Drawing Zentangle Tangle Patterns Spoolies and Swerve and adding contrast/colour.
What to do on a Sunday morning? Arty things of course!
So, yesterday I drew the design to the right and added some colour to it. But it was lacking something. I eventually worked out, at around the same time someone made a suggestion on my YouTube video, that it needed more contrast.
So, I set about doing just that, as well as showing/explaining how I add weight to lines to help increase the contrast and sense of volume. That’s what the greyscale drawing is all about.
For the other one, I used sepia and red oxide Inktense pencils and a damp brush to add more colour and increase contrast. I made some bad decisions in adding cross-hatching to some of the elements of that design. But that meant it was a great piece to work on improving my skills.
I’m often way too timid with contrast, at the start. But as long as I use a medium that allows me to gradually build up layers, I eventually get there.
I’m most probably not the first to discover this, but it is entirely new to me!
Early this morning, I added some alcohol markers to a pen drawing I’d finished. I’d drawn over a Distress Ink background with some old book pages collaged and gessoed onto it.
I know gesso coats a surface with a waterproof and slightly textured finish. I do know this. But that didn’t occur to me as I added alcohol markers to the drawing.
I was absolutely delighted with the interesting variations in the intensity of colour that resulted. Also, the application of alcohol marker also brought out the texture where the gesso was patchy, even a little bit. The paper soaked up so much more colour than the gesso – duh go me for not realising that first, but that’s not the important thing – it’s the effects that result!
It’s not all that easy to see on the image to the left. But, behind the triangular pattern, I used just one soft blue marker, but you can see the variation in intensity! Usually, it would be a very flat kind of colour. The darker areas are where there is no gesso.
This is something I really want to use as I go forward. I love the crazy, random variations in colour and texture that happen. It seems to me a way to bring a little unpredictability to the rather predictable results you get with marker pens.
I say ‘plants’ as they all have seeds inside them. They could, however, be critters of the sea urchin family, albeit a bit on the alien side!
I drew all five designs in today’s Draw With Me video on YouTube. I added colour to the first two on the video. But as YouTube was taking its own sweet time to upload and process the video, I decided to complete the group of designs.
There are a few favourite patterns that I tend use to add texture to my drawings these days – tangle patterns tipple, between, and diva dance. I do make use of other patterns involving lines and dots.
I think I went overboard with the tipple on the middle sea plant! Still, you learn by doing…hopefully eventually in my case!
Oh, I used alcohol markers to add colour and shadow. I chose yellow-green, yellow and yellow-orange colours today. Keeping to a limited colour palette really helps me work with colour in a way that is pleasing to me.
It was really enjoyable to do, as drawing always is.
I followed this up with work on my next colouring book. The style of drawing is different to what I’ve been doing of late, so the first template I’ve inked in and added colour to so I can see what it will look like coloured. Well, I’ve partly coloured it. Colour really does make all the difference. I do love black and white drawings/lettering. But for these stylised, whimsical, imagined kind of drawings, like my colouring templates, the colour is what really does bring them to life.
I felt the need to spend some time adding more pattern and texture to some of these abstract, stylised circular (ish) motifs. First, however, I added some colour to most of them. I used Ecoline Brush Pens which contain Ecoline watercolour ink. The colours are very intense and vibrant and so I use a water brush to add them to my drawings. I listened to Andy Serkis’ reading of Lord of the Rings while colouring before starting to video.
Water-based media do vex me somewhat. However, I’m beginning to see how the textures that can be achieved with them make interesting backgrounds behind the patterns/textures drawn in pen.
It was fun to experiment with dropping colours and/or water into the first layer of watercolour ink and watch them spread and mix. It’s a kind of magic and is totally mesmerising. The paper I’m using, Canson Imagine mixed media paper, isn’t the best for this, but it’s adequate. Time to dig out the watercolour paper again for sketchbook exercises like this I think.
It was a lovely way to spend a couple of hours this Saturday morning. I don’t know when I’ll add more pattern/texture with pens, or possibly metallic inks or paints with fine brushes, to the remaining motifs. What I do know is it will be both explorative and intriguing and mesmerising and magical, and I’ll work out my relationship with all these mediums a little bit more.
And, perhaps, have a better relationship with colour!
This is one of the important functions of sketchbooks. Yes, I often do complete, polished, finished drawings in them. But finally working out that I can also practice, experiment and ‘art’ just for enjoyment in them is a bit of a revelation. One that I’m enthusiastic to share!
It’s also lovely that, through the medium of YouTube, I can ‘teach’ and encourage others to do the same. Hopefully, I make things clear and simple. And increasing someone’s confidence, the willingness to give it a go and see what happens without judgement, just learning from the experience. Sometimes the lesson to be learned is that it’s a relaxing process, a break from the outer world that can bear down on us. Other times it is trying out media or colour schemes or just practising.
