Friday, January 15, 2016

Step by Step: the Evolution of a Doodle Drawing (plus a blog break announcement)

Ever since I took Pam Garrison's creative sketchbooking class at Creative Bug last year I have been developing this whole new to me doodling style and I am so terribly in love with it! Even though what I'm doing now looks nothing anymore like what Pam does (which is of course a good thing) I can't help but still think of these drawings as 'pamdoodles', because she is the one who basically introduced me into the idea of turning a simple scribble into actual art.  She has a ton of other techniques in that class and I can definitely recommend it if only for you to step out of your own box.

As said I have made her basic technique my own so I could develop my own style. Mine is way more abstract and much more about basic doodling than about finding representative shapes. I also use very different materials than she does which gives a whole different look. I thought it might be nice if I showed you a bit of a step by step of how such a doodle drawing of mine comes into being, so that's what this post is all about.

Here we go!

Step One - Make a scribble drawing

I start out quickly with a simple scribble in pencil, trying to cover as much of the page as I can. 
Then later I look over the scribble and begin to draw more purposely over the lines with a black marker. I look for interesting parts, leave out and erase certain lines and add other ones until I have a composition that is pleasing to my eye. What is left is based on the original scribble, but obviously much more stylized.

Step 2 - Bring on the colour

Now I choose four to six (in this case six) colours from my stack of Pitt Big Brush Markers (oh how I love those, but you can use any marker you have on hand of course) and start colouring in the drawing until not a smidge of page is left white. I again try to get a composition that is pleasing to my eye. I'm not trying to represent anything. A doodle drawing is simply a feast of colours and shapes to me, nothing more.
Sometimes, as in this case, I like the coloured in drawing so much I'm almost afraid to move on to the next step, but I always do, and it's always worth it.

Step 3 - Black doodles

I divide my colours between the lightest and the darkest tones. Then I get a black drawing pen or felt tip and draw on top of the lightest colours with all kinds of diffferent patterns and doodles. I don't plan ahead, I just work as I go and see what happens. Already the doodle is coming to life as you can see.

Step 4 - White doodles

The last step is to take a white pen (in this case a white gelly roll) and go over the darker colours with again lots of patterns and doodles. This is where the really dramatic effects start happening, because of the contrast between the different coloured doodles and the colours at the base of the drawing. I love doodling the background colour too, because it makes the whole piece just one big doodle party!

And that's all there is to it!
I think it's a bit of a mix between pams work and zentangles, except with a lot of Caatje thrown in. I love these. I have the ambition to one day do a really big version of these doodles, maybe even on canvas or wood in acrylic with doodling on top in acrylic markers. I would love to see how that would look.

I hope you enjoyed this little step by step insight into my process. I always love to see how creative work is done and I'm sure you are the same. :-)

Now it's time for something completely different: the announcement of a blog break!

Starting today I will have a two week vacation and I will travel to the island of Texel again! I was there last March, but only saw about half of it, so now I am taking two whole weeks to fully explore our neighbours (Texel is the neighbouring island on the west of ours).

Of course I will make sure to take pics and try to keep a travel journal, so I'll be sure to have a full report when I get back, which will be at the beginning of February. Until then I wish you all a wonderful and artsy time!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Morning Paintings #291-300

The latest (and probably the last, haha) milestone in my morning painting practice was reaching the 300th painting about a month ago. If somebody were to tell me at the beginning of 2015 that I would paint more than 300 paintings that year I would never have believed them. But now I have the proof it! ;-)

Here are Morning Paintings no. 291 to 300:

#291 - Rainbow Lines

#292 - Dots

#293 - Stripes

#294 - Scallops

#295 - Scallops

#296 - Dots and Dashes

#297 - Dots & Dots & Dots

#298 - Squares

#299 - Stripes

#300 - 300

It seems that in the last weeks of my painting practice I am more and more inclined to draw patterns, be it stripes, dots or shapes. It's often an experiment in colours too. A lot of these patterns I wouldn't mind seeing on wrapping paper or decorative paper. Who knows? One day...

