I filmed this process and turned it into a vlog. I speeded the footage up, as the original colouring took over an hour and a half.
I then spent another half hour or so experimenting with fineliners and white, metallic and glitter gel pens to add texture and pattern to the coloured areas. I didn’t film that though, but the results are in the photo above.
I set myself three intentions for this morning: a) enjoy the process of working with the media b) experiment with fineliners and pens to add pattern, highlight/shadow and texture c) to not invest in the outcome or fret about colour choices
I think I achieved those intentions.
Sometimes, often even, just enjoying the process of creating, with no expectations or pressures of any particular outcome is so important. To be able to relax and enjoy the process, the colours, the way the media work is as valuable an experience as producing for a specific purpose.
It’s nice to be able to take the time to do this, without worrying about any particular project. Being able to put aside the “I should be doing x, y and z” and realising that just taking time to do something that makes me smile inside is as important as doing projects that fulfill a contract or business thingy.
Sakura white, metallic and starlight gelly roll pens in a black Sakura journal/sketchbook. I had a lovely few hours last night, sat in bed, settling down for a good sleep.
What you can’t see in the photos is how the matt white and shiny blue/green inks create interesting weirdness visually. By weirdness, I mean a strange kind of 3D effect that I can’t put into words. That was totally unexpected.
I haven’t decided what to do with these pages yet. Will I fill them in completely with colour/pattern, or will I leave the pages as they are. If I leave them as they are then they can be used for journaling, writing, and I quite like that idea to be honest. As the writing is likely to be very personal, I’m not likely to share that, but maybe I’ll mock something up digitally, see for myself what it’s like and then decide.
And with that last sentence, I may scan these in and use them as templates for a digital journal, which would then take away my worries about making a mess of the page by writing on it!
Of course, they’d work quite nicely as frames for quotes too.
Too many possibilities!
Whatever I decide to do – and it may be all of these things – there is something satisfying about working with shimmer and shine and the contrast with the matt white ink on black. The sparkle and shine makes my arty soul rather happy.
Just a note on the black Sakura sketchbook / notebook /journal. I like it! It has a LOT of pages in it of acid-free, sturdy enough, smooth paper.
Another day, another migraine type headache. Nothing helped yesterday, not even painkillers. I woke up with the same headache, though some painkillers did ease it somewhat, eventually. Enough that I could go out for a short walk around my local cemetery.
I needed to create in order to create a mindful space within me. So, I thought a collection of square tiles may be a nice thing to do. A way to practice with watercolours and to do a bit of pattern making on them.
I used a square template to mark the squares out, not very evenly it has to be said. Faint pencil lines that would, hopefully, become part of the watercolour.
I used Daler-Rowney Aquafine Smooth watercolour paper. That shows how little I was thinking clearly. I really don’t like working on this paper at all. The watercolours dried too quickly, and when they were just wet enough to drop more wet colour into them, they just didn’t flow and mix as I like them to.
I tried using watercolour pencils, with similar frustrating results. So much for this being a meditative, mindful, relaxing exercise!
Oddly, they all look fairly OK in the photo.
Once they’d dried, I used a mixture of metallic silver, silver glitter and white gel pens to add patterns to each tile. I could’ve used white gouache and/or pearlescent watercolours or pearlescent acrylic inks with a fine brush. However, by this point I was so frustrated with brush and wet media that I just wanted to draw. So I did.
It may not be a wonderful, finished, polished piece of art – it was never meant to be. It was practice.
What I may do, on a larger scale, is to heat emboss a design in white and then add watercolours. I can do this using a Sakura glue pen or a versamark embossing pen with embossing powders. Maybe not today, but another day. And I need to use a different paper to the Aquafine to avoid frustration.
I’m not a brilliant card maker, but I do like to have a go from time to time. Cards are quick, simple projects for me. They’re also a way to practice hand lettering.
I did have fun creating this design and also decorating the envelope. I used Faber Castell Pitt artist pens to draw the black and white line work. I added colour with Copic markers. I used a white Sakura Gelly Roll pen, a blue Sakura Glaze pen and a silver Uniball Signo pen to add the details on the card. I also used a mini blending tool and Mermaid Lagoon Distress Ink to edge the paper. For the envelope I used a white Sakura Gelly Roll pen.
I lifted the card design up using adhesive foam squares. However, I think it would’ve looked better if I’d attached the design to some white card, maybe some silver card and didn’t put the silver border lines on the design. Maybe some ink blending around the design would’ve added interest instead of the blue and silver dots – the blue are a bit heavy handed.
Always easy to be wise in hindsight. However, I don’t want to rework the design just now. I also think it’s useful that I share when I get things not right and how I would change things if I did this again.
Art doesn’t always work out right the first time. I always try my best to review why I’m not happy with something and what I could do the next time to improve things. There’s always something to learn and consider, and there’s always something good in each design.
I’m actually really quite happy with the snowdrops – the copic colouring worked out quite well on the leaves/stems particularly. I like the cat too, but I’m not too sure about the spiral embellishments. My hand lettering worked out ok this time too.
