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.

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.

Sketchtember 2021 | Day 18

Link to today’s ‘Sketchbook Saturday”, a sketchbook flip-through of this week’s art projects on YouTube.

Saturday is here again. So, over on my little corner of the YouTube universe, I do a flip-through of this week’s arty projects, and a bit of a chat about stuff at the same time.

Here, above, is my sketchbook page for Sketchtember 2021. For day 18, I’ve chosen to draw plants in pots, mostly cups, mugs, teapots and jugs it seems. They’re still plants in pots. They’re all drawn from my memory and/or imagination.

After completing the pen sketches, I added colour using Ecoline Brush Pens and a Water brush. I had to try to mix colours too, particularly varieties of green. I may have done OK with some of them. Others are abject disasters, such as the succulent style plant with red tips to it’s leaves. Ho hum.

Everything is a bit wonky, but perhaps that is no bad thing at all. A lot of my artwork is a tad wonky, and that’s part of my signature style, probably.

I’ve also used a clear Glaze pen, a gold sparkle Signo gel pen and a clear Star Sakura Gelly roll pen to add shiny highlights. A white Sakura SoufflĂ© pen added highlights to some of the areas too.

This, like yesterday’s buttons, has been a fun project. This time, though, I’ve completed adding colour, which has surprised me no end. I suspect that increasing familiarity with Ecoline watercolour inks and how I like to apply them has helped greatly with this.

Trying to work in a more ‘illustrative’ and a bit expressive way of adding colour is helping too. It’s a work in progress, but I may just get there!

Now, all I have to work out is what to do with the rest of Saturday!

Sketchtember 2021 Day 14

My art of the previous day or so. More seed pods for Sketchtember, this time colour’s been added with Ecoline Brush pens. Just for a bit of a change from alcohol markers!

There’s also some Zentangle-style drawings, small ’tiles’ approx 3.5″ x 3.5″ in size.

The green one has been coloured with Color Soft pencils. The peachy background ones are still works in progress, but fixed into my sketchbook.

You may notice patterns upon the backgrounds in some of these images. I spent some time yesterday using some stencils from my stash to add texture to the Distress Ink coloured pages. I wanted some subtle pattern/texture, so chose colours that toned in with the background.

It’s actually quite fun to draw on these papers. Leaving ‘windows’ to let the background pattern show through is rather fun and a bit of a challenge.

Yes, I’m dabbling in Zentangle again, which is a sign all is not well with me emotionally. I’ve been rather stressed the last couple of days. Nowt serious, just organising some health check-ups and becoming overwhelmed with information and making myself understood, both to myself and the receptionist. All’s sorted now, well the appointments anyway. But I’m still stressed!

It takes a few days for the stress hormones to leach from my body; about four or five based on my reckoning. I have the appointments later on this week, so the current high stress levels won’t have vanished before then. So, I guess I’ll be partaking of ‘comfort art’ for a while yet!

Sketchtember | Days 6 to 10

Over the past three or four days, I’ve been quietly working at Sketchtember. I’ve veered away from the list of herbs to enjoy drawing, and colouring, all kinds of seed pods – real and more imaginative.

Working with alcohol markers – Chameleon and Arteza – is the only way to get to grips with them. Marker paper does make it a little easier to blend. But not much more than the drawings on the SeaWhite all media paper that I’ve been using.

Adding highlights, lowlights, and embellishments with various Sakura and Uniball gel pens is a lovely thing to do. I have, possibly, gone a bit over the top on the poppy seed heads! Still, it’s all experiencing and learning from it.

I have quite a few more seed pod drawings done to add colour to, though not enough to see me through to the end of Sketchtember. So, I may change my theme for daily sketches when I start to come to the end of them.

Sketchtember days 4 and 5

Continuing with DeadlyDots’ prompt list for Sketchtember. Thyme was day 4’s prompt, and Basil is today’s. I’ve got the title for tomorrow done (Bay leaf).

Plenty of pen drawing and some coloring with Chameleon color tones markers. A little bit of messing around with patterns on the thyme page.

It’s an enjoyable process, though today I think I’ll take a little break from it and turn my attention to projects that need some work done on them, and maybe new drawings to be done.

Sketchtember Days 2 and 3

Link to today’s vlog on YouTube.

Here are my sketchbook pages for days 2 and three of Sketchtember. I’m using DecayingDots’ list of herbs and spices for this one.

I’m enjoying working in a different way to my usual entangled art. And, I’m making some awful mistakes/art in these pages. However, these are learning moments, not least of which it’s ok to do things that are grim, mainly my use of colour. But, if I didn’t try things out and learn from the mistakes I’d not progress at all.

What I think it shows me is that pen drawing, with just shading or monochrome colour is my strength, colour my weakness. As if I don’t keep saying that, yet I keep going back to using colour.

Today’s vlog focuses on Day 3 – Saffron. Tomorrow’s vlog will be a look at all the art I’ve worked on in the past week.

Sketchtember 2021 | Day 1

Link to today’s vlog on YouTube.

I’ve decided that it would be quite nice to take part in a monthly art challenge, perhaps as a warm up to Inktober next month. Maybe.

So, I looked around at the challenges I could find, and settled on one from @DecayingDots on Instagram and Twitter. Their list of prompts is all herbs/plants. That, unlike others, inspired me to take up the challenge.

It’s been a long time since I used a sketchbook truly as a sketchbook. It may take me awhile to get back into such things. I do have some lovely, pre-coloured pages to make use of as a start.

Not only will I practice my kind of sketching – which is usually with a pen – I can practice hand lettering and handwriting. My idea is not only to sketch the day’s plant/leaves, but to add notes and information. Those notes may be about the plant, or about the colours I’m using, or even recipes/uses for the particular herb.

As it’s a sketch challenge, there’s also no pressure to complete every drawing, or even to do perfect drawings. It’s all about observational drawing for me.

Now, as i don’t have green thumbs (I can kill any self-respecting plant in a matter of hours, well days maybe) and I’m not feeling able to visit shops or gardens at this time ( social anxiety is a heckofa thing), photographic references will have to do. But that’s ok.

So, here’s my page for day 1, which is all to do with sage. In today’s vlog I talk about this page, the media I’ve used, and I add some drawings to day 2’s page – Rosemary.

I’ve got some work still to do on both pages I think … but that’s the fun of a sketchbook. It’s not meant to be finished at one go, pages can be revisited and added to as needed!