Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Day 14 [late!]

I've just discovered Day 14's doodle lurking on my computer...

Day 16

Although I felt pretty rotten all yesterday, I did perk up just enough in the evening to created my doodle for the day.

Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Day 15

I wasn't feeling 100% yesterday, so last night's doodle is a highly unimginative scribble, trying to capture the flowing lines that Lynn Taetzsch achieves. It's very easy to see why she sells her art and I don't usually show mine in public!!

Sunday, 27 April 2008

Sunday playtime - part 2

Once again I've been playing with some of my rubber stamps - scanning the stamped image, then manipulating them in Photoshop.

Sunday playtime

Back to doodles proper this morning, again using Sakura Micron pens, and coloured with Marvy markers, which is rapidly becoming my favourite combination for doodling.

Saturday, 26 April 2008

Day 13

I realised that if I was going to use Photoshop to paint actual pictures, as opposed to abstracts, I would have to start learning how to use the pencils and brushes better. Unfortunately, Photoshop's descriptions aren't awfully helpful - hard brush v soft brush - which to use and for what?

I started from a photo, and what I've produced is definitely not in the David Hockney class, and I will forgive visitors for sniggering, but I'm sticking it up here so that as I improve - and surely I MUST improve with practice? - I can look back at this and have a snigger myself.

I certainly find abstracts easier, but is that a good enough reason for not trying figuarative work?

A doodle from last week has been lurking on my computer, and as I haven't actually made one today, I'll post this one instead.

Day 12a - I think!

I'm slightly confused about which day I'm in - that's what comes of posting last night's last night!

This is the scribble-doodle that goes with last night's computer one, even if it is the next morning!

The doodle was created with Marvy pens on cartridge paper.

Friday, 25 April 2008

Day 12

Tonight's computer doodle is derived from a stamp in my collection by Stramp Camp , and I've entitled it EarthShift. I'm really enjoying using these vivid primary and secondary colours after what seems like years of pastels!

At the moment, every day's an arty adventure, and I'm looking forward to more playtime over the weekend.

Day 11

I had a lovely day yesterday, meeting a cyber-friend from America - the one for whom I made this book. She had travelled across the Atlantic, navigated Heathrow's T5 without a hitch, flown to Manchester, then taken a train to a little station in the middle of Cheshire, and she was on time.

Embarrassingly, we were late!

We got to know each other over a lovely lunch in a Cheshire hotel, and my friend seemed to like her book.

I was very tired when we reached home, and only made a quick, but I hope effective, computer doodle last night, when I learned how to make different dots!

Thursday, 24 April 2008

Day 10

The first doodle was created as I watched The Apprentice last night, which probably explains the lack of flowing lines!! Honestly, some of the people on that show!

My computer doodle is an experiment in creating textured backgrounds from scratch, combined with some Photoshop brushes created by Vered.

Back to the drawing board!

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Day 9

Last night I discovered how to make text into a circle using Photoshop, so I thought I'd use the letter 'O' for my doodle. The temptation to go back to the pure colours I love so much proved too strong - sorry if it makes your eyes funny :)

For my arty project I drew, on my graphics tablet, a small portion of the blossom I'd photographed the previous day, printed it onto smooth cardstock, and 'painted' it with Derwent Inktense pencils, taking the colour directly from the pencil with a damp brush. I used only two shades of red, underpainting the dark areas with green to make a dark brown/black colour.

Back to the drawing board!

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Day 8

Last night's doodle is really a scribble using Sakura Micron pens and Derwent Aquatone crayons.

My latest 'arty' project is a Photoshop-manipulated photograph of a sprig of blossom from the tree opposite my window. I used the Artistic>Cutout filter, then edged each colour individually with the darkest colour using a 1px Stroke.
Back to the drawing board!

Monday, 21 April 2008

Day 7

I stayed with my graphics tablet and Photoshop for last night's doodle. I had discovered the Pantone colour swatches earlier, so made use of the gradated colours.

The drawing was a simple one, repeated and offset - something not possible with paper and ink. Although I like texture, I do prefer flat colours for this type of work, so I may well spend more time learning how to use this combination more effectively.

