Pen and Wash | Entangled Art | WIP

Link to today’s vlog on YouTube.

A very small penny dropped yesterday. I realised that what I’m doing is pen and wash, or ink and wash, or line and wash. I’m not entirely sure that a label is required, but it seems to fit.

I’m adding watercolour of one kind or another – Inktense, Ecoline, Mijello Mission Gold, Distress Inks, etc – to a pen drawing. Why I haven’t made that connection to the description of the method/process? I have no idea! Still, I have made that connection and a realisation that it gives a sense of artistic legitimacy to my work. That is a function of my insecurities when it comes to my artistic espression.

Yes, that’s right. Insecurities. Lack of confidence. Lack of belief in myself. Self-questioning about what on Earth I’m doing.

It is always nice for me when pieces of a rather abstract, metaphoric jigsaw fall into place, giving me a more coherent view of my method, my artistic voice.

These pieces always fall into place at the right time for me. I’m ready to accept that line and wash is what I do well, when I work within ‘an elegance of limits’ to quote the team at Zentangle. In this case a limited palette of colours harmonious with the background.

As well as working on this particular drawing, I have included some views of recent work in my sketchbook in today’s vlog. This other work shows me trying to work out how to add more contrast to the wash of colour. Fine ballpoint pen, graphite pencil and tortillon or coloured drawing pencils/chalk pastels are what I’m exploring. Eventually, I will settle on a method that I particularly like. I’m not happy with any of these at the moment.

I will continue to explore an figure it out. That’s what I’ve done with adding colour to my drawings, and that’s what I’ll do when it comes to increasing contrast with shadows and highlights.

Of course, I’m talking here about traditional art. When it comes to digital art, I think I have found a way I’m comfortable with in adding colour to pen drawings. I’m not quite there yet with traditional media, as well as finding the traditional media I like to work with.

Abstract Entangled Art | 01/08/2021

Yesterday, I took quite a large wedge of time to intensify the colours and adding shadow and embellishments to the art in my last blog post.

To do this, I used Derwent Colorsoft pencils, along with a blender pencil. The embellishments were added with White Sakura Soufflé, gold Sakura Metalic Gelly Roll, and clear Sakura Glaze pens.

It’s difficult to show the effect of the glaze pen on the artwork, though you can pick some up in the top right of the artwork on the left.

Is this the magic formula for me working with colour? A limited colour palette, simple watercolour washes, shadows added with a grey pen, intense colours with pencils, and embellishments with various pens? Maybe.

The drawing to the right was testing this idea out, though I didn’t use a grey pen to add shadows but a grey pencil. I really enjoyed how the coloured pencils added colour and depth to the artwork.

Too many dots? I don’t know. Probably. I do tend to get carried away with them!

I have learned that I can’t use the Zest-it blending fluid anymore – my asthmatic chest doesn’t like it at all! The Derwent blending pencils are a bit abrasive and moved some of the black pigment from the drawing. So, I switched to a Faber-Castell Blending pencil, and that worked just fine.

I also noticed that the blending pencil made the colours more vibrant – both the coloured pencils and the background watercolour wash. I think it’s because it leaves a glossy sheen, which I bring out by ‘polishing’ with a paper towel.

So, lots of learning and experiences yesterday and this morning, and perhaps progress in my use of colour by mixing media to my advantage.

Abstract Watercolour Art WIP

Watercolour Art WIP

Yesterday, I took some time to add more to my abstract watercolour work in progress. I’m continuing to work with the Ecoline brush pens, which are filled with watercolour ink. Through this process I’m learning the value of using larger brushes for larger areas.

Timing when to add wet into wet is something I’m starting to get to grips with, possibly. I like the way the colours have played with each other in the pebbles.

Once the pencilled in pebbles are coloured, I then will have to decide how I add detail and interest to other areas of the design. Do I do more pebbles?

I’m really not sure. All I am trying to be sure of is that this is something I can do to learn from, to explore this medium, and to explore abstract watercolour art in a style that is in my style.

Once the colour is added, I then will have another choice to make concerning pens. Do I use pens to add detail and/or contrast? If I do decide to use pens, what kind /colour do I use?

I think I need to do some smaller test pieces to try things out on. I’m liking how this particular painting is working out, so testing ideas out elsewhere may be the way for me to go.

