A page from my watercolour sketchbook featuring assorted red and grey squirrels. Below that are some of the pencil sketches I did first. These pages have led to a running joke about my “squirrels per day” count.
I was sorting out some of my craft supplies and realised they’d make a cheerful display.
I uploaded the full sized photos to Flickr (link) So if you need some bright wallpaper for your PC, I’ve got you covered. Or blinded.
Scarily, these baskets are just a tiny portion of my fibre stash. Continue reading
My second box arrived in December, and it was packed with goodies. December’s featured artist is Rebecca Loechler and the challenge is to design a colouring page. If you’re not familiar with adult colouring books, Scrawlrbox has you covered with a beautiful A6 colouring book and a colouring sheet designed by Rebecca Loechler herself.
I’ve had a lot of fun this month doodling different sea creatures and using my new light box to fill two different pages and ink up some colouring pages.
Again I’ve included Amazon links to the included goodies if you want to grab any right away. Note these include affiliate links to help cover my site costs/art supplies stash.
- 8 pack of Spectrum Noir Colorista pencils
- 2 Spectrum Noir Colorista markers (canary and nectarine)
- 1 Sakura Identi Pen (black)
- 1 Spectrum Noir Sparkle Pen
- 1 Spectrum Noir Colorista A6 Marker Pad
- Spectrum Noir tips & tutorials CD-Rom
- 1 colouring sheet
- 2 blank sheets of paper
- Sweetie! – Werther’s Original.. yum!
Spectrum Noir Colorista A6 Marker Pad – http://amzn.to/2kSbPvg
(Exquisite Florals Taster Pad)
This little pad is a great testing ground for playing with different markers. The paper is sturdy and a delight to work on. You get a blank page to put between pages to prevent bleed. Some sheets are outlined with metallic gold, silver and other glittery colours. I used the first page to test the canary and nectarine markers with some other pens in my stash (see below).
You could easily use the completed pages as front covers for handmade notebooks. I’m planning on having the snazziest sketchbooks this year!
Spectrum Noir Colorista pencils – http://amzn.to/2jwO77t
I love the colours in this set – they’re bright and pigmented enough to add a real fun pop of colour to your work, versatile for sketching in the garden too. The selection of colours is spot on. They blend nicely and seem well pigmented. I’m already using these to do little sketches and colour illustrations.
Spectrum Noir Colorista markers (canary and nectarine) – http://amzn.to/2khH4fT
These pens have alcohol based ink and dual tips. Both are bullet shaped, one fine end and one ultra fine. The ink seems well pigmented and I can blend the colours and layer over to add subtle shading. The Colorista pens are a bit chunky but still comfortable to hold and use. The caps can be a wee bit fiddly.
Spectrum Noir Sparkle Pen – http://amzn.to/2jW9ZFg
I love this pen! The ink is colourless with glitter so you can add a shimmer to any colour you have already. It’s very similar to a water brush – you have a synthetic brush tip attached to a reservoir. You squeeze the reservoir gently to get more ink flowing down. I tried mine over some pen ink and coloured pencils. A bit of colour can lift onto the bristles but I put a few drops of water on my palette and used it to clean the pen. That left me with some glitter water that I could re-use for a more subtle sparkle. I have a lot of experimenting planned for this pen!
There are some tutorials over on the Spectrum Noir website to help you get the best out of the sparkle pens.
Sakura Identi Pen – http://amzn.to/2kT5lc9
This is a handy little black pen intended for ID marking things, but it comes with two handy tips and contains waterproof archival quality ink. The 0.4mm extra fine tip is sturdy and capable of some sharp fine lines, the fine 1mm bullet end gave me a nice range of line widths when I held it at an angle. Being compact, with waterproof ink and the range of line widths, I’m thinking this would work well in a portable sketching kit. I used it for some inking to do this month’s challenge making my own colouring page.
Scrawlrbox is a monthly subscription of art materials. November’s box is my first. I’ve included links so you can buy any of the pens you’re interested in. Note: this post contains some affiliate links to help pay for
more pens my web hosting.
November’s featured artist is Emma from Black Chalk Collective. The theme is brush and the box is themed around hand lettering. I love calligraphy and hand lettering, but I’ve never fancied brush pen script for some reason. I haven’t fallen in love with it since getting this box, but these pens are all versatile enough for other lettering styles and different art projects, so I’m delighted with them.
- 3 Artline Stix brush pens (black, purple and blue)
- 1 Artline Stix colouring marker (grey)
- 2 Ecoline brush pens (turquoise and blue violet)
- 1 Edding 1200 Metallic Colourpen (74 green)
- 1 Crayola broad tip marker (blue)
- 2 sheets of lined practice paper
- 1 sweetie – a whistle 🙂
- a PDF file sent by email with guides and lower case letters to practice
Artline Stix brush pens – http://amzn.to/2i1JErM
Artline Stix colouring marker – http://amzn.to/2hgfQpZ
I found the Stix tips firmer than the Ecolines, but as a brush lettering newbie this felt easier to control.