Sunday, 20 April 2008

Sunday afternoon playtime

As a change from getting my fingers dirty with chalks and pens I thought I'd extend my knowledge of Photoshop by learning some techniques that may prove useful in creating computer art. The mini-book After Denfert has obviously ensured that Victor Vasarely remains firmly in my mind, as i found myself following timidly in his footsteps. Where his feet trod, my slippers are shuffling in his wake!

Back to the drawing board - or should that be motherboard?

Day 6

Last night's doodle was created using my new graphics tablet, in Photoshop, then coloured with Sakura pens. Because of the glitter in the Sakura Stardust, scanning the image proved to be impossible, so I had to photograph it instead.

This is another doodle that's decided its own name - Biker Groove ...

Project 2 is copied from a book illustration. I used to think that copying was cheating, but it's really the only way in which you can understand how effects are created, and it helps to build up your own 'vocabulary' for later use.

Back to the drawing board!

Saturday, 19 April 2008

Water soluble crayons compared

A forum friend very kindly sent me a set of (very artistic) scribbles made with Lyra Aquacolour water soluble crayons. I had been considering buying them, and she thought I could compare them with the two small sets of similar crayons I already have.

Although I don't have all the same colours, the following illustration shows the result of the test. The three brands compared are Lyra Aquacolour (L), Derwent Aquatone (D) and Caran d'Ache Neocolour II Aquarelle (C).
NB: Where the letter has been cut off, it should be (L)

The first thing I noticed was that the Derwent colours are more waxy, and less pigmented than the Lyra. This is also very obvious once water is brushed over the lines.

My Caran d'Ache Neocolours have no discernible point - judging from the pictures online of these, that is more my fault than theirs! I have always tried to avoid wasting any of the crayon by sharpening them, but I suspect that's not a good idea, as I find it difficult to be sure where I'm going to make the mark!

This has been a very useful experiment - now I only have to decide whether to buy a set of Lyra Aquacolours, or to increase my collection of Caran d'Ache Aquarelle. Knowing my weakness for tins full of beautiful colour, I suspect I may go for the former ...

... or there again ...

Back to the drawing board!

Day 5

Derwent's Inktense water soluble pencils give "an ink-like translucence". My technique is not good enough to achieve the solid, flat colour that I was trying for on this doodle. Perhaps I would find them more suitable for flower drawings, where the variation in texture is an advantage.

I became so frustrated with my poor technique that I finished off the doodle with Caran d'Ache Neocolour crayons, used dry. This provided the deeper colours of red and yellow.

While surfing yesterday I discovered several step-by-step projects on the Derwent Pencils website. Although I only have an old set of their Graphic pencils, rather than the soluble Graphtone used in this demo, I gave it a whirl. This is the result.

Back to the drawing board!

Friday, 18 April 2008

Day 4

I was a lot happier doodling last night - so much so that I did two to make up for the previous day's disappointment.

The first is a quick doodle I've entitled Elementary - as in earth, fire, water and air.

Both these doodles were made with water soluble crayons by Caran d'Ache and Derwent Aquatone. I noticed that when I applied water to coloured areas, it lifted slightly into the brush, making it paler on the paper. I seemed to remember that the opposite happens while using the Derwent Inktense pencils, and have decided that tonight's doodle will be with those for comparison.

Back to the drawing board!

Thursday, 17 April 2008

Day 3

Last night's doodles were disappointing, possibly because I was very tired, but mainly because I forgot I was doodling, and tried creating - and it didn't work!

My first attempt was a landscape. Yes, I know it looks like a landscape, but I also know it's not a very good landscape! I was trying out my Stampin' Up marker pens, and while the colours are good for landscapes, I found them unforgiving - more likely I don't know how to use them properaly. Something to work on, though...

I was so disgusted at my attempted landscape, I wouldn't sign it! Instead, I picked up a set of Sakura Silver Shadow pens that I've had for a while but not used apart from signing the odd card.

Initially, I doodled a loose triangle of what became flower heads, then added stems, leaves, and basal leaves/roots. I decided to quit for the night, and tried to get to sleep, but I was kept awake by a mixture of irritation, and failure. This morning the landscape still looks awful, but the flowers don't seem quite so bad.

