Create with me | Collage and Zentangle Patterns

Please click on the “Watch on YouTube” button. Cheers!

This was a lot of fun to do earlier today. Before I filmed my process and thoughts, I made some collage papers using Paper Artsy Fresco paints, which are chalky, soft acrylic paints. I remembered I had some in my stash after watching a video about collaging by Art With Em. I suspect I have other acrylic paints somewhere, but the Paper Artsy paints were the ones I liked – they dry quickly, the opaque ones act like a coloured gesso, and they have nice flat, ‘soft’ surfaces which you can write/draw on.

Next, I made some A6 (approx 4″ x 6″) background panels. I added colour with Distress Inks and used a stencil to add some background patterns.

Creating a collage ‘cluster’ was my next step. So, as well as using a torn piece of one of the Paper Artsy papers, I used some digital papers and a quote I’d printed.

The quote didn’t stand out on the damask patterned paper, so I used some Inca Gold Alchemy Was from Imagination crafts to add a sheer layer of gold. When the light hits the gold just right, that’s what you see. Otherwise, the pattern is partly hidden by a dull, gold-brown. I quite like the ghostly look of the print on the paper this way.

As I put this three-layer ‘cluster’ onto the background, I didn’t like the blue-green against the yellow-green of the background panel. So, I used the Inca Gold Alchemy Wax to colour the area behind the panel. And that felt so much better!

Next, I drew some Zentangle style patterns above and below this central collage cluster. To do this, I used olive green and rusty brown Arteza Inkonic fineliners. With the leaves on the Fleavy pattern, I used a damp brush to kind of fill them in with some of the colour. Then, I wanted to bleach out parts of the panels with water splatters. A paper towel picked up the water with some of the ink – pen and Distress- and I ended up with a ghostly kind of pattern. I did the same with the rusty patterns, one of which is the Zentangle pattern Tripoli.

I wanted to add some Peeled Paint and Shabby Shutters Distress Ink to replace some that had been lifted off. Then, to finish it off, I splattered little drops of gold watercolour .

This is so different for me, yet I like it. I know that I’m in my early days exploring and experimenting with this kind of technique. One thing I really do want to do is practice, practice, practice and develop a hand lettering style that will work well with this.

Monogram ‘B’ (and a couple of others!)

Click on this link to view today’s video tutorial that goes with this design!

Watching some arty videos yesterday, I stumbled upon one that involved creating “Polaroid Pops”, part of a challenge hosted by AALL and Create back in January 2022. In this challenge, you had to create mixed media polaroid ‘photos’ using stamps by a specific artist in the AALL and Create range.

I really liked the format of the images created and thought it could be fun to try this for myself!

Polaroid photos have the following dimensions:
The image is 3.1″ x 3.1″ (approx. 8cm x 8cm)
The whole photo is 3.5″ x 4.2″ (approx 9cm x 11cm).

So, yesterday I cut up some of my Neocolour II backgrounds to 8cm x 8cm and got to drawing on them!

I really like the square format. At 3.1″ x 3.1″ (8cm x 8cm), they’re only a wee bit smaller than a standard Zentangle tile. And they do look fab when mounted on the white card to create the polaroid.

After drawing a kind of botanical scene in silhouette (not quite my thing, but you have to try, you know.), I tried popping a hand-lettered monogram into the square and using Zentangle patterns to fill in the negative space.

That was much more ‘me’. And in today’s video, I continue with the letter B, though it looks like an R because I deliberately drew it as bigger than the ‘photo’. Duh, didn’t check for it looking weird before inking it in. Luckily, there’s space on the white background to write in what it is!

While the video was uploading and processing, I drew the ‘H’.

I think I may make an alphabet collection for future reference and inspiration! So, if you fancy having a go take a look at today’s video on YouTube.

Draw With Me | Embrace Beautiful Chaos – Part 2

Please click on the ‘Watch on Youtube’ option. Cheers!

I spent some lovely time adding a bit more to this drawing. In the video, I share how, step by step, I draw some of the motifs so you can use them too!

Peace, calm, and just creating for the contentment it brings me.

Draw With Me – How to draw stylised shells from a reference image

In today’s YouTube video tutorial, I do my best to describe and show how I draw a stylised seashell or two from reference photos.

I had a request from one of my subscribers to do this. I find it hard to put into words how I do this, I don’t have conscious thoughts/words about it – I just do it. So, this forced me to slow my mind down and put into words what goes on. And I do hope those words make some sense.

The end results are good enough for my sketchbook, and the spiral shell is perhaps my favourite of all time that I’ve drawn, including realistic, diagrammatic, whimsical and stylised.

I’m particularly fond of stylised drawings. The spaces within them are perfect for adding pattern and texture. All my favourite things combined! Shading, highlight and/or colour can be the icing on the cake or shell.

This was a nice diversion from the lettering projects I have on the go. It was also something quiet, relaxing and soothing and perfect for me. Today, I’m exhausted after a stressful yesterday. It was a good kind of stress, but still stress/anxiety. I knew I’d be doing something yesterday a week ago, and so the stress built up gradually over the week. I’ll gradually recover, but today is a quiet, down-day with plenty of self-care, but not any naps as I’ll need to sleep properly tonight.

Draw With Me … Sand Dollars and Cockle or Scallop Shells

Click on this link to view the tutorial that goes with this post on YouTube.

After drawing whimsical fish floating through the air, I thought it was time to draw some other water-based things. Sand dollars (or sea urchins) and cockle/scallop shells seemed like a good place to start. And I do my best to start simple and gradually get more complex!

