challenge #97 - no strings attached

This weeks challenge was to create a zentangle/zia without using a string. Love it!

Although I very rarely use strings as such, I often draw a couple of directional lines on my blank page to get me going. So, for this challenge, I put the pencil and eraser in a safe and threw away the key so they couldn't weave their wicked wiles and tempt me to use them. Oh, and, when I say safe.........I really mean the box on my desk. lol.

My drawing will not surprise you.... I went naturalistic.........there's leaves, feather, mooka :)

I started with the front leaf and layered back from there, throwing in a mooka scroll at different intervals to give it a more woven effect.

It was fun working without my safety net of a few pencilled lines, and though the balance feels a little out to me, I still like it. I also got to use a couple new colours from my latest tria marker delivery :) The top scroll is not shaded - though I love a bound journal, I have to remember not to draw so close to the spine! Scanning is a bit of a hassle.


more spirals and an organisation update

Another spirally design -. I think I'm a little bit addicted. Next time I do one I'll try to remember to take a scan prior to shading - amazing what a difference the shading and heavier linework makes.

A week or so ago I promised Diana that I would post a picture of the pattern reference book that I am working on - I finally managed to get this done :)

The idea to organise my patterns this way came straight from Sandy at Tanglebucket - you can find her post on her blog here - so clever. Love it! I am up to "J" - I tend to go through frenzied stages of drawing the patterns, then take a break for a week or two to do other stuff.

I also began working on 4x6 pattern step out index cards (haven't done many) and don't know whether I'll continue with this idea - too much work, so little time.

Home today - should be able to play with the challenge!



Monday Moleskine 5

At the half way point.

I have been so consumed with drawing another detailed spiral drawing that I almost didn't get this ready - not to mention that John was hogging the computer so I couldn't get on at a reasonable time.

Anyway, here is this weeks Monday Moleskine.

This one started with the 2 lines down the centre - I probably thought I'd draw on both sides of the lines but this is how it turned out. I think I've cropped a little off the top LHS when scanning, too, as the line isn't really running downhill on the drawing.

Looking forward to the challenge tomorrow, and finishing up my spiral drawing :)



Scrolls and spirals

Erin was on camp this week, so I didn't even have to do the school bus drop off/pick up - this meant extra drawing time! Loved it!

Yesterday I played around with a fleur de lys scroll design, lots of shading work on this one to give it nice dimension and roundness. I was definitely over my grey markers by the end of it.

Today I wanted to do something a bit different, so I went to my Pinterest board for a bit of inspiration. Two things jumped out at me - Michele Beauchamp's wonderful Spirals and this fantastic image by Angela Porter that also features spirals - loved the heavy outlining and lines flowing outwards. You can see the influence of both these sources in my drawing.
I started with the spiral on the upper left and grew the design from that point adding whatever fitted into the spaces, trying to maintain flowing curves. I also drew out a box on my page before I started to give myself firm borders.
I really loved trying something different - the technique felt like a cross between the type of stuff I've been doodling and my more graphic designs that include lots of patterns - I really like it, especially the detail work. I will definitely be playing more with this style.

Have a great weekend!


Zinger Challenge

This weeks diva challenge - Zinger. Cute name! Love that it's all curly and organic and so cute!!!

This is a pattern I used a few times in some of my earlier drawings as a filler - they're in the gallery if you're interested. I had kind of forgotten about it, so it was exciting to revisit and try to make it more of a focal point.

Some of the stuff I came up with:

Zinger Daisy: this is my favourite. The Zinger lines are curved in the wrong direction, but I love how it works as a centre for the daisy.

Zinger Gumflower: I haven't drawn a gumflower for a while, and I do love drawing super-sized ones! Unfortunately I sketched this right near the spine on my journal - so the top edge didn't scan correctly, it's cropped and a little dark at the top, but I like the drama of it, anyway. Zingers make perfect little pollen "dots".

Mooka & Daisies: Used in the daisy centres, again, but these ones are going in the right direction. Cute in either direction!

A few fun ones...........supersized - all zinger, all the time.

Some shapes zinger reminded me of:

I definitely have Christmas on my mind, I've been harassing my kids for their Christmas wish lists!! I really want my shopping over and done by December 1 this year.



leaves and mooka

I have 15 minutes before I leave for school, so coffee in hand, I am attempting to express-post!

