Template Thursday

I had a wee bit of trouble doing this week’s template for the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group. This is either the third or fourth I drew, and the only one I think is just about good enough. I think that’s a reflection of the stress-comedown I’m experiencing after a week of trying to make a decision, which is actually more like months. I finally did it, and now I have to find that sense of inner balance and peace again.

Anyway. I drew this design on Bristol board with a 05 Sakura Pigma Micron pen. The colours have been added digitally. And after my messing around with Chameleon markers yesterday, I really enjoyed adding colour digitally.

I think it may be more or less time for me to abandon traditional coloring media! I always get so frustrated in using them very quickly.

Pen and paper is still something I love to use for drawing, so that’s not going to change!

WIP Wednesday

I was potching around last night with how to add colour to a drawing with traditional media. You’d think I’d’ve learned not to do this by now, wouldn’t you? I was getting nowhere except to the land of frustration and feeling useless.

This morning, as I tried wrangling still further, I thought to myself, “let’s break out the Chameleon markers”. I did, and I also dug out some marker paper and started to draw. And I was happy with the design.

And then I started to add colour … and that’s where it all went to pot.

Oh the colours are lovely, individually. Just not when put together.

I’d also forgotten how much I like to use Chameleon markers. However, I really need to stick to monochrome! And, I think the Chameleons will work well in a monochrome manner. But not just yet. First I need a nap.

Lack of sleep was the usual overly hot at night stuff and also the early morning Wednesday wake-up for my Abel & Cole groceries delivery. What energy I had has now gone. I’m starting to go cross-eyed with tiredness, so I think I’ll need to nap very, very soon.

A page of small drawings

This is a page from one of my A4 sketchbooks. Six small drawings, a couple I’ve shown before, the rest are new. Some tweaks here and there as well.

All drawn with Sakura Pigma Micron or Sensei pens on white acid-free cartridge paper. The background has been added digitally.

No shadow or highlight on these, yet.

Duvet Day

Do you know the kind of days where it’s hard to get out of bed? Days when your body and soul need a day cwtched up safe and warm in bed? Well that was today for me.

A day spent doing very little. A bit of art. Watching geology videos on youtube. Playing games on my phone.

I’m now vertical, at my desk. I’ve scanned in one of my little drawings (approx 3¼” x 4″, or 8cm x 10cm) and digitally added a background, shadow and highlight. The shadow and highlight are a tad patchy, but they do help to bring the drawing to life.

Sketchbook Page – First of 2021

About the sketchbook page

My sketchbooks have been the focus of my attention during the waning days of 2020 and the start of 2021. I’ve done pages of zentangle-type patterns, borders and ‘fragments. I’ve been trying out monograms, and I’ve been drawing in more of my signature style, as above.

This page shows some experiment with colour and texture in the sketchbook. I used fineliner pens for the textures and Pitt Artist Brush Pens, both ‘neat’ and with a waterbrush.

I had to work hard with myself to do this. I didn’t want to mess up the drawing, which I quite like, with colour and so on. But then I told myself I can always re-draw it, along with losing the elements I’m not keen on. I really like the bird-like design at the top of this coloured image.

The others were drawings done for the sheer joy and comfort of drawing. All intuitive, though I did pay attention to a reference photo of a meso-American pot for the face in the right-hand drawing.

All drawings were done with an 05 Unipin pen in my A4 Artway Enviro sketchbook. The 05 pen nib has become worn, and usually I’d bin it, but I’m working with it and seeing how I can vary the width and intensity of line. I’m trying to allow myself to embrace the perfectly imperfect quality of the line and the character it brings to my drawings. I find that I like it, which surprises me. Now, all I need to do is to work to replicate this digitally; maybe not a perfect replication but something that is similar enough.

Sketchbooks

I have three sketchbooks on the go at the moment.

The A4 and A5 Enviros are for drawings and designs, as above. Fairly polished and starting points for further work. I can try different things out – such as colour and texture – knowing that I can either scan the drawings in before I try these experiments out, or I can always re-draw the design, altering the parts I’m not happy with.

The third is an A4 SeaWhite all-media sketchbook. Although I have done some drawings in there, it’s been repurposed into a zentangle/pattern experimentation and record book. I use colour and shading with the drawings as they are purely for reference and the pleasure of drawing them. Not surprisingly, many of the pages are aesthetically pleasing in the way that needlework or cross-stitch samplers are. You can look at the page again and again and still find designs or sections of designs that surprise you.

