Saturday, August 29, 2020

My First Digital Patterns

When I got myself an iPad and the Apple Pencil I secretly hoped it would turn me into an actual sketcher. You know, those people who draw 'real things'? I have such admiration for people like that. But if anything, digital drawing proved to me that abstract nonsense is my jam. 

It's not that I can't draw, it's just that I don't get half as much pleasure out of sketching and drawing real things than I do out of things?  Patterns, mandala's, doodles, mosaics, I just seem to live for those and that didn't change when I learned to work in Procreate, the drawing app that I mostly use.

In fact it made it even more attractive, because Procreate comes with a wide variety of drawing guides, so I can set up grids and isometrics and all kinds of stuff in any way I want and draw to my hearts delight. And even better: the guides are not part of the drawing, so unlike grid or isometric paper, the guidelines don't show in the final drawing. 

Working in layers gives a lot of extra possibilities too and the amount of available colors seems literally endless. I can pick my color palettes from my own  photographs for instance or from available online coloring sites. And then of course there are the many brushes that are available. From ink to pencil to crayon to whatever. 

So here are a bunch of pattern drawings that I did in the first months of learning to use Procreate. 

I want to point out that when I do these drawings it's important to me to 'do the work'. By that I mean that, especially in repeat patterns, it would have been quicker to use things like copy paste or just literally repeat a part of a drawing, but that's not where the enjoyment lies for me. So just like when I work on paper I colored in every little square, rectangle and triangle by hand. 

Because Procreate allows me to make more elaborate grids than on paper this means that working on a pattern drawing takes more time digitally than it does on paper. Many hours go into one drawing. I think my personal record was 21 hours (not one of the above by the way). I know this because Procreate actually measures the time you work on a drawing. 

I think what I like most about digital drawing is how you have an endles amount of possibilities and supplies on hand in one compact tablet. It's like having a full studio on hand without having to drag tons of supplies with you. 

Hope you are doing well and enjoying your own endless possibilities wherever you are, and wishing you a wonderful and artsy day.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Winter Walk in Black and White

We are just coming out of a few weeks of very hot summer weather over here, and if you have been an regular visitor of this blog you may already know that I am not a lover of summer and heat. I am already looking eagerly at the light at the end of the tunnel that mere mortals call autumn. 

Don't get me wrong, I can see the beauty of summer and the way things grow and bloom and to be fair most of our summers on the island are pretty mild, but the last few weeks have confirmed once again that I am mostly made for fall and winter.

That may be why when I went looking for pictures to put in this post I couldn't resist a series of black and white photographs that I took while on a winter walk last season. So if you too need to cool down a little I have just the post for you! 

It's hard to imagine that all those trees were so bare and the land so rough. I can't wait for that to happen again, well...after a colourful fall of course, don't want to miss that. ;-)

Hope you are enjoying the slow change of seasons wherever you are and wishing you all a wonderful and artsy day!

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Six from one

As you  know I draw a lot of rather rigid patterns and I love them very much, but from time to time I do long for a bit more loose drawing with a bit less control. That doesn't come as easy to me as my strict patterns.  I'm a control freak in my art as I am in life.  

So I figured it wouldn't hurt to broaden my horizon a little. 

I happened to have this book in my collection:

It's about exactly what it says: expressive drawing. The drawings in it are not always to my taste, but the idea behind them certainly is, so I decided to do some exercises from this book just to see if I could loosen up a little. This post is about one such exercise.

The idea was to make a simple line drawing in pen and then copy that drawing several times and continue to work on them so you have multiple drawings stemming from the same original drawing. 

So I did the following line drawing:

After that I got to work over several weeks on different approaches to this drawing in order to finish it. That led to the folowing six drawings:

It was really interesting to see what different materials and different approaches could lead to. It was a fun experiment and it sure got me thinking out of the box. 

I will definitely try some more ideas from this book in the future. 

Hope you are experimenting with some fun ideas and wishing you a wonderful and artsy day.    

Friday, August 14, 2020

Digital Mandalas

One of the good things that came out of having cancer en going for treatments and such was me getting into digital drawing. I needed something to pass the time during travel and waiting and I needed it to be fun and compact. I also wanted to learn a new skill. All these things combined led to me buying an iPad and learning both Sketchbook Pro and Procreate. 

Before I started I wasn't sure if I would like digital drawing all that much. I had tried before in the past and back then it never really stuck with me. But times have changed and apps have changed and the Apple Pencil did make all the difference. I fell absolutely in love with it. 

One of the first things I tried to get the hang of was making mandalas. Especially Sketchbook Pro has wonderful options for this, better even than Procreate even though as a whole I like that app better. 

So here are a bunch of mandalas I did when I slowly became more familiar with digital drawing.

It was a lot of fun to play with colors and different colored backgrounds. I also like how you can see that I started with very simple mandala's and they became a bit more intricate as I got along. 

A lot of these were made on the ferry, in coffeeshops or in waiting rooms. It sure helped kill time in a pleasant way and in general I think it's a good idea to use all this 'empty' time for something fun and expressive. 

Hope you are doing something enjoyable for yourself and wishing you all a wonderful and artsy day. 

Monday, August 10, 2020

Seals in winter

When I picked up this blog again it was clear I would not be able to catch up on everything that I made or took pictures of over the fourteen months of my absence. But some things I just cannot not show you, if you know what I mean.

One of those things happened last winter when a lot of seals were found on the beach. This happens pretty much every winter when the seal pups are born. If a storm hits they are not strong enough to swim back to the place they usually live and they stay on our beach until they are. Sometimes that's just one or two seals, sometimes it's a dozen, it's different every year. December 2019 was a good time to go seal watching, so here are some pictures I took during that time.

This is not a wounded seal, it's the umbilical cord, so this one is very very young. 

All these were taken with my zoom camera from a safe distance. It's important not to get too close to them. It causes stress and can even make a mother abandon her pup. Tourists often feel bad for the pups when they see them lying all alone, but nine out of ten times the mother is out in the sea to hunt for food for her young.

Also, if you get too close to the adult seals, you may live to regret it. People tend to forget they are fierce predators, and not to be messed with. 

But it sure is a wonderful sight to behold. 

You can see in some cases there is green spraypaint on the pups, this is a signal for the people who keep an eye on them, that a certain pup has been spotted before and doesn't need to be reported again. It means they will be taken care of if the mother doesn't return. 

Having these seals on our island every year keeps being special and I enjoy it every time. 

Hope you have something to be fascinated by and wishing you a wonderful and artsy day.