Shrouded in Celestial Light WIP

Late afternoon yesterday, I was listening to my “Liked Songs” playlist on Spotify and “Shining Light” by Ash came on. The lyrics “Shrouded in Celestial Light” just stuck in my head, so hand-lettering had to be done, followed by some entangled art!

I wanted to put the letters of “shrouded” overlapping, cwtched close together as if they were covering and protecting each other, apart from that brave S at the front (which I may alter digitally when I’ve finished this off). And that is one of the meanings of shrouded – to be protected and/or covered.

Naturally, stars had to feature in the entangled artwork around the hand lettering. What better to represent “celestial”, though the flowers and plants and seeds are related in a roundabout way.

Our sun is the star nearest to us and the source of natural light. The moon is closer, but it doesn’t generate any light itself, the light we see from the moon is reflected sunlight. Anyhoo, most life, as we know it, on Earth depends on the sun’s energy to remain alive. Without photosynthesis in green plants, there’d be no food. Some living things can exist without any energy from the sun, but they are extremophiles and live around extreme habitats, such as the deep ocean volcanically driven ‘smokers’.

I’ve digressed and slipped into science teacher mode! The point is, that though flowers and plants and seeds don’t seem to have a link to celestial light, they do, as they depend on sunlight to produce food, which gives them the energy they need to live and grow and reproduce and so on. All of us here on the Earth are shrouded in celestial light!

I really wasn’t sure how this was going to work out without a definite frame for the words, but I think by placing clouds and drifts of other things around the lettering it kind of looks like a view through to the celestial night sky, perhaps, with a bit of fanciful whimsy.

Draw With Me | Two More Organic Motifs

Please click on the “Watch on YouTube” button to view on YouTube itself (and help the algorithm!).

I’ve now finished this drawing by adding two organic motifs, both fairly simple.

With the trailing flowers or leaves or stones, the hardest part is arranging them to look like they’re trailing and remembering to decrease the size towards the point.

The other motif, a stack of small seeds on a stem, is easy enough to draw.

After doing this, I thought it needed some colour to bring the motifs to life. So, I dug out some of the Neocolour IIs I’d used for the background and used them a bit like watercolour paints. I scribbled a little of each Neocolor II on my plastic palette, added water, and painted.

I’m not entirely sure about my efforts with adding colour – this is where it can all go wrong for me. Part of me knows I’d most likely be better off if I were to add shadow and texture using pens.

I did use some metallic watercolours to add some sparkle here and there too.

One thing I did notice is that I was glad I tried not to paint over the black lines. The pigment ink in Micron pens is usually waterproof, but, as the Necolor IIs are wax-based and coat the surface of the paper, the pigment doesn’t sink fully into the paper and so water will move the ink.

It’s not a problem, now I’m aware of this. Oh, it also means erasers will lift some of the ink as well as pencil lines. Again, just something to be aware of.

One other thing I did was to cut the paper down to frame the design a bit better. In my clumsy way, I managed to cut it just across the tip of one of the trailing thingies. So, no border around that area.

I will keep going with adding colour and see where it leads me, hopefully not into a disaster! Still, if that happens, it’s only a bit of time, ink, paper and colour and the design can be used as inspiration for the next one. Important lessons about the Necolor IIs are being learned, which is, perhaps, the most important thing.

Template Thursyay! | 12 May 2022

It’s that time in the week again – Template Thursyay! Each week during the pandemic I’ve created a colouring page for the members of the Angela Porter’s Coloring books fans Facebook group. The template is only available to members, and it’s free to join the group and free to print the template for personal use.

It’s been almost two months since I last drew a mandala! So it’s understandable I felt the urge to create one today.

I used some of the motifs from my video in yesterday’s post. It’s always an enjoyable process using my favourite, organic motifs.

Using a limited, spring-time-ish colour palette also helped me get a coherent finish with the colours, almost. I’m really not at all sure about the purple pods!

Of course, the number of colour schemes that could be used is endless and down to personal preferences or desires at any time.

I can’t just leave a mandala on the page, there has to be a background of patterns too! The result looks like a huge dish floating above a window into some kind of sea habitat. I think that’s fun, even though I’ve only just realised that!

Draw With Me … Five of my favourite organic motifs

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

In today’s tutorial video, I enjoyed drawing on one of my Neocolor II backgrounds. And I’ve just remembered I forgot to scan the background before cutting and drawing on it. Oh well. I’ll just have to make another one!

Anyhoo, I sometimes forget how much I enjoy working on a coloured background. The colours add an instant “feel” to a drawing. This one reminds me of sunrises and sunsets and the joy and awe that I experience when I see them. So, it was natural I’d choose a few of my favourite motifs to start filling this A5-ish sheet with pen drawings.

Of course, it’s lovely to share how to draw these motifs with others, helping them along their arty journey.

Template Thursyay! 05 May 2022

Thursdays are fun days! I release a new colouring template for the members of the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans Facebook group, which is free to join.

