also chat about how I’m trying to work out how watercolour works best for me. The biggest challenge is that I partly have to learn to accept that wet watercolour has a mind of its own when you add more colour to it. It’s not easy for me to be out of control of the effects achieved, so I really think it’s a good thing for me to explore and learn to work with.

Template Thursday

A spring-themed template this week, and a challenge, over on the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group.

The challenge is a month long and I’ve asked the members to hold off posting their completed templates until 31st March so they can all be posted together. I thought it would be fun to do that way.

Anyway, the challenge is to use a limited colour palette plus black and white to colour this week’s template, or any other flowery template for the 31st March. I’ve chosen some springtime colours. It’s going to be interesting to see how different people use the colours to complete this challenge.

Entanglement – 19 Feb ’21

Yesterday’s coloring template for the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group all coloured and shaded. I used Chameleon alcohol markers to add the colour and some shading. I also used a graphite pencil and a tortillon to darken the shading and add shadow to the lighter areas. It’s turned out OK.

Template Thursday

This week, I decided to create a coloring page / template that is in the ‘Angela’ Entangled style, similar to yesterday’s artwork.

I made the motifs bigger and less patterned for the coloring template, however. To add colour to my version of the template I used a mixture of brown fineliners by Staedtler and Stabilo. Instead of solid colour, I used patterns and textures to add colour and complexity. I did use a pale grey fineliner to add details to the snowdrops and leaves, but the scanner didn’t pick it up. Ho hum.

After I’ve had lunch, I may return to the drawing to add shadows to bring out some dimension and depth. I’m not sure what medium I’ll use, though alcohol makers may be the best option, perhaps. I’ll see how I feel when I get to it.

Of course this is the template of the week for the members of the Angela Porter’s coloring book fans facebook group. And this week there’s a challenge to colour this template, or another of their choice, in a monochrome colour scheme.

If you’d like to print the template and join in with the challenge then just pop along to the group!

Monday Mandala

Eerie and spooky?

A fun, quirky, cute Hallowe’en themed mandala was what was needed on Monday morning.

I started with the skull, without any clue as to what I was going to do with it. Then I thought about adding a mandala around it, and I wanted it in eerie, almost glowing colours.

As I drew the skull without any outlines, I thought I’d do the same for the rest of the mandala. I also kept a pretty simple colour palette – violets, teals and blues.

It’s worked out OK. It certainly is a bit different. The most important thing is that I enjoyed drawing it, and that is most probably the most important thing of all.

Sunshine and mood

Today, there’s some sunshine and that helps to keep my mood up. I did feel a bit better yesterday – sleep and Star Wars really helped! I may have felt better, but settling to art just didn’t happen yesterday.

I’m still so tired. I think it’s all to do with some anxiety at this time. There’s nothing specific for it, just general anxiety. I think it was triggered by my boiler breakdown and then the engineer fixing it, and the increasing cases of Covid combined with a national lockdown in Wales.

I’m not sure I can drive less than a mile to the cemetery I like to walk around. I feel safe there in a way I don’t walking around the streets and town I live in at this time.

Of course, worrying about whether I’ll be breaking the rules to take a walk adds to my anxiety.

What a pickle!

It may be that I baulk and just stay home, and check the rules carefully before I do venture forth for a walk.

Pumpkin knitting

Knitting pumpkins while watching Star Wars. Guaranteed to reduce my anxiety. And knitting, unlike crochet, is something I can do without having to look at my fingers.

Also, I’ve found it really relaxing and the feel of the knitted fabric in my fingers is soothing and pleasurable. As I’ve been kintting in stocking stitch, it’s a very smooth fabric. Crochet tends to have more texture to it. I think I’ll be doing more knitting and less crochet for a while.