so, so much knyt-ing. My hands are tired!

Have you used the Knyt Pattern which was created by Lyndel Churchill? I fell in love with it as soon as I saw it - so clever! - straight into the pattern log it went! Unfortunately, I didn't have a chance to play with it right away.

This week I finally got to it! Just before I was distracted with Monday's IX challenge, I had sketched out a little design using knyt and managed to finish it off this weekend.

Loved the looser look to the pattern that I had seen here, and by the time I got to the end of the first drawing, I was consumed, I had to have more!

So, here's what came out of a little intensive Knyt-play:

Knyt in some flowers: I wanted to incorporate flowers and scrolly bits (I can never, ever have enough scrolly bits), AND have an excuse to use my mulberry promarker! I LOVE, love, love this colour. Love it!

The Knyt tassel a.k.a. Any excuse to use Lime Green and Hot Pink together: (almost the name of my blog - fortunately some sanity prevailed!) I wish this colour combo worked for more of my drawings. This turned out a lot like a mi2 drawing that I did some time back - love the feeling of it getting closer/larger.

Weave: Ohhh, o.k., the background on this looks a little grey - not so nice with the white background. Ah, well. Loved using Blooming Butter  by the wonderfully talented Michele Beauchamp - I could've played with this idea many more times. Also shaded with greylead instead of markers on this, which was a nice change for me as I haven't done it for a while - easier to control, but definitely messier.

Weave 2:  I'm kinda meh on this one, but had had enough by this time and didn't want to re-do. I love the idea of "threading" beads into the centre. I think you could really go to town with the weaving options presented by breaking up rows of knyt.

I found that whilst working on the first drawing, I struggled a little bit in making Knyt flow like I wanted it to and had to change my approach. I ended up drawing it in the same way that I work with Mi2- which is to draw a single directional greylead line and then freehand from there (the dots and seeds do my head in, it just ends up a huge mess for me). Much easier for me to draw it like this, and as maybe there are others whose brain works like mine (a little dysfunctional!), Lyndel has kindly given me the o.k. to post this alternative method for drawing her pattern, so here it is:

So, now that I have overloaded this post, and really, really need to go to bed, I will post the feather & variations that also resulted from this play asap.

PS: I'm excited! During the reading/re-reading while I was editing this post, I had a different idea of how to work with Knyt. I've sketched it out and can't wait to try it! I'm super-tired, so this one will have to wait until sometime through the week. I really wish my brain would just stop sometimes, but I do love that feeling of being inspired, the ideas don't always work, but the anticipation that they might is so much fun!


Scrolled Feather - a video and some variations

A while back when I did the pattern for Scrolled Feather - I got my daughter to video me demoing - all ready for me to upload to the blog so that you could see how I go about drawing it. Unfortunately my firewire cord, or the video, would not talk to the computer and I couldn't edit it.

I still wanted to do it, and today, as it has been miserable and so incredibly cold that even my husband, John didn't want to work outside (an unheard of occurence!)  I got him to video me on my little Canon point and shoot camera. Yep. We're a high quality outfit here. Nothing but the best. LOL. Hopefully I don't live to regret it.

Anyway, here it is. Take note of the disclaimers at the start - the sound quality is not good (I do not lisp, and I'm sure my voice does not sound like that!) Hopefully you can understand me and my very Aussie accent.


I also had a bit of a play with the pattern and came up with a few variations of the theme.

Also, along the way, created a new pattern from the basic structure.

My head has been so full of ideas this weekend, my fingers are worn out trying to keep up. I've been playing with knyt and have another feather variation on the go. Hopefully tomorrow I will have time to put together another post.

Have a great weekend!