This week, I chose a rather stylised, whimsical kind of floral theme. Big, bold motifs, with some smaller details and elements.

If you’re into adding tangle patterns to designs, this one will lend itself well, even though it’s geared towards being coloured.

In adding colour, I’ve taken the opportunity to try out various colour combinations, as well as get some shading practice in.

I drew the design with an 05 Uniball Unipin pen on acid-free cartridge paper. Colour was added digitally using Clip Studio Paint.

On Template Thursday, I don’t release a video on YouTube. But there’ll be a new video tomorrow for sure!

Draw With Me … Sketchbook Page of Whimsical Flowers and more…

Click on this link to watch the accompanying video tutorial on YouTube.

This was fun! A page full of flowery, shelly, poddy motifs all starting with a circle! I’ve actually already filled nearly six pages in my A5 sketchbook with such explorations. And I’ve not finished!

A simple exercise like this really gets your creative juices flowing. There are so many, many ways to fill a circle with patterns to create a new motif. And as it’s in a sketchbook, there’s absolutely no pressure to make everything perfectly polished. The point is to get an idea down quickly and then move on to the next.

After the page (or pages) are full, there’s time to go back and add finishing details, patterns, textures, colours and/or shadows. There’s no requirement to do this to every single motif on the page. Nor is it essential that each space on a motif is filled identically. This is a space to just try things out, whether they work or not at this time. Be that drawing, patterns, textures, colours or different media.

Eventually, the sketchbook will be full of ideas and inspiration. It will be a place to dip into when at a loss. it will be full of exercises that can be done again and again or varied quite simply.

Exercises that get you drawing and being creative just for the sheer fun of it!

This is exactly what a sketchbook is for! There can be some more polished drawings in there, of course. There can be notes and ephemera and colour palettes and swatches and more too. But the fun of just drawing to see how many variations on a theme, starting with one simple shape or motif. Well, you’ll surprise yourself!

Give it a go! No one ever has to see what’s in your sketchbook. It can be a place where you play with watercolours just to watch the magic of that medium. To lose yourself in a pleasurable activity for a while and take a break from the busyness of modern life and all the stuff going on in the world around.

Drawing in a whimsical, stylised or doodly way takes the pressure off the belief that art has to look like a photograph (it doesn’t!). It allows you to just enjoy the process.

Saturday, Saturday…

Do you ever have one of them days when all that you try seems to go awry? That’s today for me.

I tried three times to create a video and ended up with total messes. I then tried a stop motion project. My camera wouldn’t hold autofocus. So, I think I’ll give up on this for today.

So, instead, I have an oldie of mine, but with words that perhaps make sense. Maybe today I’ve not been working delicately, trying to force it. A rest may be in order.

Seed pods and flower variations sketchbook page

Click on this link to go to today’s YouTube drawing tutorial.

This was such fun to do! I mean, every drawing I do is fun, but this one is more so. I started with a tiny little motif and it inspired a whole page of variations.

Sometimes, I didn’t like what was there. However, I’d later go back and adjust or add to the design based on what I was learning from the later motifs I had drawn. I’d also talk about what was going on in my head as I was drawing.

It’s a tutorial for sure. Not just step by step how to draw these variations, but also about the mindset I have when I spend time with a page.

It would be fab if you’d pop along to YouTube to watch this video and have a go at drawing along with me! And then, see what other variations you can come up with! Of course, I’d love to see them too.

Draw With Me… Zentangle Inspired Flowers, Seed Pods and Peace

I invite you to draw this design with me. Link to today’s video tutorial on YouTube.

On the weekend, I like to do an artwork of some kind using some of the pattern or motif variations that I’ve developed in the week. This week, the seed pods and flowers just needed to be used in some way.

I thought of lettering the word ‘peace’ but decided on using the peace symbol as the focal point instead. Being born in the early 1960s, I do remember hippies, flower power and the peace movement, so popping plenty of flowers and foliage around the symbol seemed the right thing to do.

The seed pods fit in well, and the song ‘Sowing the seeds of love’ by Tears for Fears came to my mind too. so doubly fitting the message of peace.

Naturally, there are some hearts hidden in there too! And the plumptious moonberry blueberries too, adding some delicious goodness too.

The green background was a tad serendipitous. Partway through the drawing, I remembered that green is symbolic of peace and harmony, among other things. Rather fitting!

I’ve only got the skeleton of the design done. I’ve yet to decide on how to add colour, shadow and/or texture. So, I’m taking a bit of a break from it for my mind to mull things over subconsciously. I think I’d better scan the page before I do anything more to it though! Things tend to go awry when I start to add colour etc.

Template Thursday!

Ooh, I do love a mandala! And a flowery one is just the ticket for this week. Things botanical have been a bit of a theme for me this week, so it’s natural they’d find their way into this week’s colouring page/template for the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group.

I kept to a fairly limited palette this week, and that really does help me produce coloured art I feel happy with. And this colour palette does make me smile.