Today’s Vlog.

Today’s vlog was suggested by a comment left by Jennifer Miller. She asked if I could do a flip-through of my visual dictionary / zibaldone. So that’s what I’ve done! You can see it by following this link.

A motley miscellany of mushrooms.

Link to today’s time-lapse video

Before it gets too hot in my studio area, I decided to finish off the mushroom watercolour I’d been working on.

I have really enjoyed working with the Ecoline watercolour ink from the brush pens. The more I work with it, the more I work out the techniques I like to use to apply colour.

I’m fairly happy with this artwork. I’m not so sure about the dotty embellishments added using Sakura Soufflé gel pens. I did use some white, but I thought I’d try different colours too.

This is all a learning experience for sure.

I woke with a stinking headache this morning. It’s still not lifted. So, today’s video is a timelapse of how I added colour and embellishment to this motley mushroom miscellany!

A fishy vlog …

Link to the vlog

It’s fishy because today I fancied drawing and painting some cute and whimsical fish! I drew the fish before I started filming.

Also, I wanted to try the Ecoline watercolour inks from the brush pens on a piece of the Canson Imagine Mixed Media paper. The watercolour ink works well enough on the paper, which is nice to know going forward.

Yesterday, I spent most of the day in the cooler realms of my downstairs living room. It was so hot, and it’s forecast to be so again today. A fair amount of time was spent filling pages in my sketchbook with drawings of whimsical birds and fish, simply because I could.

Today, it’s forecast to be as hot. It’s already almost insufferable upstairs (for me anyways). So, I’m going to be downstairs as much as possible today, except for three zoom meetings spread throughout the day. More time for drawing and sketching methinks. Perhaps using non-watercolour media to add some colour to the sketches. I’ll see how I feel.

More Mushrooms! Watercolour explorations

Link to today’s vlog

Ecoline watercolour inks, insects and mushrooms

As you can see, I finished the insect painting. I’m really quite happy with this artwork, even more so as it’s the first one done entirely with a new medium to me – Ecoline watercolour inks.

Of course there’s a lot more exploring and working with them to come, including a rather cute bunch of mushrooms!

I started drawing the mushrooms with a grey unipin pen. Then, I had a flash of inspiration; try using watersoluble fineliner pens instead and see if the line will disappear even more!

So, I dug out a fairly pale Chameleon fineliner pen (NU4), which was darker than I thought it would be. All the same, it would suit my purposes for this experiment.

The pen didn’t react with water/ink as easily as I thought it would. Perhaps that’s because I’m working on watercolour paper…maybe. Or perhaps because I’m using a fairly dry brush with the watercolours. If there’s too much wetness, the colour migrates to the edge of the wet area and the centre becomes pale to colourless.

No problem now I have recognised this. I just use a paler fineliner in future explorations.

I am still really enjoying the Ecoline watercolour inks. I know I said I thought I’d found my water-medium of choice with the Mijello Mission Gold watercolours. The Mijello’s are great, the best watercolour paints I’ve used so far. But, the Ecoline inks just seem to work so much better for me and my style of art.

Am I going to abandon the Mijellos? Nope! But for a while they’ll be put to one side as I work with Ecoline inks. It may be that I work out how I can best work with the Mijellos as a result of using Ecoline inks. Perhaps I’ll end up using them in concert from time to time. I don’t know for sure!

Of course, I won’t be abandoning digital art/coloring. Ideas, techniques, inspirations flow from one medium to another.

Watercolour Experiments

Click here for today’s vlog

I’ve been experimenting with water-based media over the past couple of days. I’ve finally completed a watercolour painting that I’m fairly happy with. Apart from the bright pinks and dark purples. Note to self – analogous colour schemes with a pop of complementary colour are the way to go!

The painting on the left was done using a variety of media – Phoenix pan watercolours. Mijello Mission Gold watercolours, Zig clean colour brush pens, Tombow Dual Brush markers, and Ecoline brush pens. All applied and/or blended out with either a waterbrush or a damp brush.

The Ecoline brush pens are new to me. I purchased them to replace the Zig pens I made a right mess of when I spilled a whole mug of coffee everywhere. I thought I’d missed the tin with them in, but I hadn’t. It wasn’t a great loss; the pens were old and beginning to dry. So, maybe a serendipitous accident with the coffee!

