I was without broadband from early Thursday morning until late yesterday afternoon. Hence the reason why this is late and I’ve not posted for a couple of days.
I did have internet access via my mobile phone and I used a mobile-hotspot so I could get online on my ‘puter. But, even on 4G, it was a tad slow on uploading and I have no idea if it would have coped with Zoom.
This week it’s another typically ‘Angela’ entangled style of drawing. I used a Sakura Pigma Sensei 04 pen and A4 Bristol paper to draw this. After scanning, I added the background and some shadow and highlight.
Every time I draw it’s practice, even if the result is a finished and fairly polished artwork.
This page from my new A5 landscape Enviro sketchbook from Artway, is definitely practice. Practice of pen drawing, geometric pattern creation, colour and using pencils and a tortillon to add shadow.
It was also a chance for me to practice creating iterations of a square ‘fragment’ used to create the surface patterns and border patterns.
This isn’t something I’ve done often when delving into the Zentangle realms. I’ve never really taken the time to try out different permutations to do with rotating and mirroring the unit square. Nor have I really spent time altering the unit square ways that it’s the same but different.
Using a different colour to add interest and depth to the patterns is also something I’ve not really done, but I found it interesting to do.
The idea to work with the basic pattern unit, or ‘fragment’ as the Zentangle creators term it, and try all these different things out.
It becomes addictive, especially as it seems almost impossible to do something truly horrible! But if something doesn’t work, it’s learning about why it doesn’t, and can you make it work.
I’ve ended up with a page filled with variations on a ‘fragment’ that I can refer to for inspiration as I need to.
I also have ended up surprised at how much I like this page. It’s not my usual kind of thing, and while working on it I had many moments of ‘What the feck am I doing? This really isn’t going to work out nicely at all’. I persevered and am quite happy with the end result. It may not be my usual style of art, but it gave my pen skills a nice work out!
Zentangle is a particular method of drawing abstract patterns, step by step, with a focus on meditation and gratitude. It is something anyone can do with the most basic of equipment – pen, pencil and paper. There are lots of fab videos on Youtube from the Zentangle creators, Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas, along with others. They also have a website – Zentangle.com – full of resources. Another great online resource is TanglePatterns.com, run by Linda Farmer, a Certified Zentangle Teacher.
These kinds of patterns and abstraction have been a feature of my art long before Zentangle was a thing. It’s nice, however, to dip into the Zentangle resources from time to time for new inspiration and challenges, or just to practice my drawing skills.
This is just the start of what will be a bigger drawing. It’s my way of warming-up, artistically, this morning. Rotring Rapidograph pens on bristol paper.
Warm-up is something that is appropriate again this morning as it’s a cold start to the day. A hard frost greeted me as I opened the curtains, glittering in the dawn light. The sun is now well up, and there’s a haze in the air. Frost lingers on the north-facing roofs and shadowed pavements. Properly autumnal morning.
The sunshine is making my heart and soul smile gently. Solar energy always lifts my spirits, my mood, which is most welcome after a series of days filled with fatigue and brain-fog once again.
I did get out for a walk yesterday, and it was lovely to be walking in the chill air and sunshine. I twisted my knees, however. Age doesn’t come by itself and arthritis in my knees is causing me some issues. My plan is to look after my knees, take it easy at home and focus on getting work done. Mind you, the pull of a sunny afternoon, the need to be out and moving around may make me get out for a short and easy walk on the flat. I’ll see how i get on.
One of the members suggested a Christmas in July template, so that’s what I did. A page full of iconic Christmas motifs, admittedly not all of them, but a fair selection.
If you fancy printing this template off, all you need to do is join the group! It’s completely free, as are all the templates I design for the group. All I ask is that you follow the terms and condtions of use.
I drew these little designs on Rhodia dot grid paper with a Tombow Fudenosuke (hard) pen. I cleaned the drawing up in Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, then digitally added colour. Some are in the more traditional Christmas colours, others are less so. No rules for colouring! Whatever makes you happy or peaceful is fine! The most important thing is to have fun and enjoy what you do.
As for me, today I’m taking a break from the typographic portrait of Nye Bevan that I shared yesterday. My artistic intuition needs some time to work out what to do with it, both to complete the blank areas and to edit places that aren’t working.
I need to pop out for a walk too. I’ve been sat down, focused on art too much over the past couple of days. It’s overcast and there’s a stiff breeze, so it’s perfect for me!
This week, it’s another of my collections of little windows. Yesterday was a day where I needed to draw a template that wouldn’t overwhelm me, and a collection of tiny drawings and patterns is a way to break the task down into bite-size, cute, whimsical pieces. As I result, I enjoyed the process and found some contentment and peace too.
In fact, some of the colorists in the group have told me that the really like the way the page is broken down into pieces that can be finished quickly if they are limited for time. The different sizes allow them to choose something that can be coloured in the time they have available. That part can then be left finished, freeing them of the worry of leaving something unfinished.
Coloring, like any creative activity, can help calm, relax, soothe and give a break from negative self-talk, to name a few of the benefits. I know that scientific studies have shown this to be the case and that losing yourself in coloring has a similar effect on brain activity as mindfulness meditation.
I use art to help me with times when my emotional weather is stormy, dull, unsettled. As I said earlier, drawing a collection of small designs was far less overwhelming than drawing a full page illustration yesterday. Yet, I still end up with a full page of mini-templates to colour.
I feel I struggle with colours. I tend to try to put all colours available to me into one template. Every now and then I do work with a limited palette, which also has it’s own problems. My window templates take away any pressure I put on myself regarding colour. Each window is a unique image in it’s own right and I can use whatever colours I wish in it without worrying about the overall cohesiveness of the project.
These window templates are also great fun for trying out different colour combinations, for blending colours, and even for trying out new techniques. You could make notes on the template, or cut out the pictures you want to keep and start an art journal where you note down the media, colours and techniques used to get the effects/blends you like. No longer any need to remember what they are, just refer to the journal!
Talking of cutting the designs out, that is a perfect way to make use of a finished coloring page like this one. The individual images, or groups of them, can be used to make greeting cards, bookmarks or to embellish art journals, journals, scrapbooks, diaries, planners and bullet journals!
As always, I love to see what people create using my templates – share with and/or tag me on social media : f: @artwyrd t: @artwyrd i: @artwyrd