Inktober Tangles 2021 | Day 20 “Oysteroid”

This tangle, with it’s use of heavy lines for shadow/dimension is just up my street. Or so I thought. I ended up experimenting with how the thicker lines can change whether the layer appears to be growing up from or digging down into the page.

I enjoyed varying the inny or outy nature of each layer in the pattern, but I’m not entirely sure I’ve got the shadow and highlight right for the innies!

I’m going to put it down to sheer tiredness. I had a poor night’s sleep again. I’ve been up since before 5am and I’ve done nearly a day’s work already, and I still have more to do. But first I really do need to go sleep for a while. I’m just about falling asleep at my desk.

Template Thursday … on a Wednesday?

Wednesday is the day give a sneak peek of this week’s colouring page/template for the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group.

I’ve only done part of the template so far, and the video is in real time and I try to vocalise my thought processes as I draw.

Template Thursyay!

This week’s template has a bit of everything that is ‘Angela’ in style. Entangled art, Zentangle patterns, florals and botanicals, cute and whimsical. Something for everyone. The template is available to members of the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group.

Unusually, it’s in landscape format, and a strange set of dimensions too. I can only say I wasn’t feeling too well yesterday – upset digestive system, extremely tired. That meant I didn’t pay much attention to the size of the paper I decided to draw upon.

I am feeling somewhat better today, but still incredibly tired after another disturbed night with an upset tummy.

I know I’ll be getting my sketchbook page for Inktober Tangles 2021 Day 14 done after I’ve had a very late breakfast. I’ll post that later in the day.

This morning, I recorded drawing the final part of the template. I did some drawing yesterday evening, but didn’t record it, so there is a gap in the process. Here it is:

Sketchbook Saturday – My week in art

Saturday is the day I look back over the art I’ve done from the past week, and a bit older than that too!

Inktober and Inktober Tangles 2021

Naaki by Nadine Roller CZT and ‘suit’ are the two prompts I worked with today.

Instead of creating one drawing, I decided to try out variations of the tangle pattern. And I included the symbols for the four suits in playing cards too.

I may do this for the rest of Inktober. It’s a lot of fun to do, no pressure to create a finished ’tile’ or ‘picture’. And no pressure on me is just what I need at the moment.

A Zentangle tile for day 27 of Sketchtember 2021

This morning, I needed to create something that wasn’t too taxing, that was meditative, that could be completed relatively quickly in a process that was familiar to me. So, I chose to create a Zentangle tile. Perfect for when I’ve woken with a stinking headache.

I cut a 4″ x 4″ square of Fabriano Sand Toned Paper and added a few pencil lines to act as the ‘string’ for the design. Next, I had a look on TanglePatterns.com for a pattern to place in the diagonal area. The latest one posted is called TIWA, designed by Ria Mattheussen, one I’ve not drawn before. So, I used that, and let the design grow from there.

To create the tile I used the following: 0.3 Unipin pen, various Stabilo Carbothello pastel pencils and a paper stump, a white Sakura Soufflé pen, and a BR3 Chameleon fineliner for the spiral pattern (Printemps in Zentangle-speak!).

The whole tile took about an hour to create, and I have a speeded up video of this process on YouTube.

I need a quiet, restful, and possibly nap-filled rest of the day. As the headache is beginning to fade, it’s leaving me feeling exhausted in it’s turbulent wake. I do think I may do a little more drawing first.

Sketchbook Saturday | 25 Sept 2021

As autumn has arrived, at least astronomically, As we’ve passed the astronomical point of season’s change, from summer to autumn here in the northern hemisphere, I continue to long for the fiery costume of nature. Warm memories to sustain us as the cold, architectural skeletons of nature are all that remain. A reminder burned in our minds that nature will once again blossom and bloom once the days begin to lengthen once again.

To complete the line art, I used a Tombow Fudenosuke pen. Colour was added with Stabilo Carbothello pencils and a paper tortillon.

Today’s vlog is a sketchbook flip-through showing my week in art.

Link to today’s vlog on YouTube.

