Today felt like the right day to start jazzing up these simple circle motifs with some texture and pattern before adding colour.
I kept the methods of adding pattern/texture really simple – just lines and circles combined in different ways. It’s amazing how just small, simple patterns can make a difference to the motifs, making them look a lot more intricate than they are.
It’s sketchbook work, so this is a pretty messy page, but that’s fine. I’m learning that getting ideas down quickly as a reference/resource for future work is a good thing. And if they’re messy, then that’s fine! Even with the messy bits, the ideas are clearly seen.
Colour is still the thing that vexes me, and the sketchbook is where I can explore colours and, perhaps, find my confidence in them.
Cute and whimsical fish! What a lovely way to fill a sketchbook page and end up with a shoal of fishies.
Being whimsical, and cute, is so much fun when it comes to drawing as anything goes. All are recognisable as fish, even if only one looks like an actual fish that exists! And I’m fine with that!
Drawing practice, or indeed lettering, has to be fun, enjoyable and something to look forward to. Yes, I know it’s important to develop and advance skills, but that doesn’t mean that just drawing for fun can’t be important too. Drawing for relaxation, to de-stress, to learn how new media work, is also important, as well as expanding and exercising the imagination and creativity that we all have.
This was fun! A page full of flowery, shelly, poddy motifs all starting with a circle! I’ve actually already filled nearly six pages in my A5 sketchbook with such explorations. And I’ve not finished!
A simple exercise like this really gets your creative juices flowing. There are so many, many ways to fill a circle with patterns to create a new motif. And as it’s in a sketchbook, there’s absolutely no pressure to make everything perfectly polished. The point is to get an idea down quickly and then move on to the next.
After the page (or pages) are full, there’s time to go back and add finishing details, patterns, textures, colours and/or shadows. There’s no requirement to do this to every single motif on the page. Nor is it essential that each space on a motif is filled identically. This is a space to just try things out, whether they work or not at this time. Be that drawing, patterns, textures, colours or different media.
Eventually, the sketchbook will be full of ideas and inspiration. It will be a place to dip into when at a loss. it will be full of exercises that can be done again and again or varied quite simply.
Exercises that get you drawing and being creative just for the sheer fun of it!
This is exactly what a sketchbook is for! There can be some more polished drawings in there, of course. There can be notes and ephemera and colour palettes and swatches and more too. But the fun of just drawing to see how many variations on a theme, starting with one simple shape or motif. Well, you’ll surprise yourself!
Give it a go! No one ever has to see what’s in your sketchbook. It can be a place where you play with watercolours just to watch the magic of that medium. To lose yourself in a pleasurable activity for a while and take a break from the busyness of modern life and all the stuff going on in the world around.
Drawing in a whimsical, stylised or doodly way takes the pressure off the belief that art has to look like a photograph (it doesn’t!). It allows you to just enjoy the process.
This morning was one where all I wanted to do was draw leaves and experiment with colour. So I did. And I videoed it and I invited you to watch and draw and colour along with me.
Whimsy was definitely needed too. So, whimsical leaves were drawn with a brush pen. Bold lines. Simple shapes and patterns. Plenty of space to add colour to each leaf.
Adding colour is a frustrating thing for me. More so with traditional media where you’re stuck with your colour choices. Digital colouring lets me play with colour a lot more, without the fear of making poor colour combination choices; it’s easy to change.
However, I’m aware that there are times when I want to add colour to sketchbook work. Times when only traditional media will do. And it’s time for me to experiment with them more often.
Today, I chose to use Derwent Colorsoft pencils along with a Caran d’Ache All Blender. Telling myself, and those who watch my videos, that as I’m working in a sketchbook, in my own imaginary world, I can use any colours I like. Also, there are no mistakes, just experiments that had unexpected outcomes that are sometimes not pleasant. But a sketchbook is the place to experiment, to try things out, to work out how to get a medium to work for you.
A sketchbook gives me permission to play around, try things out, have things not work out how I expected them to, to discover new things. After 20 years of really exploring my artistic side, only now has this realisation dawned on me. Yes, I can be a bit dim at times! But I eventually get there. Perhaps I wasn’t ready to understand and accept this before now. It seems that I am now.
The breakthrough has been taking the lettering course on Domestika. Encouragement to try different things out, not to worry if something doesn’t work, it may be useful in the future. Just keep going until something is good enough. Recognising that sometimes the unexpected outcome is just what is needed.
As well as becoming a bit more confident with lettering, these insights into the true power of a sketchbook have been a powerful lesson to learn.
I spent some lovely time this morning starting to draw this week’s coloring template. I decided to edit some oopsies and add some colour to the part I drew in today’s video.
It was fun to use a different kind of digital brush than I usually do to add colour. There’s a lot more texture that is a little like watercolour. I definitely need to spend more time with these brushes, and others, to understand them though.
Still, after a late breakfast, actually lunch as it’s now midday, I’ll finish drawing the template.
Absolutely no apologies for drawing yet more mushrooms today. I’m a 5’10”-ish tall hobbit as far as mushrooms are concerned!
Some different kinds/shapes of mushrooms drawn, step by step, in this video, but also some watercolouring (pretty inept) and some decoration with dots too.
It’s always so lovely to draw mushrooms, or botanicals of land or water. I never tire of drawing them. Each time I draw them, other possibilities come to mind.
So, I invite you to have a go at drawing a plethora of mushrooms with me. And have a lot of fun with colour and pattern too! These are whimsical, stylised drawings that can be anything you want them to be. That’s the beauty of a sketchbook – your imagination and creativity can express itself and the only limitations and/or rules are ones you set yourself.
This morning, I completed filling in the ‘Huggins’ spaces in this drawing. As always, it was a lot of fun to do, and possibly some unusual filler patterns appeared.
Given that I’m working at a lettering course, I’m particularly pleased that I got some lettering into the grid! It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I rather like how it’s turned out.
This sketchbook page is now complete. However, I have so many more variations to look at – filler patterns, various grids, ribbons, arches and so on. I think I’ll stop bothering Huggins for a little while and do something different for my next Draw With Me video tutorial.
Exploring “Huggins” is way too much fun! Actually, exploring all patterns and motifs is, but Huggins just lends itself to so many variations in lots of different ways. Even as I’m typing, another idea has come to me. It’s never ending!
I look at just a few more variations in today’s video, and I invite you to join in with me as I draw these variations.
I have lots more variations in my sketchbook, no doubt soon to have some more added!
I’m noticing that the practice of exploring, working on iterations, of these patterns and motifs is making it easier for me to do this elsewhere in my art, particularly lettering. It is fascinating how just small changes make a huge difference and lead me down paths I may not otherwise have trod, so to speak.
Becoming flexible in my creativity is something I hadn’t thought about. But here I am experiencing it and loving the process! In some ways, more than creating new artwork! I do feel, however, this is a path I need to journey down on a regular basis to keep my creativity exercised and flexible.
This was such fun to do! I mean, every drawing I do is fun, but this one is more so. I started with a tiny little motif and it inspired a whole page of variations.
Sometimes, I didn’t like what was there. However, I’d later go back and adjust or add to the design based on what I was learning from the later motifs I had drawn. I’d also talk about what was going on in my head as I was drawing.
It’s a tutorial for sure. Not just step by step how to draw these variations, but also about the mindset I have when I spend time with a page.
It would be fab if you’d pop along to YouTube to watch this video and have a go at drawing along with me! And then, see what other variations you can come up with! Of course, I’d love to see them too.