This is a quick post about some gems who give me hope and inspiration in the independent art and illustration world. They have all stood the test of time ❤ If you are looking for inspiration and new artists to follow make sure to give put these guys on your list:
Nina Cosford – she is a UK illustrator who loves to draw on location, she makes quirky little illustrations of a relatable character named “Girl.”
Leigh Ellexson – Canadian based, her art is colourful and cool like she is. Her youtube videos are genuinely the most effortless looking beautiful vlogs I’ve seen. I am addicted!
Furry Litttle Peach – is an Aussie illustrator who basks in all things cute and vibrant. She is sunshine and rainbows from inside out which she infuses into her art.
Fran Meneses – is a New York based illustrator, she is generous with sharing her art journey and the ways in which she develops her art style. Her art is editorial and super stylish.
These people remind me of the joys of art making and doing things.
A night, unplanned.
Where the night takes us, who knows.
A gap in the fence.
Moon light, couples in a secret search for a special spot, a sky painted with rich blues, yellows and orange.
A feeling, a place and time irreplicable.
A moment alone. The heat of the sandstone below my feet.
The silence of nature.
A daze as the lights of the city flash.
A dash back in the dark.
Last ones to leave.
The trill of nearly getting locked in.
Art is a practice and practise means doing something regularly!
I wanted to quickly jump on here to share! I quickly did some water colour tests this afternoon after a “little break”. Life happens and sometimes art takes a back seat. *shrugs* haha
Today I took the opportunity to test my water colour skills, it just goes to show I’ve forgotten some of the techniques after taking such a long break from using them. With watercolour painting it’s all about timing and preparation, drying time and mastering this comes with patience and muscle memory.
Art is a practice and practise means doing something regularly!
I tried a few wet on wet, wet on dry techniques to create this butterfly. First, I tried a few samples of gradients and picked the colours combos I liked the most. I traced this butterfly from an old drawing I did for my 365 day challenge in 2019/2020 and painted it the same way I painted the gradients. I was rough with it and liked that the paint didn’t say in between the lines. I went over the butterfly again with lead pencil. I did consider lining it in black in but decided it would be too harsh for my liking.
It appears that Windsor and Newtown (W&N) products are very expensive to purchase in Australia. The 12 set of W&N tube set was 16 pounds which is equivalent to $30 AUS. So bizzare. Note to anyone travelling to London, buy art products over there, it’s so much cheaper!!
Don’t be limited to what you feel you NEED to draw, draw what your heart and mind are drawn to.
Tim Burton (director, producer, creator) says, do what you love and what you are passionate about and keep doing it, for it’s the love of the the labour that leads to mastery and true artistic expression. Don’t get swept up in easy wins or shortcuts, it can lead you down a pathway or direction that is not authentically you. Stay true to what you love… (Tim Burton – Master Class)
I hope this helps you to draw and create as much as you love to and not limit yourself by any rules.
To be more free with my lines, to allow my hand to flow without too much thought behind it. I am still yet to “get there” but am enjoying the process.
A lesson on ink.
Ink is a super fun medium to play with. I have been playing with Sumi ink lately and have found it loose and free. As someone who has tendencies toward careful and slow mark making using ink has helped me to loosen up. To be more free with my lines, to allow my hand to flow without too much thought behind it. I am still yet to “get there” but am enjoying the process.
Fun, loose and quick!
I found doing these studies helped me to use my ink brushes on my digital drawing apps.
What I learnt:
Ink makes you commit to your strokes, don’t think too much. Have a word/picture in your mind and paint.
There is little room for error.
Simpler the better.
You can achieve different values by adding more water/ink. The more water the lighter the wash (just like water colour).
Quick strokes work best.
Composition is key.
Rhythm is needed, light touches to create dotted thin strokes and more pressure to create bold voluminous lines.
Drawing the same thing over and over will lead you to develop your own process…
I spent a whole year practising how to draw buildings.
All together I drew 18 buildings between the 3rd of January 2021 – 22nd November 2021.
For a long time now I have aspired to fill up a journal with one subject matter. I am so proud of myself as I usually find it difficult to follow through on a self assigned project like this. I have a tendency to get distracted by something new and shiny. As you look at these drawings you will notice that staggered dates throughout the year.
Art takes patience, persistence and deliberation.
I have reflected on the process and there are notes beside the drawings; things I have learnt, process notes and what I liked about the drawing.
What you will need:
Printer paper cut to 26 x 13cam folded in half and secured with three staples on the fold. ( All together you will need 10 pieces of paper.)
1 coloured pencil
Photos of buildings
Overall, my reflections on this project are below:
Thumb nailing is worth spending time on – it’s a quick smaller drawing that helps you plan out the larger piece.
I love drawing sketchy trees.
Simplifying details can make a drawing look more fun and cohesive – not all details need to be accurate.
Drawing the same thing over and over will lead you to develop your own process… for me the process went 1. lightly blocking out shapes 2. Blocking out darkest sports 3. Add line 4 Add smaller shapes and objects.
Keep the sketch book on your desk, when you have a free 30 minutes draw!
Some notes on the paper/journal I used:
The printer paper is a bit slippery for coloured pencil
Good practise to get a sense of composition
Okay to write on
Suitable for graphite pencil
Use coloured pencils that a softer
Blending is challenging
The values are hard to build up which means the images look flat.
Layering is difficult
Download the full e-book for free below. I hope you learn something.
Have you been thinking about how to take photos of your art?
Happy new year, it’s 2022, I hope you guys had a good start to the year!!!
Have you been thinking about how to take photos of your art?
I have really enjoyed exploring about how artists display and style their art work. I have found some artists who are great at visually marketing their art, taking photos of the their art and displaying it in a way that hooks you in.