IX Diva Challenge #88 - the good, the bad, the ugly

Firstly, I have to say thank you so much to everyone who has left a comment on my blog, or emailled me, over the last day or so. The interest in my Scroll Feather pattern, and drawings, has been overwhelming. I really appreciate that you took the time to leave me a message :) Also, thank you to Linda for including my pattern, and the wonderful work that she does with her Tangle Patterns website - this fantastic resource has been my bible. Now, this weeks Diva Challenge. I have to say, IX was a little hard for me to see initially how it would work with my style of drawing, and, when it was launched, I sketched it in my pattern log, then pretty much ignored it. Poor little IX. This is what I LOVE about the challenges, they make me step outside my comfort zone and try to make a pattern work for me. So, the GOOD: I love that elements of the design become "embedded" as in Auraknot, and that it lends itself to organic flowing designs. The BAD: I am shockingly bad at drawing evenly spaced parellel lines. I think I lose concentration half way along the line and just start thinking about, I don't know, maybe feeding my cats. LOL. Or, I continue even when I know my hand is contorted way past what is normal and it spasms. I'm like the little engine.....I think I can, I think I can.....well, I can't! The UGLY: for me, the end caps on IX just don't work in my drawings, they just feel too clunky for me - so, the challenge for me was how to overcome this - here's what I came up with: Motto 1 - "when all else fails, draw a daisy", I've extolled the virtue of the daisy many times, LOVE THEM, so yah, I drew 'em again. Here's my IX daisies, you can see I capped the ends without creating the extra lines (though I did try it out on one end).
Motto 2 - "fall back on the scroll", said in a trance like voice. No capping at all on the pattern here.
Motto 3 - "make it into a ball". Another ploy that I use when I don't really know what to do with a pattern, is to work it into a ball shape. I actually think IX works brilliantly with this and would use it again, shading the ouside edges to make it appear more rounded. It also solves the capping problem for me as the pattern appears to continue over the ball edge. **I have edited this photo to show approximately the actual size of the ball, which is approximately 5cm, or 2". The larger image blows out the lines and shows all the imperfections :)
A 5 minute drawing I did last to experiment with using alternative end shapes, rather than a triangle, on the first line of the pattern - I think tear drops, smaller circles and boxes would also work well. Maybe another time when I'm up for more experimentation.
If you are still with me, brilliant! It's a bit of a long one, and hopefully you are still awake :) Thought you might like to check out my IX brainstorming page. All of the above ideas had their genesis in this page - I don't do this for all challenges, but on the ones where I really don't know how I am going to approach it, I do a bit of free drawing, not really thinking about what I'm doing and just seeing where it takes me.


paisley flowers

I wanted to use paisley shapes in a drawing and finally got around to sketching out an idea yesterday and am really happy with the end result. Also wanted to try out the orange micron pens that I have had kicking around in my drawer - love how it makes the drawing a lot less harsh and, I think, gives it a henna/mehndi look.


the bubble-ator & petal ribbon step-out

I had to jump out of bed early one morning last week and draw the outline for this. I don't know where the idea came from, no correllation to anything I was thinking about, I was probably just reading at the time, but sometimes images just pop, fully formed, in my head and I am compelled to go with them. I still seem to have cones on the brain. Such a cool, and, (to me) elegant shape. This ws pretty quick to do, though some of my striping is not quite right. Foiled by the black marker again! Oops! I can usually reshape, or just make something a little larger, but not in this case. I call him the..........Bubble-ator
I often use Finery on the more graphic drawings that I do, it works so well for long skinny shapes like leaves. When I was drawing "Growing Tube" I changed it around a bit by adding a curved, blacked out bit under every 2nd line. On "Pinwheel3" I played around a bit more by alternating the s-shapes, and adding the curved black shape under every line to round them off more. Really liked how it looks like petals on a strip of ribbon. Here's the steps if you would like to do something similar, just click on the image to enlarge :)


lime fengle

When I was flicking through an earlier journal last week, I found this fengle-ish play half done, so decided I would finish it off - I've worked on other things on and off in between, but got it done today. Lots of "sticky edges" on this - love to hide imperfections and wonky lines this way. My favourite colour, lime green, as a highlight. Love, LOVE lime green. Love it! I haven't really done anything with fengle before and it's hard to know when to stop - I just kept finding spots that needed an extra scrolly bit. I think the fact that I stopped working on this to do the 2nd pinwheel in my previous post is why that one ended up with scrolls on it too! I was on a roll :)