I’m sure I’ve not given a comprehensive list! One of the most important things is that, just like a diary, no one ever has to look inside your sketchbook, unless you choose to share.
Creativity is part of being human. Working out the ways to express that creativity, what expresses a part of the inner self, is part of who we are. Art is one way to do that, and the only person we need to compare ourselves to is ourselves! As we journey and try things out we find out who we are by discovering who we are not. And it’s a journey that never ceases!
Today felt like the right day to start jazzing up these simple circle motifs with some texture and pattern before adding colour.
I kept the methods of adding pattern/texture really simple – just lines and circles combined in different ways. It’s amazing how just small, simple patterns can make a difference to the motifs, making them look a lot more intricate than they are.
It’s sketchbook work, so this is a pretty messy page, but that’s fine. I’m learning that getting ideas down quickly as a reference/resource for future work is a good thing. And if they’re messy, then that’s fine! Even with the messy bits, the ideas are clearly seen.
Colour is still the thing that vexes me, and the sketchbook is where I can explore colours and, perhaps, find my confidence in them.
It’s Template Thursday once again. This week’s template is an entangled sampler kind of thing. Sometimes, the whole image is overwhelming, or perhaps there’s just not enough time to do a large area. These kinds of samplers have lots of smaller designs within them. Choose one of a size you can manage or for the time you have. Complete it one motif at a time, just as a stitcher would complete a sampler one stitch or motif at a time.
If you’d like to access this template, for free, then you need to be a member of the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group. The group is free to join and the members are lovely. There’s a monthly color palette challenge and I’m trying to get my head around time zones to organise some get togethers on zoom.
The template was drawn with pen on paper. I’ve added colour digitally.
Well, I pushed on yesterday and finished this particular drawing. Lots of texture/patterning has been added. I’ve also temporarily added a pale grey-blue background until I decide how I want to add shadow/highlight/colour to this particular drawing.
I won’t be doing that today, however. I’m still feeling all out of sorts and I really don’t trust myself with colour, shadow and highlight. I’ll get frustrated and irritated with myself. I also woke with a headache that isn’t clearing up anytime soon it seems.
So, today is likely to be another day of binge watching stuff. Yesterday it was The Killing on Disney+. A dark tale of murder and the crazy awful ways humans tangle their lives with others it seems.
It’s an American version of a Danish noir murder/mystery series. I started watching the Danish version, with subtitles, quite a few years ago, but mislaid the DVDs. It’s full of twists and turns in the story line, and a surprising ending to the first story line – the murder of Rosie Larsen. And it’s nice to be surprised by such a tale for a change.
So, I think I’ll spend a fair amount of today finishing watching season 3 and making a start on season 4, the final season.
Once the headache clears, I may turn my attention to some arty stuff. I’ll see how it goes. Self-care is important, not just physically but emotionally too. I know from bitter past experiences that if I push myself to do things when I’m not up to it, whatever I do usually ends up disastrously. I still feel the guilt of giving myself time and space to return back to a point of balance, but I know that when I do return to that point the guilt will fade away and be replaced with relief and a sense of gratitude that I didn’t give into to the guilt. There’ll also be a touch of pride that I’m strong enough, now, to recognise when I need this time to just lose myself in fiction, do nothing else, and let whatever is the cause of the imbalance work itself through.
I suspect the headache is an expression of that imbalance and is the way my mind, body and soul have of telling me, “Woah there Angela! You have to stop and take a break from this, now! You’ve pushed yourself too far, so I’m going to get you to stop and do other things for a while.”
I am learning to listen to what I need, rather than what I think I should be doing. So, today, I will listen to them.
At the start of March, along with the weekly template, I set a color palette challenge for members of the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book fans. I asked for all of you who took part to hold off sharing your wonderful colorations until the last Wednesday of the month, which happens to be tomorrow!
I’ve finished colour the template using the rather spring-like colour palette, and here is a fragment, a snippet of my completed template.
It’s the Vernal Equinox here in the Northern Hemisphere – Autumnal Equinox to those of you south of the equator, so hello autumn to you!
And, typically of me, my arty offering today isn’t really all that springline, apart from the nesting birdies that is!
Some more Zentangle cartouches have been done by me. The central images are all from packs of Tim Holtz’s ephemera – Field Notes or Botanicals. I gave these a bit of a shiny glaze with some gloss medium; it helps to bring out the colours.
I’ve used a variety of media and paper for these. The squares are either 3.75″ x3.75″ or 4″ x 4″ in size. The rectangular cartouche is 3.3″ x 5.2″ in size.
I quite like all of them, though part of me is irked by the lopsided box around the beetle!
These take a surprisingly long amount of time to complete. It’s very pleasurable time, especially as I lose myself in the process.