Sand dollars begin with a circle and a five-pointed star. Then things get more complicated, one step at a time. The first step is to divide the space up. The next step is to add pattern/texture and/or colour and/or shadow. The steps are totally interchangeable and can be repeated.

This is sketchbook work. A chance to practice drawing skills. A time to exercise creativity. And a time to relax and enjoy what you’re doing with no expectation of perfection. The only expectation is to do, experiment, explore, learn and, most importantly, experience the simple joy of a creative process.

Joy, contentment, inner peace. These are such important things to experience, even if for a short while each day. That’s why I draw so much just for pleasure. And that’s why I’m finding my feet in the realm of YouTube and realising that I can help others, you, to do the same, simply and one step at a time.

Draw With Me … Whimsical Floral Motifs

Click on this link to view the YouTube video that shows, step by step, how I draw and add pattern to these motifs.

On Wednesdays, I draw the weekly colouring page (or template) for members of Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group. As this week’s template (and next weeks too) has a fair few floral motifs in it, I thought I’d make them the focus of today’s video over on YouTube.

The flowers are all rather whimsical and stylised, but that’s no bad thing. I’ll never stop thinking that we need some more whimsy in this turbulent world (and that’s putting it mildly!). If I can create a little world of beauty and whimsy with pen on paper, then I think that’s a good thing. And it’s even better if others can use colour to bring the worlds to vibrant life, or can learn how to draw their own whimsical worlds too.

I was a science teacher for 28 years, until I left to focus on my mental and emotional well being as well as art. My desire to help others gain confidence and inspire them to learn new skills, to find enjoyment in this process, then that’s a good thing too.

Draw With Me – Part 2 – Adding texture, pattern and colour to circle motifs

Click on this link to view the video that accompanies this image on YouTube.

I felt the need to spend some time adding more pattern and texture to some of these abstract, stylised circular (ish) motifs. First, however, I added some colour to most of them. I used Ecoline Brush Pens which contain Ecoline watercolour ink. The colours are very intense and vibrant and so I use a water brush to add them to my drawings. I listened to Andy Serkis’ reading of Lord of the Rings while colouring before starting to video.

Water-based media do vex me somewhat. However, I’m beginning to see how the textures that can be achieved with them make interesting backgrounds behind the patterns/textures drawn in pen.

It was fun to experiment with dropping colours and/or water into the first layer of watercolour ink and watch them spread and mix. It’s a kind of magic and is totally mesmerising. The paper I’m using, Canson Imagine mixed media paper, isn’t the best for this, but it’s adequate. Time to dig out the watercolour paper again for sketchbook exercises like this I think.

It was a lovely way to spend a couple of hours this Saturday morning. I don’t know when I’ll add more pattern/texture with pens, or possibly metallic inks or paints with fine brushes, to the remaining motifs. What I do know is it will be both explorative and intriguing and mesmerising and magical, and I’ll work out my relationship with all these mediums a little bit more.

And, perhaps, have a better relationship with colour!

This is one of the important functions of sketchbooks. Yes, I often do complete, polished, finished drawings in them. But finally working out that I can also practice, experiment and ‘art’ just for enjoyment in them is a bit of a revelation. One that I’m enthusiastic to share!

It’s also lovely that, through the medium of YouTube, I can ‘teach’ and encourage others to do the same. Hopefully, I make things clear and simple. And increasing someone’s confidence, the willingness to give it a go and see what happens without judgement, just learning from the experience. Sometimes the lesson to be learned is that it’s a relaxing process, a break from the outer world that can bear down on us. Other times it is trying out media or colour schemes or just practising.

I’m sure I’ve not given a comprehensive list! One of the most important things is that, just like a diary, no one ever has to look inside your sketchbook, unless you choose to share.

Creativity is part of being human. Working out the ways to express that creativity, what expresses a part of the inner self, is part of who we are. Art is one way to do that, and the only person we need to compare ourselves to is ourselves! As we journey and try things out we find out who we are by discovering who we are not. And it’s a journey that never ceases!

Draw With Me … Seed Pod Explorations

Click on this link to see today’s tutorial on YouTube.

I’ve had a lovely time this morning working in my sketchbook, creating variations of one of my favourite things to draw – seed pods. I just love them! And they often appear in my drawings.

So, I thought a video tutorial on YouTube would be a good idea, sharing my thoughts and showing you step by step how to draw these variations.

No doubt, some of these lovely pods will be finding their way into other artwork of mine this week for sure.

Draw with me… “Siros”, a Zentangle pattern by Simone Menzel CZT

Please click on the ‘Watch On YouTube’ option.

Siros is a lovely, stylised flower Zentangle style tangle pattern. It was deconstructed by Simone Menzel CZT.

It’s a totally new pattern to me, so in this video I share how to draw it, along with some of my explorations of the pattern.

Flor-In-Square by Anita Hou CZT – A monotangle

Oh, I had a lot of fun drawing this lovely tangle pattern for the first time! It combines both geometric and organic elements most delightfully.

I kept the colour simple and chose not to add any shadow. This one will end up as a greetings card for sure.

There is just something so satisfying in drawing such a geometrical, repetitive pattern. It’s both relaxing but needs focus.

As I was drawing it, I started to see possible variations on this tangle pattern. Those will be shared in the goodness of time!

Until then, here’s today’s video, where I show, step by step, how to draw this monotangle. If you’d be so kind as to click the ‘Watch on YouTube’ button, I’d appreciate it very much. (It helps with the algorithm that shares my videos with others!).