challenge #85 - pinwheels for peace

This weeks Diva Challenge - Pinwheels for Peace, such a great idea. love it. Now that I am on school holidays, oh yeah - had my last sessions for the term today, finished next term's planning yesterday, and now have 2 1/2 glorious weeks stretching out in front of me - I finally had the time tonight to finish off the pieces I have been working on for the challenge. There hasn't been a real lot of love between me and the pinwheel, but here's what I came up with: Basic pinwheel, most like the simple pinwheel string posted on the challenge, couldn't resist adding a few curly bits.
The pinwheel that grew - this one started off as a 8 vaned pinwheel that I just kept on adding more to:


the design below idea came from this beautiful digitally produced pinwheel, by William "Spektyr" Laskorski and though I normally freehand, I couldn't resist using this as a template - too hard to reproduce the perfect arcs, spaces, etc.


growing tube

I have another terrible drawing pad - the last one was good, but this one - Jasart - is no good for shading with markers - it causes the ink to smudge from the line drawings when I work with the markers & also breaks down a bit when it becomes saturated. O.k. for just drawing/inkwork. Ah well, I will just have to work around it (I hate leaving a journal 1/2 full, so will persist till I finish it) - at least I know not to buy it again. I have a couple of moleskine journals on the way and am excited about trying them out next. Growing Tube: I have a fascination for playing with perspective, and I had fun with this one, making it look as if the various elements were sprouting from the tube - the shading on the holes in the tube took a bit of work to try and get right - still not 100% happy but I have a pressing need to move onto my next drawing, so have pronounced it "done".


feathers, daisies & bubbles

This is a drawing from last week which I have been feeling a bit ambivalent about, not sure whether I wanted to post it or not, but, ultimately it has a yellow and purple colour scheme (insert happy gurgle), and daisies (love), so up it goes. I also wanted to post the steps I used for drawing the feather using Margaret Bremner's pattern copada for the diva challenge last week. I will definitely be doing something more with the peacock style feather I did here - love this :)
Feather instructions: Note: direction of the curly brackets and scrolls, as well as giving the feather centre a good curve are important for this one to look right, so it is a little fiddly. I prefer it in greyscale rather than colour.
Back to my drawing :) hx


gum flowers

I love drawing gumflowers, especially red ones! I wanted to revisit a drawing that I did some time ago (I've used part of it on my blog banner, you can see the whole image in my gallery), changing up the layout of the flowers, etc, a little bit. I also found inspiration in this super-sized gumflower (it's about 8") that I had drawn a few months ago:
The circles all over the flower represent the hundreds of tiny pollen dots on real gum flowers. My final picture used ideas from both. I went with Cruffle for the pollen dots, and made them huge. The botanical name has been added digitally, because my writing is terrible :) I am also loving using Finery - it is in a lot of my recent drawings - super versatile for adding shape to leaves, cones, etc.
The stylised screws on this picture are really easy to do - it's all about the shading. Here's a quick step-out on how I go about drawing them.


Diva Challenge #86 - Break Free

I stayed up last night to check out this week's diva challenge before I went to bed (it comes up around 11pm my time). The challenge is to break free of the edges of your border/string, etc, and since I am a naughty, undisciplined, unrestrained person who never starts with a border, and very rarely a string I decided I needed to think about it for a little bit, so headed off to bed to read. About half an hour later, it came to me that I should take the challenge very literally and, well, draw a box and have my design pushing out of it. Fortunately, I found a pencil in my bedside cupboard so that I could scribble down the idea, and didn't have to drag myself out of bed - 'cause, you know, that wasn't going to happen, we are just out of winter and it's still pretty cold of a night here. I stuck with daisies, because........I LOVE them :) I am still also feeling the mooka from the challenge a few weeks ago - just love the flowy, viney look of it.
As I've been working on this post, I've had another idea for this challenge & don't know whether to go with that, or back to the piece I was working on last night that I am pretty excited about.......the agony of indecision! Luckily I am not working this week and may be able to do both! hx


I am not a robot! I promise!