I know from personal experience that when I’m finding life a struggle as my mental wellbeing deteriorates from time to time I tend to withdraw from people. It’s weird as I want to be with people but I also don’t want to as I don’t want my Eeyore-ness to be a burden or a bother to them. It can be too much to deal with social media too.
However, a little piece of happy mail in the form of a whimsically cute card would be welcomed. Happy mail may not be quite the right term for this, caring mail maybe. Thoughtful mail perhaps. No matter what it’s called, it would be something I could accept to know that someone was thinking about me.
At the worst times of my depression/anxiety it may have taken me a long time to contact the sender and say ‘thank you’. I really would have appreciated the gesture.
Even more, it’s a physical, constant reminder that someone, somewhere is thinking of you. It’s something I would now put into a ‘self-care box’ to use when I am having a struggle with my mental and emotional health.
I have enjoyed making personalised cards to send to people for their birthdays and other celebrations. I can be really dim, but I’ve just realised here and now that it would be lovely to send cards or bookmarks to people to just say hello, to let them know they’re being thought of, something tangible that can be a constant reminder that they are important to me at least.
Talking is good. But sometimes it’s too much to talk, to leave the house, to use social media. A little something in the post though … especially something handmade, personalised … that’s something that speaks more loudly than words at times when spoken words don’t make sense.
What a bright, sunshiny morning it is here in South Wales in the UK. The first sunshine of the new calendar!
I’ve been up for around 3 hours and have had a fairly artsy time.
My first job was to print out the lineart for this dangle design, which is one of many in my book ‘A Dangle A Day’ which is due for release on 8 January 2019 – just a week away!
In the book, I take you through how to draw this design, one step at a time. Not only this design, but well over 100 more – designs for all seasons and many, many celebrations and occasions.
This design I drew in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro using a Microsoft Surface Pen and Microsoft Surface Book. For the book, I coloured it digitally. Today, I printed out my black and white lineart and then coloured it using Chameleon Color Tones and Color Tops marker pens. I also added some details to some elements of the design using a 08 Uniball Unipin pen and a white Sakura Gelly Roll Pen.
Yesterday, I said I need to to spelunking through my stash of mixed media and cardmaking supplies to find forgotten supplies I could use to embellish my designs.
This dangle design would make a lovely monthly cover page for a BuJo (bullet journal), planner, diary or journal. It would also make a pretty greetings card or notecard to drop a line to a friend wishing them a wonderful January. Change the words and colours to suit the occasion or recipient! It would also be a lovely, whimsical, cute design for a winter party invitation.
I realised then that my old watermark wouldn’t do for this year. So I hand lettered a new one. I made my symbol, the one I hide away in my artwork, part of the design, along with a little intricate but simple geometric pattern around it. A little touch of the uncials for my blog address, along with a typed copyright statement and it’s done and saved! I may end up changing it a little, or having variations on the theme, as time goes on. But I’m fairly happy with it.
So, I’ve already had a productive morning! It may be a Bank Holiday in the UK, but I really do need to focus on those templates that need colouring for Entangled Forests…and I may venture forth into the peopley world later on today, maybe.
Yesterday I said I wanted to turn one of the J monograms into a dangle design, and that’s exactly what I’ve done here!
I do seem to be favouring teals and pink as a colour combination for these letters lately. The colours were added using a combination of Copic markers and Chameleon Color Tones pencils. Again, I chose to use Copics simply because I wanted a ‘wash’ of pale colour to which I could add shading with the pencils. I also used a metallic silver pencil to add some subtle silver elements as well as a white Sakura Gelly Roll pen to add some white dot embellishments.
For the charms in the dangle, I drew inspiration from my recent delving into things Medieval to create some that are a bit different to my usual kind. A heart seemed to be an obligatory charm for me to include.
I worked on Daler Rowney Marker paper and used Uniball Unipin pens for the black lines.
There’s quite a nice juxtaposition between the sharp, angular lines of the monogram and the rather softer, rounded shapes of the charms.
I also could’ve dug into my neglected stash of media from my days of mucking about with mixed media and card making and so on to find Stickles, NUVO drops, foil glue and foil, sequins, sparklies and so on to add more sparkle and shine to the design. Something I need to think about again in the future. I’d also have to work on sturdier paper than the Marker paper.
I feel that the dangle could be a bit longer to give a more elongated and elegant design. However, I ran out of paper! I may have been able to squeeze one more charm in at the bottom … but it would’ve been a squeeze!
Note to self – when doing monogram dangle designs on A4 paper, make the letter a little smaller so the dangle(s) can be longer!
Today, my attention must turn to colouring the 2019 templates I designed for members of the Angela Porter’s Coloring Fans facebook group for the New Year’s Day Color Explosion event, starting at midnight as 2018 turns into 2019. I think some may jump the gun on that though! Still, it’s a bit of colourful fun.