Comfort Art

The past few days I’ve needed to find an activity that comforts me. I find this time of year emotionally difficult as I’m triggered by Christmas and New Year and all the hoo-haa around it. The short days and lack of sunshine doesn’t help much. My daylight therapy lamp helps somewhat, but it isn’t as good as working at my desk or taking a walk bathed in winter sunlight. I also find myself bone-weary a lot. Mind you, not sleeping properly at night isn’t helping me either.

As an introvert, I tend to retreat into a world of my own at these times, or to immerse myself in other worlds through films and books. And of course art. I limit my social media activity to the absolute necessary. This way, the societal pressures I feel fade away, and before long the world is back to the way it is for the vast majority of the year.

This year, my main haven of peace and contentment has been in my sketchbooks. I’ve found particular comfort and delight indulging myself in zentangle patterns. The patterns are familiar, but working on them to create unique variations that are my own has been something new and different for me. As has allowing myself to draw them in my own way.

As well as comforting me, I’ve discovered that I find it hard to be uniquely me in my artistic expression. Accepting that the way I draw something is just fine as long as I’m happy with it. The videos from the Zentangle family have been incredibly useful in helping me see this, as well as making me determined to change it too. Not just with zentangle type stuff, but with my art in general. Also, I realised that I do this for other people, but never for myself. Time to change that, methinks!

I’m still in ‘comfort art’ mode for the next couple of days. I’m still not ‘right’ emotionally, and I’d like to be before I turn my attention to the example coloured templates for Entangled Starry Skies and sketches for the cover of the next colouring book.

Winter Solstice 2020

All the best of the blessings of the season to you one and all!

Today, the Sun passes into Capricorn, marking the astronomical start of winter. It’s one of the shortest days of the year as well, and so it seems right that as the days get longer, the intensity of sunlight that reaches the Earth in the Northern Hemisphere strengthens, that it is seen as the ending of one orbit around the Sun, and the start of a new one.

Of course, if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere, Happy Summer Solstice!

Entangled Assemblage 09 Dec 2020

Yesterday, I got so focused on editing templates that time ran away with me. I only realised at bedtime I’d not blogged! By then it was way too late as I was tired, headachy and had an upset tummy (again!).

Today, the tummy is better, thank goodness. I was up early for the weekly Abel & Cole organic grocery delivery, and after breakfasting I ended up back in bed.

Before I turn my attention for the rest of my work-day to Entangled Starry Skies, I thought I’d put together a quick montage of my latest drawings, what I’m calling Entangled Assemblages. The weird exercise cyclist makes another appearance, but there’s a couple of drawings I’m working on during my insomniac periods of night.

For someone who doesn’t do faces/people artistically, there sure are some appearing in this style of my personal art. Personal as opposed to contracted work.

Whatever, I’m enjoying drawing in the moments I can do so just for my pleasure.

I will get to colour them in at some point, and add a funky background of mandala or other design too. Just not today. Today I need to turn my attention to the artwork for Starry Skies as soon as I’ve completed social media posts.

World Kindness Day

Art and health

My day so far has not gone to plan! Do they ever?

I didn’t sleep all that well last night. I’m still not feeling quite right. My abdomen is still uncomfortable, though I have eaten. I’m still tired and I can feel my brain starting to get a bit fuzzy.

I had wanted to settle to drawing for the next colouring book, but other things happened and my mind is a bit scattered. I thought some art for the sake of art may help and this mandala was the result.

I had no idea what I was going to create, but warm, autumnal colours were calling to me, along with evergreen leaves and bright red berries.

It’s simple, stylised and I’ve not spent a lot of time adding shadow/highlight. It is really just a play around before I do my best to settle to drawing. It’s achieved a bit of calming and focus, though I could go back to bed.

World Kindness Day

Kindness is the thread that connects all sizes and types of communities and families. It’s what connects us all, one to each other.

This year has been a difficult one and kindness has helped people through it.

A big shout out to all those who have made the world a nicer, kinder place in such a time.

Thank you.

Starry Skies

This morning I woke and picked up the workload for the latest colouring book I’m working on. I completed drawing one template – first a sketch on paper, then inked digitally. After that, I thought it would be fun to colour a section in and share. So I’ve done so.

I’ll be quietly arting for the rest of the day. I had a broken night’s sleep back and forth to the toilet to either vomit or …well, I don’t need to detail that! My tummy feels better at the moment, but I’m tired.

Having quiet time is not a problem. I live alone. We’re on lockdown here in Wales, so staying home as much as possible is a requirement. I tend to stay home as much as possible anyway.

Anyway, I’ll be quietly researching references for the templates for the next book and creating my own reference sketches, as well as writing down ideas as they occur to me, and, hopefully, thumbnail sketches of ideas for templates, for as long as I can keep awake, anyway.