I didn't feel very inspired to draw anything but patterns over the weekend, clearly I was missing a muse. Luckily I found one yesterday whilst I was changing my bed.......yep........the new quilt cover (in shades of green + white, of course) that I bought about 6 months ago and finally opened up now that the warmer weather is here - *love*. My muse for the day.

Here's a sample of the quilt cover:

The drawing - loved playing with shades of grey/green for this one. And also adding my best friend - mooka!

Playing with colours to get the right mix. I went with the silver green/grey for the back leaf (frosted leaf/warm grey 1) and warmer greens for the front (pastel beige/khaki with touches of moss). Plenty of blender, too.

I drew my leave freehand, but when I looked at them afterwards I realised they could easily be broken down and drawn using the same steps as Verdigoh  (an original Zentangle pattern). Just keep it a bit looser. I have drawn out an example below.

Wow, lots more to say, but it's time to get ready - I might have to do another post tonight :)



Monday Moleskine 4

I was not in the mood to draw anything significant this weekend, so I indulged in the mindless pursuit of getting through my patterned tiles -  and made it all the way through to the h's. My little book is looking quite full and I am finding myself stroking it lovingly at odd times, because, you know, uniformly presented, alphabetically organised things just make me happy, happy :)

Monday Moleskines: because I felt in the mood to draw one of these today (and also, maybe I'm a little afraid that Mrs Wibbs will spank me if I don't. LOL.), I have decided to continue these till I reach the predetermined *magic* number of 10.

I think that's all I've got in me before boring myself silly as I seem to be compelled to doodle flowers and paisley shapes all the time!

So, here it is, a nice simple one :) Maybe next week I'll try to start off with a box shape instead of a curved one to see if that alters the direction of the drawing.

Challenge day tomorrow - love that.

Hope you weekend was great!



Light grey markers are back in the house!

Okay, well, I did get my delivery of grey markers last week, but hadn't used them until today. So good to have light grey markers again! I actually bought a 12 box set, so now I have 3 sets of graduating greys in warm, neutral and cool. Sooooo soooo happy.

I had a great afternoon drawing........I managed to catch up on patterns, as well as get through some pattern tiles for my organisation system - I am almost done with "B". It's a slow process, especially as I stop drawing once I get to one I just don't feel like doing - usually the patterns requiring lots of blocking/colouring in.

I also broke out a new journal and so far I am loving it - it ticks all the boxes for me - 125gsm, smooth paper, bound, hard cover, able to blend markers and erase without it disintegrating and it was under $10.00. Win!

I came across a page with some filagree and scroll sketches in one of my old journals, the scrolls remind me of the type of freeform designs that quilters do so they probably inspired the original sketch. Plenty of light grey marker action, too!

Daisies & scrolls:

Filagree feather:

Very happy with my day :)


Diva Challenge #95 - Mickey

I love Fridays. Yeah, I know, I love lots of stuff......but I really, really, REALLY love Fridays. It's the one day of the week where all I have to do is drop Erin off at the bus stop in the morning - then I don't have anywhere else I have to be all day! I don't even do after school pick-up today! I can draw.....or read......or garden.......or do housework (okay, okay, that last one's actually fake option. pffft. housework. not gonna happen. not on "helen can do anything she wants Friday!!!"

So, today I'm drawing - I've just finished up this week's challenge and it feels like the perfect day to catch up on the myriad of patterns that I have yet to put into my log book, go through my journals and see if I've got any half finished ideas/drawings to work on and maybe work on those little pattern organisation tiles I've been doing on and off.

So, this weeks Diva Challenge Mickey. Okay....this was not going to be one that played to my strengths. Things that come to mind when I think of Mickey Mouse that I like to draw:

  • Bright colours
  • Letters
  • Cartoon Characters/Animation

But, since MM's head is made up of circles, and I really, really like circles I decided to take this one back to the basic iconic outline and use that as my string.

Here's the finished result (a little fuzzy at the top - stupid scanner!) Can you see him?

Great way to use lots of patterns and I even managed to squeeze in a bit of an "M" pattern in the outside ring of the large circle.

