This morning I created some tall, thin (or short and wide) backgrounds using Distress Oxides on some Arteza Mixed media paper. The paper is 8.25″ x 2.87″ (21cm x 7.2 cm) in size.
I chose this one to draw on for no other reason that it was the one that appealed to me at this time. I started with the seed pods and foliage at the bottom, and worked my way through some hand lettering / hand-drawn typography to more abstract line-art.
I drew with a M Pitt Artist Pen from Faber-Castell, though I added the stippling with an XS Pitt Artist pen.
No glitter or glitz on this one, nor any highlights. Not yet. I’m not in the mood for any, not today.
I have been really enjoying drawing tiny botanicals in little ‘windows’. So, I combined drawing with watercolor practice.
The image on the left involved me using a pencil to draw the boxes and their contents, then watercoloring. For some, I tried painting the image in sections and with layers of colour. I really wasn’t happy with the results. I painted the rest of the boxes with washes of watercolour and then either inked or re-drew the designs in pencil. I felt happier with these.
I used Daler-Rowney Smooth watercolour paper and I’ve been struggling to get the paper to stay wet enough for long enough to mix colours wet in wet. Not even on these tiny little windows. It was becoming very frustrating.
A couple of days ago, I’d ordered a pack of 100% cotton rag paper and it arrived early evening. I used a small piece of it for the illustration on the right.
I started by painting rectangles of colour on the paper. I used a waterbrush rather than a paintbrush for this. I used the same kind of transparency of watercolour for each as I did for the illustration on the left. Oh my gosh, did the colours shine and show up so much more vibrantly! Not only that, it was so easy to mix colours, wet in wet. The cotton rag paper is an absolute joy to work with!
I was beginning to get frustrated with myself and watercolors once again. This has been a common feature of my love-hate affair with them over many years. This paper may change that totally.
This morning, after letting the paper dry, I drew tiny botanicals in each window. I used, as in the image on the left, a 005 Sakura Pigma Micron pen to draw with. I was worried it would struggle with the paper’s rough texture. The lines aren’t as uniform as they’d be on, say, smooth Bristol board. I just went with the rougher nature of the lines and was surprised at how much I enjoyed them. They meant I loosened up my drawing style a little.
I really enjoyed creating these little artworks (the one on the left is approx. 5″ x 5″, the on on the right 4″ x 4.75″). There is something I find really satisfying about creating teeny tiny drawings, in the same way I find drawing intricate designs makes something inside me smile.
What I do want to try later on today is adding some more colour to some of the design elements on both drawings using both watercolours and watercolour pencils or inktense pencils. On second thoughts, I think I’ll do some samples to experiment on, annotate and add to my journal, just in case I don’t like what transpires.
Before I do any of that, I woke with a headache. It’s beginning to shift, but as it lifts it’s leaving me feeling really tired.
Today’s arty offering is this little bit of entangled art. It measures 4″ x 3″, so is small in size, but big in detail, I think.
Distress Oxide inks were used to colour a 4″ x 3″ piece of Claire Fontaine mixed media paper, with water to add extra texture to it.
I drew the design using 08 and 02 Unipin pens. To bring the design out of the background, I used Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Brush pens. Dots of gold and white finished the embellishment.
My final step was to apply some Distress Microglaze to add a subtle sheen that brings out the colours and layers of texture, not just to the Distress Oxide ink, but to the Pitt Artist Pens too.
I thought I’d try the Pitt Artist pens with this background as it seemed more dull and dusty, and that’s how I find the colours in the Pitt Artist Pens. Initially, I was going to keep it monochrome. However, I liked the nature of the colours in the pens, so experimented with them.
I enjoyed creating this little work of art. Now, it’ll find its way into my sketchbook-journal, with reflective notes for future reference.
Yet again I woke with my mind swimming with an idea I wanted to try out. I’d had a problem when I was trying to add colour to drawings I’d done on distress ink backgrounds. Whether I used water and a brush or a Tombow Blender pen, the pigment from the Sakura Micron and Uniball Unipin pens bled, and I really wasn’t happy with that.
I spent some time yesterday trying different pens out, with no luck in finding any that didn’t smear/bleed. So, I put this to one side until I had a chance to think about it.
I slept on it and woke with an idea to try.
Why not use the Tombow blender to draw the basic shapes of my design in colour and then add black lines afterwards. Seed pods seem to be my default design when I’m experimenting, but I’m fine with that.
So that’s what I did. And this card is the result.
As I was starting to add the black lines to the design I thought I’d made a horrible mistake, had a bad idea. However, as I added more and more detail, I realised it would work out, and I think it did.
I added some gold to the seeds in the seed pod with a glitter gel pen. I also splattered some gold watercolour paint over the design.
The envelope is really simple; three seed pods, black line art with golden seeds.
Not a unique artistic approach, but it is something that has never worked for me before.
