Tangle Pattern “Calibree” by Nancy Domnauer

Click on this link to watch the #DrawWithMe video that accompanies this design.

Phew! It’s really hot again today here in the Valleys of South Wales, UK. And in many other places too. I’ve slowly been wilting through the morning. However, I was determined to get a video done and uploaded before I find somewhere cooler in my home for the rest of the day.

I had a really poor night’s sleep, and so I’m also struggling to keep awake. But keep awake I must. Delivery is due in the next three hours or so, and then I have errands to run.

So, my frazzled emotions, sleep-deprived brain and overly hot body really wanted to do some art that was soothing, comforting and simple. I knew I had this circular piece of paper already coloured with Distress Ink, so all I needed was a tangle pattern or two to add some pattern to it.

A very quick look on Tanglepatterns.com, and I saw Calibree by Nancy Domnauer CZT and thought it perfect. It’s got an uneven grid pattern, so it will deliberately turn out all lovely and wonky. I actually feel rather wonky myself today, so that fit perfectly!

I decided to stick to a monochrome colour scheme, again keeping it simple. You can see the whole process and materials I used in the video.

Although I may not have made the best choices with some of the colours, I’m fairly pleased with how it turned out. I’m also really pleased with how it picked up my mood as well.

Drawing simple flowers, leaves, #tanglepattern spoolies and adding colour with coloured pencils.

Click on this link to watch the accompanying video on YouTube.

One of my YouTube subscribers (Chen Keith) requested I draw some simple flowers and show how I’d use coloured pencils to colour and add contrast.

Drawing, not a problem! Colouring? Yeuch colour choices! But I do show different approaches I use to adding colour with coloured pencils, or rather what I’ve done in the past. I rarely ever used coloured pencils now. Digital coloring or marker pens are my mediums of choice, with Inktense and the Karin Brush Markers close behind.

While the video was uploading and processing, I did try out other ways of adding colour and/or contrast. It’s way too hot here in the Valleys of South Wales for me to think clearly and explain things at the moment. The heat is making me feel very, very tired.

#DrawWithMe – A Whimsical Bird and Flowers – Part 2

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

I had a really, really cruddy, broken night’s sleep. So, doing art that doesn’t have a bit more than good enough was in order.

Getting the pen drawing done for this cute bird I started a couple of days back was just the thing!

It’s always interesting to look at my art, whether finished or, like this one, a work in progress after a day or so’s break from it. With fresh eyes there’s a different perspective. With this drawing, I needed to alter the design and size to get it to work. Not sure I’ve got it right, but it’s better than it would’ve been if I’d carried on as I originally planned.

The next decision to make, and the trickiest, is whether to just add shadow and highlight or whether to go with colour. The next tricky decision is what media to use to this.

I’m so aware that my colour choices can be … quite dire. And so I am tempted to add colour digitally initially. Maybe. Perhaps.

A little break from it will be in order before I make that decision.

Draw with me – Tangle Patterns. A Sketchbook Page

Please click on the ‘Watch on YouTube’ button – cheers!

I’m fine, but feeling a tad out of sorts today. So, I needed some art that would be self-soothing for a bit of selfcare. Nothing is better than starting to fill a page with tangle patterns, and all of these are new to me!

From top to bottom, the zentangle patterns I used are:
Wigwag – Jody Genovese CZT
Moonrice – Ilonka Weerts
QuaSahnt – Heidi Kay

I coloured the page with Distress Inks (Wild Honey, Spiced Marmalade) then added some Ripe Persimmon through a stencil.

Draw With Me … A pattern and motif sampler sketchbook page – Part 2

This was a lovely way to start my day. At the bottom is a tangle pattern that is new to me – Zhuer by Yuru Chen.

I also wanted to add a motif across a couple of boxes in the sample. This one ended up like a stylised ear of wheat. As I look at it now, I wish I’d had it going behind the boxes and maybe the top bending towards the left and reaching outside of the upper box. That’s something to think about for the next motif I add.

Still, it was a nice half hour or so before my attention turned to inking in colouring templates.

As well as filming adding the pattern and motif to this sampler page, I also show my slow stitched panels at the end of the video. You can view the video on YouTube by clicking on this link.

Draw With Me | Pattern Exploration – Arch Motifs

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

Step 1 – Create a Gesso and Neocolor II background

Yesterday, I had a delivery of Finnabair Art Basics Clear and Heavy White Gessos, made by Prima Marketing. Neocolor II backgrounds are a lot of fun to make, but they do leave a smooth, waxy finish to the paper. I like drawing on it, but my pens aren’t too keen.

So, I wanted a way to seal the Necolor IIs into the paper and a surface I could draw on. Yesterday, I tried some glassy gel medium from my stash. It worked well, and the colours appeared more vibrant. It was OK to draw on, but the pen took a long while to dry, and I’m not sure how permanent the Micron ink would be on it.

Synchronicity-like, some suggested videos cropped up on YouTube where gesso had been used to prepare the paper and then seal in the Neocolor IIs, even using the gesso instead of water.

I have used gesso in the past, but it always felt very rough and gritty. However, the Finnabair Art Basics gessos had reviews that suggested they are smooth and chalky in feel. So, I had to try them.

I’m glad to say that they are smooth and chalky! I did spend a little time last night testing them out and gessoing some “polaroid pops” image tiles.