If you couldn't find him, here he is!



Bloom - VIDEO

So, it's not morning, but, finally! after a super-busy day, I have the video for the Bloom pattern posted.

Includes the basic how-to, then onto some other stuff including steps on how to "randomise" the pattern. My hand is a bit in the way at the start, but that doesn't last :) I may also sound like I've been possessed by Darth-Vader for a few seconds at one point - not sure what happened there, unless I really was possessed by Darth-Vader..........hmmmmm.

You can read more about the pattern and find the step-out and some variations here

Have a great night!



Bloom: Pattern

Firstly, I think my previous post may have been a bit confusing (sorry!!) - we'll blame it on the fact that I typed it up last minute before I went to bed last night. I'm not planning to stop drawing - just my Monday Moleskine doodles - I've been taking a different approach to these and think that I prefer the more structured approach I use for my other drawings  :)

So, onto the fun stuff..............I loved the recent challenge using Socc - when I first came in contact with this pattern a few months ago I loved it, but hadn't had a chance to really play with it - so the opportunity to experiment.............wonderful!

I really enjoyed the challenge drawings that I did using Socc, but I wanted to create some flowers (what a surprise, huh?) with the pattern and couldn't really make it work how I was imagining it.

I wanted 6 petal daisy-type flowers. I tried a few different appraoches, and ultimately found that I needed to create a different type of grid framework and then work out from there using the aura-ing technique familiar to socc, puf, etc.

So, here is the end result - Bloom. I really love it.

You can stop at any stage - here are some examples:

What I also found along the way was that even though I had focussed on the 6 petal flowers, a 3 petal flower was also created using this grid, so if you want to make the flowers stand out, you have a choice!

Here's a sample where I've used colour to highlight the 3 petals - this sample also uses a "randomising" zig-zag technique (see video for demo/explanation of this). My scanner would not scan this clearly even though I did it a couple of times - the colour/lines must have confused it!

Another "randomised" sample  - I love experimenting with structured patterns to see how they can be distorted - this one uses a dot technique (again see video for demo/explanation of this)

Last one - for this I drew the centre line, then added crosses along it in different sizes to create the framework for the flowers - they turned out a little stumpy, lol, but I like the idea and will play with it a bit more.

I was going to include the video demo for Bloom in this post, but it is taking ages to upload to You Tube and I want to go to bed, so I will post it in the morning.

Hope you enjoy it :)



Monday Moleskine 3

This one started with some circles with a flowing line joining them across the page.

My Monday Moleskine career may just about be over - though it is relaxing, and I'm trying hard not to be judgemental towards my Monday doodles - for me it may be more about the destination than the journey! LOL. We'll see if I get another one up next week :)



One more socc

My husband is at a CFA 4WD course for the whole weekend, so after shopping with my girls this morning (always a traumatic experience - I hate clothes shopping - though I DID get an awesome pair of blue shoes!!), I have a full weekend of drawing planned! Well, that and finishing the 2 books I am in the middle of reading.

I did this one a few days ago for the challenge before being completely distracted by another pattern.

Similar type of drawing to my other challenge piece with lots of tendril action.

The socc is more filled in. Morning glories are coloured using same technique as shown in the colouring video that I posted a few days ago, though this time I used a stronger mauve/purple colour scheme - still, I couldn't resist putting in a touch of blue on them to finish them off!

This is how the drawing looks in my journal:

After scanning, I flipped it and couldn't decide which I preferred - probably how it is above, but I also like the morning glories on top. What do you think?


Lillies & mooka foliage

A quick post today - I have my tria marker order to unpack - so excited!- finally my grey markers have arrived (the first order didn't get processed for some reason and I have been desperate for my light grey marker to arrive!)

I did this drawing on the weekend. Love using mooka as a basis to create foliage around my bulb-like flowers. It flows so perfectly.

Just replace some of the mooka scrolls with the pointy leaves, add in a centre vein. I love them.

Have a great weekend!


Colouring technique - morning glories - VIDEO

This is my 55th post! I can't believe it! I must have waaaaay too much time on my hands and a whole lot more stuff to talk about than I thought! LOL!

