This is another one of those pre-pandemic “vintage” pages in my art journal. I produced this illustration while chatting with other local artists at a meet up in a coffee shop. Feels like a different time. Anyway, I had this page that was just covered in leftover white acrylic paint and all I had with me were my travel art supplies so I pulled out a black Inktense pencil and set to work drawing something. One of the things I find beneficial about my art time is that it is just me and the paper and the materials and no other distractions. It is very calming in that way. Conversing with other people while trying to create, therefore, is a challenge for me as I get distracted. One of my solutions is to draw something so familiar to me that I really don’t have to give the illustration that much of my focus. Classic movie monsters being one of my go tos, the Bride of Frankenstein was the subject for his particular day. It’s very simple but sometimes that is what is called for.
This illustration is based on a photo shared as part of the #Tekenuurtje challenge on Instagram. I was drawn to the billowing, triangular shape of the clothing and the polka dots. I really enjoyed working on this illustration and found painting all of those polka dots very meditative.
*The only way I can figure out to share the original image is via the post on my Instagram account where swiping will take you to the source photo.
I have no idea where the idea of a Moth Woman came from. The idea just popped into my head. My only intention when sitting down at my art table was to tackle goache again. As someone educated in 1980s Scotland, my lesson in resilience involved the anecdote about Robert the Bruce and the spider and the mantra of “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” So that is my attitude to goache. I am going to spider it and keep on trying until it is no longer enjoyable.
This Moth Woman was also an attempt by me to try a completely different approach to layering my materials. Inspired by Sue Clancy, who is always so supportive and generous with her creative guidance, I used watercolour pencils for my initial sketching. When I then applied white gouache, it picked up the pigments from the pencils and added some warmth and created a range of white hues. I then went back into some areas of the illustration with the watercolour pencils in order to darken and punch up some forms and shapes. I then added some more white gouache to some areas and added spatters of gouache to the lower portion of the page just for a bit more visual interest.
This was a completely different methodology to me. I am all about that tight line work and black ink and there is none of the latter and very little of the former in this illustration. I think this might be my most successful experiment with gouache so far because I felt the consistency of the paint was more like it should be so I am going to keep trying to get to grips with that medium. I will also use the watercolour pencils from time to time for the sketch layer too in future. It was really valuable to step outside my comfort zone and break out of the rut of my own work groove.
I am one of those people who can rarely settle down to do just one thing at a time. I know it is not efficient to multi-task but I apparently find it challenging to engage in passive activities and I especially need to be doing something with my hands. Therefore, while I was watching some professional development workshops on my laptop early one morning, I grabbed my Art Journal, pencil and pens, and decided to draw at the same time. As I had just drawn Bear Girl the previous morning, I decided to draw a couple of similar characters. The squatting pose for this little Deer Girl involved lots of erasing and reworking of pencil guidelines and I am still not convinced the weight of the pose is correct but at least I tried, right? I also went a bit awry with mixing the skin tone as it ended up a bit too yellow-ochre. Nevertheless, I had fun drawing this illustration and it was the perfect way to occupy myself while listening to workshops.
I woke up really early one morning and powered through most of the things I needed to do that day, including making dinner, before 10am. I, therefore, bought myself lots of free time, including art time. That afforded me the opportunity to develop this little character and create details within the illustration. The proportions are whack but that’s kind of my style so I embrace it. I have struggled to identify my visual voice but, in recent years, I have gradually gained a sense of what my drawing style is. I think this little Bear Girl is a good exemplar of the elements that embody my style. I certainly had a great deal of fun creating this illustration and this is really the approach to art I want to focus on going forward.
In 2019, I completed a sketchbook containing fairytale characters. It is a subject I enjoy but I have not really returned to since that project. I, therefore, decided to draw Rapunzel in my Rainbow Art Journal. I chose Rapunzel because, as you may have observed, I love drawing hair because of all the pattern and line work. This Rapunzel is definitely a bit scruffy, maybe dealing with a bit of bed hair. The disc behind the figure is metallic bronze but has not photographed particularly well.
This illustration was created way back in 2019 with the products contained within an Art Snacks subscription box. I remember that the blue shade suggested the idea of a bird egg and that sparked the whole idea of a female figure with a nest for hair. It is an idea I still like so I might return to it as a subject at some point.
I have lots of ideas for Sprites in this neutral section of my Rainbow Art Journal so at least one more is likely to make an appearance. My first idea, however, was to draw a Wood Sprite so this character is the result.
I thoroughly enjoyed creating this illustration. All of the weird and wonky shapes and all of the tiny linework to create the bark was absolutely what I love most about drawing. This is the type of drawing that really relaxes me. As I have mentioned before, one of the unexpected benefits of having worked on this mixed media project over a number of years is that I have really come to understand and appreciate what media, methodologies, and styles are really the core of “me” as an artist. I am pretty confident that I am going to abandon my mixed media dabblings to focus on ink and watercolour once I complete this particular Art Journal project.
I work on art projects in small parcels of time throughout the day rather than in one big chunk. This is the practice and habit I have been getting back into over this Summer break. My sketching time, where I develop an idea and map it out on the page, is during my morning mug of tea. That, therefore, is what provided me with the subject for this page. The colour palette was suggested by this page being the transition between the pink section and the neutral section in my Rainbow Art Journal. I do incidentally appreciate that this journal is not strictly limited to the colours in the spectrum of the rainbow and I definitely understand that neutral is not even the name of a specific colour group. However, this is just an art journal for my experiments and doodles so rules don’t matter.
This was another page in which I had adhered some wine labels. I seem to always start collage layers in the centre of a page so luckily these two labels were also forming a column so you know what that means: yup, I turned it into one of my herma illustrations. The art work on the Cocomero label inspired the subject matter so I decided to draw a female figure who was the personification of a watermelon. Random fact about me: while I love other types of melon, I absolutely cannot abide watermelon. It just tastes like sugary water to me and I don’t like the fluffy texture on my teeth. I set myself the challenge of drawing a lopsided smile (I have a very wonky smile myself so that was the inspiration) and I think I pulled it off without it looking too much like a smirk.