It’s only just over a week until ‘A Dangle A Day’ is published. In the book, I take you step by step how to create over 100 dangle designs for yourself, as well as giving some advice about hand lettering, using dangle designs, and creating your own using elements in the book, or your own too. I really do hope you will all give drawing dangle designs a go – they look complex, but, as I show in the book, they only take a few simple steps. They also suit my rather intuitive way of designing, drawing, creating. However, they also work for those who like to plan things out first.
I drew this a few days ago and have only got around to coloring it today.
The hand lettering and drawing was done with Uniball Unipin pens on paper. In black and white it has an almost vintage linocut feel to it.
I did scan it in and print it out on paper more suitable for alcohol markers. I used Chameleon Duo Tone and Duotop markers. Highlights were added with a white gelly roll pen from Sakura. I then added more black lines to add more dimension in places using a Staedler Mars Matic technical drawing pen.
Not sure I’ve done too good a job with the colours. Or line shading. Or the highlights in some places.
I’m quite pleased with the black and white line drawing however.
This is the fruit of my Sunday ‘labours’, and I’m quite pleased with it, truth to be told. Now that’s not something I say about all my works. However I am, quite pleased with it.
I’ve been playing around with hand lettering and design for a while now. From placing the words on curvy lines to straight lines. Trying having the word(s) sit above the drawing with white space above and using them to split the drawing, as in this case.
I’ve used simple hand lettering, like here, and a bit more ornate.
It has been a bit of an adventure, with some successes, some not quite so. With this one, though, I think I’ve found my kind of ‘style’ for it. I like the way the flowery ‘poles’ join the top and bottom part of the design. I really like the jewel-rich tones of reds and blues that I’ve used.
If there’s one thing I wanted to do, and forgot about until now, it was to use a metallic gold pen to add dots to the centres of the circles in the bushes at the bottom. Also, maybe tiny gold dots to the centres of those little purple flowers. It’s that inner raven that loves sparkle having an influence yet again.
I like my quirky hand lettering. It may not be the best, it may not be the most precise or even. If I wanted that, then using something like Publisher or the text tool in Autodesk Sketchbook would or could work. Or I could select and move individual words, or even letters around, in Sketchbook. That, however, would remove the imprecision that gives the art a ‘human’ touch.
To create this, I used a Pentel Energel 0.5 pen to draw the design and do the hand lettering. My Copic Ciao’s were used to colour the image in, and I added white dots with white Sakura pens – Souffle and Gelly Roll 08, both of which worked well over the Copics.
I enjoyed using the Energel pen. The line is consistent in width and intensity, and my heavy hand doesn’t wreck the tip within a short space of time. I also tried out a Uniball Eye Needle point 05 pen for some of the fine details, but it didn’t seem to like writing over the paper that had been coloured with the Copics. It does, however, write smoothly on plain paper, whether that’s Bristol board or Heavy weight cartridge paper. The solvents in the Copics changes the surface structure of the paper; the Uniball Eye didn’t write smoothly on it, and it also bled into the paper, which it doesn’t do on un-Copic-coloured Bristol board.
That’s right! From henceforth Friday shall be known as Dangle Day. Well, on my blog and the other places I can be found on the interwebs.
As you may know, I have a book coming out later this year that’s all about drawing dangle designs; it’s called A Dangle A Day and is available to preorder now. In it, I’ll be leading you through, step by step, drawing dangle designs, amongst other things, so you too can create dangle designs like these! Yes, you can do it!
So, I plan to post at least one completed dangle project each Friday, and this week there’s a bumper crop of five of them.
The cards I’ve made over the last day or two are dangle designs, but not ones to be found in the book. These are all drawn with pen on paper and coloured with either Tombow Dual Brush pens or Kuretake’s Zig Clean Colour Brush Pens. I’ve also added dots and highlights using Sakura’s Metallic and Stardust Gelly roll pens, not that you can easily see them in the photos.
I will, in the near future, have an announcement to make about a giveaway.
This week, I’ve been doing my best to get images drawn for the Eerie themed book. Various appointments and just generally feeling down and unwell have got in the way, and today hasn’t been much better.
I have spent sometime drawing a ‘DoodleWorlds’ image, which is sitting in a file on my computer to be re-drawn and so on.
The zentangle kind of thingy above is something I’ve done not too long ago. I drew the design using Sakura Micron pens and a white Sakura Gelly roll pen on natural coloured Mixed Media Paper from Claire Fontaine. The paper size is 10cmx14cm.
Last weekend, I created this bit of art work:
It was deviantART.com’s 17th Birthday and a challenge was set there. I wanted to have a go as it was a bit of a challenge, it let me try out new techniques/ides with Autodesk Sketchbook Pro and my Surface Book and Surface Pen, but mostly it’s because deviantART is where various editors/publishers/artwork managers have found my art and engaged me to do work for them. That is the reason I was able to leave teaching, how I’m able to look after my mental health more, and to find a different way of life as well as being able to heal.
Thank you deviantART! And thank you everyone else who has believed in me, my work, and given me opportunities, even when I’ve not believed in myself, my ability, or the quality of my work. And thank you everyone who has bought the books and stamps and so on … I am so grateful.