Now that the weather has improved, I have moved away from the heater and back upstairs to my craft room. It has taken a bit of adjustment, but the lighting is better and it's great for doing videos.

I often get asked what mediums/tools I am using to colour my drawings. The pictures in my gallery use coloured pencil, greylead and promarkers. For colour work I now use promarkers, or tria markers, pretty much all the time. I may dust off the watercolours and acrylics in the future. Maybe.

So, anyway, the promarkers. Love them. Lots of cool colours. I use these in a number of ways - straight colouring, shading, colour graduations, and playing with the blender (love, love, LOVE the blender! Love it!) to achieve a sort of watercolour look that I've used in quite a few of my drawings, including the morning glories which is one of my favourites - I know, I know I shouldn't say that as the others will get jealous! Okay, drawings - you're all my favourites (wink, wink).

This video shows how I colour my morning glories:

Some more info:
  • Even though I use much the same process, these come out differently every time I colour them.
  • I think that you could use any other blendable markers to achieve a similar result.
  • Markers are juicy, they will bleed. It has taken me a fair bit of practice to gain a small semblance of control over mine.
  • this technique has just come about through trial and error playing with the markers - for all I know there is a better, faster, stronger way to colour them. We have the technology. (wait.....wait.....I may just have had a 6 million dollar man flashback here!??? what can I say......I'm a child of the 70's.......a very, very young child, mind you! LOL.)
  • after googling morning glory images this afternoon the only yellow I could find on the blue ones was in the centres, so we'll call the yellow on mine "reflected light" yep, that's the story I'm going with.
Let me know if you find the video useful as I may look at doing some more colouring technique stuff in the future. When I watch/edit videos of myself, I think, not only do I obviously use my hands when I talk.........a LOT, I feel like maybe I am just prattling on and that it can't possibly be helpful to anyone - and if that's the case, what's the point, right? So, since this is a bit different from what I've done before, I'd love to know what you think :)



challenge #94 - Socc

This week's Diva Challenge was to use Socc - a pattern that I love, LOVE and am going to be using a lot more!

Such a fun pattern to work with - I have a couple more drawings in progress, hopefully I'll get them all done, but I'm a bit torn between other projects I also want to complete.

Here is the one that I did today.

Laura had drawn tendrils reaching out from socc on her tile - a very inspiring idea that got me thinking of how I could extend the socc into other areas of the design.

The fat little socc at the top reminded me of bulbs - so they grew a few lillies! Of course, I didn't want untidy ends so I tied them up - well most of them any way - some of the naughty ones escaped! The sides (in a master stroke of evasion) disappeared down the holes.



Monday Moleskine 2

It has been a long weekend here and the weather has been great! John and I have been gardening for most of it - we put in a new 35 sqm veggie garden bed and I've spent the last 2 weekends filling it, creating a mulch path around it, and today, doing a bit of planting out. John has been working on the other veggie beds. Over the past couple of years our goal has been to grow all of our own vegetables and this year, for the most part, we have done it - I did have to buy some onions and carrots a few times, but that was it. It means a lot of work, eating strictly seasonally, but we love knowing exactly where our food comes from.

I did manage to do some drawing this afternoon and here is my Monday Moleskine for this week - just by the skin of my teeth!

A bit of smudging from the pen I'm using which is annoying. This one started with the loopy path through the centre and is showing my paisley love.

I also added to my granny's bonnet drawing from a few days ago - it felt out of balance and I was not at all happy with it. I should have just left it for a bit till I could figure out what it needed. The finishing touch came to me last night just before I went to sleep - I didn't even know I was thinking about it! LOL. I decided to extend the lines from the centre pattern, and add some shading. (I've changed the image on the original post to the new one :) Much happier!



granny's bonnets

We are heading into a long weekend for the Melbourne Cup - it is on Tuesday, but many people take the Monday off, too. Erin school has the day off, John is taking leave on Monday, and I don't have to be back at school again until Thursday. A whole week off for me! I am looking forward to getting a heap of drawing done.

I haven't drawn a flower portrait for a while (maybe a week - I don't know how I made it!!), and have been inspired by the columbines/granny's bonnets/aquilegia that are in full bloom in my garden right now - I love them - so prolific, they just self seed and look amazing. Such a unique flower.