Monday, 29 August 2016

Fish Talk!

Its been so lovely to have a day to myself just getting back in touch with my pen!

I love trying different media and get so excited about combining them but sometimes the simplicity of just a pen and paper and time to doodle are are one of life's little luxuries.

I can't get enough of looking at Fish and trying to capture their lovely sleek scales and the infinite forms of their shapes and colours. The more you look, the more you see all kinds of repeating patterns and the more we observe the details the better we get at drawing. 

The section below shows the repeating patterns and the lines that give the fish its structure and shading. This is the fish before I cut it out.

The collaged page is in my Fishy Sketchbook. A whole book of fishy moments! It's good to return to it when I need a fishy fix!

Saturday, 27 August 2016

Moon Child

We have had some beautiful Summer evenings lately here in the UK. Summer has arrived at last and at the end of the day when everything is quiet even our rather scruffy garden looks so lovely in the moonlight! 

There is usually a soft breeze which sways the branches of the trees and the shamefully overgrown grass and the large golden Harvest Moon makes everything looks magical.

I wanted to capture the way that the moonlight shines in cool, silvery slivers on everything it touches, only just highlighting the textures of nature and making us imagine the shapes still in shadow.

I'm not very good at drawing faces. I usually avoid them and draw something else instead. But as I usually encourage my students to be fearless I thought I'd take my own advice and try painting a moonlit face on a black background.

I started with a wash of black acrylic on watercolour paper followed by a wash of metallic gold and bronze to give a bit of shimmer.

Then I painted the face with a wash of thinned white. I wanted the darkness to provide the shadows. The rest of the paper was filled with plant shapes in the same wash of white. The brush still had a bit of gold on it so there are yellowy hints in there too.

I then had a lovely time back in my comfort zone, with my trusty white pen, doodling in all the moonlit highlights. 

I'm quite pleased with it! I like the way the gold peeks through the white wash to give it some depth and just a little bit of shimmer.

Here is a close up of the eye so you can get a better look at the layers. 

Saturday, 28 May 2016

Amazing Rust!

Just a quickie look at today's rust. I am so pleased with these. They are so clearly printed that it looks like the rusty washers are still on the surface.

On thick cartridge paper. 

On thick cartridge paper. It looks so like the metal.

On cartridge paper with organza and modern cotton lace.

Cartridge paper again.

On a vintage hankie with a lace edging.

On fine linen scrim and vintage lace. So fabulously crunchy!
On cotton in the background.

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Fabulous Felt coming soon!

Don't you just love the textures in Handmade Felt? 


Especially when all sorts of lovely fibres are added into the layers  so they form their own little serendipity of colour just like a wildflower garden.
This one has added stitch and beading on the surface.
Do you fancy joining me to make one of your own?

More Rust! Textures!

Doesn't rust look lovely on textured fabric. These are on damaged vintage Broderie Anglais and a variety of other gorgeous embroidered fabrics and although it seems so sad, in  some ways, to distress them, they have been rescued from a charity shop and will become glorious again in a new artwork. 

I am so thrilled at the variegated greys in the dyeing, and hardly any orangey rust colours. I think the tannin in the tea was responsible for this happening because I dyed them with just tea and no vinegar at all. I love too that the circles from the washers have printed so well. 

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Fab Rust!

Today I was supposed to be doing a bit of Spring cleaning but instead I have been playing with rust. 

4 days ago I started some rust printing in the garden and today it is ready. So fast! and always such a lovely surprise.

This is the fabric when I had rinsed and dried it. I used pieces of cotton. Most were recycled. One was a piece of lovely tightly woven shirting and it feels almost silky. 

Another was part of a torn blouse with lace inserts.

This one is a piece of some lovely linen scrim that I got in France.

What always amazes me is that the prints are almost photographic. You can see so clearly the shapes of the rusty square and circle washers.

Want to know how I did it? It is so simple and quick!

I placed half a piece of fabric in the bottom of a tray, covered it with lots of rusty washers and folded it over. Then I added more layers of fabric and more rusty stuff. I poured tea over it and put the whole thing in a plastic bag and left it in the garden for 4 days.

Below is the piece that I folded over at the bottom of the pile. It has printed with a mirror image of the rusty bits. Magic!

Thursday, 31 March 2016

Inktense Tutorial part 2

Are you ready play with those lovely Derwent Inktense Pencils again? 

Looking back at the last tutorial I thought that I should mention that Inktense pencils are usually thought of as producing vivid spectacular colours of Indian Ink, and they really do! One of the things that I love so much about them is the way we can immerse ourselves in the joy of using pure, bright colours in our artwork.

But there are lots of fab tutorials on how to get them to release their full colour and it takes a little more practice and thought to use them for subtle blending techniques. It is also good to know that if we have them in our art kit, that they can be used in many ways. This is a slower and more relaxing way of painting which is great for calming the mind.

So lets look at adding some shading and detail to our artwork. 

At this stage I usually start to think about what images or doodles I'd like in my circles. I usually don't fill every space because I sometimes like there to be a calmness of some empty spaces.

In Art, there is as much importance in what we leave out as to what we put into our pieces and negative space, the space between, is a great decorative tool.

As you look at your work so far see if any shapes leap out at you. The green oval shape looked like a leaf to me so I added some veins with a black Pigma Micron pen.

The lines in the paint next to the leaf looked faintly like the petals of a flower so I followed the lines with the pen and made a flower.
There was space for another leaf so I copied the shape of the other leaf, and then there were two! 

Once the shape of the flower is made you can outline it with the pencils and blend the colour inwards. I added a yellow centre to the flower and blended it gently outwards. 

This gives a very subtle natural 'bloom' to the flower. I also added some shade below the flower and leaf to make them look more 3D.
To do this just use a grey or blue and draw a line along the outside of the shape and use a tiny bit of water to blend it into the background. It also disguised the bit where my pencil slipped and gave me a wonky line. I will doodle over it later.

Now lets have a look at adding some detail to the trellis. Last time I drew around the inside of the shaped with the pencils and wet it to soften the colours. Today I started drawing in the spaces.

This photo is very much enlarged to show you the doodles. Anything goes really. The spaces are tiny and you just want to give them some interest. I used the Sakura Pigma Micron pen again for this because it is waterproof when dry and I can go over it with more colour later. I used a 0.1 nib size.

My biggest circle next! 

I have chosen to draw a bird in my largest circle and I think this will become my focal point so I will add the most detail to this. If you don't feel confident to draw freehand, you can stamp an image instead. Remember to use a permanent ink like Stazon so you can add water and pencil over it.

Can you see the difference that shading brings to the image? I outlined the bird and the scallop edging with grey and blended them towards the centre of the circle and it make the image come alive! I added a little more yellow to the bird too.

I also drew tiny spirals around one side of the bird to make it look like it was emerging out of the clouds. Little red details make the image pop and keep it from looking too dark.

I've decided that I don't like that pesky porthole circle below the bird. So I'm going to change it!I've given it a wash of green and yellow. Then whilst it is wet I have drawn a yellow circle in yello and outlined it in Sepia Brown.I have also drawn the petals around it in Sepia.

Then I addad some mor between the petals and blended it.

To finish my daisy I doodled around the edges of the circle and in the centre of the flower.

So that's it! I think I'm done. I have finished by shading around everything to give it a bit of depth.

Next time I will show you some simple techniques for Inktense pencils on fabric. Keep watching.