Is it only me, or do other people get stumped by the word/number verification that you have to enter in order to post a comment on many blogs? Sometimes I have to do it up to 3 times before I get it right, and if I can't get it by that time, I give up. Too frustrating! I know why they are there, but can't they be a little easier to see? Fortunately, on many blogs you only need to do this the first time then it seems to recognise you. Anyway, I didn't realise it was an automatic option on blogger until I checked a couple of weeks ago, hopefully I have successfully removed it & I have not yet been bombarded with any spam (fingers crossed it stays that way).

Aside from that, I am totally loving that it is Monday, and I am not working (I only work alternate Mondays), and it is SUNNY (I have already had a nap on my verandah in the SUN, thank you very much!), and due to school scheduling, I am not working any other days this week either. Woohoo! Beautiful Melbourne Spring weather for the next few days and lots of drawings itching to be released from my brain onto the page. What could be more perfect? O.k., yes, I do also have to do a bit of planning for my classes next term, but I can maybe put that off to the beginning of next week :)

I have a copada feather breakdown in my sketchpad that I will scan/write instructions for, and upload over the next day or so, too.

Have a great one!



trumpet flowers

The drawing that I was working on before I started on the challenge this week, I just had to complete the shading. I wanted to try the more graphic style that I used on PODS with something a little more organic, so I started with trumpet flowers and added cones that echo the shape. What I love about this type of design is that it doesn't have to make any sense - 2 flowers are connect to each other and looped around the cones, another is connected to a cone. I also have the chance to try out lots of different patterns. I shaded with promarkers this time, rather than greylead. Easier as there is no rub back or smudging, more difficult controlling the bleed.


some more copada experimentation

I thought I was done with the challenge , ready to return to the design that I was working on before the challenge was posted this week, but I found myself sketching away in my journal again and came up with a couple more things that I wanted to expand on to see where they went. Copada Feather: I can't resist trying to turn patterns into feathers, I just love the challenge of seeing if I can still retain the basic pattern but also bend it to my nefarious will (insert evil laugh here). I had thought about this idea before I went in the banksia direction, but didn't think it would work. I've had to contort the base parentheses shape to point upwards so that the feather swirls would head in the right direction. Kind of an odd, spiky feather, but I like it.
String Flower: This one initially started as a sunflower but kept growing out of the shape. This is my comfort colour combo right now. Love, love mauve and yellow together.
Copada in primary colours: This one started off as a quick sketch and an excuse to use some primary colours for a bit of colour therapy today - I wanted to get away from grey for a while. I didn't think it would go anywhere, but I liked the end result - probably as it is so different from my normal colour scheme/s. I have seen some cool challenge responses - loved the fill on copada in both didisch's (stripes) and Mariet's ( flowers) challenge pieces - they have inspired the daisy & striped fill on the copada elements in this drawing.
Brainstorming page - pretty ugly, huh? Most of my finished drawings have a page like this before them where I sketch down ideas before deciding whether I want to go ahead with them or not - I also like to come back to it while I'm working on a drawing to trial colour schemes, fill ideas, and in this case, feather directions/style. You can probably see why I settled for grey tones on the feather! And, why some ideas don't make it past this page :)
A pen update! I am happy with the zig so far - though it probably only has one more drawing in it. I don't know whether I am training myself to have a (slightly) lighter touch. I am still slowly grinding it into the metal tube, but it lasted longer than the previous pens have. I will switch back to a micron once I have finished with this one to compare. hx


diva challenge #85 - Copada

This weeks challenge was to use the tangle copada, my response was to use it in a banksia design.

Banksias are an Australian native, when the flower head turns into a seed pod, the result quite a big, woody pod which has "mouth" shapes all over it where the seeds have been expelled.

I have used copada by flipping and stacking each row to create the mouths of the banksia seed pod, with a little bit of shing, sort-of, in the leaves, too.

This design shows the flower and pod along with some pretty large, wild leaves! Depending on the type of banksia the leaf sizes vary, but the yellow banksias that I am familiar with have a profusion of large, long leaves (though maybe not quite as big as mine!)

Happy with the concept of this design, if not loving the execution - probably due to the dull colour range. The flower/pod are shaded with grey first with some yellow added and I think this contributed to it feeling a little insipid. Ah well, I know for next time.

Can't wait to see what everyone else has been up to with this one. hx