Well, I have been a bit busy with variations on the simple flower motif in the bottom left corner of the image!
I’ve said (typed?) it before; I really, really enjoy taking a simple motif and seeing how I can vary, alter and create patterns with it. There is something fascinating in doing this. Some explorations don’t work out and need amending, others lead my thoughts to unexpected versions.
Today, I felt the need to play around with a simple flower motif. I had planned on doing a page showing how to draw my current favourite patterns/motifs. Instead, as I started to draw this flower, I wanted to explore variations and patterns I could create with it.
There’s only about one third of an A5 page filled with such line drawings, and that took about an hour or so to do. But there’s so much in there already!
Being able to just lose myself, guilt free, in drawing over the past couple of days or so, has been a pleasure. ‘Adorable Dogs’ is almost done, just three templates to add colour to remain. I have a break before I start work on the next colouring book for Creative Haven from Dover Publications Inc.
That doesn’t mean I won’t be working on another project or two. But for the next few days I’m just going to indulge myself in drawing for the sheer pleasure of drawing! And that includes a New Year template for the facebook group Angela Porter’s Coloring Books Fans.
I was awake way too early this morning, but just couldn’t get back to sleep. So, what am I going to do? Art of course, after a while of tossing and turning that is.
Completing the holly design.
I spent some time yesterday adding colour with various chalk pastels. I finished off the last few areas with fineliner pens. Then, I added another layer of gold to the stars and inked around their outlines again.
To finish the holly design, I wanted to seal the surface. I’d done some experiments to see how a multi-media gloss finish and micro-glaze would work. With both, there was very little shift of any of the media I’d used on my test pieces – chalk pastels, graphite pencil, tinted charcoal, and Ecoline watercolour inks. The only difference was the gloss medium was a bit glossy, while the micro glaze lacked any brush strokes.
I decided on the microglaze. It helped to bring out the colours, as well as stop them being rubbed off. There’s also less chance of me making a total mess of things too.
All in all, I’m fairly happy with this panel for a card. Despite all my doubt and misgivings during the process of drawing the design, it’s turned out quite OK.
Notes on the mistletoe design
For this design, I decided to create a separate centre panel. I also painted a square of gold beneath where this panel would go.
I used Ecoline watercolour ink to add colour to the drawing on the Distress Ink coloured panel. Then I attached it to the base ’tile’.
Next, it was time to decide what to do with that big border around the mistletoe. I went with the tangle pattern Diva Dance Rock and Roll.
I knew this tangle pattern would add a lot of black to the border, but I think I wanted that to be the case. The black helps the central panel to stand out, I think.
I still have some work to do on this panel, but I to focus on inking in more of the last couple of templates for Adorable Dogs.
And the third day of trees. Why? Because I can! And there’s so many variations on the theme I can share. It can be difficult to work out which to do so.
For this series of videos, I have drawn lots, and lots of trees in my A4 sketchbook (two pages full, near enough). Some are successes, others not quite so. Indeed, there were a couple of “Oh, that didn’t go so well” trees in today’s video.
All of this, however, is sketchbook work. It’s OK to try things out. It’s just fine that things don’t always work out the way you thought they might. It’s quite okay that what may have seemed like a good idea in the head doesn’t translate too well onto paper.
In fact, it’s the ‘oops’ trees (and other drawings) that lead to artistic growth. They make me work out what’s not right, what I don’t like about them, and what I can learn from this. Sometimes I have another go at the idea, but better informed from the first version. Sometimes I realise it’s a lost cause…for now perhaps. Other times, it’s worked out, but it’s not just my thing. And that too, is perfectly OK.
Without trying things out we won’t know what we do and don’t like. It’s like cooking and tasting to see if the seasoning and spices are right or need adjusting. And just like cooking, sometimes things just don’t work, and occasionally can’t be saved!
The only difference is I’m not likely to make someone ill by drawing in a sketchbook!
Today’s video really brought home how important colours is in artwork. And shadows/highlights. But colour especially. Colour serves not only to bring life to the drawing, but to lift it from the background.
Yes, that can be done with various ways of adding shadow – cross hatching, line width, stippling, and so on. But there’s just something about colour, even simple colour, that just helps things along.
Indeed, simple colour seems to be my kind of style. At the moment. And looking at the upper picture, mixing coloured elements with monochrome is an interesting approach too. That may be a way I can move forward adding more colour to drawings, but only to parts that are focal points or where colour would really help with the composition. Otherwise, shading is the way to go.
And not just graphite pencil shading. I need to spend some time experimenting with other media – alcohol markers, grey watersoluble media, Pitt Artist pens, and so on.
Lots of things to think about and consider today. All insights I may have missed if I wasn’t making videos and having to talk about what was passing ephemerally and abstractly through my mind. Giving those passing thoughts words results in awareness, understanding, and, perhaps, learning.
