Sketchbook Saturday | 25 Sept 2021

As autumn has arrived, at least astronomically, As we’ve passed the astronomical point of season’s change, from summer to autumn here in the northern hemisphere, I continue to long for the fiery costume of nature. Warm memories to sustain us as the cold, architectural skeletons of nature are all that remain. A reminder burned in our minds that nature will once again blossom and bloom once the days begin to lengthen once again.

To complete the line art, I used a Tombow Fudenosuke pen. Colour was added with Stabilo Carbothello pencils and a paper tortillon.

Today’s vlog is a sketchbook flip-through showing my week in art.

Link to today’s vlog on YouTube.

Template Thursday!

Thursday comes around quite quickly, and with it comes a new coloring page, or coloring template if you prefer, for the members of the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group to bring to life with colour.

This week is a fabulous fungi fantasia. I really enjoyed drawing this one, and adding colour really brings it to life. I’ve chosen rather bright, almost psychedelic colours, as is often the case! So, I’m intrigued to see how others will use colour magic to bring the drawing to life.

The design was drawn with a Tombow Fudenosuke pen on marker paper. This version is coloured digitally in Clip Studio Paint.

Here’s the link to a timelapse video showing the drawing of this template.

Template Thursday…on a Wednesday?

Here’s the link to a timelapse video of the drawing of this template on YouTube.

It’s Wednesday and that means it’s time for the sneak peek of Thursday’s coloring template for the members of the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group.

I’m still on a mushroom kick, so this template is full of marvellous mushrooms. Indeed, it could be said to be a fantastic, fabulous fungi fest!

I had a lot of fun drawing this template. It took well over two hours to do so, and so I’ve added a timelapse of the process to my YouTube channel.

I’ve added some colour using Arteza Ever Blend markers.

Sketchtember 2021 | Day 21

I’m still on the mushroom kick it seems. Today’s sketches/drawings for Sketchtember feature some mushrooms. One is a typically, perhaps, entangled style of art. The other is much more of a pen and ink drawing, making use of stippling and cross-hatching to add shadow and a sense of volume.

I used a Uniball Eye micro pen to draw on a piece of Distress Ink coloured mixed media paper from Claire Fontaine for the entangled drawing on the left.

For the drawing on the right, I used a Tombow Fudenosuke pen on a piece of Ohuhu marker paper. This paper is surprisingly nice to draw on.

I’ve yet to decide if I’m going to add colour to these drawings. I have scanned them in so that I have a record of them as they are.

Sketchtember 2021 | Day 20

Click on this link to see today’s vlog on YouTube.

Mushrooms. Lots of mushrooms. A sketchbook page full of simple line drawings of mushrooms drawn from memory and/or imagination, some brightly coloured with Ecoline watercolour ink.

This page was a lot of fun to draw. I wasn’t aiming for realism or detail. It was all about drawing simple, stylised, imaginary mushrooms. I planned to add colour to bring volume to the drawings.

As I used imagination to draw these whimsically wonky mushrooms, it was easier to give myself permission to forgo the pressures I put on myself to be realistic in adding colour. I could use whatever colours I wanted to for each mushroom, I could be as stylised as I wished about the colour too.

Adding colour in this way is easy when I add colour to my coloring book pages/templates. As these pages are stylised, I can add colour in a simpler, more fun way. This is especially true for my Doodleworlds style of art.

Transferring that mindset to my drawings from nature, architecture and so on isn’t quite so easy for me. I still hear that critical voice of ‘It’s not good art if it doesn’t look like photograph or like the real thing’ in my head. This is a message that is repeated to us time and time again from our earliest days of starting to draw. It was these critical messages that led to me having a belief that I was no good at art, and those messages were seared deeply into my view of myself.

In fairness to myself, I have overcome some of these critical beliefs foisted upon me by others. However, some linger and rise up from time to time. I suspect their influence is most noticed in my lack of confidence in myself when it comes to colour.

Identifying these ‘inner critics’ is the first step to dispelling them. This is a multi-step process as the inner critic is armed with many weapons to destroy my self-confidence. I’ve disarmed this critic time and time again, but it always seems to find a new weapon. Eventually though, it will run out of weapons to use.

It’s a process, a long winded process, but it’s one that’s worth doing, step by step.

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?