Template Thursday…on a Wednesday?

It’s Wednesday, so it’s time for a sneaky peek at tomorrow’s template for the Angela Porter’s Coloring Book Fans facebook group.

It’s not finished yet; I’m about halfway through. There is a timelapse video of the drawing so far on YouTube.

I’m still exhausted after a stressful couple of days organising routine appointments, then having the first yesterday. The rest of them are tomorrow afternoon.

As the stress hormones leach from my body, as I start to come down from the intense stress/anxiety I’ve experienced around the appointments, I’m left exhausted, with brain fog. Today, I’m not so brain foggy, but I am still really tired. I had a poor night’s sleep which didn’t help.

So, today is going to be a quiet one. I want to get this drawing finished, maybe my drawings for Sketchtember – Day 15 done too. But I’ll see. I think I need some more tea first!

Painting with Distress Inks

Link to today’s vlog on YouTube.

I woke with a stinking headache this morning. So, spending some time adding colour to an entangled drawing, along with a couple of headache pills, was just what was needed. And listening to a podcast or three.

I decided to use Distress Inks as paints, along with a Caran d’Ache waterbrush. Here’s a list of the colours I used:
Forest Moss, Fossilised Amber, Weathered Wood, Broken China, Dusty Concord and Seedless Preserves.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing, and I think I really should’ve stayed away from Dusty Concord and Seedless Preserves – the purple and pink colours. Either other analogous colours and/or browns/greys would’ve worked so much better.

I keep doing this with colour. I’m so used to choosing complementary colours that I still reach for them. In this case it’s understandable as I chose some of the colours that were in the background.

Note to self – monochrome-ish or analogous colours!

To help tone these brighter pink and purple colours down, a liberal use of dot highlights from a white Sakura Soufflé pen was needed! I’ve not finished adding embellishments yet.

Nor have I started intensifying shadows. I’m not sure whether to use biro or either a graphite pencil or a chalk pastel and a paper tortillon. My head isn’t clear enough to decide about that! As the headache is wearing off, my need to sleep the last of it off is increasing.

Entangled Drawing | Adding Colour Part 5

Link to the Adding Colour Time Lapse Video

This morning, I spent nearly two hours adding colour to this drawing. It’s getting close to being completed. Well, the adding colour part. There’s embellishing to be done too!

I’ve used Inktense pencils through out, along with a damp brush to activate and blend the colours.

As well as colouring new areas of the design, colour was added to intensify various areas that were appearing too insipid. I still have some of this to do to bring out a sense of volume in various elements.

I’m fairly pleased with this, though in hindsight adding the shadows with a grey Faber Castell Pitt Artist pen first may not have been the best idea. Still, it’s a learning experience, again.

Entangled Art | Adding Colour Part 2

Link to today’s Vlog on YouTube

As I enjoyed my first mug of tea of the day, I continued to add colour to this entangled drawing.

The success of blending colours yesterday inspired me to do more of this. Little by little, I’m starting to get some sparkles of confidence in adding colour.

Inktense pencils do make this easy in a way. It’s a lot easier to control the application of colour.

Control – it’s that word again in respect to the addition of colour. Watercolour vexes me as I want to control a medium that isn’t easy to control it seems. Perhaps the exploration of watercolour and Ecoline watercolour inks are cul de sacs for me. They’re interesting to explore but lead nowhere except back to where I started, almost. I return with extra knowledge and experiences that can then be applied to other media.

Indeed, the way that I apply colour digitally has partly inspired me in this artwork. But remembering my dabbling with abstract art back in my A level days gave me a few insights into my relationship with colour.

As a scientist, all my observations – drawn or written – had to be accurate, representative of what I could see. Colours had to be correct, as I could see, so others could check what I had seen and confirm those observations are correct.

As an artist, I can put that requirement to one side; but it’s not easy to do so, especially when I’m drawing from observations.

I have little problem adding colour to my cute, whimsical, entangled coloring templates. They’re not meant to represent anything ‘real’. They’re abstract in their own way. Though, when the motifs are based on observations, then I get into trouble with colour.