It’s not a dissimilar approach I take to my digital art, where I start with the basic shapes and then add shading and detail. I do use line art as a guide for my design, and that is an approach I can apply to traditional art in that I may need to pencil in the design, then colour, then add the line art.
Who would’ve thought it – working digitally is helping me develop my traditional art methods and skills.
Just a quick bit of fun this morning. I thought it would be nice to create a little banner for my facebook account and page, and this is the result. Something a bit mystical in nature.
Digital art created with Autodesk Sketchbook Pro along with the usual Surface Slim Pen and Surface Studio from Microsoft.
I used this as an opportunity to try out some new ideas, and it’s worked out well enough I think.
Today, I’m feeling content, at ease and that inner smile is back. It’s nice, once again, to have the windows open a little and to feel the gentle flow of cooler air into my work space warmed by hazy sunlight.
Being creative certainly does help me to find and keep my sense of contentment and to keep the anxiety and fear at bay.
Now, it’s time for me to go get my breakfast. I was so determined to create this new border that I got lost in it!
I’m later than usual making my post to this blog today. For good reasons. The last couple of days have been a tad crazy. Here, where I live in South Wales, UK, we’ve had some really bad flooding thanks to Storm Dennis. The River Taff overflowed its banks in many places. The town centre where I live was under water.
Fortunately, no flooding or damage to my home, but it’s heartbreaking to see the devastation for others homes and businesses. The emergency services and Rhondda Cynon Taff Council, councillors and many, many others have worked hard, long and done amazing things. Communities have come together to help one another.
The rain has, finally, stopped, but the wind is very strong again. And we have another weather warning for rain on Wednesday evening into Thursday, so there’s a potential for flooding once again.
But today, the sun sets, turning the mostly cloudless sky lavender and pink.
I’ve been helping as I can, in my own ways, and that’s why I missed a post yesterday and am late with one today.
So, to calm, relax, I’ve done some art. I had no idea what was going to result, I’m not entirely sure I like the result, particularly the foliage in the background. However, I’m not entirely surprised that seed pods have emerged!
It has let me play around with different brushes and effects in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro.
I wanted a circular frame in which to put quotes. So, I started by drawing some pencil guidelines for the circle and the outer borders on some dot grid paper.
I used 08 and 02 Uniball Unipin pens to draw the circle of flowers and foliage. Then, to start filling the space around the flowers with entangled designs.
It’s very much a work in progress. Part of me thinks I could’ve left an empty border around the circular flower and foliage arrangement to separate it from the background. The other part of me likes it as it is.
I want to try to get a balance of less detailed areas with the more densely detailed sections so that there’s space for the eye to rest.
I also suspect I’ll be adding colour or, at the very least, shadow and highlights to the design to bring it to life.
Another day and another set of entangled borders! I’m enjoying drawing these. There’s something pleasing about creating small designs. Whether it’s the speed at which I can draw them, or their cuteness, different shapes and sizes to my usual art, or something else, I don’t know. All I know is that I’m enjoying it!
The pens I used to draw the designs were Uniball Unipins and Tombow Fudenosuke pens. I used dot grid paper by ClaireFontaine.
To remove the dot grid, edit some smudges and errors, add a background colour and some colour, I used Autodesk Sketchbook Pro.
I’ve enjoyed creating this sketchbook sampler page. I drew the designs with a mixture of Uniball Unipin pens, Faber-Castell Pitt Artist pens, a medium nib Schaeffer fountain pen, and an extra-fine nib Faber Castell fountain pen. I used dot grid paper from Claire Fontaine.
After scanning the page in, I removed the dot grid and added a grungy paper background. I then decided I’d like to add some colour and shadow/light to the designs. To do this, I used a messy chalk brush, so my colouring isn’t as precise as I usually like it. However, it’s loosened up my expectations of myself as I went with it.
Pastel colours were my palette of choice as I like the way they seem to almost glow against the grungy kraft background. I also like the way they help to enhance the 3-D appearance of the designs. I do enjoy playing with shadow and light.
Some of the designs are examples of my organic, entangled style of drawing. Others are repeating, geometric zentangle-style patterns. And then there’s some inspired by Medieval illuminated manuscripts.
I also enjoy working within a clear border. I like the sense of structure it brings to my work. It also satisfies some kind of aesthetic need within me. Every now and then I try work without a border, but the artwork I produce just never feels quite right to me. So, it’s time for me to accept the need for borders is part of my artistic voice.
There is a purpose for me creating these borders. I’m building up a library of them that I can use to embellish quotes and other projects.
Some of these borders would look fab as greeting cards note cards, bookmarks, and to use in other paper craft projects. They’d also work well as embellishments for BuJo, planner, diary, scrapbook and journal pages.
Others would be a great foundation for dangle designs (my book “A Dangle A Day” is a good place to start drawing dangle designs).
What I do know, is that I find drawing soothing and relaxing. So, I’m going to be spending the rest of my Sunday drawing more borders.