Doodles, Mandalas and Zentangles

Zentangle

Ever since I can remember, I have been drawing this patterns. I draw them in the corner of notebooks, on bits of paper and recently, being creating art with them. I incorporate them often in Creative Workshops, encouraging people to find the therapy in simple lines, shapes and patterns.

Then came the internet. When I Googled “Doodle” I discovered a whole world of lines that didn’t look like mine. People seem to be doodling strange monsters, words like ‘Zoom’ and ‘Wow’ and repeating endless panda’s everywhere. It seemed my ‘doodles’ weren’t doodles. Continue Reading

My Process – Traditional Medium

Watercolour

I thought it would be a nice idea to just blog post the way that I illustrate in traditional medium. There are loads of ways to watercolour and lots of different other illustration mediums you can choose from to create the same effect. This is just one of those ways.

First Layer

The first thing I do is sketch out my drawing in pencil. I try to do this as lightly as possible, so that there is less to erase later. Once the intial sketch is on my paper, I then do a layer of water-colour. At this point, I’m just trying to get to colours right. I’m not worried about shadows, highlights, or gradients. I am also not to worried about ‘mixing’ paints. I might just use the colour that comes in the tube! It is just about putting down ‘block’ colours. Everything is pretty light as this point (I had to saturate the photo for you to see).

first layer illustration
first layer in the illustration

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Deckle Edge Premier Art Box

Deckle Edge

As a birthday present, my brother has bought me a subscription to Deckle Edge’s monthly Art box. As we only ordered early in Feb, I assumed I would have to wait and get my first box for March. I was pleasantly (actually that word is too mild, I was over-excited) surprised when the Feb box arrived. I ripped it open, tore the pretty blue tissue paper, with the ‘creative’ sticker and flung the quality parcel straw all over the room.

There was a useful explanation for all the items, stuck on the inside of the lid, which was good, as I wasn’t really sure what I was looking at. All I did know was the brush was pretty. But I am getting ahead of myself. Let’s go through the items:

Deckle Edge Box
Deckle Edge Box

Schmincke Aero Color Finest Acrylic Ink

I was treated to the Cyan colour for this play-time. According to my helpful paper from Deckle Edge, I was informed that the Aero Color Professional Acrylic Ink was initially developed for airbrushing, but also works for dip pens, technical pens and a brush. I was to discover all these things. The actually eyedropper and product packaging for this ink was really high quality and I couldn’t help but feeling a little scientific as I used the eyedropper to place ink into the next item. I mean, sure, I wasn’t wearing a white lab coat, but a stained, paint-fill, clay streaked, garden dusted apron that I have discovered ever since working from home, that I can’t go without.
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Children Proportions for Illustrations & Drawings

Rough Sketch of Toddler
Rough Sketch of Toddler

Recently I went to a workshop around critiquing, which if you are an illustrator you would know is a fairly brave thing to do. Basically you take your portfolio, which consists of probably 10 to 15 illustrations. Well that’s not entirely true, 10 to 15 of your best illustrations. Then you sit by, smiling and nodding while someone goes through your hard work, your sweat and tears, your time and freedom and basically tells you what’s wrong with them.

This is somehow distressing. Its one thing if a client asks for changes or tweaks – that is easy and you can just say ‘yeah, sure.’ But a critique is a different story. It’s something personal, but you’re not allowed to take it personally, which takes a lot of practice. I am a little out of practice. When I was a student, critiques happened every other week, but now? Phew. It was a good thing to experience and I think it is something we should go through every now and then.

One thing that did come up during the day’s discussion was children anatomy. The lecturer then showed us all the difference between adults and children and I thought it would be a good idea for a blog post. For those of you who aspire to be illustrators, it is always good to have a few children drawings in your portfolio. For those of you who draw children all the time, it’s also a good refresher of the basics.
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Coffee Art

A lot of people like to use the excuse that they don’t have the resources to start great art projects. They don’t have the paints, the portfolio bag, the mannequin, etc. Well, you might remember me blogging about how I attended a workshop recently where we painted with coffee? It seems this isn’t a unique thing. There are artists out there who just use coffee to do amazing illustrations. Which means that if you are one of those who look at paper and say ‘well I would paint, but I don’t have those expensive Windsor paints yet, then I say forget about the paints, make yourself a cup of coffee and get inspired.

 

Coffee Art
Coffee Art

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