Remembering the abstract oil paintings I did back in the days of A level exams, I used colour to convey the mood, feeling that went with the time, place, experiences I had when taking photographs to use to work from. The final paintings were in colours that represented these personal, emotional, and sometimes intellectual responses.

Going forward, I need to remember this in my work and to transfer it to artwork. The actual colour of something is not as important as I think it is, and to remove that pressure from myself. If I want a record of the ‘real’ colours, I can take a photograph. But to record my experience, I need to give myself permission to express my feelings, emotions and my response to it in whatever colours suit me at the time. I need to allow my intuition and imagination a greater role in my work with colour

Hopefully I’ll get there, and I probably am little by little. The value of the vlogs is that I have to start to give words to the thoughts that come as I create, and this blog allows me to expand on them.

To give words to the ephemeral, abstract, metaphoric thoughts that wander around my head is to manifest them. The words result in conscious awareness of the thoughts. The awareness is then something that can be learned from, acted upon and put into practice.

I’m learning to externalise what has usually been an internal and fleeting process of thought and analysis, and it’s an intriguing and interesting experience for sure.

Entangled Drawing WIP

Link to Time Lapse Video of Pen drawing (not adding colour though)

This morning, I spent over an hour starting work on this entangled pen drawing. I did film the process, but it’s recycling day, and the bin lorries and bin men were really noisy this morning. So, I turned the video into a timelapse with music. It lasts about 14 minutes, and the link to it is above this paragraph.

I remember chatting about my influences for this drawing, and they started with me watching a video from the “Journey to the Microcosmos” YouTube channel.

I’ve always loved microscopic images, being able to see things that are invisible to our naked eyes. There’s always a sense of wonder about it, amazement at the different shapes of the various organisms that become visible. That wonder must be the same as Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, a Dutch scientist of the 17th and 18th Centuries must have seen.

I loved drawing what I could see with the aid of a microscope from the first science lessons when I was 11 years of age, right through my degree and PhD and on through my teaching career too. And of course it was bound to creep into my art!

My memories of drawing diagrams of flowers and rock sections, minerals and scientific apparatus and diagrams are very fond indeed. This has certainly influenced my style of art – observing the tiny, abstracting the interesting (important) patterns and forms. Scientifically, the focus is on the features, structures, the important parts that allow identification or communicate the important features of what was seen. After all, photographs and videos can be made of all the glorious detail and colour.

The diagram is a simplified version, a map, that can help others to navigate their way around. A kind of scientific version of the map of the London Underground system. The map helps in navigating the system, but it bears no relationship to the physical layout of the rail lines and the geography of the city above.

Now, however, I take those observations and turn them into my own arty, entangled worlds of wonder. It is still the small parts that catch my attention, fill me with wonder and awe, are the ones I record, rarely the whole thing. If I visit an old church or abbey, I rarely, draw the building as a whole. I spend time looking and drawing the elements of it that capture my arty attention.

My sketchbook page often ends up of a collage of my visit, the various observations fitting together in a pleasing way. Often, I may join the elements together with imaginary lines or patterns. I may end up not with a drawing of the whole building; instead, I record my experience of the building at the day, time, season and weather I visited it.

The same is true for visits in nature, or to museums. My sketchbooks record what catches my attention, and that may not be the ‘whole’ of something, but just a part.

I’m still a scientist in my approach to art – what are the important forms, patterns, shapes, etc. that are the distillation of my experience, that I’d like to record and, maybe, share with others?

Of course, these observations find their way into my more Entangled art, like this one. The round orbs separated into three lobes were inspired by something I saw when watching one of the Journey to the Microcosmos videos. The flat leaves, by seaweed. The triangular pods are imaginary, though there may be real-world analogues of them from which inspiration was unknowingly gained. Curled, baby fiddlehead ferns are the inspiration for another motif in the drawing.

Inspiration indeed – based on observation, but interpreted and altered in a way that is personal to me.

I’m forever wondering what my artistic voice is, and here it is. At least one of the harmonic notes or chords anyway.