In yesterday’s vlog, as I was drawing the last part of this week’s template, I commented that the leaves in the top right reminded me of trees. That was followed up with a statement that it’s an idea I need to explore more.
And so I am! I spent sometime messing around with quick pen drawings to figure some things out. Then, I drew the best of the mini-forest to create a small copse in my A5 pattern explorations sketchbook. Which I filmed.
Of course, as it’s a sketchbook, I can try out variations as I go. Some of these worked, some didn’t. And others I got totally confused on.
Adding shadow with matt graphite pencils, then colour with Ecoline Watercolour Inks, helped to give volume and some life to these trees. I still think I should’ve done one pink and purple! Maybe the next seedlings in my copse will be such colours.
And yes, I’ve already been doing more variants in my larger, A4 sketchbook. That has surprised me as I got so frustrated with the A4 size when I started this long term project of pattern and motif explorations.
Behind with work!
I’m so late doing anything today. I woke with a migraine-y headache. The result of yesterday’s anxiety-provoking/stress-inducing trip to the pharmacy and then a small supermarket. So, headache tablets taken, a return to sleep when the pain began to wear off meant I didn’t wake up until gone 11am UK time.
I wasn’t going to risk starting a headache up again by working on digital inking of the Adorable Dogs templates straight away. So, I filmed a drawing session instead. That gave me time to drink tea, let some of the fuzzy-head, drifty-floaty feeling subside. So, once I’ve finished all of this I can settle to work for the rest of the afternoon and into the evening.
I’m not so behind, really. It’s just that I prefer to work in the morning and early afternoon, then I can relax with other projects, like my vlogs.
Today was just one of those days where other things happened. That is life! I know, from past experience, there will be other days where it’s easy to work and a lot more gets done.
I finished drawing this Entangled-Doodleworlds template this morning (and videoed the process too).
It’s full of whimsy and cuteness, patterns and critters, plants and other items. I always enjoy drawing templates like this, ones that have little stories in them (or so I discovered yesterday while videoing!).
The nicest thing, however, is that there are lots of areas, so it’s easy to choose one place, one arch, one motif to colour if you don’t have much time or are just overwhelmed by the overall task. This way, you get the satisfaction of completing one part of the design – whether it be a tiny heart, or one of the little worlds under the arches.
I enjoyed adding colour to just a few sections today. It’s always a good thing for me to work with Clip Studio Paint regularly so I can become familiar with the tools, and to learn new ways of working with it.
I always look forward to seeing how people use colour to bring my templates to life.
Here’s today’s video. It’s over an hour long … just a little warning!
This page is getting fuller by the day! What started off as semi-circular botanical motifs has taken a direction of it’s own. Oh, the starting shape is basically the same – an arch. But some of my arches are now tall and thin!
They’re not all botanical anymore either. Some feel distinctly mechanical, others more coral-like. The more semi-circular ones look like fancy fish scales. The tall and thin ones look a bit like feathers.
Hence the name change. However, what is the same is the idea of exploring patterns/basic shapes and seeing where that leads. What happens is the page becomes filled with lots of variations on a theme. Like here.
I enjoy these more abstract motifs, lots. They’re fun to do and the only limits are your imagaination and/or creativity.
I didn’t film all of the new motifs being drawn, but here’s today’s vlog.
I took a break from drawing Adorable Dogs coloring templates (nearly all done, at least in sketch form…) to do some art just for fun. And that means, at this moment in time, seed pods. The three to the top right are today’s creations.
I couldn’t remember what plant they reminded me of. I thought mullein, but that’s not right. The closest I could figure out is Banskia seed pods, and these may be a very stylised interpretation of them. But not the stems. Weird stems are my own imagination in overdrive.
Of course, the drawings need shadow, colour and highlight to bring them to some kind of life. So, as I’m enjoying using graphite pencils for shading and watercolour pencils to add colour so much, that’s what I did.
I also tried adding some black line patterns to intensify the contrast and add interest to some of the shapes that make up the pods. That was just to see what happens. After all, this page is part of a sketchbook full of pattern explorations. It’s about giving myself permission to experiment, not to have to finish anything. The end result, I hope, will be something I dip into for inspiration at times when I don’t seem to have much of it.
It’s taken me a long time, but I’m starting to appreciate how important open space is in a drawing. I completed a drawing at the weekend. I hadn’t left much in the way of open space and it just felt really cluttered and confusing. So, progress made!
Even though I knew I wanted to leave some open space, I still needed to make sure that the other collections of seed pods and so on felt like they worked together, that there was a flow and connection. So, I tackled that in this video too.
I knew I wanted to put some texture and pattern in the background. So, I used a white Sakura Souffle pen to add some simple, fairly airy patterns.
Now, I just need to decided how much of this drawing to complete. It’s an exploration of patterns and techniques, a sketchbook page. It’s freeing to accept that I can do as much, or as little, as I wish to this page. It’s a chance for me to practice and experiment with different media and techniques with no pressure on creating a polished, finished piece of art.