Ah well, back to the drawing board!

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Day 2

Last night I scrawled the pen doodle while trying to answer questions on University Challenge, then spent the rest of the evening colouring it.

I thought I should experiment with different media, so this time I dug out my old chalk pastel pencils, as I wanted to try the paper stumps which arrived yesterday from Artifolk. At art college we always made our own, by tightly rolling cartridge paper, and I wondered if 'the real thing' was actually better.

Professional tortillions and stumps are larger, and firmer in the hand, than anything I ever made, but essentially they do the same job, and not really any more efficiently. However, they're so reasonably-priced that it's only worth bothering to make your own when bought ones aren't available.

I became so engrossed in the process of colouring that I almost forgot to stop! I was never very good at leaving white areas which add so much to a drawing or painting, and today's doodle is a good example of my shortcoming.

The cheapest way of setting the chalk is to use hair spray, spraying into the air, and moving the paper through the mist a few times. That avoids large blobs of hair spray from marring the finish.

While I was scanning the doodle, and uploading it here, the music to the Ray Stevens' song Gitarzan kept running through my head, and I realised that the doodle had reminded me of a guitar man, complete with fanciful top hat, and so I've named it accordingly!

Tuesday, 15 April 2008


Inspired first by Kevin King's fonts and artwork, then by the daily drawings of New York artist, Lynne Taetzsche, I decided to embark on a doodle a day.

Many years ago, while at art college, I could draw after a fashion, although I was never one of those natural artists whose work always rather demoralised me. Once I left I stopped drawing as I felt I would never be good enough.

I've been persuaded by forum friends to add my doodle-a-day to my blog, so here goes.

Day 1

The black pen is from the Sakura Micron set of five, with different-sized nibs, and the ink is permanent once dried. Colouring was with Derwent Inktense watercolour pencils. These are also permanent once wetted then dried, so layers of colour may be built up without disturbing lower layers. I'm using 200 gsm white cartridge paper which I know will stand up well to wetting/drying cycles.

... and if anyone sniggers .... !!!

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Many years from now ...

Yesterday was my birthday, and as I lay in bed contemplating the day ahead I wondered how old I was! I then wondered where the years had gone, and what I'd achieved in that time. That was the inspiration for this book.

Cover papers are by Hot Off the Press, and the pages are made from an A1 sheet of 220 gsm artist's cartridge paper. All decoration is using easy-blend stencil paint with (mainly) plastic stencils.

As the inner pages contain some personal details they aren't shown in any detail.

I received loads of beautiful cards from forum members , and was also very honoured to be sent Sheena's first beautiful flag book as a card. Isn't it great?

Friday, 4 April 2008

After Denfert

This small pop-out concertina book is a homage to the op-artist who inspired me many, many years ago, Victor Vasarely. The title refers to my favourite periods of Vasarely's work, those that came after the period he was in Denfert.

The book size is 3" square, and the papers are by Dovecraft. The miniature 'art works' were created in Photoshop, something that wasn't available to Vasarely when he created his masterpieces.

This is a rough draft for a larger project I would like to undertake sometime in the future.

My first - pocket book

My plans for another 'seaside' book were put on hold when I heard from a cyber-friend that she would be flying in from America towards the end of the month - on her birthday. As we would be meeting soon after her touch-down I decided I'd make her a 'vacation memories' book.

Each page gives some white paper for jotting notes, and a pocket to hold small pieces of memorabilia, such as train tickets or postcards, as she travels around the country.

It measures 6" x 4.25" x 1", and is again made with two matching Brenda Pinnington scrapbook papers.

It was only once it was too late that I realised ribbon closures might have been useful, in case my friend collects as much memorabilia as I do!

I'm really enjoying making books, and already have my next on planned ... and no, it's not about the seaside!

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

My first - flag book.

Here's my first attempt at a flag book. It didn't turn out quite as I intended - I cut the flags too small - so, like Topsy it sort of grew instead.

The title is S3, or Sky, Sand and Sea. The cover and spine papers are from Brenda Pinnick again, the gold panel on the front is one of the Kings Foils, and the title is computer generated in Photoshop.

I'm now wondering which form to try next. Watch this space!