In today’s video, though, I wanted to quickly show what gesso is and how I’m thinking of using it, particularly in my sketchbooks with paper that won’t take much water.

I covered a page in my Hahnemuhle D&S sketchbook. The paper in this book is for drawing and sketching and is not designed for water-based media. I can get away with a barely damp brush on the paper, but only one, maybe two layers are possible before the paper starts breaking down. Gesso solves this by sealing the paper’s surface and creating a thin, flexible layer that can be worked upon. I used the heavy white gesso to do this.

Gesso dries really quickly, but a craft heat tool (or hairdryer) can help to speed the process up.

The next step was to add colour with the Neocolor IIs. I used water to activate them, though I could’ve used gesso. I wanted to create an uneven, weathered or worn kind of background. I started with the browns, sealed them with clear gesso. After this had dried, I added the blues and finally another layer of clear gesso.

Then, I was ready to try drawing on this.

2. Drawing on the gesso surface

I really didn’t know what would happen. I know I’ve used gesso in the distant past, but couldn’t remember if I’d used pens to draw on it or not.

As it happens, it was really lovely to draw on! The Sakura Pigma Sensei 04 pen did feel like it caught on the tooth of the gesso from time to time, but nothing more than a rough-surfaced paper. It may be my imagination, but the ink seemed darker on the gesso, perhaps because it dries on the surface and doesn’t sink into it, like it would with paper.

I did a test to see if, once dry, the ink would be affected by water or gesso. There was a tiny amount of pigment that seemed to move, but nothing noticeable.

3. The arch motifs/fragments

I really love round arches! It stems from my love of Romanesque architecture. I use them a lot in my artwork. So, I thought it was about time I explored individual arches as if they were fragments of a tangle pattern.

4. Reflections

I’m so glad I rediscovered gesso. I’d forgotten how it could be used. I know the rough grittiness of the gessos I’d used in the past really did put me off using them again. However, this lovely, chalky smooth gesso is really nice to draw on. It also opens up more ways to create backgrounds and use colour. I’m sure I’ll continue to experiment and explore it going forward.

Draw With Me | Stylised, whimsical, imaginative seashell No.3

Click on this link to view the YouTube tutorial video.

Day 3, shell 3. This time a little more complicated, or so it seems. I took some imaginative liberties with this one, and that’s fine! I’m not trying to accurately draw these shells, just get the essences that make the shell identifiable. Then, I want to add my own ideas of patterns and colours and alter things a tad.

Making those imaginative changes was an enjoyable thing to do. I hadn’t realised how much I do this in my art generally. Sometimes, it takes a while for me to have that kind of insight – this one took about 20 years!

I’m also really chuffed that my YouTube channel has hit 750 subscribers! I was amazed and humbled when I achieved one subscriber. 750 is beyond what I imagined. I’m both amazed and humbled by this. So a huge thank you to all who have subscribed.

Adding shadows to the hand lettered “I”

Click on this link to see the video where I add these shadows.

I had a request on YouTube from a subscriber to show how I would add shadows to this design. So that’s just what I did, and of course filmed the process.

I used three shades of cool grey alcohol markers. Using alcohol markers is a bit of a dance from light to dark and back to light again, usually. Today, I did some really simple blending, so streamlined the process a bit.

It never ceases to amaze me how much such subtle shadows add depth and volume to the design.

My next conundrum is whether to add colour. I could use alcohol markers, or I could do that digitally. I’m not quite sure what I want to do, yet. I have digital images of both the un-shadowed and shadowed versions, so whatever I do I’ll always have a copy of the original.

Draw With Me… Even More Whimsical, Imaginative, Stylised Sea Plants

This sketchbook page is now complete! I had so much fun doing this one for sure. There’s a whole host of plants to populate any number of whimsical worlds. There’s a third video tutorial showing how to draw, step by step, the last row as simple line art as well as the start of adding colour and pattern.

Some of the motifs look a bit ‘flatter’ than I like them to, and a couple I’m not quite happy with in terms of pattern/texture. But still, it’s a page full of inspiration and possibility, something I can look back on for inspiration.

The fifth and final part of Draw With Me… A Sketchbook Page Full Of Oyster Shells

Click on this link to view today’s drawing tutorial on YouTube.

Finally, the page is as full as I’d like it to be of oyster shells! I did some hand-lettering before filming the video. I just wanted to add a quote about oyster shells and practice hand lettering.

I really enjoyed drawing all of these shells. The last one, a more whimsical one than the others, is my least favourite. It did, however, give me the chance to do something a little different when adding textures.

I really didn’t think out the layout of the hand-lettering. Maybe I’ll work that out, eventually. Maybe!

Overall, I now have a great reference page in my sketchbook as far as oyster shells are concerned.

I may do some further work on this page. Part of me wants to add words/quotes/facts as a background to at least one shell. I’ll see how I think about that after a little break from it.

In the process of drawing this page over the past five videos, I’ve gained some insights and understanding about my motivation to start a YouTube channel. I didn’t seem to have any clear purpose for making the videos, but with time and working on it all I think the pennies have finally dropped. That’s a good thing, maybe. All I have to do is to keep this purpose in mind (and remember it!). Fortunately, I’ve recorded my ah-ha moments in a journal, just in case I need to refer to them.

Now all I need to do is work out the next motif to focus on!