The Ecoline brush pens contain concentrated liquid watercolour inks. The pens are really juicy too! Even when really diluted, the colours are still vibrant on the paper. Also, as they dry they don’t lose much vibrancy, if any! They’re taking a while to get used to, as any new medium does. But, using them is making me smile…a lot!

As soon as I started using them to complete some of the remaining elements in the abstract botanical painting, I just knew I was going to love them! So, I ordered the second set of pens to complete the whole colour range. It may very well be that as the pens run out, I’ll replace them with the bottles of Ecoline watercolour ink/paint. Or, I may look at other options.

Fairly quickly, I worked out that a waterbrush wasn’t the way to either apply or spread out the colour. I tend to create detailed drawings, so traditional brushes where I can control how much water/colour I apply are the way to go for me.

I’m beginning to think I may have found my traditional media of choice! Digital art is my strength when it comes to colour, but these pens, this type of medium, may be the equivalent in traditional media.

The downside of the Ecoline paints is that they are dye based so are not lightfast. However, as I tend to scan in my art to sell on products, then that won’t be a problem.

The insect was something I just had to try. I do have a fair bit to learn. If I keep adding layers of colours, the earlier ones get spread to the edges and create dark areas. Those, however, may work for me. I’ll see. I’ll also see if I can lift some of that colour in a selective manner to lighten them up again.

Pebbles and Seaweed Abstract Art WIP

This is the start of a watercolour and, probably, pen artwork based on fronds of seaweed and pebbles. If you’d like to see it from the start of adding watercolour to where it is at this moment, then I did record a vlog. It’s a chatty one, about the art and other stuff.

I used my biro sketch that I did yesterday as inspiration for this. I drew from memory and intuition, using red and black fine ballpoint pens on a 16cm x 16cm (6.25″ x 6.25″) piece of Canson Moulin du Roy paper.

Next, I applied watercolour, wet into wet. I realise I need to dig out my craft heat tool to dry the watercolour quickly when it’s spread in a way I like it. Well, at least try that out! I’ve not quite learned when is the right amount of wetness for this to work to the extent I’d like it to. Having said that, I did drop clean water to push some of the darker colours back in places, though not always successfully to my taste. However, as I plan to draw on top of the colour this may not be an issue.

For the seaweed I chose to use yellow ochre no.1, burnt sienna and light red. Indigo, Van Dyke green, indigo and peacock blue are the colours used for the pebbles.

I have no idea what I’m going to use for the central part of the fronds, yet. It’ll work itself out I’m sure.

I waited from the fronds to dry before doing any neighbouring fronds. I started doing this with the pebbles, but a happy accident reminded me of how much

More Abstract Art…

Vlog on YouTube

Please note that I am not sponsored, paid or have products gifted to me in return for a review or promotion. I mention the products I use in case you’re interested, and my opinions are my own.

Yesterday, I finished adding colour to the abstract artwork I’ve been working on for a couple of days. I’ve spent between 5 and 6 hours on it. The paper is approx 6″ square, so that gives you an idea of the size. I do have a thing for creating small artworks!

I’m not sure if I am finished with it, however. I have a yearning to add metallic dots and patterns, but not sure I should. I’ll let it be for a while. If I do decide to do this, then it will be no big problem if I don’t like the outcome. This is something experimental for me, to try things out and to learn from.

This morning, before I turn my attention to inking in some coloring templates, I decided to use this first painting to abstract a pattern from for a new artwork.

This time I’m using a 16cm x 8cm piece of Canson Moulin du Roy 100% hot pressed watercolour paper. And it is a joy to use in comparison to the Aquafine. I’m sure there’s nowt wrong with the Aquafine, it just doesn’t suit my way of working. Which is fine. We’re all different.

After drawing the design in pencil, I started to add watercolour. I’m using my Mijello Mission Gold Class set of colours along with a Caran d’Ache water brush.

I had some hiccups with the waterbrush and working with a different paper. All part of the experimenting, exploring and learning process!

I did a little test of the Inktense pencils and the watercolours on the back of the paper. The Inktense pencils worked so much better on this paper. That is a lesson for me for sure. Time to add Moulin du Roy paper to my shopping list!