I have been thinking about how I could set up a place where I could take photographs to practice my photography skills. Below you can see I have simply blu-tacked the end of my Ikea drawing roll to my Imac and left the body on the table.
I love this current set up because it is just so simple and easy to set up and pack away. The natural light and the position that I have place this set up is just perfect in the way of the shadow it creates with the natural light.
The camera I am using is the D90 with a Nikkon Lens, 35-80 mm (zoom) 1:4-5.6D (aperture range). This lens can only function with f-stop 22 ring limiting aperture range. It’s not the best in low light but can manage in the shade but will need to be adjusted to aperture F5.6. I used 5260K WB (White Balance) on the above photographs and find that this gives me a neutral colour. At shutter speed 6 it will not need a tripod. I like this lens, it is versatile and great for portrait.
I plan on setting up this table to do some speed painting or art making videos. Wish me luck!
You may have a tendency to think you haven’t achieved enough… perhaps you are naturally pessimistic when it comes to the way you see yourself. Having a Journal helps you to count your blessings, cultivate gratitude and live by your values.
Every year I set up a new journal for myself. I have done this for three years now. It helps me document my year and to remind me of what I care about. Keeping a journal helps me review my values, goals and vision for the future. So far it has helped me to see how much I can achieve in one year.
I use the below prompts to help me to reflect on my year and then come up with a vision. This is how you can set up your Journal:
1. Thank you 2021
Say good bye to the year that has just past, say thank you for all the moments you’ve experienced this year. A few headings that will help you to reflect on your year are:
In 2021 my greatest achieves were
Things I struggled with in 2021
Three words I would use to describe 2021
2. 2022 Time Line
Draw a line in the middle of the page and the months of the year down that line. List events, milestones and projected deadlines e.g. birthdays, deadlines. This will be how it would look: link 1 & link 2.
If you’re looking for a quick art exercise to do to relax, these colourful dots are are both beautiful and simple to create. Pretty straight forward… grab your water colour and dot away.
Lisa talks about these exercises as ‘colour meditations.’ If you find you’re feeling stressed or just need some thing to do to calm your mind, this will do the trick!
Come to think of it these pieces remind me of those stick on ear rings they made when I was little. They were sparkly and came in difference shapes, like moon, circle, triangle, flowers. Do you remember these???
These are the drawing apps I use on my very very old Ipad. I know some don’t have up to date technology so, hopefully this helps you find tools for your older Ipads. My Ipad still works beautifully – so I patiently use my rubber stylus and Ipad to create art!
There are a few apps that I have on my iPad (2010):
This was the first drawing app I used on the Ipad. There was a version before this one with beautiful notebooks covers. Unfortunately I hit update and I found myself with tiles rather than note books, which is a shame. I have grown to like this app more and more as I use it. This was one of the more fancy apps developed back in the early 2000s. Gosh technology has really advanced! It is great for quick sketching and jotting down thoughts. I can easily use this app whilst watching a movie. I also used it this year to do some of Inktober 2021.
This app is probably the most intuitive and responsive.
Perfect for getting your ideas on “paper.”
Great app to learn about colour mixing.
Cut and remove function is useful as you can literally fling parts of a drawing off the page or shift elements to create a balanced compositions.
The mixing well ❤
The functions are limited if you are looking for something more advance.
This app isn’t well supported.
It takes a while to learn how to use the app – but once you do it is a fun app.
Bamboo Paper app
This is the first app that helped me to draw more consistently. I even posted many of my drawings on to instagram. I started with very simple line drawings. Once I was comfortable with this I started to play around with shading and line work. I actually really enjoy using this app and found that I could work very quickly on this app to get ideas out of my brain. There is 6 brushes in total, you are given 3 for free and can purchase the others. You are given a limited colour palette.
This by far has the smoothest line quality. By this I mean that the finish of your drawings will have very little pixels and jagged edges as you might find on other apps.
Limited palette is a pro and a con – because having limitations actually helps with creating because you have less choices to make.
Accuracy when using a rubber stylus.
The greatest thing about this app is that I have used it the most out of all the apps.
Images exported are small usually 27 x 36 cms, 10 x 14 inchs, 768 x 1024 px, that is 72 resolutions.
Limited Colour Palette
Limited range of lines (3 different weights per brush)
No layers – it’s not very forgiving when making errors.
Hard to colour in shapes – it’s sketchy if you want that look but precision is not really achievable.
Hard to erase.
Evernote penultimate app-digital handwriting
Penultimate, is alright…. It’s an extension to Evernote’s note taking solution which I actually really enjoy. Evernote was an innovator back in the day when OneDrive or the cloud had not yet existed. It came during the same wave as Drop Box and Flickr. The drawing and note taking experience is pretty crap, tbh, it makes your writing look messy and the accuracy in drawing lines in unacceptable for a drawing/note taking app. There may be an update that fixes these things however I definitely have not had a good experience with this app at all.
It syncs up with ever note.
Inaccuracy – the lines seem to flick out at the end making your writing messy.
Colour selection in this app are not my favorite.
Not the most enticing app.
Tayasui Sketches app
This is the most comprehensive app. I have purchased the full version of this app. Great for the screen printing affect, that requires the layers of lines and colour. I love this app!
Variety of tools.
You can create art in any medium in digital form.
The app is great for creating graphics in general, layering typography on a block of colour.
Every Colour you can think of is available on the app.
It feels like you are using real life mediums, for example the way the water colour layer and dry and the patterns you can create is realistic.
Can be a bit confusing for new beginners as the functions are not as intuitive.
There are so many tools that sometimes it can be overwhelming.