The Stix colours were quite saturated and consistent, though the black wasn’t a truly jet black on the page. This may or may not bother you as these pens can create a gradient/ombre effect, giving your black letters some shading too. These pens can bleed through thin paper but they’re fine on sturdier papers. There are 20 colours available.
The colouring marker pen has a bullet-shaped tip. It doesn’t respond to pressure like the brush pens and delivers uniform width strokes. The grey is quite dark but useful for shading in sketches with black ink or adding a drop shadow to some lettering.
Ecoline Brush Pens – http://amzn.to/2hg90kx
The Ecoline brush pens are a wider round pen with a brush pen tip. I believe they use the same Ecoline ink that Talens sell separately. The pens come in 29 colours and the ink is transparent. Their ink isn’t waterproof so you can continue work on a piece later.
The tips on the Ecoline pens are nice and flexible and the colour seems to flow really well. I find them a bit harder to control because they are so responsive, but they’ll give you really expressive strokes with some practice.
I doodled on watercolour paper and used one of my water brushes to introduce water to the ink and vice versa. I made a teeny puddle of water and touched it with a pen a few times and the ink just danced around. A drop of water on the pen diluted the colour long enough to attempt a graduated wash of sorts. I can use a water brush to soften edges and lift the ink out a bit too. With practice these pens are really versatile.
Edding 1200 Metallic Colourpen – http://amzn.to/2hgdmIa
The Edding 1200 has a bullet tip so it won’t respond to pressure, however the stroke does vary from 0.5 – 1mm and a bit wider if you tilt the pen. You don’t need to shake or pump the tip to get the ink flowing. These pens seem ideal for adding accents to artwork or writing cards and gift tags/labels. The line width is really easy to control and write letters with. It doesn’t soak through thinner paper either.
The colour varies depending on the paper you use it on. On my creamy cheap watercolour paper it came out almost like a metallic mossy green. On pure white paper it’s brighter, but I preferred it on black paper. The ink dries quickly even on shiny paper. There are 6 metallic colours and the 1200 also comes in 24 normal colours for use on light coloured paper.
Crayola Broad Tip Marker – http://amzn.to/2iaT01v
The line width of these pens varies depending on what bit of the tip you use. The point delivers finer lines, tilted you get a really chunky stroke with a lot of character. I love how it can sometimes break up and give you that rough wild texture. These are also cheap and readily available.
To create hand lettering script you’ll need to practice tilting the pen to control your thick and thin strokes. They don’t respond to pressure like a brush pen. The Crayola markers make a fun alternative to more expensive art pens, especially if you want to digitise strokes for graphics software or customise your pens by cutting into the tip for some extra texture effects.
Here are my pictures for Inktober 2016.
I wanted to really focus on improving my technique and developing a style for my ink drawings. I’ve also uploaded larger versions to my Flickr account here if you’d like to see them in detail.
A little family of 5 goldfinches were feeding and exploring outside my window this morning. They were rummaging around in some rough ground, one was outside my window playing peek-a-boo. They’re small birds but you can see they have a lot of attitude. They wandered around for a few minutes then as a group they just walked off round the corner. I managed to get a photograph of one finch and drew a quick sketch with watercolour pencils.
My dogs are usually nearby when I’m drawing or painting. I make a cuppa, they get some chews and we all settle down together. I have dog beds all around the desk so my feet are always cosy. Sally also pokes her way onto the seat behind me. And sometimes Lily gets on the desk. There is a lot of mischief at first – Lily likes to play with my stuff, flinging the odd pen or bit of paper. Then she’ll settle down for a snuggle and look out the window.
So here we have a work in progess shot with Lily “supervising”
And here’s the finished picture.
For an art theme of energy, I present the iRat. A rat grimly struggles to drag his battery-powered mate onto the charging pad for a re-charge.
You could read all sorts into this – maybe I was trying to say something about Apple device battery issues, or predicting some grim society where even the rats need a virtual buddy. Truth is, I just had this image pop into my head with a rat dragging his mate by the tail, started laughing and doodled it.
This is a tiny A6 sketch using watercolour pencils and ink on some card. The colours came out softer than I’d have liked, but they still work.
2015 was my first Inktober. The challenge is to draw something in ink each day in October. It’s really useful if you want to improve your inking skills or draw more regularly. The official website is http://inktober.com. I posted daily uploads to Twitter, Flickr and Pinterest, so if you follow me on those sites, you’ve probably seen these pictures already. Continue reading