Hope you enjoyed this latest group of paintings and I wish you all a wonderful and artsy day!

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Ice Sculpture Festival

For years in a row now the city of Zwolle has hosted the Ice Sculpture Festival and for years in a row now I wanted to go but never got around to it. The Ice Sculpture Festival, or 'IJsbeelden Festival' as it's called in Dutch, is exactly what it sounds like: an exhibition of ice sculptures.

So this year I finally got to go and was immediately sorry for all the years I didn't. It was spectacular.

You pretty much walk into a huge cooling cell  (very cold, so dress appropriately) and in there the most beautiful ice displays are set up for you to be in awe over.

You, my blogsy people are in luck, because I decided to take you all with me and show you some of the highlights in this post.

The exhibition was set up as a trip around the world where you visited the various continents and their culture or sights were represented by the sculptures in ice and snow.

So without further ado, let's step into the cold and enjoy the show!

It's kind of ironic I went to see these ice sculptures in a week where the north of my country was pretty much literally covered in ice. We had ice rains for several days and traffic came to a semi hold. Schools were closed, public transport didn't go and there were many accidents with cars that had the audicity to face the weather. On the good side a lot of people also enjoyed skating right in the middle of the streets, so it wasn't all bad. ;-)

Here on the island we had two days of ice, but it wasn't nearly as bad as in some places on the main land. Luckily all the ice is leared up now and the day I went to see the sculptures was like spring, but I found it funny to go seek out ice after a short period of icy days was just finished.

I hope you enjoyed looking at the beautiful sculptures and if you ever get a chance to see ice sculptures in real life, please do so, you'll be glad you did!

Have a wonderful and artsy weekend.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Taking the Watercolour Mosaics out of the Sketchbook

One of my favorite things to paint are watercolour mosaics. I ususally do them in my Fodder Book, which is an A4 size Moleskine watercolour book.

But since one of my goals for the coming year is to produce more art outside of the sketchbook(s) I have tried some on loose sheets of watercolour paper. I also added some penwork to them in black and white paintmarkers.

Here are my first two tries:

They measure 24x30 cm (approximately 10x12 inches). I like how the penwork looks like stitchwork. I would love to see this done in felt for instance as a sort of patchwork textile artwork. I wonder if I can muster up the patience to do that myself... ;-)

Still, I would like to get a bit more brave with my penwork too and do more doodling on top of the shapes. I think it would make the whole work more interesting, like some of my doodle drawings.

As it is though it's both very calming to do and very calming to look at. So that might actually be a good thing too and a reason to keep some of these 'clean and simple'.

I am hoping to develop my watercolour mosaics further in the coming year and can't wait to see what comes out of that!

Wishing you all a wonderful and artsy day.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Morning Paintings #281-290

Another batch of Morning Paintings for your viewing pleasure (I hope).

I am about to finish the seventh sketchbook (after 330 paintings) and that will also be the end of my Morning Painting practice! But no fear, I have another practice lined up that will start in February (after my upcoming vacation, yay!). I'll tell you all about it when I'm finished showing you all the Morning Paintings on the blog, so be patient, my blogsy people. ;-)

Here are paintings no. 281 to 290.

#281 - Discs

#282 - Try New Things

#283 - Pick Flowers

#284 - Web

#285 - Grid with Dots

#286 - Grid with Dots

#287 - Grid with Dots

#288 - Pink Flowers

#289 - Triangles with lots of Dots

#290 - Dotted Grid

There was a lot of experimentation going on in this set of paintings. I tried out different things with dots and grids, and I did some paintings on a collaged background. I especially like the flowers on top of scrapbooking and wrapping papers.

One thing is certain: I will not stop doing these small gouache paintings. I am enjoying them way too much to give them up. So I am already on the lookout for a new sketchbook to do more gouache in for when the Morning Painting practice is really really over. I'll keep you posted on my progress.

Wishing you all a wonderful and artsy day!